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5 ways to swim faster this summer

Are you wanting to swim faster this ocean swimming season? Here are our top five tips to take your speed to the next level.

Are you wanting to swim faster this summer? Maybe you want to beat a time from last season or a mate in an ocean swim, or perhaps just the personal joy of swimming quicker is enough of a win.

Whatever your reason is for wanting to swim faster this season we have you covered.

A lot of the time, swimming faster doesn’t necessarily mean training harder. It means improving the little things, like your stroke and technique, and modifying your training routine.

Here are our top tips to help you on your way to swimming faster this ocean swimming season with links to some handy advice from ocean swimming experts, OceanFit.

1. Improve your kick

You don’t necessarily need to kick faster to swim faster. You just need to kick more frequently and more effectively.

Adding more kick into your regular swim sessions will help your kick stamina which will help you swim faster this ocean swim season.

When kicking, aim for nice floppy feet pointed like a ballerina, with your heels just breaking the surface of the water. If your feet are too far underwater you’ll create unnecessary drag which will make you swim slower.

Learn how to effectively kick in open water, in this article by OceanFit.

2. Check your head position

When swimming in both the ocean and the pool your head position is important. If your head is is up, your feet will sink, creating drag, which makes you swim slower and fatigue faster.

An easy way to swim faster this season is to pay attention to your head position. To do this, ensure your chin is on your chest, your eyes are looking down to the bottom of either the ocean or pool and your arms are almost scratching the side of your head.

By doing this you’ll automatically increase your speed and be flying through the water!

OceanFit is big on body position and head position, so check out their blogs and join one of their ocean swimming clinics to learn firsthand the best techniques for ocean swimming.

Ocean swimmer practising her head position

3. Add more sprints into your training

When participating in an ocean swim you don’t usually swim at the same speed the whole way. You include short bursts of increased pace throughout especially at the start and finish.

To swim faster this ocean swimming season you’ll want to include more sprints to your regular swim sessions. These sprints can be as long as 50m or as short as 15m and 25m. A good place to start is to sprint off the wall for a short distance and then relax to the end of the pool, repeating on the next length.

Swimming faster over a shorter distance will increase your short muscle fibers which then increases your overall speed while swimming.

Try out OceanFit’s free guided swim training programs for more ways to add sprints to your training.

4. Work on your technique

Technique play’s a big part in swimming fast. If you have poor technique you’ll find yourself swimming slower than other’s even if you’re swimming more.

When swimming you want to focus on your head position, breathing, and that you have a powerful catch-and-pull whilst maintaining a high elbow to propel you through the water. Ensure your hips are up and you’re kicking your legs continuously.

Focusing on your technique will make swimming easier and increase your speed through the water.

Check out OceanFit’s blog ‘5 Ocean Swimming Techniques That Will Give You The Edge’ for more ocean swimming techniques to add to your open water training.

Swimmers working on their technique in the pool before hitting the ocean

5. Focus on your nutrition

Nutrition is an important factor in swimming fast that many swimmers forget about.

To swim fast you need to fuel your body and the only way to fuel your body is through nutrition.

A good way to look at it is to think of your body as a car. If you put good fuel into your car, it’ll run well. But if you put the wrong fuel in, it won’t. The same goes for your body, if you put nutritious food (fuel) in, it’ll run well, and you’ll increase your overall swimming performance.

Nutritious food groups that can help you swim faster include protein and carbohydrates and of course don’t forget to hydrate and drink plenty of water.

Read OceanFit’s article on ‘Event Nutrition: What to Eat Pre, During & Post’ for tips to improve your nutrition for ocean swimming.

  • Written by Ocean Swims on 27 November 2021
  • (Updated on 4 August 2023)



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