Swimming fast is good at ANY time of the year, but it’s all really just fluff until the championship season. NOW’s the time to get sharp. Learning how your body reacts to REAL race pace becomes increasingly important RIGHT NOW.
When your coach says SPRINT, I’m sure you try to go as fast as you can, but most swimmers don’t realize that they’re STILL not really going race pace…at least not the race pace you’ll desire in a few weeks. This week’s drill allows you to experience real race pace, if only for a short stint.
Why do it?
Whenever you go a lifetime best time, you’re really breaking your own world record. Whenever something like that is done, that’s a totally new experience. You’re doing something you’ve NEVER done before. With that understood, you don’t want to leave anything to chance, or sheer luck. Experiencing really fast swimming can lessen the chance you’ll be shown something totally new at your championship meet.
How To Do It:
1. These are done in REALLY short, quick sprints. Of course, being a breaststroker, I’m using a breaststroker as the illustrator. Rather than trying to figure out how to swim faster, we want the swimmer to begin swimming breaststroke FASTER than he’ll really go (maybe not if we’re all lucky). Begin the length with TOTALLY fast freestyle. This isn’t pretty, long, smooth, elegant, or any of those words. This is attack-mode freestyle. This is AGGRESSIVE…even ANGRY freestyle. Swim like your life depends on it….
2. At about the 12-1/2 mark (half way if you’re in a standard short-course pool), switch to your specialty stroke, breaststroke in this case.
3. Do whatever you have to do to MAINTAIN the speed you’ve attained from your fast freestyle. Feel it in the way your body travels through the water and don’t allow that feeling to go away. Fight for it.
4. Carry that speed all the way into the wall. This allows you practice timing your finish at the new speed as well. That will also help to make sure you’re not leaving the finish to luck either. Practice every aspect of your race.
How To Do It Really Well (the Fine Points):
Don’t be nice. Stop being such a sissy, and RACE! The fine points, or really short, BLAST sprints are to be as aggressive as possible. You’ve probably worked all season on learning how to swim correctly. You’ve working on length, rotation, and all that other stuff, but now it’s time to stop being polite.
During the championship time of the season, it’s time to wear your game face, and to get aggressive (at least for those couple minutes in the race) You can be a good sport all other times. To race your best, you need to have experienced speed — and the pain of speed — prior to hopping up on the blocks, and matching the feel of adrenaline-filled competition in a practice session takes some practice…and you have to be a little crazy. Hence the tone of this article.