I think you look at non TI hard swimming in a rather black and white manner.
Swimming is all about control and you can give yourself the challenge to have total control over your stroke at any speed.
Slow speed balance overruled swimming requires a slight shift in focus compared to faster swimming but the challange is to feel just as controlled at faster speeds as at slower speeds.
If you swim relaxed and long all the time, jumping to a sprint feels horrible.
If you sprint all the time and have to swim ridicously slow suddenly it feels horrible too.
If you always breathe to the right and have to breathe on the left it feels horrible.
You get the point.
When I only swim relaxed for a month I cant speed up anymore. Everything falls apart. Legs and arms are not syncronised anymore, hips rotate to late, arms want to pull to fast.
Only swimming in a certain manner trains swimming in that manner.
Adding more sprints lets you slowly gain control over your stroke again.
Every sprint you learn a new detail to make the stroke better and after a while everything comes together again at a much higher speed.
Its building a certain skill, just like long relaxed comtrolled swimming is a skill.
You can work toward perfection in your sprint mindfully just as you can work on perfection on a lower effort level.
Add some 2x5x25 sprint meters to you regular workout and try to swim as smooth and with the longest stroke possible as fast as you can.
It will feel more normal after a while.
It can also give some thrills and learning experiences, although I have to admit, I often am also too lazy to almost swim my brains out.
You are very focussed on strokelength, but I find it actually harder to achieve good timing, rhythm and stroke mechanics in a shortened stroke with a deliberate fast catch.
Changing swimming patterns gives you a wider perspective on the freestyle stroke and builds more general swim awreness, just as adding another stroke to your swim repertoire.
Last edited by Zenturtle : 04-26-2016 at 09:54 PM.