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Author: richmore

How To Improve Your Running

How can you improve your running?

Knowing the answer to the 3 most common questions will help improve your running today.

How often should I run
How far should I run
How hard should I run

How often should I run?

At the very beginning, this was a tough question for me to answer. I had tried to get into running on several occasions previously. What I found was that I lost my motivation to get out there after a few runs or a week. So the best advice I can give you on this question is to start smaller and build up. Set a schedule that you know you can meet. If that means getting out 3 times a week then go for it, if you have the time and can plan more all the better. You will find that if you have a plan ahead of time and meet that plan, you will build confidence and will be more likely to keep at it.

For me, I found that the minimum I could do and still see the small gains I was hoping for was to run 3 times a week. Less than that and I was not consistently seeing improvements. Not seeing any improvement led to disappointment, and ultimately giving up on the process. Each time I finished a planned workout no matter how far or how slow, it built my confidence and helped me to get out the door on my next run.

How far should I run?

If you are just beginning this question is natural. However I would recommend that for the first few weeks, at least, you change the question around. Rather than worrying about how far you should run, focus instead on how long you should run. For me, I was able to build confidence knowing that getting out there for 20 minutes was something I could do 3 times a week. In my previous attempts, I would say I am going to run 3 miles, and I would struggle to get the mileage. Or the goal would end up taking far longer than I had planned. In both cases, the result is you will not feel as though you are improving your running, just the opposite I was developing a negative thought.

Start with a plan that has you focused on a time frame rather than a specific distance. With each run you will acclimate your body to the demands of running. As your body starts to adapt to the demands you place on it, you will see improvements. Maybe your first day out you can cover 1.25 miles in 20 minutes. If you stick to your plan, you will start to see gains and maybe after a week, you can cover 1.35 miles in the same time frame. Regardless of how big or how little the improvement is… CELEBRATE it. That is a success and you worked hard to earn that success.

The biggest recommendation I can give as newbie runner is to finish the workouts you start. If you find that the duration you have set for yourself is too much, shorten the workout rather than continually stopping early. It is a small change, but you will find that you build more confidence in meeting a goal or plan, than stopping short or making it up as you go.

How hard should I run?

I will be very honest with you while I learned the answer to this question for myself early on; it took me nearly 2 months to fully embrace.

It doesn’t matter!

Almost every run will seem like hard run to a newbie.

Most of us will not be able to run very far without huffing and puffing or feeling their legs ache. This is completely natural and expected. Your body is simply not accustomed to the motions and demands of running. This may occur after ¼ of a mile or after 10 steps. Just remind yourself, that this is only a starting point.

In my first week, I focused on jogging short distances (60 seconds) at as slow a pace as I could without actually walking. Then I walked for 120 seconds, and then I repeated the process. The actual times you choose will depend largely on how fit or conditioned you are when you begin your own journey. I know runners who started at as low as 15 strides of running and then walking. They key is to keep moving and make sure the walking portions are being done at a fairly brisk pace.

Here’s a secret… your heart doesn’t know if your running or walking. When you work harder than normal it is going to beat faster and pump more blood through your system and thereby improve your endurance. You just need to be active. All the while it is becoming more efficient and better at its job and therefore, you can ask more and more from it.

A good rule of thumb to improve your running is to use the 80/20 rule. 80% of your running should be at LOW intensity. Only 20% of all your running in a week should be at a moderate or high intensity. Don’t believe me, check out some of the elite runners schedules. They follow the 80/20 rule.

Conclusion

If you start with small achievable goals and then build upon those small successes early on, you will be more likely to stick with your plan and continue to improve your running.

The takeaways for a new runner are simple.

  • Commit to a plan that is reasonable and achievable.
  • Focus on a timeframe rather than a distance at the beginning
  • Finish your workouts
  • Celebrate your successes no matter how small
  • Find a walk/run interval that fits your current level of fitness.
  • Believe that you are getting better each time out. You may not see it on your watch, but your body is improving and becoming more efficient.
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Guide To Choose Perfect Road Bike on Your Budget

Commuting by road bike makes more value than many other communication systems in case of a short or medium distance because in every year vehicle costs are rising gradually. Lots of people are turning to start commuting by bike. A good bike can change the riders’ commute from a problem to a money-saving, healthy workout and a fun way to fresh your mind.

