Analyzing The Data

Below is a quick guide to analyzing swims.  Look for videos and other documentation regarding race analysis but please review this as a starting point to understanding the world of swim race analysis.


  1.  Start - .75 to 1.00 avg.
  2.  Breakout  time– As swimmers get more advanced in their underwater kicking skill, they will be able to go further off the start/turn underwater while still carrying speed. This will save their arms for the second half of the race.  As the season progresses, you want to see increases in both breakout distance, and time spent underwater.  Remember that you can only legally go 15 meters underwater. Shorter races the swimmer will spend less time underwater.
  3.  Breakout distance – The further the better as long as you can keep up the speed. That’s why paying attention to breakout time and distance together tells a bigger story. Remember that if you develop a good underwater kick, you save your arms for the race.  Please keep in mind this value is an approximation.
  4.  15 meter time– world class swimmers get there in under 6 seconds. Senior kids should shoot for 6-7 seconds or better. The faster the swimmer gets to 15 meters, they are hopefully beating the wave that is made by all the swimmers, this wave can create resistance for the swimmer.
  5.  Stroke rate – average stroke rate is important, if too fast they could be wasting energy early in the race, if too slow they may be holding back and will never see what they are capable of.  Does the stroke rate stay consistent or drop off, which could show a sign of lack of conditioning. Also, important to see if the stroke rate slows down into a turn or the finish, that also shows you where you can improve. We want stroke tempo to increase into walls, turns are much better if started with good momentum, and a strong finish can allow you to not get caught from behind.
  6.  Cycle count – This value can give you insight on how efficient you are swimming. The fewer strokes while maintaining speed, means less energy and more efficiency.
  7.  Distance per stroke/cycle – The further the swimmer travels each cycle the more efficient they are swimming, while maintaining a good stroke rate. Size and strength will affect this value.   Please keep in mind this value is an approximation.
  8.  Turn time –  Turns are something that every swimmer has to consistently work on. Keeping track of turn times tells you if you are gaining an advantage or if that is a problem area for you. Generally speaking you are trying to keep the turn at 1.0 to 1.2 or less.
  9.  Split time – All coaches use splits as a guide for the swimmer to pace the race. Most swimmers shoot for a reasonably even pace, depending on the distance of the race. The first segment will always be faster because you are starting from a dive instead of a pushoff, after that a consistent pace usually is best. However each swimmer is different and the coach and swimmer need to develop a race strategy that works best for the individual.
  10.  5 yard/meter finish – measured when the head paces under the flags until the finish. Most elite swimmers accelerate into the finish and try not to glide and decelerate into the wall.

For Further Analysis discussion please click on video below:
Analysis #2- Back Stroke
Analysis #3- Freestyle, Turns and Breakouts
Using SwimHero RA in your training

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