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Lightning
September 12th, 2008, 02:07 PM
I've never raced a 200, or even a 100 FR; my 50 FR SCY is 26.8.
I'm in a USA meet Sept 20th - expecting to get trounced by kids half my age, but still I want to put in a good showing.

How should I race? What should my 50 pace be? How do I not die on the last 50? etc...

I'm 44, male, swimming masters only 2 years, still learning lots, and open to all feedback - thanks!

scyfreestyler
September 12th, 2008, 02:19 PM
I've only swam this race in a meet 4 times and each time I learn something new, and swim a bit faster.

My best advice is to swim your own race. Do not try to hang with other swimmers and blow your own race...I've done that and it hurts...real bad. What is your 100 time? Try swimming a fast 100 and 200 in practice. Don't make your meet the first time you swim a 200 Free fast.

aquageek
September 12th, 2008, 02:24 PM
50 fast, 50 hold, 50 build from hold, 50 all out.

TheGoodSmith
September 12th, 2008, 02:33 PM
The 200 is very much a race of individual strategy and you need to get a feel if you like to swim out front of the pack in clear water or come from behind. It tends to be a cross over race between two types of swimmers. They can meet at the finish line with very different mentalities and backgrounds. Sprinters attempt this race with more "easy speed" the first 100 and hang on the last 50. This can be seen in historical victories such as Andy Coan (Univ. of Tenn) 1979 beating Rowdy Gaines at the NCAAs from an outside lane at Cleveland State. Other swimmers are more middle distance oriented and back half their rivals the last 75 with a stronger kick. Take Mike Heath or Geoff Gaberino for example at the 1984 NCAAs from the Univ. of Florida or Bruce Hayes anchoring the 1984 800m free relay against Michael Gross of W. Germany. Rowdy's breakthrough 1:33 had a bit of both talents..... easy speed and aerobic backhalfing.

Know what you are good at first.

Swim your own race.

pwolf66
September 12th, 2008, 02:56 PM
You want to swim the first 50 fast, not all out but fast so you maximize the speed from the start. Want to swim this first 50 about 3 seconds off your 50 time. Then try to settle into a strong stroke for the middle 100, keep your legs steady but do not over kick. On the last 50 build into it with whatever you have left and ramp up the kick.

It's a 200, it's gonna hurt. There's nothing you can do to avoid it but it's HOW it hurts that you can control.

I will second the opinion that you MUST do some fast 100s and fast 200s for time BEFORE you swim the meet. The danger of having the meet 200 be your first 200 is that you will go too hard (or even too easy) on the front and fall apart on the back.

Get someone with a watch to time you on a 200 and make sure to include splits. If you are a 26.8 50y sprinter and all things being equal, you should be able to swim it in about 2:10 but do not take that as gospel. Anticipated spliting should be

29.6
32.9
33.3
32.6

tjrpatt
September 12th, 2008, 02:57 PM
I have been swimming the 200 free since I was 10 and I am still baffled by the event. I had a good 200 free long course a few weeks ago. I was about medium fast the first 100 and then the second 100, I just went all out.

swimshark
September 12th, 2008, 03:07 PM
My strategy is to go out hard but not all out and work up to the 3rd 50. The key is that 3rd 50. Others will start to fade then so if you save some for that time and go all out the last 50, you will be in good shape.

Lightning
September 12th, 2008, 03:38 PM
I think I'm probably a middle distancer, but my kick is not the strongest; pwolf's recommended splits seem reasonable and would fit with starting with an easy but decent speed and building my effort, till I leave it in all the water at the end.
I will get some times in tomorrow's practice to see how I stand.

Thanks all for the suggestions!

the17thman
September 12th, 2008, 04:20 PM
I prefer the 1500 over the 200 but from what I always here from different coaches is that you go fast technique for the first 75 (1-3 lengths) build the next 50 (4 - 5 lengths) and go all gangbusters with everything you got for the last 25.

As the other poster pointed out people either die after the first 75 or pull back too much saving for the last 25.

bcm119
September 12th, 2008, 05:29 PM
You can read 1000 opinions of how to swim this race but the bottom line is that the 200 is a fickle distance and you will have to learn how to swim it on your own. The most relevant advice is to ignore the people in the lanes next to you.

No matter what type of swimmer you are one thing I would tell you is to learn how to swim fast without expending much energy. Sounds impossible but hear me out. There is a certain level of effort in all but the most distance-oriented swimmers where they can achieve roughly 95% of their top speed with only about 80% effort. This is where you want to be on the first 100. It takes a while to figure out what that point is for you, but you'll find it eventually. For me it is characterized by a long and smooth stroke and allowing speed to feel like it is coming from your core, not your extremities.

The 3rd 50 is mentally the toughest. Pain comes on steadily throughout, so ignore it and try to maintain that fast cruising feeling.

The last 50 you hang on, and concentrate on not getting short and sloppy.

geochuck
September 12th, 2008, 05:40 PM
When I did the 200s I would try to stay with the leaders without great effort all the way to 100, then it was time to give it hades.

hofffam
September 12th, 2008, 05:45 PM
This is just a guess.....but without a good bit of practice with pacing the OP will go too fast and die a terrible death on the 2nd half of the race.

A person accustomed to racing 50s is used to full speed straight off the blocks - so they are not used to holding back a bit for a longer race like a 200.

No matter what I suggest some race pace work in practice. Swim some very hard 200s as broken swims. Swim a 200 as 4 x 50 with 5 secs or 10 secs between each 50. Attempt to pace the 50s as you would a race. You will probably swim too fast on the first 50 and each 50 will get progressively worse. Your "splits" on the broken 200 will not be relatively even like what Pwolfe suggests.

