What’s the fewest number of strokes you can take for a single length of the pool? (No streamlining past the flags; no more than three kicks per stroke.)
I can get down to 8 strokes per 25 SCY, but it’s tough to sustain for more than one length. 9 strokes per length (SPL) I can do pretty much indefinitely – but it’s incredibly inefficient. The inefficiency is readily apparent: a huge dead spot in my momentum as I glide (glide, glide…) after each stroke. The Swim Smooth guys have a term for this: Overgliding.
I swim most efficiently between 13 and 15 SPL, depending on pace. 13 for channel/marathon pace; 14 for “threshold” pace (from the mile up to about 5K); 15 for 200/500 pace. For an all-out sprint, I’ll add one more stroke (16 SPL).
Experienced pool swimmers have an intuitive feel for this… but what if you don’t? Is there a formula to identify the most efficient stroke count for a given pace? This question led me to try the following set:
8×100, as fast as possible, with about a minute rest between each.…