6 Ways to Train Smarter This Year

Olivier Poirier-Leroy is a former national level swimmer based out of Victoria, BC. In feeding his passion for swimming, he has developed YourSwimBook, a powerful log book and goal setting guide made specifically for swimmers. Sign up for the YourSwimBook newsletter (free) and get weekly motivational tips by clicking here.

No matter how this season went for you, regardless of whether championship season went the way you hoped it would last fall, the onset of a fresh season is creeping upon us, soon to give you a clean slate to start your swimming anew.

Make this the year that you train smarter and better with these 6 tips:

1. Set daily and weekly goals.

Having our big, season-long goals are great, and they provide us with the general guidance that is necessary to keep us pointed in the correct direction, but it is the steady accumulation of achieving the daily wins that will get us there.

Start setting goals for your week and for your workouts.Not only will doing so keep you engaged in your workout by keeping you task-oriented, but the confidence of knocking down those small goals will accumulate into some serious self-confidence over the long term.

2. Make this the year that you conquer that weakness.

Oh, you know what I’m talking about. Okay, maybe you don’t. Most swimmers have that Achilles heel, that one part of their race or training that they avoid, that they feel they will never be good at, that there is no use working because it will never be that good.

Make this the year that you turn it into a strength.

No, it won’t improve magically overnight. But decide to stalk and out-stubborn your weakness, and continually hit it until gradually that gaping weakness fills in.

3. Take your foot off the gas.

Going fast is great. Going fast is exhilarating. Going fast is just flat out fun. Balance that super swiftness with some slow, focus-based swimming where you are noticing your hand placement, your feel for the water, and any leaks in torque. It’s hard to keep track all of this stuff when we are driving through the water with all of our might, so nail the details when you’re going deliberately slow and ramp up the speed from there.

4. Break down why you swim the way you do.

Ever have those workouts that are absolutely out-of-control awesome? Where you swim so fast, so effortlessly, but can’t exactly pinpoint why? Conversely, do you have those workouts where you feel like you did everything right, but the results just weren’t there? In both circumstances it is frustrating to not be able to pinpoint the source.

Tracking and measuring your performance in the pool, as well as your diet, stress levels and rest schedule outside of the water can give you the necessary insight to have more of those grade-A practices, and less of the stinky ones.

5. Seek out the eagles.

Take a look at the swimmers and people who surround yourself. Do they share the same ambitions and goals as you? Are they generally positive and optimistic?

Although we all like to believe in the completely self-made man/woman, our success depends not only on our talents and attitude, but also on the people we surround ourselves with. When we have other swimmers who are actively engaged in chasing excellence in our circle, it is easier for us to make the tough choices (“Should I skip morning workout to go out tonight?”) while also giving you a reassuring jolt of self-belief (“If they can do it, why not me?”).

6. Share your goals.

In the same vein as the previous post, there are people in your life that are vested in your success. Your parents. Your coach. Your teammates/friends. Let them know what your goals are for the year, so that you can get their support and guidance.

Sharing your goals with your coach and parents will keep you accountable, which can be just what the doctor ordered on those cold winter mornings where the absolute last thing you want to do in the world is leave your bed.

About YourSwimBook

YourSwimBook is a log book and goal setting guide designed specifically for competitive swimmers. It includes a ten month log book, comprehensive goal setting section, monthly evaluations to be filled out with your coach, and more. Learn 8 more reasons why this tool kicks butt.

Join the YourSwimBook weekly newsletter group and get motivational tips and more straight to your inbox. Sign up for free here.


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About Olivier Poirier-Leroy

Olivier Poirier-Leroy

Olivier Poirier-Leroy has been involved in competitive swimming for most of his life. Starting off at the age of 6 he was thrown in the water at the local pool for swim lessons and since then has never wanted to get out. A nationally top ranked age grouper as both a …

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