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View Full Version : IMer's I need a 200m IM split diagnosis



rtodd
May 23rd, 2008, 07:02 PM
Did my first 200m IM.

What can be concluded by the splits?

36.74
49.72
57.57
42.83

3:06.86

Big AL
May 23rd, 2008, 08:30 PM
Without knowing more about your strokes, it is hard to really say, except for one thing.......

As a rule of thumb, a dive 50 fly on the front is about the same for a push 50 free on the end.... for an IMer.

So, either you went out too hard or you really died on the end. Keep trying to get the first and last 50 closer on future swims.... say 40 going out and 40 coming back. Your middle 50s will come down, too, by going out a bit easier. Just don't drop the legs too much on the fly and you will be good.

rtodd
May 23rd, 2008, 09:29 PM
OK, get the fly and free closer. How about back and breast? Where should they be in relation to the others? Should back be very close to free? I know breast is slower, but by how much? It seems I lost a ton on breast.

Big AL
May 23rd, 2008, 09:40 PM
OK, get the fly and free closer. How about back and breast? Where should they be in relation to the others? Should back be very close to free? I know breast is slower, but by how much? It seems I lost a ton on breast.

Here is where it can fluctuate a lot..... good/bad back/breast.

As another rule of thumb... 15% for back and 25% for breast. So, the end splits would be 40, 46, 50, 40 for a 2:56 total. Modify by a few seconds if your back or breast is especially weak.

Practice your goal pace for 50s in workout for the different strokes to get the pace dialed in, then make it happen in your races.

These are mine from Austin:

1 27.45 27.45
2 59.41 31.96
3 1:34.00 34.59
4 2:01.43 27.43

LindsayNB
May 23rd, 2008, 10:24 PM
Here are the splits for the 200IM from Canadian Nationals with bar charts to make it easy to eyeball the relative splits:
200IM splits (http://mymsc.ca/Results.jsp?meet=199&id=*&name=*&event=5+200&gender=*&club=*&province=*&sortby=event%2Ctime&charts=on)

Only a few swimmers managed to bring in their free on their fly split, but it is interesting that Nadine Rolland, an Olympian, did so. (They are sorted by time so scroll down to 2:27 to view)

The IPS scores for your times for the 50m events are:
36.74 335
49.72 98
57.57 83
42.83 139
3:06.86 327

Which tends to suggest that your fly leg is much better than your other legs.
It would be helpful to know your 50, 100 and 200 times in each stroke as that would distinguish relative strength in the different strokes versus pacing.

That Guy
May 23rd, 2008, 10:45 PM
The difference between your two 100's was 13.94 seconds. For the IM's there's no hard and fast rule for ideal splitting but 13.94 is a high number. Looking over my own Masters results in the 200 IM, my best difference is 7.26 and my worst is 10.84. I'm a lousy breaststroker but I usually do keep my fly and free splits close together. As others have noted, you should probably take it out a bit slower on the fly.

JMiller
May 23rd, 2008, 11:03 PM
Whoa, this is quite the chart.... thanks for that!!


Here are the splits for the 200IM from Canadian Nationals with bar charts to make it easy to eyeball the relative splits:
200IM splits (http://mymsc.ca/Results.jsp?meet=199&id=*&name=*&event=5+200&gender=*&club=*&province=*&sortby=event%2Ctime&charts=on)

Only a few swimmers managed to bring in their free on their fly split, but it is interesting that Nadine Rolland, an Olympian, did so. (They are sorted by time so scroll down to 2:27 to view)

The IPS scores for your times for the 50m events are:
36.74 335
49.72 98
57.57 83
42.83 139
3:06.86 327

Which tends to suggest that your fly leg is much better than your other legs.
It would be helpful to know your 50, 100 and 200 times in each stroke as that would distinguish relative strength in the different strokes versus pacing.

ande
May 24th, 2008, 12:05 AM
need more info

I think you can improve a great deal
work on your breastroke and back
you spent the greatest percentage of your race swimming those strokes
improve your speed and overall conditioning




Did my first 200m IM.

What can be concluded by the splits?

36.74
49.72
57.57
42.83

3:06.86

hofffam
May 24th, 2008, 03:19 PM
At Short Course Nationals in Austin, only 1 swimmer in the top 10 finishers of 45-49 had fly=free (Al Jaeger). I don't know Al Jaeger but based on his other swims at Nationals he appears to not be a flyer so his fly=free seems an anomaly.

The winner was +3.5 sec from fly to free. Just eyeballing the times it looks like the average was +4sec from fly to free.

So either 9 out of 10 swam the race badly or the goal of fly=free is not realistic.

My high school son swam a 1:55.4 200 IM and his splits were:

24.8
30.1
32.7
27.8

He is not a backstroker. He probably took fly out a bit too fast because he faded a bit on his freestyle. He swam the breast very aggressive.

Edit - I see Mr. Jaegers posted above!

Big AL
May 24th, 2008, 04:11 PM
So either 9 out of 10 swam the race badly or the goal of fly=free is not realistic.

I'm not saying fly = free is optimal... just for someone starting out with a 200 IM, that is a good way to be able to complete the race and test the other strokes without being completely fatigued.

As a 200 flyer in college, I like to take IMs easy going out, not build up too much lactate, and accelerate toward the finish.... just a personal preference.

ande
May 24th, 2008, 05:12 PM
hey al,

very nice
strong breast and free splits

IM's tend to be better when you keep your
1st and 2nd 100 pretty close together

AL you were
59.41 for your fl bk then
62.02 for your br fr
62.02 - 59.41 = 2.61 diff
which is quite excellent

here's how my buddy tyler split his 200 IM at Nats
Men 35-39 200 Individual Medley
24.35
53.21(28.86)
1:28.05(34.84)
1:57.52(29.47)

64.31 - 53.21 = 11.10 diff
he worked the fly and back too hard and
paid a high price on the breast and a very high price on free,
had he held back a little on the fly and back, breathed more, didn't SDK as much and saved his legs
he probably would have gained much more on the BR FR

it's hard for masters to sprint an entire 200 IM
correct pacing makes a lot of sense
it feels great to be surging when those beside you are falling apart

clay britt had trouble with his 200 IM
Men 45-49 200 Individual Medley
Britt, J Clay 47 ANCM
25.18
55.08 (29.90)
1:31.97 (36.89)
2:03.05 (31.08)

he was
67.97 on the br fr and
55.08 on the fl bk
almost a 13 sec fade on his br free compared to his fl bk




1 27.45 27.45
2 59.41 31.96
3 1:34.00 34.59
4 2:01.43 27.43

hofffam
May 24th, 2008, 06:38 PM
Ande says it is hard for Masters to sprint an entire 200 IM

Ha ha! That is very funny.....

Damn right it is hard.....

So Al is a flyer. Nice swim.....I swam my fly way too fast, and by breaststroke - where I should have moved up - my arms were lead and I just swam to hang on.

Big AL
May 24th, 2008, 07:42 PM
I ran into a friend in Austin I knew as a 10&under and he said saving anything for the end is not in his interest because he wants to go faster sooner and waiting to go fast at the end is really just waiting to go slow when he is tired.

As he is a 50/100 person (I like 200/500 or longer) this has merit as Ande would agree. So, if you are not a long race swimmer, it may be in your interest to go faster sooner. The balance is delicate, though, as you will build up more lactate AND have a lesser ability to deal with the stress at the end of the race.

rtodd
May 24th, 2008, 08:57 PM
Sounds like I need to get the 100 splits closer, and get the back and breast time down, even if that means taking fly out a bit slower. Since it was the first time perhaps I was a bit chicken of gassing out and I did not attack the middle of the race.

Let me ask another question, what should your 200 IM be in relation to your 200 free time?

My 200m free is 2:50. What percentage slower should your IM be? Mine is about 10%.

What can be inferred there?

pwolf66
May 24th, 2008, 09:10 PM
Well, my opinion is that if you're 200m Free is 2:50 then a 3:06 200m IM is not out of whack. But I think you can swim both faster. 2:50 for the 2Free is averaging 42.5 seconds per 50 or 1:25 per 100. I would be also interested in seeing your 2Free splits.

Given that info, I think that you took the Fly out too fast and used up your legs. Splitting the back 13 seconds higher than the Fly means that you were really gassed. That should be more like 5-7 seconds. I would try to split a 38-39 front Fly and get your Back split down to a 44 or so.

It would really helpful if you could post your best 50 times for all 4 strokes that way we could evaluate the difference in times between the 2IM splits and each strokes 50.

Paul

rtodd
May 24th, 2008, 09:55 PM
I did feel a bit gassed in the back and I don't know how to swim breast tired. I think my stroke falls apart.

The 200m free splits were:
36.85
41.70
45.61
45.85

My 50 yd. breast is a 41.25 and 50m free is a 26.60.

Never did a 50 fly or back.

Paul Smith
May 24th, 2008, 10:08 PM
There's a reason the IM is referred to as "The 5th Stroke"

Bottom line is you need to be strong in all 4 strokes, highly conditioned and have exceptional turns (at least for short course).

Question...how many practice sessions a week to spend focused on IM turns? I see most master swimmers using them as "rest" time vs. attack time.

My own preference in a 200IM is to build withing each "stroke" and attack turns...if you don't spend time in practice doing broken/race pace IM work you'll blow a gasket somewhere in this race at a meet because you have no sense of the pace needed to nail the splits/overall swim.

PS: it also historically has been the domain of "evil (breast) strokers"...kinda like a triathalon being the same for runners.

knelson
May 24th, 2008, 11:08 PM
My 50 yd. breast is a 41.25 and 50m free is a 26.60.

26.6 is a pretty fast 50 meter free. Do you consider yourself a sprinter? If not, I would think you should be much faster on both your 200 free and IM. Maybe you need more aerobic training? Just to put it in perspective, I bet there are lots of swimmers (esp. female) who can go under 2:00 in a 200 yard free that you could beat in a 50.

pwolf66
May 25th, 2008, 07:28 AM
I did feel a bit gassed in the back and I don't know how to swim breast tired. I think my stroke falls apart.

The 200m free splits were:
36.85
41.70
45.61
45.85

My 50 yd. breast is a 41.25 and 50m free is a 26.60.

Never did a 50 fly or back.

Is that 50 free time meters? If so you're pretty dang fast and should not be going 36 high front 50 in a 200. I would expect more like 29-30 and then hold 32-33s for the next three 50s.

Even if that time is yards (which should put you at around 30 for 50m free), you should be targeting around 34 front 50, and then hold 38-39s for the rest of the swim which should put you in the 2:30 range for 200m Free. How much time do you spend doing fast 200s or longer in your sessions? Seeing those splits really makes me think that you have no endurance for middle distance.

rtodd
May 25th, 2008, 12:58 PM
Sorry, did I say that?

26.6 for 50yds free, 29.47 for 50m free. Does that make the 200IM splits more reasonable?

I agree about the edurance part. I see it in my 200's. My best 200 yard free is 2:29. Based on my 50, I think I should be faster in 200's, but I'm not. My best 500 yd free is 6:49.

I do not do many fast 200's. Maybe fast 100's, but rarely fast 200's.

I think two things could be causing my middle distance and distance problem. One is conditioning and the other is poor technique which shows up in longer swims due to premature fatigue.

knelson
May 25th, 2008, 01:08 PM
I do not do many fast 200's. Maybe fast 100's, but rarely fast 200's.

I think two things could be causing my middle distance and distance problem. One is conditioning and the other is poor technique which shows up in longer swims due to premature fatigue.

That sounds reasonable. You can muscle out the shorter races, but inefficiency starts to show in anything longer. If this is the case you obviously need to be working on better technique whenever possible. That should be your number one priority.

I don't think you need to do a lot of fast 200s. Just get that technique down, work on your aerobic base and your 200 speed will improve drastically.

Paul Smith
May 26th, 2008, 08:49 PM
That sounds reasonable. You can muscle out the shorter races, but inefficiency starts to show in anything longer. If this is the case you obviously need to be working on better technique whenever possible. That should be your number one priority.

I don't think you need to do a lot of fast 200s. Just get that technique down, work on your aerobic base and your 200 speed will improve drastically.

Mr. Nelson...sorry to disagree because your point a bout "muscling shorter races" is a common misperception...but ultimately anyone who "muscles' any distance in our sport will never make it to the top of the rankings or maximize their potential.

I also think he really does need to swim a lot of race pace 200's both in practice (mixing broken and straight) and in meets. I'll get flack from folks on this but I firmly believe that the 200 in any stroke is hands down the most challenging to master....you need to do a LOT of them to get even remotely "comfortable" with the pacing needed.

Jazz Hands
May 26th, 2008, 09:32 PM
Mr. Nelson...sorry to disagree because your point a bout "muscling shorter races" is a common misperception...but ultimately anyone who "muscles' any distance in our sport will never make it to the top of the rankings or maximize their potential.

Yeah, I've heard that one a lot and it never made sense. You can muscle your way through a long race, too. That's the whole point of training 10,000 yards a day.

knelson
May 26th, 2008, 10:26 PM
but ultimately anyone who "muscles' any distance in our sport will never make it to the top of the rankings or maximize their potential.

I agree with this, but my point was his stroke inefficiency may not slow him down as much until he gets to longer distances than a 50. If you're fighting the water you're not going to be able to keep up a good pace for very long.

LindsayNB
May 26th, 2008, 10:36 PM
But isn't it the case that a relative newcomer to swimming like Robert or myself can achieve 50m free times in the 30s range by "muscling" our way through it while the same inefficient effort can't be extended out to the 200m range? That inefficient technique will result in bigger drop offs as distance increases?

I have been working on the assumption that my 50m fly wasn't going to get much faster without improving my technique, and that I would never do a decent 100 or 200 without big technique improvements. So I've been concentrating my limited pool time on technique, and concentrating on the 50 distance, am I on the wrong track?

Sam Perry
May 26th, 2008, 11:41 PM
...but ultimately anyone who "muscles' any distance in our sport will never make it to the top of the rankings or maximize their potential.

Does Alain Bernard fit that description? :weightlifter:

Jazz Hands
May 26th, 2008, 11:51 PM
Does Alain Bernard fit that description? :weightlifter:

Bernard, despite whatever advantage he may have in "muscle," is an elite swimmer primarily because of his efficiency in the water.

Sam Perry
May 27th, 2008, 12:11 AM
Bernard, despite whatever advantage he may have in "muscle," is an elite swimmer primarily because of his efficiency in the water.

Among other things...

ande
May 27th, 2008, 11:27 AM
you're probably spending too much time on technique
I'd work on speed, SDK and conditioning


But isn't it the case that a relative newcomer to swimming like Robert or myself can achieve 50m free times in the 30s range by "muscling" our way through it while the same inefficient effort can't be extended out to the 200m range? That inefficient technique will result in bigger drop offs as distance increases?

I have been working on the assumption that my 50m fly wasn't going to get much faster without improving my technique, and that I would never do a decent 100 or 200 without big technique improvements. So I've been concentrating my limited pool time on technique, and concentrating on the 50 distance, am I on the wrong track?

mctrusty
May 27th, 2008, 11:51 AM
you're probably spending too much time on technique
I'd work on speed, SDK and conditioning

I'm going to do something that my wife hates -- agreeing while seeming to disagree.

I think that it's important to focus some time on technique... say, maybe on your warmup/recovery sets or set aside one day per week for it. That being said, you don't really figure out whether your technique is improving without doing fast/hard swims.

IMO, the best time to find out how effective your technique is is during the back half of a tough set or swim, when your muscles are burning and you just want to finish. Awareness becomes pretty acute in those moments, and if you focus that hyper-awareness on the technique you've been working on instead of on your pain, it pays nicely.

LindsayNB
May 27th, 2008, 05:06 PM
Definite food for thought Ande and Mike, thanks.

I have been trying to work on speed for fly, in fact I'm finding it hard to swim it anything but fast! (relatively speaking) For the last while I've been swimming fly for the stroke parts of workout, skipping lengths as necessary to be able to swim it fast and with good technique.

Ian Smith
May 27th, 2008, 10:04 PM
I have been trying to work on speed for fly, in fact I'm finding it hard to swim it anything but fast!

Lindsay,
I have found there is a "stall speed" for fly - you have to go at a certain speed (not EZ) in order not to flounder.

To work on technique for fly, use fins - you will have easier speed and can work on stroke. Also, one-arm fly is one of the drills that actually works for stroke improvement.

To do a decent 50 fly (age relative), you don't have to do much actual fly training - rather than sit out sets, swim 3 or 4 stokes on each length then switch to free. Build up the number of fly strokes/length as your technique/fitness improve.

As for 100/200 fly, the fall-off in times for the over 40's is far greater than for free even if technique is perfect. Distance fly is tough.
Ian

rtodd
May 27th, 2008, 10:35 PM
Why is it that I can qualify for the 50m free, be 6 sec off in the 100, 25 sec off in the 200, and 65 sec off in the 400?

If it were only technique, I would think the percentage to be equal. Conclusions?

ande
May 27th, 2008, 11:31 PM
you're a drop dead sprinter


Why is it that I can qualify for the 50m free, be 6 sec off in the 100, 25 sec off in the 200, and 65 sec off in the 400?

