It’s that time of year when a lot of people are making New Year’s resolutions and thinking about how they want to make 2018 different to 2017. Here are our ten suggestions for some things that might help to make you a better a swimmer
- Practice, practice, practice: Learn how to focus properly, and how to make your practice more effective with some mindful swimming rather than mindless yards.
- Learn the other strokes: Being able to swim the other strokes can give some extra variety to your training, but also help to work a different muscles which helps to balance you out and reduce injury prevention. Apart from that they give you improved feel for the water and there are lots of transferable skills from all strokes that will help your front crawl.
- Use a Watch: Data from a device like a Garmin can be downloaded to an online training diary which can be really useful in analysing your swimming. If used properly this can help you with looking at weekly/monthly swim volume and trends, track progressions in speed and strokes per length and help you to identify opportunities to improve your training and swimming. (For me I learned that I was never disciplined enough with rest intervals and using my Garmin properly has helped with this).
- Use Swimming Metrics: Learn how to use swimming metrics such as tempo (using a tempo trainer), strokes per length (spl), time and RPE (rate of perceived exertion) while you’re swimming. These metrics can really help you to figure out how efficiently you’re swimming and where you need to focus your practice in order to get better.
- Pacing Strategy: Get into the detail with a pacing chart so that you know what times you need to swim different distances at for different intensity levels or RPE (rate of perceived exertion). g. what time do you swim 100, 200 and 400 at race pace, but also what time for aerobic endurance training.
- Do some Yoga: Swimmers often neglect flexibility, stability and core strength in the belief that as swimming is a low impact exercise injury risk is low. This simply isn’t true and I see many swimmers with injuries either caused by poor stroke mechanics but also by tightness, lack of mobility, or lack of stability in certain muscle groups. Every time I’ve injured my shoulder adding in some weekly yoga has helped to fix it.
- Learn how to Tumble Turn: Apart from the fact that it looks cool, they also feel great once you master them as they give more rhythm to your swimming. You get less rest with a flip turn so they also make your swimming harder. And of course done well they are faster.
- Find a training buddy to help you with your swimming. This could be to help you practice focal points and drills or to remind you of that dodgy right hand entry that you’re trying to correct. Having to meet someone can often help you to find the motivation you need to get to the pool or can help you get through a difficult session.
- Get help from an expert: Have your stroke reviewed with video analysis and get some technique coaching from an expert.
- Add some Fun to your swimming. Take the opportunity to dive or jump in, race your training buddy or p
lay some games.
Get in touch to let us know what your New Year resolutions are and what plans you’ve made to be a better swimmer in 2018.