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Effectively using the pace clock

The pace clock in swimming has three key purposes:

It tells you how fast you are swimming each interval. This allows you to make sure that you are keeping the same pace during a set, or increasing or decreasing your speed as needed.

The clock also tells you how much recovery you have in each interval. For example, if you ar swimming 10 x 100m Freestyle on 1 minute and 40 seconds for each interval and you swim the first repetition in 1 minute and 30 seconds, then you have 10 seconds rest.

The clock also can allow you to space between swimmers in the lane. Providing you have placed you and your fellow swimmers in the correct speed order in the lane, then if you space yourselves 5 or 10 seconds apart nobody should swim over each other and each swim should be completed properly.

In using the clock, we should learn the skills in the above order 3, 2 and then 1. Space out, know your interval time and the amount of rest, then work out how fast you are swimming.

If you can master all of these, then you can really measure how you are doing in a swim set and see your improvements over time and know when you are occasionally having an off-day also. There’s nothing better when swimming and you know your times exactly and you are seeing progress!






Richard Bruford View All

Richard is currently Secondary School Principal of Suzhou Singapore International School, one of China's leading international schools. He leads workshops across the Asia-Pacific region for the International Baccalaureate in the areas of pedagogical leadership and approaches to teaching and learning. Richard consults with schools on the topics of school improvement and effective implementation and use of technology.

With a background in public and independent school education in the UK and Australia, Richard is enjoying his international school adventure in China. He is passionate about developing and supporting educational leaders, as it is essential to improving all schools.

Richard is a proud family man and feels lucky to be married to Kim and father of their son Austin.

In his spare time Richard enjoys to swim, bike and run and is a now retired football player and coach (with occasional guest appearances)

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