“The only way to really work on technique is to swim very slowly and think about every little thing that you’re doing,” says Ryan Lochte, who has won gold medals in worldwide competitions, including the 2004 Olympics, and shattered a world record last year in the 200-meter backstroke. “I spend more time on stroke mechanics now than I ever have.”
Lochte loves competition. He likes to compete against teammates, other top swimmers and himself. Most days, it’s against himself. He sees whether he can kick an extra meter farther underwater or reach some other attainable goal.
Bottom line: As in leading, “there’s a lot of doing the same thing in swimming,” Lochte says. “I’d go crazy if I didn’t race parts of it. Of course, it helps that I usually win.”
—Adapted from “A Swimmer’s Different Strokes for Success,” Gretchen Reynolds, The New York Times.