Swimming is hard. Physically exhausting. In an Ironman triathlon, you have a 112-mile bike and a 2.4-mile swim. That should give you an idea of the difficulty. But don't mistake effort for mindless work. We have a narrow view of what swimming is and how to include it in our workouts. For most, it's lap after lap of drudgery. Maybe it's time to update our ideas on swimming as an open adventure, as a way to play Aquaman, even as a recovery tool.
Carry Some Weight
If you really want to improve your swimming, the best way is with short bursts of intense pool training. I would try to train with a 10- to 20-pound weight – carrying it over your head and sidestroking, placing it between your legs as you paddle backward with your arms, and holding it against your chest as you kick on your back across the pool (if you make it before sinking). It will help you move water with your arms and hands and legs, and create that resistance that makes an efficient swimmer.
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