Triathlon season is over, and races might feel like something distance into the future, but believe it or not, now is the time to train! Yes, that’s correct, if you just do triathlons, or maybe you have plans for open water events next year, the off season is ideal to brush up on swim efficiency.

I speak first hand here when I say that with the chilly months setting in, it can feel a bit of a chore to pull yourself up to go to the pool. I think perhaps vague memories of childhood swim sessions, and leaving with wet hair post swim in the winter, has left a bit of sour memory. Regardless, if you really want to get to spring time ready for action, now is the time because if you leave it until then, you’re going to have to work much harder. Also, training in the winter not only provides great skill building, it shows how resilient you are to push beyond the temptation to do nothing.

1. Acceptance of the challenge

Firstly you need to acknowledge this is hard work, a challenge mentally. The alarm goes off, it is baltic conditions outside and getting wet is not exactly the most inviting situation. However, instead of denying the fact this is a challenge, and trying to fool yourself, say it out loud or write down and accept you’re finding this hard. Once we voice the problem it becomes less of the elephant in the room.

2. Be swim realistic

You’ve accepted that feeling motivated this time of year is a bit of a struggle. Instead of throwing yourself into a crazy timetable of training, slow and steady is better. Something that is not going to make you burnout, be too much or overwhelm you mentally. If you’ve had some time off swimming, re-introduce it once a week, then add on. As soon as that first session becomes a routine again, it’ll be easier to gradually add on.

3. Enter a race to focus on

A lot of people are happy to just go and swim without a specific event or goal, however for others, a focus helps keep you motivated. For me, that is definitely the case! I need to have a goal. There are so many incredible challenges out there for swimmers. Like me, you could do a triathlon or what about aiming towards the Henley Mile open water swim?

4. Find a friend

I always find training with other people holds me accountable. I know in the pool we don’t chat like you do on the bike or out on a run, but saying to a friend you will meet at the pool at a certain time, you have to go! You can’t let them down after all. Plus you can go for a coffee after and have a social element to training. This is probably my favourite thing!

5. Join a swim group

If you want more of swim training instead of a social swim, there are many swim groups out there. There are definitely open water swim groups, but if you’d prefer to focus on pool training, there are groups who do specific training sessions. Often these are triathlon group, and there are so many locally. When you join you can usually just ask to do the swim sessions if you want to. These are awesome as nine times out of ten, they will be coached – a huge bonus!

Bonus tip – new kit

Get yourself some new training kit to inspire yourself! Such an easy motivator – as new swimwear and training tools will totally help you into the pool. Be sure to check out new kit from Zoggs, or enter my competition to win £150 worth of swim kit, over on instagram!