Friday, December 10, 2010

Should You Perform The Other Three Strokes?

As a triathlete or distance swimmer looking to improve your freestyle, should you swim backstroke, breaststroke or butterfly sets in training?

Our answer is that it depends on how much you are swimming. If you're in the water up to three times per week then we think it's probably best to focus exclusively on freestyle to give you as much specific stroke and fitness work as possible. However, if you are swimming four or more times a week then a little variety is stimulating and the other three strokes are great for developing your co-ordination, feel for the water and your all round conditioning.

Saying that, even if you don't swim very often the off season is a great time to try something different and if you feel in a bit of a rut or fancy a change then introducing some non-freestyle sets to your sessions is a great way to liven then up. Give Individual Medley (IM) a try too - this involves swimming all four strokes in succession without a break, normally in the order: fly-back-breast-free. This is pretty tough, so start with a set of 100s IM (25m of each stroke in turn) before attempting 200s (50m of each stroke) which are quite a bit harder!

Swim Smooth!

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