How Katie Ledecky Took Her Training to the Next Level

Michael Butler
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Getting Katie to the Next Level

From the earliest days of her swimming career, Katie Ledecky has always been an elite swimmer. She excelled in short course events, including the 4…50”, the 200-mile, and the 400-mile races. But between 2011 and 2012, she began reaching even higher levels of performance, qualifying for the Olympics as well as breaking the 400-mile swimming in July 2012.

Even as an upperclassman swimmer at Stanford, Katie would be hard at work improving and holding on to big chunks of quality time. Anyone familiar with her training regimen knows that she’s more than dedicated to an ongoing pursuit of excellence.

How can you get Katie’s training to work for you? Here are a few key secrets to watch for if you’re trying to reach your own next level:

Aim for quality time in the pool

Katie is a swim nerd, plain and simple. As you might expect from a swim nerd, she regularly logs massive days of swimming, frequently in two-hour sessions through practices, drills, talking with coaches, and mental training. All of this training time pays off in her choice events, where she consistently displays an ability to pull ahead in the second half of a race, a common result from her generous supply of fatigue resistance and efficiency training.

The Power of the Swim Log

If you want to win Olympic gold, you might want to train like Katie, one of the best swimmers in the world. It’s not a surprise considering she trains four to five hours a day six or seven times a week. She may be a young woman, but don’t be fooled by her age. This hard-working, young athlete trains harder than athletes twice her age.

There’s no magic trick to Katie’s success. She simply follows a proven method, trains hard, and never gives up. More than anything, however, it’s her swim log that has made all the difference.

Katie writes everything down, from her miles per hour to the type of stroke she uses. Every time she records a new personal record, she writes it down.

As a swimmer, she has personal records for every stroke she uses, including her favorite, the butterfly. Her swim log, has a detailed record of when she started swimming, her tips, and her strategy for swims.

She checks every detail of her performances so she can keep track of the fine-tuning that makes the difference between success and failure. That’s why she’s very good with the details. One small thing can make the biggest difference.

Next Up:

To get the most out of your swim training, you’ll want to invest in a good swimmer’s watch. If you want to get serious about swimming or if you’re training for a swim meet, you need a great watch that can help you with your swimming training. If you’re a beginner swimmer who is still learning the ropes, you may not need a watch for a while since most swimming classes will provide you with a trainer and stroke correction.

If you already have a good swimmer’s watch, then you are set. However, choosing the best swimmer’s watch for your needs is vital.

Choosing the most expensive watch on the market is not always the best choice. Before making a purchase, you’ll want to consider different factors. Think about your swimming training and what you want to accomplish with swimming. There are different watches for different swimming purposes, depending on your goals and your available training time. A watch used by a middle-aged adult for a recreational therapy may have minimal features and other watches may be suitable for competitive swimmers.