Boost Your Swimming Performance

Boost Your Swimming Performance

By mixing up your speed you’ll evolve into a faster swimmer. Add these three important swimming exercises to your training regime and you’ll swiftly see your speed and stamina rise.

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Workout 1

Test yourself

An easy test to find your maximal and threshold pace is a must-do session.

Boost Your Swimming Performance
An easy test to find your maximal and threshold pace is a must-do session.

Warm-up: 400m easy

Rest: 2 minutes

Test 1: 100m flat-out and note down time

Rest: 3-5 minutes

Test 2: 20 minutes as hard as you can. Try to pace it evenly and note distance covered and work out your pace per 100m.

Cool down: 400m easy

Compare the two 100m splits. There should be more than eight seconds difference between them. If not, you’re one-paced and should work on both your top end and sustainable pace. Use the pace from the 20 minutes test for threshold work, swim at 3-5 secs/100m slower for endurance work and include some high end drills like Workout 2. Test yourself again every six to eight weeks.

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Workout 2

Speed

Technique is important, but backing off every time you are feeling a bit ragged and breathless will be holding you back and keeping you in a never changing one speed rut. Break the ‘Technique Threshold’ with this session.

Boost Your Swimming Performance
Technique is important, but backing off every time you are feeling a bit ragged and breathless will be holding you back and keeping you in a never changing one speed rut.

Warm-up: 400m steady but build in intensity. Include some kicking work for core strength, some lengths with pull buoys (floats between your legs) and some lengths with fins.

Main set: 10X25m 30-second recoveries

10X50m 40-second recoveries

10X25m 30-second recoveries

Cool down: 400 m easy

These should be 100% eyeballs out, get you arms whirring, legs thrashing and lose your technique inhibitions. With regular practice, your technique and biomechanics will catch-up. Don’t be tempted to reduce the recovery durations.

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Workout 3

Endurance

The biggest mistake swimmers make with endurance work is going too hard and not finishing the workout. Break up the work and get a decent chunk of distance out of the way on the warm-up.

The biggest mistake swimmers make with endurance work is going too hard and not finishing the workout.
The biggest mistake swimmers make with endurance work is going too hard and not finishing the workout.

Warm-up: 1000m alternating one length swim with one length drill such as catch-ups, finger drags, kicks and even some backstroke, but keep it steady.

Main set: 500m

2X250m 10-second recoveries

5X100m 5-second recoveries

10X50m 3-second recoveries

Cool down: 400 m easy

Don’t get competitive with lane-mates and stick with the discipline of swimming 3-5 secs/100m slower than your threshold pace for the whole workout.

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Written by Jenny Nickelson

Jenny Nickelson has been a sports enthusiast since childhood. Because of her deep love to water, she started training swimming in early years. Today she swears on variety and does it all: from swimming, running and cycling to fitness, skiing, dancing and mountaineering.

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