Yes, this headline is a big misleading. No swimmer is lazy, otherwise they wouldn’t be swimmers. But, many swimmers work extremely hard and that excessively hard work does not payoff in expected gains. Instead of working harder to small gains, why not think about working smarter. With a smart swimming program, your should be able to see more improvements. Many times, young and old swimmers get burned out with excessive training sessions. With smarter swimming sessions, you will be more likely to enjoy your training and get more out of it.
Adjust Your Pool Time
The first thing to do is consider how much time you need to spend at the pool. For most swimmers, working out everyday is the best option. Instead of spending several hours just a few times each week, it is smarter to spend a shorter amount of time in the pool, but to visit the pool more often. These shorter workouts are more beneficial for swimmers because they do not have as many days off in between. Muscles do not need to recover from swimming like they do from weightlifting, so it is perfectly ok to swim every day. Swimming for shorter sessions more frequently will help you see improvements in your body and your strokes. It is one sure way to work smarter.
Swim with Mindfulness
Another smart way to swim better is to swim mindfully. Too many people will swim fast, but not pay attention to the quality of their strokes. If you are swimming for exercise, it is a good idea to pay attention to every stroke, so your body can get the fullest benefits. If you are not using your body the right way, you will not better your strokes, your strength, and your flexibility. You might get a good cardio workout, but you don’t get the other benefits. It is better (read that as smarter) to swim slower while paying close attention to the technique of your strokes. Are you pulling the water with power? Are you kicking with more than just your calf muscles? Are you breathing on both sides? Make smart adjustments to get the most out of your swimming.
Drill During Your Workouts
No matter how often you swim and no matter how long you swim, it is a good idea to add some swimming drills. These can be sets of laps that should be completed in a certain amount of time, or it can be something as simple as using kickboards or paddles. It is always a good idea to try to do something intentional while you spend time in the pool. Drills can help you focus on strength, speed, stroke, or breathing. Make your workout smarter by actually swimming with a purpose.
Swim with a Purpose
Another helpful way to intelligently build up your swimming sessions is to have an occasional challenge. Runners often do this by training for a race. Swimmers can do the same. This doesn’t mean that you have to race against anyone, but you race against yourself. Every so often (once per week, twice per month, whatever works for you), you should challenge yourself in the pool. This could be timing yourself going all-out and keeping track of your speed. It could be pushing yourself to breathe on the other side. It could even be swimming a little longer than usual on occasion. Whatever you do to challenge yourself, be sure that you push as hard as you can so you can really see what you are capable of doing.
Occasionally, Take it Easy
Finally, give yourself some time to recover. Even though swimming is an exercise that can be done every day, there will be times when you should give yourself some easy workouts or even a day off here and there. It is always helpful to give yourself a short cool down at the end of each swimming session. You should also know that you do not have to push yourself to the edge in every single workout. There might be a workout where you just feel like kicking – so do it.