Recently I had the opportunity to Coach at the Total Immersion Effortless Endurance Camp at St. Petersburg Florida. TI Camps are based heavily on technique and application. Followed by swimmming! Coaches are on poolside and hands on in the water with swimmers. As a 'culminating activity, we swam in Tampa Bay and the Gulf of Mexico! (pics later)
In order to get to the point where swimmers were applying their new found techniques in Open Water Swims (OWS), we spent hours in the pool, guiding them through neural exercises. Introducing the finite points that would propel them through the water, balanced and streamlined, like dolphins, instead of humans!
One of the the swimmers at a break exclaimed "Wow this is mentally exhausting!" This is not your typical look at the board and swim the set! We are building mental and physical endurance here! Building mental endurance is prime to building physical endurance. Your body will go where your mind can take it! Full focus. How does mental endurance help us in swimming? To quote a recent article by Terry Laughlin, TI Founder:
"First: The brain develops more robust neural networks (by adding neurons to the circuit which directs the skill) that carry the signal to the muscles performing the task. A stronger signal leads to more consistency—and fewer errors–in that movement.
Second: The brain also ‘learns’ the task—becoming more precise in turning on just the right combination of motor units (and turning off those that need to relax). This reduces the amount of muscle tissue needed to perform the task effectively.
Both decrease energy cost, meaning ‘precious’ energy can go farther."
Magic. Well, really application of theroy...going farther, using less energy, less oxygen as well! Who doesn't want to learn how to do that? In Triathlon, more energy to use on the bike and the run!!
If you are interested in a more in depth articl, click to read more at: http://www.totalimmersion.net/blog/mental-endurance-improves-physical-performance-primer/
First learn technique in the pool...then into the Gulf we go!!