Swimming laps in the pool is a great way to stay fit and healthy. But it won’t be sufficient to make you a faster, stronger or more efficient swimmer over time. Variation in your training routine is key and sprinting is the most effective way to improve your overall speed. Here are 5 tips to get you started.
Swimming is a technical sport. The better your technique, the more efficient you will swim. This is the simple truth. What’s also true, is that the better your technique is, the more water you are propelling, and the more strength you need to maintain technique over longer distances. This is where sprinting comes in.
Sprinting takes us to the edge of our capabilities and tells us exactly where we are without pride or prejudice. Sprinting builds power. When you do a sprint workout, the muscles contract with maximal force which makes them stronger and faster. And the acquired power will thus make us technically better.
So how do you get the most effect out of a sprint sessions? Here are 5 tips:
- Start you sprint set after a proper warm-up. Your body needs to be warm and ready to cope with the high impact of sprinting. Never sprint when your muscles are still cold.
- Keep it short and sweet. Sprinting for 15 meters can be very efficient as long as you go all out with proper technique. Take plenty of rest in between sprints to recover and reload.
- Focus on high stroke rate. Try to reach a maximum stroke rate without losing your technique and stroke length. Find that sweet spot!
- Minimize breathing. Sprints up to 25 meters do not require oxygen. Hold your breath and engage your core for as long as you can to generate more power.
- Use your kick. The kick not only adds to your speed, but it also engages the whole body for maximum power output.
Sprinting is the swimming equivalent of lifting weights in the gym. Obviously it can’t be done every day and so you have to do sprints in moderation. Sprinting all the time will have negative effects, but sprinting as part of your weekly swimming regime is really fun and will make you faster. Finish your sprint set with an easy pace endurance set to recover and get those meters in.
So whether you are a recreational swimmer who needs to build strength or a fanatic triathlete who wants to swim faster over longer distances, go to SwimGym.com and explore our ‘Speed & Strength’ workout collections to become a faster, stronger and therefore more technical swimmer within weeks.