Race simulation in a training situation is just that – just a simulation. How close is simulation to the real thing? Well it may look the same, feel the same, but the results are not even close.
For example, a flight simulator, looks the same – you will see all those buttons on the flight console. It even feels the same as the computer simulates the feelings of turbulence etc. But it’s not close to being real, as you are not flying that 100 ton plane in reality and you do not have the thought of killing everyone onboard if you crash, if you run out of fuel or if you miss the run way.
Just like in a training situation, yes you are racing, but you are missing a few key things which change the whole game for you. No crowd, no opponents, no race warm up, no adrenaline, no pump up music, no previous races to watch to get the synapses moving in the brain.
So why do it?
Well the better we get at a simulation, the better swimmer we will be in the end game. If you swim a 25 in a race but in simulation you keep doing 27 – well the better you get at the simulation, perhaps you can bring it down to 26. Then in theory your time in a race should drop by that same difference to perhaps a 24.
So when is the best time to perform one of these “simulations”? Anytime!
At any point a swimmer should be ready to get up and race! This will help increase the adrenaline, at any point in time I can tell my swimmers to get out and get ready to race. They should all perform within 1% of their best time – if we push this thought process then the swimmers mind is always ready to do what they do best – race.
Breed the mentality from a young age. Get the younglings to open a chart and track their progress. Once a week make them get up and go for one sprint. As the child progresses, it keeps the mind fresh within training and encourages a safe competitive spirit.
At any point in time you can and you will get up and race like you are in a race situation.
Intellectual properties of Bryan Craig and Elite Coaching Foundation TM