Ask The Experts: Swim Technique with Bill Furniss

Pose your swim queries to Rebecca Adlington's coach in our live webchat

21 to 33 of 33 messages
26/11/2010 at 13:34

Hi Wild Will,

I think 3 hours in one go is a bit excessive. I would suggest if possible two swim sessions of 1 1/2 hours so that there is a better mix between the different training regimes. You swim session should consist of a 20min warm up. I would then go with an interval training set instead of just swimming lap after lap.

But I don't know how good of a swimmer you are. An eg of a top performance swimmer set of this type would be:

30 x 100m at 1:30. Hold a constant pace which gives you a heartrate aprox 40 beats below maximum. Try to hit the same time for each repeat and the same stroke count for each lap.

I would suggest using the above set as a template. You could reduce the no of reps of increase the rest to suit your standard. I would finish the session with some sectional work such as kicking and pulling and include a 20min cool down.


26/11/2010 at 13:39

Hi Kate,

Body type is relative to particular sports. Sounds like you a more of a runner with a runner's build. Generally speaking swimmers have broad shoulders and narrow hips with large pecs and lats.

Body fat in swimming can be adventageous particularly in distance events. I would suggest working on your upper body strength- both in the pool and gym to develop your pulling power in swimming.

I think this will give you an improvement in your swim speed without jeaprodising your running and cycling.


26/11/2010 at 13:40

Thanks Bill - thats really usefull.

Is there any particular brand of pull buoy that you would reccomend?

26/11/2010 at 13:43

Hi Ninja,

It's not possible to slow down kick and increase rate. An increase in rate will always be accompanied by an increase in kicking speed.

You need to find your optimum rate as it's different for each individual swimmer. I would suggest swimming a test set of:

5x50m at the same effort with good rest. Ask your coach to time them and progressively increase your rate on each repeat.

You should then be able to identify a tempo which gives you both a good time and feels as if you can maintain for a race distance.


26/11/2010 at 13:45

Hi Archie,

I would reccommend Speedo pull buoy. all my swimmers use speedo products- they are very durable, they do the job and are long lasting.



Mr Zuvai    pirate
26/11/2010 at 13:53

Hi Bill,

whenever i increase the cadence of my stroke i find that my technique fall away , are there any drills you can suggest that will encourage me to maintain the length of the stroke while increasing cadence?


26/11/2010 at 13:56

Hi Mr Zuvai,

 Rather than drills, I would suggest doing sets where you count your strokes and accelerate on each repeat trying to hold the increase in stroke count to a mimimum.  for eg you could go 5 x 50m with an increase in effort and cadence on each one but trying to hold your stroke count to an increase of no more than one or two strokes per 50.

I would also suggest doing accellerating 25ms starting with a short stroke and increasing both your cadence and your stroke length as you progress through the 25. The above two practices will help you to find your ideal rhythm without loosing stroke length.


26/11/2010 at 13:57
Shall give it a go. Thanks again Bill. I think what the coach was trying to do in, now that I think about it more, was aim towards a two beat kick. You've given me a lot to think about
26/11/2010 at 13:59
Thanks for all your questions. Bill
26/11/2010 at 14:01

Hi everyone,

I'm afraid we'll need to bring proceedings to a close now, but thank you all for your questions and Bill thank you so much for giving up your time to answer them!

Alice RW

26/11/2010 at 14:49
Am I too late
Dustboy    pirate
26/11/2010 at 16:00
Yup, big lad though, looks like Kirk Douglas eh?
Dustboy    pirate
27/11/2010 at 00:17
Agreed UIW. RW scores an Ace here. More please.

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