I've been swimming for about a year now and started because I was intrigued with TI. It's been great getting on a swimming regimen. I''m not too worried about time, but there's always a little part of me that wonders how I'm doing.
Up until recently, my workouts consisted of 500m in one go, and then breaking up into sets 200's, 100's, and 50s with each one using a little more energy.
I have a finger lap counter and use it during workout. During my initial 500, I always found myself getting anxious towards the end because I was looking forward to getting my face out of the water so that I could take a little breather before moving on to the smaller sets. I never thought I could swim much farther than 500 without resting a bit.
The other night I decided to stop trying to keep up with the laps mentally and just use the finger counter along with a playlist of about 20 minutes. I told myself I'd just relax until the music stopped playing.
It worked! I got over a little plateau and really got to relax at around 700m, I believe. I finished 1100m in 22 min at a really relaxed pace.
For the next swim, I extended the playlist a bit. This took me to 1250m. I finished with a little sprinting to verify that I wasn't all that tired.
Now I just need to figure out what playlist will take me past a mile!
I think my mental counting was getting in the way. It's nice to have your mind wander a bit. Also, to know that I can relax in the water the way I've been wanting to for so long. I surprised myself!