I don't think you'll swim a 2:10 if your fastest 50 is a 26.8. I think you'll be closer to 2:15 unless you really are in pretty good aerobic shape. I don't mean to doubt your ability - I just swim with some 45-49 guys who swim 2:05-2:10 and they do 25.5 50s, and 55-56 sec 100s. These are guys who swim 500s around 5:45.

Good luck no matter what! I would definitely want to do some pacing practice in advance of the meet.

rtodd
September 12th, 2008, 07:18 PM
Lightning,

You've never raced a 100 or 200 free?
What do you do a 200 in from a push in practice?
Did you swim when you were young? If so when did you stop?
You can't guess how to go out the day of the meet.

I swim the same 50 free time and am not anywhere close to Pwolf's split stratagy. I was going around 2:25 last year. If I were you I would go out in 33, 35, 35, ?

To swim the 200 right you should be near blackout in the last 25 and have trouble getting out of the pool.......fun right?

When I swam my first 200 I went out in 29 and swam a 2:50. It was not pretty. That's what happens when you go out too hard.

BillS
September 12th, 2008, 07:36 PM
I've never raced a 200, or even a 100 FR; my 50 FR SCY is 26.8.
I'm in a USA meet Sept 20th - expecting to get trounced by kids half my age, but still I want to put in a good showing.

How should I race? What should my 50 pace be? How do I not die on the last 50? etc...

I'm 44, male, swimming masters only 2 years, still learning lots, and open to all feedback - thanks!

After first starting back competing a couple years ago, I was a 25 mid-to-low 50 guy. Based on my 50 time, for my first 200 after starting back, I figured I should be able to hold reasonably even splits and finish around 2:05 or so.

My first 200, at a meet where I swam a 25.31 50, went like this:

5 Sumerfield, Bill 46 CGM 2:05.00 2:06.86
29.06 59.85 (30.79) 1:33.00 (33.15) 2:06.86 (33.86)

Yes, it hurt as bad as it appears to have on paper.

Be careful out there.

For your first one, I'd take it very easy on the opening 100, then crank it up from there.

But all 200s hurt.

A lot.

scyfreestyler
September 12th, 2008, 07:53 PM
My most recent 200 Free was LC. I made the mistake of chasing down the guy next to me once again, and wound up swimming my first 100 too fast. By the 150 I was cooked and wishing I would have played a smarter hand. The splits for that race went something like 1:10.xx and 1:20.xx.

pwolf66
September 12th, 2008, 09:04 PM
I disagree that 2:10 is not realistic for that 50 speed but remember that prediction is based upon a solid foundation of endurance, past experience in 200s and swimming it correctly. My first 200 as a master was all about going moderately hard on the 1st 100 and then shutting it down into a long and easy stroke on the last 100 as I had to quiet my then 9yo daughter's yapping at me that she had already swam the 200 in 2 meets.

At the time I was a 23.68/50y and 53.00/100y sprinter with not a lot of distance training base under my belt and had been back in the pool for 8 months. Still went 27.88,31.55,33.31,34.99 for a 2:07.73.

So if I, a pure drop dead sprinter with poor endurance, can go 2:07 with a 1:08 relaxed back half, I am confident that Lightning, by swimming it intelligently, can go 2:10.

But he HAS to get some experience swimming fast 100s and 200s.

Matteo: 200 LCM is such a completely different beast that you really can't compare SCY to it.

rtodd
September 12th, 2008, 09:19 PM
Pwolf,

Did you swim when you were young? If so, your numbers may make sense.

If this guy has no prior swim experience and been swimming only two years, he won't go anywhere near 2:10 with 27sec 50 speed. I'm 44 and have been swimming 3 1/2 years and only maybe have an outside chance of 2:15 to 2:20 this year.

If he is one of those guys that says he's been swimming as a Master for two years, but in reality swam his whole childhood up through college, then yes, perhaps he should go 2:10.

He says he never raced a 100 or 200 free and goes 27 in the 50. Based on that he will be nowhere near a 2:10.

pwolf66
September 12th, 2008, 10:06 PM
Rob: That's a very good point that I just didn't even consider. I have got to stop assuming that everyone has an age group swimming background.

Maybe 2:10 isn't realistic at the moment but I think that someone with 26.8 speed (and that's not slow BTW) should be able to pull off a 200 in the mid 2-teens if they have a good endurance base, experience in swimming 200s fast and swim a good race.

ande
September 12th, 2008, 11:16 PM
200's hurt
save your legs
split it well
your 2nd 3rd & 4th 50s should be even
your 1st & 2nd 100 should be 0 to 4 sec diff
ideally 2
breathe often
wear a speedy suit
prepare in practice to race a 200
find your easy speed gear
fast turns
hard push offs
great streamlining
look at it like you're experimenting
be fierce and mentally tough

here's an answer I gave to this same question
http://forums.usms.org/showpost.php?p=137344&postcount=6



I've never raced a 200, or even a 100 FR; my 50 FR SCY is 26.8.
I'm in a USA meet Sept 20th - expecting to get trounced by kids half my age, but still I want to put in a good showing.

How should I race? What should my 50 pace be? How do I not die on the last 50? etc...

I'm 44, male, swimming masters only 2 years, still learning lots, and open to all feedback - thanks!

