Swimming faster; something we all want to do right? More often than not this is one of the hardest things for many swimmers to achieve. Your swim performance has three main foundations; your technique; your fitness and your open water skills. The more proficient you are at all three the faster you will swim. Swim technique is often over looked or at least gets the smallest amount of attention. To swim faster often we need to try less. Sounds kind of weird but it is true. Swimming is not about brute strength or fighting your way through the water. It’s about finesse and keeping your movements smooth. This means you’ll be creating less drag. With less effort AND less drag you will swim faster than with more brute effort and more drag. Fitness involves swimming at least three times a week. Changing the variables; distances swum, intensities you are swimming at and the rest periods between sets. If you do the same training swim each time your body will quickly adapt and you will plateau. Open water skills are developed while you are out there ‘doing it’. The more diverse open water situations you can experience the comfortable you will be and the more adept at handling a range of open water conditions; cold water, rough water, sun strike, wind, current, swim buoys that are difficult to see. These factors all require experience and rehearsal in order to manage comfortably. If you’re only training in a pool you will not be developing your open water skills. Mix up your training, open water and in the pool. Get some help with technique if you need it. Work on all three of the fundamentals; technique , fitness and open water skills and you will most certainly swim a lot faster.
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