I think it's interesting that every time someone gives advice like this, everyone assumes that the prescription is simply "volume." It isn't. It's APPROPRIATE volume.
And yes, to reference Sentania, there is some basic level of ability that is required. I.e., if your best 100m for time is, let's say, slower than 2:00/100yds, then you simply need to learn how to swim. In other words, if you really, fundamentally, cannot swim, then - duh - don't get in and try and bang out big volume. Get some basic swim instruction. There's a difference between fundamentals and "technique work." If you truly lack the fundamentals then you need them.
I'll explain, simply, for the people who fail to grasp the nuances by way of example.
If you are able to swim 200yds at a speed that you would be VERY happy being able to swim for 2000yds, the way to get there is NOT by doing drills. It is by working on your fitness. Most often, the "technique problems" that occur going from 200->2000 are that people lack the fitness to hold their stroke together. So in that sense, as you work on fitness, you work on technique, because you limit how much your stroke breaks down.
Simply put, the ability of people to simply *maintain* their stroke - a lack of fitness - is a MUCH more significant limiter than any dramatic technique flaw. Even at the highest level, triathlon swimming is not particular fast. For example, an hour swim for Ironman is pretty fast. An hour swim for 3800m means you are going more than 50% slower than the speed of a world class OW swimmer. Think about that.
Ironically, no one seems to miss this connection with running. Very few people waste as much time doing running drills as they do with swimming drills. Nobody - well, very few people - think that drills are the key to a ~3hr Ironman marathon (also 50% slower than elite level). But plenty of people seem to think they can drill their way to a ~1hr IM swim...
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