Back in August I sat with my trainer Susanne. We reviewed my strategy as well as my goals on a shorter term. The goals we set were quite conservative in the first place, but we decided to go more safely. As the saying goes, success breeds success, so we chose to focus on positive energy and experiences in order to boost my motivation. And it worked!
Swimming 6-7 hours a week I’ve been working my ass off in the fish bowl and it only took me a month to smash my goals. I was finally back on track and highly motivated. So Susanne and I set new goals again, a bit more aggressive this time. Last week, nearly two months later, I crushed them all again. Needless to say I’m high as a kite – and proud! 😎
But bragging is not the point. The point is I’m starting to understand what really works for me at the moment. Obviously, consistent training is of the essence, but I’m pretty sure variation too has played a huge role in my success lately. Besides regular speed training I’ve been working a lot on my flow and on my technique on all four strokes those last three months, and it has helped me further develop my feeling of the water – boosting my results on freestyle. More than ever I feel in harmony with the water – I’m working WITH it, I’m working THROUGH it. I feel strong.
Moreover, I’ve stopped focusing on times and speed as such. My trainer and I have developed a new “scale” when we train together. We’re not talking about gears anymore. We talk about strength. Instead of “slow” we say “relaxed”; instead of “sprint” we say “full strength”. It may sound silly, but it’s really done the trick for my brain. I’m not tossing my arms and legs around anymore, like the desperate drowning cat I had become trying to be my old self. Verbalizing my speed as strength has helped me get a better hold of the water and swim faster than ever before. The proof is I’ve clocked a new PB on 100 m freestyle in the pool. The last time it happened for me must have been in 2013. Now I’m actually looking forward to my 1500 m test on Friday 18 December so I can kick some ass. I’m so ready!
In the meantime Christmas is approaching and I’ve found the perfect present again this year – a training camp in Lanzarote in January. Paul, a local swimming coach I’ve worked with during my stays in Lanzarote, is organizing a long distance OW swim camp. The programme is pretty cool and, as far as I understand, the participants are mainly Channel swimmer candidates. So I’m looking forward to meeting them and hearing about their plans and preparations. It’s always very inspiring to meet new people with different backgrounds and ambitions. One of those guys is Michael Ventre, who’ll set off to swim all the way from New York to London in 2017 in order to raise £ 5 million for Oxfam. Who said I was crazy? 😮
Personally I’ll keep my focus on my two main goals in 2016 – crossing the Fehmarn Belt between Denmark and Germany in late July/early August (as my qualification for the English Channel) and clocking my all time PB at Christiansborg Rundt in late August.
Dedication, confidence and sweat is all it takes. And I’ve got plenty of them right now! 🙂 #beyourownhero
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