A Set to Help Freestylers Master Their Stroke Rate-min

A Set to Help Freestylers Master Their Stroke Rate

Swimming fast freestyle is a bit tricky: turn your arms over too fast, your hands slip through the water and you end up spinning your wheels. Turn them over too slow, and well, you go slow, no matter how much water you are grasping in the catch.

It’s finding that balance between a high stroke rate and a high distance per stroke that can be difficult for swimmers, with many seemingly only good at one or the other.

This set is designed to help freestylers gain greater awareness of how to gear up or gear down their stroke rate.

The set requires you to do a fair amount of stroke counting (see: benefits of counting your stroke during practice). Just as important as counting your strokes is maintaining proper technique throughout (no over-gliding just to get a lower stroke count).

The set will hit a few different areas:

  • It will challenge you to work at different speeds and stroke rates. The set is designed to help you ramp up and ramp down your stroke rate. It’s a set for teaching you how to effectively switch between gears. You will go from the highest stroke turn over you’ve got to some DPS pull work to super slow swimming.
  • It will keep you focused and engaged. This is a thinking swimmer’s set. It requires you to be paying attention to your stroke from beginning to end. Even the “easy” swimming isn’t all that easy as it requires you to focus.

Some notes:

  • Your stroke will feel pretty awesome by the end of the set, which runs a sizable 3,000 meters/yards.
  • The super slow swimming portion of the set is to be done without an interval. Just because it’s slow doesn’t mean that it’s supposed to be easy; SSS requires you to maintain a braced core and exceptional body coordination to keep your technique intact. The SSS will help big time in increasing your overall feel for the water.
  • The intervals on the 100’s are designed to give you no more than :10 sec rest. The goal with each one of them is to match the stroke count from the first 50 on the second 50.
  • The 25’s are all high quality and fast. If you are getting too gassed, and your stroke rate is dipping below your 50 freestyle SR add :10 to the interval. The goal is quality and hitting those stroke rate targets.

A Freestyle Set for Mastering Your Stroke Rate

After performing a warm-up of your choice, do the following three rounds. At the end of each 300 go on the next :60.

Round 1:

  • 8×25 freestyle arms + dolphin kick w. fins @:35 (High stroke rate, fast breakouts!)
  • 5×100 pull freestyle/backstroke by 25 @1:30 (Distance per stroke; count strokes on first 50 and maintain on 2nd 50)
  • 300 freestyle super slow swimming.
  • Go on the next :60.

Round 2:

  • 8×25 freestyle w band @:45 (High stroke rate, explode out of breakouts!)
  • 5×100 pull freestyle/backstroke by 25 @1:25 (Distance per stroke; count strokes on first 50 and maintain on 2nd 50)
  • 300 freestyle super slow swimming.
  • Go on the next :60.

Round 3:

  • 8×25 freestyle swim BLAST @:55 (Target: Stroke rate you would use in the 50)
  • 5×100 pull freestyle/backstroke by 25 @1:20 (Distance per stroke; count strokes on first 50 and maintain on 2nd 50)
  • 300 freestyle super slow swimming.

Up Next:

15 Epic Swimming Workouts. From the Auburn sprint set, to the hardest sets Cam McEvoy and Michael Phelps have done, they are all here. Try at your own risk.

How to Improve Your Early Vertical Forearm. Canyons Aquatics head coach Coley Stickels stops by to share a drill (with video) that is designed specifically to help freestylers develop a powerful early vertical forearm.

How to Develop Superhuman Breakouts. Want to add some pep to your breakouts? This set, featuring a heavy dose of vertical kick and speed work, is designed to give your breakouts a serious boost.

Olivier Poirier-Leroy

Olivier Poirier-Leroy

Olivier Poirier-Leroy is the founder of YourSwimLog.com. He is an author, former national level swimmer, two-time Olympic Trials qualifier, and swim coach.
Olivier is the author of the books YourSwimBook and Conquer the Pool. He writes all things high-performance swimming and is passionate about helping swimmers, swim coaches, and swim parents  master the pool. His articles were read over 4 million times last year and his work has                                  appeared on USA Swimming, SwimSwam, STACK, NBC Universal, and more. He’s also                                    kinda tall and can be found hitting noon-hour lap swims. You can learn more about                                       Olivier here.

Olivier Poirier-Leroy Olivier Poirier-Leroy is the founder of YourSwimLog.com. He is an author, former national level swimmer, two-time Olympic Trials qualifier, and swim coach.

Olivier is the author of the books YourSwimBook and Conquer the Pool. He writes all things high-performance swimming and is passionate about helping swimmers, swim coaches, and swim parents master the pool.

His articles were read over 4 million times last year and his work has appeared on USA Swimming, SwimSwam, STACK, NBC Universal, and more.

He’s also kinda tall and can be found hitting noon-hour lap swims. You can learn more about Olivier here.

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