Three Simple Steps To Faster Swimming

We all want to swim fast.

Let’s be honest, at the core of your triathlon quest (and your swim quest) is the goal of getting quicker.

But Rory, “I’m just here to have fun.. and for the community.”

I call BULL!

If I offered you a legal “magic pill” that made you a little faster when you woke up tomorrow, you’d take it. You’d love the speed, it would make everything more fun.

You know it would.

Here’s A Promise

Whatever your version of fast looks like, you that you can have it.

But like most things in life, it won’t come for free.

This Is How I Know

I’ve spent nearly 14 years working on pool decks around the world. I have helped athletes of all shapes, sizes, ages and motivations… I’m yet to meet anyone who isn’t capable of their own version of fast, efficient swimming.

And yet, not all of them have achieved their potential.

There is a reason for that:

They Didn’t Pay The Mistress


Yes, that’s what I said; “They didn’t pay the mistress”.

Get your mind out of the gutter or wherever it is you’ve taken that statement.

Let Me Explain

The water is a wicked mistress.

 “A woman in a position of authority or control.”

The water is a woman. This is a fact. She is beautiful. She controls most of what you do with her. She can make your life and your swimming very difficult.

But if you treat her right… If you spend quality time with her… If you follow her rules she’ll reward you with fast times that feel easy.

Disrespect her and you’ll pay with pain and frustration.

“Pay Your Dues”
 “To earn the right to have something because you worked hard.”

Nothing in the water is given, nothing. It’s earned.

We are land based animals and we do not swim instinctively.

The ability to move through the water (which we call “swimming”) is a skill. Like any skill it must be learned and mastered.

You must earn the right to have speed in the water. You pay for your efficiency and the ability to move through the water effortlessly.

If you want to swim well, you must pay your dues. It’s as simple as this:

You Must Pay The Mistress.

Start Right Now

Here are three ways you can start paying right now.

1. Schedule Your Swims.

Open your calendar, your diary or your phone right now and decide which days you will be swimming.

Write down the 3 days you will be swimming and the time of the day that you are going to the pool. Mark it as busy and important and don’t let “life” change that appointment.

If it’s not in your calendar, it’s not going to happen consistently. And you’re not going to get the results you’re looking for.

Pro tip;

– Try to swim on the same days and times each week. This makes it easy for you to follow the pattern and routine

– Some people are evening people and others are morning people. Whichever time works best for you will work best for you.

– Success rates are higher for people who commit to swimming in the morning. Because they get it out of the way first thing and then nothing can jeopardize it later in the day. Having said that, I have seen swimmers create success by training at lunch time or in the evenings.

If fast swimming is important enough, you make it fit your schedule.

2. Make Your Goal Effort And Consistency

With everything else going on in your life you won’t always be able to control exactly how you feel in the water. There are times when you will feel amazing and powerful. And other times when it will feel like you are swimming through syrup.

Regardless of how the water feels each day, commit to giving the same effort every time you get in the water.

You can control how you attack your workout. Give 100% of whatever you have to give.

If you can’t hit your goal times or your pace is off, do the best you can. Focus on giving your best effort today, the results will come from there.

3. Log your progress

I track the progress of all my swimmers. I write their times for every repeat in every session. It gets scribbled down in my book while we’re on the pool deck like this:

And then it gets emailed to them the next morning like this:

With their times logged we can look back and marvel at the progress that has been made.

If you don’t write it down, it’s tough to remember where you’ve come from. There’s a lot of satisfaction that comes from seeing your improvements.

Action Step Recap:

1. Schedule your swims

2. Make your goal effort and consistency

3. Log your progress

P.S.  What tactics do you use to help you stay consistent in paying the mistress??

I genuinely want to know. Comment and share below!

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4 thoughts on “Three Simple Steps To Faster Swimming”


    Wow. Your swimmers are already very fast.
    My version of fast is anything under 2:30/100y.
    I’ll definitely take that magic pill!

    1. Hey Olivia, great to hear from you!

      Did you download the Fundamentals of Triathlon Swimming Guide ( Read through that and start to incorporate the drills and advice, you will be swimming faster than 2.30/100 in no time with some consistency! I’d love to hear how you are progressing, so keep me updated.

      ~ Rory

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