Tips on Testing Your own Swimming Efficiency
Determining swimming efficiency enables you to not only increase your speed but also improve the technique in order to perform better.Pentagon's research wing, DARPA conducted a study whose results determined that dolphins are 80% efficient as opposed to human swimmers who were only 3% efficient. In more expanded terms it can be said that dolphins spend about 80% of their energy in the forward motions while humans spend 97% of their energy in moving the water around.
An effective way to increase your swimming efficiency is by taking part in various drills that help in focusing on the technique thereby bringing an increased proficiency in a particular stroke.However, it is important to first know where you stand in order to understand where you should focus your attention on for a better performance.
Calculate your Swimming Efficiency
To gauge your own efficiency level you can set your own scales and compare them after practicing your swimming drills or you can also follow the below-mentioned tips for a more accurate calculation.
1% to 2% Efficiency: If a short distance of swimming is exhausting for you or if you face difficulty in staying afloat and struggle to breathe properly then your efficiency level could fall in this group.
3% to 4% Efficiency: If you can swim consistently for about a minute or two but require frequent rest breaks for a longer distance then your efficiency might belong to this level. This could also include the fact that you feel quite exhausted after swimming a certain distance even though you have taken breaks in the middle and in spite of trying very hard you are not able to increase your speed.
5% to 6% Efficiency: If the distance of a mile is not a big deal while swimming then your efficiency level can fall under this group. In such a scenario you are comfortable and quite confident in the open water while your kick and breathing are controlled.
7% to 8% Efficiency: Your swimming efficiency falls under this group if swimming is one of your most favourite and comfortable activity. Your stroke is smooth and consistent to almost 85% of the maximum effort you are giving. Your speed increases and when you wish, a small amount of effort can enable you to prepare for a marathon in about 10 to 12 weeks of practice.
9% and above Efficiency: This level of efficiency can be achieved with the right amount of practice and perfection of the technique. Usually, the young athletic elite swimmers fall under this category. Apart from them those that fall under this category and are a little older, say middle age have a valuable experience and a skill polished over time. They can balance their strokes per length to increase their pace thereby indicating a skilled way of working with water.
Measuring by Distance per Stroke and Stroke Rate
Distance per Stroke is an effective way to calculate as well as monitor you efficiency level. It refers to the total distance you can swim during each stroke cycle. A stroke cycle includes both your right arm and left arm stroke during one rotation.Thus, the distance per stroke is calculated as the length (in Yards or meters) your body moves forward during your each stroke cycle. To help you monitor the distance your body is moving in each stroke cycle you can calculate the number of strokes taken for a particular distance while swimming. If your strokes decrease while covering the particular distance it means your efficiency is increased.
Stroke Rate is the time required for you to complete each stroke. Use a stopwatch to time one stroke cycle. Doing so will indicate how much time taken by you to complete each stroke cycle and your performance level for a given distance. If there is an increase in stroke cycle per minute, it means your effort to swim the given distance is more thus decreasing your efficiency level.
These are just a few tips on how you can measure your swimming efficiency. Knowing such things will enable you to focus in the right direction and improve with training. It is best to start swimming lessons at a young age under expert supervision so that with time as the child grows he or she can perform efficiently. One of my friends had enrolled her son in a cypress swim club and he has adapted well to the various swimming techniques. Children learn faster than adults and with time they are able to increase their swimming efficiency as well.
Measuring your swimming efficiency enables the swimmer to understand their strengths and weaknesses and thereby focus on aspects that can enable them to perform better. Here are a few tips that help you measure your swimming efficiency.