In our previous post all about SWOLF we descibe what this metric is and why you should use it for tracking swim performance. Building on this explanation of SWOLF we wanted to help you improve with the 3 Best Ways to Improve Your SWOLF score.
I am a swimmer who came to the sport late. Principally swimming to support triathlon competition but also for open water endurance events. Through the past couple of decades I have competed in triathlon open water swimming and raced in swim distances up to 10km. Swimming efficiently has been a huge part of my training.
What is SWOLF
For those who haven’t read our previous post SWOLF is an abbreviation for SWim gOLF. A metric that measures the time and amount of strokes you take to complete set distances. This can be in open water or in the pool. It can be captured using a number of watches that will detect your swim stroke count and timing. Providing a continuous SWOLF score and average upon completion.
There are a number of ways to improve your SWOLF but here are my Top 3.
Maximise the efficiency of your stroke
A key element of the SWOLF score is the number of strokes taken per lap. To reduce your SWOLF you should maximise the effectiveness of each stroke you take. This means for every arm stroke achieve the maximum pull through the water. Seek to reach out when entering the water to extend your reach. When pulling your arm through the water ensure you continue the stroke all the way to your bum. Your hand should brush your bum as you reach the end of the stroke. This ensures for every stroke counted you have achieved the longest pull through the water. Propelling you forwards with as much efficiency as possible.
Strengthen your core
Having a strong core, or middle gives you a more flat body position and better rotation. You need to work on this out of the pool. Check out our core strength training post with a free 10 minute workout. It has been designed with triathletes in mind but is perfect for swimmers. By having a strong core you elevate your legs reducing drag. Dragging feet act as an anchor and slow your movement. A strong core also helps with rotation that helps you engage your shoulders more to unlock their power.
Don’t ignore your kick
SWOLF measures your arm stroke count against time. If you can swim faster you reduce the time taken and improve your score. Having a lazy kick will slow you down. I personally use a light kick in my swimming so this does not have to mean you powering along like a motor boat. Although if you want to develop this swimming with a float and legs only is a great exercise. If you simply focus on keeping your legs together and no swinging out you have a more aerodynamic position. Small light kicks with streamlined position means you reduce your drag, move quicker and cut down on time.
If you are struggling for time for your swim read why I think lunchtime could be the perfect time to train. Read my 7 Reasons why you must add lunchtime swims to your training.