Swim a Mile

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My beloved GymPact came in handy today (GymPact is this iPhone app that pays you to go to the gym – or you pay if you don’t).  The week rolls over on Sundays, and I needed to check-in at the pool once more this week or I’d be out $5.  Honestly, if it hadn’t been for GymPact, I would’ve spent my entire day on the couch!

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I swam 1,000 yards.  


I just noticed that my pool hung up this new length chart – the pool can be set up as 25 yards (short course) or 50 meters (long course).  When the pool is short course, I swim 40 lengths – a little over 1/2 a mile.  But when the pool is long course, I swim 20 lengths… just a smidge further.  And the long course seems so go more quickly because you aren’t turning around so much.

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It’s fun to think of it in miles instead of yards or meters, though!  I have such a stronger sense of what a mile ‘looks like’ thanks to running.


The length chart sparked a new goal – I’m going to try to work up to swimming a mile.  Hopefully soon, but maybe it will have to wait until post-pregnancy.  The further I’ve ever swam is 1,500 meters (0.93 mile) so I think I can do it!  I usually quit at 1,000 yards or 1,000 meters simply because I get bored.  Shooting for a mile seems like it would be a fun goal.


Side note:  Any idea what these guys were doing?  They were in kayaks and used their paddles to toss a ball into hoops suspending from the air.  It looks cr-az-y.

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Post-swim, I walked a mile.

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And then, I actually did collapse on the couch.  And failed to unglue myself for the rest of the day.  That’s what Sundays are for, right? 



  • Sara @ RunnerWife January 8, 2012, 8:01 pm

    I really want to get back into swimming! It is such a good exercise and uses muscles that I don’t use in any other exercise!

  • Victoria (District Chocoholic) January 8, 2012, 8:11 pm
  • Elle January 8, 2012, 8:13 pm

    My gympact motivated me to go to my clubhouse gym to workout today. Unfortunately they said they could not verify it! Hopefully I’m not out $5!

    I think the boys might have been playing pool polo?

    Good luck on the goal! I’m sure you’ll do it 🙂

    • Yifan Zhang January 9, 2012, 1:09 am

      Hey Elle, we’re finishing up verifications now! If you’ve sent us your gym address and website, we’ll verify it 🙂

  • Army Amy* January 8, 2012, 8:23 pm

    I love getting in some exercise tyen bumming around fir the rest of the day!*

  • Carin January 8, 2012, 8:25 pm

    Miles/ kilometers – it’s confusing! I’m from the UK so am used to miles but here in NZ it’s all metric. You seem to run both systems and even use yards – which just reminds me of highly irresponsible lengthy drinks! (Do you have “yards of ale” there?)

    Our pool is 25m so I do 40 lengths for a km… I think that’s 0.6 miles? Far enough for me, anyway!

  • Tanya @ Vegan Faith January 8, 2012, 8:41 pm

    Kayak water polo! Used to play this at camp all the time!

  • Stephanie @ Ultra Ambitious January 8, 2012, 8:42 pm

    I wish I had access to a pool nowadays! When I used to work at a gym with a pool I swam all the time. It can get a bit boring though, running is definitely my preference. But I guess now that I don’t have a chance to swim I miss it. It always wiped me out though, which is great for lazy Sundays 😉

  • Chelsea January 8, 2012, 8:44 pm

    Way to save yourself $5 haha! That’s such a great motivation for sure.

  • Shannon @ Mon Amour January 8, 2012, 8:45 pm

    Your sneakers are really cute! Great goal- I know you can do it!

  • Stacey January 8, 2012, 8:46 pm
  • Anna January 8, 2012, 8:54 pm

    You can do it girl! <3 fitness goals…and laying all day on the couch 🙂

  • Karlee @olivewineandfood January 8, 2012, 8:58 pm

    ohh how i need to get myself back in the swimming pool! and i love your shoes : )

  • Meg @ Runridelove January 8, 2012, 9:14 pm

    I miss swimming, but I’ve only ever swam in a lake! I would like to in the winter (since I always felt so great after a swimming workout) but I’m so worried I’ll get bored in a pool!

  • Sarena (The Non Dairy Queen) January 8, 2012, 9:43 pm

    Good for you going! Enjoy your rest this evening. I’m sure little HTP will enjoy some cuddle time on the couch now!

