This is an addendum to the post Special Stamina Part 2.
I encouraged certain swimmers to test for the weaker system in Test For The Weakest System. The next logical topic is about strengthening that weaker system.
Which one is your weaker system?
Can you handle the ‘workout’ quantities (distance or effort assignments) but your technique quality quickly falls apart under those loads? Suspect a technique weakness.
Can you hold pleasing stroke control for hours under easy, restful conditions but still cannot swim more than a relatively short distance without exhaustion? Suspect a fitness weakness.
As I have spent a lot of text on this blog explaining – fitness and technique are inseparable. And they must be in balance in order to make breakthroughs in speed and endurance.
The one who ignores the imbalances between the performance systems, and persists in his training routine that produced those imbalances – this swimmer should not expect to get better even with more intense training of the same kind. The same person doing the same things cannot expect different results. But the one who recognizes the imbalances and adjusts the practice plan to address those weaknesses – without neglecting the stronger system – will break out of his performance rut when the two systems are brought into equality and can be trained together. The systems are interdependent with each other.
If fitness is strong and technique is weak, then hold steady or slightly decrease the physical intensity of your practice sets, and increase your requirement for self-control, for quality movement. This will urge you to learn to use energy smarter, not to simply burn up energy. Anyone can work hard and burn up all available energy and get ‘wasted’. Smart swimmers train in such a way to spread that energy further.
If technique seems to be strong and fitness is weak, then maintain your high standards for stroke quality and gradually increase the challenge upon your muscle/metabolic system. This will urge you to start sending more intense signals through those control circuits, making them more resilient and protect efficiency under higher loading.
If both fitness and technique seem to be close to each other (the failure point of attention and energy seem to happen around the same point), then you can work on both together – alternate in making small increases in requirements in a practice set for one or the other (usually not both at the same time).
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