However, there is a lot to think and analyze on how to choose perfect road bike on your budget like not exceeding $1,000. Generally, all riders, their way of riding and categories of ride are different from one to another. How will you choose a good one within your budget? A good local bike shop may be a good support to solve your problem. But, if you don’t have a good local bike shop near to you or don’t want to go out for being busy at work, you can follow these recommendations given below –

Purpose of Buying a Bike

In the event that you are planning to utilize the cycle for daily commuting or camping, then a regular touring bike will be the best suitable one to meet your purpose. On the other hand, for racing you must check for a professional one.

Frame Material

Though the frame material (what the frame is actually made of) is usually mentioned as the first feature of a bike, in my own experience it’s not that critical. In a conversation of a budget not exceeding $1000 two main materials can be taken into consideration – Aluminum and Steel. Both of the materials do a great job for the bike to be a responsive one. Steel made frame is weighty that makes the bike weighty, though durable. On the other hand, aluminum made frame is literally lightweight that reduce the overall weight of a road bike with full of durability. But, you should pick the well-designed and well-responsive bike from these two materials made bikes. You need to consider your purpose while getting information on how to choose perfect road bike.

Components

The components as we see attached to the frame usually are critical to the better or worst performance of a bike. Once you have shortened your selection down, talk with the expert at your Local Bike Shop or any other knowledgeable person about the variances (component variation) between the bikes listed shortly.

A lot of new cyclists are unconscious about a point that, spending a few extra dollars may drastically increase the performance of your road bike. Adding only $100 to your financial plan ought to see you bounce up with top performance. Better moving, braking, weight-investment funds, expanded billing variable – all advantages which cost actually thousands of top-end bikes! To know more about the best suitable components within this range you can visit on different authentic review providing sites. But, keep it in mind closely that components are very sensible option of deciding how to choose perfect road bike.

Wheels

You won’t find a captivating carbon set of wheels at under this value below $1000. Nonetheless, you will get a set of branded wheels from any similarity of the top brands or generally respectable sets that bear the same brand name as the bike.

Right Size and Fitting

It’s critical to get a bike that fits you appropriately. But it’s really important to get a properly fit road bike with your body to avoid injury and get full comfort. You can’t ignore this issue while considering the issues related to “how to choose perfect road bike on your budget”. You must be very sensitive to find out this. The limit of 1000 dollars is not a barrier in this regard.

Brand Checking

Some of the bikes in the market have no brand. It’s unquestionably a matter of danger. Various less prominent brands are just rebadged choices of more well-recognized bikes. A surely understood brand is an essential marker of value control.

Final Words

Usually choosing a road bike is simple. But, choosing the perfect one is always complicated. If you have a budget like $1000, then it’s more complicated as there are a lot of choices in that price range. However, if you follow the instructions given above on how to choose perfect road bike on your budget, you won’t be misdirected.

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Tips To Choose The Best Freestyle BMX Bike

Racing and performing various off road stunts and tricks needs a typical kind of a bike that can withstand the effects of harsh riding. Freestyle BMX bikes are designed specifically for stunting and racing activities. These bikes are manufactured with light weight and high quality material that can be easily handled over different disciplines. Tires of bikes are wide up to 24 inches that enable the freestyle riders to perform stunts and tricks proficiently with great convenience.

Competition for quality and variety is rising rapidly among different manufacturers and suppliers of bikes. Different models of freestyle BMX bikes have touched great heights in delivering high quality performance features. Among a wide range of models and categories, it may be little bit difficult and time consuming to choose the right type of bike. This confusion can sometimes lead to the possibility of selecting the wrong option. Therefore, it is very essential to have sufficient knowledge about certain factors related to freestyle BMX bikes.

