One of the primary differences between pool swimming and open water swimming is Stroke Rate.
In this @superleaguetriathlon in Malta, @henrischoeman has a stroke rate of over 100! 😳
The top distance pool swimmers will have a stroke rate around 50/min.
The top open water swimmers will have a stroke rate of 85-100/min.
A higher stroke rate is considered a shoulder-driven (vs hip-driven) swimming technique usually used for shorter distances and quick starts. It’s a powerful stroke but can be taxing for most swimmers over longer distances (e.g. open water).
So, here’s the secret sauce – PRACTICE!
Here are two ways to practice a faster stroke rate in the pool:
1. Band – Having a band around your ankles immobilizes your legs, meaning, your arms are doing all the work. That helps with a faster stroke and shoulder-driven swim stroke.
2. Sprints – I use this word loosely. Start with 25m-50m, but then see if you can keep a super high stroke rate for 100m-200m.
You can either count your stroke rate or get a swimming tempo trainer like FINIS.
Good luck and enjoy!!