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Fiona Ford shows how to use a Tempo Trainer to optimise your stroke rate for maximum speed

Optimising a swimmer’s stroke rate is one of the most effective ways to improve sustainable speed for distance freestyle swimming. As a coach, I see many experienced and intermediate swimmers (and triathletes) who have reached a plateau in their swim improvement despite investing hours of training and drills to improve swim technique. By helping an athlete understand the importance of rhythm in their stroke, balanced with stroke length determined by their physiology and ‘ape index’, we can begin the process of conditioning the swimmer to maintain their optimal stroke rate for their event distances. Within three to six months most swimmers can improve their conditioning to maintain their optimal stroke rate for distance freestyle, open water events or triathlon. In the Feb/Mar 2016 issue we looked at how to use the FINIS Tempo Trainer in Mode 1 to help with pace judgement. In this issue we look at using it in Mode 3 to help us train at optimum stroke rate.

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About Outdoor Swimmer

As spring finally arrives, it is time to start planning your summer swims. We have features on wild swimming in Spain and Florida and full event listings for races in the UK and around the world. Plus, we report from Russia and the UK on the final flurry of the season’s cold water swimming competitions. In this issue’s performance zone, as well as all the usual training and nutrition advice, we teach you how to master easy butterfly. This issue we celebrate a true pioneer of the open water: Mercedes Gleitze, the first British woman to swim the English Channel, was an independent working class woman who promoted open water swimming to a new audience.
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