Syd
September 13th, 2008, 12:03 AM
Some excellent advice here. Check out these threads, too:

Race strategies: 200 free (http://forums.usms.org/showthread.php?t=723)

Help me train for the 200 free (http://forums.usms.org/showthread.php?t=11041&highlight=split)

Help me split my 200y free (http://forums.usms.org/showthread.php?t=9988&highlight=split)

I am pretty much in the same boat as you. I never was a 200 swimmer and only started swimming it last year. I have spent quite a lot of time training for it this year and will be swimming a 200 LCM in October.

bcm119's advice is spot on. If you read the other threads, almost identical advice is given from Paul Smith, John Smith and Ande. First 100 should be easy speed, third 50 is when you start to give it all you got (it starts to hurt badly here), then just hang in there for the last fifty. Bring in your legs on that last fifty.

My :2cents: is that you really need to train this event in practice. And I don't just mean by improving your aerobic base (although that is very important, too). What I mean is that, at least, once or twice a week you need to do a 200 ALL OUT just like you would in a race. Plan your strategy in advance, set goals for each 50, each 100 and see how close you come to them. It is only by testing you strategies in practice that you will be confident using them on race day. It is imperative that you accurately time your splits in practice. In time you will start to get a feeling for how fast you need to go to achieve your goals.

If you don't practice the 200 and just dive in there and go hell for leather from the word go, you are sure to die a horrible death on the 3rd 50 and by the final one if you don't actually drown, you will begin to wish you would.

Check out J Miller's Fun, and Fast (http://forums.usms.org/showthread.php?t=9092&page=13) for some 200 sets. (Scroll down to the middle of page 13).

Don't forget to post your progress and the results from your race. I am really interested to know how it goes. All the best!

Midas
September 13th, 2008, 05:56 PM
Maybe this is obvious, but there is a very fine line between "easy speed" and "going out too fast without realizing it." "Easy speed" is a bad name for it, as it is anything but easy to figure out HOW to achieve this mythical pace. I swam my first (since I was an age grouper) 200 free (LCM) not too long ago, and though I thought I took the first 100 "easy" I was only about a second slower than my lifetime best in the 100 free. Needless to day, I died a horrible death in that second 100. Despite swimming it a couple of times, I find myself doing the same thing in the 200 Breaststroke. Like everybody else is saying, it's a very good idea to work on pace work in practice.

geochuck
September 13th, 2008, 08:27 PM
200 meters it is a hard race to pace.
I found it was easy to swim a 100m in 60 seconds it was not a kill me pace. Then it is was just a keep going steady to make my best time of 2:02 for the 200 lcm.

I never trained to do a 200 just the 100.

Skaterbaj
September 14th, 2008, 05:45 PM
50 fast, 50 hold, 50 build from hold, 50 all out.

hey i did this at my HS meet and dropped 2 seconds. thanks AG

quicksilver
September 14th, 2008, 07:48 PM
I've never raced a 200, or even a 100 FR; my 50 FR SCY is 26.8.
I'm in a USA meet Sept 20th - expecting to get trounced by kids half my age, but still I want to put in a good showing.

How should I race? What should my 50 pace be? How do I not die on the last 50? etc...

I'm 44, male, swimming masters only 2 years, still learning lots, and open to all feedback - thanks!

Easy speed until you get to the 100. Conserve your energy for the back half.
That's when the race begins for me. Start your move at the 3rd 50, and begin to use more of your legs.

On the last 50 you'll be hurting no matter how well conditioned you are.
Work through the pain, use your kick, and remind yourself there's only two laps left.

mattson
September 15th, 2008, 06:57 AM
I'm assuming you have more 200s planned for the future?

Then you should try something which will not destroy you, :cane:
so you can build from that experience in future races.

Pace the first 100, then swim the end like it is a 100.
So that last 100 should be pace the first half, and swim the last 50.
Which means pace the first 25, and see what you have for the last 25.
;)

Lightning
September 15th, 2008, 12:59 PM
Unfortunately, I was unable to get times and splits in my practice as coach had an intensive aerobic set for everyone and the lanes were full. Maybe later this week... or maybe this race is my practice and I do plan to keep swimming it.

I never swam age-group so I think I am missing years of an aerobic base and skill development. I am a studier of technqiue however, and read this forum carefully and watch a lot of video.

In workouts, doing hundreds on decreasing intervals, I can reach 1:12 exhausted, so I'm guessing I can hit close to a minute 100FR when I'm fresh in a race (hopeful that is). But I never have done a fast 200.

Thanks for all the help!

hofffam
September 15th, 2008, 02:30 PM
Lightning - I am 45-49 and consider myself a sprinter. Not necessarily a good one, but I am just terrible at longer races.

My 50 free SCY time is 24.3
My 100 free SCY time is 55.0 (about 2.3 times my 50 time)

I estimate my 200 free SCY time would be 2:05 (about 2.3 times my 100 time). I have not raced a 200 free but I swam a 2:15 in practice from a push, and I negative split it (wrong way to swim it) with 1:09/1:06. Just a guess but I think I'd try to split a 200 race with 59/1:05. My 100 splits would be further apart than really good 200 free swimmers.

I rarely race 200s. At SCY nationals this year I swim both the 100 and 200 IMs. My times were 1:01 and 2:20 - again the 200 is 2.3 times my 100 time.

My high school sophomore son swam 200 free all of last year. He swam 1:49 in his 200 and his best 100 was about 49.5. The ratio was 2.2. He has far better aerobic capacity than me.

