Swimming fast doesn’t just happen, you’ve got to go after it.
Every single practice needs to push you to the limit – physically and mentally. If you want fast, then you have to train fast and train hard – over and over again.
With the start of August comes the end of the age group long course competition season. We have spent many weeks and countless hours on pool decks and in warm-up lanes chasing time cuts and dreams….but I can’t help but wonder why so many swimmers settled for “just fast enough.”
“How should I swim the [insert race of choice]?
“What is the cut for the [insert race] and what do I need to do to get it?”
“I just want to beat so-and-so’s time – so what split do I need?.”
If these questions sound familiar, it’s because they are. They are most often found on pool decks and accompanied by the look of a puzzled, yet frustrated, coach. Ask me about race strategy for the 50- or 100-meter anything and I will give you a very simple answer: Fast. Don’t get me wrong, there is an important place for race strategy in my book – but there is also needs to be an emphasis on all-out speed.
To challenge this obsession with “race strategy,” I started asking my swimmers a very simple, basic question:
Could you have gone faster?
My heart sinks every time I hear the words “yeah”,”maybe,” or “I think so.”
:::blink:::: you think so? What is there to think about? Fast is fast! Fast is simple. Fast is all-out-blinding-get-from-point-A-to-point-B-ASAP Fast.
Let me put it another way:
If you can still climb out of the pool after a “race pace” lap, then you didn’t go FAST ENOUGH!
This kind of FAST is challenging. There is no room for self-preservation here. This is the stuff champions and hard-core athletes are made of….and each of us has the capacity to train at this level. Truth is found here. Character is formed here. If you pour everything you’ve got into the pool, every chance you get, then you’ve tested your limit….and opened the door to break through it. At the very least, you may surprise yourself.
So what are you waiting for?
Keep on Swimming,