CONSISTENT STROKE LENGTH IS A FEATURE OF BETTER 100-m SWIMMERS
Chollet, D., Pelayo, P., Delaplace, C., Tourny, C., & Sidney, M. (1997). Stroking characteristic variations in the 100-m freestyle for males of differing skill. Perceptual and Motor Skills, 85, 167-177.
Male Ss (N = 442) including 40 international 100-m competitors were videotaped and analyzed for velocity, stroke rate (average cycles per minute for a pool length), and stroke length (velocity divided by stroke frequency).
Stroke length was the best predictor of swimming velocity. Stroke rates varied more in relation to the duration of the race than to distance. Better performers maintained stroke length more consistently than poorer performers.
Implication. Sprinters should be trained to pace 100-m races evenly in terms of stroke length maintenance (efficiency) and pacing.
Return to Table of Contents for Biomechanics of Swimming.