View Full Version : Stroke Count

July 9th, 2004, 06:40 PM
I posted a thread a few days back about about different types of workouts and since then I've put together a hodge-podge of workouts to do over the course of a few weeks. One question that keeps dogging me has to do with stroke count. What counts as a stroke? Is right arm left arm one stroke or two? Or do different people count a stroke differently? Additionally, what should I be striving for in the terms of a freestyle stroke count? What is considered good and what is considered not so good?

Thanks, John

July 9th, 2004, 07:17 PM
I'm sure everyone counts strokes differently, and there probably isn't a right answer. Personally, and with most swimmers and coaches I've spoken to, I designate a point in the stroke as a starting point (usually during the entry, catch or out-sweep of the stroke) and when that arm reaches that point again it is "a stroke" or "stroke cycle".

The SR is a debated question and there are many varying opinions. Although it is hard to not talk about Stroke Rates and Distance per Stroke without getting them mixed up. Your stroke rate is usually calculated by time / numofcycles, while your DPS is distance / numofcycles. So your SR is how fast you are turning it over, while DPS is how efficient you are with your stroke. It usually is recommended to find a balance that fits the swimmer. Take a few time trials. Try a few short or long distances, counting your strokes, and watching the clock. Then do it again and +/- your SR or DPS and see if your effort level went up, and/or your time went down.

Do a google search on stroke rates and you'll find a lot more information.

Rob Copeland
July 9th, 2004, 10:47 PM
Good and not so good stroke count per length is dependent upon many factors, not the least of which is your size and wingspan. For me 10 to 12 strokes per 25 yard (counting right arm / left arm as 2), at a medium fast pace is good, 13 to 16 strokes per 25 means my stroke is not as efficient, and over 16 is not so good.

Gareth Eckley
July 10th, 2004, 04:47 AM
If you are swimming in a 25 metre pool you need to add 1 stroke to those figures. This often confuses people who do not swim in 25 yard pools but are reading info designed for that distance.

coach guy
July 10th, 2004, 01:21 PM
Also your speed will effect your stroke count, higher for sprints/lower for aerobic work. Don't worry about other people's stroke count. Start with a 25 and count your strokes (left arm right arm being 2 strokes/1 stoke cycle) and then try to trim one stroke on the next 25 and so on. Good Luck!

July 12th, 2004, 06:06 PM
Seems to me that as long as you remain consistent in what you count, it really doesn't matter. Just compare apples to apples.

But, as has already been expressed in the thread, many people count one stroke for each time one of your hands strikes the water.

Counting strokes is a good way to assess whether your stroke is breaking down as you progress through your workout.

I also use it to assess whether I'm in a 25 yard or 25 meter pool whenever I get in a new pool and can't find it marked somewhere or can't find someone to tell me the actual length. Looks can be deceiving. The count is a pretty good measurement, and I know for sure after one lap (or maybe two.) (Assume an increase of about 10% in your count when you go from yards to a meters pool.)

July 17th, 2004, 04:00 PM
stroke count is very important,bring it down by "gliding"more..youll find an overall improvement.as for counting.yes one count for every hand entering the water...:cool:

Gareth Eckley
July 17th, 2004, 04:39 PM
Guvna is right the stroke difference between 25 yard and a 25m pool is more accurately expressed as + 10%. My 1 stroke extra suggestion could be better put as anywhere from 1, 1.5 or 2 strokes extra.:)

July 26th, 2004, 01:09 PM
Well here's something I found interesting about stroke count.

I usually swim in a 25 yd pool. My stroke count for a general aerobic pace would come in at about 14-15 (hand strikes) per 25 yards. So I would expect somewhere on the order of 15-17 strokes for 25 meters.

Last week, for the first time in my life, I had an opportunity to swim in a 50-meter pool. (The Aquatic Center in Orlando, Fla.) My stroke count was a consistent 38-40 per 50 meters. I was surprised to realize that the amount of distance I cover on a turn (distance while I flip, plus push/glide off the wall) covers about 6 strokes! (Maybe more.)

It also seems that the wall is a benefit to me. Swimming through those strokes instead of having the benefit of those extra turns made for a much tougher workout. I left far more of myself in that pool doing 3500 meters than I do on a normal 4000 yard workout in a 25 yard pool.