I know lots of swimmers who are happy running through a stock workout routine with little variance. I get it, it’s simple, fast and you know what to expect. But this is precisely the monotony in training that can often lead to boredom and plateauing in your swimming improvement. If you train the same workouts day in and day out, you will not be able to increase your performance. The following five tips can be incorporated into your existing routine and make your overall swimming experience more purposeful, dynamic, and fun!
1) Focus on Technique
In swimming, your success as an athlete hinges on how efficiently you can move through the water. It’s a medium that’s nearly 800x more dense than air, and requires an entirely different set of technical skills than any other land-based sport. For this reason, any flaw in form is magnified exponentially in the water. There are two ways to get faster: increase propulsion or decrease drag. Every workout, set, and drill you do should focus on one or both of these components.
2) Train Shorter & Faster
If you want to swim faster, you have to train faster. Well, duh…let me clarify. Shorter workouts allow you to get more bang for your buck WITH your time spent in the water. Shorter workouts, such as the Workout of the Day in the MySwimPro app, are an easy way to fit a quick swim into a busy schedule and you can complete them whenever you have time. Shorter workouts make it easier to train with more frequency. Think swimming for 40 minutes 3x/week vs swimming for 60 minutes only 2x/week. The increased frequency will yield higher performance results if training is modified to increase intensity.
If you’re new to swim training or have not trained in a while, then it’s likely that your muscles are not yet conditioned for longer workouts anyway. Swimming for even just 20 minutes allows you to increase your aerobic capacity and develop a feel for the water. As you become more conditioned, you’ll begin to swim faster and your enhanced feel of the water will allow you to elevate your training intensity.
See Also: How To Swim Faster With Shorter Workouts
3) Add Resistance Training
If you have access to training equipment like fins, paddles, or a snorkel; you have an incredible opportunity to enhance your swim training. The biggest advantages of using equipment are the ability to mix up your training all while working on improving technique, efficiency, and increasing swimming strength. This equipment can increase your muscular engagement while you swim, thus elevating your overall level of training and output. If you have equipment like parachutes or power towers, even better! These are not required to improve, but can help if you’re looking to get to an elite level of performance.
4) Dryland Training
Strength training is most effective when swimmers progress steadily from fundamental movements to more challenging exercises. It is important to remember that each swimmer has a different baseline level of strength and coordination. Use progressions to improve your strength, athleticism, and overall performance. You can do this as an entire session dedicated to building strength out of the water. You can incorporate simple dryland mechanics like pushups and sit-ups before, during, and after your swim workout as well.
5) Nutrition & Recovery
A proper eating program is just as important to an elite athlete’s success as their training program. Think of your body as a car. The food and drink you consume are fuel. High-level athletes are like finely tuned cars that require high quality fuel to achieve optimal performance. Putting low quality fuel into your body can lead to poor health and sub-par performance.
See Also: Eating Guidelines For Swimmers