Swimming may be your strongest discipline or it may be your weakest. Either way, we're all searching for ways to swim faster. So we've got the help of uber swimmer Lucy Charles and here are her top 5 tips to swimming faster.
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Lucy: So my first tip that I'm going to talk about is the catch, which is, basically, the front end of your stroke. And a lot of people, when you say catch, they're like what do you mean by catch. Basically, it is the front end of your stroke. You want to anchor it, you want to catch the water and you want to feel the water. And the main thing is really to be more efficient, so the more water your can catch, the easier you're going to get through the water and the faster you're going to move through it.
My next tip is structured swim sessions. I think if you get in and you haven't got a plan and you're just floating up and down aimlessly, one, it's going to be really boring and you're also not going to get a lot from it. So if you've got a plan when you get in, you're going to get tonnes more from the session, and it's actually going to be way more enjoyable.
Up next, I want to talk about arm rate, which is, basically, your cadence with your stroke. And for Triathlon in open water, a high cadence stroke rate often works a lot better, and I'm very lucky in that, even when I was a poor swimmer, I had quite a high cadence stroke rate. Well, if you compare me to my other half, Reese, he had quite a long, slow stroke rate, and he was always much faster than me in the pool, but when we went over to open water, he often struggled. So he's actually had to adapt his stroke rate now to a high cadence, especially for open water. Particularly, if it's really choppy in the water, it actually helps a lot more to have high cadence because you don't have to fight with the waves.
Then it's bilateral breathing, which basically means being able to breath to both sides. And when I was a swimmer, I actually only breathed to the right hand side because I was a lot faster like that. And when I moved into triathlon, I actually found I had a lot of issues and some injuries from bike and run because I was so imbalanced from only rotating to that direction. So, in that respect, I would definitely say you should bilaterally breathe, but also in open water, you need to see what is going on on both sides of you. So yeah, I'd definitely say get in the pool and breathe to both sides.
My final tip is speed work, and you may think this sounds pretty crazy because the distance I'm doing is an Iron Man, and it's very much endurance, but I definitely wouldn't neglect the speed work, you want to make sure you've got that initial speed to break out at the start, and then if somebody's going to surge in the swim, you want to make sure you've got that speed to be able to react.
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Watch more on GTN...
📹 5 Essential Swim Skills To Master - http://gtn.io/SwimSkills
📹 4 Swim Workouts For Triathletes - http://gtn.io/SwimWorkouts
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