Want to get more consistent with your swimming?
How about having the ability to figure out performance leaks so that you can make the most of your practice time?
Do you want to be able to set better goals that will keep you motivated over the long term?
Of course you do.
One of the best and under-utilized tools you can unleash on your swimming is keeping a swim log.
Yes, the simple act of writing out your workouts can help you do all of the above.
For some the idea of writing out their workouts might seem like homework, or just another thing to do at the end of a long day, but elite swimmers recognize the value of having their performance history at their fingertips.
Here is the full breakdown for why this very simple tool is a must-add to your swimming weaponry:
1. It will keep you on point.
How many times have you gone to the pool and blindly followed the sets and intervals scrawled out for you on the chalkboard?
If you are like most swimmers, you go through each practice merely trying to survive the workout instead of achieving specific objectives.
Writing out your workouts (whether it is before if you are training on your own, or afterwards) gives you the blueprint for your workout so that you can go in, wreck house, and get out. Seeing your workouts written out should also give you the opportunity to reflect on the purpose behind specific sets.
Understanding the objective underlying certain sets and practices will provide you with task-driven focus.
And that means less wasted workouts from low focus and low engagement.
2. You’ll get a big picture view.
As a swimmer you know that what you do the rest of the day carries on into your workout (or at least, you should!).
Monitoring things like rest, nutrition and stress levels provide critical feedback and correlation for why some days you simply aren’t feeling it in the water, while other days you are killin’ it.
Don’t just stop at writing out your workouts; maximize how you are doing outside of the pool to make the most of time spent in the water.
3. It will keep you motivated during those hard bouts of training.
The swim season is no joke.
Between the two-a-days, the training camps, and the week-long competitions the work we put in can be draining both mentally and physically.
Having a logbook and a record of all of the hard work you have done, how far you have improved, and how far you will continue to improve as long as you stay on track, cannot help but fill you with a metric ton of inspiration.
On those days where you feel like giving up sit down with your logbook and remember how unbelievably capable and mentally tough you actually are.
4. You will be able to set better goals.
Goal setting is a tricky skill. Even though every swimmer has the goal to swim faster, the process of goal setting is another struggle entirely.
If we use it and we don’t achieve our goal, we blame ourselves and the process.
A swim log forces you to create better and smarter goals because it will give you solid, real-world proof of how fast you can expect to see results.
One of the key tenants in high-performance goal setting is to make your goals realistic, and without a credible view of how long it will take to make progress you are making goals in the dark.
5. You will be able to monitor progression.
Getting faster as a swimmer is all about, well, getting faster, right?
Over the course of the year you will undoubtedly perform several of the same sets repeatedly.
Keeping a journal of these results shows you precisely how much you are improving, and even what led to that improvement.
If you can see on paper that you are getting faster, you are more likely to stay committed to the program.
6. You will be able to manage your goals.
We both know how important goal setting is.
Having goals gives you the motivation to show up on those cold early mornings and they act as a compass to help keep you focused and on track.
While many swimmers are easily able to set themselves goals for the season, the swimmers who find themselves at the top of the podium, the ones that excel and are continually improving and killing it in practice, are the ones who consistently set themselves training goals.
A log book is the best platform for creating, maintaining, and tracking the training goals that will create the foundation of your success in the pool.
Whether the goals are session based, weekly, or monthly, staying on top of your training goals is the surest way to quickly see more progress in the pool.
7. It will keep you accountable.
There will always be those moments in practice where our focus slackens.
Remembering that you will have to write out this workout – for better or for worse – can be the nudge you need to your head back in the game.
(Another layer of accountability: Sharing your log book with your coach. YourSwimBook includes monthly evaluations specifically designed to be shared with your coach.)
Have him or her take a look at your performance so that they can also get a better idea of why you perform great some days, and not-so-great on others.
The information that can be gleaned from your feedback from specific workouts will help your coach instruct you better.
8. Provides extensive feedback.
You know those days where you feel unreal in the water?
Gliding easily, riding across the water with almost effortless precision?
Those moments are nearly surreal, and when pressed for information on why it happened, most swimmers can only shrug and chalk it up to luck or chance.
Whenever those amazing workouts happen you should be able to piece together what led to the awesome swimming.
So that you can swim like a boss more often.
Conversely, when a negative session in the pool happens, piece together the reasons for it.
Lack of sleep? Stressed out? Fall off the wagon with your nutritional requirements?
Seeing the reasons for a less than stellar performance actually written out on paper is much different than thinking about it.
It’s easy to overlook the simple things when it comes to swimming faster.
A more expensive suit and a fancier pool are great, but it doesn’t help you improve the things that matter.
Like being consistent…
Having training goals that keep you focused…
And keeping yourself accountable.
When you are ready to take your swimming to the next level, add a swim log to your weaponry.
Take Your Swimming to the Next Level
YourSwimBook is a log book and goal setting guide designed specifically for competitive swimmers. It includes a ten month log book, comprehensive goal setting section, monthly evaluations to be filled out with your coach, and more.
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