The Navy Seals are often labelled as ‘swimming pros’. How exactly do they get so good at swimming, and why do they need to be good at swimming?
What are the Navy Seals?
The Navy Seals are a United States operations forces that operate on the sea, air, and land. They are trained to perform several special operations missions. Usually, their missions involve capturing or eliminating high-level targets. Sometimes, they also need to gather intelligence behind enemy lines.
There is a tough selection process for choosing individuals to enter the Navy Seals. Several screenings test physical and mental toughness, and the training is vigorous and requires the individual to pass many tests to qualify.
How do Navy Seals train?
Navy Seals are trained intensely to ensure they have a good level of physical fitness to carry out their missions. Navy seals must be very good at swimming because they can often swim for miles across the sea.
The idea of Navy Seals training is to improve strength and endurance. Training can take on three forms – long slow distance, continuous high intensity, or interval training.
Long slow distance training is designed to help the Navy Seals build up a high level of endurance, ready for when they are in a mission for a prolonged amount of time.
Continuous high-intensity training is usually around 15-20 minutes and involve training with no breaks at 90-95% of maximum pace. This type of training improves aerobic capacity so the Navy Seals can work at a high level for a good amount of time.
Interval training involves running and swimming for a short length, followed by a recovery period. The recovery period can be active recoveries such as walking, light jogging, or slower swimming between each intense interval. This trains the Navy Seals to stay at a consistent speed from the first interval all the way to the final interval.
Navy Seals swimming stroke
Navy Seals are taught a specific type of swimming stroke called the combat stroke, which combines breaststroke and freestyle to reduce water resistance.
This enables them to swim for miles without getting too tired, even if they swim with heavy bags or packs. The combat stroke is performed underwater to minimise the chances of being seen by enemies in the water.
This movement is often practised wearing clothing or heavy packs, similar to the Navy Seals’ conditions during a real mission.
Are you looking to improve your swimming technique as well as your endurance in the water?
Thanks for reading.