Swimming endurance, speed and strength

Improve your swimming training

Swimming training is great for fitness, helping develop overall muscular performance and improving the cardiovascular system. However, there are some techniques that must be adopted to swim train successfully. Swimming endurance, speed and strength are vital components of a training program. Here's our guide to improving your swimming performance.

Throughout your swimming career you will need to develop three key areas — endurance, speed and strength.

The level of importance attached to each will differ depending on what type of swimming event you do. Let’s look at each in turn:

Swimming endurance

We’d all like to be able to keep swimming for longer without getting tired, and by training well it’s amazing how much you can achieve over time. By starting slowly and gradually building up the amount of time you spend in the water you will be surprised at how much longer you can keep going whilst tired.

Endurance is the key training ability that you should work on before anything else. Whilst speed and strength are important to your swimming in differing degrees, nothing is as important as endurance. Without it you won’t get very far!

Endurance, speed and strength in swimming

Speed when swimming

Going faster is important if you really get into sprint swimming but it isn’t really that important if your priority is getting fit and losing weight. There is a significant degree of technique when trying to build up speed. It’s all about a mix of breathing, arm and feet movements. If you are thinking of having swimming lessons, let your instructor know if speed is important, as it may affect the way that they teach you.

In addition to these technique issues, there is the fact that some people are just born with an ability to swim faster than others. Whilst you can train faster you might never be as fast as a training partner, as they may have a different muscle composition that they’ve inherited. This will in itself help them naturally be a faster swimmer.

Strength in swimming

Using your local gym to develop your leg, shoulder and arm muscles is essential if you are to build up strength. By building up strength by using resistance training you will find that your swimming improves significantly. Ask one of the gym instructors to develop a program for you with your specific goals in mind.

Check out our other swimming sections and find advice on beginner swimming, swimming training and swimming techniques.

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