• Training

5 reasons you're not seeing results in your training (and how to turn this around)

If you’ve hit a plateau in your training, it’s likely you’re making one of these five common mistakes. The good news is that with a little tweaking, you’ll be able to get the results you’re after.

Have you hit a plateau in your swim training?

Training the hardest you ever have, but not seeing results?

Don’t stress, you’re not alone, it happens to all of us, even the elite athletes.

There are plenty of factors why you might not be seeing results in your training, ranging from lack of recovery to over-training.

Here are five reasons why you’re not seeing results in your swim training.

1. Lack of sleep and recovery

Sleep is the most underrated part of recovery in everybody’s recovery plan.

Not getting enough sleep can inhabit your exercise performance, this is because in a sleep-deprived state, your body is running on lower energy stores and under stress, meaning you can’t give your swim sessions everything you have, causing your training results to plateau.

Lack of sleep also increases your risk of getting sick and injured which will also set you back in seeing results in your training.

2. Not training enough, then too much

We’ve all been there, we have an upcoming ocean swim but haven’t been doing enough training. To make up for it, we decide to ramp it up and go from minimal training to training every day.

It’s highly likely that in this scenario you’ll see little improvement in your swim fitness.

This is because you are not giving your body enough time to recover and become stronger and fitter in the water.

If you feel as if you are not seeing results in your swimming and are training every day, pull back to only four swim sessions a week and you will see a huge improvement.

3. You need a coach

Your swimming training will improve immensely if you find yourself a coach and a squad to train with.

Swimming by yourself or following an online program can be easy and convenient but after a period of time, you will see your training plateau. It’s at this point in time you need to find a swim coach.

Finding a swim coach will improve your technique, which will improve your training skills, and coaches can also help push you outside of your comfort zone and challenge you during training sessions which will lead you to see a huge improvement in your swim training.

The added bonus to finding a swim coach and squad is you’ll find like-minded people who love swimming just as much as you.

4. You have poor nutrition habits

Not fueling your body with the right food and nutrients of protein, carbohydrates and fats can almost bring your training to a standstill.

It can be easy to get caught up with the busyness of everyday life leading us to call-in Uber Eats or opt for takeaways because it’s the easy option, but those foods can be full of too many fats and carbohydrates leaving us feeling tired, sluggish and unenergised.

This low-energy state transfers over to our training leaving us unable to push our bodies to swim at optimal levels during our swim sessions.

Hot Tip: If you have a busy week ahead, plan out your meals and meal prep your lunches on Sunday before the week starts to help fill your body with nutrients to help fuel your swim training during the week.

5. You aren’t pushing yourself enough

While you shouldn’t be completely shattered after a swim session or be tired enough to head back to bed, you should feel exhausted.

If you’re leaving your swim session feeling as fresh as a daisy or like you could do it all over again, that’s a good sign that you didn’t push yourself enough during the session. This will lead to you not seeing any improvements in your swim training.

At times during your swim sessions, try to equal or beat your times from your previous sessions to push your body and see improvements in your training.

Hot Tip: If you are swimming alone and struggle to push yourself, it’s time to look for a swim squad (see Tip #3) or find a group of friends to swim with to help push each other during the session.

  • Written by Ocean Swims on 14 February 2023
  • (Updated on 3 August 2023)

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