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Smart Swimmers Do These 7 Things Consistently

When it comes to swimming, some individuals seem to have a natural gift. But over time, I've noticed that these gifted swimmers consistently engage in certain practices that contribute to their success. If you aspire to be a smart swimmer and enhance your performance in the water, here are seven things to consider incorporating into your routine having watched dozens of swimmers’ habits over the years. Smart swimmers tend to do the following consistently:

*They swim at least 2 times a week: Gifted swimmers understand the importance of consistency. Rather than swimming only a few months out of the year, they make swimming a regular part of their weekly training. By committing to at least two swim sessions a week, they build endurance, improve technique, and develop the necessary muscle memory to excel in the water.

*They swim a variety of strokes: Smart swimmers don't limit themselves to freestyle only. They embrace the Individual Medley (IM) approach, which involves swimming all four strokes- fly, back, breast, and free. By incorporating different strokes into their training, they engage more muscle groups, enhance overall strength and flexibility, and become well-rounded swimmers.

*They vary their speeds and do interval training: Long, slow swims may build endurance, but to become faster, smart swimmers know the importance of interval training. By incorporating varying speeds, from easy recovery laps to intense sprints, they challenge their bodies and stimulate performance improvements. Interval training helps increase speed, stamina, and muscular endurance in the water.

*They swim with a Masters group: The fastest swimmers often train alongside other skilled athletes in a Masters group. Swimming with a competitive group, guided by a coach pacing up and down the pool deck, provides valuable motivation, structured workouts, and expert feedback. The supportive and challenging environment of a Masters group helps smart swimmers push their limits and achieve new heights in their performance.

*They swim all year round, not just during triathlon season: Smart swimmers don't limit their swimming to the triathlon season. They recognize that consistent practice throughout the year is essential for maintaining and improving their skills. By swimming regularly from January to December, they keep their technique sharp and their fitness levels high, giving them a competitive edge.

*They do dry land strength training: Enhancing swimming performance goes beyond the pool. Smart swimmers understand the importance of dry land strength training. By incorporating exercises specifically designed to target swimming-related muscles and improve overall strength and power, they complement their pool sessions and develop a well-rounded athletic foundation. My YouTube Channel can provide access to a variety of effective dry land swim workouts so I recommend you check it out!

*They do a swim stroke analysis: One of the game-changing practices for smart swimmers is undergoing a swim stroke analysis. By working with a swim coach who can observe and analyze their technique, swimmers can receive valuable feedback and insights into areas for improvement. Identifying and addressing stroke deficiencies can lead to significant enhancements in efficiency, speed, and overall performance in the water. One of the very first things I did when I decided to get into triathlon was to take a few lessons from the high school swim coach.


To become a smart swimmer and unlock your full potential in the water, adopting these consistent practices can make a significant difference. From maintaining a regular swimming schedule and incorporating a variety of strokes to embracing interval training and seeking expert guidance through a Masters group or swim coach, these habits will help you enhance your swimming skills, build endurance, and help you become a more efficient and faster swimmer. Remember, consistency and a commitment to continuous improvement are key to success in the pool. Dive in and embrace these practices.

Have you thought about hiring a coach for your next endurance event? Click the purple button below to set up a FREE 15 min call with me to talk about your goals.

Want to become a better more efficient runner? Let me do your Run Gait Analysis. All I need are a few videos of you at the track! Don’t live near me? That’s ok, I can do it remotely! Click the purple button below and we can get started!

Mary Timoney

Ironman University Certified Coach

USA Cycling Coach

ACSM Trainer


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