Okay, so you want to know how to build endurance for swimming, but you’re feeling a little lazy as of late. That’s okay! You don’t have to be Ryan Lochte or Missy Franklin to increase your swimming endurance. You can build up bit by bit and enjoy yourself while doing it. After all, increasing swimming endurance isn’t just about what you do in the pool!
One of the reasons Olympic swimmers can glide through the water the way they do is because they eat like trucker drivers. (Okay, maybe they aren’t eating steak every day, but you get the idea.)
Swimmers fill up on carbs and other foods that give them plenty of energy and take forever to digest. Think pasta, whole grains such as oatmeal, brown rice, and quinoa, and other complex carbs. Oatmeal is particularly awesome as it takes soooo looong to digest. Eat a filling meal about 30 minutes before you get in the pool so you’ll have plenty of fuel to burn off and won’t feel like you’re dying a few laps in.
Another way to ensure you have plenty of energy before every pool-tastic workout is to drink a whole lot of water. Shoot for at least four large glasses before you dive in and remember to bring a canteen of this oh-so-essential liquid with you so you don’t get dehydrated while you train.
Food and water…pretty easy so far, right?
It’s a good idea to set a goal and a time frame before you start so you have something to work for. Start small and go from there. You can always change your goal as you go along–the point is to make goals attainable. It’s easier to up the proverbial ante once you’ve reached your first goal, and it puts a lot less pressure on yourself.
Now it’s time to get in that pool. Warm up first, which can include some stretches before getting in the water. Get your body loose by swimming about 45 meters, or 50 yards. Try swimming another 45 meters, only this time use a kicking motion. Finally, swim another 45 meters, but perform some type of fun swimming drill you enjoy. All of this is going to help increase your stamina.
Now that you’re warmed up, try attempting the following:
1. Swim 300 meters in three sets of 100. Don’t worry about swimming super fast, and give yourself a 10 to 15-second break in between each set. If you’re feeling particularly ambitious, time yourself using a stopwatch.
2. Swim another 300 meters, only this time break it down into two sets of 150 with a 20-second break in between. Try to increase your speed as you barrel through the second set.
3. Swim a final 300 meters at a slower pace, but avoid stopping if at all possible. If you feel like you’re going to pass out, take 5 to 10-second breaks.
Remember, these are just recommendations. Feel free to tailor them to meet your needs. Once you’ve accomplished your goal, you can move on to more advanced swimming endurance exercises. Happy swimming!