View Full Version : Speed vs. Technique

Karen Duggan
April 8th, 2004, 01:30 AM
In another thread, now closed, speed vs. technique was mentioned and then the thread got off on a tangent... I was curious what people think about speed vs. technique.

In the past few years our coach, Kerry O'Brien, has been telling us that at the end of the race when most are "dead" it is the swimmer that slows down the least who is better off. Obviously as the race progresses you will eventually get slower, but if you can keep your stroke together the entire race, and especially at the end, you will do better. We even did some fun sets to help us realize when we begin to slow down.

For example we would swim a 75 full speed. The second you felt yourself start to slow down you were to stop on that spot. I think mine was about 45 yards if I remember right. You take that information and work it into your race. It was helpful to know where "the wheels start to come off" so I can concentrate more on technique at that point. (I can't remember but I think we were also timed and worked that in as well...)

Kerry is very innovative and is always trying new things. So along the lines of the thread with "old dogs, new tricks" Kerry keeps our "pound" hoppin'. And because he is such a positive motivator everyone will try these new things. Some may not like it or use it but at least they've tried something new!

What new things have you (the collective you) tried? Was it helpful?

April 8th, 2004, 09:45 AM
The standard school of belief is that you get your fastest time when you even split your swims, or negative split. A positive split is usually a sign that you died at the end. :) I usually swim a bell curve (slowest at the middle) during the season, and get to even splits during taper.

In high school, we did a lot of broken swims. For instance, a broken 100 would be a 50, rest 10 sec, 25, rest 5 sec, and a 25. The idea being that you want to train yourself to finish a race as strong as you start. It is more difficult to do that in practice (with the overyardage), so the small amounts of rest allow you to pace faster.

April 8th, 2004, 11:31 AM
Hi Karen,

Good topic - I believe that their is a definite correlation between speed and technique (contrary to what some others believe). I would agree with your coach, as soon as your form starts to suffer - your overall performance will decline. Most sports talk about keeping it in control (football superbowl coaches talk about keeping their players emotions in check at the beginning of the game and not get caught in the hype and make a mistake in the openings minutes of the game which can then be a distraction for the remainder of the game). Hollywood Fiction or not, I liked the scene in Days of Thunder where they are trying to get Cole Trickle to drive more conservatively - he drives some laps how he wants too (flat out fast, no control) and then he drives the same number of laps the way the crew chief tells him and he ends up being faster and having more tread on the tires. We do quite a bit of pace work and stroke drill sets in workouts designed to reign back in form once we get tired, this to hopefully negate some of the form deterioration when one gets tired when it comes to race time.

April 8th, 2004, 07:02 PM
technique is speed

April 8th, 2004, 10:16 PM
Kerry is one GREAT coach, and fun too.

I have long believed in exactly what Kerry proposed. The great track star Edwim Moses trained that way, as fast as possible with PERFECT technique as far as possible. He went from being able to run 300 yards perfect to the full 400 meters. He was like 2 hurdles ahead of the next guy!!!

I often felt if our sprinters in the 100 meters free trained the same way, they could do a 46 flat. It is interesting that the times in the 400 hurdles is about the same as the 100 freestyle.

So a young swimmer doing 22 flat for 50 meters would start training to go as far as possible as perfectly as possible, like Edwin Moses.

In breaststroke Ed Moses is the first swimmer to have world record speed from 50 meters all the way to the 200. He swims with perfect technique. He has had some swims that are truly Beamonest. As in Bob Beamon. Only one problem, his perfect swims have come in meets that don't really matter, World Cup events that have won him as much as $100,000 a single meet. But that Olympic Gold medel in an individual event eludes him.

He could be unreal if he gets a perfect swim either at Olympic trails or the Olympics, such as going out in 27.5 for a 57.5 in the 100 breast and doing a 2:06 in the 200 Breast. All possible because of his speed and technique. Now will he win, I doubt it.
My favorite in the 100 is Gibson and Kitijima in the 200. Real money swimmers.

April 8th, 2004, 11:21 PM
I finding this to be an interesting concept. It makes me think of when I do the 200 fly. Although I die after about a fifty I really try hard to keep my technique and I always manage to finish. My teammate says I do an excellent job and keeping my form.

I am going to keep in mind some of the things mentioned in this thread for next season. My season is over and I really take a break from serious swimming in the summer. I am wondering if this concept will help me with my other long distance events.