We’re not all able to reach Olympic level in terms of achievement, but our fitness and technique can be up there with the best using an Olympian training ethic. Potential world beating Olympic swimmers need to look at a few key parts of their training.
Time to Swim!
Whilst it’s most definately obvious information and we don’t like to patronise, you will be spending most of your Olympic swimming training time in the pool. A great time to look at Swim Spas or Swimming Spas! Every part of your swimming style will be tweaked, including strokes themselves, and the turns and starts which are critical in competition. You can find help at specialist centres that have the latest digital video technology, where your form will be recorded, analyzed and improved upon. A lot of miles can be covered in the pool too – 10+ a day in many cases.
Weight Training for Swimmers
Weights regimes should concentrate on building strength and stamina rather than size. Swimmers need the right amount of strength to pull them through the water with ease, whilst retaining flexibility – too much muscle mass can hinder mobility. You will be performing plenty of fast, repetitive actions with your legs and arms too, which means that stamina is also absolutely key. You should take a look at exercises with medium to heavier weight, which encourage your body (and paticularly your arms) to improve range of motion. It’s also important to build core strength.
Good recovery is crucial, giving your muscles time to repair and strengthen, and can be sped up with a little help. A firm massage, the likes of which would scare off your average day spa visitor, can really be excellent. Muscle pain and swelling can be greatly reduced by using ice water baths, which sounds nasty but really works. Some variation should certainly be introduced in your recovery methods, as relying too heavily on one technique will reduce it’s ability to cut recovery times.
Mental Attitude Training
For Olympic athletes, it’s also vitally important to prepare the mind as much as the body. There’s also a massive amount of pressure from press, fans and interviews, not to mention the actual competition itself. Find techniques which help focus your mind and block out distractions. There are an infinite number of ways to increase focus, it’s all down to you and to find what works.
Nutrition is vital for every Olympic athlete but even more so for swimmers. Fast paced swimming burns roughly 500 calories an hour, and with swimmers covering many miles per week, nutrition is highly critical. Strength and stamina is the focus, with lots of carbohydrates and protein supplements the order of the day. A daily intake of 12,000 calories is about right for a male Olympic swimmer, nearly six times the male average.