|Coach Mike with Baby Brooke|
“Creating a Positive Environment where Excellence is Inevitable.”
Coach Collins describes the program in 3 simple terms:
1. Do it RIGHT
2. Do it FASTER
3. Do it LONGER
Here is a more detailed explaination of each part.
1. Do it RIGHT (Technique)
It is crucial to learn the techniques to do each skill properly before trying to train for distance. There are several benefits to doing this. First, by using proper technique you will be less likely to get injured. Second, when using proper technique, you can go faster using less energy. Third, you will be able to hold a more consistent pace and not break down mechanically or slow down as quickly as when poor technique is used.
However, in making a technique change you will often need to slow down to do it properly and really re-train your muscle memory. You many not only be slower but even a little more tired when first making a change because the body is not conditioned to do it that way (both mentally and physically). Stay consistently committed to making a change and it will pay off though. If you have a stroke like a VW bug it may be faster than a Ferrari the needs a tune up, but once that Ferrari is running right it will blow away the VW. Be willing to go slower at first to end up getting faster.
2. Do it FASTER (Pace control)
We use the term EASY SPEED. Fast does not have to mean HARD. If you can learn to do things fairly fast it will be easier to hold a decent pace at sub-maximal effort. For example, if you can swim one fast 100 Free in 1:00, it is not unreasonable to be able to do a 500 in 5:50 or faster (holding 1:10 pace). However, if your maximum speed 100 is around 1:10 it is not really possible to break 6:00 or even be close. The same is true in running. If you can only run an 8:00 mile it is not reasonable to expect to be able to run a 24 minute 5K. By doing short repeats with proper form, your technique and speed can be maintained without as much breakdown found when doing long straight exercises.
3. Do it LONGER (Maintain Technique and Pace for longer distances)
As your technique and raw speed improve you will be able to hold it together for a longer duration or more repeats. Many Masters are not be able to complete a straight 200 Butterfly with very good form, but they could swim 8 x 25 of Fly with a some rest and do it reasonably well – or at least legal :-). By doing 8 x 25 well it would not be much of a stretch to do 4 x 50 with pretty decent form, then 2 x 100, and eventually a straight 200. Again, the same is true with running. Few people can run 40 minutes or more maintaining good technique rhythm and stride frequency, but they could do a better job if they broke it into several shorter repeats with rest/recovery time between. The key to doing it longer is to be able to maintain proper form for the duration of the exercise. This requires finding the most energy efficient way to perform each skill.
At Nova, we will help you improve using the 3 concepts above, not only for swimming, but also in cycling and running which are also much more technique based than most people realize.