Everyone wants to be first place. There are so many different ways that we hear about how to finish strong. How to finish first. In the world of swimming to be first place means that you know how to swim fast. Well, for those of us that don’t know how to swim fast, here is a guide that we’ve created to teach you how to swim fast.
Swimming is an action that burns great deals of calories, is easy on the joints, supports your weight, builds muscular strength and endurance. It will also improves cardiovascular fitness, cools you off and refreshes you in summer, and is one that you can do safely into advancing years.
What are the swimming strokes?
Swimming has several types of techniques, each are a way that will enable you to swim with the proper technique. The more that you swim properly, the better and you will have a more efficient workout. Breaststroke, backstroke, butterfly, and crawl (freestyle) are the most popular swim strokes. The breaststroke and butterfly are more difficult to learn than the backstroke and crawl.
The Long Stroke
Long strokes are really an essential element of the efficient long distance swim. To achieve this while using front crawl you have to start with proper body position flat and horizontal this specific is necessary at all times and your movement should not compromise it as it minimizes the drag and using your every movement more efficiently.
As soon as your body is properly positioned you can think about your arms pull– you need to reach as far forward as possible. When you’re withdrawing– use maximum force while stretching opposite arm as far forward as possible and so on. These two things (stretching arms while at the same time your body stays flat and horizontal) are the basic mechanism that will propel you in the absolute most efficient way. and that means more power preserved for your long distance swim. Short arm pulls give you less propulsion with higher energy consumption so don’t do this!
Learn how to breathe
Your muscles need oxygen. Your muscles while swimming need A LOT of oxygen. This is pure biology and you will need to accept it and adapt to it if you need to see any success in long-distance swimming.
There are three basic rules that combined will allow you breathe while swimming in a manner in which gives your body oxygen while it is not producing drag or distraction.
- Keep your face in the water. We know it could be uncomfortable at the beginning but it is a must as you swimming with your direct your hips and legs will go deeper underwater and you will lose the body position we talked in the previous section
- Exhale under water. This is among the most common mistake among beginner swimmers– they exhale and inhale quickly when they turn to breathe. This gives you little oxygen and holding your breath underwater doesn’t help you either. The proper way is to take in while turning and breath out with your head already in the water using your nose and mouth. This is another thing might seem uncomfortable and at the beginning, it will be, but that’s the way of getting as much oxygen while minimizing the time your face is out of the water and your head is up.
- One-sided breathing. For long distance and any hard swimming session, the way to go is one-sided breathing pattern that gives you good rhythm and good flow of the oxygen. The thing to look out for is a slight body imbalance you need to correct when breathing on one side only.
The sum of all these rules implemented means more oxygen and better rhythm while swimming and also means more power and efficiency in the water.
Eat right. Drink right.
Swimming is very taxing for our bodies as far as calories burned and need for fluids. You can read our articles on nutrition and water consumption for swimmers. The general rules are to eat whole grains, vegetables and a number of lean protein while drinking A LOT of fluids during your training sessions and competitions. To produce the energy anyone need for long distance swimming you need to deliver it to your body first!
Always keep in mind to have a big bottle of water and few energy bars with you to snack between the sets. It’s really incredible how much calories we burn and just how much we sweat during an intense swimming session!
When learning how to swim fast, build your fitness gradually
Long distance swimming is a constant process and as in cycling and running you need to set your workout goals in a particular way so you can easily progress gradually. Attacking full 10k at the beginning might only end up with an injury or anyone losing all your motivation. That’s why you should build your sets by starting with 50 meters at a certain pace for 10 intervals then afterwards move to 75 meters and 100 etc. This will certainly build your fitness and endurance while you also improve your stroke technique and effectiveness in the pool. This is the safe and far more satisfying way to get there as you will constantly see progress and will have the opportunity to finish your series without having a nervous and physical breakdown!