The one speed wonder.
Q. I have been swimming with various training groups for a few years and I just don't get any faster. I have one speed and that's it. How can I get past this and make real gains.
A. We actually hear this quite a bit with new swimmers to our program. But before we get to the speed issue we'd need to discuss how much you've actually been swimming. To reach new levels of swimming fitness we recommend a minimum of three swims per week. And by swims we mean at least an hour. That means if you show up 10-minutes late, have to get out 10-minutes early for work and spend 10-minutes having the set explained to you - that is only 30-minutes of real swimming work. If this describes you, you may need to add a fourth swim to your weekly routine, at least during a swim focused block of training.
As for the one speed - it is typically because you are "survival swimming", going just fast enought o make the set intervals but no more. This may be beacuse the intervals are too fast for you or because you're concerned about making it through the full workout.
1. Try swimming a lane up or a lane down once in while. The different intervals will force you to change speed.
2. Don't be afraid to bonk. There is no shame in getting out early if you've given it all you've got. Take a nice long warm-down and go. Swim a lane down in the next workout and focus on your technique.
3. Do a swim meet - you won't beleive how much faster you will go when your entire race is only 50m or 100m. Do two or three events and you'll realize why people travel the world swimming just the 50m Freestyle. Sprinting is taxing. BUT it will force you to find that second speed you haven't been able to find in practice.
If you have a question for our Coaches Corner, send it to us at: POW Coaches Corner