I posted the other day about Ky Hurst’s week one training plan. And it seems he’s followed it up with something I like even more! What a hero!

Today was Ky’s 5 Commandments for Swimming Smarter Not Harder. That links to the online source, but I’m going to reproduce the commandments below because I love it so much I want to make it my mantra for this swim season (at least!)

Such a good, well-balanced, realistic approach!

Ky’s 5 Commandments for Swimming
“Smarter not Harder”

If you don’t average 2 -3 swims a week you tend to lose your feel for the water and your technique will begin to deteriorate. No feel, no technique, no speed. You might be doing a great swim workout once or twice a week, but for most swimmers that is not enough. If the option is between one or two long workouts or three or four shorter workouts, swimmers seem to do better  when they swim more frequently as opposed to only doing a few longer workouts each week.


Maintain the best possible technique at all speeds during a workout. If you try to go fast with bad technique, you are wasting energy. It might still be a good fitness workout and you are burning plenty of calories by getting your heart rate up, but you are not helping yourself to become a better swimmer. If you can teach yourself to go fast while using good technique, you will make bigger gains.

Early in your workout, in the middle of your workout, or at the end of your workout (or any combination of the three!) do some specific technique work to reinforce good swimming skills. Even a few strokes thinking about what you are doing with your hands, arms, elbows, sho
ulders, head, body, hips, legs, knees, or feet can help you be a better swimmer. There are many drills you can do to stay tuned up, or to help you develop better technique.

One or two times a week (depending upon how frequently you swim) do part of your workout with oomph – push the effort, go hard, whatever you want to call it. If all of your workouts are focused on technique, your technique will improve. But what will happen when you try to go faster? You will get tired, your technique will deteriorate, and you might as well call it a day. If you are doing some hard or challenging workouts – mixed in with technique work – as different workouts or as part of the same workout – you will learn how to hold good technique while going faster.

Depending upon your swimming goals, there may be no reason to do more than one or two tough workout sets a week, as long as you do one or two easier workouts, too. Work hard on the hard things, and easy on the easy things, and each kind of work will work together, resulting in an overall improvement in your swimming.
It is also important to have 1 week in every 4 to 5 as a recovery week.