Swimming faster takes time, hard work and consistency. There’s no quick fix!
But that doesn’t mean the process is complicated, either. Dropping an extra few seconds off of your 100 pace is simple…but it’s not easy. And that’s why so many people struggle to reach their goals in the pool.
Read on for five ways to level up your swim training and make long-term speed gains.
5 Simple Ways to Swim Faster
1. Build Self-Discipline
When you want to get good at something, you need to do it consistently. As much as we wish that we could be motivated to swim every day, that’s just not the case.
If you only swim on the days you feel motivated, you won’t make much progress. Motivation will come and go. It’s important to be disciplined with your routine, so you go to the pool even when you don’t feel like it.
It’s all about being consistent – showing up every day, every month, every year – and putting in the work. Even when it’s cold, or when you’re busy, or when you’re tired from a long day. Build your workouts into your day so they become a non-negotiable part of your routine.
Think about why you swim. What do you hope to achieve from your swim training? Use this as your north star, and remind yourself of your “why” when the going gets tough and you want to give up.
2. Prioritize Technique
This next point applies to swimmers of all levels…yes, even you advanced swimmers! If you don’t have a proper technique foundation, you’ll fall into bad habits that will slow you down, make your stroke less efficient and increase your risk of injury.
This seems like an easy fix on the surface, but building a strong foundation of technique can take years. So, take some of that discipline from tip number one and make technique a priority during every workout. Maximize your efficiency so you pull more water with every stroke and move through the water with less effort.
The world’s most advanced swimmers still work on technique regularly. Think of your stroke as a constant work in progress that needs ongoing attention. You should never be satisfied with your status quo…always look for ways to level up your form.
3. Progress Gradually
Getting better at swimming is a marathon, not a sprint. If you’re serious about improving your speed or technique, make sure you know that it’s going to take time.
Don’t try to take shortcuts to reach your goals faster. To create truly sustainable progress, you have to play the long game. While you can absolutely train for three or four months to build endurance for a race, lifelong fitness doesn’t come as quickly.
We recommend following a structured training plan that helps you progress safely, building up your distance, intensity and workout frequency slowly over time so you don’t get burnt out.
Try to increase your swimming distance by no more than 10% per week to avoid doing too much too quickly. This will feel easy when you’re swimming shorter distances, but as you improve, you’ll find that 10% per week can be challenging.
Remember your “why,” and know that if you stay consistent, your hard work will compound on itself over time.
4. Hold Yourself Accountable
While some people think you should keep your goals a secret, we disagree. Share your goals with friends, teammates or the community in the MySwimPro Facebook Group for extra support and accountability.
If you never share your goals with anyone, it will be easier to give up on them. And we don’t want you to give up! Find an accountability buddy or two and set those goals in stone.
Beyond community support, you can also hold yourself accountable with specific swim workouts called Test Sets. Do the same Test Set at regular intervals to determine where you’re at and compare your results. Depending on your goals, choose a Test Set that’s focused on speed, endurance, or something else.
Check out Test Sets in the MySwimPro app to easily track your improvement. MySwimPro Coach will notify you when it’s time for another Test Set, so you never miss a chance to challenge yourself. Learn more about Test Sets here.
5. Ask Yourself: How Bad Do You Want It?
When the going gets tough, ask yourself how badly you want to achieve your goals. Allow yourself a chance to reflect: Are you willing to push yourself and make it happen?
Set realistic SMART goals and make the choice to show up for yourself every day. Create a sustainable habit that you can stick to for months and years to come!
To start your swimming journey, download the MySwimPro app and check out your personalized Training Plan. We take your goals and swimming times to create custom workouts that are designed to push you and help you take your swimming to the next level.