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Old 04-03-2012
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CoachDave CoachDave is offline
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Default Michael Andrew

TI enthusiasts: remember this name.

Over the weekend, I got to watch the swimming of an exceptional young athlete as we finished up our season at the Regional Swim Meet at the University of Minnesota. I see fast swimmers all the time, but this one was so far above the field that everyone stopped to watch him every time he raced. He is twelve years old, and has been breaking numerous national records.

"So what?" you might say. How does that have anything to do with TI?

I have been trying to adjust our practice planning over and over to adapt Terry's ideas and technical adjustments to our swimmers. One of my favorite things to do is a long, drawn out set of 25s where everything is at race pace, but nothing is done as "garbage yards." The interval is me: how long will it take me to summarize the next focal point? I absolutely love coaching this kind of workout, and the results outdo anything else in our practices.

Back to Michael. This kid, who is both freakishly tall but has incredible form and awareness for a 12-year-old, is the top national swimmer in almost every stroke, and has been coached by two Olympian parents. Imagine in your head his weekly practice volume. Write it down. How high is it? seven days a week? 10k a day? 20k?

He often swims three times a week...for 2500 yards.

He practices almost everything at race pace with constant form analysis and expert coaching. Not coaching that says "GO!" but coaching that says "see if you can speed up the hip drive to match your entry". His coach talks constantly about neural training for his swimmers, and he has no time to spend on "junk yards". So much of what Terry has been saying that he wished club coaches were doing was being applied to these swimmers. I was enthralled.

More on this kid later, but take a look at
http://www.swimmingworldmagazine.com/lane9/news/MorningSwimShow/29083.asp?q=<i>The-Morning-Swim-Show</i>,-Dec.-20,-2011:-Peter-Andrew-On-Training-His-Son-Michael-to-National-Age-Group-Records
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  #2  
Old 04-03-2012
swim2Bfree swim2Bfree is offline
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Makes perfect sense because the kid's races are 50s and 100s. Terry did not invent the idea of race-specific training.

What is race-specific training for a 1500?

What is race-specific training for a channel swim?
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Old 04-03-2012
CoachSuzanne CoachSuzanne is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by swim2Bfree View Post
Makes perfect sense because the kid's races are 50s and 100s. Terry did not invent the idea of race-specific training.

What is race-specific training for a 1500?

What is race-specific training for a channel swim?
You are missing the point. All 12 year olds race for 50 to 100 yards. But most 12 year olds swim a volume that is 5-7 times his amount (or more... Dave would know).
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Old 04-03-2012
swim2Bfree swim2Bfree is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by CoachSuzanne View Post
All 12 year olds race for 50 to 100 yards.
No, they do not. There are 200s, 400s, 500s, and (especially 13 & up) 800s, 1000s, 1500s, & 1650s.

Quote:
Originally Posted by CoachSuzanne View Post
You are missing the point.
I don't think I am. How many 12 year olds read the TI forum? What % of TI forum members are training for sprint events?
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Old 04-03-2012
The Parrot The Parrot is offline
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Default Intensive training of youngsters

I would be interested to see if this young man with such prodigious talent will still be swimming in seven or so years. In the running world (not the same, I know) many young athletes of this age just get fed up or injured with nothing but intensive training and racing. Maybe Michael can go on to win Olympic and world championship medals but for most people life itself is a marathon not a sprint. If he were my lad I would like to think he would still be loving his swimming in 50 years time. At this rate he probably won't?

Martin T.
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Old 04-03-2012
CoachSuzanne CoachSuzanne is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by swim2Bfree View Post
No, they do not. There are 200s, 400s, 500s, and (especially 13 & up) 800s, 1000s, 1500s, & 1650s.



I don't think I am. How many 12 year olds read the TI forum? What % of TI forum members are training for sprint events?
You're right. there is absolutely nothing that we can learn from this.
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Coach of 5 time USA Triathlon Triathlete of the Year, Kirsten Sass
Steel City Endurance, LTD
Fresh Freestyle

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  #7  
Old 04-03-2012
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Default Michael Andrew

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.
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