As we lead in the competitions, one of the things we focus on is stroke count and distance per stroke.
How We Use It Training
We’ll typically swim an easy and relaxed 50m, counting how many strokes we take for the lap. Then we’ll go a set of 10-20 100’s with 20 seconds rest in between. What we are aiming to do here is hold the exact same amount of strokes for every single lap that we do.
You’ll have to do the same amount of kicks off each wall so that you can make each lap exactly the same.You’ll likely find that half-way through your set, you’ll start to fatigue and it will become harder to hold the same stroke count.
If you can maintain your distance per stroke in a race by maintaining a good catch with power out the front, it’s a key component of fast swimming.
If you’re racing competitions in the pool, the best way to judge this is with your stoke count. If you’ve still got that same hold of the water then you can maintain your speed towards the end of the race and you’ll find that your 50’s and 100’s in particular will be fast.
But What About Stroke Rate?
We’ve talked about stroke rate in some of the past videos. Stroke rate is also important and this is the other side of the equation – your distance per stroke. You practice holding the same distance per stroke with the set like 10 to 20 100’s where you are counting your strokes every single lap.
John Only Takes 30 Strokes A Lap And I Take 45…Does Mean I’m Crap?
One of the things to keep in mind is that everyone’s stroke count will be different. It doesn’t matter if the person next to you is going 30 strokes a lap and you are going 45 strokes a lap. It’s individual to the swimmer. It depends on your technique, your size, your build, your strength.
Don’t worry about what other people are doing. Do what’s good for you. Maintain the minimum amount of strokes per lap and then you can build on that.
It’s important to go for the minimum amount of strokes when you are swimming relaxed but do not break your stroke rhythm. You don’t want to stretch out too much where you are gliding and pausing with each stroke.
The Next Step
There’s a lot more you can do to increase your speed, Effortless Swimming Membership Program is our online coaching program where we cover a much wider range of topics including technique, training and workouts so you can put all of the pieces together become a faster well-rounded swimmer.