My name is Keith and have been swimming most of my life. However, I was not taught how to really swim fast until about 10 years ago. That change made my enjoyment of swimming soar.
Like most kids, I was taught to swim at home and school. My coaches were my dad and my school teachers. None of them were really professional swim coaches and they did their best. Despite their best efforts, I learned some bad habits and didn't know I even had them.
As an early teenager I discovered waterpolo and fell in love with the sport. To play waterpolo well, I had to develop significant stamina and short powerful bursts of speed to play well. Again, I did my best with what I learned but didn't realise how much faster I could have been swimming had I sought professional advice.
Waterpolo is very physically demanding and in my late 30's I was finding it hard to keep up with the younger and fitter players. So I decided to move on to something different; triathlon.
Triathlon swimming is very different to waterpolo. It typically involves swimming long distances in as fast a time as possible. I found that my waterpolo swimming helped me in many respects but I was still not performing as well as I could.
There was a professional triathlon squad that trained at the same pool that I trained every morning and I would try to get into the lane next to them. Then I would try to keep up with their swimmers. They were just too quick! They were much younger than me so I just thought I was past it now.
One day a lady at the pool invited me to join a masters swimming squad for training. I went along for fun and decided to join permanently. The coach was a seasoned professional and had been involved in helping develop Olympic level swimmers. I asked her to help me increase my speed and that's when I began receiving professional advice. I was 38 at the time.
Just before I turned 40, our triathlon team won the open mens team event! I was 8th out of the water. Most of the swimmers were in their 20's and one was an Olympic medalist. Of the 183 teams we had come first! Of course, our win relied on a team performance, including that of our cyclist and runner. However, I could not believe the difference in my swimming performance.
During the time of my improvement, I continued to research what makes people swim fast. I learned so much great information and it all helped me to improve further. I still swim three to four times a week although just to keep fit these days. I am now nearly 50.
There are so many people at the pool each time I train who swim for all sorts of reasons. Most are looking to keep healthy and fit. Others want to compete etc. I can't help scrutinise their swimming and in nearly every case, I see people making fundamental mistakes that significantly slows them down. I don't want to approach people with advice that may not be appreciated, so I decided to write this book.
The book is aimed at people who think they have reached their peak and can't go faster. It deals with the few things that make the biggest difference when you want to go faster. I have received some amazing feedback, so I hope that you will enjoy it too.
All the best, Keith