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By: Great Swim21 March 2017
If improving your swimming technique is high on your list, take a look at these tips from our partner CLIF Bar.
Good swimming is all about efficiency through the water and even the fittest, strongest athletes can fatigue very quickly if technique and breathing is poor. Because it’s hard to feel your own technique in the water, your first consideration when training for a Great Swim event is to book a session with a coach who can film you and give you drills to help you swim more efficiently. Doing this early on makes sure that you train the right muscles and ingrain a better technique during the rest of your training.
To work on technique, pretty much every swim session you ever do should begin with some form of drill work. A pull buoy is a small float that fits between your legs to help them float into a good position in the water and also to eliminate the kick so you can focus on the upper body.. Alternately, swim fins for your feet will allow you to kick effectively while working on position and posture drills where the upper body is moving too slowly to move you forward. These are both key bits of swim kit and will open up a world of drills (which you can find online) that will enhance your swimming no end!
A common problem for many swimmers is that they forget to breathe out while their face is in the water. This means that when they take a breath they have to breathe out and in, which there isn’t enough time for, leaving the swimmer short of breath. This problem is often worsened in open water and so it is important to focus on breathing in the pool, then again when you transition into open water. Try to blow water constantly and smoothly out of your mouth the whole time your face is in the water. As you do so, imagine relaxing and breathing out unwanted tension and fatigue.
Joel Enoch is CLIF Bar's nutritional ambassador in the UK. A recognised authority on sports nutrition, he is a 9x GB ag-group triathlete and coaches one of the leading Triathlon Squads in the UK – the CLIF Bar Sponsored ‘Hartree JETS’.