Well done for everyone who made the effort to do the time trials last week.  You should now have some excellent data on your stroke rate (in strokes per minute) and distance per stroke (in metres).  If you missed the time trials then you can measure these variables yourself in a public session by counting and using a stopwatch.  Or come along to the next time trials at the end of March.

As most of you will know, swimming fast is all governed by a very simple equation:

speed = stroke rate x distance per stroke

So those of you doing 60 strokes per minute and averaging 1m per stroke will be going 60m per minute, which is 1min 40s pace per 100m.  This equation tells you that increasing either stroke rate or distance per stroke  will make you go faster (while holding the other variable at a similar level).

We’ve been thinking a lot about technique improvements that improve your distance per stroke so far this winter and now I want to focus more on stroke rate as we pick up the pace towards race season.  So this week we will do some drills to get you swimming at a higher stroke rate.  Don’t worry about your distance per stroke when doing the drills but do try and carry the faster stroke rate into the following swim sets at a similar distance per stroke that you usually swim.  Try and think of it like spinning in an easy gear on the bike.  Getting used to a higher cadence on a bike can often be more efficient and make you go faster overall, as many of you know, and a similar thing can true for many of us when we swim.

See you Saturday!

Rob