What's the deal with swimming training?

Why do swimmers have to train 4 hours everyday just to be decent? Isn’t there some sort of “less is more” principle in the sport or some way to incorporate the high intensity elements? I’m not certain, but don’t swimmers who do the short sprints still spend lengthy amounts of time in the pool?

I didn’t put this in the aquatics forum because nobody would EVER!! go there…


They probably are applying the Arthur Lyddiard type principle of high volume equals optimum aerobic development for middle and long distance runners.

Lyddiard thought that translated all the way down to 800m eg his guy Snell.

I wonder if there’s some form of adaptation to their environment. (eg. the longer they’re in the pool the more efficient they become at manuevering in water??)

Power outputs in the water are relatively limited when compared to those on the track,thus allowing -and to certain extent requiring - more specific in water work to be done overall.

Adaptation to the environment applies more to body position and balance issues in the water,as force application in the stroke and hence technique is even more related to the general strength levels and characteristics of the swimmer.
There’s no “undefinable” feeling of the water or similar to be trained exclusively by miles of swimming in the pool.

It is a matter of fact though that even oxidative fibers do provide enough tension in the water to reach velocities which still allow for some success,at least up to a certain point and in certain strokes and events.
This might be one reason why “Arthur Lydiard oriented” volumes historically represent a safe and sound way to train swimmers and enjoy some success. By the way I argue that success might be even superior overall not only Lydiard’s volumes were taken into relative consideration,but also and especially His general training approach! In my experience time investment in the pool by many (usually young) swimmers well too often does not bring along adequate reward…