Dinah Swimming

During the last month, WM has started lessons at the Discovery Aquatics studio looking to improve his swimming technique before entering his first triathlon in 2014. I was impressed with his self taught TI technique and his ability to integrate technical changes to his stroke. After the first lesson I asked WM to collect some baseline metrics. Here are partial results from the first metric assessment:

Assessment 1

Distance (yd)

Time (s) = 100yd pace

SC/25yd

100

117

13.5

100

116

13.5

100

115

14

100

113

13.5

100

112

13.5

 

At first glance his ability to generate distance per stroke looks wonderful.  But, at what cost?

 

The added column below tells the story.

 

Assessment 1

Distance (yd)

Time (s) = 100yd pace

SC/25yd

Tempo

100

117

13.5

1.75

100

116

13.5

1.73

100

115

14

1.69

100

113

13.5

1.68

100

112

13.5

1.68

We discussed the results at WM’s next lesson. How could he optimize his metrics for faster swimming? I suggested that WM remove some distance per stroke to enable him to have a more optimal and sustainable relationship between distance per stroke and tempo. This would result in increased speed.

Current average 100 yard pace= 115 seconds.

Achieved by a SC of 14 (plus 3 for push off) at 1.7 seconds per stroke. This is a minimal relationship between SC and tempo.

 

Faster 100 yard pace=105 seconds.

Achieved by a SC of 17 (plus 3 for push off) at 1.3 seconds per stroke. This is a more optimal relationship between SC and tempo.

 

Shoot for the stars 100 yard pace = 90 seconds.

Achieved by a SC of 16 (plus 3 for push off) at 1.18 seconds per stroke.

This path requires mindful practices combining skill focal points to optimize distance per stroke and metric sets to facilitate neuromuscular changes.

 

That week WM completed a second metric assessment set. Here are the results:

 

Assessment 2

Distance (yd)

Time (s)

100yd pace (s)

SC/25yd

100

106

106

17

200

221

110

17

300

336

112

17.5

400

458

114

18

500

583

116

18

 

By removing the thought of trying to sustain minimal SC, and replacing it with aiming for optimal SC for the given task WM improves 100 yard time and has respectable pacing control over all distances.

The added column below shows the more optimal relationship between pace, SC and tempo.

Assessment 2

Distance (yd)

Time (s)

100yd pace (s)

SC/25yd

Tempo

100

106

106

17

1.34

200

221

110

17

1.38

300

336

112

17.5

1.36

400

458

114

18

1.36

500

583

116

18

1.34

 

Where do we go from here? We will work on WM’s ability to maintain technique and SC at increasingly faster tempos to further achieve speed gains. Balancing technique with neuromuscular challenges of tempo change, to optimize metrics, will take thoughtfully planned practices and continual assessment of both aspects.

 

 

 

Reference Material for Strokes Per Length Based on a % age of Height:

height SPL graph 25y

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