In today’s era of great competition, there is no shortage of bikes that deliver highly appreciable quality traits. Beyond the quality factor, there are many other factors that should be considered while buying a freestyle BMX bike. Here are some points that would help the one to choose an apt bike.

Light weight Body Structure

Most of the freestyle BMX bikes are designed with materials like steel and aluminum. Both are undoubtedly cheap but are heavy in weight and less durable. One may prefer to go for bikes that are constructed with chromoly alloy due to its strength, durability, and light weight.

Type of Riding

Different bikes are designed to be suitable for different types of riding disciplines. Some are good to be used over flatland while others are made to be used over dirt. Before choosing a bike, make proper research to know what type of bike would fulfill your riding criteria.

Choose the Shop that Offers Spare Parts and Other Accessories

One should prefer a store for buying a freestyle BMX bike that provides different spare parts like handlebars, pedals, chains, brake cables and many other bike accessories.

Affordable Cost

Cost is also a very important factor that cannot be ignored in any way as it is not possible for everyone to spend large amounts of money so choose a bike with the cost that is within your reach.

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Tips to Swim Faster

As a former Swimming Coach and Learn to Swim teacher, I am often surprised when I hear about swimmers that have spent months and even years in a swimming training rut. Each week they diligently attend their hour or hour and a half long swim sessions swimming laps up and down that black line with no changes to their personal best (PB) swim times. They tend to accept that this is where they are on the swim performance ladder; stagnate, and can’t seem to get any faster.

If you have been swimming training for weeks on end, you will be in relatively good condition and more than ready to try something new. Swimming can be very boring if you let it, but it can also be a lot of fun too. If you have mastered the endurance part of swimming, it is about time for you to start focusing on improving your speed and smash that PB.

Long distance swimmers training for Triathlons or the Half Ironman, listen up because this article applies to you. You’ll be adding some “Fartlek” training to your training repertoire to increase your pace a little whilst also improving the speed at which you recover.

Fartlek is Swiss for “Speed Play”, it sounds fun and it is. Fartlek trains the body to switch gears and recruit different muscle fibres; it is often used by long distance runners to improve running speed, but can just effectively be used by swimmers to improve their times too.

During your laps you will be working at Pace 1 and Pace 2. Pace 1 is a steady long distance maintainable speed, Pace 2 is 50-70{be80523fba031129cc0d7b40a14442b7b3a28de76532f88ca37f1dbaafa4e2e8} maximum sprint speed, depending on your fitness level. As you get better these two speeds will gradually speed up. There’s four stages to the Fartlek, depending on fitness levels and your commitment, it may take a week or a month to advance through each of the stages.

Stage 1: Start your regular swim session with your usual warm up. The Fartlek session will be 10 laps. Swim half the length of the pool at Pace 1, then sprint the rest of the length of the pool at Pace 2. There’s no stopping when you finish the lap, just tumble-turn and slow down during Pace 1. Pace 1 is recovery, Pace 2 is at speed. You may need to adjust your pace so you can finish the entire 10 laps. At this stage burn-out halfway through the session is not the goal.

Incorporate Fartlek into your training at least three times a week on alternate days.

Stage 2: When you are ready, move onto doing 10 laps Fartlek training alternating each lap at Pace 1 followed by a lap at Pace 2. Remember, no stopping at the end of each lap.

Stage 3: Now you should be ready to alternate Pace 1 and Pace 2 for 10 laps, but with Pace 2 at maximum speed. It should burn and you should be breathless during recovery at Pace 1. If you’re not feeling it, push harder.

Stage 4: Really ramp things up by changing the recovery verses speed ratio. Aim for 12 laps, but we now swim one lap at Pace 1 followed immediately by two laps at Pace 2.

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Skiing on Summer

Waiting for your next ski trip this coming winter? Keep fit while you’re at it. The biggest perk of working out off-season (as opposed to waiting until autumn) is that it allows you to endure the physical demands of the sport much longer. In addition, working out your core, gluts, back and legs early on helps you avoid more serious ski-related injuries.