Lightning
September 16th, 2008, 11:01 AM
Hoffman, an interesting formula, I wonder how it applies to other swimmers. I will see for myself this coming weekend; I hope to go out smooth, build the next 50, push the 3rd, and then all out the fourth - appreciate your thoughts about splits; we'll see how I do.

ande
September 16th, 2008, 11:52 AM
breathe often

save your legs for the 2nd 100

fast turns excellent push offs

great touch

splitting:
keep your 100's with in 2 - 4 seconds
keep your 2nd, 3rd & 4th 50's even or descended


Hoffman, an interesting formula, I wonder how it applies to other swimmers. I will see for myself this coming weekend; I hope to go out smooth, build the next 50, push the 3rd, and then all out the fourth - appreciate your thoughts about splits; we'll see how I do.

hofffam
September 16th, 2008, 11:54 AM
Hoffman, an interesting formula, I wonder how it applies to other swimmers. I will see for myself this coming weekend; I hope to go out smooth, build the next 50, push the 3rd, and then all out the fourth - appreciate your thoughts about splits; we'll see how I do.

Please don't consider those "formulas." I posted them just to give you an idea of the ratios between my 50,100, and estimated 200 times. Others here are much faster and I suspect their 100 and 200 times would differ less than mine.

You might look at the SCY Nationals times and look at others in your age group for comparison. Many swim the 50, 100, and 200 free.

ande
September 16th, 2008, 12:13 PM
a good rule of thumb is

double your 100 time
add 10 seconds

ie
100 time 50.0
50 + 50 = 100 seconds or 1:40
1:40 + 10 = 1:50

distance swimmers will be under 10
most fall between 5 - 8 seconds

some sprinters are over 10

each swimmer has a performance range depending on
how well they split their races, hit their turns and just feel ON.


Please don't consider those "formulas." I posted them just to give you an idea of the ratios between my 50,100, and estimated 200 times. Others here are much faster and I suspect their 100 and 200 times would differ less than mine.

You might look at the SCY Nationals times and look at others in your age group for comparison. Many swim the 50, 100, and 200 free.

rtodd
September 16th, 2008, 05:31 PM
a good rule of thumb is

double your 100 time
add 10 seconds


Lightning,

Last year I swam a minute flat in the 100 free and 2:25 in the 200.......BEWARE! The 200 is difficult. Try them in practice.

hofffam
September 16th, 2008, 11:12 PM
a good rule of thumb is

double your 100 time
add 10 seconds

ie
100 time 50.0
50 + 50 = 100 seconds or 1:40
1:40 + 10 = 1:50

distance swimmers will be under 10
most fall between 5 - 8 seconds

some sprinters are over 10

each swimmer has a performance range depending on
how well they split their races, hit their turns and just feel ON.

This "rule" seems reasonable for elite swimmers.

But because I was bored and like spreadsheets.....

I looked at they SY Nat times in the 45-49 age group. I looked for men that swam the 50/100/200 or at least the 100/200.

There were not too many at first glance that swam all three. Paul Smith did - via his 1000 opening 100.

Only two 100/200 swimmers I looked at beat their 10 second rule time. The average 200/100 ratio of six swimmers I looked at was 2.25. The best was 2.18. He swam 48.16/145.13. His 10 sec rule time would be 146.32. This swimmer is also a 500 swimmer. Paul Smith's ratio was 2.21. He essentially matched his 10 sec rule time. Paul's 200 free was a national record.

So - at least for Master's swimmers in our age - it seems only elite swimmers can come close to this rule.

jim clemmons
September 16th, 2008, 11:26 PM
a good rule of thumb is

double your 100 time
add 10 seconds

distance swimmers will be under 10
most fall between 5 - 8 seconds

some sprinters are over 10

each swimmer has a performance range depending on
how well they split their races, hit their turns and just feel ON.

Pretty decent "rule of thumb" Ande.

I went 2:09.14 200 scm and about an hour and a half later went 59.06 100 scm, both legal swims and I consider myself more of the "distance" type, than "sprinter" even though I was slightly over the +10. There was a 200IM in between the two that may have had some effect but I digress.

It's pretty rare I get the opportunity to swim both at the same meet since there's always so much to choose from. :wave:

BillS
September 17th, 2008, 11:19 AM
Paul Smith's ratio was 2.21. He essentially matched his 10 sec rule time. Paul's 200 free was a national record.

So - at least for Master's swimmers in our age - it seems only elite swimmers can come close to this rule.

Hey, I did the 50/100/200, and my 200/100 ratio was 2.2179. So with a small rounding fudgedown, I swam just as well as Paul!

Although I admit that a National record escaped me as I struggled earnestly and mightily to crack the Top 40 in my events, I can now take solace in my solid Paul-like ratio. Perhaps we can award medals and ribbons for ratios next year to satisfy Geek's insatiable craving for more participation awards.

aztimm
September 17th, 2008, 12:09 PM
Do you ever do 200s for time during a workout? I think we do them at least 2-3x a month (the distance folks at least). We just did a time trial set last Wed, then something similar again this morning. While you'd hopefully go faster during a meet, it should at least give you some idea where you'd be.

I've been swimming masters for about 10 years, and I've never come close to a 2:10 for a 200 SCY free. I had no competitive swimming before that. At 2 years (when I was actively doing 2-3 meets/yr, swimming 3-4x/week), I was probably close to 2:20. I'll try to get my exact time when I get home, I keep it all in an Excel workbook.

geochuck
September 17th, 2008, 12:33 PM
I have never in my life done over 2.10 for a 200scy. My first 200 free was done when I was 15 against George Stulac from West End Y Toronto time 2.05+. I have never done a 200 race since the 1960s. I may attempt one next year???

hofffam
September 17th, 2008, 01:05 PM
Hey, I did the 50/100/200, and my 200/100 ratio was 2.2179. So with a small rounding fudgedown, I swam just as well as Paul!

