Some get it in an hour, it took me about 6 months.
Until a few sessions ago, my max swimming distance was 50 m.
Only did 25 to 50 meters and then reststroke. 50 meters at 1.30/100 m pace @ 16-17 strokes/25m, about 44 SPM bilateral breathing. followed by 50 m breaststroke at 2.00/100m.
This "sprint"training focussing on technique ,did increased speed and dropped stroke count gradually, but maximum distance stayed 50m.
It was difficult to slow this stroke down and keep any sense of rhythm.
After all this talk about stroke rate tried to shift some gears down, shorten the stroke and speed it up.
This felt weird in the beginning. Instead of stretching out I was now sticking the arm in at 30-45 degrees and pulling right after that .
The strokes felt incredibly short.
Start counting these short strokes and rates that could be sustained for longer distances and that turned out to be 50 spm, 22 strokes/25 m at 1.45/100m. Still a low strokerate, but it is a starting point for building endurance and more speed.
This stroketype gives a better connection between the body roll and the start of the catch. It feels if the braking of the body roll movement is transferred to forward movement of the pulling arm. At very low stroke rates the body roll has little momentum, and gives less anchor for the pull.
Starting point was a balanced position face down and a small amplitude kick. While keeping the sense of the horizontal balance taking very small babystrokes that hardly take any effort and rolling in the stroke rhythm to get the breath. In this way your your engine is running almost in neutral, you are getting air, and and you let the strokelenght determine your speed.
If you want to slow down because you are getting out of air, stick your arm in steeper and pull it out earlier, but let the engine run at the right speed for you that gives you a nice sense of rhythm , but takes little pulling effort. If you breath every 2 strokes you get enough air.
IN this way you can lie almost still. Powerboat burbling with your miniature strokes, and slowly make your strokes a bit longer to start moving forward.
It is fun to start with certain strokerate and very small stroke distance(=speed) and then slowly increase the strokelenght during a lenght to end with your maximum swimspeed. Like using your own human Continue Variable Transmission.
Varying your strokelenght also gives some feedback in what direction you are moving the water, get some feel what happens when you lenghten your stroke at the same speed.
When going from a long to a short stroke you feel the water hitting your upper arms and slow down to a speed that belongs to that short strokelenght.\
When you lenghten the stroke it gives the same feeling as going to a higher gear pedaling uphill.
I now understand how these people can swim forever with what seems a normal stroke, but moving slow. They use very little arm force. That is why you see a lot of woman swimming this way.
So in the end I am back to where I started at 22-24 strokes/25 m and a preferred 2 stroke breathing rhytm at the leftside.
Difference is that now I am more aware of my catch, pull and push and can regulate between this short scrappy stroke and a long gliding stroke at will and use it as a throttle. Also learnt to keep the head in line and use different breathing patterns.
My breastroke CSS is about 1,45/100 m, and the freestyle is about the same now Freestyle should be about 25% faster, so I am looking forward to get it down to 1.20/100m!
Havent used fins or pull buoys for the last 2 months.
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