Swimming World Presents – Special Sets With Coach Dave Salo

SW December 2020 - Special Sets with Coach Dave Salo

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Special Sets With Coach Dave Salo

By Michael J. Stott

Dave Salo has represented the United States as an Olympic, World Championships and Pan Pacific Championships coach and has guided the USC Trojans to 18 NCAA Top 10 finishes in 14 years. But his enduring legacy will most likely be his training mindset that emphasizes race-pace training and quality over quantity.

A swimming scientist (Ph.D., exercise physiology, USC, ’91) as well as an ASCA Hall of Fame coach, Dave Salo’s training philosophy was formed by study, practice and personal experience. His road to “less is more” began in the 1970s.

“I was a swimmer and trained in the traditional methods of the time—volume-based, overdistance, aerobic base—even though my events were 200 and down. When I studied exercise physiology at Long Beach State and the University of Southern California, I was exposed to training thoughts that were quite contrary to the methods used throughout my years as a swimmer and even in my first four-to-five years of coaching,” he says.

“As I researched the physiology and better understood the effects of training methods on physiologic systems that affect performance, I changed my ideas about training and moved toward a race-pace, ‘quality vs. quantity’ mindset.

“In addition to changing what I did with my swimmers, I also explored this philosophy in training myself for triathlon, marathon running and post-graduate swimming competition. My discoveries had as much impact on my coaching philosophy as did published research that I studied,” he says.

Salo’s approach to training has varied little in the last 40 years. Simply stated, he strives to make it interesting, innovative, engaging and fun. Now retired from USC, he is still training elite post-graduates by employing methods conducted at race pace and faster intensities with a more focused attention on stroke technique. The approach reduces the emphasis on volume and overdistance.

“Effectively, my training sessions probably constitute more than 75% faster-than-race-pace intensities with repeat distances more often than not at lengths much less than race distances (i.e., 25-50-75, etc.). Because workloads are conducted over shorter distances at higher intensities, the average intensity of most training sessions is significantly higher,” he says.

One clear benefit is his ability to give enhanced feedback to athletes. Sets such as 20 x 25 on 15 seconds rest allow for 10 seconds of feedback every 12 seconds of effort vs. 1 x 500 with feedback restricted to once after a sustained work effort of upwards of five minutes.

“Because volume does not play a significant role in the design of my training sessions, I can focus more on the content of the training session and strive to make them relevant to an athlete’s particular event—be it a 50 or a 1500 swim. These generally last no more than two hours each.

“The overriding factor in my training sessions is that a race is not a solely cardiovascular event, but equally—and maybe more importantly—a neuromuscular event. I am often criticized that my workouts won’t engage the CV system, but I don’t find that to be true at all. What I see is cardiovascular conditioning engaged at a very high level. At the same time, the neuromuscular system and biochemical systems—lactate metabolism, buffering capacity, etc.—are engaged as well,” he notes.

To read more about coach Salo’s training methods,
check out the Swimming World December 2020 issue…Click here to download now!

SW December 2020 - World Swimmers of the Millenium (So Far) Cover[PHOTO CREDIT: PETER H. BICK]

 

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Swimming World Magazine December 2020 Issue

FEATURES

012 SWIMMERS OF THE MILLENNIUM’S FIRST 20 YEARS (2000-19)
by John Lohn, David Rieder, Andy Ross and Dan D’Addona
World & American: Michael Phelps & Katie Ledecky
European: Pieter van den Hoogenband & Inge de Bruijn
Pacific Rim: Ian Thorpe & Leisel Jones
African: Chad le Clos & Kirsty Coventry

019 PROVING THEIR METTLE
by Andy Ross
After the South African media made several disparaging comments about the women’s swimming team in 2016 when none of their swimmers had qualified for the Rio Olympics, Tatjana Schoenmaker and her South African teammates have been supporting one another and working together to show just how good they can be.

021 FIT TO BE TIED
by John Lohn
At the 1972 Munich Olympics, Sweden’s Gunnar Larsson was awarded the gold medal in the men’s 400 IM, edging USA’s Tim McKee by 2-thousandths of a second. Subsequently, international swimming rules were changed to record results to 1-hundredth of a second, allowing for ties among swimmers with identical times.

034 MENTAL PREP: BEFORE THE BEEP WITH CLAIRE CURZAN
by Shoshanna Rutemiller

COACHING

010 TOUGHEST WORKOUTS (Part 2)
by Michael J. Stott
Swimming has had its share of taskmasters over the years. In the second of a two-part series on workouts designed to push swimmers to their limits are some sets from respected authoritative figures at Germantown, Arden Hills, Bluefish and Florida who have trained exceptional athletes that have excelled on the international stage.

038 SWIMMING TECHNIQUE CONCEPTS: BREASTSTROKE BREATHING HEAD TIMING DELAY
by Rod Havriluk
In breaststroke, most swimmers learn to synchronize their head and arm motions to breathe and to recover to the non-012 breathing position. However, a delay in the head motion both to breathe and to recover affords benefits of less resistance, more propulsion and a faster stroke rate.

040 SPECIAL SETS: DAVE SALO—THE MAN AND THE METHOD
by Michael J. Stott
Dave Salo has represented the United States as an Olympic, World Championships and Pan Pacific Championships coach and has guided the USC Trojans to 18 NCAA Top 10 finishes in 14 years. But his enduring legacy will most likely be his training mindset that emphasizes race-pace training and quality over quantity.

043 Q&A WITH COACH MICHAEL BROOKS
by Michael J. Stott

044 HOW THEY TRAIN THOMAS HAGAR
by Michael J. Stott

TRAINING

037 DRYSIDE TRAINING: POSSIBLY THE 5 BEST DRYLAND EXERCISES EVER!
by J.R. Rosania
If done properly and regulary, these exercises can enhance your stroke, technique, power and speed.

JUNIOR SWIMMER

047 UP & COMERS: ERIKA PELAEZ
by Shoshanna Rutemiller

COLUMNS & SPECIAL SECTIONS

008 A VOICE FOR THE SPORT

009 DID YOU KNOW: ABOUT THE ART OF SWIMMING?

026 HOLIDAY GIFT GUIDE

036 DADS ON DECK

046 HASTY HIGH POINTERS

048 GUTTERTALK

049 PARTING SHOT

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