Water Programming

February 24, 2020

In an attempt to re-invigorate my swimming program, cross-training in the water by doing laps, I dove back into the pool last night and slogged out nearly thirty minutes worth of lap-time lane swimming... only to get an email this morning that the aquatic centre of the local pool will be closing in just a few weeks for three months of maintenance. Best case scenario, I get my aqua-groove back just in time to be high and dry at the local facility.

This isn't a rant about that. Kudos to the pool staff for making sure that proper maintenance gets done during the spring months when outdoor pool season nears and the kids aren't yet off for vacay.

But it poses the ever-present training question that I faced with the local running store moving and now the pool shutting down for a few months in the peak of my personal training schedule: how does one adapt to the demotivating but uncontrollable issues of access restrictions when one is planning a schedule of workouts?

option A: skip the pool plan.

The easy thing to do would be to forego the aquatic aspects of my training plan. Sure, water training is a great low-impact counter-balance to running, and especially the bone-pounding, distance-logging marathon training plan. The downside is that I need to find something to fill that gap in the cross-training plan.

option B: find another local pond.

The YMCA is a ten minute drive from my house, and there are a few other local bodies of water that would serve to do some laps once a week. Alternatively, there are a few other rec centres around town where a weekend visit would not be too much on an inconvenience. The downside is that the nearby benefits and a paid-membership at my gym of choice leaves me paying double and driving more.

option C: find a different schedule.

On my drive to work each weekday I pass one of the oldest rec centres in the city. Literally drive right by the entrance. Not even out of the way. Instead of swimming at night, leaving for work 45 minutes earlier and slipping in a swim as part of my commute even once a week could work, and its technically included in my current membership plan. The downside is that changing my schedule is not simple and getting to work smelling of pool chlorine (even after a shower) may suck.

Adapt, adapt, adapt. Or just give up. Good thing I've got a few weeks to figure it all out.

Swim, Swam, Swum

April 10, 2018

I’ve been cross-training. Proper cross-training. Imagine that.

A few of the running crew have been sporadically converging on the local lane swim pool to churn out laps on a regular, weekly basis. And like anything that involves building a new (fitness) routine into one’s life, it doesn’t hurt to have the support and moralle-boosting peer pressure of a few friends to make one accountable to that routine.

The change aligned neatly with some changes at work. Motivated by such, in fact. I was nursing a bit of a foot injury anyhow, and after a particularly monumental day at the office I couldn’t reconcile sitting around on the couch watching Netflix alone with my mental state. I went to the pool, bought some new goggles from the Running Room store, and swam laps… along with a half-dozen of my running crew who were in a similar state of running injury frustration.

Fast forward a month. Counting that first flustered swim, I’ve now dipped into the lane pool five times in recent memory, often dragging the kid along with me, where I’ve been swimming an increasing number of laps while reducing my recovery time from a minute or so to a few lingering seconds.

Thirty minutes. Thirty five minutes. Last night I swam a little over 45 minutes. All those minutes, laps, water-logged repeats for the simple reason of some much-needed, fitness-balancing cross-training.

…plus, I already pre-paid for seven more visits. And, y’know… peer pressure helps too.

Big Topics