Although I admit that a National record escaped me as I struggled earnestly and mightily to crack the Top 40 in my events, I can now take solace in my solid Paul-like ratio. Perhaps we can award medals and ribbons for ratios next year to satisfy Geek's insatiable craving for more participation awards.

You were one of the guy's times I looked at! You're right - you were close. I rounded to get a 2.22 ratio - and your 10 sec rule time would have been 1:58.82 (compared to your actual 2:00.68). I would definitely be proud of your swims. I'm pretty sure I can't match your 200 ratio.

Lightning
September 22nd, 2008, 03:27 PM
Well, I'm back and alive...but definitely toast. The race ate my lunch!

I was hoping for a 2:20 as a goal.

I went out smooth and thought I was pacing well, but went a 30.72 which was probably too fast. I felt ok.

My 2nd 50, I tried to maintain and stay smooth, but I had one poor turn and I think I tightened up in my muscles and struggled to keep my stroke long. I felt ok but was surprised to find I went a 36.85.

Then on my 3rd 50, I tightened up even more - I could feel the piano falling on me and I started dying, and YES as everyone suggested it would, it HURT! I dropped to a 41.12 :drown:

My last 50 was just more of the same agony. Just trying to survive - 41.84

My total was a 2:30. Disappointing to say the least.

I don't understand dying so quickly, I thought I was in acceptable shape. I kept thinking, "if I can just get past this wall, I'll be fine and can turn up the power" but I never got past the wall. What are the physiological reasons for this?

It was suggested I need to totally focus on long, stretched out strokes and swimming "easy" speed; this seems to fit my experience as I was fighting to hold on. It might have given me more even splits, with a slower speed up front and then relatively faster in the back half. What do you all think?

all analysis and feedback are welcome!

Note: although disappointed I am not discouraged; I am more determined actually to figure this race out and am looking at a November meet to try again.

Lightning
September 22nd, 2008, 03:29 PM
Oh, as a side note, my 11 y/o son swam the 200 FR earlier that day and swam a 2:26, so it was a wonderful boost to his experience to beat dad; it was fun having him cheer me on!!!

geochuck
September 22nd, 2008, 03:37 PM
Your son did well and so did you. You must swim a few 200s to get the feel of pacing a 200.


Oh, as a side note, my 11 y/o son swam the 200 FR earlier that day and swam a 2:26, so it was a wonderful boost to his experience to beat dad; it was fun having him cheer me on!!!

pwolf66
September 22nd, 2008, 04:35 PM
Lightning,

Now you know that you can swim the 200, you need to train yourself to be able to swim fast even when your body is trying to get you to stop.

Add some longer distance repeats to your workouts. Not saying that you need to go 6x500 but you need to add more 4x200s or 3x300s in practice.

Add descend sets to your training. Such as 6x100 Free descend where you try to swim each one at least 1 second faster that the previous one. Do this on an interval 30 seconds higher than your best 100 free time. On these sets, remember to go nice and easy on the first one, don't go to fast or you will not be able to descend each one.

At the end of practice, before warmdown, do a all out 50 or a 100 just to get used to trying to swim fast while tired.

Good job on finishing the race. The 200 is not a big fave of mine but the more I swim, the more I realize that I might have to change my preferences.

scyfreestyler
September 22nd, 2008, 05:36 PM
I can relate to your pacing. You took this race out like you were going to swim it in a 2:10 or better. Better pacing could have yielded a better time, but so could better conditioning. Put them both together and you will be happy with the results.

Swimming lots of 200's, 250's, and 300's in practice will help.

Lightning
September 22nd, 2008, 06:16 PM
I can relate to your pacing. You took this race out like you were going to swim it in a 2:10 or better. Better pacing could have yielded a better time, but so could better conditioning. Put them both together and you will be happy with the results.

Swimming lots of 200's, 250's, and 300's in practice will help.

What bothers me is that I thought I was taking it out slower, trying to heed all the warnings from this thread - only to find out otherwise...
Definitely more practice on longer swims in my future!

Chris Stevenson
September 22nd, 2008, 06:53 PM
What bothers me is that I thought I was taking it out slower, trying to heed all the warnings from this thread - only to find out otherwise...
Definitely more practice on longer swims in my future!

Nothing prepares you for 200 race pace quite like swimming actual 200s in practice, with lots of recovery time between repeats. You will learn the hard way how to pace this distance.

Mostly it is a matter of trusting that your "easy speed" really is fast enough. I think when people take out the 200 too fast it is because they are overly worried about taking it out slow.

Another important (and less painful) tool is broken 200s. A reasonable set of splits for your goal time is: 33.5, 35.5, 35.5, 35.5. That means that 35-36 is a good "race pace" for you to target on a set of broken 200s, say with 10 seconds at each 50. You need to know what this pace feels like in your bones.

You should also be able to do "back half" times in 100s (ie, 1:11-1:12) with only moderate rest. For example, in a set of 5 x 100s on 1:40 you should be able to descend, in a controlled manner, down to your 200 pace on your last repeat.

200s are fun, don't give up. It is all about finding (and being confident in) your comfortable "fast pace."

islandsox
September 22nd, 2008, 08:09 PM
Just for humor, I was going to suggest taking it out fast and hanging on for dear life but we all know what happens when one does that (3rd lap death).

I used to only compete in 200s, primarily backstroke, but a 200 is still a 200. I used to not just train doing 200s, I used to train doing piles of 50s. Some sets with little rest and some sets with lots of rest for optimum 90% effort. And I actually swim a 200 like 4x50s but with no rest. But on-the-clock 50s really gets one into race-pacing. After lots of those, one can actually tell how fast one is swimming those 50s.

