With Ironman Lake Placid in the books for many of the Excel Swimmers who raced this past Sunday, we wanted to congratulate everyone who competed! Coach's Keith and Kevin tracked everyone throughout the day, and we both really enjoyed not only seeing some fast results, but some monster time drops from previous years.
One question we always get throughout the year is "how do I improve my swimming for my triathlon races, and how long will this process take?" So, we thought it would be appropriate to briefly list out what the Excel swimmer's did this past year in order to improve from 1 year to the next......
1) Consistency-this was a key factor for all of the athletes that competed and improved. Many swimmers not only trained at St. Rose during the Winter/Spring, but they also found time to put some miles in the pool on their own week after week. As the old saying goes, practice makes perfect.....
2) Applying what they learned-each practice had various focal points, whether they were training at pace, stroke changes, pushing yourself to the unknown, or a combination. Regardless, the most successful athletes of any sport are able to take feedback from coaches, and consciously apply it on a day to day basis.
3) Tracked improvement-this past Winter, Excel began using pace cards to help our athletes track their paces and improvement on a week to week basis. This created an atmosphere of accountability for both the coaches and swimmers, and made weekly and monthly improvements more evident. Any athlete who can track their results is setting themselves up for success.
4) Time-this is the most controversial one on the list. As far as we know, there is no magic pill, stroke change, or practice that will all of sudden create massive time drops for a swimmer. Stroke changes help. Training smart and fast helps. Finding a positive environment with others like yourself with the same goals helps. But improvements in the sport of swimming still take time. Many of the athletes who raced on Sunday started their journey more than a year ago, and have been training ever since.
With many triathletes looking towards 2017 already (with a new Lake Placid half being announced for September of next year....), we encourage everyone to take a look at the list, and see what you are doing well, and where you can improve. Its NEVER too late to start making changes, and prepare for success in your next race or season!