drills vs yardage
What are the best drills and/or combination of drills and full stroke yardage I can use to improve my long distance swimming? If I have 3 days a week to swim should I committ one or two of those days a week to only TI drills and the other day(s) to full stroke yardage. Or should I mix it up each day between TI and full strok? Any ideas or what has wroked well in the past?
You should always train at a level that requires 100% concentration to maintain good form. If that is all drill right now, then it is all drill. If that is full stroke now, then it is. For most people, each set will contain some drill to set the proper sensation and some swim to maintain it.
And, the more frequently you can train, the better for technical improvement.
The details depend a lot on where you are now.
I like sets like
75 drill - 25 swim
50 drill - 50 swim
25 drill - 75 swim
In a set like this, hold one focal point for the whole set. Let's pretend your first focal point is to feel the hips break the surface at all times. If you notice your hips fall at 75 yds, then do a set of 75s and 100s until you can hold that focal point for 100 yds. Then do a set like
50 - 100 - 150
As soon as you feel your hips fall, do a 25 drill to get them back up and finish your set with the improved focus.
In short, you are training your brain to be able to focus more than you are training your body to work for that distance.
drills vs yardage
I have been a big believer in Drills and love to practice 50 and 100 yd drills. Unfortunately, last week I went in a pool with long lanes of 50 meters. In the distant past I routinely swam a mile a day, even before I swam TI. In addition to the longer lanes, I tried keeping up with folks half my age and I felt it. What I realized is I have to mix drill days with yardage days. For the next few weeks I plan to focus primarily on yardage, Of course with the idea of maintaining good technique. If I give something up it will be a little speed. In my case all drills and no yardage have made me lazy. A few weeks crunching numbers (as in non stop yardage) will break me from being too comfortable, for my own benefit.
Thanks for the advice coach Eric and everyone; I'm just 2 1/2 months from an Olympic and have been sweating the lack of yardage that I've been getting in as most of my practice has been drills.
I have done the 1500 twice in the past and both times trained by laying on more yardage/week. Now that I've put both feet in to the TI I don't want to regress by going back to old habits.
I like the mixing of the drill/swim combo plan.
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