You wake up early and head to the pool, intent on cranking out 3,000 yards for the day. In a 25-yard pool, that's 60 laps and 120 lengths, and it can mean over an hour going back in fourth in the same box, 25 yards by 8 feet.
Unlike running, cycling or even open water swimming, where the scenery changes and the pursuit of the destination keeps you occupied, swimming laps doesn't have the built-in entertainment. If boredom is overwhelming, you better have some ideas to keep your mind occupied as you chip away at the yardage.
Not sure how to fight the monotony of lap swimming? Here are some ideas:
Intervals give your swim workouts a purpose, plus it breaks up the repetitiveness of just going to the pool and pumping out lap after lap.
An example of an interval workout comes from Gale Bernhardt's article on Fast 25s:
Repeat the following set two to three times:
- 2 x 25 Build speed throughout the 25
- 2 x 25 Swim half the distance as fast as you can, it doesn't matter if it is first half or last half. Swim the other half easy.
- 1 x 25 All-out fast
- 1 x 50 Very relaxed and easy
Not only will this particular interval make you a faster swimmer, but it will keep you entertained as well.
Technology is great. Now, we can somehow have electronic devices submerged underwater with us. And it doesn't ruin them!
There are numerous pool-friendly MP3 players on the market, as well as other products that can waterproof your iPod shuffle.
This allows for us to actually hear the professionals sing, rather than listening to us humming to ourselves underwater during our workouts.
Quick tip: Athletes sometime get sucked into the rhythm that's bouncing around in their brain, which means the music you're listening to can affect your speed in the pool, for better or worse. Keep that in mind.