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Speed is a combination of skill and instinct -- when you let your fight-or-flight and animalistic instinct take over and simple react. That’s when you find speed.
It takes skill and lots of practice to turn yourself into the speediest possible athlete.
You get speed by racing people in practice, which makes you train at a higher rate than if you’re swimming by yourself.
Doing drills specific for speed are easy to do and are very helpful at training faster.
The tempo I strive for in my freestyle is between .9 and 1.0 seconds per stroke cycle.
The tempo I strive for in breaststroke is between .8 and .9 seconds per cycle.