At first, if you want to become a better swimmer, it might be enough to swim regularly and to eat a healthy diet. Once you reach a certain point and become an excellent swimmer, improving your swimming fitness becomes a bit more complicated.
A competitive swimmer needs to excel at several crucial elements: start, turn and speed. A strong start and swift turn demand a high level of power and strength, whereas the race itself requires aerobic endurance which will ensure swimmer’s consistent speed. Shorter races place more value on start and turn, while longer disciplines require superb stamina.
To improve in competitive swimming, your strength training should focus on specific muscle groups. When performing a start or a turn, the strength of quadriceps and gluteus maximus might make the difference that determines the race. A large percent of a swimmer’s power also depends on chest, shoulder and back muscles.
See more information on swimmers’ strength training for detailed advice and the recommended exercises.
Endurance in the pool depends not only on the fitness of your muscles, but on the proper breathing techniques and ideal pacing as well. It is also very important that your swimming technique is correct. If you are doing something wrong, it is likely that your body will be under unnecessary strain and tire more quickly. Here you can read a detailed guide on how to improve your swimming endurance.
Just like other athletes, swimmers need vitamins and minerals to keep the body healthy, proteins to build muscle power, carbohydrates for energy and of course, water to stay hydrated. If your diet isn’t well balanced and healthy, your swimming performance will suffer. Also, keep in mind that even the nutrition before the race can make a difference!