Peak Performance: Racing with Agression
Most swimmers set goals prior to competing. Common goals include: winning, achieving best times, making finals, winning medals, and qualifying for bigger meets. To increase the chance of success, swimmers should have a plan of attack or a racing plan for every event they swim. When designing the plan four factors must be taken into consideration: the distance of the event, the swimmer’s current fitness level, the swimmer’s current experience level, and the swimmer’s current confidence level. Unfortunately, many swimmers have only one plan for all races; to swim as hard as they can, for as long as they can. While efficient for a 50, it typically results in swimmers dying on the second half of races 100-yards or longer. While there is a variety of proven plans to choose from, one of the most effective involves controlling swimmers’ aggression levels over the course of the event. In a 50, the aggression level for the first segment (first 25) and second segment (second 25) should equal 100%. The plan works because of the short duration of the event. In a 100, the aggression level for the first segment (first 50) should be reduced, to one degree or another, because the racing distance is twice as long. The amount of reduction would also depend upon the swimmer’s current level of fitness, experience, and confidence. If the levels were high, the swimmer could begin the race at a higher level of aggression. If the levels were low, the swimmer would need to begin the race at a lower level.
Learn more from Coach Baker at one of his Peak Performance Swim Camps, located at various locations across the United States and abroad.