How to stay motivated for your swim

Swimming is one of the best ways to get fit and beat stress. Research shows that the process of gliding (or thrashing, if your technique needs some work) through the water can even reduce your blood pressure levels. But if your training plan for a swim event includes endless laps of an indoor pool, you may find that after a while your motivation levels start to sink. Here are three ways to stay fresh and look forward to training sessions.

Find personal motivation

For most people, entering an event to raise money for charity is an altruistic act. But if you want to make sure you stay motivated throughout your training, you may want to think about yourself a bit too, says adventurer Ness Knight, the first woman in history to swim the entire length of the river Thames. ‘The best motivation is to add a personal goal into the mix,’ she says. ‘Don't just do it for others, also do it for yourself and set this as your fitness goal to achieve something you didn't think you could do, or to do something out of the box, out of your usual comfort zone. The feeling you get when you achieve the goal will be phenomenal!’ 

Own the moment

It’s almost inevitable that in the course of your training plan, you’ll encounter a setback. When that happens, take Knight’s simple advice. ‘The most important thing is not to get down about it,’ she says. ‘The best advice I ever had was this: Don't have a bad day or week, have a bad moment. Own it. Feel it. And move on!’ 

Don’t start skipping sessions

During the first week of a plan, when you’re full of enthusiasm, it’s easy to fulfil your training commitments. Further down the line, however, when work, life and other stresses are getting on top of you, it’s tempting to skip a session. If you sense that could happen, take this advice. ‘If I really don't feel like a training session I usually get out into the open air and do something super fun like trail running with my dogs or mountain biking and getting covered in mud!’ says Knight.‘Find a way to keep active and mix up the 'boring' training with gym and outdoor training. Exercise is the fastest way to a good mood so just get out there - I promise you will feel amazing for the rest of the day (and proud that you didn't just give in and sit on the sofa with a bag of crisps). 

For more information on Ness knight, visit nessknight.com  .

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