I'd Do Anything To Improve My Swimming (But I Won't Do That)If you're a fan of wagnerian rock you'll be familiar with Meat Loaf's power ballad I'd Do Anything for Love (But I Won't Do That) which reached number 1 in 28 countries in 1993.
Oftentimes we'll be having a conversation with a swimmer and we're reminded of this amusing song title.
Perhaps it's you talking to us. You'll be telling us that you are really frustrated with your swimming, how you've tried everything and you can't seem to get any faster... How you SO deserve to get better.
And then you say those immortal words: "Just tell me what to do, I'd do anything to improve my swimming!". And we sigh quietly inside because we know, more often than not, it's not actually true.
Things We Might Ask You To Do But You Probably Won'tAfter assessing your individual stroke and looking at your recent training we might ask you to do one or more of the following things. Things we know will ultimately make a big difference to your speed:
- Give up the pull buoy.
- Swallow your pride, move down a lane and lead the group.
- Move up a lane and hang in there.
- Have some discipline and pace yourself properly in sessions.
- Consistently swim 3-4 times per week for 3 months (and keep a log to prove it).
- Swim a 4-5km Red Mist session once a week. (If you think that's a ridiculous proposition remember it's only 60-90 mins of swimming. Can you ride your bike for 60-90 mins?)
You don't do these things because they require you to go to a place of mild physical or emotional discomfort for a while and that makes you think that there must be an easier way. That the guy in lane 4 whose CSS is 1:15 /100m knows some sort of secret you don't. That there must be some trick that you just haven't worked out yet.
Keep looking for that thing if you like (you'll stay frustrated and looking for a very long time). Or the next time your coach suggests something mildly physically or emotionally uncomfortable, but for a good reason, actually embrace it.