Everyone likes to go fast, even as young athletes we always wanted to go fast. But as we start to focus on the distance events, we forget that going fast is important in our training.
The first time we had my daughter at a Nike store, we said these are running shoes and they will help you run fast. She shook her head yes and carefully put the shoes on. I asked if the shoes fit and felt her toes, she said they did. Then without warning she took off out of the store running into the parking lot, after some yelling and catching up to her in flip flops (coaching attire). I asked her why she ran off, she replied calmly “these are running shoes and they make me fast!” Regardless, my wife and I are now very careful to tell any of our children that anything can make them fast.
But I digress, but my daughter had the right idea you should go fast as soon as you are ready to do so. Once she had the shoes on she was ready. For swimming it is more or less the same idea.
More often than not when reviewing workouts from athletes we see time and time again the fast work is put at the end after the main work set and all the technical work. However, by that time your body, muscles and nervous system are all tired. So why then are we trying to develop top end speed at the end of the workout. The more logical time is to put this at the start of the session directly after a solid warm up so you will not hurt yourself. This will allow you to swim as fast as possible and work the appropriate energy system.
Swimming fast is important, if you only train long smooth swimming and forget about speed, how will the body ever learn how to swim faster? You need to train multiple speeds and top end speeds each week. This doesn’t mean that you can skip the distance sessions but you do need to have the speed work as well.
A great set that we like to do with out athletes can be as simple as 4*25m FAST @ 1:00 or 4*25m speed play (12.5m fast/12.5m Smooth, 12.5m smooth 12.5m Fast, 25m Build and 25m FAST) .
Swimming fast is fun,