Originally Posted by CoachStuartMcDougal
Cool, look forward to hearing some details
re: Intensity/Difficulty. Yes and no. The "don't practice struggle" is often misinterpreted, especially by those swim 6-8k daily where swimming is mostly a grind, especially the last half. I generally encourage swimmers not to mask/imprint errors with more yards, and avoid muscling through a set for the sake of only finishing the set sloppy.
I've been introducing a lot more USRPT sets; miss your goal pace three times, stop and reset. Sets like these require razor sharp focus on each stroke and every turn. I think most importantly, always mixing up, challenging the neural system first, physical conditioning is more consequential which support correct movement patterns and adaptations.
Balance errors are masked by high turnover rate, new movement patterns and stroke corrections require slowing turnover to imprint before turning up the gas again, and done so progressively. I'm sure most coaches would agree with that statement, especially the later.
Oh I definitely agree a faster turn over can mask a lot of bad problems. I just see so many people in the triathlete realm who have strokes that are more than capable of going a lot faster they just tinker around trying to reach total perfection before putting any effort into a workout. I have two triathlete friends in particular who both have strokes that are better than mine but I can whip them by 2 and 3 minutes in a 500. I don't even swim distance and my IM relay swim split time was 15 minutes faster than one of these guys. All he needs to do is swim harder and he will be a monster and he constantly talks about his desire to get faster. He thinks he needs better technique. A six-month block of hard swimming and he would close the gap on me greatly in within a year he'd catch me and pass me.