SPL x Tempo= Pace Combo Chart for Open Water
This chart shows Stroke Length x Tempo combinations to create Pace for 100 meters (in seconds). This chart is intended for open-water (no walls, no flip-turns or interruptions to the stroke), therefore
For example: Maria uses a Stroke Length of 1.05 (red numbers, vertical column) and a Tempo of 1.10 seconds per stroke (blue numbers, horizontal row) to create a Pace of 104.8 seconds or 1 minute 44.8 seconds per 100 meters.
To convert your pool SPL into universal Stroke Length number:
Pool Length – Glide Distance = Swim Distance
Swim Distance / SPL = SL
Maria swims in a 25 meter pool. She glides 5 meters from the wall to begin her first stroke #0. She has an average SPL of 19.
25m – 5m = 20m Swim Distance
20m / 19 SPL = 1.05 meters per stroke.
Keep in mind that if you are training to achieve a certain Pace for open-water swimming, you need to train for that Pace. The speed of flip-turns and push-offs in the pool affect the Pace equation. The distance you actually swim (take strokes) in the pool is what is training you for that open-water event, not the flip-turns and push-offs. So I recommend that you pick your SL (SPL) x Tempo combination based on the setting (pool or open-water) that you are preparing to race in.