Friday, January 6, 2012

Turn Off The Brain And Press The Go Button

(Stop press: Two new Swim Smooth Coach Education Courses announced in the UK, apply here.)

Once I'm a little bit fitter, then I'll be ready to swim a continuous 1000m...

Once I'm a little bit fitter, then I'll be ready to think about doing a race...

Once I'm a little bit fitter, then I'll be ready to come back to a squad session...

Once I'm a little bit fitter, then I'll be ready to set some new goals...


I've just had a sensational holiday in Esperance, Western Australia with my lovely wife Michelle and our two children. We spent a lot of time on the beach and in the surrounding forests, all without a single ounce of exercise. It was so relaxing and just what we needed after an exceptionally busy year.

Paul and Michelle
(after today's blog, Paul might be sleeping on the sofa tonight!)
Michelle is a great swimmer and is preparing for a Rottnest Channel duo in February (20km swum in a relay of two) and after our holiday, to motivate us both back into shape I proposed we do some swimming together. I have just started a new Swim Smooth 'elite squad' in Perth with some of Western Australia's best athletes and suggested that she joins us. Her initial reaction? Once I'm a little bit fitter...

Is this a thought holding you back too? I've been overwhelmed by emails recently from people saying that they are a little scared to get back into swimming for fear of not being able to keep up with their old training buddies or excel as they would hope. This 'pride in performance' is a completely natural response in all of us but the thing is that whilst you might not be Michael Phelps, I absolutely guarantee that when you return to the pool it won't be as bad as you're telling yourself. Have a read through my "Six Sessions Kickstart" experience back in July 2010 here. This is what you can expect to go through when you return and guess what... it's really not that bad.

If you've been using the 'once' word in your head, I think this is one of those situations where it is so important to turn off the brain and just start. Once you're out of the door of your house and actually in the water the rest is easy and you'll soon wonder what all the fuss was about.

Paul Newsome
(Swim Smooth Head Coach)

8 comments:

Laura said...

That was encouraging, even though I'm no where near you level of a swimmer. I took about a month break from swimming after training to participate in my first sprint triathlon in order to ramp up some road racing distance, then I got sick this week after only a week back in the pool. Maybe I'll blog about my attempts to get back into it at this point, for my own records.

Anonymous said...

Exactly. People sometimes tell me "you can do this or that because you're so fit, I could never do that". I then respond with, "no, it's the other way around; I'm so fit BECAUSE I do these things often". :-)

This is similar to "I won't race yet because I'm not fit enough"...

Fitness won't come by just waiting for it.

Anonymous said...

Question: I have a problem lifting my legs (drags) and kicking for that matter. Find that if I tuck my chin in - head down, this helps a bit with my alignment. But looking at Mr Smooth, he seems to be looking forward. Also seem to have developed lower back pain lately and can feel it in the water. Very frustrated with my inability to kick. What am I doing wrong? Swimming 4 times a week, inbetween Novice and Intermediate

Mike Alexander said...

This is true of so many things besides swimming!

Coincidentally I had my first swimming session for six months this morning. It was hard work, but I really enjoyed it.

Anonymous said...

Wow! This is just what I needed to read. I am starting up again after taking time off since...ouch October! I said the exact thing in my head for the last 2weeks. But tonight I am heading to the pool to face my fear! Thanks for this perfect motivation. I am not alone in this :)

Nev Dickson said...

Even when I'm tired or not at my best, I feel much better in the water. And far better than before after training. In my Ironman training, I especially ENJOY SWITCHING OFF and just doing as I'm told. My coach knows I can do it, so why worry!!chiend

Vinyl Pool said...

Wow! This is just what I needed to read. I am starting up again after taking time off since...ouch October! I said the exact thing in my head for the last 2weeks. But tonight I am heading to the pool to face my fear! Thanks for this perfect motivation. I am not alone in this :)

Jodi Murphy said...

The longer you but it off the harder it is to get back into the game. You will never be as "fit" as you'd like to be, so why not just go for it! It's too easy to make excuses.