Moving forward

Parent - please share with your swimmer(s)

SR group - can read and figure it out on their own

JR group - can read and might or might not need some parental help to create a plan

D2 + D3 - read together as a family and talk about creating a plan for activity 

I will follow up within the next week 

It has been a week since our last practice. Seems like a lot longer than that. Most of us have gone through a huge range of feelings and emotions. If we were able to get together, this is some of what I would talk about

Swimming is a sport of preparation. The meaningful improvements come from the preparation months or even years earlier. Great swims in February or March are primarily the product of the work done in December, November, October, September or earlier. This fact is often what keeps the good from being great. The great can stay focused, stay motivated months and years prior to the realization of their goals. The good don’t have the same attention span.

I don’t know when we are going to get back in the water, nor do I know when the next competition is going to be. No one does. It could be April, May, June, or longer. What I do know is that while the rules by which we live have changed (virtual learning, social distancing, little or no economic activity), the rules for athletic achievement have not. Being fit, being strong, being explosive, being flexible is an advantage. Those things are still available to us, but we must make progress in a different way.

Our D2 group has up to 3 hours per week of practice, our D3 group has up to 5 hours per week of practice, or JR group has up to 10 hours, and our SR group has up to 15 hours per week of practice. If you want achievement when we get back to the pool, the activity that we no longer have access to must be replaced.

Here are some ideas

  1. A significant part of our training is aerobic activity. Aerobic fitness can be achieved in many ways. If you have aerobic equipment at home use it. Low impact, non-full weight-bearing is safer (stationary bike, rowing, elliptical). Running has a higher risk because of the higher impact. A mixture of running and walking is much safer and has a better chance of being sustainable over a long period of time. If you want the thrill of achievement when competitions resume again, keep progressing aerobically.
  2. For the JR + SR groups we did low impact strength work every Tuesday and Thursday all season. While it was fit into the aquatic environment all of the exercises can be adapted to a non-aquatic environment. In addition to those things there are plenty of online resources for building strength. Here is a link to a yoga program LINK. Find others. 
  3. Be creative. Movement is important. Heart rate is important. Stairs in your house are a resource, the side walk in front of your house is a resource. Think of some of the things we do at camp (pushing cars for miles or carrying buckets of rocks up and down hills).

Off the top of my head

  1. Go up and down the stairs in your house 9 times (up is one, down is two). After the 9th time do a 30 second plank, after the next 9 times do 5 pushups. Repeat 20 times
  2. Run two light posts, 5 squats, walk two light posts, 10 toe raises (hold on to the light post for balance),…repeat…find a course that takes 30 minutes to do every day
  3. 30 minute walk – online yoga class – 30 minute walk
  4. Fill a backpack with 40 pounds. Go around your block 12 times – odd times walking with your back pack, even time light jog without backpack…

Create your own routine with the resources you have available to you

When we get back to what ever “normal” becomes there will be two types of athletes. The type that used this time productively and those that did not use this time productively. You must make your choice.

I was a runner in college. Every year when we returned to school in the fall our first Saturday workout was a 10-mile run. You had to be under 60 minutes to get your locker and your singlet (uniform). One summer I was working in Eskimo and Indian villages on the Yukon river in Alaska that did not have roads. Everyday I ran up and down the gravel runway to be fit enough to get my locker and singlet. You had to avoid bears and bush planes. I avoided both and made it under 60 minutes. Everything isn’t always ideal, in fact it rarely is, but if you have goals you have to figure it out.