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If you desire to get even close to all great swimmers and superstars of this field, you must concentrate on one key element of swimming – the speed. You need to constantly improve your lap timing without having to compromise your stamina.
Maintaining endurance or energy level is equally as vital as swimming faster. A well-balanced swimming training includes a proper combination of speed workouts and strength training. For example, if you swim five times every week, devote about two days for endurance workout.
Speed exercises should be performed at least three times a week. This will help guarantee your progress and overall development as far as your skills in swimming are concerned. Building bigger muscles will not help, if you do not improve your swim stroke techniques. The right swimming technique, enough training practice, and workout structure can help increase your speed in swimming.
Basics Ideas for Faster Swimming
People think that increasing the number and pace of strokes can help improve their speed. This is actually incorrect. What you will want to do is make use of your stroke and body length to the fullest extent.
Long and steady strokes are more effective than a variety of strokes. It is just basic mathematics. If a single properly executed stroke takes you ahead by a distance of about four meters, then it would get you roughly 16 strokes to do a 50 meter lap.
However, if you perform a fast flurry of strokes without allowing each stroke take you forward by its full possible distance, you may end up needing more than 25 strokes to complete the same distance.
Working on your swimming technique is crucial for both your speed and endurance. Focus on your hand and leg positions, together with the curve of your body. You will be able to kick harder, if your body is well balanced. The body should not be completely above the water surface, or too deep in the water.
Swimming deep helps increase your water resistance, but will surely slow your progress down. When it comes to freestyle stroke, maintain a horizontal position as you can possibly be.
You must think about losing all the extra amount of your body fat. Do not ever mistake fat with weight. The purpose is to get rid of fat and develop muscle. If during the process, you gain a few pounds, that is just fine.
The increase in bodyweight is a result of muscle gain. Extra muscle gives you more muscle strength, which can push your body more forcefully through the water, and thus acquire speed.
The food you eat can affect just how fast you swim. Get rid of all the junk food and fatty foods, which actually add nothing but extra fat to the body. It is best to go for foods that are rich in protein such as soya, fish, poultry and eggs. These help the process of muscle development, which eventually helps in the process of faster swimming.
Consuming the right amount of carbohydrates is just as important because they give you that much-needed stamina for your swim training and make you a better triathlon athlete.
Wear the correct type of triathlon swimsuit. You should look for a swimsuit that will reduce water drag, and can help you in pushing forward through the water. A Lycra-based bodysuit can provide your need for wearing the right swimwear.
Swim goggles that fit poorly may annoy you and even slow you down. Therefore, it is extremely important to select your accessories well.
Your arms are major contributors to your speed, and only a small percentage from your leg movements. Correct and clean strokes will help increase your speed. Always use your sides properly. Roll sideways while you swim forward.
Solid shoulder and back muscles can aid you in improving your speed. Also, when swimming, do not clamp your fingers together, instead spread them slightly.
Additional Tips for Faster Swimming
Here are more tips to help you increase your speed on the water.
- Fitness is essential in swimming, although it will come due to swimming with proper technique. A mistake that many people make is that they train as intense as they possibly can until their stroke breaks down.
- Repeat a swimming set once every week for about six weeks to allow you to determine your improvement in speed.
- Do not become over ambitious and then exert yourself by swimming fast for quite a long time. It would only make you worn out and you could lose interest in swimming.
- Slowly increase your time and speed as this will help improve your endurance and stamina levels gradually.
- Despite spending a great deal of time in swimming, you may still feel stressed-out at times. What you can do is minimize the intensity of your stroke and rest after every lap.
- Stamina is an important element in a swimming training. And so, refrain from kicking the water too hard to maintain energy level. Swimming can be a physical exercise and a fun experience as well.
- Breathe in between your training, as this will also help relax your body.
- Keep your head angled at the front. Be sure that when swimming, the position of the head is such that the level of water reaches only until the hairline.
- You must always keep yourself hydrated. Drink plenty of fluids, before, during and after your swimming training. Sports drinks can benefit you a lot if you sip them regularly.
- If you want to perform a high intensity stroke, you should go for freestyle. But if you are trying for low intensity strokes, then aim for sidestroke or breaststroke.
- Keep learning. The best swimmers are continually learning by reading books and watching underwater videos. Most of all, they always get feedback about their performance. If you are interested in improving your speed, one good approach is to get programs that teach it.
- Change sports. Don’t only focus on the 3 sports of the triathlon but try to undertake some other sports once in a while as well. Good sports you can try are kayaking or standup paddle boarding. Look for some great kayak locations or cool rivers, lakes or coastline for the best SUP-ing. If you get just as addicted to SUP-ing as me, I’d recommend an inflatable standup paddleboard that will easily fit in the trunk of your car or storage place at home.
This is quite a long list of tips for faster swimming. Apart from the tips stated above, it is advisable to seek some professional help from a swimming trainer, and of course – practice, practice, practice and become faster at the next triathlon!
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