- Pick a race to target Without a goal or destination it’s difficult to be inspired at training. I’ve found that picking a race to train up for is 10x more motivating than swimming of the sake of keeping fit. It’s not that staying fit or getting fit isn’t a worthy goal, but the pressure of performing at a race will force you to train harder than you normally would.My next race is 3 weeks away and the pressure of not swimming below my best has made me double my training sessions.
- Eat one extra piece of fruit a day Dieting sucks and is unsustainable. That’s why I believe a few simple daily actions can have a big impact on not only your swimming, but your life.Increasing the amount of good food you consume daily is the first step to better health. Have one extra piece of fruit at the same time each day and it will become a habit.I make sure to take a banana to eat after training each day. Now it happens subconsciously and has become a habit.
- Find a training partner
Using the power of two you can speed up your results by finding a quality training partner. If you can find someone who pushes you in training, will keep you accountable to your word and has a positive mental attitude, that’s an ideal training partner.
- Spend 15 minutes on drills during your next 5 training sessions The most effective way to change your technique is by doing drills. If you commit to 15 minutes of drills in each of your next 5 sessions, I’d be willing to bet your stroke will improve and you’ll start swimming faster. It’s a much easier way to improve than thrashing out a hard set.
- Do 3 stretches for 1 minute each once a day for the next week Stretching gets overlooked when people ask ‘How can I swim faster?’. A few simple shoulder, back, hamstring or glut stretches will help you feel longer in the water.Before a race or competition, I will stretch everyday for 15-20 minutes the week leading up to it. I’ve found this to make a few seconds difference.
- Attend all your scheduled trainings for the next 2 weeks Consistency is king. Decide right now that you’re going to attend all of your training sessions for the next two weeks. It’s easy to skip a session here and there when you ‘don’t feel like it’, but you’ll always feel better for doing the session!My rule of thumb is the number of days you miss in the pool it takes 1.5 times as long to get back to where you were. So if you miss a week in the water, it will take you about 10 days to get back to the same level of fitness. This doesn’t include rest days.
- Enjoy it What’s the point of swimming if you’re not enjoying it? Remember if you can swim 100 meters without stopping, you’re doing better than 90% of the population. Give yourself credit, set yourself mini challenges in training (such as times, stroke count, breath control, etc) and have fun in training and in racing.