I'm currious to know whether any age groupers with a limited swimming background and limited time to train have sucessfully used a high swimming stroke rate to improve their swim. Something like 80 strokes per minute.
The total immersion folks claim that age groupers with limited time to train shouldn't use a high stroke rate because it takes too much time to effectively develop and will kill your bike and run on race day. They advocate a rate around 55 strokes a minute, or even slower.
However, I also think there's a lot to be said for needing a high stroke rate to swim fast. I find that with the lower stroke rate I'm over-rotating to propel myself through the water, which gets me out of alignment and lead to slower swimming.
Is it possible to swim fast using a high stroke rate with only 2-3 swims per week? And will the higher swim rate lead to a slower bike and run on race day? Any age grouper will no swimming background and limited time sucessfully pull this off?
That would be me, assuming reasonable values of "swim fast" and "successfully." But I may be a serious outlier, so YMMV. http://s194.beta.photobucket.com/....html?sort=3&o=0
shows me doing a 100yd sprint from a wall start in about :57, using 19-21 strokes per length. I think my stroke rate approached 100spm at points. It may look like crappy swimming, but I have been beaten out of the water in my AG in a race about twice in the past decade (and both were in the only half IMs I did). I feel fine out of the water, and can hammer the bike/run immediately.
I started swimming at age 26 (wow, more than a quarter century ago!), and had a ridiculously high turnover from the very beginning. While I started out with masters swimming, I only once was over 20,000yds in a given week those first years. I only swim about three times per week these days, (Sunday was 3200scy, yesterday was 2300scy), but every set I do is done as hard as I can do it.
I see a number of types of swimmers in my morning group:
- Ex-swimmers: lower turnover, lots of kicking, excellent streamlining, long glide off the wall, fast
- Ex-Channel swimmer: high turnover, lots of kicking (but she's short), fast
- triathletes: low turnover, too much glide, crappy leg position, slow
- me: no glide, no kick, high turnover, "fast"
I typically hold 20-22 strokes per 25yd length, and hold 1:15s or better for intervals up to 500 (did 11:59 for 1000 this year, though). That's about 80spm.
To improve your turnover without losing speed, you really have to focus on correct and efficient catch and pull: no slipping the hand/arm through the water. I probably give up some of the finish, but that isn't the most important part of the stroke.
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