The new year is almost upon us and there is no doubt that you will be looking to improve your swimming in the New Year. We have put together 5 New Years swimming resolutions that you should work on to improve your swimming. This cannot be done just in January, it must be followed through for the whole year. You must start as you mean to go on!
Yoga is a brilliant activity to do to compliment your work in the pool. It can help your range and ease of movement, which will allow you to get into the necessary positions and make the movements easier. It will also help improve your strength and body awareness. This helps you to be more in control of what your body is doing, which is a win for swimming. Not only all of the above it can also help with your recovery, aiding blood flow around your muscles which speeds up the recovery process. With this faster recovery time, it will allow you to be able to go into the next session feeling rejuvenated and ready to go.
2. Eat clean
Eating clean is something which is often missed. Swimmers love to eat, there is no doubt about it, however what you eat can have a big impact on your performance. Making sure you eat the right foods and the right quantities of food is very important. You should make sure you include the three main macronutrients in your diet: carbohydrates, proteins and fats. Fat should be consumed in moderation and foods high in saturated fats should be avoided, so stick to things like nuts, almond butter and olive oil. It is very hard to eat perfectly clean all of the time (especially if you don't have a very strong will power) so schedule a day a week where you have a little cheat, for example a slice of cake or chocolate. Although making sure you eat clean is important, drinking clean is just as important. So keep yourself hydrated throughout the day and avoid extra sugary drinks. It goes without saying that alcohol will not aid your performances… Talk to a qualified dietician or coach for your unique nutritional requirements, as no two people are the same.
3. Core strength and stability work
Core strength and control is arguably one of the most important aspects of swimming. Your core is used to stabilise you whilst you're swimming. A strong core will mean you hold your body straighter in the water and will help to reduce your resistance. When swimming, your core should be connected to your arms to assist pulling through the water. When connected together this allows you to drive through the water with greater force. Core work is often neglected, making it appear in your daily routine is a must.
4. Set a focus for each individual session
It is so easy to go into a training session and not focus on anything in particular. The turn around times might be very hard and all you are trying to do is survive. Don't fall into this trap. You must have a focus and a purpose at every session you attend, no matter how hard the set. Set yourself some technical goals for yourself to stick to every session and then change the focus when you feel you have nailed it. It could be something as simple as making sure your fingers are together or that you don't drop your elbow whilst on front crawl. Focusing on the small weaknesses every session can lead to a big drop in your time. So write it down, put it up on your wall to remind you and stick to it until it is done!
5. Set yourself measurable and achievable goals
Setting yourself the right goals throughout the season is really important. They must be measurable and achievable. If you set your goals too out of reach you are likely to get de-motivated. However, if you set them too easy then you may also switch off. So setting them at the right ‘difficulty’ is very important.
Making sure that the goal is measurable is equally as important. If you can measure your goal then it is easier to keep track of where you are at. It will keep you more motivated throughout the season if you see measurable progress. It can be really easy to switch off for a few weeks mid-season, having goals you have set yourself is likely to keep you from having these ‘off weeks’.
If you action everything above, you are very likely to see yourself getting faster in the new year. What are your New Years goals? Comment with yours below.