I am always startled to find myself swimming against athletes who manage to swim incredibly fast times in races even though they are always the slowest in the lane at training sessions.
I have often wondered how this could be possible and, most significantly, how come the same swimmer who managed to leave me behind after the first couple of inches of a fast 50 cannot maintain my pace over a longer set. After pondering over this question for a while, I have come to the conclusion that I was dealing with some rare examples of sprinters.
Would you like to know whether you belong to this category? In this article we will try and identify the distinctive traits that allow you to be deemed worthy of this label.
Your legs are faster than the propellers of a motorboat….
While others really begin to suffer terribly from fatigue and a lack of oxygen as soon as they speed up their leg kick, you feel great: at least for the first 100 metres.
…. and your hands manage to “catch more” water than the paddle of a canoe!
What use are paddles to you? Kevin Costner had webbed fingers in Waterworld and looked like some kind of marine creature, but you have discovered the magic formula for combining arm speed and a great catch phase…… so nobody can stop you.
“Take your Marks”
You have heard this said hundreds of times but it still makes you want to set off at top speed. Those few seconds before the start and the adrenaline you can feel on the starting block are something you will never tire of, you are literally addicted to them!
Your racing swimsuit? At least one size too small!
I once watched a young sprinter try on a racing suit. It seemed impossible for that tiny product to fit its potential buyer: a team of two staff members slowly began to pull it on, one stitch after another, and after about an hour’s meticulous work they succeeded in this daunting task. If the racing suit “fits”, then it is the right size…. even if it is a size too small
You are the envy of long-distance swimmers!
You swim fewer kilometres in training than your long-distance colleagues. But who can explain to them how much you exert yourself even during shorter sessions?
If you can feel yourself shaking during long training sets and sprinting is what gives you your daily dose of energy, then there can be no doubt about it: you can proudly call yourself a sprinter!