Open water swimmers and triathletes are often confused on how to get faster. Often, they think that they need to swim fast to go fast. In other words, just train harder and do sprints at workouts.
Since swimming is so technique-focused, the fastest way to getting faster in the water is to play a game called “Free Golf”.
If you haven’t learned it yet, here are the basics:
Do a set of 50’s, around 6 is good.
Count your strokes on each 50 and get your time.
Add these two numbers together to get your “score”.
Lower your score each round by decreasing your stroke count, decreasing your time, or a combination of both.
Keep going until you can’t go any lower.
Hint: Make sure you are not just kicking harder to get your stroke count down. Focus on hip rotation, hand extension, and glide (distance per stroke.
There are several variations of this depending on what level swimmer you are. For many of my beginner and intermediate-level swimmers, I may have them do a set with Zoomers fins on, and a set with hands in fists, followed by a straight swimming set.
How low can you go?