That's right, your performance during your swim isn't exclusively down to the hours spent training. A healthy body and a healthy mind working in unison are guaranteed to offer greater results, so consider whether you can improve the quality of your swim by making these simple changes!
Dry side training can be just as important as pool training, working on the relevant muscle groups of your chosen stroke to improve power and muscular endurance. Whether you choose bodyweight exercises or add some resistance or free weights to your training, any home or gym workout will contribute to your overall progress in your swimming training. For more on Land Training and some recommended exercises, read our Why You Should Begin Land Training blog!
Sleep More - Quality of sleep
An obvious yet overlooked way to improve your performance is through sleep. Having a healthy routine including regular wakeup time and regular sleep time, with consideration for what time you’re switching off and winding down will have a dramatic effect on your performance; particularly if you are scrolling through social media or Simply Swim blogs until the moment you decide to go to sleep. To set yourself up for a night of great sleep, be mindful of the caffeine content in your favourite beverages and consider the time you are consuming your final meal before bed - going to sleep straight after your meal or after consuming a high volume of caffeine content will result in a restless sleep.
As mentioned, consider what you are putting into your body, particularly prior to training or competition. No heavy meals ahead of your swim, if you need some extra fuel for your session then pre-swim snacks would be light and easy on the gut such as fruits, oats, or even an isotonic sports drink. Plan your meals ahead of any training or competitions, with low Glycaemic Index Carbohydrates meals for slow-release energy and moderate proteins to promote recovery.
Meditate - Breathing exercises
Meditation is great for promoting a positive mindset, giving you space to reflect, clearing your mind and reducing stress. The primary practice in meditation is to focus on breathing through a series of breathing exercises. Many swimmers fatigue faster due to incorrect breathing techniques as a result of lung capacity; trying to hold their breath or breathing more frequently in each stroke. By working on breathing exercises outside of the water you can improve lung capacity and in turn improve your overall performance.