The Benefits of Non-Swimming Goals

Tough Mudder: T-10 Days


For those of you who missed it, I signed up for the Tough Mudder a few months ago.  Catch up on that lapse of judgement here.

“But Coach, How does this goal relate to swimming?”

Good question!

The obvious answer: 

“It doesn’t!”

The less obvious answer:

“Having athletic goals outside of swimming can often boost confidence, physical fitness, and self-esteem during periods of reduced access to pool space.”

Trust me, I know from experience.

Last October, my 4-5 swim workouts per week was reduced to a whopping two 45-minutes sessions.  With the Manhattan Island Marathon swim in the not-so-distant future, this would not do.

Dryland became my BFF.  There was only one problem….

Running is the gold standard for aerobic dryland…..and I hate running.


After I completed the NYC Marathon in 2004, I figured that my lifetime running quota was satisfied.  Make no mistake, I have a profound respect for the incredible athletes that fall in love with the 26.2…. Cupid’s arrow missed.  


Anyway, back to training, swimming and dryland….

After a few weeks of making like a hamster on a treadmill, I found my motivation lacking.  Any fitness professional would agree – boredom and monotony can destroy any well-designed exercise program.  I was in trouble and needed an adrenalin shot STAT.  Needless to say, signing up for a 5K wasn’t going to cut it.

And then someone said:

“Hey, you look crazy, wanna run 11 miles through mud and climb over stuff in the middle of nowhere?”

So, naturally my response was:

“SO, you’re telling me that there is a socially acceptable ways to act absolutely bad-ass??  This is just what the doctor ordered!”

Over the past few months I’ve followed a training regimen that included a mixture of swimming, running, gymnastics and the Tough Mudder Boot Camp Workout.   Talk about a way to spice up a workout program!  Setting a goal outside of the pool helped maximize my time in the water and increase my overall physical fitness level.

I realize that this type of goal setting is not for everyone, but I recommend finding new ways to challenge yourself.  

I have yet to decide if this type of event requires a “taper” of sorts.

Keep on Swimming,

Coach Meg

Leave a Reply