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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!

  8. #1508

    Re: The Breaststroke Lane

    I am hoping you guys can point me in the right direction with getting faster at the breaststroke.

    I have been actively working on this stroke for the past 15 months or so, and have been striving to swim a sub 10 minute 500m time. Currently, Iím around 13:00 and pretty gassed.

    I linked up with a former collegiate swimmer and he helped me work out some timing issues/pullout/and kick mechanics, which shaved 30 seconds or so off, but Iím still very slow.

    My fastest splits are ~1:10/50m; ~2:20/100m/SWOLF of ~25 and itís just about as fast as I can go.

    I am unsure as to what the problem is, as I have been working this stroke for a while with extremely little improvement. I feel as if I could swim a decent distance, but just not fast; which is very frustrating considering all the time I invest into swimming (4/5 times per week).

    Hoping you guys can provide some suggestions to gaining speed.

  9. #1509
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    Re: The Breaststroke Lane

    RWB1990 -

    Not enough info to make educated suggestions. Need to know: how old you are? How much you are swimming each time you practice? How many strokes per length (25y or 25m or 50m). A video would be even more helpful than any of the info above.

    PW

  10. #1510
    Very Active Member ForceDJ's Avatar
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    Re: The Breaststroke Lane

    For the second time, I'm suffering from "breaststrokers knee." The first time I got it, it was likely due to having not done breaststroke very much previously (i.e. not in the proper shape for it), and probably not warming up properly. That was a few years ago when I decided to begin a regime of training myself up to swim 400IM. I cured it and began more substantial breaststroke warmups. Now, I've got it again. After swimming some breaststroke on Monday, I woke up Tuesday morning with my knee in pain. There's no other explanation for it. However, this time I think the cause of the injury might be just a bit different...after reading this link -- https://www.yourswimlog.com/how-to-f...strokers-knee/
    It says that "limited movement in the hip joint forces the surrounding structures of the knee and ankle to pick up the missing pieces and causes unnecessary wear and tear on the soft tissue entities of the lower extremities." Well, it just so happens that I'm awaiting hip replacement surgery (scheduled for late March), on the same side. The range of motion of my hip is really limited right now. I'm pretty sure I can R.I.C.E. this current knee injury away in a week or two. Swimming other strokes isn't bothersome to my knee, or hip. But I wonder if I should just stop swimming breaststroke until after my hip surgery.
    Thoughts?

    Dan

  11. #1511
    aka Elaine-iaK & Aqua Dog ElaineK's Avatar
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    Re: The Breaststroke Lane

    Force, holding off on swimming breaststroke kick would probably be a good idea. If I were you, I would just swim breaststroke pull with an easy dolphin kick instead.

    For me, doing yoga on deck after my swims as part of my dry-land routine has been a HUGE help in gaining flexibility in my hips-- and everything else! After I had hip surgery for a labral tear (and hip flexor release), I was so stiff that when I bent over, I could not touch anywhere near the floor with my finger tips. Now, I can touch the floor flat-handed with a lot of bend in my elbows. I attribute the gain in flexibility to the yoga routine I developed for myself and do most days of the week.

    Good luck with your surgery!
    http://ElaineiaKsTravels.wordpress.com

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

  12. #1512
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    Re: The Breaststroke Lane

    Dan,

    Many times "breaststroke knees" is a result of the hamstrings getting out of balance with the quads. ElaineK's yoga is helping stretch out the hamstrings and ease the imbalance.

    When my swimmers complained about their knees hurting, the first thing I had them start doing was hamstring and quad stretches. The problems often went away quite quickly.

    Your specific situation might be more involved. Adding the stretching via yoga or simple stretches is a good place to start.

    Good Luck.

    PW

  13. #1513
    aka Elaine-iaK & Aqua Dog ElaineK's Avatar
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    Re: The Breaststroke Lane

    By the way, I have never taken a yoga class. I taught myself yoga using this: https://www.amazon.com/Power-Yoga-Beginners-Liz-Lark/dp/0060535415/ref=sr_1_1?s=movies-tv&ie=UTF8&qid=1517602920&sr=8-1&keywords=power+yoga+for+beginners+liz+lark

    I liked how I could set it up on deck like a flip chart and just follow along with the pictures. I now have a routine memorized, so I no longer need to refer to the pictures.
    http://ElaineiaKsTravels.wordpress.com

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

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