No, this is not the newest pick up line being heard at bars... ;)

By: Coach Laura Bruck Renzelman

Triathlon Coach, Lifelong Endurance
NASM Certified Personal Trainer
USA- Triathlon Level 1 Coach

SWOLF is a great metric to check up on from time to time to measure your stroke efficiency.

SWOLF is a blending of the terms Swimming + Golf = SWOLF.  The SWOLF score is a measure of your swimming efficiency, and just as in golf, a lower score is better. For pool swimming, the SWOLF score for a length is obtained by adding together the number of strokes taken in the pool length, and the time it took to swim that length. For instance, 30 seconds and 10 strokes (that’s one arm)  to swim the length of a pool will give a SWOLF score of 40.

Now SWOLF is not the end-all, be-all metric that determines if you are a good swimmer or not and it also changes depending on the type of swimming you are doing. While SWOLF is primarily used for pool swimming, it is calculated by 25m in open water swimming. Depending on the conditions of the open water swim your SWOLF score could vary widely from your pool SWOLF score.

Think of it as a drill that can improve your efficiency in the pool and open water. When you are doing 100 meter repeats experiment with lengthening your reach, increasing your kick, or the stroke turnover. Does a particular change improve your SWOLF score?

As a coach, I depend on your SWOLF scores to see how consistently you’re swimming your 100s. We’re always working toward bringing that number downward as you become a more efficient and proficient swimmer.