Terry Laughlin’s two test sets on stroke efficiency with descending 100s. See his article.


See the nice article elsewhere by the Total Immersion founder, Coach Terry Laughlin. His tip is to do 50s or 100s and count the total number of strokes for the entire distance. Perhaps it is 77. Most of the time, I've always counted each length as its own result. But Terry's approach makes sense for getting one value for the entire distance, generally a 50-yard or 100-yard distance.

Summary for 50s or 100s

One version:  Maintain the same stroke count while descending the swims' final time.

Other version: Maintain the same stroke tempo with the help of a Tempo Trainer or a Marlin (both are wearable devices) and descend the swims' final time.


  • Repeats, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8
  • Distances, 50-yards, 100-yards
  • Interval, 
  • Maintaining stroke count - or - Maintain tempo, and -- at what value
  • Results in total swim times

Questions to answer with data

  • How much can you descend without adding strokes? 
  • Another day, repeat the same series, but keeping Tempo constant instead. How much can you descend now?
  • Can you repeat the same results on another day but with an adjusted temp. See if a slower tempo allows a larger improvement in time.

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About the author 

Mark Rauterkus

Insert YOUR comments in the box at the bottom of this -- and all the other pages. Questions. Insights. re-writes, whatever.

Swim, water polo and SKWIM coach in Pittsburgh, PA, USA. Also the webmaster for the International Swim Coaches Association.

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