THANK YOU ENDLESS POOLS! 2-time Olympic freestyler Chloe Sutton shares her top 3 tips to swimming a faster freestyle! Aspects such as proper head position and breathing technique, a strong core driven rotation, and a high elbow catch will help you swim faster, more efficient, and stronger! Try out these tips to improve your form!
For more info on Endless Pools, visit https://www.endlesspools.com
Most people either love backstroke for the ability to breathe all the time or hate it for its awkwardness. Regardless, here's your chance to get faster. This backstroke tutorial takes you through every part of the stroke and then there are connection drills to try at the end. Watch this video all the way through and apply some of the skills and drills into your own practice.
Many people consider butterfly to be the hardest stroke and can't sustain swimming it for more than a 25. Usually, this is because of technique mistakes, especially with the timing. Watch this video that covers the entire butterfly stroke and the aspects that make butterfly easy, sustainable, and FAST!
During my 24 hour travel fiasco to Sarasota, I was able to experience the results of maintaining a positive attitude and the power of a smile. I experienced the kindness of strangers, made new friends, and found happiness in a rough situation. I wanted to share my experience with all of you (and writing this was a great way to pass the time while stuck in the Atlanta airport).
I have been so excited about 2017. This year is going to be all about my career and being able to help as many people as possible swim faster. I was honored that Fitter and Faster wanted me to kick off the 2017 season of swim clinics by having me travel to Sarasota, FL for the first clinic of the year! My journey to Sarasota wasn’t easy, but it was a very memorable trip.
On Friday, January 6th, I started the day early at SwimLabs coaching a few amazing swimmers. We had some great breakthroughs in technique; specifically a few swimmers who finally mastered the butterfly kick timing. My brother picked me up to take me to the airport when I was done. I then heard the news of the shooting in the airport in Ft. Lauderdale. My heart broke for all of the people and families affected by such a tragedy. I knew that my travel day would be a little on edge because of it. I safely made it to my gate in Denver and boarded the plane. That flight went smoothly and I slept through most of it.
After landing in Atlanta, I had a tight connection and I had to switch terminals. I RAN through the airport and got to my gate just in time. I laugh now at how silly it was for me to run because after getting on the plane, we sat on the ground for the next 4 hours. There was freezing rain and very limited visibility. Our plane would get in line to get “de-iced” and then we would wait in line so long that we would run out of gas. We would have to go back to the gate then to refuel. I sat next to a college-aged boy from Palo Alto who was attending SMU. He and I chatted and laughed to keep light of the situation while continuously checking the weather and watching our situation become more and more grim. There was also an older woman sitting across the isle so we chatted with her also. She was very nervous about flying in the ice and nervous about being stuck in Atlanta. We were all nervous at that point about what the future held. I was continuously updating both David Arluck and my event manager Karen so that we could keep the participants informed and create a game plan to make sure that we were still able to make the events happen! By 10:30 PM, after a 6:30 PM departure time, they announced to the plane that the flight was canceled and that we would be in stuck in Atlanta until the morning since no other flights would be able to get out that night.
I got off them plane and was able to rebook my flight on the Delta app for the following morning. My parents quickly found me a hotel in downtown Atlanta. I caught taxi and was able to get to my hotel safely. I was surprised to find that the hotel was beautiful and right in the heart of downtown. The front desk offered to schedule me a taxi and give me a breakfast to-go in the morning! The woman at the front desk, Holly, was so kind and helpful. I felt so taken care of!
In the morning, Holly was still there. She handed me my breakfast, and informed me that the ice was too thick for taxis to drive and there weren’t any Ubers or Lyfts available AT ALL! She told me that the best option was to walk 3 blocks to the train station and take the train to the airport. Holly went even further and handed me her train card so that I could just get on the train! She told me to put on another coat because of the cold, so I put on my big red USA parka that I had brought with me and set off.
The walk to the train station was treacherous. The ice was thick along the sidewalk and I nearly fell several times. My roller suitcase offered a bit of extra stability as I penguin-walked in my red parka through downtown Atlanta. I’m sure I looked pretty silly.
