Remembering a swim routine or workout can be very challenging for swimmers. This is especially true when the workout is complex or involves multiple sets and intervals.
Personally, I really struggle with this. When I get to the pool, “my plan”, which usually involves multiple strokes, a warm-up and a cool-down, quickly gets forgotten.
How can you remember what you have planned and how many lengths you have done?
Fortunately, there are several strategies that swimmers can use to remember their swim workouts at the pool so they don’t miss out on any important details.
One common way swimmers recall workouts is to print the workout on paper and store it in a plastic transparent envelope to prevent the workout from getting wet. Alternatively, you can write your workout on waterproof paper.
In recent years, I have seen swimming workouts available for sale on waterproof paper. I did buy these to try out (view here on Amazon), and they are a great idea.
My swim coach simply prints out our swim set on a standard piece of A4 paper and places it in a plastic sleeve. This works well. This A4 plastic sleeve gets passed around between my swim mates and me without the paper getting damaged.
In this article, I will discuss eight tips to help swimmers remember their swim routines better and ensure they get the most out of every session in the pool.
How To Remember Swim Workouts
Many swimmers struggle to remember their swim workouts.
For those who swim for fitness, you may have a swim workout planned, but as soon as you hit the water, you cannot remember that carefully planned workout. I suffer from this, too.
Fortunately, there are several ways to keep track of your swim workout. Here are some ideas to help you plan and remember a swim workout the next time you hit the pool.
1. Plan Your Swim Sets In Advance
The first step is to have a plan before you get in the water. This means knowing what you want to accomplish during your swim session.
Are you focusing on endurance? Speed? Technique? Once you have a goal in mind, you can structure your workout accordingly.
Really focusing and planning your swim workout and drills in advance will help you recall what you should be working on in the pool. When you are in the pool, you can recall your goal, which should remind you of what you had planned for your swim workout.
2. Write It Down
Swimmers can print their swim workout on paper and put it in a waterproof sleeve. That way, they can just read what to do next while swimming.
This is especially useful for swimmers who have a greater number of sets or exercises to remember. Writing it down also helps swimmers keep track of their progress over time and adjust their training accordingly.
Of course, any time swimmers take the paper to the pool, there is a great chance that it will just get wet and disintegrate. This is why many swimmers will write their workouts on index cards and store them in plastic A4 envelopes or plastic sleeves for quick reference.
3. Waterproof Swim Set Books
It is possible to purchase a waterproof swim training book; for example, I purchased the Triathlete edition training book from scale swimming as shown in the image below.
This has predesigned swim sets and drills already included to help you train. This is great, as the swim workout planning has already been completed.
This booklet is waterproof, so safe to bring to the pool and packed full of swimming sets.
4. Use Visual Cues
Some swimmers find it helpful to use visual cues to remember their swim workouts. For example, they can identify a marker in the pool and focus on it as they complete each exercise or set.
For example, you can count how many times you have swam past a certain line in the pool while doing front crawl. This is easier to count and remember as you have a set marker to focus on, not just hitting the pool wall. The line in the pool becomes associated with the front crawl, reminding you that you have worked on your front crawl and have done so many laps.
Additionally, swimmers can line up their training aids in order of use on the pool deck. This will help them to remember what is next.
For example, I will line up my pull buoy, fins and kickboard. I will do so many lengths with each and then move to the next training aid so I can remember what I have worked on and what is next to come.
This helps swimmers keep on track and ensure that they don’t miss any sets or exercises in their swim workout.
5. Use A White Board
Although not waterproof, as the marker can wash off, a whiteboard is a great option for swimming coaches who want to post a swimming workout for their swimmers to remember.
If you are training alone, then a smaller A5 whiteboard might be a good way to write down your swimming workouts and keep them on the pool deck.
If you are the type of swimmer who carries lots of training aids to the pool, such as kickboards and training fins, then carrying an A5 whiteboard in your mesh bag is not such a big deal.
6. Talk It Through
Sometimes, it helps swimmers to discuss their workout plans with someone else. This can give them an extra boost of motivation and make remembering the plan easier. If a swimmer is struggling to remember all of their sets or exercises, they can talk through their plan with a teammate or coach before they start.
This will help them keep track of their progress and ensure that they don’t miss any important sets or exercises.
7. Keep It Simple
If you’re not interested in writing things down or using a device, you can also remember your swim workout by breaking it down into smaller chunks.
By breaking your workout into smaller chunks, you may find it easier to remember what you need to do, for example:
- x10 – Warmup
- x10 – Breastroke
- x10 – Front crawl
- x10 – Backstroke
- x10 – Cool Down
When you swim long distances and try to get a full body workout using all the strokes, it can be hard to keep track of what you had planned. Having a very simple plan is a great way to achieve your swim goals without losing track.
Remembering your planned swim workout in the pool doesn’t have to be a challenge. Whether you use waterproof notepads, visual cues, whiteboards, or just keep it simple and break down the sets into smaller parts – there are plenty of strategies that swimmers can employ to help them remember their workouts at the pool.
With patience, practice and some trial-and-error, any swimmer should be able to find an approach that works for them so they can stay on track with their training plan and improve their swimming performance over time.
Remembering your swim workout is important if you want to make progress and reach your goals. By having a plan, writing things down, or getting help from others, you can ensure that you remember what you have planned for your swim session and use that information to improve your performance in the future.