Setting swimming goals used to be difficult; calculating how many lengths to swim? Or what speeds to swim at? When all you really want to know is how long do I need to swim to lose a few pounds, or burn up enough calories to enjoy a guilt free chocolate bar or bag of crisps? I’ve just discovered the Amateur Swimming Association (ASA) new Just Swim app and it’s fantastic!
It’s a really simple goal setting and swim logging app that helps you burn off calories and increase your fitness. There are no complicated training plans, rather the app is designed to log swims, set challenges and goals. This app is great for all swim levels and abilities though probably geared more towards the novice swimmer. It’s a fantastic tool to help with motivation, as your swims can be tracked weekly, monthly and yearly. Along with swim tracking you can also input your food throughout the day and use the calorie burn section to calculate how far you would need to swim to burn off any of those extra snacks.
If you’re goal is fitness the app lets you choose a distance challenge, and you can set a range of swimming goals from the length of a football pitch (100m) to a full-half marathon (21km). There’s also some great stroke development tips and video clips to help you improve your swimming style, so there really is something for everyone.
These are my top tips and advice for people starting our swimming that can swim 25m (one length), as well as some of the benefits!
- Decide why you would like to swim and what your end goal is, it could be you want to be able to swim for twenty minutes each morning on holiday in the summer.
- Your stroke needs to be safe and effective not fast or perfect. Swimming can be adapted to make it personal to you. As long as your stroke is not causing injury (you will know this if you ache afterwards in areas such as your neck, shoulders and back)
- Practicing really does make perfect and just remember it takes up to 10,000 repetitions for a skill to be acquired, the more you do the less your body will have to think about the stroke and the more you can enjoy yourself. Once technique is achieved you will never forget this.
- Start by practicing for twenty minutes building up to half an hour and then an hour.
- Swimming is a toner and will use muscles not necessary obvious for example did you realise breaststroke incorporates your core.
- For the best weight loss you need to incorporate interval training into your swim. This means swimming fast for a length and then having a short rest, for roughly twenty seconds – making sure not to exceed this – before repeating a few more lengths at a fast pace. You can then try to reduce the rest period to ten seconds for a couple of lengths. You can also swim one length fast one length slow and alternate.
- Swimming is a very time efficient sport; if you swim for 30minutes at a medium pace (75%) its equivalent to an hour in the gym. Make sure that you maintain the pace throughout.
- Download the app it’s FREE and start to keep track of how much you’ve swum. It’s really easy to forget and you can set a weekly or monthly target to help motivate yourself.
- Lastly don’t forget our instructors are always happy to help and give advice. Please just ask and start really enjoying and benefiting from your swimming!
Hannah Townsend from our swim development team at Bramcote Leisure Centre
To download the app just go to: