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mpmartin
May 14th, 2008, 02:23 PM
I'm looking for ideas for training for all 3 breaststroke events:
50, 100 and 200. How should I structure my training?

Jeff Commings
May 14th, 2008, 02:40 PM
Why would you want to do such a thing?

Glider
May 14th, 2008, 02:53 PM
I keep asking myself the same thing...But while I'm a natural, drop-dead sprinter, I admit to a certain fascination to the 200 BR: a mix of dread and excitement, depending on the meet and the sequence of events.

The 200 BR is an extraordinarily challenging event, and there is a great amount of satisfaction once you get past the dread, and just go for it in a controlled sort of way.

Guys like matysekj and big AL are a different breed - they are on the other end of the spectrum - outstanding distance breaststrokers. I'll let them chime in from their perspectives...


Why would you want to do such a thing?

Midas
May 14th, 2008, 04:58 PM
I can see how those of us, like me, who aren't that good at any other stroke might want to do this. But boy are they different events. The 200 is a real lung-busting endurance race (for a 200) while the 50 is a pure muscle sprint. It's almost like they are different strokes. It might be a little hard to switch gears between the three of events, but I'm sure it can be done. How to train for it? I don't really know. Swim a lot of breaststroke and have days where you practice the 200 and days where you practice sprinting, I'd guess.

Glider
May 14th, 2008, 08:22 PM
I have dramatically different strokes for the 50/100 vs. the 200. My turnover (stroke count) on the 50 is significantley higher than the 200. I am tempted to post videos, but I'll spare myself the humiliation.

As for training, I break my season into 3 major phases, usually 5 to 6 days a week, trying to train for all three races:


1. Endurance phase (~8 weeks)
The focus here is on basic (low) and anaerobic threshhold endurance. Sometimes, I really have to go into recovery mode (very slow)
Most of the endurance work is freestyle or breaststroke kicking/pulling/drilling (about 3 days a week)
I do very little full-stroke breaststroke - it would just be sloppy and build bad habits. Full stroke is reserved for sprint work.
I do a fair amount of lactate production sprints (2 to 3 days a week). I do sets like 8 to 12x50 on 2:00 for lactate production.
I do a little lactate tolerance sprint work. My favorite set is 3x200 on 6:00 broken at each 50 with ten seconds rest. Subtract 30 seconds and you should be around your 200 time.2. Quality phase (~6 weeks)
The focus here is shorter anaerobic threshhold/overload (high) endurance sets (two days a week), though I still do a fair amount of basic (low) endurance, as well as recovery.
I still do freestyle for the endurance work (50%), but now I add full-stroke breaststroke.
I track my high endurance set times during this phase to see improvement trends. My favorite set is 5 to 7x200 BR on an interval that allows me 20 to 25 seconds rest.
Towards the end here, I really pick up the sprint work (3 to 4 days a week.) I continue with a fair amount of lactate production sprints. l start doing more lactate tolerance sprints. Here I track my 4x50s on 2:00, broken 200s, and 100 kick sets.3. Race specific/taper phase (~3 race specific+2 taper weeks)
I really dial down the high endurance set distances to maybe 4x200s (or less moving into taper) and really increase the intensity, again I keep recording set times.
Sprint work comes front and center. I continue with my lactate sets, add power sprint sets (8x15s on 1:00 full bore)
I really go for broke on some 1 or 2x broken 200s, and mix in a lot of 25 sprints on 1:00, 50s on 2:00 and 100s on 4:00. Very high intensity stuff
Taper, well lots of rest. Shorter sets, repeats, and much less yardage, but with high intensity and FAST. I think a lot of people make the mistake of swimming easy during their taper.Hope this gives you a few ideas.

PS. I recommend Ernest Maglischo's Swimming Fastest book. It's ALL in there.



I can see how those of us, like me, who aren't that good at any other stroke might want to do this. But boy are they different events. The 200 is a real lung-busting endurance race (for a 200) while the 50 is a pure muscle sprint. It's almost like they are different strokes. It might be a little hard to switch gears between the three of events, but I'm sure it can be done. How to train for it? I don't really know. Swim a lot of breaststroke and have days where you practice the 200 and days where you practice sprinting, I'd guess.

Big AL
May 14th, 2008, 09:44 PM
I defer on training methods to Glider.

I usually do a lap or two in warm-up every day, then a couple 100's pull sometime during the week. Even on IM days, I skip breaststroke and double up on backstroke. I try to get a little kicking done each week, but I may go a month without any kicking.

For the first time ever, I am going to focus on breaststoke training in the coming months. I am starting with videos of Kitajima and training drills. I am planning on 500y-1000y a day (a month's worth of breast training every day), so will be looking for results come Portland this Summer.

Glider
May 14th, 2008, 10:39 PM
Hey Al, awesome 200 at Nats. Scary to think what you could do with a season of PRACTICING under your belt. Sheesh...

If you haven't already, check out Mills' site goswim.tv for some drills. I know Chris W. uses some drills he saw there and was gonna rag on him if he beat him...And he did, 2 out of 3.


I defer on training methods to Glider.

I usually do a lap or two in warm-up every day, then a couple 100's pull sometime during the week. Even on IM days, I skip breaststroke and double up on backstroke. I try to get a little kicking done each week, but I may go a month without any kicking.

For the first time ever, I am going to focus on breaststoke training in the coming months. I am starting with videos of Kitajima and training drills. I am planning on 500y-1000y a day (a month's worth of breast training every day), so will be looking for results come Portland this Summer.

Allen Stark
May 14th, 2008, 11:22 PM
When I am in my training cycle I split it up this way.
Mon is 100 pace day.All my breaststroke(and breaststroke/dolphin kick with fins that I do to save my knees after about 300 BR) is 50s at 100 pace with enough rest to make my goal time(which is at least the time of my second 50 of the 100.)
Tues is 200 pace day.Same thing except 100sand my goal time is at least the 2nd 100 of my 200.
Weds is 50 pace-25s all out,goal time at least 2nd 25 0f 50.
Fri is either some of all 3 or lactate tolerance sets.