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When the pool is not an option: Part 2 of 3

By Cortney Martin

Cortney Martin_Motivation
Triathlete Cortney Martin finds motivational value in getting instant feedback on her swimming.

This is part two of my three-part series, “When the pool is not an option – times there is just no substitute for the Vasa Ergometer.” In the last installment I talked about scheduling, travel, and availability. Today I’ll address injury and motivation, and still to come: technique and performance.

Athletes need to be healthy in body and mind, but there are times that we find ourselves injured or battling motivation issues. In the last month alone, I had a dog bite and an eye infection that made the pool a non-option and the Ergometer the perfect choice for my swim training. Prior to having the Ergometer, I’d sustained fractures in both fibulas (two separate injuries), and I would carefully crutch to the pool and swim with my waterproof cast. How much safer and better it would have been to swim at home! There are also times that I just struggle to muster the motivation for all that is involved in a pool swim – leaving the house, driving, preparation, swimming, showering, and driving home. With the Ergometer there are far fewer obstacles – get on and go!

PART 2: Injury & Motivation


When the pool is not an option due to injury, Cortney hops on the Ergometer.
When the pool is not an option due to injury, Cortney hops on the Ergometer.
  • MINOR INJURIES: When wounds, skin conditions, an eye infection, or swimmer’s ear keep me out of the pool, they don’t keep me off the Ergometer!
  • SUBSTANTIAL INJURIES: When I have a leg injury. They are not exacerbated on the Ergometer because no kicking is required and there’s no push off the wall.
  • SHOULDER PREHAB/REHAB: When I want to minimize stress on or strengthen my shoulders. Shoulder prehab and rehab exercises can be done on the Ergometer. With the ability to do a low-arm recovery that is not possible in the pool, stresses on the shoulder are greatly reduced.
  • FRAME OF MIND: When I am not in the mood for the silent nature of pool swimming. With the Ergometer you can listen to music (or in my case, NPR)!
  • INSTANT MOTIVATIONAL FEEDBACK: When I want more feedback than just time (and stroke rate if I manage to count). With the Ergometer I can find renewed motivation by focusing on power, stroke rate, stroke length, and left/right power balance.
  • MOOD BOOST: When I need a quick mood-elevating endorphin fix. The Ergometer is my go-to piece of equipment – no special clothes and no shoes are required. I simply get on and GO! While I really never have the urge to spontaneously get on the bike trainer or treadmill, I find something very relaxing and meditative about the Ergometer.

What’s your go-to tool or method for recovering from/preventing injuries? What works for you to battle motivation issues?