Same way you get to Carnegie HallPRACTICE! But it isn't actually that simple. Much like a golfer practicing a poor swing, simply reinforcing bad technique will not only fail to yield appreciable improvement but will get you frustrated and possibly injured. A few ways to become a faster swimmer:
Take a lessonor 3 - Again, like golfers spending $300 on a Big Bertha driver but never taking a lesson, triathletes are amazingly resistant to taking swim lessons. The fastest route to improvement is learning to do it right, right away. And don't just take a single lesson. Take a series and, if possible, get an underwater video of your stroke. For a couple of hundred dollars and an investment of 4 hours, you'll jump start your swimming.
Attend a clinic - LATC offers a number of "Swim Better" clinics through the year. They are inexpensive and provide you with a TON of information and technique help.
Swim with good swimmers - Find other LATC members who are a bit better than you and swim with them. Even if you can't keep up, just being with good swimmers will give you ideas and approaches that you wouldn't think of by yourself. Don't reinvent the wheel. Watch the better swimmers and flatter them with imitation!
Structure your workouts - Simply getting in and swimming for half and hour, an hour, or longer without any focus or structure will flatten the improvement curve. Unlike running or cycling where logging miles can provide a lot of benefit, a swim workout should have sets and intervals. Don't know how to create a workout? Go to our Workouts page for some ideas!
Practice how you race - Most triathlons in our area have open water swims and most of those are in the ocean. Don't spend 100% of your practice in the pool and then expect great results in the ocean. Swimming in a triathlon is about many things and fitness is just one of them. Practice open water technique in open water. Would you train for a 10K exclusively on a treadmill? It can be donebut it ain't as effective and not nearly as fun.
This Information Brought to You by Konrad Ribeiro