Not Sure How to Swim Long Distance?
A is for: Arm Entry
Above all, endurance swimming requires mental strength. But don’t assume that outstanding technique shouldn’t be a concern on a mile-long swim. You might be surprised to learn that details as minute as hand positioning and body rotation can mean the difference between a completed goal and frantically floundering toward shore. In order to swim long distances successfully, you must train your body to extract every ounce of power from every stroke in order to avoid fatigue. Early vertical forearm (EVF) entry will position your hand, arm, and shoulder in an ideal spot for maximizing distance per stroke. Practice by dragging your fingertips across the surface of the water as you recover. Or, lightly slide your thumb upward along your outer thigh, hip, and ribcage to encourage a high elbow. This technique maintains forearm and hand positioning, keeps your elbow high, and requires you to reach and rotate from the hips.
B is for: Bilateral Breathing (and Body Rotation!)
If you’ve tried to swim any distance and only managed to breathe on one side, you surely felt the consequences later that day. Breathing to both sides guards against neck cricks and maintains a balanced muscle distribution throughout the body. Not only will bilateral breathing keep your neck and shoulders from cramping, it will also help actualize improved body rotation. Body rotation takes the stress out of the neck and shoulders and allows the hips and core to facilitate a more efficient stroke.
C is for: Consistency
Remember that long distance swimming isn’t a race (unless it is a race). It’s a steady-paced, rhythmic workout. Consistency in form, tempo, and practice is the key to swimming long distances successfully. A steady rhythm, assisted by a waterproof mp3 player or metronome, helps convert the tiring effort into effortless speed. Find a pace that agrees with your body and choose songs with complementary rhythms.