Best of Luck!

Donna

geochuck
September 22nd, 2008, 08:17 PM
Most of the middle distance swimmers I knew did 30 x 50s on 35 secs. You can then handle it very easily.

quicksilver
September 22nd, 2008, 09:07 PM
It was suggested I need to totally focus on long, stretched out strokes and swimming "easy" speed; this seems to fit my experience as I was fighting to hold on. It might have given me more even splits, with a slower speed up front and then relatively faster in the back half. What do you all think?

.

Either way the back half will be a challenge.Try to give yourself a head start before rigormortis begins to set in.
As you said..."easy speed". Just don't take it out too fast.

I like both Chris and Donna's 50 increment plan.
When I swim the 200 back , my mantra is "4 50's fast".


Getting used to the feel on each 50 is very helpful.

3strokes
September 23rd, 2008, 02:43 PM
I have never in my life done over 2.10 for a 200scy. My first 200 free was done when I was 15 against George Stulac from West End Y Toronto time 2.05+. I have never done a 200 race since the 1960s. I may attempt one next year???

Hi George
I'm a bit curious. 55 years (or so) ago, what was you best 50 free LCM?
100?

:bow:

geochuck
September 23rd, 2008, 03:35 PM
We never swam a 50 lcm it was always the 100. I could do a 50 lcm in about 25 sec on the way to a 100. The only lc swims we had were at international events. The pools in Canada were 55 yards long not 50 meters. No metric pools until much later. We had 25 yard pools and 50 or 55 yard pools.
I did a 24 plus 55 yards.

When everyone was doing 50 yards scy in 22.7 sec I set the Canadian Record in the 50 lcy 23.1 We very seldom did a 50.
I only swam 50 scy in duel meets against USA universities. I won but never tried to go all out because I used to swim 3 other events plus relays on the same day.

rtodd
September 23rd, 2008, 08:58 PM
Lightning,

I'm glad you survived. I'm impressed with your time since you are a "rookie". I think you could swim a 2:25 the next time you swim it by splitting the first 100 in 35 and 37. Go out long and strong with no kick and breathe every stroke.

Physiologically, your body could not cope with the lactic acid. With training you can prolong the onset of lactic acid. With training you can reduce the amount of lactic acid generated. With training you can buffer it quicker during practice to....well, get more out of your practices by reducing rest periods and extending sets.

Did I mention training?

Lightning
November 17th, 2008, 02:57 PM
Thanks everyone so much for the discussion and feedback I have recieved on the 200 FR!

I posted my first efforts at the 200 FR in another thread, but they were a
2:30 (30.7, 36.8, 41.1, 41.84) . I died on the 3rd leg...

I tried to take everyone's thoughts and feedback into the second time I raced it. I also practiced and improved my stroke, and was successful in dropping 6 seconds. :bliss::banana:

my time was: 2:24 (31.1, 35.6, 38.4, 39.0)

Looks like I still ran out of steam - but less so, still took it out a little fast - but less so, and still have a lot of practicing the event and pacing the event and building endurance to work on.

Any thoughts about my new splits are welcome - I'd love to work toward a 2:15.

Best of all, I had fun during it and, while it still hurt, I didn't feel like I was dying.

pwolf66
November 17th, 2008, 04:54 PM
I tried to take everyone's thoughts and feedback into the second time I raced it. I also practiced and improved my stroke, and was successful in dropping 6 seconds. :bliss::banana:

my time was: 2:24 (31.1, 35.6, 38.4, 39.0)

Nice job!!!!!!!

I think from here you are in a very good position to go under 2:20. Focus on good turns that maximize your free speed off the walls with a good push to a tight streamline.

Work on improving your kick and try to hit at least 2 SDKs off every turn in practice to drill that as habit for your race.

I think you can go 31/35/35/36.

Paul

FlyQueen
November 17th, 2008, 06:37 PM
Rob: That's a very good point that I just didn't even consider. I have got to stop assuming that everyone has an age group swimming background.

Maybe 2:10 isn't realistic at the moment but I think that someone with 26.8 speed (and that's not slow BTW) should be able to pull off a 200 in the mid 2-teens if they have a good endurance base, experience in swimming 200s fast and swim a good race.


I couldn't do a 200 in a 2:10 for all the tea in China ... I have a slightly faster 50 free but the 200 sucks. If I could get solidly into the teens I'd be thrilled.

I like to swim strong with my arms for the first 100 build the legs for 25 then drop the hammer and kick like heck for the last 75 ... I tried to do that yesterday but the legs never got going and it was a very painful and slow race ...

rtodd
November 17th, 2008, 07:29 PM
first 50 was too fast.

Syd
November 17th, 2008, 11:51 PM
Congratulations on dropping six seconds! That's great. :applaud:

Now you need to work on your aerobic base so you can get those splits down. I think the splits Paul suggested splits are very do-able. Enjoy working on it!

Lightning
November 18th, 2008, 11:24 AM
Nice job!!!!!!!

I think from here you are in a very good position to go under 2:20. Focus on good turns that maximize your free speed off the walls with a good push to a tight streamline.

Work on improving your kick and try to hit at least 2 SDKs off every turn in practice to drill that as habit for your race.

I think you can go 31/35/35/36.

Paul

Thanks! I'm pretty excited, especially since I've hit plateaus in other events.

Thinking about your suggested splits... would it make sense to practice broken 200's and work at making 50s @ 35 seconds - and over time decrease the rest interval inbetween?

Randal

pwolf66
November 18th, 2008, 11:27 AM
Thanks! I'm pretty excited, especially since I've hit plateaus in other events.

