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Step 5/5: Improve Your Swimming Fitness to swim faster

Updated: Nov 19, 2019

Would you like to really increase your swimming speed and join the fast lane?

Technique is only one part of the triad in improving your swimming (the others being training and open water skills). It’s very important to make sure your technique is efficient, but are your training methods? There's two ways to get more out of your swimming training:

1) Work harder in your technique session: Technique training is generally swum in your lower aerobic zone, or an effort level/RPE of 5-6 out of 10. Most people don’t race at this intensity, so once you’ve got the hang of the drills up the ante and put some more effort into it. We’re not looking for steam to come out your ears, but get that heart rate elevated to stop denying yourself an opportunity to boost the training effect of this session.

2) Add a swimming fitness training session: Running or cycling fitness unfortunately does not translate into swimming fitness as they're totally different postures and muscle movement patterns.

Here's my recommended training structure per week:

1 Session: One Technique & Fitness combined session

2 Sessions: One Technique, one Fitness

3 Sessions: One Technique, one Fitness, one Endurance swim

By Fitness we mean working the body just a tad harder than it's used to, so an intensity of about 70% or RPE of 7 out of 10 (aeorobic threshold speed). Training at this speed will create the necessary overload for your physiological systems to adapt. Any faster and you’re in the VO2max zone and it’s unsustainable (but a good fourth session per week if you have it). This is just the type of training we do at our Fitness Fridays Session, where you're guaranteed to improve your endurance swimming and race performances. Sets are specifically designed to keep your heart rate in your lactate threshold zone. All swimmers can benefit immensely from this type of session. Come along and try it out!

Endurance sets are the most avoided set out there, but it's definitely worthwhile just getting your head down and swimming long. You’re looking to swim about 60% effort. A good endurance set would be 2-3 x 750+ with about one minute recovery between, or even a time trial over your race distance once a month to gauge how you’re improving over time.

Come along to my final session in this series to improve your swimming speed: 'Improve your Swimming Fitness' on Tuesday 29th October BOOK NOW.

Contact me for a Video Analysis Session.

See you very soon!

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