What is your comfortable stroke rate?
I was playing around with stroke rate at the pool yesterday and found that 54 strokes per minute seemed to be my upper threshold before my heart starts to climb excessively.
What sort of stroke rate do the rest of you enjoy?
For instance, I have been working hard to get my strokes per (25 m) length to 24 over repeated 100m. I can now actually get 24 SPL over 100 m if I'm fresh with a TT of 1.30 sec, which is about 46 strokes per minute. But as the 100m repeats (which I do with steadily descending TT settings) continue, I slip to 25 SPL. Assuming 25 SPL I can get down to about TT =1.20sec (50 strokes/minute) and still barely repeat on 3 minute sendoffs. But below this I start to lose it and absolutely cannot hang on to 25 SPL.
So, if I were to continue dropping my TT to 1.15 (52strokes/min), 1.10 (54 strokes/minute) seconds, I absolutely would blow up at my present competence if I tried to get 25 SPL. But I could quite casually swim at 54 strokes/minute if I just let the stroke length adjust itself to whatever was comfortable and easy.
increasing the 'slippage' requires less energy output per stroke allowing you to maintain a higher turnover without hitting your work limit....try the 'fist drill' to demonstrate this
But of course a high turnover is not a good thing by itself (neither is a low SPL)--the fun and complexity comes in when you start to juggle the variables of stroke rate, stroke length, and perceived exertion to see how different combinations affect speed.
It's kind of like walking with a normal stride on the left step and a giant stride on the right step -- try it.
Higher stroke rate, more kicks = increased effort - always.
Stroke rate and stroke length are based on height (wing span), skill set and swim distance (what you can sustain)
When in doubt what to do - just do the math:
SL = 1.3yards (15 spl)
tempo = 55 stokes per minute or 1.09 seconds per stroke
speed = 1.3y x 55spm = 71.5 yards per minute
100 pace = 100/71.5 = 1.399 mins = 1:23.94
SL = 1.05yards (19 spl)
tempo = 70 stokes per minute or 0.86 seconds per stroke
speed = 1.05y x 70spm = 73.5 yards per minute
100 pace = 100/73.5 = 1.36 mins = 1:23.0
However if you can sustain 70spm and drop a stroke to 18 spl, 100y pace would be 1:18. Dropping a stroke at any rate yields the quickest results to faster pace.
Do the math, find out what stroke rate, stroke length combination will get you to your goal(s).
Tom, Look at this link posted by descending on the other thread....at about 0:38
is this 'swinger' style what you are talking about?
Stuart, curious what do you think about that?
I agree with Stuart provided the reduction in stroke count comes through improvement in efficiency. Particularly over short distances it is possible to swim with a low stroke count/low tempo combination that involves putting a lot of effort into each stroke (not necessarily consciously) and this may not be sustainable or at least that's my experience.
Love Coach Anna Lundin - she gave me tips on where get my water proof headsets (where a coach can talk to and correct swimmers while they're swimming). And she has a beautiful stroke.
Branding strokes is great marketing, but offers only limited/simplistic choices. The "swinger" implies swinging recovery wide verses "smooth" does not. The main difference is whether the high and low side arms are more coupled together (i.e. windmilling) vs uncoupled holding low side arm in front longer, or more "front quadrant" timing. But on Anna's "smooth" there's a deceleration of recovery at entry (tight hands) which can shorten stroke length - common problem.
But lets do the math on both. I've had to approximate the longer stroke swim since they didn't film the entire like as they did with the "swinger". Using the ladders looked to be roughly 25m, 5m glide off the wall, stroking ~20m.
sl = 1.25m (16 strokes)
spm = 60 (1.0 secs per stroke)
speed = 1.25m x 60spm = 75m per minute
100m pace = 100/75 = 1.333 mins = 1:20.0
sl = 0.95m (21 strokes)
spm = 85 (.70 secs per stroke)
speed = 0.95m x 85spm = 80.8m per minute
100m pace 100/80.8 = 1.237 mins or 1:14.3
Coach Ana seemed to feel best or in her zone at 85spm, but she's also a former Olympic swimmer. However, I would give Anna more choices, not in swim stereotypes or brands, but rather different stroke rates and stroke lengths. I think another choice could be 70spm @ 1.18sl (17 strokes), and should be sustainable for long distances 1500m and above - given that's a goal.
sl = 1.18 (17 strokes)
spm = 70 (.85 secs per stroke)
speed = 82.6m per minute
100m pace = 100/82.6 = 1.21 mins or 1:12.6
I'm not sure what Anna's swim goals are these days since she's mostly coaching, and I believe coaching mostly triathletes. She's an excellent coach and can certainly offer her swimmers plenty of choices to meet their goals.
Found this guy on youtube who gets in a very nice rhythm at higher strokerates after 1 m50.
You can see some rates dont match and others do. He has a great arm anchor in the water too, partially used to connect with his recovery. From 1m54 to 2 m his catch timing is brilliant. Right before the end of his roll to extract a bit of roll energy.
People who race at high rates do look out of place at the lowest rates. The opposite probably also holds true.
Offcourse the true TI fans will loooovvvee this style most:
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