Fitness is specific

Very common question in the gym:

“What is the best way to get good at x”

Well, following the principle of “we get good at what we actually do“, the answer is fairly simple…

Open Water Swimming Open Water Swimming


If you want to get good at x, then gradually increase the amount of x you actually do.  I know this to be true, but it’s always good to be reminded of it, like I was yesterday. I’m probably fitter than average, but all my training is done on dry land.  But yesterday I was invited out to have a go at an open water swim in Malham Tarn (beautiful place!).  Now, I’ve only ever swum in a pool before and only ever swum for leisure, so I knew this was going to be very different. But I was very surprised at just how bloody difficult it was!  Initially fighting the cold water, then fighting against my wetsuit, i found myself swimming and swimming….but seemingly not going anywhere, permanently at the arse end of the group and slowly but surely getting more and more knackered! Strangely enough, I kind of like these situations, because it reminds me just why I ask one of my favourite questions so often:

“What is your ultimate goal?”

Because whether you like it or not, if your ultimate goal is to run for longer, you are going to have to actually start running for longer. Or if you want to be able to run faster, then you are going to have to start actually increasing your running speed. Or if (like me) you want to be able to swim in open water, we are going to have to bite the bullet, quit bitching, ignore the ego, accept being the last in the group and get swimming in open water! Just because we are fit and capable at one thing, it doesn’t mean we will be fit and capable at something else!