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Old 05-10-2017
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Default Swimming Speed

hi all,

I am new to this forum (English is not my native language) and have a doubt I think you, some more experienced fellows swimmer, could help me get some good advices.

I am an active swimmer for the last 2years, and since this time last year doing it regularly twice a week. Swimming is my hobby since my age of 25. I am male 42 years, 5'74 height.

I was dealing with the metric in freestyle in 25m pool. When I swim 25m, I end up with 20 strokes (push-off is about 3m) and this stroke count does not change much (one more or less) if I have to speed up or slow down. Under regular swimming conditions (not racing, exercising stroke length), my stroke rate is somewhat between 47-53. Adding all this things up and knowing my lap times per 25m/50m, my speed range is between 0.85-1.1m/s rougly speaking, what I consider a bit low.

One of the things I could directly pinpoint as a weakness are my legs, they appear to be a bit stiff dragging more behind me and not creating (creating a liitle) propulsion. If I add a pull bouy, it does not change lap timing nor stroke count.

The question is: why I am not able to be quicker freestyle swimmer, eventhough my technique is relatively good. I was talking to a swimming coach and he could not find anything particularly bad, apart from legs and pointed out to stress more arm acceleration during pull phase.

Please, any advices are appriciated.

p.s I know it's relly difficult to judge someone's swimming perfomace based on a couple of words written.


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Old 05-10-2017
Danny Danny is offline
Senior Member
Join Date: Oct 2009
Posts: 1,442

Hi Ge,

The numbers you are giving us are a little non-standard, so you might get better feedback if you give us your information in a more standard way. For example, if you are swimming in a 25 m pool, how much time do you need to swim 100 m (2 laps, up and back)? How does this time vary if you only swim 100 m and stop or if you swim more, say, 400 m? How many strokes do you need to swim 25 m (one length of the pool) when you count each arm as one stroke? How does this change if you swim 25 m in comparison to 100 m or 400 m?

These are the measures that a lot of people on this forum use, so if you give us this data, people will be in a much better position to give you good advice.
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Old 05-10-2017
Tom Pamperin Tom Pamperin is offline
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Join Date: Aug 2010
Posts: 712
Tom Pamperin

I agree that knowing your speed (how many seconds does it take you to swim 50m, or 100m?) would be very useful to know what advice might help.

Originally Posted by Gee View Post
I was talking to a swimming coach and he could not find anything particularly bad, apart from legs and pointed out to stress more arm acceleration during pull phase.
Increasing arm acceleration during the pull phase is not the best way to get faster. In fact, it may do the opposite. If you pull your arm quickly through the water, it is likely to lose grip and "slip" through the water without generating much propulsion.

Instead, TI teaches these priorities:

Balance, then Streamline (both of these reduce drag, which is generally a more efficient way of increasing your swimming speed than adding power--water is something like 800 times denser than air, making drag EXTREMELY powerful in swimming)

And only as a third priority, Propulsion.

Still, even when working on technique for better propulsion, pulling with your arms is NOT the best way. Instead, focus your attention on "maintaining the shape of the vessel (i.e. your body)" in a way that creates good balance and minimizes drag. When you are able to maintain a balanced and streamlined body shape throughout the entire stroke, you will need less power (or you will go faster with the same power).

Good luck! It's a long journey, but one well worth taking.
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Old 05-11-2017
s.sciame s.sciame is offline
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Join Date: Jan 2011
Location: Rome, Italy
Posts: 479

if you swim only twice a week and don't follow any training program consistently it's pretty hard to improve from where you already are.

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Old 05-11-2017
tomoy tomoy is offline
Senior Member
Join Date: Dec 2010
Posts: 585

Hi Ge - welcome to the TI forum.

If I calculate your velocity into 25M then is it correct to say you're doing 25M in a range of 21-27s? You didn't mention if that velocity includes the push off or not. This all helps us figure out if you're swimming really fast for your age & height (and just want to swim faster), or if there's reason to think there is some technique issue holding you back and fixing that could help you swim faster.

I think that even swimming twice a week, if you can learn something new about your stroke you can improve your speed. If you get to the point where everyone can see you have great technique and then you STILL want to swim faster, then maybe you need more pool time.

If there's any way to get video of you swimming, it will help us to help you swim faster than swimming 7 days a week would ;-)
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