COMMENTS ON TRAINING
Rushall Thoughts, (1993).
Given the still predominant tendency in swimming to do miles to make champions, and the obsessive interest in and emphasis on heart rates, there has been an exaggerated emphasis on the central circulation and its importance for affecting swimming performances.
People have forgotten that it is not the heart which limits performance in swimming races and training. As Tim Noakes [the most respected South African physiologist and sport scientist] has said "After a couple of hours of [training], the heart doesn't say, 'Well, I've had it for the day; I'm just not going to beat quickly anymore."
Fatigue occurs in the muscles, not the cardiovascular system, and the way to make the muscles more impervious to fatigue is not to slog through a lot of slow kilometers. To make the muscles fatigue-resistant, you have to stress them by training fairly intensely.
The feeling among swimming scientists and in particular, those at the International Center for Aquatic Research in Colorado Springs, is that the emphasis on training VOLUME has peaked. Future improvements will come from training with better EVENT SPECIFIC QUALITY, more judicious use of rest and recovery procedures, and high carbohydrate diets.
A traditional belief has been touted among swimming coaches: even though swimmers are always tired, training hard, and their performances not changing or even getting worse, good things are still happening to them. THAT IS WRONG. Constant fatigue states do not make a better swimmer. Better swimmers come from continual improvement derived from training effects. If swimmers are not improving, then they are not experiencing beneficial training.
Implication. The avenue for swimming improvement in the 1990s is through maintained volume, but with increased intensity and appropriate recovery.
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