Ease your mind and your body and you’ll swim better, which relaxes you even more. Isn’t it great how that works? As a group, swimmers may be the most physically relaxed people on the planet, mainly due to water’s calming effect on the mind and body.
What swimmer hasn’t entered the water with problems, only to have them washed away by the end of a workout?
Ability to relax is important even in the execution of strokes as well as through starts and turns. Roughly half of swimming activity from start to finish may be categorized as rest or recovery, while the other half is effort or propulsion. At swimming workouts, there are several general steps you can take to improve your relaxation level, both mental and physical:
Stretch before entering the water. Stretching not only relaxes muscles and increases flexibility, but it sends signals to our minds that we are preparing for a vigorous workout.
Start slowly. Even if the water is chilly, take your time in the first few minutes of each practice. Most adults take at least 20 to 30 minutes to warm up fully.
Stay loose during rest periods. During sets, conserve your energy by floating on the water or hanging from the pool’s edge.
Swim down after intense efforts. For every peak, there must be a valley. Likewise, with every fast swim, there must be a recovery period. After a challenging swim or set, use the next few minutes or the next set to recover and always conclude a workout with a few minutes of relaxed, easy swimming.
Think positive. Even the greatest swimmers experience failure in their workouts. Instead of feeling disappointed, commend yourself for the effort, learn from your mistakes and do better the next time. When the going gets tough, fill your mind with positive, strong thoughts that will translate to more energy and positive action.