How to Swim Freestyle Without Getting Tired

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In competitive swimming, the longest races are typically freestyle events, such as open-water races. You can swim any stroke in an individual freestyle event, but the front crawl is easily the most common freestyle stroke. Adapt your freestyle technique for triathlons or other long-distance swimming events to make sure you don't tire prematurely.

  • Streamline your body as much as possible to reduce water resistance so you don't work as hard. Keep your chin close to your chest to prevent your head from lifting. Push your chest downward in the water to help stop your torso from rising higher than your hips.

  • Practice bilateral breathing by turning your head to the right to breathe, then turning your head to the left for your next breath. Breathing to the same side during a long race can cause sore muscles or cramps and may lead to muscle imbalances in the long run.

  • Extend your lead arm as far as possible and reach downward before pulling your hand through the water. If you swim efficiently, you'll conserve energy by moving farther with each stroke.

  • Rotate your left hip and shoulder in sync before your right hand enters the water in front of you, to avoid putting excess strain on your shoulders. Do the same with your right hip and shoulder before initiating the left-hand catch.

  • Glide through the water to conserve energy. Streamline your body by extending one arm forward and the other arm backward. Wait momentarily until you feel yourself slowing and then initiate the next stroke.

  • Pace yourself at the start of a distance race. Focus on maintaining your form. Swimming with bad form causes you to work harder and tire quickly.

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