You don’t exactly have to take extreme measures to be in tip-top shape for your next ski vacation (READ: CrossFit is optional). There are a lot of activities you can do this summer that can still pack the same punch as the routines practiced by the US Ski Team, but not as hardcore and rigid.

Bicycling

Target: Legs, Abdomen, endurance

Frequency: 5 days a week for endurance training, twice a week for strength training

The key to staying on the slopes all day and still having enough energy to spare for the après ski activities that will follow is having strong legs and abdomen. Keeping them toned allows you to maintain your balance on your skis and help you avoid fatigue midway down the slope or along moguls. Otherwise, you’ll be off to a rocky start.

Riding a bike during off-season is a fun and excellent way to keep those muscles toned and limber (and give you your daily dose of adrenaline rush, if you’re contemplating on downhill mountain biking).

Start with an easy and casual pace on a longer distance to help you build up stamina, while at the same time, keep your muscles constantly moving and your heart beating. If you’re ready to take it up a notch for strength training, crank up the gears (or the resistance on a stationary bike) to strengthen leg muscles. Choose routes that include plenty of uphill climbs.

Lap Swimming

Target: All muscle groups and endurance

Frequency: once a week, in addition to your regular workout routine

It’s not just a great way to beat the summer heat. Swimming works out all muscle groups and helps you build stamina for a day on the mountain. Plus, it helps you combat altitude sickness by improving your breathing.

Start slow by doing at most 10 laps, then gradually increase the number of laps up to 50 (or more).

Trail Running

Target: Leg muscle and balance

It’s running, with a twist (and a few turns and hills). Compared to running on hard and flat pavement, trail running not only strengthens your leg muscles, but also helps you focus more on maintaining your balance using different muscle groups as you make your way through more difficult terrain. Plus, the soft dirt is a little easier on the joints. The great view and the fresh air is another added bonus.

Start with easier and longer trails before going for routes that require uphill climbs and jumps.

Keeping fit doesn’t always have to mean sticking to your regular ho-hum drills. Mix it up a bit, or consider one of these activities as an alternative to your existing routine, and you’ll be geared up for your next ski trip in no time.

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Tips For Big Riders Can Start With Cycling

Cycling is becoming not just a popular sport but as a form of exercise and recreational activity. What’s great with cycling is that you can do it at your own pace and doesn’t put too much strain on the ankles and knees unlike weight training and running. This low impact exercise can also be a great way to enjoy the outdoors while you submit your body to a cardio work out.

For some people though, riding can be intimidating. That’s the first thing you might want to overcome. But once you have that desire to start getting fit, you wouldn’t actually mind how you would appear on the bike or what will happen to you while on the road.

It may help you build your confidence to practice riding your bike in your yard. Of course, it would be helpful if you get the right bike. You can consult your bike shop to help you choose a bike that fits your body frame and weight.

You may want to practice mounting and getting off your bike so you wouldn’t fall off while doing so. To start riding, experts suggest that the best position is when you are seated on the saddle and lift your left foot and step on the pedal. Lift and put your right foot on the pedal and push it as soon as the left pushes down. (If you are more comfortable starting with your right foot then you may do so.) This way you are moving the pedals in circles and this keeps the bike running.

While you’re at it, practice your balance. When you do get off balanced, you just put both feet on the ground to steady yourself. With this in mind, you might want to check the height of the saddle seat of your bike that it actually allows you to put both of your feet on the ground to steady yourself.

You may also want to practice braking. It is advisable that you hit the rear brake first before the front to prevent you from toppling over. Once you can get your bike running, you may want to learn how the different gears on your bike works. You may ask an expert to coach you.

Now that you can get your bike on the move, you may want to practice riding your bike within the neighborhood or to a nearby park until you have mastered starting your bike, using your brakes and gears. When you’re confident enough, you can start riding farther and on different terrains and bike paths.

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Solutions For New Runners

Learn 5 Tips for New Runners

Want to live a healthier lifestyle? Drunkenly agree to run the local 5k? Want to impress the woman next door?. Ultimately I chose to run simply because I want to live a healthier lifestyle. Like many people, I wasn’t sure where to start aside from simply tying up the old sneakers lying in my closet and start running. Let me share my 5 tips for new runners.

