On the surface, it would appear that force and flow are opposing dualities. But like many polar opposites, these two are drawn together beneath the surface because force(s) are always at play, even when we feel our swimming is at its most effortless.
The Ups and Down of Swimming with Acceleration
In grad school, I would often use coach speak to convey my limited understanding of swimming. I loved the word ‘deceleration’; especially as it related to breaststroke. But Doc Weimar emphasized negative and positive acceleration, not ‘deceleration’. And that emphasis forced me to think of swimming as simple parts of a complex whole.
Ebb and Flow meets a Force of Nature
If coaches know there will be positive and negative accelerations than swimmers can accept that they will come and go at specific moments, but not under our control. Power is willing something into existence. Making sure that a swimmer’s energies are applied directly to the ultimate task of creating the right amount of work in a specific amount of time.
Sustained speed comes from the efficient translation of acceleration(s) to power. First to 15 is not always the winner - but sometimes the speed can be created through sheer power.
The Need for Speed
Swimming ‘fast’ sometimes feels out of control - just on the edge of ‘overswimming’ and/or ‘spinning our wheels’. It's one reason why were faster in SCM than LCM. Swimmers can use walls to generate speed when acceleration no longer meets.
Everyone wants it. Some have even felt it. To achieve speeds swimmers haven't encountered before we use equipment like the Mimic Swim Paddles to artificially simulate it for motor learning.
Try out the force test set of 8 variable 25s on 1:30 to find your starting point and inform a roadmap to achieving new personal bests in training and racing.