Why is technique so important to swimmers? Because it helps you to make your swim clean. The cleaner and more efficient your swim, the more energy you will conserve. So if you improve your technique, it will make it easier for you and you’ll have more energy, which will help a lot during your race.
Include technique work in your training
We incorporate a lot of technique drills into our training session. I do a lot of kicking and I always do all four of the strokes. Improving my technique over the years has improved my performance, and I’ve especially noticed an improvement in the last couple of years since I started working on my core strength. It’s helped me a lot with my technique in the pool and I feel better in the water because of it.
My advice to fitness swimmers
My advice to help you improve your fitness swimming is to work pretty hard on strengthening your core, your glutes and your hamstrings. These are the three secrets to swimming success. I started working on them properly two years ago and, since then, I’ve felt so good in the water. As well as working on building their strength in the gym, I try and think about them in the water too; I swim with my core muscles engaged, so I feel my body more at the top of the water.
Using training aids
In training, we use paddles, fins, pullbuoy, kickboard, snorkel and a piece of equipment called a parachute. Parachutes come in small, medium and large sizes and they are my favourite training aid. You tie it around your waist and it has a cord with a parachute on the end to provide resistance when you swim. I usually use it about three times a week with fins and paddles. It’s a hard set, but I feel pretty good after it – it feels good pulling the water!
Try a speed drill
One of the drills my coach likes to do is a 15m sprint, which you can try at home. It’s a sprint set – so the idea is to swim 15m as fast as you can, four times. In the first set, we use the parachute, fins and paddles. For the second set, we use just fins and paddles, and for the third set we take the paddles off. On the final set, we take the fins off. After each sprint, have a big rest, for around 1 minute.