Do you feel like there is never enough time in each week to fit in all the training you feel you need to?
The good news is that you don’t need hours in the pool to realize the benefits in your swim. Shorter, focused sessions can be productive.
The key word is focused however! Don’t just jump in the pool and swim.
Here are a few tips to help you get the most out of every session even if you are short on time.
1. Have a plan. Know what you are going to do before you jump in. Stay focused during the session and don’t alter your workout.
2. Workout format. If you stick to a standard workout format you will have less guesswork to do while in the pool. Think 20% each warm-up and drills, 40% main set followed by 20% cool down.
3. Work the important parts with the biggest rewards. Think the 80:20 rule. Always do some drills since technique will drive most reductions in time. Spend less time on kicking. It helps the swim for sure, helps loosen the legs after a long run and will improve endurance but the main idea in swimming is to kick as little as possible so don’t spend too much time on it. It is also more time consuming and will reduce the distance you can swim in a session.
4. Longer swims. If you don’t have a lot of time, a longer swim will increase the mileage you can fit in since intervals will take more time. Don’t just plod up and down however, focus on your technique and stroke count, vary the speed (every 4th length fast or build each 100m) or add breathing drills to vary the intensity and keep you working.
Don’t use a lack of time as an excuse. You can get benefit from a 20-30 minute swim if you approach it with a plan.