The summer finally hit my home town Berlin, Germany. Besides running the parks, swimming the lakes becomes a valid option for cardio. I always liked swimming because it offers something running does not. Putting the physical health aspect beside, swimming includes a interesting psychological component. For most of us cardio training means fighting an inner daemon, and swimming presents you a perfect mirror for that daemon: Water.
Self-help motivational thinking and swimming is a fierce combination. The “whoooyaah don’t give up, never surrender” mentality suggests a crowbar approach to master a skill. Just do it, make it a habbit, do it long enough and it will come to you.
Unfortunately, this does not work well with swimming. Swimming (for more than running or cycling) is about dealing with resistance and not breaking it. You kinda need a more Zen-way to get better in the water.
I strongly recommend “Total Immersion”-swimming. It was especially developed for long endurance swimming and triathlons. It is not about fighting the water, but reducing resistance. In the water, you get faster by being long and smooth. No will and force required.
This is the beauty of swimming. Its a wonderful parable to life. The harder you push the water, the harder it pushes back. You can be the greatest motivational artist of the world, the water will always outmatch you. You have to go with the water. You need to respect it. No motivation required.
It sounds silly, if you are troubled with water and swimming you whole life. But once you get the hang of the right technique. You just need the motivation to learn to swim the right way. After this it becomes like a walk in the park. The less exhausted you are after a “workout” the faster you have been.
A few helpful links:
- Tim Ferris: How I learned to swim effortlessly in 10 days and you can too/
- Official site: http://www.totalimmersion.net/.
Searching “Total Immersion” gives you about 153.000k hits on google.