So, the whole reason I started this blog was to stay motivated now that I am no longer part of a competitive swim team. I have been a competitive swimmer since the second grade (approximately fifteen years!), and before that even, I took swim lessons at the local fitness center. When I began competitive swimming, I hated it! I didn’t really mind the practices, but my pre-meet anxiety was too high for me to enjoy competing.
Unfortunately, pre-race anxiety stuck with my throughout my entire swim career even as I grew to love the sport. As I moved from the local aqua club to swimming in high school and finally competing at the collegiate level, I never lost the extreme nervousness I felt before races. This is now one of my goals: to determine how to lower my anxiety before a race, whether I am swimming, biking, running, or all three!
When I was younger, I swam for fun. All of my friends were on the team, and swimming meant I got to see them every night of the week! It wasn’t until about eighth grade that I got serious about swimming. I had determined my primary stroke (butterfly), and I was focused on getting better at my events. When looking for colleges, I had swimming as one of the main focuses of my search. Being able to swim for NCAA Division II Shippensburg was an awesome experience. Though I wasn’t the star of the team, I loved the impact the swimming family had on me. That’s one of the best aspects of swimming: the friends that become family. I have friends that I met on my first swim team that I am still best friends with to this day. I have a feeling that is what kept me motivated to stick with the sport for as long as I have.
Swimming has had its ups and downs. There were many times I wanted to just throw in the towel or walk out of practice, but I knew there were many aspects of the sport I would miss. It was also so rewarding to touch the wall of an extremely challenging set (such as our Florida training set of 100 x 100 or 50 x 200). When my final swim season was cut short due to mono, I was disappointed. I never got to swim in the team’s last meet of the season, but I did end my senior year with an all-time best time in the 100 fly!
Although I am not longer part of a team, swimming is still a part of my life. A great pool workout allows me to ease my mind while still feeling productive afterward. That is why I decided to go for a swim this evening. It is a lot harder without a team to motivate me, but I still love the rewarding feeling of getting out of the water (even if I didn’t swim the6,000+ yards I would during a practice), and it is definitely a good workout! Another plus is that my roommate is a swimmer, too, so I am not totally alone in the pool.
My pool workout for the day:
- Warm-up: 400 swim, 300 pull, 200 kick, 100 swim (1000 yds)
- Set 1: 10 x 50… 5 on :45, 5 on :40 (500 yds)
- Set 2: 5 x 200 + 100… rest :10 between (1500 yds)
- Round 1, 3, 5 : 200 pull, 100 kick
- Round 2, 4 : 200 IM, 100 ez swim
- Cool-down: 3 x 100 on 1:40 ez
- Total: 3300 yds
Now, my roommate and I are going to watch Hairspray, read a little bit, and hit the sack! :-)
Final question before leaving:
How do you deal with pre-race anxiety?