How Laura Quilter Went PB's Only Swimming 3x Per Week

After retiring 8 years ago, Laura achieved lifetime best times after reducing her training volume and focusing on high-intensity swim sessions 3 times per week.

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New Zealand swimmer and coach Laura Quilter talks about redefining her approach to training.

After retiring 8 years ago, Laura achieved lifetime best times after reducing her training volume and focusing on high-intensity swim sessions 3 times per week. She emphasized improving her technique through drills and exercises to develop power and proper body positioning in the water.

⏰ Swim training frequency

2016: 8x120min swim per week

2024: 3x60min swim per week

🏊‍♀️Swim training distance 

2016: 5-8km

2024: 2-3km

🏊‍♀️Primary equipment used

2016: Kickboard, pull buoy, band

2024: Snorkel, chute, fins


2016: Coached in a squad

2024: Self-coached, swam alone and intermittently with a squad

💪 Gym training frequency

2016: 2x45min gym per week

2024: 4x45min gym per week

🚲 Accessory training

2016: Nil

2024: 1x30min spin class per week

🏊‍♀️ Height/Weight

2016: 185cm, 68kg

2024: 185cm, 75kg

🍎 Nutrition

2016: no alcohol. Strict eating patterns including no chocolate.

2024: some alcohol on social occasions. Looser eating patterns including chocolate.

😴 Sleeping

2016: Bed by 8.30pm

2024: Shift worker… in bed between 10pm - 3am.

Brett and Laura debate the traditional definition of "base training" and importance of incorporating speed and intensity work throughout training. Laura focuses on technique drills and uses gym exercises to improve her body positioning and power in the water. Laura watched a lot of swimming lately analyzing top swimmers' techniques on social media and applying it to her own swimming.

They discuss the importance of speed endurance and how Laura incorporates spin classes into her training. They also go deep on how Laura's mental approach has evolved from a "fixed mindset" to a “growth mindset” where she believes her abilities can continue improving.

Laura is also open about her experience with an eating disorder and how she has overcome it through supportive role model. I think this is the most important part of the interview. Brett shares a story about meeting a young girl from Israel last month at a clinic who felt she was too big - she wanted nothing to do with the weight room. As a coach, I’m sure you’ve experienced this dozens of times. If I was still coaching teenage girls, I’d have them all watch these four minutes.

Laura’s next challenge? Preparing for Ice Swimming Nationals.

Connect with Laura on her website.

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Time Stamps:

00:00 Hello Laura Quilter 01:30 PB's in 3x50's 03:00 Career & Best times leading up 04:45 Training Then vs Now 06:53 Debate on traditional "base training" definition 10:13 Laura's Sprint freestyle technique 12:00 Straight Arm vs Bent Elbow 13:45 Anchoring vs Pulling 15:15 Comparing body types of elite swimmers 16:30 Sprint Kick Motor 18:15 List of Comparisons 2016 vs 2024 20:00 Getting rid of the kickboard 21:30 Swim Band 22:30 Gym training 23:45 Speed endurance through spin class 27:45 Laura's weekly schedule 30:00 Going a PB after moving houses all day 34:30 Mindset: The New Psychology of Success Book by Carol Dweck 35:30 Stay the same or make a change? 37:20 Ice Swimming Nationals 39:15 Mental Library of Techniques 41:52 Favorite Drills 42:45 Resistance Tools 43:50 Feel For the Water Drills 45:00 Laura's Instagram 45:55 Overcoming eating disorders 50:30 Laura the Elite Coach 54:00 What's next for you?

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