If there’s one question we hear a lot at The Race Club, it’s “how can I swim faster?” The answer to that question is so unique and so personal to each and every athlete, but we do our best to try to provide guidance. Swimming faster is all about combining together the right tools and techniques for mind, body, and attitude.
If you’re looking to learn how to swim faster, here’s how you can start your journey, even before you begin working with a swimming coach:
- Improve flexibility. Every athlete knows that stretching can make or break your ability to perform while avoiding injury. In addition to strength training and swimming drills, you should also spend time daily to stretching and movement to improve flexibility. Make time in the morning, before and after workouts, and before bed to stretch hard working muscle groups like your pectorals, shoulders, hamstrings, ankles and hips. Use a foam roller to deepen the stretch. Practicing yoga can also help.
- Nourish your muscles. Meal planning can be a great tool for both managing your time and also keeping your nutrition in check. Create a meal plan that meets your needs for calories, micronutrients, and macronutrients. A swimmer’s muscles also need fuel both pre-workout and post-workout, so factor that into your plan.
- Sleep more. Studies have shown that proper rest is critical to producing athletic results. Sleep is key for improving performance as well as boosting mood and alertness. While you sleep, growth hormone is released in your body, which is essential for stimulating muscle growth and repair, bone building, and fat burning. Make a commitment to get more sleep to give your body the time it needs to recover, repair, and build muscle.
- Listen to your body. One of the biggest mistakes a swimmer can make in trying to learn how to swim faster is to overdo it. Pushing yourself too hard or not giving yourself enough time to recover can detract from your overall performance while raising your risk of injury. Respect recovery times and the need to rest your muscles. As much as you’d like to, you can’t keep working all the time. Training with a coach in this respect can help you with managing your workout time appropriately so that you give yourself enough time to warm up, cool down, and recover.
Whether you’re in or out of the pool, it’s about adopting a mindset and a commitment to your performance. If you’re ready to start swimming faster, contact The Race Club today to discuss training with our swim coaches.