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Backstroke timing, for me, is all about letting my hands go, and allowing them to flow through the recovery and into the catch.
What sets the cadence is how much time the arm spends outside the water. The shorter the time, the faster the stroke. And the faster the stroke, the more forcefully the hand will enter, catch, and pull.
You want to have a steady kick all the way through the stroke, but I don’t think your kick should dictate your timing. Timing comes from the tempo of your arms.
What helps your tempo is being connected from your shoulders down to your hips.
So if you have a good roll in your stroke from side to side, it will be easier for you to let your arms go and get them around a bit quicker. Everything is connected.
Timing is really important when you transition from butterfly to backstroke in the IM -- especially in a long-course pool.
What I try to do is come up and take two to three strokes of backstroke, keeping it relaxed and just kind of calming down and finding my stroke.
A huge mistake is that people push off the wall, pop up, and immediately start spinning their wheels on backstroke.
On those first few strokes it’s essential to just relax. Get into the different stroke and then you can try to increase your arm cadence throughout the backstroke leg.