Archives for posts with tag: golf stroke

We’ve done a lot of work on the fundamentals over the last few months, mainly focused our underwater stroke but also combining it with posture and breath timing.  This week is the last week before the second set of time trials so we’re going to focus on putting it all together and start thinking about increasing stroke rate with some golf stroke.  Golf stroke (adding the total of your strokes and time for a 50) is great for measuring the balance between stroke rate, distance per stroke and efficiency and I’d like you to try reducing your golf stroke by:

  • Keeping your stroke count the same for each 50
  • Keeping your leg kick the same frequency and power
  • Increasing your speed purely from increasing your stroke rate

I think a good way to increase your stroke rate without slipping water is to keep your catch patient and strong at the same rate but just applying a bit more pressure on the water towards the end of each stroke.  Your stroke rate will naturally increase when you do this as you will be going faster through the water and moving your arms faster in the recovery due to this extra speed at the back-end.

After golf stroke we are going to do a set of 75s and 125s with some drills in the middle to remind you about keeping good technique throughout the set.  Use the main set to play around with adjusting your speed a little when the turnaround changes just with the stroke rate in your arms that you will have been practising with golf stroke.

See you Saturday!


Well done for all of your efforts last week in the fast-paced 100s.  I saw some more tired Triathletes last week than I have seen for a long time.  We will calm it down this week a bit with an aerobic main set of 150s.  We will also do a golf-stroke set to work on stroke rate and pursuit swims to keep your speed and work on your drafting and race tactics.

Golf stroke is also all about getting a good balance between stroke length and stroke rate.  It is a simple mathematical fact that your swim speed is just the product of your stroke length (distance per stroke) and stroke rate (in strokes per minute).  So you can swim faster by increasing either stroke length or stroke rate so long as you increase one by more than you decrease the other (if at all).  So measuring your golf stroke is a great way to see what works best for you to achieve this.

Most of us do pretty well with stroke length (distance per stroke) so this week we will work on stroke rate.  I find most people are better at increasing stroke rate, without significantly reducing stroke length, by focusing on either a faster push (i.e. back-end of the stroke) or faster leg-kick.  The alternative – rushing the catch – is usually a sure-fire way of reducing your distance per stroke.  So when we do golf stroke this week please try either the faster legs or faster push at the end of your pull and see what works best for you to get your arms spinning faster.

See you Saturday!


Well done for all of your efforts last week at the time trials and for the feedback on what you learnt.  It is interesting to get your thoughts on how you did and what to improve for next time.  Generally I would say most of you are rather more self-critical than is necessarily helpful so please do be kind to yourselves even if you didn’t get the time you wanted.  The most important thing for me is that you enjoy it as that is what will make you come back for more and consistency of good training is the best way I know to improve.

We will now start the build-up to the racing season in earnest so will be doing some faster-paced swimming.  For most of us this means getting used to the faster stroke rates that generate faster speeds but while maintaining your stroke length as much as possible.  And faster stroke rates are usually better for open water swimming in a wetsuit, too, as 220 Triathlon magazine reminded us about this week in this article by Chrissie Wellington.

This week we will be doing some head-up front crawl and straight-arm recovery drills to help you focus on a higher stroke rate.  Then we will be going into some golf stroke 50s to help you practice a faster stroke rate with full stroke.  As a reminder, your golf stroke is the total of your stroke count and your time in seconds for each 50m (e.g. if it takes you 40s and 44 strokes for the 50m then your golf stroke is 88).  The aim is to progressively reduce your golf stroke and to do this I’d like you to focus on keeping your stroke count the same and swimming faster to reduce your time for each 50.  You will find it easier to swim faster by breathing quicker and kicking faster as this will naturally increase your stroke rate without trying to force it with a faster pull that can often mean you end up increasing the number of strokes it takes you.

To finish we will be doing some pursuit swims to give you a bit of practice of drafting and reacting to a change of pace by swimmers ahead and behind you.

See you Saturday,


The main theme for this month is all going to be about stroke rate as we build towards the next set of time trials at the end of the month (see my previous post about stroke rate).  So the aim is keeping that beautiful high-elbow pull we’ve been working on before Christmas and increasing the stroke rate to something closer to race pace.

For those of you at Tim’s session this Thursday morning we did some excellent work on this with the fast first 8 strokes of each 50 in the first set.  On Saturday we will be doing some more work on this with some head-up frontcrawl, straight-arm recovery and golf stroke.  Key things I’d like you to think about on each of these are:

  • Do short-fast strokes when doing head-up front crawl and kick your legs strongly to help keep them afloat.  A slow, long stroke is really hard with your head up.
  • On straight-arm recovery let your hands splash into the water quickly, as they will want to do if you’ve kept them straight and high during the recovery, before you do your usual high-elbow underwater pull.
  • For golf stroke remember to add your time to your stroke count for each 50 to determine your golf stroke.  Try to reduce your golf stroke by increasing your stroke rate to swim faster while keeping your stroke count pretty similar.

See you Saturday!


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