I wasn’t always just the gym guy for swimmers but actually a swimmer myself. I swam the 200 breaststroke and was at one point the 6th fastest in Australia. However, my swimming days were ended early by a series of recurring and unshakable injuries. There were a few factors to this and a lot of them were my own fault. Although at the time the factors that put me out of the game were the very factors I thought were my greatest strengths.
Do I regret it? No, well not anymore. I’m a full believer that everything happens for a reason and without those experiences, I wouldn’t be here writing this to you all now. Looking back would I have done it any other way? Yes and guess what I did. Roughly 7 months ago I got back into the water and until 4 weeks ago when I had an unfortunate accident on my bike on the way to work, I was swimming faster than ever and without pain. I contributed a lot to the success I was having with these 5 things.
1. Listening to your body. There's a fine line between knowing when your body is telling you to stop and just being over cautious but you need to be able to understand when your body is telling you it's had enough. Don’t tear your MCL and continue on. Even if you are hitting your pace, stroke count and rating and you don’t want to stop. Instead, listen to your body and don’t spend the next 12 weeks unable to do breaststroke kicks….
2. Effort is great, execution is better. Max is max but max effort without execution is a whole lot of effort for what could be the wrong result. Learn to focus your effort on producing the fastest swims possible rather than smashing yourself for the sake of it.
3. If something works, don’t mess with it. We are always searching for the extra 1% but make sure if you are changing something you are taking an unbiased approach and actually reflecting on the outcomes. Otherwise, you might end up getting rid of the thing that worked for you.
4. You can’t out train bad recovery Recovery is key. NO MATTER how hard you train if you can’t recover from it you will not improve. So, focus on finding better ways to sleep, eat, hydrate and get yourself back to training in the best condition possible. That way when you get to training you're able to perform at a high level consistently. 5. The team around you is key The group around you will either give you energy or take it from you. Make sure you're giving more energy than you're taking and watch the entire group improve. Ryan Evernden Head Coach & Swimmer Formidable Strength and Conditioning