I switched up my normal gym routine for only two weeks and you will not believe what happened

The exercise hack that actually works…

I am by no means a gym-aphobe but recently my love for exercise has deteriorated. I find myself scrolling through social media and questioning how despite a regular gym routine I don’t look like AJ Odudo or Clean Eating Alice. After a hectic day at work it takes a lot to drag myself to the gym and I often find myself thinking “was that effort actually worth it?”.

That’s why when I was given the opportunity to try Speedo’s #Make1kWet challenge I jumped at the chance. Switching up my gym routine is exactly what I needed and you will not believe the results.

So what is the #Make1kWet challenge? Simple, it’s a straight swap of one of your weekly runs, cycles, power walks or whatever form of aerobic exercise you do for a 1k swim. For the purposes of investigative journalism I crammed 1 month of the 3 month training programme into two weeks, which although not sustainable gave me an insight into the benefits of switching for what in my case is running for swimming. Here’s what you need to know…

Focused workouts

Rather than milling around the gym alternating between liking Instagram posts of what I would like to look like at the gym and trying my hardest not to hopelessly mimic my fellow gym goers. My phone was away and my sessions were planned. With the help of Speedo’s training aids such as the Elite Kickboard and Tech Paddles my sessions felt varied and not that I was doing lots of aimless laps. Sessions only took 30 minutes and consisted of 3 parts; a warm-up, main set and cool down. Easy, right?

Improved recovery

Pounding the pavements around Clapham Common is not only hard on your joints but on your recovery too. Even when I find the motivation to run the post run stretch was often neglected. Now I’m not saying you shouldn’t stretch after a swim but the movements naturally lend themselves to muscles which feel less tight and a much deeper sleep after exercise.

The sessions

Speedo have made the #Make1kWet challenge super easy to follow and all the details can be found here, with the plan you follow being based on your level of fitness at the start. I trained off the intermediate programme but there’s a level above and below mine, so a plan for literally everyone.

 Actual progression (without an expensive PT)

Following Speedo’s challenge I could actually see my progression. I could swim faster and further in a relatively short time frame. The programme improved my technique meaning the number of stokes per length I used decreased, using less energy. And the best bit? No expensive PT. Who let’s face it you often find making up excuses to, as if you’re letting down your best friend on a night out or distant relatively at a family function.

THE KIT, the kit, the kit!

I did the whole thing kitted out in Speedo gear and it was a dream. Say goodbye to chaffing, uncomfortable, ugly costumes that you used to know and say hello to Speedo’s amazing Swim fit range. The costume I used was the iconic Monogram swimsuit, it pulled me in in all the right places and helped me glide through the water. Not only did it feel good, it looked good. Total win, win.

Overall? If you couldn’t tell I’ve completely fallen back in love with exercise. My fitness has tangibly improved with my 5km running time going down from 24:10 to 22:05 in only two weeks (which for those who are not keen runners is a lot). I also feel more toned and have more energy, seriously what’s not to love?!  Swimming will most definitely be staying in my fitness regime and I challenge you all to #Make1kWet – go on girls, dive in!

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