Reality #1 You need to swim a lot and swim pretty hard to faster.
Reality #2 You need to improve your skills to get faster.
Most triathletes think that these two realities can't go exist.
You train OR you work on your skills.
This doesn't work.
You need to do BOTH at the SAME time.
What should you do?
1. Pay attention to what you're feeling when you work on any drills AND pay attention to those feelings when you're 'training'.
25 Paddle Cap Freestyle
100 Freestyle; descend 1-4
So, you need to execute the paddle cap freestyle and whatever you FEEL to make that work, you need to EXECUTE while swimming.
The same applies for ANY skill.
You can't just do the drill and then swim aimlessly.
2. Make your TRAINING your SKILL WORK.
Here's an example-
4x75 Pull with Upside down paddles; take fewer strokes each 75
100 Freestyle; solid; count your strokes
4x75 Pull with Upside down paddles; descend 1-4 taking the same number of strokes each 75
100 Freestyle; solid; count your strokes; go FASTER
By doing the 'training', swimming faster, hitting stroke counts, and holding the paddles upside down, you HAVE to work on how you're pulling.
If you don't, you can't do the set!
Obviously, this is going to improve your fitness as well because it's WORK!
Both approaches are good.
You have to stay FOCUSED on what you're doing!
REMEMBER THE GOAL, EXIT THE WATER...