Counting your strokes is one of the most under-appreciated aspects of tracking your improvement and speed.
I’ve already discussed how to pay attention to and develop your speed, which is a critical aspect of improving your swimming.
If you know how fast you’re swimming, you’re going to be motivated to make adjustments if you believe you can be better, or continue to do what you’ve been doing if you’re happy with where you’re at.
However, there’s more to performance than speed alone.
Measuring your stroke counts provides you with information about HOW you’re swimming.
It’s a simple and effective measurement of how efficient you’re swimming.
Less strokes = more efficient and more strokes = less efficient.
Are you swimming more or less efficiently than before?
Is your efficiency changing within a repetition or within a workout? Is that good or bad?
How does your efficiency relate to your speed?
These are all questions you can answer when you know your stroke counts.
How should you start using stroke counts?
Find out here.
#6 Descending Between Repetitions
A key aspect of control in the water is learning to control and change your stroke counts.
You want to be able to adjust your stroke count on command.
With this strategy, you’re forced to do so.
Here’s a sample set-
6x100 Freestyle; take fewer strokes each 100 from #1-3, and then again from #4-6.
Sets like this challenge you to switch HOW you’re swimming, then sustain that skill within a repetition.
They force you to be in control and adjust as you go.
You can choose to make dramatic shifts in your count, or you can just take 1 less stroke.
It’s up to you and how you want to challenge yourself.