Archives for posts with tag: breast stroke

Well done for all of your efforts last week with backstroke.  I saw some excellent efforts and good-looking backstroke, especially when some of you took your time a bit more on the drills.  This week we will be doing some breast stroke and I have another excellent Chloe Sutton video for you to watch here:

“But breast stroke is so unlike front crawl – how on earth can it make me a better triathlete!?  You are just having a laugh!”,  I hear you all cry (especially Juliet…!)  My three answers to that question this week are:

  1. A good breast stroke pull has the same key feature as a front crawl pull – a high-elbow and vertical forearm (watch 4:30 into the video for a great demonstration).
  2. Doing different strokes give you a different way of developing your feel for the water – and makes you a better all-round swimmer – and better all-round swimmers usually swim faster at front crawl due to their improved feel for the water.
  3. It’s fun to try and learn new things!

When we do the drills this week we will be following a similar pattern to the drill progression Chloe talks about in her video – kick then pull then timing.  So please do enjoy doing the breast stroke this week alongside our more familiar aerobic-paced front crawl sets.  And remember – bring your feet to your booty on the kick!

See you Saturday,


This week we will be doing some breast stroke alongside our usual aerobic front crawl.  Also, both Chrissie and myself will be coaching the 8am to 9:15am session so you will get more chance to get some coaching.

Breast stroke is very different from front crawl in many respects but the breast stroke pull has a lot of similarities to the first part of the front crawl pull so I think it a great stroke to help practice the catch with a high vertical forearm.  You can re-read my previous post on this subject here or watch a different video of what a good breast stroke looks like here.

I will also bring along a camera for filming those that want to see a bit more about what they are doing, both above and under the water.  Over the next few weeks I will bring along the camera as often as I can and will also try to get extra coaches to some of the sessions.  It won’t be every week, but we will try to do it as often as possible as now is the perfect time of year to be thinking about your stroke and what changes you should work on over the Winter.

See you Saturday!


Now the main triathlon season has finished for most of us we will be moving into Winter training.  This period of Winter training before Christmas is my favourite as it’s the perfect time of year to have a bit more variety in our swimming sets and try and few different things.  The objective is still the same – to try and improve our triathlon swim – but we are far enough away from competitive racing to spend a bit more time trying to improve all round swimming ability rather than focusing on race pace fitness.  Hence, on Saturday mornings we will be doing

  • some more different strokes, as we did at this time last year,
  • more technique work than we have done in the summer alongside our usual aerobic-paced swims, and
  • some other general swimming skills sets with the aim of making you more comfortable in the water and better all-round swimmers

This week we will be doing some technique work focusing on shoulder rotation as well as some individual medley swims (butterfly, backstroke, breast stroke and front crawl) alongside the steady-paced aerobic front crawl sets.  I know many of you find some of the other strokes hard work so my general advice when approaching these is to try and relax, don’t fight the water and try and make them feel as comfortable and efficient as you do when you’re swimming a steady front crawl swim.  If you want advice on specific strokes there are a few articles I wrote last year – so use the search box to read some of my thoughts for the stroke you to know more about – or ask me in the session on Saturday.

See you Saturday!


As we’re now into the start of 2014 it is time to start thinking about the next triathlon season and getting ready to swim at race pace.  We will start picking up the pace with some faster intervals in the Saturday sessions from February but for January we will be sticking with mainly aerobic paced swimming.  We will continue doing some different strokes as I know many of you find it useful and I believe it helps many of us develop a better feel for the water.

When we start picking up the pace from February onwards the biggest challenge for most of us will be maintaining good technique.  Many of us can start to feel when our stroke falls apart but training in the pool we have a added advantage of being able to measure both our times and count our strokes per length as a measure of stroke efficiency.  So during January, please get into the habit of knowing what pace you are swimming and what your stroke count is throughout the session.  You don’t need to think about times and stroke count every length – or every interval in a set – but checking them frequently will be very useful.

This week we will be doing some breast stroke as the main other stroke to front crawl so please do re-read my previous post about breast stroke to remind you about the key things to think about.

See you Saturday!

Last week we did back stroke alongside our usual front crawl sets so this week it is the turn of breast stroke.  But this is a waste of time, I hear you cry, as breast stroke is completely different to front crawl.  Breast stroke certainly is very different to front crawl and has more similarities with Butterfly in the way it is swum by top swimmers today.  However, breast stroke does have a very similar catch to front crawl – you just happen to do it with both arms at the same time.

A good breast stroke catch should keep your elbows high and start by pressing down and out with the hands to pull your body over the top of your hands.  The great thing about breast stroke pull is that you are looking forwards at the start of this so have a much better view and impression of what your hands are doing that you do on front crawl when your head is looking down.  After each pull the most important thing to do is glide – in a lovely, streamlined position – and you should be counting to 2 slowly in your head while gliding.  If this is the only thing you remember to do when you do breast stroke this week it is to remember this count of 2 when you glide. Watch a following video for a great example of this breast stroke pull:

See you all Saturday!


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