Missing swim practice due to traveling for work, school, or family is to be expected at some point in time. The good news is that training while traveling is possible.
It just takes a bit more effort on your part to do so 🙂
However, the benefits of keeping up with swim practice while traveling far outweigh the effort. It keeps you on a familiar schedule. And helps ease you back into the workouts once you’re back home.
To make your swim practice a success while traveling, check out the following tips and suggestions.
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Before you leave for your trip, take the time to locate a pool or team near where you’re staying. Sites such as US Masters Swimming and USA Swimming have team locators that allow swimmers to search for teams based on location.
Most of these teams have a website that you can use to check training schedules to see if they’ll match up to yours. They’ll also list team and contact information, as well.
If you find that there isn’t a team nearby or if you can’t/don’t want to train with a team, search for a gym, instead. Some gyms will allow day passes to non-members.
Be sure to speak with the gym prior to leaving to get all the information you need. To include:
- Cost per visit
- Pool availability times
- Facility information
Having effective and early communication is the best way to successfully train while traveling.
It involves not just communicating with your coach, but also the team/location where you plan to train.
If you plan to train with a team, connect with the head coach prior to your trip. Inform them that you’re traveling but would like to train with the team, if possible. Provide dates of your travel, your current swim level or ability, who your team is, and if needed, provide times.
Doing this allows the coach to assess where you would best fit and see if there’s enough space.
For this reason, it’s best to notify the coach as soon as you know the dates for your trip. This way, if you can’t train with one team, you can connect with another.
You should also notify your own coach, too. It’s only fair that they’re kept informed so they’re not wondering where you are 🙂
This is especially true if you’re not training with a team. If you plan to train by yourself, your coach can provide workouts as needed.
It should go without saying, but I’ll say it regardless.
You should put your best face forward when training with another swim team.
You represent not just yourself, but also your coach and your team. Anything negative that you say or do will reflect more strongly than your talent and times.
And yes, coaches talk with each other. Do your team and yourself a favor by ensuring the following:
- Don’t show up late. In fact, you should be early enough to introduce yourself to the coach and interact with the other swimmers.
- Remember that you’re a guest.
- Be polite and always thank the coach/team for letting you join the work out.
- Follow the sets and workouts given. Don’t do your own thing.
Following these suggestions, plus using some extra common sense will ensure that you have the best swim practice while traveling.
When you plan to practice while traveling, it’s best to pack light, in terms of swim equipment. Some locations have extra gear that you can use, such as fins, buoys, or boards. These items are bulky and take extra space when packing.
Instead, take only the bare minimum that you need. A good rule of thumb is to just bring your suit(s), cap, and goggles. A microfiber towel is optional, as most places you’ll stay will already have a towel that you can use.
If necessary, you can bring paddles, as they’re flat enough to pack away easily.
Pack your dryland clothes if you plan to put in a dryland workout while traveling. This includes tennis shoes as well.
And of course, don’t forget your water bottle 🙂
Anything else in terms of equipment should stay at home. You can make it through a few practices without gear. And you’ll find yourself more appreciative of them when you come back!
If you’re not sure what you’ll need, speak with the coach if you’re training with a team. They’ll let you know what equipment they have or use.
Whether you’re driving yourself or using a ride share, take into consideration your route. Check the distances to and from the different locations you’ll visit. Such as from the hotel to the pool, and then to an office.
You should ideally look at this while you’re doing your initial research. This helps ensure that they place or team you plan to train at is within reasonable distance.
If you’re renting a car, take into consideration gas costs. For ride shares, you’ll have to estimate how much the trip will total.
And of course, mind the traffic patterns and plan accordingly.
Lastly, a swimmer’s best friend: food!
Prior to leaving and also part of your research, you should determine your meal plan. In that, do you plan to eat out for your meals while traveling? Or do you plan to do your own cooking?
Some places have space and equipment to cook while traveling. Others only have a small refrigerator and microwave to utilize.
Regardless of what you plan to do for your meals, having something in mind for meals is important. Much like you have a set eating schedule at home, you should try to keep to a similar schedule while traveling.
This means that you might have to bring or purchase some snacks to supplement between meals. If you’re staying at a hotel, snag some extra pieces of fruit to take with you for some snacks.
Or stash some extra yogurt in your hotel fridge.;)
Don’t let yourself fall behind on your nutrition just because you’re traveling. Watch what you eat or ensure that you fuel up. You can’t train on an empty stomach. So be sure to plan in breaks for snacks while traveling.
Trying to manage swim practice while traveling can turn into a bit of a juggling act at times.
It involves coordination and planning to pull off successfully. However, the end results usually overshadow the hurdles and steps that it took to get there.
You’ll find yourself feeling better when you get in a workout, even if it’s away from home. The familiarity of training helps settle the mind and gets you ready for the day.
While it’s not for everyone and isn’t always possible, you should try to get in a swim practice while traveling.
You might be surprised how much better you feel throughout the day by doing so!
As always, to happy swimming!