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Old 08-03-2010
terry terry is offline
Head Coach
Join Date: Apr 2008
Posts: 2,305
terry has disabled reputation

I'm gratified to hear of your interest in teaching TI. From your post, I feel you have the stuff to make a good TI Coach and to help many people discover a passion for swimming.

The most meaningful answer to "What is fast?" is "Faster than you can swim right now."

I think there's a key difference between wanting to swim fast, in a vague way, and wanting to improve your swimming. Wanting to improve your swimming is a salutary goal because it leads to behaviors that produce excellence and Flow States, and because those behaviors, and improvement-minded swimming, are identified as good for growing new brain cells.

When your goal in every practice is to swim better than you ever did before, you look for particular things to target for improvement each day. Many of those things you work on have the effect of improving your speed.

Two more thoughts on swimming faster:
1) You can improve your speed in two ways: (i) subtractive, and (ii) additive. Subtractive means can include reducing energy waste, reducing drag or turbulence, reducing slippage in your stroke, and eliminating ineffective pacing habits (swim too fast early, then die).
Additive means can include adapting to a faster tempo or increasing power.
Generally it's best to explore all your subtractive opportunities before pursuing additive strategies, because they allow you to go faster by making your target pace easier.

2) Lately I prefer to use the term 'pace-holding ability' to 'speed.' Speed infers velocity for many people. Pace-holding ability infers sustainability. Every swimming race is a pacing exercise - even the 50m.
Terry Laughlin
Head Coach & Chief Executive Optimist

May your laps be as happy as mine.

My TI Story
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