This week, we spoke with Kristen Moninger, a brand new swimmer from Dublin, California who is doing the 4-Week Beginner Freestyle Training Plan with MySwimPro! Hear how she’s learning how to improve her stroke technique and structure workouts by training with the app.
What is your background in swimming?
To be honest, I don’t have much of a background yet! I took swimming lessons for one or two summers when I was 6 years old. I never swam competitively, however I do remember loving the water and swimming as much as I could every summer. As long as our family vacation spot included a pool, I was happy!
Fast forward to my most recent family vacation in July; we didn’t have a pool but we were right next to the Pacific ocean in Santa Cruz, California. Each day I was able to watch so many people enjoy the water including surfers, paddle boarders, and even junior lifeguards doing an open water swim along the coast. I felt inspired. The water was calling me again. As soon as we got back, I was swimming at my apartment’s pool. I signed up for lessons and have been swimming 3-4 times a week ever since.
How did you stay active before you discovered MySwimPro?
I practice yoga regularly and ride horses! My horse sustained an injury last fall that she is still recovering from, and unfortunately it has significantly reduced how often I am able to ride. Riding kept me active and helped me clear my mind and I found it really difficult to find a comparable activity that did the same for me. I tried running, but it injured my knee, so resorted to inconsistent trips to the gym instead.
What are some of your health goals that you’re working toward?
“I am working on defining what a healthy lifestyle means for me.”
More often than not, I feel so much pressure from social media to eat and workout a certain way and I will find myself attempting a meal or workout plan that I don’t feel is a good fit for me and then up not sticking with it. My goals are now focused on finding what makes me feel my best, finding what I enjoy, and making that work for me.
When and how did you find MySwimPro?
I have become obsessed with swimming. I now read about it all the time, I’m constantly online looking for drills, workouts, and tips. After my swim lessons finished, I was looking for some guidance on workouts and having previously used a “couch to 5K” coaching app for running, I found myself wishing for a similar swim app.
Again, I am consumed with swimming. Am I interested in doing weight training on my own? No, not really. But am I interested in doing weight training if it improves my swimming? Absolutely! I was searching for recommendations for cross training when a blog post from MySwimPro came up (Weight Training Before or After Swimming – What’s The Right Order?). I started poking around the website and became so excited! I had found what I was looking for! An app with workouts, drills, and tips! I downloaded the app right away and couldn’t wait to begin.
How do you train with MySwimPro?
I have the MySwimPro Android App and use it to follow the Beginner Freestyle Training Plan. I view the day’s workout in the app, watch any related videos and write the workout and any tips on paper. The paper goes into a clear sheet binder that always travels with me to the pool. Once I finish, I log the workout in the app, including any notes I have.
“I will be taking advanced Swim Lessons in a few weeks and am looking forward to logging those swims and seeing my progress!”
What have you enjoyed about swimming with MySwimPro?
Structure and data!
Being so new to swimming, I had no idea how to structure my workouts. I was asking myself if I should prioritize endurance or keep working on form, and wasn’t sure how to find the answers.
“I found some websites with suggested workouts but I felt that they were for the more seasoned swimmer. MySwimPro does it all for me. Each workout increases distance but has me focus on one component of my form. The drills are incredibly helpful… and fun!”
I also love the data that the app provides. Some days, my intervals just take longer. I note that when I log the workout and by consistently logging my times, I have noticed that my times are getting better and that increases my confidence!
How has MySwimPro made an impact on your life?
Being both an adult and a beginner is challenging. During my swim lessons I would watch young kids swim a 500 with ease. Being out of shape, I am happy to get 50 yards in! We have a local Masters Swim Team that swims in a 50 meter pool. I have heard great things about the team but I am intimidated by that length and my current lack of technique.
“The biggest impact MySwimPro has made on my life is that it’s helping me build my confidence up until I feel ready to join the Masters team.”
The app and website have a resource section that defines common terminology, explains how sets and intervals work, and provides a quick reference that brings me up to speed on swimming nomenclature. My form and endurance are both improving and I feel so supported by the entire MySwimPro community. This helps combat the “beginner fears” which helps me stick with swimming!
What is your favorite thing about swimming?
“My favorite thing about swimming is the calming effect that the water has. No matter how my swim went, I always feel relaxed and better for it when I get out of the pool.”
I was swimming in the mornings but now prefer to swim after work, simply because I look forward to it throughout the day and enjoy the stress relief it provides. No matter what is going on in my life, when I am in the pool the only thing I am thinking about is swimming. I love when I feel myself getting into an even rhythm. I love how quiet it is. I love that swimming is challenging but rewarding, fun but peaceful. There is always something to learn, something new to accomplish. It is an amazing sport that I am so excited to be a part of.
Thank you so much for sharing your experience, Kristen! We are so proud of you for taking the initiative to learn how to swim. We are so excited to watch you progress, and hope to see you compete with Masters Swimming someday!
Looking for swim workouts, tips and drills? Download the MySwimPro app and start your free 7-day trial of Premium!