In Swim Speed Secrets, 4-time Olympian, gold medalist, and triathlon world champion Sheila Taormina reveals the swim technique used by the world’s fastest swimmers.
Over the course of 4 Olympic Games and throughout her career as a world champion triathlete, Taormina refined her exceptional technique as a student of the sport, studying the world’s best swimmers using underwater photographs and video analysis. From Johnny Weissmuller to Michael Phelps, the world’s fastest swimmers share one common element: a high-elbow underwater pull.
Many swimmers and triathletes neglect the pull, distracted by stroke count or perfecting less critical details like body position, streamlining, and roll. Swim Speed Secrets focuses on the pull—the most crucial element of swimming—to help triathletes and swimmers overhaul their swim stroke and find the speed that’s been eluding them.
With a commonsense approach that comes from decades of practice and 15 years of hands-on coaching experience, Taormina explains why the high-elbow underwater pull is the most important part of swimming and how swimmers can transition to this vital technique. She offers the best drills to cultivate a sensitive feel for the water. Her dryland and strength building exercises develop the arm positioning and upper body musculature required to swim faster. She describes what it feels like when swimmers have learned the secret and offers tips that helped her perform at a world-class level for two decades.
Sheila Taormina’s Swim Speed Secrets brings the focus back where it belongs—to a powerful underwater stroke. With this book, triathletes and swimmers can stop swimming for survival and break through to new levels of speed and confidence in the water.
Taormina’s new companion book Swim Speed Workouts offers the essential workouts, drills, drylands, and training plan to develop the world’s fastest swimming technique.
Paperback. Full-color photographs throughout.
7″ x 9″, 212 pp., $18.95, 9781934030882
For more information, book previews, and instructional drills and videos, please visit SwimSpeedSecrets.com.
1. The Pareto Principle: Applying the 80/20 Rule in the Pool
2. The Big Picture: Understanding the Swimming Equation
3. The Vital Element: A Case to Prove It
4. Fluid Dynamics and Theories of Propulsion: The Challenges and the Beauty
5. The Underwater Pull: Vital Elements of the Vital Element
6. Developing the Underwater Pull: Exercises to Improve Strength, Flexibility, and Feel
7. The Swimming Equation Applied: Stroke Counts and Rates of Top Swimmers
8. Piecing It All Together: Conclusions and “Calling the Suit”
Appendix A: One Last Toast, 1924-2008
Appendix B: For Beginners: Understanding Swimming Lingo and Workout Design
Appendix C: Ask an Olympian
“The concept of ‘holding’ water and generating propulsion is fundamental to swimming performance, and Sheila’s book clearly unlocks the secrets of this through words and vivid underwater photos. It is what every top swimmer trains and searches for each day at practice, and it is what allowed me to win Olympic medals as a teenager and into my 40s.” — Dara Torres, 12-time Olympic medalist
“In her book, Sheila Taormina gives a great understanding of the art of high performance swimming. With her help, you can stop swimming for survival and start swimming like a pro.” — Laura Bennett, 2010 ITU #1-ranked swimmer, four-time ITU World Triathlon Championship medalist, Olympian, and two-time U.S. triathlon champion
“[Swim Speed Secrets] is a ripper! [It was] great to get a no-b.s. perspective on swimming from a champion.” — Chris McCormack, 2-time Ironman® World Champion
“Sheila’s book Swim Speed Secrets is the best swim manual—PERIOD!” — Ashley Whitney, Olympic Gold Medalist
“Sheila Taormina may be the greatest athlete in the modern Olympic era. She’s the only person I know who has made four Olympic teams in three different sports.” — Jim Richardson, Head Coach of the University of Michigan women’s swim team
“Sheila T. is just 5′ 2″ but she swims like she is 6′ 2″. We still use her as a model for our swimmers today on how to swim the strokes.” — Jack Bauerle, Team USA Olympic Swim Coach and Head Coach of the University of Georgia swim team