View Full Version : Need ways to build up to 100 Fly

February 27th, 2003, 12:16 PM
I'm not from a competitive swimming background but has volunteer to coach our informal masters group once a week. I'm trying to establish a theme for each session (8-10 weeks). Last one was the 1000 yards. We did lots of pace work and endurance sets for the last 2 months. This next session I've decided to focus on the 100 Fly.

Most of the swimmers can do 25 or 50 yards for a few repeats but that's all. Most of the swimmers are 40-50 years old with no competitive swim background either. Our workouts are 1 hour (3 x week).

Does anyone have any suggestions on sets for 100 Fly or just good resources for coaching in general.

Thanks so much!!

February 27th, 2003, 09:24 PM
I swim the 100 fly competitively, but I never swim it as a 100 fly.

I do a lot of 25 kick-25 swim-25 kick-25 swim
or 25 drill-25 swim-25 drill-25 swim,

if they can hold the last 25 swim then they might be ready for
50 kick-50 swim
50 drill-50swim

then you can advance to
25 kick-75 swim
25 drill-75 swim

any variation.

But first, you need to work on fly technique. That's the hard part.
Understanding the kick-"Knee STRAIGHT" don't bend them. (you'll still bend them slightly)

You can have them "walk" fly in the shallow end to understand the arm stroke recovery.

Best of luck, I am trying to help my fellow teammates do the same thing. She's already accomplished the 50 fly and the 200 IM.

jim thornton
February 27th, 2003, 11:19 PM
I just turned 50 and find that my lower back suffers a bit from repetitive fly. Still, I wanted to swim the 200 fly in a meet, and knew I had to build up some endurance. To get myself used to it, I decided to start out with 25s.

At first, I just tried to do 8 x 25s fly, taking as much rest as I needed. I should mention that A) I swam fly when younger, and I don't recommend new adult swimmers start out with nearly this much, and B) even given my background in swimming fly, I think these 25s were on intervals of pretty close to a minute each.

Over the next month, I gradually built up to where I could do 40 x 25 fly, on maybe 45 seconds. I purposely didn't look at the clock--just listened to my body. My feeling was it doesn't do you too much good to swim horrible fly, when your arms are too tight to keep proper form. Better to do short distances where you can hold a decent stroke.

Once I could do 40 x 25s without cursing the day I was born, I tried to start throwing in some 50s--maybe 20 x 25, then 6 x 50, then 8 x 25 to finish up.

Eventually I got to where I could actually swim 10 x 50 fly on :50. Then I started throwing in some 100s, figuring that if I could swim half the race distance in practice, I could probably grit out a full 200 in a meet.

It worked: I just swam a 2:21, my best 200 yard fly time (actually, pretty much my ONLY 200 fly time.)

Note: I don't swim the 1000 worth of fly every practice, but try to do so maybe 2 x a week when training for butterfly. Bottom line philosophy: swimming fly, especially when you're not used to it, is pretty traumatic. Build up to it very gradually, and your body can slowly adjust to the stress it puts on shoulders, lower back, stamina, etc. If you overdo it at the beginning, however, you are inviting injury (and a lifelong hatred of butterfly!)

Coach Ed
March 1st, 2003, 04:02 PM
I think that you need to just start with some 25's one day. On n time. Then work up to 5X50 or 10X50 on like say 1:00 or so. Then stay with those for a week or so. Then try some 75's on 2:00. Taht should give you some rest as opposed to time sets. After a week of 75's o even two weeks, the last 25 will be a breeze. 100's will be a piece of cake.

Have, Flyers kick butt!!!


March 1st, 2003, 05:54 PM
Hi Linda and Friends,
I just started a new Masters group and these swimmers are pretty inexperienced except for a couple of women who are pretty good flyers. I decided to do a mini-clinic on butterfly. It was very well-received. Here are the points I made: (1) Breathe early in the stroke; head goes down and thrusts forward; butt comes up (2)Head should be down before You start the recovery! – Head Down, Butt Up (3) Slow Down! – don’t rush the stroke – Glide! – pull all the way through (4) Stroke count should be about half what your freestyle count is. Then, I got in the water to show them all these points. And I asked them what my stroke count was; did I glide; did I rush the stroke; did I keep my head down, etc. Then they returned to the water and did 6-8 x 25 with about :10 rest, then followed that with 4 x 50 (25 dolphin u/w and 25 alternating 1-arm). Some of them actually got it! I was pleased. We’ll do another session with them in a couple weeks and add some of the finer points of butterfly. The first step is to understand the dolphin motion and how to coordinate head, arms and legs.

Bert Petersen
March 1st, 2003, 05:59 PM
Since the 100 fly is pretty much my only passion, here are a few things which I do that seem to help. Remember, I work out alone.
!. "Add a stroke"....do one stroke fly, finish the length free, do 2 strokes fly, finish with free, and so on. Can do continuous or one
length at a time with rest. You decide how many lengths and how high you want to go with the fly portion. Can be done arms only as well.
2. Morale booster...every workout, finish with one set of sprint fly,seeing how far you can go before your stroke turns to garbage. First day you might only make a 25......try and add to it each time, but only going as far as good form allows. I'm up to a good 75 right now and I find that I can handle a 100 at a meet when I'm fresh, finishing with style,not dying like a dog. So I guess that 75 tired = 100 fresh.3. I never swim "slow" fly. Everything is sprint form until I switch to drill or free.

Good luck !

March 1st, 2003, 09:57 PM
Dick -

I am reading your description of the timing for breathing and head position and wonder if I am incorrectly visualizing what you are teaching.

Are you saying that during the recovery of the arms, you want the head down and the butt at the surface? If you are saying that, doesn't that result in the shoulders being lower than the hips which is opposite of what I tell our kids and adults to do.

When my kids put their head down before the recovery, they don't get a very good recovery and end up doing dolphin dives for the bottom.

Just curious for a little more info.

Paul Windrath

March 2nd, 2003, 12:23 PM
Thanks, Paul, for your observations. Sometimes I don't articulate as precisely as I think. I believe, in butterfly, it's absolutely necessary to get the head down at the same time that the arms are recovering. (Maybe that's a better way of putting it.) I guess I word it the way I do so getting the head down and recovery will occur simultaneously. The swimmer new to butterfly needs to understand the timing issue. The reason I teach this way is that I often see swimmers with their heads up looking straight ahead, arms out of the water and hips diving for the bottom. The classic "Butter-Struggle". Getting the head down before or AS the arms recover will help to keep the butt up and their body on a more level plane. (Will you accept "AS the arms recover"?)

I don't coach kids but I do occasionally see an adult novice diving too deep. Novice adults don't like going too deep. In fact, it's hard to get them to do u/w dolphin kicks where you need to be well under the surface (2-3 feet).

Respectfully, Dick Pitman

March 4th, 2003, 01:01 PM
the head needs to dive as the arms recover... That's what I tell the kids I coach.

as the hands come around the head needs to be dropping, so the head is lower than the arms...

That's how my coach explained it to me. My stroke was always "beautiful" according to my coaches.. but I never had any speed behind it... never broke 1:20 except when a doctor changed some migraine drugs I was on.

Sicne then, I've fixed it, and I never raise my head at all... I'm always looking at the bottom of the pool, but my body comes higher out of the water and my face is about 2 inches from the water to breathe.