Mental Physical Technical Swimming


: Less Is More!

Less Is More!

08 May

Contrary to what many swim coaches believe, high-intensity training (or HIT) can be more aerobic than once thought. In a study performed in 2011, researchers had 10 elite-level swimmers perform a 200 meter freestyle – at maximal effort in a long course pool. On average, the aerobic system contributed 44.6% on the first 50, 73.2% on the second 50, 83.3% on the third 50, and 66% on the fourth 50. The total aerobic contribution for the entire swim was 65.9%, and the total aerobic contribution for the last three lengths was 74.1%!

The study demonstrated that the aerobic system contributes far more to a race of this distance than commonly assumed. Other studies point to significant, and in some cases dominant, aerobic contribution in just 30 seconds of maximal work.

So what does all of this scientific mumbo-jumbo mean? Basically, short-distance high-intensity repeats are more aerobic than once thought. These findings have tremendous explanatory power for lower-volume, higher-intensity endurance training protocols as promoted in The Swimming Triangle. So much for garbage yardage!

Note: The information cited above was taken from a study performed by Figueiredo P., Zamparo P., Sousa A., Vilas-Boas JP., Fernandes RJ., entitled: “An energy balance of the 200-meter front crawl race.” Eur J Appl Physiol. 2011 May.


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