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Mindset Tips for the Advanced swimmer

could you improve your mental game?

You are a strong swimmer, probably exiting the water in the top-10% in most races that you participate in. That's great. But can over-confidence sometimes hold you back? Often the mindset and desire of a great swimmer is to try and really push themselves and excel in the swim portion of the event, only to then realize that a) this discipline only accounts for 10-20% of the entire race, and b) that they are now substantially fatigued for the longest discipline, the bike.

If this is you, here are our simple tips to make the most out of your strongest discipline without jeopardizing the whole of your race:

uber swimmer
You're good, but be realistic, are you an über-swimmer?

1. Tame The Need To Swim At 110%. Realize and have confidence in your own ability but don't seek the need to display this to others at every opportunity. In fact your close friends will be more impressed with how much you have improved on the bike and run than whether you got another top-10 swim exit and then died on the rest of the race.

2. Use The Drafting Advantage. Unless you are an über-swimmer, it is very unlikely that you would make much impact on the race by trying to sprint off the front of the swim. There are literally only a handful of people in the world who can do this. It would also be very energy-consuming to do so. It has been shown that you can conserve between 18 and 25% of your energy expenditure simply by developing good drafting technique off a fellow swimmer (both behind and slightly offset to the side) .

Know this and realise that if you hone your drafting skills you can still exit where you would do normally but with a much lower level of physical exertion. In fact, it is surprising just how good some of the world's best triathletes are at this skill, swimmers who you would not rate at all in a solo event in the pool exiting alongside the world's premier speed demons every time.

strong swimmer
Use variety in your training to keep things interesting.

Drafting is 100% legal in the swim, use this to your advantage and do not underestimate its value!

3. Still Get In The Pool And Train! Alongside the desire to smash every swim leg, the advanced swimmer can often be lazy when it comes to swim practise and lack motivation.

You've probably been swim training since the dawn of time and as such you need a much different style of swim session to spice up your training than most other swimmers. Add some new drills and techniques into your swim workouts that you may have never tried before.

When it comes to technique training, don't think of this purely as stroke correction work but try to incorporate a whole range of different activities such as drafting, sighting, open water turning, pace awareness, stroke rate development and 2/4/6 beat leg kick development. A variety of activities will keep you fresh and motivated.

Check out our sister article for advanced swimmers - You Can Always Be Faster.

Return to the Advanced Swimmers Homepage for more hints, tips and techniques.


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