Maintain your front crawl stroke length for open water

Front crawl stroke length practice is essential if you’re competing in a Masters open water event.

This article deals with maintaining your front crawl stroke length when swimming.

Maintain Your Front Crawl Stroke Length

The ability to maintain your front crawl stroke length during training is very important and will help you transfer that stroke efficiency into your open water swims, when conditions may not be as calm as they are in the pool.

Try this fingertip drill to help maintain your front crawl stroke length:

  1. Start off by swimming as slowly as you comfortably can while maintaining a good stroke technique.
  2. Recover each arm in turn, with your fingertips trailing in the water. Your fingertips should follow the line of your body, they can lightly touch your body line throughout the recovery phase. Fully extend your arm before placing hand back into the water, fingers first.
  3. Your body should rotate along the longitudinal axis but your hips should not break the surface of the water. If they do, you have rotated too far for this particular drill. Your head should remain still apart from when you breathe.

Pool Training Session

Try this 2000m training session, making sure you maintain your front crawl stroke length throughout.

Pool Warm Up

  • 300m continuous swim as 200m front crawl then 100m either backstroke or breaststroke.

Main Set

  • 1000m continuous front crawl. Swim the first 100m to a strong pace, then the next 800m at a steady pace, then the last 100m at a strong pace. This will help replicate your open water 1500m where you will need a strong start, go into a steady swimming phase then pick up the pace into the finish.
  • During the steady phase continue to practise your front crawl breathing and sighting skills. Practise the sighting by sighting twice every 100m.
  • 2x100m front crawl kick as 25m strong kick, 50m steady kick, 25m strong kick. Rest for 15 seconds between each 100m.
  • 4x50m front crawl kick as 25m strong kick then 25m steady kick. Rest for 15sec between each 100m.

Swim Down / Recovery Swim

  • 500m using your choice of strokes and / or kick. Keep a steady to easy pace for this.

Total distance: 2200m