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  #1  
Old 08-21-2009
earlblower earlblower is offline
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earlblower
Default The Right Way to Count Strokes Per Length

Hi there:

I've been trying to play a little TI "golf," and I'd like to know the right way to count my strokes per length (SPL). Here's my question: for golf purposes (or for comparing my SPL to others I see reported in these forums), when counting SPL, do you start the length by pushing off from the pool wall or just by standing on the bottom of the pool?

The problem, of course, is if you push off from a wall, you can drastically reduce your SPL, depending on how hard you push.
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  #2  
Old 08-21-2009
wgood wgood is offline
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my guess is consistency is the most important thing since the point is to keep track of your improvement. I count from the push off and as I get more tired I notice that less robust push off means my spl is rising a little. That's of many reasons I do intervals instead of just laps.
I'd love to know if others who do not flip turn but who do bilateral breathing always begin the first stroke on the same side. I just realized that I do and it seems to be a way for me to concentrate on keep my head down and swiming downhill.
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  #3  
Old 08-22-2009
daveblt daveblt is offline
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I push off and usually start stroking or counting just as I pass the backstroke flag. I try to switch sides for the first stroke.

Dave

Last edited by daveblt : 08-23-2009 at 01:52 AM.
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  #4  
Old 08-22-2009
Grant Grant is offline
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As mentioned before strive to to be concsistant in how you count the strokes. There is no right or wrong method as long as you consistantly use the same method. I do 4 dolphin kicks off the wall and begin to count when the first arm is about to spear (that is the first stroke). The point about shorter push offs as one tires while it may skew the srokte count it is a valuable clue in regards to ones relaxation, concentration and fitness state.
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  #5  
Old 08-22-2009
Nicodemus Nicodemus is offline
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Obviously, as everyone above has said, you want to be consistent, to monitor your own progress.

There is a formula here -
http://www.totalimmersion.net/blog/W...ke-Count-.html
- for calculating your own 'ideal' efficient SPL

The article makes clear that swimming at minimal SPL is a useful exercise; but a slightly higher stroke-rate and SPL will probably be optimal. (In fact everyone should have different 'gears' for different distances/conditions).

The formula is
(L-P)/A
where
L = Length of pool
P = distance traveled in pushoff before stroking
A = Armspan from wrist to wrist
[There is a metric version and a feet/inches version]

The interesting thing about this is that it takes your push-off into account - so it is really a target number of strokes over the part of the length when you are actually stroking.

EG. My own 'wingspan' is 1.4m. I have not yet learnt those underwater dolphin kicks, so I typically take my first pull under or just before the flags - so after 4 or 5m. So an efficient SPL for me is 20 or 21 divided by 1.4. Which is 14 or 15.
But I often swim in a 33m pool. So my efficient SPL for that pool is 28 or 29 divided by 1.4 (20 or 21 strokes).
When cruising I usually do 25m in about 16 strokes. I do 33m in 22-24 strokes. These figures are close enough to the 'ideal' for me to feel happy that I am not doing anything seriously wrong (although still lots to work to do on my technique!) If I focus on getting the most out of every stroke I can get down to 14 (and sometimes 13) for 25m, and 19-21 for 33m.

Before TI my SPLs were 23 for 25m & 35 for 33m, and I was worn out after one length!
So SPL is a great way to measure your own improvement against a target that is ideal for you. When I think about the fact that I now seem to have almost zero slippage on each stroke I am amazed.

Personally I am less concerned about comparing myself with other people.
But I think swimming half the pool underwater would distort the figures a bit, if you do want to compare yourself with others!

Maybe it is also worth mentioning that I include my first pull from streamline position when counting strokes. This is not really a full stroke I suppose because there is no spearing action with the other arm, and no real rotation or kick. But I count it anyway.

Last edited by Nicodemus : 08-22-2009 at 10:31 AM.
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  #6  
Old 08-22-2009
Nicodemus Nicodemus is offline
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http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=4InLAsnmKhY

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=HHHOxBSeoFk

I have just had a closer look at these vids of Shinji, and it looks like the SPLs of 9 & 12 don't include the first pull.

Which means my own are 1 lower than I thought - the easiest improvement I have ever made to my stroke!

Also Shinji takes a good push off the wall, but doesn't kick underwater, which I guess answers the original question?
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  #7  
Old 08-22-2009
CoachShinji CoachShinji is offline
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Since I focus on entering my hands, I count the number of hand-entry instead of pulling.
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