Originally Posted by email@example.com
Full disclosure, I am new to swimming. I swam a little at school and then did nothing for 20 odd years. I started doing biathlons two years ago at the age of 39. My running is very strong and I managed a 1:09 over 100m sprint in the pool. I do think you get away with bad technique in the sprints when you are really fit (which I am).
I am 5 foot 7. I had a swim analysis done as I need to get closer to 1:05 to be competitive at national level.
The annalist told me that I need to build my swim stroke from scratch. (Yes it is that bad). He mentioned that since I am short, I have to swim with a higher stroke rate and avoid gliding to much as I will loose speed. He did mention that my balance is bad when I swim at "cruising" pace.
Do you think I am being unrealistic with my goal to drop by a further 4 seconds?
Your primary issue is imbalance. If you are imbalanced at slower tempo (rate of turnover) then you're imbalanced at faster tempos too. It just not as noticeable since the the imbalance is being solved with faster hands and kicking feet - primal human impulse to stabilize the body.
What is your rate of turnover and number of strokes at 1:09 pace? If you don't know your tempo, have someone use a stop watch and count hand entries, i.e. 12 strokes in 10 secs is .833 secs per stroke or 72 strokes per minute.
There are far more opportunities to go faster by slowing tempo and increasing stroke length, but that requires exceptional balance. I suspect stabilizing your platform from the middle (not with busy hands and feet), slower rate and increasing stroke length you will easily drop that 4 secs or more on 100 sprint. Faster hands and feet doesn't mean you will go faster, it's the shape and position of the vessel, lower drag profile that matters more.
If you have or can get some metrics, stroke rate and stroke length, that would help us help you discover some choices to get to the speed you desire.