Over on The Triathlon Book blog, Paulo has posted a couple articles on swimming, and in one of them he quotes me from an article I did for triathletemag
Its been some time since I wrote that article for Triathlete Mag on workouts for an off season swim focus, however my thoughts haven't changed with respect to the value of traditional swimming drills that many triathletes and swimmers do in an effort to improve their technique. Much like time spent stretching, many athletes spend time doing drills without ever improving their technique.
My position is essentially that good swimming technique has a lot more to do with fitness than most athletes understand or want to accept. The fundamental technical issue for all swimmers, the catch/propulsion, requires very good fitness to establish and maintain at race intensities and under load.
Its a lot harder to put in the miles over time than to piddle up and down the pool doing drills, so I guess thats why many athletes focus so much on traditional swimming drills, they seen as a short cut to faster swimming. Everyone wants to believe there is a way to get meaningfully faster without simply working harder, but traditional drills aren't the ticket to faster swim splits.