I’ve been posting some technical points and practice sessions at www.distancedave.com for a few months now, but I thought I’d add a tempo training segment that I’ve enjoyed coaching and doing myself.

 200 Graceful Freestyle- no tempo trainer

 10 x 50 playtime. Change the tempo by up to .04 after each 50 to find the right balance for a strong, smooth, sustainable rhythm. I don’t assign tempos because with all the different factors involved, many body types will have different tempos based on their physical ratios and their comfort levels with certain habits. My shorter, younger swimmers tend to have faster tempos in part because their moment of intertia allows a faster rotation with the same effort.

Find your tempo for the day and use it with rotating focal points. If you want elaboration on these, post some comments on it. See if the changes help you remove hitches in the stroke where you might be losing balance. Check for:


  •  Symmetrical patience
  • Flow of elbow to shoulder shrug and gentle roll wide from the shoulder socket
  • Elimination of pause for pull- let the hip guide the spearing arm down
  • Even patience on breathing strokes. No exaggerated pull or upward spear to compensate for a high or late breath.
  • Keeping tempo within length. Don’t shorten the stretch just to increase the tempo.
600 build- subtract .01 every 25 or 50 to move into a stronger tempo.
4 x 100 at the tempo you just finished at @ :30 rest. Focus on the aspect  of the stroke you feel will slip out of place if not attended to.
4 x 50 speed.  Subtract another .20 and hold the tempo with the hips and weight shift. :30 rest after each one.
These 50s end up faster for many people than their own version of a sprint.
 10 x 50 cooldown with attention. Begin with your speed tempo and add .05 every 50 to get longer, smoother, and mroe graceful. Add better Front Quadrant timing to enjoy the full body glide.
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