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Thread: Issues with sprinting

  1. #1

    Issues with sprinting

    Hey there. I'm a sprinter and my main events include 50 fly and free. However, at most times, after finishing my race I feel like I could've gone much faster and done much better. I don't feel tired at all. When I try to go faster during the race, it's like something is holding me back. I'm not tired, I'm trying to go fast but it just doesn't happen. I don't go fast even if I pull more efficiently and kick with more power. I've tried doing 100s but I absolutely suck at them. What would you advice? Also, I lot of people have told me that this happens because I don't sprint properly. Any tips on how to sprint properly?

  2. #2
    Very Active Member flystorms's Avatar
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    Nov 2012
    Memphis, TN
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    Re: Issues with sprinting

    Maybe work on getting your arm turnover up a bit more? Try using a tempo trainer to figure out where you are now (roughly), then work to increase with time, but not to the point where you're just spinning your arms and not catching water. For example, set the TT at a stroke count of 80 to get a feel for that. If you can go a bit faster than that, pop it up a couple more until you get to a spot where you can have faster arm speed and still get good traction. Then start doing sets at this speed. Over time, pop it up one more beep and you can get faster.
    "If your ship doesn't come in, swim out to meet it." - Jonathan Winters, actor and comedian

  3. #3
    Very Active Member Mark Usher's Avatar
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    Sep 2014
    Sarasota, FL

    Re: Issues with sprinting

    A few things that have helped me:

    1. Swimming 25 & 50 build sets where I increase my stroke rate up to the point where my stroke starts to break down and lose my hold on the water.
    2. Focus on maintaining my stroke length even as I increase my turnover rate. Extend and reach for the wall on every stroke. Keep my catch out front.
    3. 50's leave little margin for error and the details are important. Work on your starts and "walls". Accelerate into your turns and get into a tight streamline coming off the wall. Don't start kicking until you take full advantage the speed from your push off the wall. Everyone is different, so experiment on what works best for you.
    4. Breathing slows you down. Elite swimmers swim 50's on one or two breaths. Practice breathing every 2nd or 3rd stroke cycle and don't breath from the flags to the wall. Again, practice different things to see what works best for you.
    5. Practice like you race. Streamline and do your dolphin kicks off every wall in practice until it becomes second nature to you. Finish hard to the wall every time, don't coast in during practice. I had the chance to watch Olympian Kelsi Worrell train for a couple of weeks at my pool last December - she would push off and do hard underwater dolphins out to the 15 meter mark EVERY lap. It was awesome watching her. That's the kind of discipline that you need to reach your potential.

    Good luck.

  4. #4
    Very Active Member Jimbosback's Avatar
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    Jan 2010
    Cape Coral, Florida, United States
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    Re: Issues with sprinting

    I have this problem when I don't warm up enough. I need more warmup for sprints every year, it seems.
    On taper since 2012

  5. #5
    Very Active Member arthur's Avatar
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    Nov 2009

    Re: Issues with sprinting

    The problem might be you need to train your anaerobic energy systems more. You can do this with more sprinting in practice and also weight lifting/dry land exercises. Someone with more slow twitch muscles and under-developed anaerobic energy systems can't produce the short term power required to exhaust themselves as much as someone who is more adapted to sprinting.

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