how to fight boredom during your swimming training

Boredom: the silent force.

There are many factors that affect an athlete’s performance during a training session: training method, recovery, rest from past exertion and diet to name a few. But an often overlooked factor is boredom. Boredom is akin to a “silent force” that saps the energy and morale of the training athlete, making them train inappropriately, or even sometimes quit swimming entirely, as a study performed on the reasons for attrition in competitive youth swimming seems to suggest. This means that athletes need to take certain measures in order to combat boredom and thus train more effectively.

Associative thinking and the right training mindset.

We’ve all been there: doing lap after lap around the pool, being very bored and only thinking about how tired and exhausted we are, wanting to be done with training for the day. This is where boredom negatively affects our performance, as a study published in the human kinetics journal states. This study explored the effects of association thinking on performance, perceived fatigue and rate of exertion of 69 participants. The researchers concluded that those participants assigned to the associative strategy actually swam significantly faster than the control group, by simply changing their mindset.

Self talk, and the importance of motivation.

In another study about self talk in the swimming pool published in the journal of applied sports psychology, it was revealed that athletes that use the method of self talk performed significantly better in both power and precision tasks than athletes that didn’t use this method. The researchers concluded that this self motivation is effective at enhancing performance by reducing boredom and other thoughts not related to task execution, thus enhancing concentration to the task of the training at hand. In other words: concentrating on your training and performance will take your mind off of boredom, fatigue and other external thoughts that might distract you, thus dramatically increasing your performance. Rise Athletes, a prominent mentorship platform for elite athletes founded by Olympians, had this to say in their blog about self talk: “As soon as you can train yourself to take control, confidence will rise and so will your performance.”

The importance of the right tools.

To concentrate on your training and performance, certain tools are made available to the enterprising athlete to make things easier. Those fitness tracking devices will help you monitor and regulate your training to maximize effectiveness while keeping your mind off of pain and fatigue. And as an added bonus, using the self talk technique while monitoring your training as it is happening will give you a mental boost of motivation and confidence that will make you go for that extra lap, and push your boundaries ever so slightly farther away.

Instabeat, our state-of-the-art real-time heart rate tracking device, is the perfect tool to enable you to monitor and refine your training by showing you your training zone in real time.To see our take on the fitness tracking, performance monitoring device made for athletes by athletes, visit our website here.

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