Our first story comes from the pointy end of the field. Pro Triathlete Guy Crawford produced the fastest swim split of the day, gapping the entire field with fellow pro Bryan Rhodes sat on his toes.
|Guy Leads Out The Field At Busso|
Melbourne Photography, Blinq Photography
In the pool we worked on tuning up Guy's catch technique to remove the over-reaching and lifted his stroke rate a touch using a Wetronome, improving the rhythm and timing of his stroke. We also raised his head position to make him more balanced when swimming in a wetsuit as Guy has a naturally strong six beat kick.
If you're an analytical person yourself (perhaps an Overglider) it's worth noting here that Guy didn't over-think this, he kept it very simple in his mind and focused on the improved rhythm it gave him. Because of this he took the changes on board very quickly giving him an immediate benefit to take into the race.
This is what Guy had to say after leading out the field:
"I lifted my head heaps so my feet were a bit lower in the water, tried to increase my stroke rate and concentrated on my hands. 3 things: hands, feet, stroke rate and I felt awesome... I was swimming hard but ready to go if some-one came round me... just had that extra gear... Bryan Rhodes sat on my feet for the whole swim."
Awesome job Guy!
Age Group Triathlete Stuart Murray
Our second story comes from age group triathlete Stuart Murray who is a strong cyclist and runner but in the water has those Arnie tendencies to overly shorten his stroke and fight things. Being a good athlete he's understandably been a bit frustrated with his swimming!
|Stuart enjoying the scenic run at Busselton|
It is important to note that we avoided dropping Stuart's stroke rate so low that he added a glide or pause as that would have have harmed his efficiency again. Instead we found Stuart's stroke rate "sweet spot" between fighting the water and adding a deadspot. After around 4 weeks of working on his stroke technique at this lower stroke rate we were able to raise him up slightly to 66 SPM to add a touch more rhythm for the race but still keep his better alignment and catch technique in place.
Stuart had a great swim setting a 36:30 PB for the 1.9km distance, exiting right on the heels of many other athletes who would normally beat him out of the water by several minutes, and was still fresh for the bike leg.
Great work Stu!
Making accurate adjustments to your own stroke rate can be very hit and miss without a gadget to help you. By simply timing your strokes to the perfectly timed beep-beep-beep of a Wetronome it becomes straightforward to adjust your stroke rate up or down depending on your individual needs and so develop a more efficient stroke.
|Use a Wetronome to find the right rhythm for your stroke|
In fact, you might not need to change your stroke rate at all. If you feel lopsided, perhaps as the result of only breathing to one side, then a Wetronome can help even out your quick-slow-quick-slow stroke rhythm to develop a more symmetrical, efficient stroke.
Find out more about the Wetronome stroke rate tool here and for further reading about stroke rate see here.