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Five Essential Swim Lessons

  • By Sara McLarty
  • Published November 13, 2012

We may not have the pool prowess of Olympians Michael Phelps, but that doesn’t mean we can’t steal some of their single-sport habits.

1. Enter pool and open-water meets to practice racing. Use these swim-only competitions to practice pacing, strategies and test new equipment. During the off-season they will keep you motivated to train on a regular basis.
2. Incorporate test sets (ex: 2000 TT, 15×100 best average, 10×100 fastest interval possible) into your training schedule every 2–3 months. Track your progress and adjust your training based on the results.
3. Stop caring about what you look like in the water and focus on how you feel in the water. There is no perfect stroke because every body is slightly different. However, there are important similarities that are common among fast swimmers.
4. It is the engine and not the equipment that makes the athlete. Swimmers are already breaking world records that were set using the illegal suits. Save your money and just train a little harder!
5. Successful swimmers don’t just swim; they do yoga, sport-specific strength, Pilates, foam-rolling, stretching and massage. Strength training is not just doing the sport that you compete in.

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