Rule No. 4: Swim. A lot.
When kids learn to swim, what do they do? They swim a lot. Byrn suggests athletes take one week (two if you’re more advanced) and swim every day—you might be surprised at how much you improve with frequency.
“Often the athlete’s weakness, swimming is also the most technical sport and requires the greatest training frequency and volume to make real strides,” Dixon says. “The effort and time needed to make real gains in the swim is tough to do during race season.”
The best time to crank up the swim is in the months when it’s not great for cycling, according to Byrn. “It gives you something else to do, something to be successful at, and you’re not using a lot of mojo to get out or to get on your trainer.”
Although McCrann suggests cutting down on swimming in the winter for time’s sake, he does suggest this for those who have technique limitations (and/or who average 2:00+ per 100 yards): Get a one-on-one lesson with a coach, work on what you learned for four to six weeks, then do another session.