What’s the cost of swim training at home?
(Or..how I justified my decision to get a Vasa Trainer Pro to my spouse!)
(Note: this article is hypothetically based on many stories submitted by Vasa “Joe Athlete” customers.)
I like swimming. A lot. Always have since starting summer swim league at age 6. At the pool, in the ocean, at a lake… it doesn’t matter because I like it all. Unfortunately, several life circumstances bumped me out of the sport for a while.
Thankfully, I’m now able to do more swimming. However, several factors continue to make it challenging to do all of my planned workouts in the pool or open water venues nearby.
Being analytically-oriented, I started looking for some simple “life hacks” that would help me get in my training efficiently. So I took a closer look at the pros and cons of doing some of my swim training at home using an indoor swimming machine, namely a Vasa Trainer.
Full disclosure with some background first: I’ve known about the Vasa Trainer ever since my college swimming days. Our coach had the team use them throughout the season, three times a week, without fail.
We definitely got a lot stronger, kept shoulder injuries at bay, and enjoyed challenging each other. Plus, the added specific strength really boosted my performance… and my confidence.
Fast forward 15 years and life had changed. I now had demanding work, marriage, 2 kids, and a new house. My fitness routine had become inconsistent and I missed swimming. It was clear that I needed to stop the slide by regaining my fitness and my love of swimming. A buddy invited me to do some open water swimming, which was fun. Then I started training for triathlons. It felt great to get swim fit again. But I also realized it’s not a simple matter to squeeze in all the proper training sessions while juggling my other commitments.
Back to my cost-benefit analysis. Let’s look at my situation and the financial cost-savings I found by doing some of my swim-specific workouts at home. Note: the total financial commitment for swimmers & triathletes will vary and it’s based on a number of factors when evaluating how and where to do your swim training.
My costs included:
- Gas costs for driving to and from swimming – for me, it’s about 20 miles round trip to the pool. I was averaging 3 to 5 swims per week, so at a minimum, it meant driving about 3,000 miles per year (up to 5,200 miles per year). My car averages about 26 MPG, so that’s using at least 115 gallons per year. At today’s prices ($4.50 per gallon), that worked out to an annual cost of $517.50.
- Pool membership fees: My costs worked out to be about $5 per swim ($750 membership divided by 150 swims).
Using the Cost Calculator shown below, the math revealed that swim training at home three times per week would save me up to $1,267.50 per year!
(Note: this calculation does not factor maintenance costs related to normal driving wear and tear on the vehicle, tires, etc. I drive a total of 11,500 per year in that car, and average $1,500 per year in maintenance, tires, etc. So that means each mile I drive costs me about $0.13 maintenance. My swimming commuting miles will cost me another $391 per year ($0.13 x 3,000 miles)).
Remember to factor in the cost of goggles, swimsuits, fins, wetsuit, caps…they all add up! Competitive pool swimmers typically have the added costs of coaching, team dues, and all costs associated with competitions. So it can make a big difference to save some of the overall costs by doing some training at home.
So I invested in a Vasa Trainer Pro and started using it a few times per week to supplement my twice-a-week swim training in the water. What a difference it has made! My college swim coach had already instilled the value of swim-specific strength training on a Vasa Trainer. He also showed us how to prevent shoulder injuries using the Vasa, as well as with bodyweight, swim cords, and weights like dumbbells and kettlebells. So I started using the Vasa Trainer for total body strength and shoulder prehab exercises.
Best of all, my pool and open water swimming is stronger than ever. My confidence in triathlon and open water races is solid because I know I can power through most situations. My family likes that I am around more, too. Sometimes the kids join me and do some of the exercises with me. What a joy!
The cost of swim training at home
Did you know you can finance your Vasa purchase? It’s true. You can swim now, pay later using our financing option. Click here to learn more.
Here’s what other athletes say about swim training at home
In Part 2, we’ll analyze the time-savings achieved by doing some swim training at home and in Part 3, we’ll review the results and other benefits from swim training at home.
“But wait, there’s more!” Want to know more about why it makes sense to swim train at home?
Check out these blog articles to learn how:
How to Integrate Dryland Training with Swimming