This week I’ve got a challenge for you.

I want to challenge you to try what I’m about to talk about. To see if you can get an increase in speed by trying this one thing.

In the next few weeks we’re releasing the Effortless Freestyle DVD which we’ve been working on for the last couple of months.

In it I talk about  ways to increase your speed without using much extra energy. What I find in training sometimes is that swimmers will try harder but not go faster.

So why is that and how can you overcome it?

Reason #1 – Fatigue

The first reason is usually because you’re fatigued. You might have trained hard the last few days and it’s caught up with you. You may have not had much sleep the night before. You haven’t eaten very well the last couple of days…that can make you feel heavy…like you’re swimming through mud. You know the feeling when you can’t get your speed going because you feel sluggish.

Reason #2 – Overreaching

Another reason can be that you’re trying to lengthen too much in order to get your speed up. You may be trying to stretch out, reach as long as you can and pull as hard as you can to go faster…rather than increasing your stroke rate and maintaining your normal distance per stroke (or slightly less).

The question is;

How can you overcome fatigue from training a lot?
How do you increase your stroke rate without tiring?

My challenge to you is this:

When you’ve got a set in training where you need to increase your speed; let’s say it’s 6×200 Descending 1-3 (so the 3rd and 6th are the fastest ones)….

In those 200’s, try swimming with a slightly higher stroke rate but the same (or slightly less) distance per stroke. You’re not trying to overreach or spin your wheels. You want to keep the same distance per stroke as best as you can and increase your stroke rate. Get your arms over just a little bit faster and keep your kick narrow.

Swim fasterFaster Stroke Rate, Narrow Kick

In this video you can see Lisandra has a narrow kick. Her legs are not coming apart too much. Her feet are relatively high in the water with her heels are breaking the surface every couple of kicks. She’s got a really good body position.

When you’ve got a fast swim in training, whether it’s a 100 or 200 or more, try swimming with a slightly higher stroke rate and a narrow kick.  That should help you get your stroke rate up enough in order to be able to put in extra energy AND get the increase in speed with it…rather than trying harder but not going faster.

That’s my one challenge for you this week!

Let me know how you go in the comments below or send me a message through Facebook.

Try it! It’s a good way to overcome feelings of trying harder but not going faster.

4 Responses

  1. It seems counter-productive “more strokes, maintain same DPS” can you elaborate on this? To me (a new swimmer), more strokes would mean less DPS.

  2. Hi Jared,

    Higher stroke rate (arms going over faster) with same DPS is what I mean, Sorry for the confusion

  3. What about for other strokes? I’m normally doing breaststroke during our main sets and every now and then my times just clump around a certain slow point even though I’m still exerting a lot of energy

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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