~By Coach Dave Samuelsohn
Thanksgiving is over – I hope you took care not to under eat! With more holidays approaching, schedules are crazy and your swimming will be disrupted by late nights, pool closings, exhaustion, and your own many added responsibilities and stresses.
If you are a serious swimmer, the holidays can be a frustrating time – even maddening. But you can get through this, and maybe come out better on the other side.
First of all, like all confessed whatever-a-holics, you need to accept that this is the way it’s going to be: you’re not going to be able to get in as often as you’re used to. Don’t flip out – accept it. And then, put together a focused plan to get through it.
The secret to life, according to Jack Palance’s character in City Slickers, was to find the “One Thing.” Pick one thing that you really need to get better at, and set a goal to fix it. Maybe it’s your turns, maybe it’s hitting that donut hole on your start. Maybe it’s your streamline, or your stinky breaststroke. Maybe you need to work on your pure speed with short sprints every day. Maybe you need to pack that base with a hard over-distance workout every opportunity. You could spend three weeks on your legs, just kicking – hard. Or maybe you’re already over-trained to exhaustion, and could use a little time with your foot off the gas pedal - try to remember again why you love to swim.
You decide. Make a plan and then stick to it.
Second, you can’t swim as often as you’d like, but if you can catch twenty minutes in the morning, do some damn sit-ups! And before bed, spend the same twenty minutes doing some focused stretching. You can’t overestimate how much core strength and flexibility – two areas we sorely neglect – can improve your swimming and life-fitness.
It’s the holidays. It’s a busy and stressful few weeks. But if you use the time wisely - plan your work and work your plan - you can come out better on the other side.
Happy Holidays, Coach Dave
Dave Samuelsohn is a lifetime Masters swimmer and coach.
Nice article Dave, glad to see you're still at it. Although I'm not getting in many laps these days, I'm still a pool rat. See, Jeff Krieger, fear of water if you care to see what I've been up to. Hope all is well and continued luck with your swimming. By the way I've given up on the idea of a reunion swim meet with Iona, I stay in touch with Steckler, so stay in shape, we need you!!!