Many multi-sport athletes spend countless hours in the pool a year staring at a black line. With the intent on yardage rather than quality, many of these athletes seem to never get any faster in the water. Why is this?
Although swimming yardage will generally improve your swim endurance, it may not necessarily improve your swim speed. Compared to the other sports of running and cycling, swimming is a much more "form" oriented sport. To excel at swimming, not only must you spend time in the water, but you must have a specific focus for each workout.
This may mean on Monday doing 10 x 100 with :30 rest focusing on a tempo effort throughout the swim. And, on Thursday, this may mean emphasizing drilling and technique in the main set of Thursday's swim.
Drills, performed correctly, are the swimmer's best friend. Technique is so key in swimming that "drilling" must be performed year round to excel at swimming. There are many different types of swim drills that each focus on specific parts of the stroke. Find your weakness and find a drill that will help develop that weakness into a strength.
Check out this article for tips on how to improve your swim technique. For any questions or for any swim drills, feel free to email Jamie at firstname.lastname@example.org.