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?”
The obvious answer:
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,