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The enemy within

imageOk, let me rephrase this… Sea, swim and NO sun! At least to start off with… The first couple of days were windy like hell with buckets of rain. There was actually surface chop in the fish bowl! Paul was soaking wet and almost got blown off the deck a couple of times. Maybe it was Mother Nature having a go at him for forcing me to swim 900 bloody meters as a WARM-UP that day. Let alone the rest of the set. It was a killer swim that afternoon and the weather made him pay for it!

Anyway, it’s been a most interesting training week so far. I’m starting to feel what my guru Susanne has consistently tried to hammer into me the past three years. Feel the water, relax and work with it. So don’t despair, Susanne. Three years is quite a poor average, but the jigsaw is falling into place. It’s finally happening!

Beside regular technique and endurance, swimming effortlessly is the main focus during this camp. The more I stop overthinking and the more I relax, the smoother it gets and the quicker I can go without putting any particular effort into it. It’s like everything is already in position inside my body/subconscious and by turning off my brain and relieving any excess tension in my muscles, I can release more power and smoothly “rocket” my way through the water. Turning at the wall is less of a disturbance. I manage to stay in my bubble and work my way more and more effortlessly through the sets. A kind of swimmer’s high.

Quote of the dayI find it particularly interesting as I’ve been using a similar approach when I teach running intervals. Set your auto pilot, relax and let your body do the hard work. The less tension, the more powerful you can run. And now I’m experiencing it myself in my swimming. It’s like reversed mental training. Instead of overusing your brain to boost your performance, you release your body from overthinking in order to unleash the beast within.

So yes, be confident, relax and let it come to you. There’s nothing new about this, but it can’t be repeated enough. Your mind is powerful and treacherous and it’s yours to tame!

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