As the Open Water Swimming season draws to a close (for those fairer weather swimmers!), and the triathlons become fewer and further in between, it’s time for the Northern Hemisphere to start to head back to the pool. After the freedom of 5 months in the great outdoors, it can be a little daunting to start thinking about heading back indoors. But never fear, there is so much to love about pool swimming, all year round! Zoggs ambassador Annie Brooks shares her tips on getting back into swimming indoors.
Good for the body and mind
Whilst Open Water Swimming (OWS) is exploding in popularity, the humble pool offers so many opportunities for fitness, community and safe enjoyment of swimming. Not only is swimming so good for you physically, it offers a mental time out like no other! The quiet and focus of swimming is a welcome respite from the noise and bustle of daily life.
Motivate and Meditate
There are lots of skills you can work on over winter to make sure that when the mercury starts to rise again, you're ready and raring to go, whether it's for an open water or triathlon event, or just to enjoy the tranquillity of the great outdoors. It’s also a great, all over workout that’s easy on the body. Unlike a high impact activity, swimming allows you to get your heart pumping and your limbs moving, without leaving you sore and aching all over! This is especially useful if you have another high intensity sport that you regularly take part in, like running, CrossFit or aerobics.
Join a group swim (or start your own!)
The community and camaraderie is a big part of OWS, and there’s no reason that can’t carry on through the colder months. Many leisure centres offer social swims where the emphasis is on chatting and enjoying the water more than ‘training’. Tie in a swim session with a mindfulness day every so often, some yoga, a swim and some post swim glow meditation, it always makes me feel so much calmer! Zoggs have some fab swimsuits that are perfect for the leisurely pool meet-up, check out my faves here.
Join the club!
Want to do more training? Check out your local swim or triathlon club. Most will offer a few sessions a week with like-minded swim lovers, it’ll boost your fitness and give you a new social outlet too, win-win! It can seem a little scary at first, but remember, everyone has a first day at some point. These kinds of groups are a wealth of knowledge about swimming, and will be able to help you improve your stroke, breathing, or endurance with some helpful tips. Swimsuits for training tend to have a few more high performance features that make them perfectly suited to a more energetic workout, check out my picks here.
First time back in the pool
If you’re feeling a little nervous or self-conscious after some time away from the lanes, don’t worry! Everyone feels like this from time to time but don’t let it hold you back! Follow a few simple tips to leave your fears behind and emerge from that first swim feeling energised and invigorated.
1. Start early
Get the day started the right way, then it isn't something for you to feel negatively about throughout the day. Set that alarm clock, up and at ‘em!
2. Pack your bag the night before.
Again, don't give yourself an out, or cause unnecessary stress before your swim.
3. Look good, feel good.
Swimwear doesn't have to be boring and functional, in fact, put some FUN in the function! I love my kaleidoscope print cossie, it instantly puts me in a good mood, and I’m ready to face the day.
4. No pressure. It's supposed to be fun!
The first few sessions, don't worry about anything other than getting in the water. Put all thoughts of lengths, splits and training plans out of your mind. Focus on the now and just appreciate the weightlessness and calm of the water.