Waking up early for a swim when the rest of your family is cozy inside is really hard. But when you make it through the holiday season and start off the new year feeling fitter than ever, you’ll be glad you stayed disciplined enough to maintain your training when everyone else was taking a break.

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Here are some tips to help you stick to your swimming schedule all holiday long.

1. FIND A SEASON-ORIENTED GOAL

‘Tis the season to get swimming? Make your motivation holiday-themed with a personal goal, like swimming everyday over break — or buy an advent calendar and set a goal to do your daily swim before opening each day’s door.
Need something more competitive? Sign up for a meet, triathlon or open water race so you won’t be as inclined to skip a day’s training or say yes to those extra deserts at the holiday party.

2. CHANGE IT UP

Doing the same workouts over and over can be monotonous. If you’ve got holiday get-togethers or the winter doldrums are crushing your will to get in a tough swim workout, swap in some speed work. (Or, if you need a break from swimming, use this time to cross-train, and try classes at the weight room so your fitness doesn’t take a hit.)

A Beginner’s Guide To Strength Training For Swimmers

3. ENLIST A FRIEND

As you visit friends and family, recruit a new swimming buddy in each town to keep you company. If you’re traveling a lot, set up a challenge with friends to see who can log the most miles over the break or in the upcoming year. Keeping the competition going with friends — maybe with an extra present or two on the line as incentive — will help shove you out the door on those gloomy days.

4. COUNT CALORIES

Seeing in black-and-white how much you ate at all the family parties you attend will likely have you sprinting out the door. Similarly, daily weigh-ins or photographing each piece of food you eat can keep you honest and motivated. It’s not right for everyone, but some people benefit from calorie counting, especially around the holidays and kicking off the new year.

Eating Guidelines For Swimmers

5. MAKE A PLAN

Instead of going into these next few weeks with the laissez-faire idea of swimming when you have time, make a training plan. Even if you deviate from your schedule a bit, you’ll likely swim more with an actual written plan versus a more casual approach. Need a workout? Checkout MySwimPro App in the App Store.

How To Build A Yearly Training Plan!

6. LOG YOUR WORKOUTS

The simplest way to stay on track is to keep track of your swim workouts. Spending a few minutes post-workout recording what happened in the pool will add a powerful layer of accountability to your swimming. Keeping track of what you’re doing is a key to staying motivated and oriented towards your goals. Self-monitoring has been shown to work over and over again in studies and research.

Why You Should Log Every Swim Workout

7. WRITE YOUR RESOLUTIONS EARLY

Think ahead to what you want your New Year’s resolutions to be. If they involve swimming more or some kind of other fitness goal, having that goal in mind during the holidays might make it easier to stay on track so you’re starting the year ahead of the game — not with 10 extra pounds and much lower fitness levels.

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