1) FOCUS ON THE DETAILS
During training, always visualise skills such as turns and finishes- this is the crucial difference that determines whether you set quicker lap times during your weekly swim, as well as the fine line between first and second in a race.
In addition, I found that simply performing 6 underwater fly kicks off each wall while warming up gives me an added boost, allowing me to set a good momentum right from the get-go.
2) PROPERLY WARM DOWN
At the end of each swim, remember to do a few slow laps to flush out the lactic acid that has built up through your exertions.
You should also take some time when you're out of the pool to stretch out tighter muscle groups (such as shoulders and hip flexors) with some dynamic stretches, as these tend to stiffen up over the course of a session.
3) EAT TO RECOVER
After every workout, consume a light snack within 30 minutes of getting out of the water (nuts, fruits etc.).
This will help jumpstart your recovery and ensure you're ready to go by your next training session, whether it is later in the day or the following morning.
4) REST PROPERLY
Recovery is essential to your swimming performance and for your well-being in general.
During deep sleep, your body will begin to repair itself- which is why if you don't get enough hours in, you're missing out on crucial recovery time which translates to poorer performances both in and out of the pool.
5) SET ACHIEVABLE GOALS!
Instead of chasing your dream of “one day” becoming Olympic champion or going below a certain lap time, break the process down into smaller, more tangible goals. This will keep you inspired and motivated during every training session to work harder
ABOUT THE AUTHOR
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A student at German Swiss International School, Julian has been swimming with Harry Wright International since the age of 3.
What started as learning a life-saving skill then became a passion at 11, with Chow now having aspirations of representing Hong Kong at international competitions in the near future.
The 15-year-old's best achievement to date is a Bronze medal (200m breaststroke at the Queensland Age Group Championships in 2016 and singles out fellow breaststroke specialist Adam Peaty as his favourite swimmer.