CIA Newsletter: March 2019 Racing Short Course vs Long Course

  Racing Short Course vs Long Course
There are different racing strategies in Long Course (50 meter pool) versus Short Course (25 yard/meter pool). Short Course racing is more about explosive speed, while Long Course is about sustaining speed. This doesn’t mean explosiveness is not found in Long Couse, it is just not relied upon as much. 

Let’s go over the obvious, 50 meters is longer that 25 yards, and a longer pool means less turns for each event. Turns are rest and allow the swimmer to recover and set up for the next length.  In a 25 yard pool, a good swimmer will take 12 strokes of free per length but going to a 50 meter pool that same swimmer will take 36 strokes per length.  Take away the turn frequency and increasing the number of strokes and the swimmer’s body will be taxed in a much greater capacity.
Here’s how you combat this

  • Increase aerobic conditioning by 10 to 20%
  • Work on better distance per stroke to improve efficiency
  • Change racing strategies

The strategies I tend to lean to is a greater emphasis on the second half of races.  This excludes the 50 Free of course, but I want the swimmers to set up for a strong finish by not over racing the first half of a race. This race strategy crosses over into practice as the must practice a lot of descend and negative split work, as well as pre-taxed racing so they learn how to race and shift gears while tired.
I love Long Course for a lot of reasons, but my favorite reason is that it exposes the swimmers who work hard and the ones who don’t. A below level trainer can hide in Short Course because the walls cover up their flaws. But in Long Course, there is no place to hide.