If it were only technique, I would think the percentage to be equal. Conclusions?

aquaFeisty
May 28th, 2008, 08:27 AM
Why is it that I can qualify for the 50m free, be 6 sec off in the 100, 25 sec off in the 200, and 65 sec off in the 400?

If it were only technique, I would think the percentage to be equal. Conclusions?

Don't know that you can really draw conclusions from this info.

Are these LCM times? There is no turn in a 50. If you have crappy turns, they're going to bite you more as you swim longer races. Do you not breathe in the 50 (or not much?) Maybe you have a badly integrated breath that kills you on longer swims. Do you 6-beat kick the 50, but then the oxygen drain annihilates you on longer swims and you're down to a barely visible flutter on the 400?

You probably are a sprinter, like Ande says. Didn't you say once that you ran the 200 and 400 in track? So you're likely very strong. While Paul is right that no one can be at the top while muscling out distances, I totally agree with Kirk. Especially for those of us who do not have a swimming background, you can muscle through shorter races a lot more than the longer ones. I betcha you're relying on your strength and natural athleticism (and running background) in the 50 and inefficiency is hurting you in the longer events. I'd work on technique, but more importantly, holding technique when your body is failing... ie., descending sets, maintaining stroke count, coming up past the flags off every turn, sticking with your breathing pattern, keeping your kick at whatever cadence you're shooting for, etc etc at the END of workout...

aquaFeisty
May 28th, 2008, 08:46 AM
Back to your original question, my IM is comparable in speed to yours. For what it's worth, here's my splits from an unrested SCM meet last December.


Colburn, Carrie 33 Nwsc-Im-IL
3:07.38
42.23 1:33.31 (51.08) 2:26.74 (53.43) 3:07.38 (40.64)


I am not a flyer or a backstroker or (anymore) a breaststroker. I am definitely a drop dead sprinter. Perhaps the 200 IM is not my strong suit? :) But it is a fun race. By comparison, my 200 free is somewhere in the upper 2:30's for SCM, though it's been a looooong time since I've swam it SCM.

I think you killed yourself with that fly split. Make sure you breathe enough on the fly!! It is so tempting to take it out without enough air. Then it just looks like you paid for it on the rest of your race.

You should really think about swimming the 50 fly at your next meet! I bet you might surprise yourself. :)

rtodd
May 28th, 2008, 07:15 PM
Those splits look like a much better balanced swim. Fly and free are close together like someone else mentioned and your breast is real good.

I think I need to learn how to breast tired. I think breast is tuff when you are tired.

LindsayNB
May 28th, 2008, 09:44 PM
Thanks Ian,

I will try the "few strokes of fly, switch to free" approach in workout. I don't know that I'll give up my selective skipping approach entirely as I feel that our workouts often fall into the almost continuous and therefore medium speed category. Most people on my team seem to think that getting more than 15s of rest is too much, I don't know how many times I've told people if you think you're getting too much rest you aren't swimming hard enough!

When I swim on my own I often do this workout:
WU: 10x100m free, alt swim and pull
1000m of fly work with fins:
5x50m one arm fly - 25m right, 25m left focusing on some technique point
5x50m of N right, N left, rest of the way full for N=5,4,3,2,1
500m full fly in mostly twenty-fives, some fifties near race pace with lots of rest holding technique
WD: 200m easy free

I could never do that amount of fly without the fins. I do worry about becoming a fin addict but so far it seems to be helping with being able to do enough repetitions to solidify the technique changes I am working on.

Hmm, as I think about it, I often do those 25m flys on about 18s, and the last few 50m flys I've done have been around 36s when I concentrate on technique (my best time last year, just going for it was 34.67LCM so this is a little discouraging) which makes me wonder if maybe I've trained-in a particular tempo. Maybe if I concentrate on doing 17 and then 16 for 25m my races will start coming in more where I would like?


To throw in a token on-topic thought, if one thinks of fly as analogous to an inefficient freestyle technique in terms energy requirements, which I think makes sense, then the faster drop off in times that one sees for fly would likely occur for someone with an inefficient "power through it" freestyle, so it could be that Robert (and I) have such severe drop offs because of inefficient technique rather than because we are drop dead sprinters.

