10 Pro Swimming Tips for Swimmers and Triathletes
Step up your freestyle swimming to the next level. These swimming tips were compiled with Great Britain Pro Triathlete Kieran Lindars.
Even slight improvements in your technique can shed seconds off your time. Whether you are swimming laps in the pool for fitness or racing in a triathlon, these tips will help you gain an advantage over your opponents - or against yourself.
Keeping your body in a streamlined, hydrodynamic position, parallel to the floor will help propel your body through the water in a more stream lined and efficient manner. Try keep your forward arm as straight as possible, with your head facing downwards to create a slipstream.
A good sign of how efficiently you are swimming is how little splashing you make. Splashing is a sign of inefficient swimming, whilst creating turbulence in the water. Try to make sure each time you enter your hand back into the water after a stroke that you keep it as streamlined as possible. Don’t smash your hand into the water, instead try to break the water with your finger tips before bringing your hand in into the water.
Swimming with a friend can make swimming much more fun and competitive, especially when you are training and turning in lap after lap at the pool. Not only will it help to push you further and harder, but it will make swimming all that more fun.
Try to take in some protein and carbs within 30 minutes of each swim. Swimming is extremely depleting on your bodies resources. It doesn’t have to be a full meal, just something small and light such as a protein shake or an energy bar. Taking in liquids is also extremely important. Whilst you are in the water you might not feel how much you are sweating and how much liquids you are losing. Try keep a bottle of water at the end of the swimming lane.
There is a common term called amongst swimmers and triathletes called, 'overtraining'. But, we prefer, 'under resting'.
Rest, as an athlete, is more important than training as it is where we recover and become stronger. Our body is very clever and it does not like to be damaged.
During training, the stress can lead to damage to the body; including micro tears. This is the post-training pain you may feel. Since the body doesn’t like to be damaged, it not only repairs the damage, but it also makes the muscles stronger. This is in order for your body to be more protected ahead of the next training session. Overcompensation is, in fact, what allows us to get faster and stronger.
However, the rebuilding process takes time and not allowing for sufficient recovery will cause too much damage leading to an injury.
If in doubt have some rest.
Practising all strokes
Each swimming stroke requires a unique skill and a different technique. Mastering these skills is incredibly important for becoming a well-rounded swimmer both technically and physically. A strong fly pull, for example, will help you to achieve a strong free pull. Being physically rounded will also help smooth out any muscle imbalances and will make you more robust to niggles and injuries.
Bonus tip - for triathletes