Friday, May 30, 2014

Mega Megan's Secret - Why Not You Too?

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##Paul, i've used your word 'demeanour' here but that suggests outward projection, whereas to me 'mentality' might better express the inner-self. e.g. 'Can-Do Mentality'.##

Last week on the blog we looked at one of our swimmers Megan and her stunning swimming progress over the last 2 years as she improved her threshold swimming pace from 2:12 /100m to 1:32/100m. This is a huge improvement, good enough to take her from being one of the slowest in our squad to being close to swimming with some of our fastest swimmers with extensive swimming backgrounds.

It is certainly fascinating to see a swimmer improve so much and get a clear before-and-after perspective from the video footage. We know from all your emails, youtube and blog comments that it has inspired many of you on your own swimming journey - which is great!

But what if Megan's story left you feeling a little uncomfortable or frustrated? After all, if she can make such big improvements with her swimming then why not you too?

When you read the post, did you put Megan's improvement down to her age, or her background or some sort of untapped natural talent? If so, you missed her real secret. The fact is that Megan has nothing unusual in those areas, she was and in some ways still is a very 'normal' swimmer... except in one regard.

Megan's secret is simple to state but very hard to *truly* come to terms with. She has:

An Amazing "Can-Do" Demeanour

which leads to...

Doing The Hard Work With Brilliant Consistency For Months On End

That's all it is. Not overthinking. Not over-analysing. Never talking herself out of the work she needs to do.

Liz from our squad asked:

You might need to think about this answer before you give it but I've been swimming longer than Megan (a lot longer) but am still in lane 1 - how come?

We explained Megan's amazing consistency, notably swimming a mentally challenging Red Mist Set every single Wednesday morning for months on end. Liz said:

OK, well after this week I'm away for 5 weeks on a cycling holiday then I'm back for
4 weeks before away for 2 weeks, but then I should be able to...

That, right there, is exactly the problem! If you lack consistency with your training then your fitness is constantly in a state of snakes and ladders (see this post). Megan's fitness isn't like that, it's on a constant upward curve and she's still improving even now after two whole years of consistent training.

If you've been swimming for a while but not improving then the first thing to do is to be really honest with yourself about your own consistency. Both in terms of missing sessions but also in terms of what you did during the sessions you swam. Nine times out of ten consistency is the reason you're stuck on a plateau.

In last week's post Megan put it this way:

"I do know that I felt a big difference when I started swimming Wednesday mornings. I am not sure whether Wednesday improved my CSS or not but it definitely increased my confidence – 1 km TT? *shoulder shrug* … sure, whatever :-)"

When was the last time you truly shrugged at a swimming time-trial? Megan's not saying that out of bravado, that really is how she thinks.

Don't fear the hard work but actively embrace it - that is the true attitude of a champion.

Swim Smooth!

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