Thinking about your suggested splits... would it make sense to practice broken 200's and work at making 50s @ 35 seconds - and over time decrease the rest interval inbetween?

Randal


Yes, that would be a good idea to throw in broken 200s. Remember the goal is not to go as fast as you can but to get the right pace.

Lightning
December 17th, 2008, 09:45 AM
I'm having another go at the 200 FR this Saturday in a USA meet (the kiddos are getting used thrashing me now, but I'm still feel out of place and self-conscious swimming against them). I've learned and improved each time I race...so hopefully I will this time too.

Sept 2008 splits 30.7, 36.8, 41.1, 41.8 total 2:30.76
Nov 2008 splits 31.1, 35.6, 38.4, 39.0 total 2:24.19

My goal is to still take the first 50 out slower than I have. then build, but holding under a 34.0. Maybe go 32, 34, 34, 34????? I am shooting for a 2:15(dream goal). (I realize its slow, but for my background I never swam competetively or even trained until a few years ago). I plan to really stick the turns, and dolphin kick out strong - my heighth and strength can help me here. I need to remember to kick more as the race progresses - last time I was told, somewhat tongue in cheek, that my legs should be well rested after that race.

Any advice or encouragement is welcome - and greatly appreciated!

aquageek
December 17th, 2008, 09:55 AM
Two things. Looking at your times you seems to die pretty bad. I suggest trying to hold that second 50 pace (35-36), and then see about a 33 or 34 at the end.

Second, on your dolphin kicking thing. I see this all the time. Unless you are really good at it I wouldn't focus on doing them. If you do them wrong they will slow you down and wear you out.

Good luck, you've already shown nice improvement.

pwb
December 17th, 2008, 12:47 PM
I'm having another go at the 200 FR this Saturday in a USA meet ...

Sept 2008 splits 30.7, 36.8, 41.1, 41.8 total 2:30.76
Nov 2008 splits 31.1, 35.6, 38.4, 39.0 total 2:24.19

My goal is to still take the first 50 out slower than I have. then build, but holding under a 34.0. Maybe go 32, 34, 34, 34????? I am shooting for a 2:15(dream goal) ... I plan to really stick the turns, and dolphin kick out strong ...
Any advice or encouragement is welcome - and greatly appreciated!


Two things. Looking at your times you seems to die pretty bad. I suggest trying to hold that second 50 pace (35-36), and then see about a 33 or 34 at the end.

Second, on your dolphin kicking thing. I see this all the time. Unless you are really good at it I wouldn't focus on doing them. If you do them wrong they will slow you down and wear you out.


Lightning,

I agree with geek on the pacing. Looking at some of the splits of the "fast" Masters guys this season:


they generally split their 100s at about 49% / 51%
their last three 50s are about the same

For you to hit 2:15, then:


you should aim for 1:06/1:09 for your 100s
you would target your 50s as 31.5, 34.5, 34.5, 34.5

Now, easy to say, harder to do. In my experience, I try to focus on the following when swimming this way:


1st 50: The problem is not to swim too fast. In the excitement of a race, I have to consciously try to swim easier than I think I should be swimming. What works for me is to go lighter on the legs and really think about long/strong stroke count.
2nd 50: Consistency is the key. Ideally, you won't have to focus on changing your stroke rate, length or kick during this 50.
3rd 50: This is where I generally try to kick into thinking as if I'm trying to negative split the race. (I won't actually, but want my body to think that's the goal). My goal is to build throughout the last 100. In the 3rd 50, I focus on increasing my stroke rate. I don't think about shortening my stroke length, but it happens naturally and my stroke count for a length generally goes up by 2 strokes. Pick up the legs, but still not blasting them.
4th 50: "let her rip" -- blast legs, increase stroke rate, don't breathe into the finish.

One other key to doing a strong 200, I believe, is to breathe quite a lot throughout the race. This is not a sprint and you'll need that air to be able to drive your legs on the last 100.

Lightning
December 17th, 2008, 02:43 PM
Thanks Geek and PWBrundage for the great advice!

On the dolphin kicks, I'm not that strong, so I should focus on very tight streamlines and push-offs instead (when I'm tired they can get sloppy). I like the pacing suggestions, but I still am learning how my target times feel during each split, i will give it a try. Stay long and strong, and then build... I do breathe a lot, but I often forget to kick much.

Thanks again!

ande
December 17th, 2008, 03:11 PM
here's how men split the 200 free at the UT Invite

1st - 8th are good examples of how to split a a 200
1st place broke the american record
6th place had the largest drop off from when we compare
his 3rd 50 to his 4th 50th

15th place is a perfect example of how NOT to split a 200 free
that must have been agonizing

The correct way to swim a 200 is
easy speed, breathe, save your legs for the 2nd 100, and finish tough.

Times for the the 2nd, 3rd, and 4th 50's should be very close, even and preferably decended, but not ascended.
Keep your 2nd, 3rd & 4th 50's within 0.25 of each other.
Keep your last 50 within 2.0 of your first 50.


