Longer sets to build endurance
I am long time lurker here but this is my first post. I've been practicing TI for over 8 months now, first self coaching then with coach Stuart (great coach but maybe not so great replying to emails, haha :-).
I know one of the TI mantras is to "never practice struggle". So based on that principle all this time I haven't really swam more than 100 yards at the time and would stop as soon as I would notice my stroke deteriorating and stroke count starting to go up. I swam quite a bit, usually 6 times/week for 45-60 min.
I made some great improvements to my stroke, especially since starting to work with coach Stuart. But then last week I did olympic distance tri and couple hundred yards into the swim my stroke fell apart and I had pretty tough swim and somewhat disappointing time. But this is not what my question is about.
The thing is, couple days later in the pool I noticed how much easier the swimming has become. All of the sudden I could now swim 300 yards pretty easily and keep the stroke count consistent. Its like that 1500 yard swim, even though I practiced nothing but struggle for all but 200 yards, has built up some endurance which now allows me to swim longer distances skillfully.
So my question is - maybe we do need to do longer sets to prepare for longer swims ? Even if we may not be burning the most efficient stroke into the muscle memory we are building muscle endurance that then allows to practice efficient stroke for longer distances. Of course I am talking occasional long set, maybe 1000 yards once a week. I wonder what are your thoughts about this or if you had similar experiences with this ?
All the best,