In competitive swimming, sometimes a tenth or hundredth of a second can make the difference between first and last place, especially in the sprints like 50 Freestyle or 100 Freestyle. This can be easily achieved just by spreading your fingers apart in your stroke. The results of a new study were presented last week at the 69th Annual Meeting of the American Physical Society Division of Fluid Dynamics.
One of my favorite drills to do and one our swimmers seem to love is called the Runner. The Runner is executed by running 5-10 feet along the pool deck then diving in. This drill can be combined with turns, but I caution this to only advanced swimmers who are properly trained and supervised by lifeguards and coaches.
When you think about swimming, you probably don't associate it with much in the way of technology. Some sports have relied heavily on the developments of Silicon Valley as a way to improve their sports, but swimming has just continued to glide on by. The changes to the sport over the past hundred years have been around technique, nutrition and the swimsuit. Never has it been about the technology coaches or athletes use behind the scenes. Swimming also never gets a lot of press time in the papers or online. At least not until the Olympics rolls around.
It's taper time again.
Those words bring delight and smiles to any swimmer's ears. After a long hard season, tapering is like the big gift at the end. It's that moment of relaxation both physically and mentally for most swimmers. It's a time when your daily yardage gradually decreases before you head into a big swim meet. You should note though that it's not all about yardage. It's about the mental recovery as well.
Backstroke is one of the more popular strokes to train in. It's similarities to Freestyle allow swimmers to cover significant distances at a greater speed. The ease of breathing attracts a lot of new swimmers to this particular stroke since you always have your face out of the water. However, did you know that not all backstroke is the same? I would like to introduce you to 3-peak Backstroke.
Swimming is hard. It becomes even harder if you don't have proper nutrition. But this can be confusing. There are so many different perspectives on this. The information on the internet is always contradicting. Eat carbs, don't eat carbs. Eat lots of meat, don't eat any meat. For a swimmer, it should be simple, healthy. Coaches can't control what their athletes eat away from the pool, but the athlete and the parents should be aware of what the right choices should be to help the athlete perform their best.
The majority of articles that I cover are around technique and ways to improve in the water but it's important to discuss ways to improve your swimming out of the pool. One aspect that I cover with every athlete early in our sessions is the "why do you swim?" This is an important question to me and it should be important to you too. Everyone who swims or does anything in their life needs to know the why behind what they are doing. Sometimes this why is significant like change the sport of swimming, or sometimes it's just "I don't want to be afraid of drowning". But it's important to have that clarity in your life.
I've always felt that Breaststroke was seen as the lazy cousin to the other three IM strokes within the swim community. Some believe it to be the easiest stroke and the slowest. Unfortunately, I can't argue with you on Breaststroke being the slowest. Just the natural movements of Breaststroke make it slower and less streamlined than its counterparts, but this doesn't mean that it's for the lazy or is easy to do.
Body position is crucial to efficient swimming. It has the ability to affect your endurance and speed, especially as your body begins to fatigue. Body position is a key foundational element that coaches should cover early and often with their athletes. No matter how many years you've been swimming, you can always continue to work on and improve your body position and roll.
Learning out to maintain that momentum is something that takes time and needs to be a formed habit. Think of it like a car, if you are driving consistently at a 100 km/h for a long period of time, then your car will use less fuel to get you there, but if you are slowing down and then speeding up, you are going to use more fuel that way. Your body is the same way during a race. If you can find a consistent rhythm and pace that works for you, you'll use less fuel meaning you have more to give at the end of a race for that potential touch out or record breaking touch.