It’s a fairly obvious direct correlation that more swimming makes you a better swimmer. My basic rule of thumb has always been “twice a week to maintain, three+ to improve”. However it’s also a truism that more isn’t always better - and when we’re talking about training, more can mean injury, over-tiredness and reinforcing technique errors that will eventually become blockers. So what are the top tips for improvement, and how can the training camp help this process?
1. Prepare. At the club camp, we will have a swim session on every one of the six core training days, plus we will be getting into the sea on at least a couple of afternoons. That means between 9km and 15km+ of swimming is available in a week, which is probably a lot more than you’re used to. To get the benefit of this, I recommend planning a steady ramp in your swim volumes in the weeks leading up to the camp, meaning that two weeks before you should be in the pool three or four times, to ensure that you can handle the increased load. Remember to arrive at the camp fresh though - taper for those last few days before the flight!
2. Swim smart. We will make sure that everyone attending the camp knows their Critical Swim Speed before they arrive - a pace around which your training will be based. This pace is key to handling the volume and intensity of swimming that we will be doing in the week and keeping in check the energy and enthusiasm that we always see when people first arrive. It’s not how you start the week that counts, it’s how you finish!
3. Skills for the win. The fantastic part of such dedicated time to train is the focus we can put on skills. We will be videoing everyone both under and above the water and providing detailed feedback on how to tune your stroke, tracking that improvement across the week and giving you your video to take back with you, plus we will feed our key recommendations and videos back to the rest of the BriTri coaching team, meaning that your progress will continue under their expert eyes once you’re back at Wadurs! I guarantee that everyone coming will leave with guidance on stroke improvement that will translate into speed and efficiency in the water, and most will experience a measurable improvement in CSS in the process. Your best swim split awaits...
4. Recover. When all is said and done, it’s more important to swim well than to just turn up. Everyone on the camp should feel good about having a lie in and missing a swim if fatigue starts to become a serious issue. There will be so much on offer on our week in the sun that most people will struggle to do everything. Rest is as important as the training itself - welcome to the life of the professional athlete!