What is more efficient the distance per stroke or the cadence in swimming in triathlon?

The notion of Distance by stroke is crucial for pool swimmers, but is it for a triathlon? We analyze it in this article.

Our collaborator Zone3, he tells us through one of the ambassadors of his brand Alice Hector, which is the distance per stroke, the cadence of swimming and which is more efficient for the swimmer.

The notion of Distance by stroke (DPB) It is crucial for pool swimmers. Making as few strokes as possible is ultimately more efficient and the smoothest way to travel through water.

But does the DPB have the same importance for triathletes?

Although open to debate, the main evidence suggests an absolute NO. The DPB would not be the holy grail of open water swimming that is the cadence: the stroke speed.

Pool swimmers glide through the water without interruption

; Usually, the pool has rivets to delimit the lanes that also neutralize the waves and any splashes of other swimmers swimming in the other lanes. They can afford to slow down their stroke to optimize the capture phase at the front of it.

The open water triathlon is a hotbed of swimmers.

Agitated and undulating water implies that it is not as crucial to trap the water as far as possible with a long stroke, for what a high rotation of arms becomes more important.

On the day of the race, with massive outings, bodies and arms and legs moving everywhere, the front is the first part of the stroke that is lost in this wave. With people and feet occupying the space where a pleasant, long and sliding swimming path could take place, it becomes almost impossible to obtain a strong and long capture.

Swimmers who have a long sliding phase in his swimming tend to be slowed and beaten For the swarm of swimmers.

An extended slide generally results in a slower rotation and, therefore, less strokes per minute. The impulse, on the other hand, becomes key.

Again and again we have seen very good pool swimmers, who usually leave their triathlete training partners dead in those pool training sessions, go out to the open sea and be clearly surpassed by those same triathletes.

Exercises to improve stroke rate:

 Ankle bands

The use of ankle bands, which basically tie the feet, they eliminate the kick and force you to balance the body to create a more productive grip for advancement.

A constant forward speed helps create balance, and this forward speed can be more easily achieved at a high cadence.

 Super bursts

Forget technique as such; This is mostly about speed! The idea is to make a set of 6-8 series from 50m, with the first 6 strokes of each length at maximum RPM's.

 Forget long strokes or a full catch; It is the "neuronal firing" that we are looking for. Then relax and swim the rest of the 50 meters with ease, but maintaining a quick rotation. Make sure you do these sets after a good warm-up.

 Swimming with metronome

You can buy a basic waterproof metronome for swimming that you can put on your glasses, this emits a constant "beep" sound (a bit tired, but nonetheless useful).

Match the beeps with your hand inputs in the water. You can determine with your coach what speed is best for you. This method is also fantastic for balancing a possible off-center stroke.

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