Comparing 1500m to 50m Swimmers

Comparing 1500m to 50m Swimmers


Hi and welcome to this video log with me
Wayne from swimming cycling running.com. One of the problems that YouTubers have
or a YouTuber who want to show analysis of good swimmers has, is that we don’t
necessarily own the rights to the video that we’re trying to show and we have to
own the rights if we’re not going to get a bad mark against YouTube. So I couldn’t
show you video of the recent World Championships where there was a
fantastic 1500 meter race and I urge you to look at the footage if you possibly
can. However I was at the recent English Nationals with the swimmer and so I
could get video and what I’m going to do is over the next few weeks is actually
use that video to show you some excellent style and Stroke and try and
analyze it so you might be able to use it yourself.
We’re going to start off with a comparison of sprinters, in the 50 meters,
to the 1500 meters long distance swimmers and see how they compare and if that might be useful to you. So we’re going to go to the computer have a look
at those then we’ll come back and we’ll have another chat. So let’s initially
take a look at both races just to see if there’s any fundamental difference in
strokes. This is the 1500 meters they’ve just gone off – and we can see we’ve got
really nice long smooth strokes from virtually all the swimmers. They’re
a similar style and this is the 50 meters just about to go – and we can see it’s much more fast and furious, but their strokes do look different they don’t
look now so smooth as the 15 or as smooth as the 1500 meter swimmers. Perhaps we should take a closer look. Now I stopped it here at about 160
hundred and 70 meter mark because we have a nice line of swimmers going
across the pool just about to start their recovery phase of the stroke. Now
if we notice with this swimmer here, just about to start the recovery, the arms
recovering but the leading hand remains close to the surface until that
arm passes the shoulder and then he catches the water. So it’s very much
near catch up with that particular swimmer. Other swimmers are just about to start their recovery phase as well and if we look at this swimmer here. Again
the arm comes out the water and you can see he’s moving to the catch, but it’s a
slow move to the catch and it really happens as this arm passes the shoulder.
This arm starts to make the catch at the front of the stroke. If we look at
the swimmer here again he’s just about to start the recovery and again the arm
stays close to the surface and the catch, which you can see happening there,
happens just after the recovery arm passes the shoulder. So we’re keeping
very much in that near catch-up position – and we’ll just look at one other look at
this swimmer here and you can see the arms recovering and the lead arm is
moving to the catch, and really makes the catch just after the arm passes the
shoulder and you can really clearly see that catch there. The action happens much faster in a 50 meter race, but let’s just concentrate at the moment on these two
swimmers here. They’re both just about to start their recovery phase, but as they
start their recovery phase notice the leading arm, which is there and there, if
you take a close look the leading arm disappears from the surface virtually as
soon as the other arm comes out the water. You can see that, the arm just
disappears from the surface they’re not waiting for the recovering arms to pass the shoulder. The stroke immediately starts as soon as the
arm recovers out the water they are stroking and it’s true as they go
through from all the swimmers. They’re also much more likely, if you look at this swimmer here, to have a straight arm
recovery. You can see that’s a straight arm recovery, absolutely solid. They’re
going also much deeper than the 1500 meter swimmers. The arms going much
straighter down to try and get the whole arm grabbing the water. You can see from
here that they are really motoring through and although this is a bent arm
and that’s a bent on recovery a lot of them have straight arm recoveries, which
just allows you to get your arm forward that little bit quicker than you
would ordinarily. See that’s a straight arm they’re coming back but he will flex
it that he comes past the shoulder. It’s much easier to have a straight arm if
you want a faster turnover and that’s what these swimmers are doing and as you have that faster turnover, looking at this swimmer again, the lead arm
disappears from the surface. You can see that there, as the arm comes through, as
opposed to waiting till when the arm passes the shoulder. So it does seem, initially, that the 1500 meter swimmer is a much smoother swimmer, a much longer swimmer.
we would really consider him the traditional type of swimmer and the 50
meter swimmer is the choppier faster windmilling stroke that you saw there.
But, here’s a big but, with open water swimming sometimes you need that
straight arm style and sometimes, for some people, that straight arm style is
just playing better. They need a higher revving style and if you’re going to rev
high, if you need to move your arms faster, then a straighter arm with a
slightly more windmilling stroke will be better for
you than the traditional catch, catch, catch long smooth stroke, that you saw in
those 1500 meter swimmers. There’s a place for both of those styles
in triathlon. If you need to work fast arms then you need to be slightly
windmilling. If you are a smooth swimmer and grab that catch and you can
have a nice long stroke, then you need to wait to develop the catch until your arm
passes that shoulder and then develop it and you’re ready to go. So there’s two
styles but we can swim both in triathlon. Some people find it very
difficult to time the long slow stroke, or slower stroke. They need a punchier
style and if you do have that punchier style, my suggestion would be make
sure you’re not waiting to get that catch. You’re not trying to do a
catch-up because that will just slow you down. You need your arms moving all the
time and if you are a faster swimmer that is going to lead to a slight
windmill. Nothing wrong with that, if you are that type of swimmer.
You also will probably shorten your stroke a little. That again is okay if
you sped up your arms to compensate. OK, so there we have it, next week it’ll be a
different stroke keep tuned enjoy your swimming, enjoy your training. you

