Triathlon Swimming Techniques - Redux

Since my recent post on triathlon swimming versus competitive swimming, I figured I'd be remiss if I didn't do some sort of non-scientific experiment, and actually see if I could employ some of the triathlon specific techniques into my next pool workout.  I would have toyed around with things this past Friday during my open water swim but, due to the ridiculous amount of jellyfish bobbing around, changing my stroke wasn't the first thing on my mind.

I'll again preface this with the statement that I'm not an expert, and that any suggestions here are my own - my own opinions - and you should do your own research, etc. blah-blah-blah.....

Well, it was an interesting swim workout on Sunday.  Typical warm-up, some stroke drills, normal stuff.  During a pull set of 200's I started to think about the front quadrant discussion and how I wasn't , most likely, doing that.  I also thought about (as I watched myself do it) the "S" stroke and how most swimmers now don't utilize that technique.  

So I figured, what the hell.  I did the next few 200's focusing on front quadrant technique, no "S" stroke, and keeping my stroke long and extended.  

I have to admit, it was difficult at first.  I was fighting muscle memory and habit.  I had to work harder to keep my stroke even and consistent.  All of which I understood, but it wasn't pleasant.  Eventually, however, I started to get the hang of things and sort of got into a groove.

I felt my forward momentum become more constant - there were no gaps in the force being applied and subsequently there were no gaps in the drive forward.  My stroke began immediately upon my hand entering the water, whereas with an S stroke it seemed as if there was a slight delay.  That could be imagined, but the feeling of forward momentum was much more consistent here.

To make matters more interesting (or worse), I checked my stroke count.  I swear it was 1 to 2 strokes less per length than my normal stroke count (on a typical 200 with standard effort).

Again, I'm not saying that this is a full-on scientific breakthrough, but I'll certainly be spending my next handful of pool workouts focusing on changing some stroke techniques.