Looking at Robert's 200m free splits they remind me of the sort of splits I was doing before someone convinced me that I could take it out harder and just how hard and "painful" a 200 is supposed to be. When I really went after it and ignored the fact I felt like I was dying I dropped several seconds. But I also realized the 200 is really unpleasant! Perhaps Robert is also being overly conservative. Similarly I took a few seconds off my 100 when I stopped trying to pace the first 50 and treated it more like a 50m race with more breaths followed by 25m of really go for it, followed by 25m of give it everything you've got left. I think non-late-bloomers sometimes take the ability to swim through the "pain" they acquired when younger for granted and underestimate how much of a barrier this is for a late-onset swimmer whose every natural instinct is to pace to avoid "dying".

rtodd
May 29th, 2008, 07:42 PM
Looking at Robert's 200m free splits they remind me of the sort of splits I was doing before someone convinced me that I could take it out harder and just how hard and "painful" a 200 is supposed to be. When I really went after it and ignored the fact I felt like I was dying I dropped several seconds. But I also realized the 200 is really unpleasant!

Yea, I heard an elite swimmer say that he was blacking out in the last 50 of his 200. I've never gone there.....yet.

james lucas
May 29th, 2008, 11:01 PM
... can achieve 50m free times in the 30s range by "muscling" our way through it while the same inefficient effort can't be extended out to the 200m range? That inefficient technique will result in bigger drop offs as distance increases...

Isn't the opposite more likely to be true? Resistance in the water increases exponentially with speed: greater speed means exponentially greater resistance.

LindsayNB
May 29th, 2008, 11:37 PM
Isn't the opposite more likely to be true? Resistance in the water increases exponentially with speed: greater speed means exponentially greater resistance.

I suspect that one has to look at the energy systems in use and their limits, and also keep in mind that we are talking about moderately fast swims (30s 50m) not elite level performances. Again, look at butterfly which is an inefficient stroke relative to freestyle and the drop offs are larger than for freestyle. And of course for small differences in speed and large differences in efficiency the exponential factor may not dominate.

aquaFeisty
May 30th, 2008, 07:52 AM
Isn't the opposite more likely to be true? Resistance in the water increases exponentially with speed: greater speed means exponentially greater resistance.

Oh, I'm not saying that there isn't more drag and resistance in shorter events due to the higher speeds... I'm saying that muscle and determined ummmph can overcome these things in a race that lasts less than 30 seconds. NOT that you will be fantastically fast at the short races, but that you will be relatively faster in your 50 than your 100, your 100 than your 200, etc... No amount of 'ummmph' is going to get you through a 200 when the training and technique is lacking. That last 50 is going to be ugly (or in my case, the last 100!)

CreamPuff
May 30th, 2008, 08:36 AM
Don't know that you can really draw conclusions from this info.

You probably are a sprinter, like Ande says. Didn't you say once that you ran the 200 and 400 in track? So you're likely very strong. While Paul is right that no one can be at the top while muscling out distances, I totally agree with Kirk. Especially for those of us who do not have a swimming background, you can muscle through shorter races a lot more than the longer ones. I betcha you're relying on your strength and natural athleticism (and running background) in the 50 and inefficiency is hurting you in the longer events. I'd work on technique, but more importantly, holding technique when your body is failing... ie., descending sets, maintaining stroke count, coming up past the flags off every turn, sticking with your breathing pattern, keeping your kick at whatever cadence you're shooting for, etc etc at the END of workout...

Like what you said here.

Just makes me wonder -

I've heard from top swimmers/ coaches that on sprints:
You can muscle through them due to the short duration and do well and conversely,
You can't muscle through sprints as you have to have flawless technique

And on distance, I've heard:
You can have poor technique and just a strong aerobic base and outlast everyone and conversely,
You have to have great technique and can't muscle through it

Gah!

Paul Smith
May 30th, 2008, 09:29 AM
From the mouths of masters swimmers hoping to break into the USMS top 10 and refuse to do any drill work in practice:
"You can muscle through them due to the short duration and do well"

From World record holders:
"You can't muscle through sprints as you have to have flawless technique"

All triathletes who didn't come from a swimming background, print their workouts from the internet and train alone, yet never win any races or make top 10 in their age groups:
"You can have poor technique and just a strong aerobic base and outlast everyone"

Ian Thorpe, Dennis Baker, Jim McConica, Grant Hackett, Janet Evans, Chris McCormack:
"You have to have great technique and can't muscle through it"

LindsayNB
May 30th, 2008, 09:44 AM
I don't believe that anyone here is advocating muscling through a race. What people here have said is swimmers who do muscle their way through a 50 (with times that are far from top 10) will exhibit larger drop offs in the 100 and 200 races than swimmers who have excellent technique.