26 thoughts on “Comparing 1500m to 50m Swimmers

  1. 1 second ago
    Interesting. I've been swimming for decades and always use a bent arm recovery, start the catch as soon as my arm hits the water, and use a sculling motion under water. My kick is mostly just keeping my legs from sinking. It seems to me that a bent arm recovery must be faster (I even did it for the butterfly). Skaters spin faster by pulling in their arms. Not starting the catch as soon as possible doesn't make sense to me. Why wait? I also defied my coach by keeping my fingers slightly apart. Bilateral breathing is what keeps my stroke smooth. A Hopkins study showed sprinters that don't scull are faster that way whereas long distance freestylers need to scull so they don't poop out. And then there's Janet Evans…

  2. You’ve answered the question that I’ve had for so long I’m a sprinter and my coach always would tell me straight arming it would tear my shoulders so I’ve always opted for a semi straight stroke and swim with an extremely high elbow when not sprinting but I guess this has only held me back and now I guess I have to full straight arm and try to fit that into a tempo and fit it into my kick as well thank you !!!

  3. im a newbie coach but I always tell my students the difference between a sprinter and a long distance swimmer is the straightarms and a do not wait for the other arms while still in recovery motion during sprint and I guess I am right afterall…tnx coach atleast now I know

  4. I think these two different styles are more time and energy management dependent. Bent arm recovery and catch up pull allows resting of one arm. There is enough time to allow body to glide while other body parts are resting. But in 50 or 100m races, high speed in short time is much more important than conserving energy. Therefore, a straight arm recovery puts swimmer's hand in pulling position slightly faster than bent arm recovery and obviously, there is no time to allow body to glide in 40 something seconds.

  5. I don't swim competitively: not nearly fast enough. But I do swim 6.4km (4 miles) 5 to 6 days a week.
    My stroke is definitely the longer stroke. Even when I mix in sprint 100's my stroke doesn't change to a sprinters stroke.
    My main purpose for mixing in the sprints is to build more pull strength and eventually speed up my sustainable endurance pace.
    Currently pretty slow. About 1:54/100 yards when I'm pacing for 6 to 10km.
    I swim a lot because of arthritis in my feet. Don;t have a lot of options for aerobic exercise. And swimming works more.

  6. The difference between the leading arm is probably got to do with the breathing, with the leading arm near the surface during the recovery allows more stable breathing(since most long distance do 2 pull/3pull one breathe, they need the arm to prevent galloping) while for 50m sprints most are not breathing thus the leading arm can pull earlier.

  7. so if the 50m style is much faster then are 1500m swimmers only not using the same style because it would be too tiring? Or is there another reason?

  8. The longer stroke is far more energy efficient but as endurance plays just a small part of the 50, the faster turnover is more effective. In open water swimming a higher recovery arm is useful and sometimes essential as the chop of the water can drastically effect the stroke.

  9. Mister, this was perfect! Finally I am free of bullshit. I am struggling with the timing. Goes much better when I do it more connected windmill-like swimming.

    Take care!

  10. breathing endurance is holding me back cant figure out how to go more laps. muscle and lungs tempo . others go laps all day. i struggle for 2,3,5 best amount of laps before, breathing break.

  11. What if I windmill all the way to the 1500m, can I get a better time? Why elite athletes do not consider this instead? If they push hard windmill all the way and they could hold on to it they could easily finish at around 11:30 Minutes. That would be a pretty amazing world record, innit?

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *