All new habits start with the first time you do something.
Two factors are important if I am to make a new habit stick. The first is - obviously - to repeat the actions in the new habit. How many days an action needs to be repeated is still under heavy debate (check this article), but the habit must become part of a routine. The second factor is that it needs to be only a small deviation from the stuff I normally do. The greater the deviation from my existing habits, the smaller the chances that the new habit will stick. Today, I started forming a new habit.
The reason for my doing this, is that in my preparations for doing a
whole marathon in 2016, I need to work on three things. I specified
these in an earlier post. These things are Food, Core Strength and Sleep. Food and sleep are subject for a different post.
Improving core strength is a well-documented process on the Internet and many blogposts and Pinterest pins deal with the way to work on a six-pack. All this documentation shows the great number of ways to strengthen a runner's core. The most obvious way would be to use body-weight exercises (such as sit-ups). Because I am not a very strong swimmer, I decided to spend more time in the swimmingpool and work on my core, while improving my swimming skills.
This started last Wednesday. Instead of doing my long-ish (12K) steady distance run, I ran to the local swimming pool (3,5K) and incorporated a 16 minute swim in my morning-routine. After the swim, I ran another 5,5K on my way back home. I loved the experience and doing a relatively early swim (I was in the water by 8:40) allowed me the space of a near empty pool.
Once I was in the pool, I was amazed at how good the swim felt. The first thing I need to work on is my freestyle stroke. The laps I did were in breast-stroke and though this works well, I assume (and need to figure this out) that freestyle swimming has greater corestrength benefits.
Coming wednesday, I will be trying out my goggles, to see how hard freestyle stroke swimming is. To be continued.