  • Lindsay @ Salt, Sun & Sanity January 8, 2012, 9:45 pm

    That’s awesome! I wonder if GymPact will work at my local town pool… also, you could definitely swim a mile. If you take your time, take it easy, put one arm in front of the other and remember to BREATHE, you’ll be there 🙂 Although if you decided to wait a 9 months or so, I’m sure no one would judge you!

  • Deva @ Deva by Definition January 8, 2012, 9:49 pm

    Most of my workouts right now start from my front stoop, or I’d be all over gympact. I’m running my first half marathon in May and I started training a week ago – I ran 17 miles this week!

  • Shrinking mommy of 2 January 8, 2012, 9:56 pm

    LOVE your shoes! I want them! I need to get a new pair. Great job on your swim. When I use to swim (need to get a new pool pass) I swam a mile..it is long but feel great afterward!

  • Wendy January 8, 2012, 9:58 pm

    I like your shoes, too! What kind are they? They kinda resemble my NB Minimus pair.

  • Annette @ EnjoyYourHealthyLife January 8, 2012, 10:00 pm

    YAH for you for going!! I think a mile is a great idea–sounds fun! I love swimming in miles too–makes me know exactly how far (I hate measuring in lengths, yards, and meters–boorrring! hah)

    Have a good night!

  • Katie @ Peace Love & Oats January 8, 2012, 10:02 pm

    When I did a pool workout, I swam a mile (with breaks!!!) because since I’m a runner I felt like anything less than a mile would be considered nothing! Haha, and I had to convert meters to miles beforehand, or I’d have no idea!

  • Cheryl @eatplayluvblog January 8, 2012, 10:03 pm

    I had a discussion with my triathlon geek friends today. We love and hate long course…but luckily they flip our pool pretty often so you kind of get the best (or worst) of both worlds. It’s nice to be able to push off the wall a little more with a short course pool, but if you’re trying to do a longer set you get sick of counting so many laps. Long course seems to go by faster in the long haul but sometimes it can drag if you’re trying to get to one side, especially if you’re me and you’re kicking!

    If I had to choose one pool or type to swim in forever, it’d be an outdoor olympic distance (50m), no question!

  • Linz @ ItzLinz January 8, 2012, 10:04 pm

    Sundays are totally for that! And I LOVE your gray and pink shoes! So cute!

  • Ashley @ Cooking for John January 8, 2012, 10:14 pm

    I signed up for Gym Pact last night and am so excited to get started! I staked $5 and my pact is to make it to the gym 3x a week. I’m hoping this will help me get to that strength training that I should have started 6 weeks ago (the beginning of my marathon training plan.)

    Thanks for sharing Gym Pact with us!

  • Lexi @ Cura Personalis Foodie January 8, 2012, 10:33 pm

    Sounds like a great motivation for getting off the couch!

  • Katie @ Katie Without Restrictions January 8, 2012, 10:59 pm

    Good luck on the mile ~ what a great goal! I’m going to have to check out that GymPact, it sounds like it would really be helpful to me…!

  • Ellie January 8, 2012, 11:22 pm

    I used to swim a mile a couple times a week. It is a really long way! My biggest problem is getting bored during. I wish I had an underwater mp3 player. Also having to go to the bathroom during it, which is a lot more difficult than when I’m just working out in the gym.
    The difference between swimming vs. land miles really confuses me and I’m constantly doing math to make sure that I’m not overestimating what is a “mile,” especially with the difference between yards and meters. Ack!

    • K January 9, 2012, 9:45 am

      Ellie, this is my problem too: it takes me about 45 mins to swim a mile, and by then, I’m practically pee dancing my way out the door! Caitlin, I am a very very novice swimmer and haven’t ever competed in triathlon and I easily (but gradually) increased my mileage from 1000m to 1600m over the course of my first and second trimesters. I just traded in a bit of intensity for a little more volume and it feels great! I love the comment below as well that suggests breaking it up into sets. I always swim on long course days, but my pool has been closed for 3 weeks over the holidays and I have a lot more baby belly to pack into my swimsuIt than last time…fingers crossed that my swimsuit will even fit anymore when I try it on again this week!

  • Khushboo January 9, 2012, 12:50 am

    Haha nothing like money to motivate us!

