Training through racing

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    I have followed Michael Andrew’s career closely and I have always wondered if he gets an additional training effect from all the racing he does. Obviously, the more you race, your starts, turns, and other racing skills will be sharper. But I’m curious if there is some sort of physical benefit from racing all the time. I’m talking improved speed, strength, and endurance. Not just better turns and hitting the walls. One of MA’s most impressive race’s imo was his 46.95 100 fly which came at the end of a long stretch of racing almost every weekend. I question if he could have done that without all the racing he did. If he only did 3 meets or something in 2014 before stepping up on the block on 4/18, I don’t think he could have gone 46.95.

    During MA’s assault on the record books from January 2014 to his 15th birthday, he swam 159 races. After browsing through his times again today, I noticed a trend with his top times. During that time frame, his best times were sprinkled all throughout but the majority are weighted towards the end of that stretch. In late July and earlier Aug he swam 36 times in two weeks and then went 22.82 in the 50 Free at Junior Pan Pacs which is still the only time he has been sub 23. He has been 23 low a million times. In late 2014 he did a bunch of meets before poping off that incredible 1:01.67 100 breast in January. To me, it looks like doing a bunch of meets on consecutive weekends followed by a short 2-3 week break has some sort of positive effect.

    I probably won’t swim a meet until October or November. Everything on the schedule is too far away or doesn’t work for me. 6 months is a long to go without a meet so it got me thinking I should probably do some allout 100’s every once in a while just to stay sharp. I was also thinking of taking it a step further and doing a meet simulation every Saturday. I take Sunday’s off so I would have a day to recover before my next USRPT workout. I don’t think it would cause an accumulation of fatigue and break me down over time. Instead of doing a USRPT work out on Saturday I would do something like a 100 IM, 50 breast, and 100 fly all out with like 20-30 minutes in between.

    What do you guys think? Is there a positive physical effect of racing all the time? If there is, I would like to implement that into my training. At the same time, if there is no effect outside of racing skills, I don’t want to skip a USRPT workout on sat for no reason. I know mix training produces mixed results but I think there is something to swimming a lot of meets. I don’t want to get off topic but, the other reason that got me thinking about this is the hot topic in the swimming internet world right now. The only person that swims more meets than MA just so happens to swim fast all the time as well.

    Gary P

    I can’t see any real physical benefit to racing that much, but certainly there’s a lot to be gained mentally.


    I’m respond to an old post but I have been researching training through racing too.

    Katinka is definitely using this methodology as her husband stated it.

    “His idea, which defied convention, was to train less and race more.”

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