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Old 11-02-2010
KatieK KatieK is offline
Senior Member
Join Date: Jan 2010
Location: Scottsdale, AZ, USA
Posts: 295
Default Trade-off between rhythm and stroke length

Originally Posted by haschu33 View Post
Still. You can swim several k (unlike me), so your stroke should be quite stable.
Haschu33, if you want to swim longer distances, I'm confident you can do it. It's just a matter of working up to it gradually.

Originally Posted by haschu33 View Post
how is it when you go really fast, like 0.8 ? Do you still have time to focus on details? Maybe it is easier at fast speeds to get the swing.
No matter how fast I'm going, I deliberately reserve some time at the end of the stroke to stretch my lead arm for as long as I can. This causes a slight pause, but it lengthens my stroke.

My coach figured out that I often miss one beep per length while swimming with the TT at faster speeds. I had had a suspicion about that, but it didn't make any sense. I couldn't figure out how I could miss one beep and hit the rest of them. I think what happens is I get slightly behind and then sneak in a longer pause to catch the next beep.

She said that at faster speeds, I shouldn't try so hard to keep my lead arm as patient as I can at slower speeds. To help me get rid of the pause, she had me switch back to timing the beep to my spearing arm instead of the kick. My SPL went way up, but she said it made my stroke look better. Smoother and with a more consistent rhythm.

Doing it that way took caused me a lot more physical exertion, but I did get a better feel for the rhythm of the stroke rate. I felt like I was rushing, but I didn't miss any beeps.

Originally Posted by AWP View Post
I can pretty much guarantee that after a cold water (-70F) immersion your stroke rate would become considerably quicker! If you can stay in long enough (coherently) to remember that feeling you're all set : ) .
On my most recent lake swim, I started to get a sense of this. I had the tempo trainer set to 1.1 which usually feels leisurely. The water temperature had dropped, so I was really cold for the first ~250 yds. Then, I started to get a sensation of the rhythm of one stroke falling into the rhythm of the next. The 1.1 pace felt very brisk. The term "kinetic chain" kept popping into my head. I started getting that sensation of my warm body being separate from the cold water.

When I got out of the lake, I felt like I'd made great progress. But, when I got back in the pool the next day, my SPL was way off. I have actually noticed that before. Any time I focus on elbow circles or using the gravity of the spear to initiate rotation, I shorten my stroke.

So, I guess the next step is figure out how to keep my stroke long while focusing on rhythm.
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