Okay, so here’s the deal. I need to conserve energy swimming butterfly stroke. I'm tall, got broad shoulders and long legs, so my school chose me as my B-Team U15 butterfly swimmer. I'm very fast, but I get exhausted very fast. Any help on how to conserve energy while swimming?
Energy consumption during swimming is affected by three main areas: your pace, your swimming technique and your fitness level.
I know what you're thinking: yeah, they are all pretty obvious. True, but when they are all finely honed, they work together to make you a very slick, efficient and successful swimmer. No magic pill or single secret technique will make you a better swimmer overnight. It will take a little practice.
Let’s deal with the most obvious one first: your butterfly swimming technique. Efficient butterfly stroke comes from a good body position and strong undulating movement. Combine this with a powerful kick and long stretch over the water with the arms to make the whole stroke action longer, and you will have a more efficient swimming stroke.
Your fitness level is the next most obvious; training and laps will boost and elevate your stamina and recovery rate.
Butterfly stroke is the most energy-consuming of all swimming strokes because it requires the most physical movement. Large ballistic movements of large muscle groups constantly over a distance requires tremendous strength and stamina. This level of fitness can be achieved through training longer distances.
The pace you swim at will ultimately determine how much energy you will have towards the end of your swim. You must conserve some for your final length, ideally when your competitors are running low on energy too. If you have more than the other swimmers in the race, you have the advantage.
Good pace comes with practice; when used correctly, it can tactically outsmart your opponents. But, you must have the fitness and swimming technique finely tuned first if you can pace yourself cleverly.
Just another thought: just because you are tall with broad shoulders and long legs, this does not mean you are suited only to the swimming butterfly stroke. Your height and stature will give you an advantage in front crawl, breaststroke and backstroke.
My ebook How To Swim Butterfly contains 16 separate swimming exercises to help all parts of butterfly stroke technique, including body position, breathing and timing. You can download it, print out the parts you need and take them to your pool to try out. Click below for more details.