Especially as a beginner swimmer, it can be difficult to measure your progress in the pool.
Most triathletes tend to get caught up in how fast they are going.
“My 400 time is too slow!”
“My base interval is too much!”
“I’m the slowest in my group! Old ladies are passing me up!”
Being obsessed with any of the above can lead to discouragement in swimming. Also, these are the wrong things to be focused on if you really want to progress quickly in the water.
So what should you concentrate on to get faster if not getting faster itself?
It’s the small things that count. Think more in terms of drills and stroke technique, especially if you are not from a swimming background:
1. How balanced are you in the water? Simply logging pool time and practicing the kicking drills will lead to noticeable improvements within just a few sessions.
2. Is your kick moving you forward or are your feet acting like anchors? To test this, do some kicking on your back. If you are not moving forward, it’s time to start stretching out your ankles and drilling with Zoomers!
3. How many strokes does it take you to get from one side of the pool to the other? This is a little more advanced, but it’s a good gauge of your progress. Look for small improvements here. If your range is typically 25-27 strokes per length, shoot for 23-25 as an average. Notice how you are achieving a lower stroke count, by extending, gliding, and rotating your hips.