If you followed our videos in the last few weeks you will know there is more than one way to swim freestyle. If you look at Ian Thorpe versus Michael Phelps they both have very different techniques but they are both very fast swimmers. If you look at swimmers in a certain race they will even adjust their stroke to suit how they are feeling.

An Example Of This

For example in the 100m freestyle at the London Olympics Nathan Adrian won the event by 0.01 of a second. You can see in the video that he adjusts his stroke in the last 15 metres. He goes from swimming with not too much rotation and is keeping his stroke very balanced in terms of his shoulder rotation. He adjusts it to include a bit more body roll and a bit more hip rotation. He is really using his whole body to drive himself forward.

I believe this is why he actually won the race because he was able to adjust his stroke so he could maximise or get the most out of himself in the last 15m. When he was tired, fatigued and hurting he used the muscles that he hadn’t used previously in the race in order to finish off strong and win the event.

Watch from 3:49. He makes the change at 4:00.

The same goes for your own swimming. You can adjust your technique and stroke to suit the distance and the race that you are swimming. For example if you are training for 50m freestyle your stroke is going to be a lot different than if you are training for 100m freestyle. Yet, you can still adjust your stroke for when you need it to suit those different races.

Personalised Feedback

In our online coaching community where you get access to all of our videos, video analysis and feedback and tips. When I am doing video analysis we take into account what event you are actually training for. If you are training for a 1500m then you are going to need different feedback and advice than if you were training for a 50m freestyle.

I was doing a one on one lesson with a swimmer who is training for an event that is about 750m in the open water; for a sprint triathlon. He is a very good sprinter he is very strong and his stroke is well suited to being a sprinter. The change that we are looking to make is longer distance races just to change his technique a bit. He is using a little bit more hip drive and he is slowing down his stroke rate just a touch in order to be more effective and a bit more efficient over the longer distance.

When you are getting feedback whether that is in our online coaching community, a coach or a fellow swimmer just make sure they know what events you are actually training for. Feedback and your video analysis will differ depending on what event you are training for.

That’s it for swim news this week, see you next week.

One Response

  1. I see what you mean about his technique changing at the end there; he almost becomes lop-sided, using more of a two-stroke power-limp. I do wonder though – if i can see this correctly – that it wasn’t because he didn’t take a last breath before the end of the lane, whereas Magnussen did. The margin between them is so small i’d guess that even just cutting out the effort and time taken to add a single breath was enough to see him pull ahead that little bit extra… Or am i misreading their moves on my dirty on monitor?

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