Move to a slower lane to work on stroke improvement. If you belong to a masters team, don't feel that you always need to keep up with your lanemates at every workout. Masters teams typically have many people with many different swimming goals. It's important to do your own thing! Remember that technique comes before all else and if this means swallowing a little pride to make improvements, just think of how much faster you will be for this in the long run.
Keep Your Arm from Crossing Over
One of the most common bad habits I see in swimmers is the arm crossing over to the opposite side on the pull. Breathing on your left side results in your right arm crossing over, breathing on your left side results in your right arm crossing. Often this happens when one goes to breathe, but sometimes it's caused just from over-rotating. To avoid this, make sure your head isn't moving with the rest of your body, and try to pull more in a straight line (still bending the elbow) and ending the pull on the same side you started. (For example, right hand slices into the water, pulls back and hand ends up near right hip.)
Keep the Feel
If swimming is your toughest sport, it is important to keep the feel for the water, and get in the water at least every other day (no, showers and baths don't count!) This way, your body maintains its kinesthetic awareness of being balanced in water.
Work Those LungsMix in some hypoxic training sets into your workouts. For example, do a set of 4x100's breathing every 3-5-7-9 strokes by 25, with 15 seconds rest in between each 100. Your lungs will thank you for it towards the end of the swim part of your race!
Work Your Weakness
In the sport of triathlon, most coaches agree that you should spend the most time working on your weakest of the three sports. For many of you, this will be swimming. Within swimming, the same concept applies. Spend the most time working on the weakest part of your stroke. If balancing on your side is an issue, do some kicking drills on your side. If moving your head is a problem, focus on head position most of the time. Whatever it is, you will gain the most by spending your pool time improving on that weakness.
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