Michael Klim knows how to train like a champion, but you don’t need the daily routine of an Olympic swimmer to conquer an ocean swim.
Below are MK’s tips, tricks and short pool sessions to help you prepare for your next swim
Start the way you mean to finish…
Swimming is very much about mental preparation. When training for a distance, view it as a long term goal to be worked at in stages. Don’t feel that you need to be reaching your target from day one.
You’re not alone..
Slow, fast, young, old; swimmers come in all shapes and sizes so always remember there are people out there just like you. Practicing at a swimming club before a big race, will allow you to measure your ability against other swimmers, and gain an idea of what level you are at.
Inspiration – the driving force behind it all…
Swimming can be grueling and you may reach the point where you’re struggling to carry on. When this happens think of something which really motivates you. Whether it’s raising money for a cause or the sense of achievement you’ll get when crossing the finishing line, keep yourself inspired and be proud of yourself, as completing a race is an amazing feat!
Practice your breathing
Breathing is the key to a successful stroke. Poor breathing technique will significantly affect the efficiency of your stroke, so spend as much time as possible, perfecting your breathing technique.
Choose the correct swimming gear
Carefully choose your swimsuit, based on practicality rather than looks. Suits from specialist swimming companies will generally hold their shape, be more comfortable, and last longer than high-street equivalents. A decent sports shop will be able to advise you of the appropriate swimwear. Remember – the tighter fitting, the less resistance through the water, so wear a swimming hat.
There are a large range of goggles available. Choose a size and style which are comfortable for you, with de-misting lenses. If you find your goggles fogging up, then buy some de-misting fluid and use it before each swim. Also, consider swimming goggles with shaded lenses for open water or sea swimming in the summer to protect your eyes from the sun.
Acclimatise to cold water
A pre-event practice in cold water is good preparation. Don’t plunge straight into the water, walk in slowly, dangle your hands, splash some water on your face and then swim breaststroke, avoiding total submersion of your head until breathing is regulated. When you are ready, switch to front crawl.
Open water swimming
Swimming in open water provides more challenges than the swimming pool, where you may be used to training. Wind, ripples and currents can make your breathing and your usual pool-based stroke far trickier. It is important to learn to breathe on both sides and learn to sight, so that you stay on course.
30 minutes might not seem like enough time to do a full training session in the pool, but with a properly designed workout (see sessions below) and regular weekly swims (2-3 session per week) not only can you maintain great shape but also show significant improvement in a short period of time.
Before beginning, do a personal swim time trial of 200 meters freestyle (Note the total time and stroke count per lap).
Mix it up each week and choose between the sessions below:
Session # 2
Session # 3
Session # 4