TRADING SPLASH FOR SPEED
Runners who value no-impact training, triathletes prepping for that open-water mile and fitness swimmers angling to score some aerobic points may tell you that swimming fast isn’t a high priority.
But, in any of them, there probably lurks a childhood memory of, “Race you to the other end of the pool!” Jump in and churn 25 yards all out, arms and legs flailing, one length, no strategy, no breath left at the end. And, not likely to teach you much about how the world’s best swimmers manufacture speed.
The best sprinter I ever coached earned top-10 world ranking in the 50-meter freestyle for three years running. He was indisputably good at swimming fast, but was equally impressive at swimming quietly.
He usually started practice with at least 800 meters of languid freestyle_beautiful and graceful. Later in the practice, as he approached race pace, my stopwatch was the only thing that told me he was going faster. You couldn’t tell by watching how adept he was at following one of my pet coaching dictums: “Go fast, but hide the effort.”