Do you swim length after length at your local pool and feel that you've stopped improving? You may need to analyse what exactly you're doing in the pool during your training sessions in order to make better progress. It's not enough to train hard, you have to train smart!
Read our top ten swim training tips to help you stick to your training plan and achieve your goals:
A decent pair of goggles (browse our best selling goggles and read the reviews for more information on things like fit), a swim cap, and a stopwatch or swim watch to time yourself. Getting decent equipment can make all the difference to your training sessions. A leaky and uncomfortable pair of goggles will hinder your experience in the water.
You should be stretching before every training session. If you're not, you're increasing your chances of injury.
3. Warm up / warm down
10% of your swim sessions should be dedicated to warm up and warm down. Jumping straight into your main set increases the chance of injury. Do a few lengths at a nice easy pace to get your muscles warmed up. If your set has been heavily freestyle focused, it can be advantageous to do a few lengths of backstroke in your warm down to move the arms / shoulders in the opposite direction and loosen the muscles.
4. Training partner
A training partner can be excellent motivation. If they're faster than you then all the better! You've got someone to try and keep-up with.
5. Rest days
If you're into a hard training regime, remember to take at least a couple of rest days during the week to allow your body to recover.
6. Find a quiet time to hit the pool
Swimming during peak hours can be an annoyance when you've got serious goals to achieve. Find a quiet time that suits you, when the lanes aren't too packed, and keep your mind on the task at hand.
7. Build a training program for every session
There're lots of workouts and training sets available online. Do a bit of research, build yourself a training plan for every session and stick to it!
We recently blogged about five 30 minute workouts that focus on specific aspects of swimming such as endurance, speed and strength.
It's important to eat something no less than one hour before swimming and always take a drinks bottle with you to stay hydrated during your session. Having some fuel inside will help you to power through your training set, and feel good at the end!
Have a look at our blog article which discusses the importance of nutrition for swimmers and offers some tips on what to eat before and after a swim and more imporantly, what foods swimmers should avoid.
9. Dry land / gym training
We understand that some of you are just water fanatics and don't really spend much time on dry land training. It's recommended to have at least one or two dry land or gym sessions in a week to compliment your work in the water.
Browse our range of land training equipment such as resistance bands and stretch cords.
10. Enter a race, event or challenge
Challenge yourself. Book into an event or competition and follow it through to the end. This will give you something to aim for in your training, and you can start to tailor your training plan to meet the specific goals that you want to achieve.