I arrived in the train station and found a security officer to tell me how to get to the airport. The young man walked me over to exactly where I needed to go with a big warm smile. He was so polite. At the terminal, there was a teenage boy standing near me. He was shivering in a long sleeve t-shirt and thin pants. An older man with a large jacket walked over to him and said, “Son, are you cold? Do you want a jacket?” The boy responded , “Yes sir.” Then the man takes his coat off of his back and hands it to him while asking, “Do you want some gloves too?” The boy repeats, “Yes sir, thank you sir” and takes the gloves that the old man extends to him. I stood there and watched this exchange in awe of the kindness between these two strangers in the dark of the early morning at a train station in Atlanta.
I boarded the train and stood between all of the other travelers in the exact same situation as me. After a few stops, the train got stuck and we were informed that maintenance was coming to correct the issue. A man offered me his seat and we began to chat. He and his brother were from Bath near London in England and on their way to Asheville, NC. They were also stuck, but they also weren’t able to get their luggage! I felt lucky that I had only been traveling from Denver instead of all the way from London and that I had clean clothes! The train began to roll again, but many people had already missed their flights.
We arrived at the airport and many people rushed off. Airport employees rushed to clock in on time and travelers rushed to get to their flights. I passed several news stations reporting on the travel fiasco and many many people sleeping in chairs after having to stay the night at the airport. I got to my gate and waited while my 9 AM departure became 10 AM, which became 11, then 12, 1, and 2. The icy conditions made it unsafe to fly and all of the flights are delayed if not canceled. Every time the departure time changed I called my event manager to figure out how we could still make the event happen and be a great experience for all of the participants. It is now 1:00 PM and I’m hoping that I will be able to leave soon. I have made friends with the people sitting around me. Some people are trying to get home, others are on business, and there are people who are trying to visit family. All I want to do is get to Sarasota so that I can do what I do best, my favorite thing in the world: help swimmers get faster with The Fitter and Faster Swim Tour.
This adventure has been a demonstration of something that I teach at my clinics: your attitude is a choice. I have chosen throughout this mess to be positive and kind to everyone that I have crossed paths with. Choosing to keep a smile on my face has connected me with some amazing and kind people. So many others have then helped me get me closer to my goal of reaching Sarasota. There are great and wonderful things that happen in difficult situations if you can keep your eyes open and a positive attitude.
Thank you to all of the Sarasota swimmers and families for being patient and understanding. You can’t control Mother Nature. I am doing everything I can to get there and I promise that the event will be worth the wait!
There is something so amazing about finally figuring out the proper timing, technique, and patience required to swim a powerful and efficient breaststroke. The stroke is extremely technical so it takes a lot of work to learn and execute the proper form. Watch my YouTube video where I walk you through each part of the stroke as well as learning some of my favorite breaststroke drills for you to practice!
Happy Holidays! Tis the season for yummy food, family, and giving gifts to the special people in your life. It is also the season for some of the hardest workouts of the year. Christmas training is the main push for conditioning before beginning the preparation for the end of the short course season. My gift to you is to share a few of my favorite practices that stick out in my memory as the most challenging workouts of the year compliments of Coach Bill Rose of the Mission Viejo Nadadores.
My favorite sets are ones where you have to think a lot and do some math throughout. This always makes the sets more entertaining for me so that they go by pretty quickly. I also love to descend (get faster as you go) starting controlled and finishing in a sprint! These sets are great for distance swimmers looking to create speed while improving endurance. I am so blessed that I was able to train with such a brilliant and legendary Coach. I am a Nadador and "one of Rose's buds" forever.
1. The Fishburn
5 x 100 on 1:05
4 x 200 on 2:05
3 x 300 on 3:05
2 x 400 on 4:05
1 x 500 on 5:05
(or :10, :20, :30 etc.)
This set is structured to do SCY and it's a Coach Rose favorite! The goal of this set is to simply make the interval. It’s a lot harder as it seems because you get very little rest throughout the set. By the end, you really have to fight to make the 500!
100 200 400 800 400 200 100 (all on a 1:20 base)
This set takes some math. You start out and swim a 100 as easy as possible while still making the interval. Then you double that time as your ceiling time on the 200. Double what you go on the 200, and that’s your ceiling time for the 400, etc. On the way back down, you will divide each swim by 2 to get your ceiling time for the next one. The set gets much harder as you go up, but is still hard to keep descending on the way down. Sometimes Coach Rose would give me a ceiling time to start to make it even harder.
(Example: 100 in 1:15, you have to go faster than 2:30 on the 200. Go 2:28 on the 200, so you have to go faster than 4:56 on the 400, etc.)
