How to Improve your Swim Training

Become a better competitive swimmer by maximizing your training and tailoring workouts to your specific goals. With Knowledge Hub, develop a strong understanding of how to train smarter and see real improvements.

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How to Train Smarter After a Swimming Competition

Inconsistent / Increasing Splits

Improving Pace and Endurance
The way a swimmer splits a race depends on distance, stroke, and their personal strategy. But generally, the goal is to have even or negative splits, overall minimizing the difference in splits between every lap or the two halves of the event.

So if there are fluctuations in your splits that were not part of your race strategy, focus on improving pace and endurance.
Implementing Test Sets
Test sets are a great way to determine a swimmer’s optimal pace for a given distance and stroke. These will also tell you if you need to learn to pace yourself better from lap to lap, hold back at the right times, or if you need to work on increasing stamina.
Monitoring Stroke Count and Distance per Stroke
When training to improve pace, especially for longer distances, monitor stroke count and distance per stroke (DPS). Find the optimal value for yourself and aim to maintain the same number of strokes, DPS, and time for each set, so that it becomes muscle memory come the next race.

Weak Transitions

Improving Turn Times
Slow turns or weak push-offs can be a barrier to success. If a swimmer falls behind off the walls, improving their turn times can make all the difference.

During practice, treat every single turn as if it was a meet – no slacking on the walls, keeping each turn quick and tight, with steady push-off and proper streamline.
Optimizing Time Underwater
Strengthening underwater kicks will also be valuable, so track time underwater and work on optimizing it, perhaps aiming for the greatest distance with the lowest time underwater.

Slower Overall Time

Improving Strength, Stroke Technique, and Transitions
When it comes to improving speed, focus on improving strength, stroke technique, and transitions. Stronger strokes give better propulsion, but without proper technique, this power will not be maximized.
Swimming Efficiently
Proper stroke technique increases speed by reducing drag. With this comes higher DPS and improved stroke efficiency (measured by stroke index). This will allow you to gain more distance with the same amount of effort, giving you more energy to either increase the power of your strokes, increase your stroke rate, or both.
Maximizing Transitions
As for improving transitions, the few split seconds shaved from a faster turn, or the momentum gained from a powerful push-off can have a big impact on overall time.

The key, really, is figuring out which specific aspect of the performance needs to be developed so you can be more precise in fine-tuning future workouts.