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Thread: The Breaststroke Lane

  1. #1501
    Very Active Member Debugger's Avatar
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    Re: The Breaststroke Lane

    Hi fellow breaststrokers. Does anyone have a problem with HR reaching almost max even if you are doing easy breaststroke sets?
    I always start my season from working on technique and basic endurance by doing easy distance swimming, counting strokes, focusing on clean turns, breackouts, etc. Nevertheless, if I do a freestyle I manage to keep my HR under 21 / 10sec, but if I do the same easy swimming with breaststroke my HR skyrockets up to 27-29 / 10sec. and there's nothing I can do about it. Even with easy IM sets (aka 200s or 400s which aren't that easy) my HR does not go higher than 24.
    I used to train in LCM in in the past and I also had this issue with higher HR than in any other stroke, but it wasn't as high as after I switched to SCM. Any ideas?

  2. #1502
    aka Elaine-iaK & Aqua Dog ElaineK's Avatar
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    Re: The Breaststroke Lane

    I hear ya, Debugger, because my heart rate is always highest on breaststroke-- which is also my best stroke. There is no such thing as "easy" breaststroke for me, if I am keeping proper form. It takes all my effort just to make sure I'm keeping my arms straight on the glide, because it's so much easier just to let the elbows bend, which is bad form. I also try to maximize be pull-outs, so that drives my heart rate up, even though I have a good exchange of air. Competition breaststroke is so much more physically demanding than the easy recreational breaststroke I used to swim as a kid for a straight mile with no problem! (Of course, that's before I knew any better about how to really swim the stroke!)

    I'm sorry I don't have any ideas for you. Just know you aren't alone.
    http://ElaineiaKsTravels.wordpress.com

    ~ Believing in your dreams can be far more rewarding than living by your limitations ~Karla Peterson

  3. #1503
    Very Active Member __steve__'s Avatar
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    Re: The Breaststroke Lane

    Breaststroke just takes more power

  4. #1504
    Very Active Member Allen Stark's Avatar
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    Re: The Breaststroke Lane

    BR uses much more leg energy than the other strokes. Leg muscles are much bigger than arm muscles, so it is much more energy consumptive.
    "To strive,to seek,to find,and not to yield" Tennyson
    Allen

  5. #1505
    Very Active Member Debugger's Avatar
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    Re: The Breaststroke Lane

    Quote Originally Posted by ElaineK View Post
    I hear ya, Debugger, because my heart rate is always highest on breaststroke-- which is also my best stroke. There is no such thing as "easy" breaststroke for me, if I am keeping proper form. It takes all my effort just to make sure I'm keeping my arms straight on the glide, because it's so much easier just to let the elbows bend, which is bad form. I also try to maximize be pull-outs, so that drives my heart rate up, even though I have a good exchange of air. Competition breaststroke is so much more physically demanding than the easy recreational breaststroke I used to swim as a kid for a straight mile with no problem! (Of course, that's before I knew any better about how to really swim the stroke!)

    I'm sorry I don't have any ideas for you. Just know you aren't alone.
    Yeah, maybe pullouts are the reason. After switching workouts to SCM their number doubled.
    I know that breaststroke consumes much energy, of course I know. I was amazed that I was going easy and it felt like easy swimming: the pull much softer, same with kick - was trying to focus on catching the water and push myself forward, rather than kicking hard and longer glide phase. 27-29 I usually get when I do sprinting sets not during easy aerobic swimming or DPS.

  6. #1506
    aka Elaine-iaK & Aqua Dog ElaineK's Avatar
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    Re: The Breaststroke Lane

    King Frog is absolutely correct, so I'd have to say my increased heart rate on breaststroke is due to BOTH the leg muscles using more energy AND the pullouts. I have been working hard on being patient in my pullouts and not popping up too quickly. I'm committed to the the 3-2-1 (seconds) for each phase, and I try not to rush those seconds! As a result, it takes a lot of breath control which drives my heart rate up.

    For me, the two hardest races to practice in workouts are the 200 fly and 200 breaststroke, by far. 400 IM or 1650? Not so much.
    http://ElaineiaKsTravels.wordpress.com

    ~ Believing in your dreams can be far more rewarding than living by your limitations ~Karla Peterson

  7. #1507
    Very Active Member robertsrobson's Avatar
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    Re: The Breaststroke Lane

    Quote Originally Posted by Debugger View Post
    Hi fellow breaststrokers. Does anyone have a problem with HR reaching almost max even if you are doing easy breaststroke sets?
    I always start my season from working on technique and basic endurance by doing easy distance swimming, counting strokes, focusing on clean turns, breackouts, etc. Nevertheless, if I do a freestyle I manage to keep my HR under 21 / 10sec, but if I do the same easy swimming with breaststroke my HR skyrockets up to 27-29 / 10sec. and there's nothing I can do about it. Even with easy IM sets (aka 200s or 400s which aren't that easy) my HR does not go higher than 24.
    I used to train in LCM in in the past and I also had this issue with higher HR than in any other stroke, but it wasn't as high as after I switched to SCM. Any ideas?

    Yes! It's not a problem as such - just not a stroke to do lots of aerobic work on!

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