Swimming in the sea is tough and requires a few different skill sets compared to pool swimming. Here are my four ways to improve your surf swim.
Even though the majority of your surf swim racing is done freestyle, make sure you add backstroke, butterfly and breast stroke into your training programme. Developing all-round strength, capability and comfort in the water is key to a strong and confident open water swim.
Race The Clock
At the end of a swim session, set yourself a target time for a 100m sprint. Don’t go home until you match or beat that target. This will improve your ability to catch that wave home when your lungs, arms and legs are busted.
During your warm up swims before the main set, focus on just one aspect of your stroke at a time. Efficient swimming requires attention to detail and a good feel for the water as well as the movement of your own body through the water.
Kick The Gadgets
Make sure the majority of your swim sets don’t include paddles, kicking boards, flippers, pull buoys or any other gadget. Swimming with gadgets for too long a time interferes with your stroke and impedes your own natural rhythm in the water.
Originally published in the March/April 2013 issue.