Written by ZONE3 Ambassador Scott Hill | Head Coach RAF Triathlon and Tri Wolf.
Maintaining swim focus and improvement during the winter months can be challenging especially of the festive period, but it's possible and hugely valuable.
Here are some tips:
1. Indoor Pool or Open Water Swimming:
If you have access to an indoor pool, continue your swim training throughout the winter. If open water swimming (OW) is feasible in your location, consider the use of wetsuits and other OW products from ZONE3 for comfort, safety and performance. Thermal wetsuits and heat tech neoprene accessories are a great help to keep you swimming for longer.
2. Structured Workouts:
Plan structured in conjunction with your coach, swim workouts will keep your sessions focused. Include a mix of endurance sets, speed intervals, and technique drills to address various aspects of your swimming for long term improvement. Remember change does not happen overnight so persistence and balance is everything.
3. Dryland Training:
Complement your swim training with dryland exercises that target muscle groups used in swimming. This can include strength training, core exercises, and flexibility work which can help prevent injury and improve performance.
4. Set Goals:
Establish specific swimming goals for the winter. Whether it's improving your stroke technique, increasing endurance, or achieving certain time benchmarks, having goals provides motivation and direction.
5. Mental Visualisation:
Use mental imagery to visualise your swim workouts, this might include the reason why you are swimming. It will help motivate you for the next season. This can help reinforce good technique and create a mental framework and assist in improvements.
6. Consistent Schedule:
Maintain a consistent swim schedule. Having set days and times dedicated to swimming helps establish a routine, making it easier to stay committed (Routine and Discipline). Of course, this can prove difficult over the festive period but getting it done early in the day can leave the rest of the day for family time and friends.
Engage in cross-training activities that complement swimming. Activities like cycling and running can help maintain cardiovascular fitness and overall endurance and compliment triathlon development.
8. Join a Master’s Swim Program:
If available, consider joining a Master's Swim Program. These group workouts are often coached and provide a supportive environment for swimmers of various levels aiding development which we all strive for.
9. Hydration and Nutrition:
Pay attention to your hydration and nutrition, as these factors play a crucial role in your overall Performance and Recovery.
Prioritise recovery. Adequate sleep, proper nutrition, and recovery techniques like foam rolling, stretching and mobility can help your body recuperate between swim sessions.
Remember that improvement may not always be visible, and it's okay to encounter challenges. Stay committed, be patient, and focus on consistent, quality training to enhance your swimming skills during the winter months. Find a swimming buddy as this will ensure you are committed to the session/s laid out. You will thank yourself long term.
Follow Scott on Instagram:
@Triwolfcoach and @Ironhill83