Soon after I busted one of my athletes one morning relying on his watch while swimming, I went off on my rant about importance of perceived effort. The best, and most affordable (free), training device out there is the pace clock. I told him I wanted to hold 1:15 for my last round of 5x100 that morning. Each 100 ticked away at 1:15 on the dot. I reminded myself to dial into the synchrony of my stroke; kicking with my quads and pulling with my lats. Don't swim harder, swim smarter. There can be such a perfect harmony with swimming, and being able to feel that effort is so valuable. Don't be afraid to go outside of your comfort zone and define your inner animal.