– Swimming may be yourstrongest discipline or it may be your weakest.
Either way, we're all searchingfor ways to swim faster.
So we've got the help ofuber swimmer Lucy Charles.
– So here are my top fivetips for swimming faster.
(mellow electronic music) Hey, so my first tipthat I'm gonna talk about is the catch, which is, basically, the front end of your stroke.
And a lot of people, whenyou say catch, they're like what do you mean by catch.
But basically, it is thefront end of your stroke.
You want to anchor it, youwant to catch the water and you want to feel the water.
And the main thing is really to be more efficient, so themore water your can catch, the easier you're gonnaget through the water and the faster you'regonna move through it.
So that's sort of my first tip.
– So how would you go about reinforcing it or seeing whether you aregetting that catch or not? – Yeah, so the easiestthing is if you can get your coach to film youwhilst you're swimming because when I've been filmed before and watched it back, Icouldn't actually believe that was me swimming.
So if you can get your coach to film you, then you can actuallysee what you're doing.
And, even better, if you can get access to an endless pool witha mirror on the bottom, then you can really seewhat you're doing that way.
– Is that what you do yourself then? – Yeah, so I'm luckyenough to have one at home, so I really can reinforce, and I think my strokes actually improvedjust from seeing that.
– Brilliant, and then, are there actually any drills that you can doto actually help that catch? – Yeah, definitely.
So sculling is a key one, really, because you arestrengthening your forearms.
And one that I always say to people and they always laugh is doggy paddle because it really is thecatch part of your stroke.
You might feel silly doingit, but it really does work.
Okay, so my next tip isstructured swim sessions.
I think if you get in andyou haven't got a plan and you're just floatingup and down aimlessly, one, it's going to be really boring and you're not going to get a lot from it.
So if you've got a plan when you get in, you're gonna get tonnesmore from the session, and it's actually goingto be way more enjoyable.
– Yeah, I think a lot of people fall into a trap with just trying to cover the distance they're gonna do on race day and there's no realmeaning to the session.
So you get in and you actually follow a really structured session and different on each days, perhaps? – Yes, every day is normally different.
I make sure there's a lot of variation because I find swimming quite boring, if I'm honest, so I'm not gonna lie.
Yeah, so the biggestthing is if you've got a squad available toyou and you can get in and swim with the squad, thenI'd 100 percent go with that.
– [Mark Threlfall] So isthat motivation as well? – Yeah, you've got thatslight competitive element, you've got other people pushing you, and you've got thatbit more social element that you don't often get from swimming.
So, 100 percent, go with that.
– I think I'm very much thesame, actually (chuckles).
– Okay, so up next, I wantto talk about arm rate, which is, basically, yourcadence with your stroke.
And for Triathlon in open water, a high cadence stroke rateoften works a lot better, and I'm very lucky in that, even when I was a poor swimmer, I had quite a high cadence stroke rate.
Well, if you compare meto my other half, Reese, he had quite a long, slow stroke rate, and he was always muchfaster than me in the pool, but when we went over to openwater, he often struggled.
So he's actually had toadapt his stroke rate now to a high cadence, especially for open water.
– [Mark Threlfall] So whatis it that you kind of need that high cadence for? – Particularly, if it'sreally chalky in the water, it actually helps a lotmore to have high cadence because you can not fight with the waves.
You actually can get freedom and it works a lot better that way.
– Because I guess the water's moving, so you've got more chanceof catching a stroke, that sort of thing? – I think, like we talkedabout earlier, the catch, if you've got a good catchand a high cadence stroke, then you will really work with the waves and move through thewater that much better.
– Is there anything you do in training to help that, or perhaps, Reese is trying to implement in his training? – Yeah, often you canactually do, I'd say, do half a length sprinting, but you're actually exaggerating that highcadence stroke, right, so you're doing it waymore than you would, but you're going over and above.
And if you can do that, then when you're doing high cadence, but not exaggerated, it feels more normal.
– So bring on those windmill arms.
– Yeah, exactly.
Okay, so my next tipis bilateral breathing, which basically means beingable to breath to both sides.
And when I was a swimmer, I actually only breathed to the right hand side becauseI was a lot faster like that.
And when I moved intotriathlon, I actually found I had a lot ofissues and some injuries from bike and run becauseI was so imbalanced from only rotating to that direction.
So, in that respect, I would definitely say you should bilaterally breathe, but also in open water, you need to see what is goingon on both sides of you.
So yeah, I'd definitelysay get in the pool and breathe to both sides.
– So when you're swimmingin the open water, if someone approachedon your left hand side, do you switch and startbreathing so you can see them? – Yeah, definitely, obviously, I've had to work onbreathing that way, as well, because I'm much more efficientbreathing to the right.
But obviously, if you say, there's someone coming up on your left andyou don't look that way, you're not gonna know they're there, you're not gonna makeuse of drafting from them or anything like that.
So yeah, you want to knowwhat's going on on either side.
– So how have you helped to improve that breathing in your training? – So I'm swimming the warmup or swimming slowly, I'll make sure I'm bilateral breathing, or even make sure I'm actually breathing to the weaker side, so I'mgetting stronger that way.
But I still tend to revert back to breathing to the other side.
– [Mark Threlfall] BecauseI guess it's quite hard to implement it in the middle of a hard session becauseyou're trying to work really hard, you're gonna opt for your preferred option though, aren't you? – Yeah, definitely, and I'vegot that competitive nature, as well, that if I'm getting left behind on a set with these faster swimmers because I'm breathing to my weaker side, then I'm gonna revert back to breathing on my stronger side.
– So start on the easy parts, the warm downs, therecoveries, that's the good.
– Yeah, for my self, I would almost call it lack of rehab because I'm strengthening the other side by breathing the other way, so whenever it's easy stuff, I definitely make sure I'm bilateral breathing.
Okay, so my next tip is speed work, and you may think this sounds pretty crazy because the distance I'mdoing is an Iron Man, and it's very much endurance, but I definitely wouldn'tneglect the speed work, you want to make sure you'vegot that initial speed to break out at the start, and then if somebody's gonna surge in the swim, you want to make sure you've got that speed to be able to react.
– [Mark Threlfall] So what sort of session would you do in a week? – So my key session wouldbe something like 30 50s.
So I would do that nearly every week and really working on thespeed and breaking out.
– Are they all out maximum efforts? – So they're vary from 25 maxto three quarters of the way to a whole 50 max, so you've got three and then you're building your way through.
– So there you go, there's some top tips to swim faster with LucyCharles, thanks for joining us.
– Thank you very much.
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