A few months ago, I was in the pool doing a light recovery session – that kind of swim in the middle of the day where a lot more floating is done than swimming with any real conviction.
I pushed off the wall with the intent of doing a perfect, easy 50m. As I swam along, I felt what I can only describe as an effortless equilibrium between controlled power and rhythmic flow. The type of feeling that instantly brought me back to why I swim.
When I got home, I got the usual ‘how was your session’ from my parents, and I tried to explain to my Dad that feeling I had. As I did so, I realised that he had absolutely no idea what I was talking about. I wouldn’t say it was an epiphany moment, but I came to the realisation that it wasn’t just him, but a significant group of people, who would have never encountered such an idea.
It may sound terribly soppy and overstated, but that feeling is honestly one that I live for. Not just in swimming, but any sport I have done. Not to say that I have in any way mastered the freestyle stroke, but I had reached a point (that comes and goes like the wind) where I could comfortably say that I was getting close.
The point of that story is that this realisation hit me and led me to think along the lines of what I did to get to that point. This is a feeling that I wish more people could understand, because it is incredibly exciting and fulfilling to have that moment.
On the flipside, there is a very different feeling you get from swimming, but no less important to me. This is, the feeling of complete power and application of this power – of a sort of oneness with the water, that comes from sprinting.
My mind first went to the excuse that would stop most people from pursuing this feeling, being that it takes too much work and isn’t realistic. In some sense this is true, but in others it is a fallacy based entirely around antiquated views on what it takes to be a swimmer.
Sure, it makes sense that if you want to compete in the 1500m race, that you would have to do 1500m training – but that is not the goal here. Realistically, to race a 50, all you have to be able to do is maintain whatever your top speed is 45m from a dive.
‘If you cannot justify it, get rid of it.’
So of course, it is still hard, but sprint training does not have to be the unattainable 6km a session that it once was. My training philosophy is one of simplicity. If you cannot justify it, get rid of it. It’s funny how much you can take out of a session with this mentality.
This blog will be, among other things, a culmination of the years of learning, research and application of the philosophy that I train around. I aim to make sprinting more accessible and documented, so that others can challenge my ideas, take them on board, and ultimately improve upon the work I am doing. Most of all, I want to show how much passion and fun can surround the sport if you take the right mindset.
I have taken a new approach to training that is enjoyable, and I believe works. No bullshit, no garbage yardage, just an express purpose for every single metre. Challenge your approach and follow this journey, it may just work for you too.
Also, who doesn’t love feeling fast?
Come along for the ride with me 😊