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  #1  
Old 03-16-2011
Spideroffaith77 Spideroffaith77 is offline
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Spideroffaith77
Default stroke count

hey everybody
I have been swimming TI for 7 months and I have a couple of questions.

1. At 5'8" 140 pounds, what should my stroke count be on average. I know my count changes depending on how fast I push, but what is a good average stroke count for someone my height?

2. After training with TI for seven months, Im just wondering how my speed compares to others. I timed my 500m. yesterday and finished just over 10 minutes. I know I am pretty slow, but is that a decent time. I guess what may be more important is that, I swam that 500 but felt like I could easily get out and ride my bike for a couple of hours (im a triathlete).

any advice?
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  #2  
Old 03-16-2011
westyswoods westyswoods is offline
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Default Stroke Count vs Tempo vs Speed vs Pace vs Ease

You present several very good questions. The first being what is a good speed? Too often we try to compare ours with others, human nature and we all want to go faster, myself included. Oh how I want to be able to swim sub 2:00 100rds.and maintain it for ever. Better yet I want to break a 30 minute mile.

Difficulty is right now I can't and I have been doing TI for three plus years. The other side of the coin is I believe technique wise I am well above the average TI swimmer. I will get there and continue to work on pacing while maintaining form. The only way to do this is through development of the neural circuits and the use of a tempo trainer. (Just started with regularity myself) You answered a key question with your statement that at the end of a 500 you felt good. Isn't that what you want.

Just keep building on what you have and it will come. Enjoy the journey and may we all strive to improve.

Swim Silent and Be Well
Westy
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  #3  
Old 03-16-2011
dzhou01 dzhou01 is offline
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I am a 5'5 middle aged woman.
I can cross 25 yard pool in 19-20 strokes. 2 beat kick helps me a lot since I don't feel very tired any more.
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  #4  
Old 03-16-2011
CoachBrian CoachBrian is offline
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Spider,

Westy has some good advice. There's also some good advice on the thread titled "building endurance without undoing the stroke". As Coach Kevin suggested, I use my stroke count more to monitor what's happening during a practice rather than trying to achieve the lowest count.

That said, I still strive to be able to lower my count while swimming fluidly. Being able to do it doesn't mean I'll swim a long swim that way, but having a lower count as a possibility means I might get more length per stroke during a swim of whatever length.

There is a formula that assumes that an efficient stroke will send you as far as your reach is long. So you can measure your reach from your extended wrist to the exit point of the pulling hand. Then take the length of your pool and subtract the distance that you go on the push off. Divide that distance by your reach distance to get a stroke count.

As a triathlete, your goal is to leave the water feeling like yoiu've had a good warm-up. But it's still a timed event! It's important to train to optimize your effort and speed. My triathlon training plans will help you find that optmium pace.
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  #5  
Old 03-18-2011
DesertDog DesertDog is offline
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Default What's the right stroke count?

Terry wrote a blog on this. See:
http://www.totalimmersion.net/blog/W...ke-Count-.html

Here's an excerpt:

A Formula for SPL
An optimal stroke count - the one that should have the lowest energy cost for any distance or speed - is fairly individual. But there is a formula, based on arm length and the distance of your usual push off that allows you to predict your own personal "highly efficient" stroke count for Freestyle - the one you should aim for when swimming short distances at low speed. Allow 2 to 4 additional strokes per length for higher speeds.

For a 25-yard pool: High Efficiency SPL = 12 x (L-P)/A.
For a 25-meter pool: High Efficiency SPL = (L-P)/A

SPL = strokes per length
L = Length of pool (in feet or meters)
P = distance traveled in pushoff before stroking (in feet or meters)
A = Armspan from wrist to wrist (in inches or meters)
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  #6  
Old 03-18-2011
terry terry is offline
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We do have a rough table for 25-yd SPL. I'll reproduce here
Height SPL Range
4'11"-5'1" 18-21
5'2"-5'4" 17-20
5'5"-5"7" 16-19
5'8"-5'10" 15-18
5'11"-6'1" 14-17
6'2"-6'4" 13-16

We think of this as a minimal efficiency range. Until you can stroke pretty consistently in this range, and stay within it for 200yds or more, you shouldn't be thinking of much other than balance and streamline.

The range of 3 strokes for each height range allows for someone whose skills are not fully developed, or with a more challenging body type to bring their SPL within it.

