Outside magazine, August 1996
If anyone could swim on strength alone, it would be Amy Van Dyken, America's fastest female 50-meter freestyler. At six feet and 155 pounds, the 23-year-old Olympian is all power. "But even in the 50, you can't go on just strength," she says. "For a long time, I was trying to use my strength over finesse, paying no attention to technique."
In honing her technique for the Atlanta Olympics, Van Dyken shaved two strokes off her 50. Here's her favorite sprint workout, along with a distance routine for once you've mastered hip rotation, modified for fitness swimmers. After all, most of us don't have time to squeeze in 65,000 meters a week.
Drill/Swim: 1 x 200 yards freestyle
Swim: 1 x 150 yards freestyle
Swim: 1 x 100 yards freestyle
Swim: 1 x 50 yards freestyle
Swim: 1 x 200 freestyle
Swim: 1 x 200 yards freestyle
Pull: (a) 1 x 500 / (i) 1 x 400 / (b) 1 x 300 yards freestyle
Swim: (a) 5 x 300 / (i) 4 x 300 / (b) 3 x 300 yards freestyle
Kick (no board; fins optional): 2 x 200 yards flutter
Sprint: (a) 8 x 50 / (i) 6 x 50 / (b) 4 x 50 yards freestyle
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