If you are like me you turned to the internet to try and find some place to start. Well if you type “beginning running” into a search engine, you will quickly be overwhelmed with information and ideas. I wonder to myself how can something so simple end up so complicated. Well several months, many tantrums, and a great deal of frustration later, I wanted to share the top 5 tips from one new runner to another.

Invest in a proper pair of running shoes

This may seem obvious, but I cannot overstate how much trouble you can save yourself by taking 30 minutes to work with an associate at your local running store. They will review your running stride and many times record it so you can see the mechanics of your feet as you run. Who knew that some people’s feet naturally roll outward when the foot lands (Supination) and other’s roll inward (pronation). I certainly did not. After a few minutes with an experienced runner, they were able to recommend the appropriate type of shoe for my natural running stride. They were also able to help me decide on how much support I needed versus how much cushioning the shoe provided.

After being fitted with a proper shoe, the aches in my knees and lower legs (shins and calves) were greatly reduced.

Of all the tips for new runners, this is, without a doubt, the most valuable. If you are making a true lifestyle change then this is a non-negotiable tip.

Less is More

This may sound counter-intuitive, but I assure you that trying to do too much too fast will HURT! Running as with any other exercise requires periods of exertion and recovery in order for the body to adapt and become stronger. Well unlike other activities running requires longer periods of recovery. While sorting through the multitude of plans and advice available on the web as well as through trial and error, the 80/20 rule is the best place to start. 80 percent of all your running should be at a low or very low intensity. Best advice is if you plan on incorporating running into your life, build up your base and DO NOT OVERTRAIN.

Walking is perfectly fine

If you are just getting into or recently started running, then you already know that it takes a while to build up the endurance to run for more than a short distance. (When I started, I could not run a 1/4 of a mile). While you are building up that endurance there is absolutely nothing wrong with incorporating walking breaks into your training. In fact, it is one of the best ways to help build your endurance as a new runner. Provided the walking is at a brisk pace, your heart rate and breathing will be accelerated and therefore, your body will be actively improving its aerobic conditioning. I am not sure where I first heard it, but it rings very true;

“You go just as far running a 5-minute mile as you do running a 15-minute mile.”- Unknown

Develop a Mantra

At the beginning, I struggled with staying motivated. Truthfully, I still struggle with staying motivated. Let’s face it, it is hard to be motivated when you can only run for 30 seconds and then walk for 2 minutes. It can be hard to truly appreciate the small gains you make day over day. Don’t let this struggle get the better of you. Most people who stop running do so in the first week of trying. Appreciate the small gains and celebrate the improvements. Even if you find that tomorrow you can jog for 31 seconds… celebrate the accomplishment. You earned it. If you begin to have negative thoughts and trust me EVERYONE has them from time to time, develop a mantra to push the thoughts from your mind while running. “I’ve got this”, “All Walls have doors”, or my personal favorite and fallback “Today, Define yourself” are each examples of good strong mantras. My own experience suggests that you should avoid negative words in your Mantra. Avoid Don’t, Can’t, Won’t, etc., the subconscious is a powerful thing no need to feed it negative energy. Whenever you have a negative thought as you run, immediately start to repeat your mantra. Soon, you will be able to push the negative thoughts out as quickly as they appear and allow positive thoughts to replace them. This may be the most overlooked of the tips for new runners.

Enjoy the process… Because there are no Shortcuts

I would love to tell you that after only a few short months I am running half-marathons and loving every minute of my newly developed and still growing running experience. The truth however, is that I am just preparing for my first 5K and while I have come a very long way (from 1/4 mile before my first walk break on day 1 to about 4.5 miles before my first walk break after 4 months), it takes work and commitment to wanting to become better. There are no shortcuts to improving your running. Learn to enjoy the process of learning to run. Take a moment on your easy run or during your walk breaks to look around you and see if you can notice one thing that you never noticed before. Enjoy the feeling of accomplishment each time you jog a little further than last time or take a shorter break than you did before.

