Forget About Stroke Count

Forget about stroke count. Now why would I say that when I talk a lot about stroke count and so do most other coaches? Well, the fact of the matter is that very few swimmers, only about 1 in 20 actually do stroke count. Now stroke count is when you are counting your strokes for each lap and you’re working on maintaining the same stroke count or reducing it as much as you can. So ideally, you want to have a lower stroke count because it uses less energy and is more efficient. Most swimmers don’t count their their strokes, that’s why I say forget about it ,because most people don’t do it anyway.

00:06 – Forget About Stroke Count
01:24 – Slower Swimmers Need to Rotate More
02:00 – Download The 3-Month Training Plan FREE
02:17 – Upgrade To Get All of Our Workouts
02:37 – Lead With The Back of Your Hands In Butterfly
02:49 – Relax!
03:04 – How To Stop Smelling Like Chlorine
03:57 – Have a Recovery Drink After Training
04:29 – Share This Video To Your Friends

But if you want to improve as a swimmer, then start to count your strokes.

And one of the best times to do it is in your main set. Let’s say you’ve got 5×200’s, and you’re working on get faster for each one. Count your strokes for each lap that you do and if you can maintain the same stroke count as you get faster, then you’re becoming more efficient as a swimmer and eventually your times will come down and you’ll become better in the water and better with your technique. So next time you’re in the main set, count your strokes in each lap and work on maintaining the same stroke count. Now it is difficult. The easy option is to let your stroke count go up as you get faster. But if you can work on limiting how high your stroke count gets, then you will be better off as a swimmer.

Slower Swimmers Need to Rotate More

The biggest difference I see between faster swimmers and slower swimmers is that the slower swimmers aren’t rotating their upper body enough to get their arm in the right position in their recovery for freestyle. So if you want to get more of an angle with your freestyle recovery, then rotate your upper body more. Because if you’re flat in the water, you’re limited to how far you can get your arm back and your elbow up. So if you rotate more, then you can get much more of an angle and you can come over with the correct recovery.

Download The 3-Month Training Plan FREE

Last week I talked about the 3-month plan that I’ve got for my squad as we lead into the main open water event for the season which is the Pier to Pub. It is a 1.2km swim here in Victoria that we’re targeting. Now we’ve put together that 3-month plan, it’s available for you to download and its free and you can see what we’re going through for the next 3 months as we lead up to the main open water event. And there’s an option there if you want to get all of the workouts and the programs for the next 3 months. There is option there to upgrade and get each of those workouts every single day that we do them. Download it here.

Lead With The Back of Your Hands In Butterfly

Now butterfly is is great for fitness. It’s very good to get you fit and it’s also good to mix up your strokes, something different than doing freestyle. So if you want to improve your butterfly, there’s two things which I recommend. The first one is when you come over in your recovery, rather than leading with your thumbs, as your arms come over, lead with the back of your hands. So the back of your hands should be facing the end wall as you come over.


And the second thing is, you should be staying relaxed in your recovery. If you’re tense and you’re trying to force your arms over, then you’ll find it very difficult to keep the rhythm and the right timing for your stroke. So keep your arms wide as they come around, and keep them relaxed and keep the back of your hands facing the end wall.

How To Stop Smelling Like Chlorine

Now if you’ve ever been told by your friends or your family that you smell like chlorine…I remember going on a school bus everyday and always got told that I smelled like chlorine. Of course I didn’t know about it because you become immune to it once you’re in the pool a lot. But if you want to get rid of that smell and get rid of the chlorine feel in your hair and on your body, then this stuff is very good. Its called Swim Spray. I got sent two bottles of it by Andrew; he’s the guy who invented it. And I’ve been using it for the last week and I found it very good and it actually works very well. It’s a very simple thing, you just put it on halfway through the shower so you rinse yourself off, spray it on your hair and on your body and then you can use your shampoo and your conditioner and finish off the rest of your shower. If you want to get rid of the chlorine in your hair, on your body and that general smell, then I find that this stuff is very good for it.

Have a Recovery Drink After Training

Now something that I always harp on about with swimmers is to have a recovery drink after training. And I recommend a protein drink, protein powder with water. And have that after your session within 15 mins and you’ll find that it gives you the nutrients that your body needs to repair and recover. So that next session that you go back for, you will be a whole lot better off, you’ll feel stronger, you’ll have a lot more energy and you won’t feel as flat like you can sometimes after a hard session. So just a reminder, have a recovery drink after your training sessions.

Share This Video

If you find this video useful, don’t forget to share it with your fellow triathletes and your friends and other swimmers that you know because as a coach, I know how important it is to see swimmers progress and improve. There’s nothing worse than stagnating or plateauing in your speed. So if you know a few swimmers or triathletes that would enjoy these constant tips, share it with them and help them out. I’m looking forward to seeing you next week.


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Brenton and Mitch were great to work with at the clinic, Good to get video analysis to work on straight away, practice some new drills and go home knowing what you need to work on.

Alex McFadyen