Weekend Swim Workout: 50s Descending Stroke Count

Do you know your stroke count? This workout will help you get acquainted with this important metric.

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Do you know how many strokes it takes to complete one lap? If you’re like most triathletes, you probably don’t pay much attention to this number, choosing instead to focus on the time it takes you to complete the set. But the number of strokes you take, also known as a “stroke count,” is an important indicator of swimming efficiency. The lower your stroke count, the more efficient you are, even when swimming at very high intensities. This weekend swim workout lets you get acquainted with your stroke count – not only will you collect this data, but you’ll try to beat your number with each lap. Shoot for lowering your stroke count gradually, until you’ve knocked off 5 strokes from each lap. (Be warned – it’s tougher than it sounds!) Choose a set that fits your fitness level and schedule, and dive in!

RELATED: The Relationship Between Stroke Count and Stroke Rate

750 warm-up (200 choice/50 kick, repeat)
20×50 on :55 (descend stroke count 1-5)
12×25 on :30 (IM order: butterfly, backstroke, breaststroke and freestyle)
5×200 pull on 3:00
8×75 on 1:10 (25 IM order/50 Free)
300 swim (no walls)
200 cool down
*4200 total*

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500 warm-up (200 choice/50 kick, repeat)
15×50 on 1:05 (descend stroke count 1-5)
12×25 on :40 (non-free: butterfly, backstroke, or breaststroke)
4×200 pull on 4:00
6×75 on 1:30 (25 drill/50 free)
300 swim (no walls)
200 cool-down
*3300 total*

RELATED: Diversify Your Swim Drills

500 warm-up (200 choice/50 kick, repeat)
10×50 w/ 10 sec rest (descend stroke count 1-5)
12×25 w/ 10 sec rest (choice drill)
4×150 pull w/ 20 sec rest
300 swim (no walls)
200 cool-down
*2300 total*

Looking for more swim-spiration? Check out our complete archive of Weekend Swim Workouts from Coach Sara McLarty.