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Four Tips for Winter Swim Training

By Kym Zest, YWCA Swim Instructor and Masters Swim Coach
February 20, 2019
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While winter training for biking and running can get dull (oh that dreadmill!), the pool is a perfect place to splash away the winter “blah.” Get a head start on your swimming training now to increase your overall endurance and build confidence once open water season is upon us. Check out these tips for getting started from coach and swimming instructor, Kym Zest.

1. Check the pool schedule.

You’ll enjoy your time so much more if you know if it’ll be dead quiet or if there will be classes and lessons going on.

2. Work on technique.

Without the distractions of waves and sun and kids and ducks… the pool is the optimal place to learn and improve technique. Doing frequent 10- to 15-minute mindful practices will go a long way to building skill and confidence. Work on only one focus point at a time for short distances. One length or even half a length of the pool at a time is optimal for improving technique.

3. Build endurance before speed.

Don’t just spin your wheels. Start by swimming as slowly and comfortably as you can. Take it one pool length at a time. You may find that you go just as fast when you try to go slow, but with less effort. Then build up to being able to do two to four times your race distance.

4. Open water prep in the pool.

May is a good time to start preparing for lake swimming in the pool. You can practice the skill of sighting (peaking above the water), changing strokes mid-pool length or changing the frequency or side that you breathe on. If you have the pool lane to yourself you can do a “blind” swim where you take your goggles off or just close your eyes and swim slowly.  Most likely you’ll run into a lane line before you get to the other wall. With practice, you’ll learn which side you lean to and learn to swim a little straighter.

You have many resources to help you with these tips. These three YWCA services are available for members and nonmembers: Swim Lessons, Triathlon Swim Prep Classes and Masters Swim.