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Old 09-20-2012
CoachGaryF CoachGaryF is offline
Join Date: Nov 2008
Posts: 22

I prefer to keep the tempo trainer set for a full fly stroke per beep, using mode 1 which is seconds per cycle (a stroke and a stroke cycle are the same thing for fly.) To swim a true rhythmic fly similar to what you'd see a competitive swimmer perform, stick in the 1:10 to 1:30 range. That's a range of 45-55 strokes per minute, approximately. Tempos slower than that tend to create the "traveling" butterfly stroke, with a deep and exaggerated front end that is rhythmically closer to breaststroke. I would match the single beep per stroke to your landing in the front (arms, head, chest land forward essentially together.) Of course it would be helpful to know a little about your swimming background, age, purpose for learning fly (to race? just to pull it off gracefully?) to suggest the most appropriate tempo range for you. Freestyle tempos in the 1.6 and 1.7 range are REALLY slow, by the way, roughly half the tempo of elite distance swimmers. I like to keep my masters swimmers/triathletes in the 1:1-1.3 range for the bulk of their swimming, occasionally going slower to isolate and correct certain stroke issues. I also want them to learn to swim with control at tempos of :80-1.1, which is your ticket to the dance if you want to be competitive. My high school kids typically race the 500 free at tempos ranging from :65 to :85. You shouldn't be afraid of higher tempos (tempo or rate is, after all, one half of the V = D x R equation), but you should work up to them in a systematic way that doesn't sacrifice clean mechanics.
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