Volume and Intensity within Your Swimming Training Plan is going to Determine the Aperture of Your Flow Rate

I’ve done a lot of interviews in my life now, but this one STILL sticks out in my mind. A couple years ago I was on deck with David Lush, who is best known for being Emily Seebohm’s coach. David coaches a club team out of Brisbane Grammar School. He is also the youngest coach to receive the “Coach of the Year” award from Australian Swim Coaches and Teachers Association — at the age of 37. David is one of those brilliant minds in that loves the science and physiology behind the sport.

While I was shadowing practice, David and I got into a discussion on how he constantly ‘tests’ his athletes to double check that their swimming training plan is working. He said his biggest challenge is making sure an athlete’s engine is ‘tuned’ correctly to the race they are wanting to perform in. Essentially, he’s checking his swimmer’s physiology and how they are adapting to their current swimming training plan.

How Does David Do This?

To do this, David uses a test set of 12 x 25’s on :05 seconds rest. He does this test set once a month over the 3-month span within seasons. His goal of the 12 x 25’s is to plot a curve to check a swimmer’s ‘flow rate’ or ability to put energy in the pool over a certain period of time.

So if you’re plotting a 1500m swimmer’s curve comparatively to a 100m swimmer, you’ll see a big difference in their peak speeds and ability to maintain over time — so if you’re trying to increase the performance of the overall system, you want every 25 to be consistently faster each test set.

Wait, what?

Aperture means the opening of a lens through which light passes in a camera. When you draw the aperture of a 1500m swimmer versus a 100m swimmer, a 100m swimmer will have a much LARGER opening because they want to DUMP a lot of energy into the pool over a SHORT period of time. Whereas, a 1500m swimmer will have a much SMALLER aperture, because they want to conserve energy (with keeping speed high) over a LONGER period of time.

David says it the best. Swimming is not about just volume of yards anymore. We’ve done the 40K a week, 50K a week, etc. — the sport is so fast now, it’s about tuning the engine — not just creating a bigger one.

Watch our conversation live below:

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Until Next Time,

Abbie Fish

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