Swimming fast is as much about reducing resistance as it is about producing force. As soon as the body moves out of a streamlined position, the water slows the body down. The breaststroke action moves a long way from a streamlined position and as a result is the slowest stroke. As soon as the swimmer lifts their head to breathe, the legs are pushed downwards and the water hits them like a brick wall.
To overcome this problem the swimmer must do what they can to return to a streamlined position after each stroke. This is the key to swimming fast breaststroke. Training should be centred around both generating power and reducing resistance. One of the most common mistakes made by a swimmer when trying to race quickly in this stroke is to stroke too fast.
Increasing the stroke rate to create more speed is crucial to any swimming race. Increasing it too far is a disastrous result for any breaststroker. By stroking too fast the body does not have enough time to return to a streamlined position. The head gets higher and higher in the water and the hips and feet get lower and lower. With each passing stroke the body becomes less streamlined and the resistance against the water increases.
The shorter the race the faster you can stroke in a race. Your stroke rate will be much higher for a 50m race than a 200m race. This does not change the fact that you still need to get your head down and hips up in a 50m race. Being able to do this quickly will become the difference between you winning and losing a race.