Thursday, March 22, 2018

Are You Blinded By Aesthetics? - Revisited

Our favourite charity Level Water (getting disabled kids swimming) is launching an Easter challenge, asking you to swim 100x 100m (or yards!) in aid of this great cause. Can you join the 100 Club?

Here's how it works:

- Pick a date between 30th March and 6th April
- Invite a few friends to join you
- Set up a Just Giving page
- Swim 100x100m (we suggest 20 seconds rest after each one)
- Your fundraising will provide one-to-one swimming lessons for disabled children

Find out more here:

Level Water provides one-to-one swimming lessons for children with disabilities, then helps introduce them to group swimming and competitive clubs.

Are You Blinded By Aesthetics? - Revisited

Back in February we ran a hugely popular article on the blog titled Blinded By Aesthetics: The Definitive Guide To Why You Shouldn't Be Trying To Pause And Glide When You Swim. If you missed it the first time then take a look - it's essential reading.

Here's a visual follow-up to that article which we posted to the Swim Smooth instagram feed yesterday (don't forget to subscribe for lots of photos, news and view straight from our home base in Perth).

Take these two video clips. Both are of Paul (nearest camera) swimming at 1:15 /100m pace. Which looks more attractive? :

In the first, Paul's stroke rate is 46 SPM (strokes per minute). In the second it is 74 SPM.

Which looks the better stroke? The first? Which is more efficient? The first? Wrong, wrong, double-wrong!

Take a closer look at the amount of kick required to sustain such a long, gliding stroke in the first clip - it’s huge! Paul could barely hold this pace for more than the 70 meters of swimming it took to film this for you and was completely out of breath afterwards. In fact you can see how he's struggling to keep up with fellow coaches Karyn and Ross next to him.

Take the second clip - the tempo is higher and much more rhythmical but still smooth and not at all scrappy. Using this stroke Paul can sustain this pace for over 5km of swimming, much much more easily.

With LESS GLIDE paired up with a two beat kick*, Paul's stroke is much more efficient and effective, despite how it might appear. He can sustain this style for MUCH longer and MUCH more easily. The same applies to your on swimming.

Don’t be blinded by the aesthetics of any overly long stroke, especially if you're not that tall (like Paul). It won’t work for you. Rhythm is everything in truly effective open water swimming, despite what it might look like.

Swim Smooth!

* Please note whilst no swimmer of any level should be taught to actively glide in their stroke, a 2-beat kick may not be appropriate for all swimmers. More on that here:

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