Join us in welcoming Cory Donovan to the MySwimPro Ambassador team! Cory is a full time yoga instructor in Baltimore, Maryland. When he’s not teaching, he spends his time either swimming, running, biking, practicing yoga, or finding another way to get active.
I started swimming 5 or 6 years ago while I was battling injuries from marathon training. I picked it up a little more frequently around 2017 when I had a stress fracture in my knee — crutching my way to the pool, I would only push off the wall with my good leg.
In the past year or so, I’ve been more dedicated to swimming than ever. Currently I try to swim at least 5 or 6 days a week, sometimes swimming both in the morning and the afternoon, and varying my workouts. Sometimes I go for a long, slow, meditative swim, and other times I do fast, short intervals.
I also discovered open water swimming this past fall, and I absolutely LOVE it! A dear friend with a similar height and build gifted me a wetsuit, and I’ve been logging lots of open water swims in Gunpowder River while my pool is closed during the COVID-19 pandemic.
Getting Faster with MySwimPro
My swimming has improved DRASTICALLY since discovering MySwimPro! Since I’ve never taken any classes or been coached, I’ve found MySwimPro to be an EXCELLENT resource for training and workout ideas. I’ll often modify the suggested workouts, either to adjust for my level or to focus on a specific aspect of my swim, such as endurance, aerobic capacity or strength. It helps keep things interesting, and through some of the exercises and drills I’ve found through the app I’ve seen real improvements in my swimming!
I’ll usually write a workout from MySwimPro on a piece of paper, put it in a Ziplock bag, and keep it by the pool. All of my swimming is recorded with a Garmin, which I have synced to upload to MySwimPro. I have logged more than 100 workouts in the app!
In addition, MySwimPro’s vast online community through both the app itself and its social media outlets have been a wonderful source of motivation to continue my underwater journey!
Picture Perfect Technique
I’ve never had any formal swim training or coaching, so one way I try to learn and grow is by taking my camera underwater. It helps to be able to see how I can improve, but is most beneficial when I show other people who know more than me and can get their advice on what I can do better. I worked as a photographer for over 8 years, so it’s fun to use my creative skills to help improve my swimming!
My Tips for New Swimmers
1) Just get in the water. If you’re not feeling it, you can always get out and come back when you’re ready, but 99% of the time you’ll be glad you did, regardless of how you perform!
2) Don’t start out too fast. Take it easy, find your breath, and slowly build your heart rate.
3) Try open water swimming! The first time I did, I told myself I was just going to see what it was like to stick my head under the water. Before I knew it, I was back in a wetsuit and developing new skills as a swimmer!
4) Vary your routine. Sometimes go for a long, slow endurance swim, and other times keep your intervals short but intense. Mix it up!
5) Stay in touch with the water. You develop a feel for the water and eventually can focus on refining all the minutiae that makes a good swimmer!
Related: How to Swim Faster