There are so many thoughts and theories on how we can get ourselves to swim better, stronger, faster…
What are the factors we need to embrace and what should we avoid doing?
Once I did a nice anaerobic set (a few 35m with long rest) and I had two or three different types of swims. I came to realize that it is more important to feel we are not spending energy the wrong way, than feeling we are swimming strong.
Every time I tried to swim more relaxed (even though I felt I was not giving 100%) I was more effective and ultimately faster (time wise). The secret though, is not the actual faster time at the 25m or 35m when swimming this way. It is just that it sets your swim up for a better second half or finish of the race. And this applies not only in sprinting, but also in some longer races, like the 200.
PVH (the Flying Dutchman!) said it once “I was so surprised. Then again, I was so relaxed in the water, it felt amazing”. - Pieter van den Hoogenband after 2000 Olympic gold medal swim.
It is like going one step at a time. If you want to be good at 90%, you have to be good at 85%. So, if we ever want to swim fast and present our 100%, we must make sure that we are effective and fast through the water when swimming with 90% or 95% effort. Once we are comfortable at lower speeds, then getting to 100% will become easier than we have thought.
Sometimes it is frustrating…to have to swim slower in order to swim faster. It’s all in the game…fast swimming has a lot more into it other than pushing hard in training or competition. The only thing that is certain is that we have to give 100% of our mental focus and body energy at any given moment. That is a sprinter’s job…that is a swimmer’s job…that is sports talent.