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Making a Stronger Transition from Short Course to Long Course Swimming

Author: Andrew Beggs


This article will explore the significant advantages of incorporating the Vasa Trainer and the Vasa SwimErg into swim team training programs, focusing on transitioning from short-course to long-course swimming. As teams prepare for the long-course season and competitions, they often encounter challenges related to the fundamental differences between the two formats. The Vasa Trainer and the Vasa SwimErg offer a unique solution to address these challenges effectively, allowing swimmers to improve their performance without compromising their training regime. This article explains this transition’s physiological aspects and how leveraging the Vasa swim benches can optimize training outcomes and enhance swim coaching programs.

Challenges of Transitioning from Short-Course to Long-Course Swimming:

The shift from short-course to long-course swimming presents hurdles for coaches and athletes. Long-course competitions occur in 50-meter pools, whereas short-course events occur in 25-yard and 25-meter pools. Most programs train in short-course facilities throughout the season. The scarcity and practical limitations of long-course training hinder swimmers’ ability to adapt to the physiologic and psychologic demands of long-course competition.

Physiological Differences and the Importance of Addressing Them:

One of the primary physiological challenges during the transition lies in the conditioning swimmers receive in short-course pools, where they expect brief rest periods at each wall. This conditioning affects the swimmers’ bodies and leads to feelings of exhaustion when transitioning to long-course competitions or training sessions. In a 50-meter setting, swimmers must swim continuously for significantly longer distances, requiring as many as three times the number of strokes compared to shorter pools. These substantial physiological differences demand specific attention to help swimmers reach their full potential in a 50-meter competition setting.

The Role of the Vasa SwimErg: 

Enter the Vasa SwimErg —a revolutionary tool that offers a game-changing solution to manage and navigate the challenges associated with long-course training. The Vasa SwimErg, coupled with data from its precision Power Meter, enables swimmers to perform a specific number of strokes continuously without rest, effectively targeting their muscular endurance in the critical areas required for long-course swimming. 

Unlike other training equipment, the SwimErg (and also the Vasa Trainer) allows swimmers to replicate their bodyline and limb orientation in the water, harnessing the effects of gravity like their experiences in the pool. This seemingly insignificant distinction yields valuable physiological responses, making the Vasa SwimErg an efficient choice with significant advantages.  Furthermore, because of its unique orientation on land, the Vasa machines facilitate coaching of proper catch positions across all competitive strokes.


Integrating the Vasa SwimErg (or the Vasa Trainer) into your team’s training program promises numerous benefits throughout the season. By capitalizing on the Vasa’s ability to simulate long-course swimming conditions, swimmers can adapt to the physiological demands of 50-meter competitions. Its innovative design and orientation empower coaches to instruct proper catch positions, enhancing swim coaching programs. Embrace the advantages of the Vasa Trainer today and unlock your team’s full potential in transitioning from short-course to long-course swimming.

Author: Andrew Beggs

transitioning from short-course to long-course swimming

Andrew Beggs is the Director of Competitive Aquatics and Head Swimming Coach at Keystone Aquatics

Instagram: @coach_beggers