At the end of the day, the best way to get better at running is.. to run. I just hope you can do it with less pain and more education than I did.

Every Mile Counts

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Dangerous Fish to Eat

The area of the East Coast of Florida where I live is currently being polluted by a vile blue/green algae that is killing the local fish and stinking to high heaven. It has the consistency of guacamole and is caused by runoff contaminants flowing from Lake Okeechobee. This algae is not only getting the fish sick, but also the people exposed to it. This is a reoccurring problem seems to happen every year that south Florida gets above average rainfall levels. Whatever the cause is, it is certainly not good for our fishery, our health and may result in millions of tourism dollars that will be lost if the problem is not resolved soon.

This pollution problem got me to thinking about the various fish that may live through the pollution in their environment and pass those pollutants onto us fish loving, seafood eating enthusiasts.

Some time on the internet allowed me to come up with some of the most toxic fish that are swimming in our local area. The main contaminant in the fish mentioned below is mercury. Mercury is very poisonous to humans and accumulates in predatory fish as they prey upon other contaminated species of fish. As we eat the contaminated fish this mercury accumulates in our bodies as well.

Mercury has many deleterious effects upon humans. The 3 most serious are:

• Brain damage
• Liver damage
• Kidney damage

The fish that tend to have the most mercury in their tissue are listed below. These fish include:

• Kingfish (king mackerel)
• Cobia
• Sharks
• Albacore tuna
• Spanish mackerel
• Marlin
• Swordfish
• Bluefish
• Tilefish
• Amberjacks

There are still some delicious fish out there that typically do not have high mercury levels. These fish include:

• Dolphin (mahi)
• Flounder
• Vermillion Snapper
• Tripletails
• Triggerfish

The fish mentioned in this article are not necessarily bad to eat in moderation. Just like with most things in life moderation is the key to health. This article was meant to be looked at as a public service notice to those of us that eat a lot of fish. If you love to eat king mackerel, you still can but maybe eating it every day would be a bad idea.

Another thing that should be taken into consideration is that fact that fish are typically high in selenium. Selenium actually breaks down mercury in the body. This is probably why eating high mercury fish in moderation typically doesn’t cause too many health problems for most people.

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How to Catch a Spotted Seatrout

The first step to use when targeting any species of fish is to learn what they like. Spotted seatrout like;

• Grass flats
• Oyster bars
• Abundant prey offerings

The best place to find a spotted seatrout is by far the grass flats. These fish inhabit the inshore saltwater estuaries throughout the southern regions of the United States of America. Typically, if you can find a few acres of healthy sea grass, you will also find trout. Their entire life cycle occurs within the inshore environment. They will typically be caught in water depths of six feet or less. Sometimes they can be found in water less than 12 inches deep.

The second best inshore environment to find your target species is near an oyster bar. Oyster bars are excellent places to target these fish because a healthy oyster bar is a haven for small shrimp, crabs and small fish. Large oyster bars are also an exceptional environmental indicator for a healthy water system. Oysters do not thrive unless the waters they reside in are clean and healthy. If you want to target these fish, you should seek out healthy grass flats or healthy oyster bars.

The third indicator a fisherman should seek out for potential spotted seatrout haunts is bait schools. If you can find a school of any of the following species, you will most likely find your target species. Their favorites seem to be shrimp followed closely by sardines, glass minnows and pilchards. Larger trout seem to like large mullet and pin fish offerings best.

The 3 best lures to catch a spotted seatrout depends upon the fisherman, but this fisherman prefers the following;

• Scented soft plastics combines with a red jig head
• Gold spoons
• Any imitation mullet lure

Scented soft plastics used in combination with a jig head is this fisherman’s favorite when it comes to catching these fish. This species of fish loves to hit the jig on the fall as it covers the water column up and down. When the water is colder a slower jigging technique and a slower retrieve is necessary. When the water temperatures are above 70 degrees a faster retrieve will often work better.

