Reply To: Stroke Effiiency & USRPT
It’s a cascading breakdown that USRPT indirectly has identified and has controlled for.
The target time is the control for complete stroke breakdown. For many experienced swimmers, you won’t see a change of more than 2 strokes (SCY) or 3-4 strokes (SCM) within the set if they are holding the time. If a swimmer adds 4-5 strokes they either missed the time or will definitely miss the next one. The energy requirement of additional arm cycles outweighs any speed gain. That’s the energy deficit cascade.
Your long-term tracking should be looking at efficiency. For instance, 50’s at 200 pace every Monday: count his strokes on the 6th and 12th 50 (somewhere near the beginning and end of the set) and note the repetition time. Do this every Monday. You’re looking for improvements early and late in the set that tie into the target time. This is probably more valuable than having him attempt to count strokes over multiple repetitions.
I’m assuming you’re using the “technique Macrocycle” manual. If not, grab it. If he is focusing on a technical element NEVER have him stroke count. From personal experience, it’s almost impossible to focus on a piece of the puzzle and stroke count at the same time.