Sole Searching is intended and designed to generate and create serious thinking and deep consideration regarding one’s beliefs, motivation and driving force to finally move yourself to the next level.
Just recently I started training a frustrated, experienced endurance athlete with the sole purpose of refining his swim technique, body movement and breathing patterns. As my athlete shared with me, last summer he and his coach were determined to get him more efficient and faster in his swim. So, they created a training plan that would have him swimming five days a week for the entire summer. Hundreds and hundreds of yards of swimming. Problem, at his very next race he came out of the water no faster than before and in actuality his swim was more laborious and he was more fatigued than ever.
“Motion does not equal action. Busyness does not equal effectiveness.” -James Clear
There were five things we started training on immediately:
- We don’t swim workouts; we do training sessions. I know it sounds trivial, but the conscious mind will break each term down. During a workout we simply work hard, we are dictated by the computer on your wrist. But when you are training our minds become deliberate, focused and slows down and the athlete can focus on the necessary hard work to improve. Hard work can be boring, monotonous and even dull. I get it, but that’s where the magic happens.
- We slowed down the swim training sessions to approximately 70% effort. Why? Simply, slow is smooth and smooth becomes fast. We are training muscle memory to create new habits in the water. This takes patience, practice and persistence. So, when it’s time to train at a faster pace his body will respond accordingly.
- Drill/Swim: We incorporated the appropriate and necessary drill sessions into his training along with actual swimming to start to make the neuro connection. So, it’s never just all drill work. Example would be 50 drill/50 swim and ask how does that feel? Great do it again; wax on, wax off.
- Functional breathing is so overlooked in the endurance community. I truly believe this is one of the biggest stumbling blocks to an athlete’s success and improvement in their training sessions along with their racing.
- Stretching, mobility and movement patterns out of the water if dysfunctional will directly affect your ability to move functionally in the water. Move better, swim better.
The only way to really work on technique is to swim very slowly and really think about every little thing that you’re doing. -Ryan Lochte