There is a big difference between observing that a swimmer may be muscling through the 50 as a hypothesis for why a swimmer has a big drop off and advocating muscling through the 50, right? In fact, in making this observation we are advocating for working on better technique.

aquaFeisty
May 30th, 2008, 09:53 AM
Bingo. Thanks for summing it up so well, Lindsay.

To be really and truly FAST, you need to be good all around: technique, strength, conditioning, mentality, etc etc etc

The Fortress
May 30th, 2008, 09:54 AM
I love drill work. But other elite swimmers (e.g., George, Ande) don't.

But I believe it is possible, although not desirable, to muscle though a 50 and make top ten based on pure athleticism and strength. Anything longer, forget about it.

knelson
May 30th, 2008, 10:53 AM
You see high school boys with little competitive experience who are able to swim 22 second 50 yard freestyles all the time more or less on pure athleticism. Now whether or not you want to call it "muscling through" is merely a question of semantics, but basically we're saying their technique is not great. I don't see these same guys able to swim a fast 200 or 500, though.

I think we can all agree that to be a great sprinter you need great technique, but we're not talking about greatness here.

edit: I like Al's analogy of a rough diamond in the next post.

Big AL
May 30th, 2008, 10:54 AM
Technique (for any sport) is like the jewler's chisle.

A diamond can be wonderful in the rough, but well carved it can be magnificent.

To neglect technique is a lost opportunity to improve.

CreamPuff
May 30th, 2008, 11:02 AM
Technique (for any sport) is like the jewler's chisle.

A diamond can be wonderful in the rough, but well carved it can be magnificent.

To neglect technique is a lost opportunity to improve.

Very nice.

hofffam
May 30th, 2008, 01:19 PM
You see high school boys with little competitive experience who are able to swim 22 second 50 yard freestyles all the time more or less on pure athleticism. Now whether or not you want to call it "muscling through" is merely a question of semantics, but basically we're saying their technique is not great. I don't see these same guys able to swim a fast 200 or 500, though.

I think we can all agree that to be a great sprinter you need great technique, but we're not talking about greatness here.

edit: I like Al's analogy of a rough diamond in the next post.

This is absolutely true. I have seen it many times. These high school boys are very strong, have explosive power, and overcome their deficiencies with turnover and hand speed. The same unskilled kid who goes 22 in the 50 goes 50 in the 100 and 2:00 in the 200. A more skilled swimmer might go 21/46/1:46 instead.

I have also seen raw non-year round high school swimmer drop from 24 sec 50 to a 22 just with better technique.

As a 49 yr old Masters swimmer - I'd be happy with a 23 sec 50, skilled or unskilled. My approach is through more skill and better fitness. I'm getting closer.

Allen Stark
May 31st, 2008, 01:22 PM
A rapid turnover can cover up a multitude of sins,but it can take you only so far.I don't think anyone here is advocating not working on technique.Improving technique is the easiest,fastest way to get faster(perfecting technique is a constant striving for something just out of reach,you can always do better)

BillS
June 1st, 2008, 11:50 AM
But I believe it is possible, although not desirable, to muscle though a 50 and make top ten based on pure athleticism and strength. Anything longer, forget about it.

Not in my age group (45-49). You had to go under 23 to hit the top twenty in the 50 free at Nationals. I just don't think it's possible to muscle your way to a competitive time in that realm without a significant investment in technique training, whether recent or banked in the muscle memory from college days.

rtodd
June 1st, 2008, 12:14 PM
BillS

I agree. Although I am very strong and have a good anaerobic energy system from running sprints, I can't get under 26 SCY. For me It must be technique. In fact, I never had a 50 where I did not screw something up like one or two strokes, breakout or turn.

For me the idea of muscling a 50 is true in the sense that bad technique just makes itself more evident as the distance goes up. I swim against people that I loose to by less than a second in the 50 and 5 seconds in the 100.

The Fortress
June 1st, 2008, 01:04 PM
Not in my age group (45-49). You had to go under 23 to hit the top twenty in the 50 free at Nationals. I just don't think it's possible to muscle your way to a competitive time in that realm without a significant investment in technique training, whether recent or banked in the muscle memory from college days.

It's possible in my age group (45-49). lol It happened at Nats.

It's possible that people that have theoretically "bad technique" or a non-ideal or non-standard stroke have a strong underwater pull and just don't look as "pretty" on top.