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If you do it yourself, how do you plan your training?  Or, if that sounds unappealing and you prefer to use the training materials created by someone else, how do they create their training plans?  Is there an obvious logic behind it? Are there principles? Tradition? A famous name? Latest fad? Clever marketing?   Your […]
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Amazing things can happen when you occasionally set aside the time and energy to spend five, six or even seven days in a row focused on your swimming.  Yes, if you are working the body every day for so many days, you will get tired over that many days when you are not used to it. Yes, you will need to rest, but we're talking just one week here, and you can also make sure you get very good sleep each night between.  Though you will get tired in one way, you will feel so much stronger in others...
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This is a simplified example to give you an idea of how to set a goal for an incremental increase in ability, like focusing on just the first step ahead, rather than thinking about the second step, or those you will take weeks later. The strength and skill you need for the second step is developed while you are taking that first step.
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When you start working toward your goal of a longer or faster stroke, you do well to set a smaller goal that takes you in that direction, then get to work on taking a small step toward it. The bigger the improvement goal you have set, the smaller those steps may need to be (or appear to be in comparison to how far you need to go). 
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Changing your patterns for moving, in swimming or running as well as any other powerful athletic movement form, can be difficult. There are a lot of factors that can make it easier or harder than it seems to be for others. But if you are reading this blog, you are likely one of those who […]
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Choose a role model who is demonstrating those features at a speed similar to what you intend to go at. Form changes in significant ways as speed increases because the forces involved increase. When your hero or heroin is flying along at world record pace, they are positioned in a way that is not how you will be positioned when you are going at your best pace (I am sorry to break that to you!).
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You can do a set or exercise we call a 'pyramid, such as a stroke count pyramid or a tempo pyramid and over the course of maybe 600 to 1000 meters, you can trick your body into swimming with slightly longer strokes or slightly faster tempo than you could previously. But just after doing a pyramid set try swimming for 5 minutes or longer with that improved stroke length or stroke rate. Your ability to maintain it likely won't last long...
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Being one who processes information visually, one of my favorite products of these equations was a curve that I could calculate and then draw on a graph. The equations allow me to take different measurements from a unique swimmer and situation, and produce output that are a bit more customized to that individual. I can use the variables for height and wingspan (to derive the wingspan coefficient), push-off distance, duration of the turn, and things like that.
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As the one who developed the evidence-based calculations behind these particular charts, I am aware of the considerations and assumptions that went into how the green zones were defined.  When looking at this chart for yourself, please realize that there are many factors that can and should affect the expectations you set for your stroke count.  You may fit nicely into that green zone or not.
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Some things to keep in mind as you use Stroke Counting... How far you glide after pushing off from the wall to your first stroke affects your stroke count. If you followed the math calculations above you’ll notice that a short push-off will require you to take an extra stroke or two to reach the far wall, while a long one will allow you to take one or two strokes less.
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