Turning endurance into performance

Longer? Quicker? Better?

What to aim for? That’s one question that I’m struggling with at the moment. Back at the start of September I wasn’t sure that I could keep exercising, every day, for 50 days. But it turns out that I could. The 5×50 challenge was a test of endurance and, whilst I diligently tracked my kilometres and logged my times, I wasn’t aiming for anything more than completing enough kilometres or clocking up enough minutes, day in, day out.

This was a great experience and a positive learning curve, but I am now wondering what to aim for next. Is it a case of continuing to focus on the frequency of the exercise? Should I aim for a weekly quota of minutes or miles? Or is it a question of quality over quantity?

The other quandary rattling around my head is about what to focus on, sport-wise. I’m still not running (blame the knee) so that realistically leaves cycling and swimming. Whilst never being one to blame my equipment (ignore the knee comment above), my bike is probably not the right one for anything more than casual use (I’m counting my 5, 6, 7km rides as casual use; they’re certainly not high-performance outings). I’m not sure that pushing myself further or faster in that direction is something that I, or the bike, am ready for. Swimming, on the other hand, requires little more than some shorts and a pair of goggles, and I already have both of these.

To take my swimming up to the next level I will need some help, which was how I ended up in the newsagents perusing the sports magazines. It seems that you can get magazines on running, cycling, walking, more running, fishing, bodybuilding, but not swimming. There were a few magazines with ladies in bikinis on the front, but Mrs RB assured me that those are not swimming-related and dragged me quickly from the shop before I could check for myself.

So I’m off now to make use of Google, with the aim of finding some hints and tips on improving my swimming. Can I take the boost that the 5×50 gave me (that turned me into a casual, albeit regular, swimmer) and build on it? To find the right target, the right motivation to make me better? To improve my performance?

Let’s hope so, as I quite fancy another challenge.

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2 thoughts on “Turning endurance into performance

  1. The SwimSmooth site has some useful info on it, but if you think your technique needs to be improved, I really recommend some 1-1 coaching. It’s really hard to see what you’re doing wrong without an outside eye to look at you

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