Gold spoons catch just about every fish in the ocean. This ancient fishing lure works very well. They come in a normal version with a treble hook but they can also be found with weed less versions. A fisherman should decide which is best for the fishing conditions they are experiencing.

Any imitation mullet lure will catch larger fish. The walk-the-dog type of mullet imitations work best for this fisherman but the suspending and sinking versions will also work well depending upon the water depth. There are also soft plastic imitation mullet lures that will work very well. Just cast this lure into a school a mullet and wait for the strike.

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Skills That I Learned From Swimming

“You have to learn the rules of the game. And then you have to play better than anyone else. ” – Albert Einstein.

After some time pondering this quote from Einstein, I realized that Einstein was not just referring to a game of sports, but also life and work experiences. My lifestyle choice as a swimmer started when I was around 12 years old. I grew up on a farm in the middle of nowhere and swimming, just meant cooling off in the river on our farm. The farm was too far from town in order for us to be High school day students. Going to High school meant boarding school.

In my first year of High school, I did gymnastics, but hurt my ankle and I felt doomed as I really would have liked to take gymnastics further. Physical Training back in the seventies meant just that – all kids in the school regardless of ability had to run around the field, play rugby, do athletics, swim, gymnastics, hockey and whatever other sport was available. (I believe nowadays it is optional in schools to play sports).

The school’s swimming pool did not have heaters, which resulted in swimming being a summer-only activity as the winters were quite cold. There was also no swim team 1978 and in general, most of the female students looked for a way out of swimming. It was not the case for me – I was in heaven as soon as my body hit the water.

This is where my love for water and swimming started. At first, it was just swimming for the hour odd during PT. Our routine in Boarding school included afternoon rest, study hall, an hour of sport, showering, dinner, late study and lights out – of course for each activity a bell rang. As a water addict, the hour of swimming in PT was just not enough for me. I wanted more, so when all the athletes went to the athletic field, I went back to the pool on my own to get some more training. There were no Coach, no program, just the pool and endless laps which I swam.

Soon the two sessions a day were also not enough and I started staying after school for the rest break before study hall. 45-minute training session, rush off to make study hall just in time. The Western Province in South Africa is a very hot and dry place in summer. We did not have the luxury of air conditioners in study hall, just those huge roof fans that go “Whoop, whoop” all the time and barely cool anybody down. Swimming for 45 minutes before study hall was great – while everybody else was sweating, I felt refreshed and could concentrate on studying in the heat.

One day during one of my training sessions, a teacher arrived at the school’s swimming pool with her two boys, aged around 7 and 5. I felt a sinking feeling in my stomach (the type you get when you are in a lift) when the teacher arrived and I thought she was going to report me to the Boarding school’s Principal. To my surprise, we started talking and she said that she completed a coaching course, so if I want to, I could train with her two boys. That was music to my ears. The rest became history.

That was 37 years ago. The only times that I did not swim in these 37 years, were when I had injuries, broke fingers, a broken leg and expected my baby. Oh, not to forget the times I left at 2 am for work and got home only at 21:00 pm that night as a representative. Needless to say, I took to the pool at every opportunity I could regardless of the circumstances, depending on pool availability of course.

Reflecting on this lifetime of swimming, professional life and now the job title of Swim Mom, I realize that swimming brings more to the table than just being active, feeling good due to exercise and, of course, controlling weight. Swimming success leads to other success in life. You just need to love the sport and in my opinion, it will contribute to your lifestyle, career and everything else in the following ways:

  1. Set goals and objectives and work towards achieving it.
  2. Plan your life and live your plan.
  3. Do not procrastinate.
  4. Keep records and interpret results.
  5. Adjust your plan if and when needed.
  6. Swim faster and you have more time for rest – work smart and you will have spare time for personal pursuits.
  7. Do it properly, then it is easy – whichever task you undertake, normally, if you work smart and work correctly it makes the job easier. If you execute strokes correctly, it will make the distances you have to train easier.
  8. Keep your routine.
  9. Do what you love.
  10. Enjoy whatever you do and the results will speak for itself.
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