Originally Posted by CoachDave
I do think that he'll be swimming in 5-10 years because of this approach. It's the 6-15,000 per day that many other elites at this age do that burn them out.
My point isn't that TI is for this kid, my point is that he is training under the principles that make Ti different. He is not doing any pointless yards. There is a focus and a plan to every yard, and his coaches constantly point out that they are trying to train his brain more than his body. I think there is incredible potential for this kid because he has exceptional natural predisposition for being a good swimmer, and his coaches are taking a unique apporach that will keep him positive and constantly improving his skills. They stand firm on the idea that a tired swimmer is a sloppy swimmer, so doing mass volume has a negative impact on form.
Dave, I have true respect for your experience and especially for your huge enthusiasm. It requires both these attributes to make a really good coach. I have admitted many times on here that I am not an experienced swimmer (although at 71, thanks to TI, I have just entered a 4.5 mile open water race on the UK coast feeling that speed not distance would be the limiting factor). But for the sake of discussion, not argument, may I say that in the game I do know something about, running - the strategy, 20 or 30 years ago, of intensive interval training and insufficient recovery miles as coaches hammered their charges to perform or get out led to disenchantment at best or physical and/or psychological failure at worst. I believe Terry recognised this in his book.
I am not saying for one moment this would be the case with Michael and his coach but it has happened often enough to be questioned as a practical way forward.
I do not believe that humans young or old were physiologically designed to move only at anaerobic speeds (and I imagine that is what we are talking about with this young man) whether running a mile on the track or for sessions in the pool. Even middle distance track runners run more aerobic training miles than anaerobic because they know it builds the base of a pyramid from which they can climb. 'Garbage yardage' is simply yardage where the quality has been allowed to drop. Relaxed swimming without dropping standards could be called recovery swimming and might allow a swimmer to re-sense what he/she is doing in the water?
The human body responds pretty much the same way to training and racing stimuli whether swimming, cycling or running.
For what it's worth, my opinion is that we evolved to run aerobically for miles at a time across the veld, occasionally sprinting to catch breakfast - or sprinting to avoid being something else's breakfast. Rather more like today's fartlek training. Yes, many of us did series of hill repetitions and track intervals but they only amounted to 20% of the weekly mileage and we weren't kids.
I think 12 is very young and even Michael's bone structure will not yet be fully developed but I am open to and interested in other views.