You might think of your coach as a cruel taskmaster, driven by delight in seeing swimmers suffer. Yet, although your coach might break into a smile when you complain about being tired, the reality is that delight is knowing you’re doing the work it takes to improve. Coaches’ greatest pleasure is seeing their athletes become the best they can be. Therefore, you’ll improve faster if you consistently do the things that make your coach smile.
Eating during a taper means making slight changes, so if you’re thinking of doing anything drastic, don’t. Leave any radical changes for the beginning of the training season, not at the end or before any big meets. As we approach the 2017 U.S. Masters Swimming Summer National Championship on Aug. 2-6, embrace the taper.
Here’s a six-week taper plan with the 2017 U.S. Masters Swimming Summer National Championship approaching soon.
As with any physical activity, swimming offers you both good and bad days. Some days you’ll have great workouts, others you’ll slog through mediocre workouts, and some days you’ll have bad workouts. This is normal, but when you experience more bad workouts than good ones, it might be time to look at what you’re doing in and out of the pool and make some changes. A bunch of bad days in a row tends to lead to frustration, a lack of motivation, and, of course, the dreaded burnout.
You don’t have to be a data junkie to be a great swimmer, but there are some compelling reasons to keep a fitness log. You can make notes on paper, create a spreadsheet, or use an online tool such as the free USMS multisport FLOG.
If there was anything to be learned from the 2016 Olympic Games, it’s that swimmers are not only getting faster than ever (even when it was thought to be impossible following the “super suit” era), but are also stronger and more powerful than ever before. The sport now features male athletes who look like they could play linebacker in the National Football League and female athletes who look like they could run the floor in the Women’s National Basketball Association.
Swimmers come to our practices in search of a satisfying porridge of workout sets that average out to being “just right.” If our workouts are consistently too hot (intense) or too cold (without adequate challenge), our athletes will leave our program to try out the next bowl on the table, and may end up in front of someone else’s placemat.
When talking to people at the pool, I often hear the phrase, “Oh, I’m not a real swimmer.” The person then proceeds to tell me that they are a triathlete or a runner, or perhaps just someone who enjoys working out in the water. And yet, there they are swimming.
Learning to improve control of your breathing while swimming is a valuable skill that will enable you to power off the wall, put your head down at the flags to win a race, or not panic in open water when a wave splashes in your face. Breath-control training is intended to improve lung capacity and breathing efficiency in swimmers; however, it should not be confused with breath-hold training, which can be dangerous.