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Digital Subscriptions > Outdoor Swimmer > April 2017 > WHAT IS NEURAL TRAINING AND WHY DO IT?


Total Immersion founder and head coach Terry Laughlin looks at the principles and protocols of training your brain and presents a sample set to get you started on making your training neurally orientated

This is the first instalment of a monthly series on Mind-Body Training. By mind-body, we mean training that strengthens the connection between your brain and muscles. It’s also intended to increase your efficiency, in part by stimulating your brain to work harder as you swim. When your brain takes on more challenging tasks, the less your body must do to accomplish any goal. One advantage, among many, is that, though it runs on the same fuel – oxygen and glycogen – the brain is far more immune than your muscles to fatigue-related failure.

And if you’re interested in aging gracefully, exercise is as good for the brain as for the body. The most valuable workout is one that works brain and body in equal measure. Mindbody training is simply unmatched in improving the outcomes and enjoyment from training.

Let’s begin by comparing two definitions of endurance. The traditional definition is: “Work harder, longer to create aerobic adaptations that allow you to… work harder, longer.” Traditional training seldom emphasises efficiency or economy – in movement or use of scarce energy resources.

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About Outdoor Swimmer

Welcome to the first issue of Outdoor Swimmer! We are dedicated to providing inspiration and information for people who swim outdoors – and for people who want to swim outdoors but haven’t yet quite plucked up enough courage to escape the confines of the pool. If you were a reader of H2Open, the former name of Outdoor Swimmer, we hope you will be pleased with the changes we have made. But don’t worry, we haven’t changed radically! We still have all the same great features we had before, but the changes we have made are those that were suggested by you in our reader survey. We will focus more on the social aspects of outdoor swimming and increase our coverage of wild swimming, as well as expanding our training section to include distance-specific plans to help you reach your swimming goals. We are also thrilled to have joined forces with the Outdoor Swimming Society to bring you reviews of all the best kit for outdoor swimmers. This issue we look at goggles, next month we will be reviewing wetsuits. Let us know what you think of the changes, and what you would like to see more (or less) of in Outdoor Swimmer. Enjoy the magazine and happy swimming. Jonathan Cowie Editor