4 tips on how to swim long distance without getting tired

Every type of swimming challenge and goal you want to achieve has its own most common mistakes and techniques to achieve them. Very often this overarching goal is speed for those who compete. But there’s a lot of swimmers who focus on long-distance training and this requires slightly different technique.

That’s why today we’re going to look at this kind of training and give you four simple tips to swim long distance efficiently and without getting tired.


Don’t short your stroke

Long strokes are a crucial element of the efficient long distance swim. To achieve this while using front crawl you have to start with proper body position – flat and horizontal – this is necessary at all times and your movement shouldn’t compromise it as it minimizes the drag and using your every movement more efficiently.

Now that your body is properly positioned you can think about your arms pull – you need to reach as far forward as possible. When you’re pulling back – use maximum force while stretching opposite arm as far forward as possible and so on. These two things (stretching arms while your body stays flat and horizontal) are the basic mechanism that will propel you in the most efficient way. and that means more power preserved for your long distance swim. Short arm pulls give you less propulsion with higher energy consumption so don’t do it!

Learn how to breathe

Your muscles need oxygen. Your muscles while swimming need A LOT of oxygen. This is pure biology and you have to accept it and adapt to it if you want to see any success in long-distance swimming.

There are three basic rules that combined will help you breathe while swimming in a way that gives your body oxygen while it is not producing drag or distraction.

1. Keep your face in the water. We know it might be uncomfortable at the beginning but it is a must as you swimming with your head up your hips and legs will go deeper underwater and you will lose the body position we talked in the previous section.

2. Exhale under water. This is the most common mistake among beginner swimmers – they exhale and inhale quickly when they turn to breathe. This gives you little oxygen and holding your breath underwater doesn’t help you either. The proper way is to breathe in while turning and breath out with your head already in the water using your nose and mouth. That is another thing might seem uncomfortable and at the beginning, it will be, but that’s the way of getting as much oxygen while minimizing the time your face is out of the water and your head is up.

3. One-sided breathing. For long distance and any hard swimming session, the way to go is one-sided breathing pattern that gives you good rhythm and good flow of the oxygen. The thing to watch out for is a slight body imbalance you need to correct when breathing on one side only.

The sum of all these rules implemented means more oxygen and better rhythm while swimming and that means more power and efficiency in the water.

Eat right. Drink right.

Swimming is very taxing for our bodies as far as calories burned and need for fluids. You can read our articles on nutrition and water consumption for swimmers. The general rules are to eat whole grains, vegetables and plenty of lean protein while drinking A LOT of fluids during your training sessions and competitions. To produce the energy you need for long distance swimming you need to provide it to your body first!

Always remember to have a big bottle of water and few energy bars with you to snack between the sets. It’s really incredible how much calories we burn and how much we sweat during an intense swimming session!


Build your fitness gradually

Long distance swimming is a constant process and as in cycling and running you need to set your workout goals in a particular way so you can progress gradually. Attacking full 10k at the beginning can only end up with an injury or you losing all your motivation. That’s why you should build your sets by starting with 50 meters at a certain pace for 10 intervals and then move to 75 meters and 100 etc. This will build your fitness and endurance while you also improve your stroke technique and efficiency in the pool. That is the safe and much more satisfying way to get there as you will constantly see progress and will be able to finish your sets without having a nervous and physical breakdown! :)


Swimmo can help you get there!

In our years of conversations with long-distance swimmers, the simple things like lap counting and keeping a steady pace (not starting too fast) is just as important as post-training analysis and constant control over the progress they’ve made already. Swimmo training watch for swimmers can help with all of those things and much much more resulting in healthier and more effective training sessions that will result in you being able to do longer distances and better pace without getting completely exhausted.


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