3. Progressive Descend
3 x 400
3 x 300
3 x 200
3 x 100
All on a 1:20 base
You start by descending the 400’s 1 to 3. On number 3, you get your 300 time on the way out. That becomes your ceiling time for the first 300. Descend the 300’s 1 to 3, get your 200 split on the third 300. Your 200 split becomes your ceiling time for the first 200. Etc. This set is really fun and challenging. You end up swimming most of it at threshold.
4. 800 Race Predictor Set
8 Rounds of (3 x 100 aerobic, 1 x 100 FAST all on1:20)
This is a famous Coach Rose set. Add up all 8 of your fast swims for an 800 time! It can be a great 800 predictor set and switching between aerobic and threshold is really challenging.
5. Controlled Descend
10 x 100 on 1:20 descend 1-10
We would often end a hard practice with a long controlled descend like this. No matter how slow you start, the last few 100s were always sprit! This set teaches you control and time awareness while forcing you to swim at threshold at the end of the set. We would occasionally do this set with 200s or 400s for a main set as well.
Good luck to you all during this holiday training season! Be sure to end each workout with some Shoulder Stabilization Exercises to help prevent injury with the increase in volume.
One of the most common questions that I get asked is about how to achieve one goggle in and one goggle out without getting water in your mouth or choking on water. In this video I hope to help build some confidence for swimmers struggling with this issue.
I recommend watching Breathing in Freestyle before watching this video!
Good luck! Keep swimming!
After 15 years of long distance training, I never had any injuries. I believe that it is because I began this shoulder strengthening routine that I practiced after every workout.
Shoulder injuries are extremely common in swimmers due to the repetitive nature of the sport. Fatiguing in the muscles that support the shoulder and scapula lead to injury and pain which is often referred to as "swimmer's shoulder". Add these exercises to the end of your workout to strengthen the supporting muscles in your shoulders so that you can keep swimming for a long and healthy career!
Let me know what you think in the comments section and please subscribe to me on Youtube!
The freestyle catch is the most important part of the arm pull, if not the entire stroke. It's the part of the stroke that separates the good swimmers from the great. Having the ideal high elbow catch can set you apart from the crowd and unlock incredible power in your freestyle. In this video I break down the what, why, and how of achieving the ideal high elbow catch.
In This Video:
The 5 Parts of the Freestyle Arm Pull:
1. Entry - hand drives forward into the water.
2. Catch - elbow bends, forearm becomes vertical.
3. Power Phase - arm presses through the water.
4. Finish - Hand exits.
5. Recovery - Arm travels out of the water back overhead.
The 3 Objectives of the Freestyle Arm Pull:
1. Direct water back and your energy forward.
2. Maximize the surface area of your pull.
3. Utilize bigger and stronger muscles.
1. Alternating Hinge - Isolate the hinge motion that happens in the elbow during the catch by starting in superman position and simply bending your elbow to achieve a vertical forearm.
2. Stabilized One Arm Freestyle - With one hand on a kick board to help stabilize the body, pull with the other arm pausing in the catch position. Feel the hinge motion and then feel your paddle press back into the water.
3. Catchup - Both hands start in superman, then one arm completes one full stroke, with a pause in the catch position, before returning to superman. Then the other arm begins to pull. This allows you to focus on one arm at a time and feel supported while working on finding the high elbow catch.
4. Holding Paddles Against Forearms - Instead of using a strap to keep your paddle on, try grabbing the bottom of the paddle so that you can focus on pressing into the water with your forearm and not just your hand. Swim regular freestyle or try any of the drills listed above with this bottom paddle grip to emphasize the importance of a vertical forearm in the high elbow catch.
Good luck! I hope this video helps you swim faster! Remember to keep your elbows high, but your dreams even higher!
Check out my other blogs on Open Water Sighting, Kicking, Rotation, and Breathing.
The freestyle side breath is one of the most challenging and complex parts of the stroke. I travel around the country working with swimmers of every different age and ability level. It is very rare that I ever see anybody who has proper breathing. Most people slow down significantly when they breathe. If you haven't worked on it before, especially the timing, you probably aren't doing it right.
In the following video I go over proper breathing technique as well as the correct timing of how the breath fits into your stroke.
Chloe Sutton - Sharing my experience of 20 years of competitive swimming including 8 years on the National Team and 2 Olympic Games.