1/ FOOD AND HYDRATATE
Ok, we’re not saying to raid the little vending machine outside. Not even having a romantic picnic by the pool. But, yes, before swimming you should eat well and hydrate. For a simple reason: so you don’t lose too much energy. We already know that swimming consumes a lot of calories with the lifeguard course.
Hydrating before, during, and after the session also reduces the risk of cramps. And we know that’s good news.
Obviously, we suggest a light snack, rich in carbohydrates, two hours before the session, so that you do not feel bloated. After the session, consume protein, to help muscle regeneration.
2/ DON’T FORGET TO WARM UP AND STRETCH
Don’t do anything if you haven’t warmed up, so you can start smoothly and last longer. Warming up is important, first to avoid muscle fatigue. And, second, to relax the muscles. The tenser they are, the less you float. Therefore, movements are less efficient and consume more energy.
Warming up well before swimming also prepares your heart; you have better endurance when you need it, if you gently warm up for about 10 minutes, before a swim session.
Also, to stay in shape, plan some dry exercises to increase your muscle flexibility, followed by a 10-15 minute warm-up in the water, during a one-hour session. In the end, don’t forget to stretch.
3/ IMPROVE YOUR POSITION IN THE WATER AND YOUR HYDRODYNAMIC
One of the pillars of swimming is your position in the water. If you’re in the wrong position, it’s harder to move. There is more drag and therefore you expend more energy to swim.
In the water, your head and body should be perfectly aligned. A little reminder: your head is the rudder of your body. In order for you to float better and there is less resistant, your body should be as horizontal as possible. The legs and pelvis should not sink too far into the water.
This hydrodynamic position promotes gliding. The straighter you are, the faster you can go without too much effort.
4/ YOUR TECHNIQUE HAS TO BE INFALLIBLE
To swim without getting out of breath, perfect your technique. The more you control your movements, the less energy you consume. It’s best if you avoid movements that make waves rather than push yourself forward.
First, think about the grip, position your feet and hands correctly to increase the amount of water and the force of propulsion and reduce the effort.
In front crawl, focus on kick and reach. Your kick should be as light as possible, to maintain your alignment, and horizontality and not consume too much energy. Swimming fast, and moving your arms to a minimum, also helps conserve energy.
5/ CONCENTRATE ON COORDINATING YOUR MOVEMENTS
Coordinating your movements is not so easy; if you do it wrong, you can waste a lot of energy. Or, worse yet, make you feel like you’re just splashing around like a complete beginner.
Coordinating the movements of your arms and legs well increases your propulsion force and reduces drag.
6/ FOCUS ON YOUR BREATH
Breathing is essential in swimming. Especially if you’re looking to not burn out too quickly. Out of the water, we do it naturally, but in the water, it’s not the same. That’s why it’s important to focus on your breathing, so you can swim without getting out of breath too quickly.
Regardless of swimming, you should always coordinate your breathing with your arm and leg movements. In front crawl, if you’re just starting out, inhale every 3 arm movements, but never on the same side. When you master it, breathe in 2 times, that is, every 2 arm movements; that will make you not get tired so fast.
And for the stroke, inhale when you push yourself with your arms, that is, when your head is above the water. Obvious!
In addition to keeping you from getting out of breath, breathing well affects your buoyancy, balance, alignment, and propulsion. Learn to breathe, it’s worth it!
7/ NOTHING WITH ACCESSORIES
Not just fins, you can get excited: pads, board, buoy, etc. In addition to improving your technique, they help you swim longer without getting tired. They are your perfect allies to make you last longer!
If you are a fan of front crawl, for example, lean on a buoy. If you place it between your legs, you improve your buoyancy and reduce the kicks that consume a lot of your energy. Mainly because they tire the muscles.
With pads, the hydrodynamic load is better, because you move more water and your propulsion force is better. Consequently, you exert much less cardiovascular (but more muscular) effort with less movement.