EndlessPool and Distance Per Stroke

I swim in an EndlessPool and use this method to get a handle on my efficiency.  The flume rate when set to 100 yards in 1:40 (= 100 yards in 100 seconds or 1 yard per second) is the rate I use for simple math to determine DPS.  I time how long it takes to complete 10 complete 2 arm cycles. Without much effort I can average 30 seconds for those 10 cycles or 3 seconds for both arms = 1.5 seconds for each arm. I figure the DPS would be 1.5 yards per single arm stroke. (Note: I swim using fins to take the complete load off  these 72 year old shoulders). As I ramp up the current during my daily swim I try to maintain the same time for 10 strokes. Since I remain in place in the faster current I figure I must be going  a further distance in the faster current.

Now the questions: Does anyone see any flaws in my logic or math? I try to maintain a constant position over a floor mounted mirror and look to see if I drift backward indicating over gliding and loss of momentum. To maintain the position as the current and my speed increases I need to fully extend, streamline and kick more. My hand feels anchored in the water with very little slippage. Am I correct to aim for the same stroke count as the flume speed increases to get a handle on increasing my distance per stroke as the current increases?

  • First, I’ve never swam in one of those endless pools. And, I’m a little confused trying to follow your calculations. But it seems that if you know how fast you swim in “still water”…100 yards in 1:40 for example…that you can set you “flume rate” on the Endless pool at that and be all set…if you know how long you can hold that pace. I don’t see what other calculations you need to consider. Obviously a faster “flume rate” for shorter, faster distances. And I do like the concept of having a mirror on the bottom of the pool to keep your pace/speed/location in check. One thing I do question is your use of fins in the Endless pool. I mean I understand your necessity for using them when swimming in still water because of your shoulders. But in the Endless pool, why not just set a slower flume rate, and go without the fins?

    Edited to add: I understand the “flume rate” to be like the speed setting on a treadmill. You tell the machine have fast you want to run and then compensate your stride for that speed. You either adjust the length of your stride, or the turnover rate of your stride. Isn’t is the same with the Endless pool and the flume rate?


  • Thanks for the reply.I used 1:40/100y (100s to go 100y) or (water moves 1 yard every second) as a simple way to deduce that if I swim in place, my speed has to be the same but in the opposite direction as the moving water. If my stroke rate is 1 two arm strokes every 3 seconds that means in the same 3 seconds the water/myself moved 3 yards yo offset the moving water. This works to be 3 yards per two arm or 1.5y/one arm. With a little calculation the same method can determine distance per stroke for other flume speeds. Bottom line...the lower time for my arms to cycle means I had to swim further to stay in place in the current. I kinda think it is like riding on a bike in high gear, harder peddling in a high gear gets you further than fast peddling in a lower gear. My question is based on whether the furthest DPS the most efficient. I can cycle my arms faster at the same flume setting (1:40/100y), each pull is easier, my hands can feel the water "leaking" through and around my arm, hands and fingers, I suppose that somewhere in the middle would that be the best compromise.

    I use the fins as a way to unload my shoulders and put the workout into my legs. A side benefit is that the fins help with my technique. I can focus on my arm stroke because the portion of the propulsive forces are put into the legs and that margin can be used to experiment with stroke dynamics. I'm 72 so a little cheat that gives a fuller workout and saves fragile shoulders is desired. I usually swim every day doing 2+ miles at a flume rate warming up at 1:40/100y  and  doing a ladder to 1:20/100y. I try to maintain the stroke rate as I climb the ladder.

    As far as the EndlessPool...Awesome!!!! The closest pool for me to do lap swimming is almost 1 hr. away. Lots of wasted time, gas and danger driving during the winter here in the Catskill Mountains of New York. I have the pool in an out building and the water heated to 83*F. I do miss the camaraderie with the other swimmers so I invite them to swim in the EP. I am a USMS coach and find the EP as a great tool for instruction. If you are ever in this area, feel welcome to try it.

    Again thanks for the feedback!

    "Swim Long and Prosper" Traditional salutation by Admiral Spock stationed in the planet Neptune - Earth date 24th century