A fairly simple and natural way to improve your efficiency if your stroke count remains stubbornly above it is to use a Tempo Trainer and gradually/steadily slow tempo until your SPL gets inside the upper end of your desired range. Usually the tempo range for 'remediating efficiency' starts at about 1.3 and could go as high as 1.7 or 1.8.

Once you find the tempo that allows you to get within the range, then you can
1) incrementally add distance at that tempo and SPL, or
2) incrementally increase tempo at a given distance and SPL.

At some point you can also try to improve your SPL to the lower end of the range for your height -- and eliminate the top number. I.E. If you're 5'11, try to keep SPL under most circumstances between 14 and 16. Avoid 17.

All will improve your speed.
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Last edited by terry : 03-18-2011 at 02:30 AM.
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  #7  
Old 03-18-2011
westyswoods westyswoods is offline
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Default Stroke Count vs Body Type

Terry,

Could you give an explanation of challenging body type?

I also attempted a personal e-mail to you the other day but it comes back rejected. Would you send me your address or it may be a problem with my service.

Thanks

Swim Silent and Be Well
Westy
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  #8  
Old 03-18-2011
terry terry is offline
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"Challenging" body type could mean a variety of things, but primarily:
- Those who are less buoyant - perhaps exceptionally lean with long legs, or very heavily muscled.
- Those who have difficulty streamlining - because of a bulky/blocky build or excess weight, or maybe limited range of motion in the shoulders, whether from injury, prior activity (i.e. heavy weight lifting).

The point is that the 4-stroke target range makes allotment for people who represent a wide range of physical makeup. What I see as the encouraging aspect of this target range is that it's both specific and inclusive. If you're 5'8" you have a clear idea of what level of efficiency to shoot for. At the same time, someone who still finds it difficult to maintain balance -- perhaps while breathing, or for more than a lap or two -- the upper end of the range allows a sense of being 'reasonably efficient for now' yet with a goal for improvement.

The simplest and most 'organic' way to find your own personal range would be with the Tempo Trainer. Set the tempo somewhere around 1.3 and work gradually 'backward' in increments between .05 and .10 (1.35, 1.40, 1.45, etc.), until you've improved efficiency by at least 10% from your starting point. If your SPL was 20 at the start, continue until you're down to at least 18.

Then work back toward your starting point by the same - or even smaller - increments.

If you do this several times over a period of days or weeks, you should see a natural range emerge.

Email me at terry@totalimmersion.net.
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May your laps be as happy as mine.

My TI Story
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  #9  
Old 03-18-2011
Spideroffaith77 Spideroffaith77 is offline
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Spideroffaith77
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excellent info. thanks Terry.
I do consider myself a challenging body type. I weight 140, but my percent body fat is around 8. When I was in high school it took two 250 water belts to hold me up when water running in the deep end. I dont float well.
However, I will say I am encouraged, my average spl is 18 on a long swim.

thanks for all the advice!!
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  #10  
Old 03-18-2011
Alex-SG Alex-SG is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by terry View Post
We do have a rough table for 25-yd SPL. I'll reproduce here
Height SPL Range
4'11"-5'1" 18-21
5'2"-5'4" 17-20
5'5"-5"7" 16-19
5'8"-5'10" 15-18
5'11"-6'1" 14-17
6'2"-6'4" 13-16

We think of this as a minimal efficiency range. Until you can stroke pretty consistently in this range, and stay within it for 200yds or more, you shouldn't be thinking of much other than balance and streamline.

The range of 3 strokes for each height range allows for someone whose skills are not fully developed, or with a more challenging body type to bring their SPL within it.

A fairly simple and natural way to improve your efficiency if your stroke count remains stubbornly above it is to use a Tempo Trainer and gradually/steadily slow tempo until your SPL gets inside the upper end of your desired range. Usually the tempo range for 'remediating efficiency' starts at about 1.3 and could go as high as 1.7 or 1.8.

Once you find the tempo that allows you to get within the range, then you can
1) incrementally add distance at that tempo and SPL, or
2) incrementally increase tempo at a given distance and SPL.

At some point you can also try to improve your SPL to the lower end of the range for your height -- and eliminate the top number. I.E. If you're 5'11, try to keep SPL under most circumstances between 14 and 16. Avoid 17.

All will improve your speed.
Very interesting. So I am 6'3'' and my range should be [13-16]. The question is at what target SR=Stroke Rate and over what sustainable distance?

I can swim SPL=16 @SR=1.6 or SPL=17@SR=1.5.... but SPL=18 @SR=1.3.
Thanks. ALEX
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