“You’ve got to swim fast to swim fast.”
That’s Rob Orr, long-time Princeton men’s coach, doing his best Yogi Berra impression.
“Swim slow to swim fast.”
That’s the title of an instructional video that generated some lively discussion on the USMS discussion forum this week.
Who’s right? Well, I guess it depends. How’s your technique? If you’re already relatively “fast” (which usually means efficient), you probably have good technique and would benefit from swimming “fast” (as in hard) to simulate racing.
But if you’re not already an efficient swimmer, you probably should be focusing more on slow, mindful drilling than on sprint sets.
It sounds like a chicken and egg problem, but it’s not. If you can’t swim slow (correctly), you won’t swim fast (period).