Coach Cassie,  Top Tips

How can I maintain swimming fitness and motivation while injured?

Our resident Olympian answers your swimming questions

I have broken my hand and can’t swim for six weeks. How can I maintain my swimming fitness and keep up my motivation while injured? Kerry O’Hara

I feel for you! As an athlete I was often plagued by injury so my heart goes out to you. The main thing I recommend is to remain positive and to know that your hand will mend, but only if you rest it enough. So listen to what your doctor says!

Use your recovery time to improve any weaknesses in your kick. I know how hard and at times tedious kick can be! I have done more than my share of it when injured. But kick is great at building fitness, especially if you kick with your head down, therefore limiting your oxygen intake. You will be surprised how aerobically fit you will become by completing some hard kick sets.

Now I’m not a complete task master, so I do not recommend you just do hard kick sets as that will do nothing for your motivation! You can also use this time to improve your core stability, through some simple land-based activities. Pilates will help improve your swimming as it is centred around strengthening the core.

Also have a look on my website ( for some top tips on dry side work-outs. I hope you heal well and are back in the water soon.

“Swimming was my whole life for over 20 years. I poured every ounce of enthusiasm into it. I am so fortunate to have found these new outlets for that enthusiasm.” Cassie Patten

Cassie Patten won bronze in the first ever Olympic 10km marathon swim, in the Beijing 2008 Olympics.

Cassie now coaches and is a frequent commentator at open water events.


Email your questions to: with the subject ‘Coach Cassie’

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