  • Yifan Zhang January 9, 2012, 1:09 am

    Yay! So glad it’s still working so well for you Caitlin 🙂

  • Jamie @ Don't Forget the Cinnamon January 9, 2012, 6:34 am

    What a great goal–good luck! I’ve always been impressed by people who race the mile in swimming!

    And that game with the kayaks sounds crazy cool!! I want to partake!

  • Chelsea @ One Healthy Munchkin January 9, 2012, 7:37 am

    Yay for making it to the gym! The idea behind Gympact is so smart – money is the ultimate motivator!

  • steph January 9, 2012, 7:47 am

    awesome! the only thing i see wrong with gympact is you could go to the gym and check yourself in and not work out

  • Carolina John January 9, 2012, 8:18 am

    putting a mile in the pool is a nice workout. I do it whenever I want to plan for an eating festival, because it always makes me really hungry.

    Whenever you get back into tri training, you’ll want to know your mile time. It will probably be in the 40-50 minute range. We have plenty of 1 and 2 mile open water swim races around Raleigh that I like to do, and my fastest mile ever was around 32 minutes. it really is a great milestone, and totally completable if you have the time.

    and I waaaay prefer long course or open water to making all those turns. balderdash.

  • Curtis January 9, 2012, 8:24 am

    Hadn’t heard of Gympact, will definitely check it out. Thank you!

  • Liz January 9, 2012, 8:40 am

    I think its great that you want to swim a mile! Can I suggest that you do sets rather than one straight mile? The key to building up distance in the pool is to do timed sets of a specific distance, kind of time a tempo run. This will help you build up endurance and speed so that when you go for a triathlon or open water swim, a mile non-stop will feel like nothing. I usually suggest new swimmers start with something like this:

    200m warm up, any stroke

    10x 100m freestyle @ 3 min (or change the time if this is too fast/slow for you)

    400m free cool down

    Boom, you just swam a mile!

  • Emily January 9, 2012, 10:20 am

    Great workout, and that sign is super helpful!

  • Sarah January 9, 2012, 11:15 am

    Great workout! Yesterday was such a lazy day in hour house, homemade pizza and lots of Bones re-runs.

  • Michelle January 9, 2012, 12:10 pm

    I’ve got 2 ideas for ya – a Swimp3 player (or some other version of music to listen to while swimming – or podcast!) – and 2, an adult fitness swim class. Check at your pool and see if there is a class and try it out. Its been years since I had hit the pool for a workout and the first class I went to, my friend added it up and we swam 2000 meters! Because it was broken up into 4 laps here – catch your breath and get instructions for the next 6 laps – catch your breath and now go swim this other stroke for 5 laps etc. I know you are still working on other strokes, but at least in my class there is a super wide variety of stroke ability. Some people stay 100% freestyle. Others use it as learning and practice for breast stroke et al. Some of reliving their glory days and attempting to work back up to butterfly for more than 1 pool length. 🙂

  • Amanda @ AmandaRunsNY January 9, 2012, 1:34 pm

    LOL, paying for things motivates me too. So when I know I won’t want to work out, I will pay for a yoga class or spinning class at one of the special gyms (like core fusion). Don’t do it often but it helps.

    I used to swim several miles a day in high school and the only way to do it was to break it up into sets. Like 4@200’s with 10 second rest, then 10@50’s alternating back stroke and freestyle, and then maybe a 150 warm up and cool down.

  • Jamie January 9, 2012, 3:15 pm

    Not sure if anyone has posted this yet, but competitive swimmers use 66 instead of 72 as a swimmer’s mile– meaning when we compete, the “mile” distance will be 66 (lengths? laps? i never get the terminology correct even as a pro!), never 72- we call it the 1650 in short course yards (what we used in college) or 1500 in long course meters, due to the # of yards.

    Fun fact- for any distance 500 yards or greater, we have counters at the far end of the pool. They hold down numbers so that we know how far we’ve gone. For the final lap, they do double orange so you know it’s the end. Typically one of the officials will also ring a bell by your starting block as another reminder, and if you’re in first, you get a pop gun!
    Lap counters: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=JhpAU-gRmgQ
    ZeroTo1Mile training plan for beginners: http://ruthkazez.com/ZeroTo1mile.html

  • Sophie @ threetimesf January 14, 2012, 9:50 am

    Glad to see that the gympact is paying off! 🙂

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