Event 20 Men 200 Yard Freestyle

=== A - Final ===

1 Walters, David Texas 1:34.85 1:31.83 AUTO 20
r:+0.75 21.48 44.77 (23.29)
1:08.11 (23.34) 1:31.83 (23.72)
2 Berens, Ricky Texas 1:35.71 1:32.82 AUTO 17
r:+0.76 21.85 45.67 (23.82)
1:09.42 (23.75) 1:32.82 (23.40)
3 Basson, Jean Arizona 1:33.26 1:33.48 AUTO 16
r:+0.77 22.14 45.66 (23.52)
1:09.34 (23.68) 1:33.48 (24.14)
4 Klueh, Michael Texas 1:35.90 1:34.50 CONS 15
r:+0.76 22.00 45.98 (23.98)
1:10.29 (24.31) 1:34.50 (24.21)
5 Shapira Bar-Or, Arizona 1:36.29 1:34.83 CONS 14
r:+0.80 22.32 46.35 (24.03)
1:10.60 (24.25) 1:34.83 (24.23)
6 Verlatti, Ryan Texas 1:35.79 1:35.25 CONS 13
r:+0.78 22.46 46.58 (24.12)
1:10.59 (24.01) 1:35.25 (24.66)
7 Wilcox, Jackson Texas 1:35.91 1:36.11 CONS 12
r:+0.77 22.57 46.77 (24.20)
1:11.60 (24.83) 1:36.11 (24.51)
8 Waked, Vinny Arizona St 1:36.34 1:36.57 CONS 11
r:+0.77 22.83 47.17 (24.34)
1:11.76 (24.59) 1:36.57 (24.81)

=== B - Final ===

9 Boyle, Sean Arizona St 1:36.34 1:35.91 CONS 9
r:+0.74 22.93 47.47 (24.54)
1:11.82 (24.35) 1:35.91 (24.09)
10 Patton, Sean Texas 1:36.41 1:35.96 CONS 7
r:+0.82 22.56 46.59 (24.03)
1:11.10 (24.51) 1:35.96 (24.86)
11 Tipton, Alexand Arizona 1:37.06 1:36.81 CONS 6
r:+0.72 22.64 47.12 (24.48)
1:12.09 (24.97) 1:36.81 (24.72)
12 McNeilis, Kyle Texas 1:36.80 1:36.82 CONS 5
r:+0.78 23.03 47.52 (24.49)
1:12.26 (24.74) 1:36.82 (24.56)
13 Jameson, Peter Texas 1:37.56 1:36.83 CONS 4
r:+0.77 22.37 46.62 (24.25)
1:11.61 (24.99) 1:36.83 (25.22)
14 Smith, Jordan Arizona 1:36.98 1:37.12 3
r:+0.69 22.40 46.71 (24.31)
1:11.62 (24.91) 1:37.12 (25.50)
15 Jackson, Jonath Texas 1:36.92 1:37.25 2
r:+0.69 20.97 44.37 (23.40)
1:09.92 (25.55) 1:37.25 (27.33)
16 Svendsen, Tyler Arizona 1:37.86 1:37.31 1
r:+0.78 22.80 47.37 (24.57)
1:12.43 (25.06) 1:37.31 (24.88)

=== C - Final ===

17 Feigen, Jimmy Texas 1:37.95 1:37.27
r:+0.70 22.10 46.66 (24.56)
1:12.03 (25.37) 1:37.27 (25.24)
18 Thompson, Kyle Wisconsin 1:38.07 1:37.86
r:+0.68 22.38 47.54 (25.16)
1:12.93 (25.39) 1:37.86 (24.93)
19 Kirkpatrick, Ad Arizona St 1:38.59 1:38.68
r:+0.76 23.04 48.11 (25.07)
1:13.24 (25.13) 1:38.68 (25.44)
20 Nagle, Brett Wisconsin 1:38.21 1:38.88
r:+0.71 22.97 47.94 (24.97)
1:13.53 (25.59) 1:38.88 (25.35)
21 Raffard, Arthur Arizona 1:38.97 1:39.21
r:+0.81 23.26 48.23 (24.97)
1:13.93 (25.70) 1:39.21 (25.28)
21 Iddiols, Robert Arizona 1:39.24 1:39.21
r:+0.72 22.97 48.08 (25.11)
1:13.70 (25.62) 1:39.21 (25.51)
23 Robertson, Jim Texas 1:39.18 1:39.63
r:+0.76 22.96 48.26 (25.30)
1:14.31 (26.05) 1:39.63 (25.32)
24 Rice, Scott Wisconsin 1:39.11 1:39.81
r:+0.82 23.29 48.63 (25.34)
1:14.15 (25.52) 1:39.81 (25.66)

=== D - Final ===

25 Van Roekel, Ben Texas 1:39.88 1:37.35
r:+0.77 22.35 47.29 (24.94)
1:12.54 (25.25) 1:37.35 (24.81)
26 Stacy, Peter Arizona 1:40.34 1:38.35
r:+0.79 23.69 49.17 (25.48)
1:14.27 (25.10) 1:38.35 (24.08)
27 Caskey, Neil Texas 1:40.58 1:38.51
r:+0.78 22.77 47.72 (24.95)
1:12.99 (25.27) 1:38.51 (25.52)
28 Koubratoff, Rob Arizona 1:39.94 1:40.47
r:+0.81 23.64 49.42 (25.78)
1:15.00 (25.58) 1:40.47 (25.47)
29 Richardson, Tre UC Davis 1:40.21 1:40.49
r:+0.77 23.61 49.69 (26.08)
1:15.17 (25.48) 1:40.49 (25.32)
30 Lengfeld, Luke Wisconsin 1:40.39 1:40.66
r:+0.74 23.35 49.25 (25.90)
1:15.71 (26.46) 1:40.66 (24.95)
31 Underwood, Russ UC Davis 1:41.02 1:41.13
r:+0.64 23.35 48.61 (25.26)
1:14.47 (25.86) 1:41.13 (26.66)
32 Morris, Jeff Wisconsin 1:40.74 1:41.42
r:+0.85 23.72 49.33 (25.61)
1:15.63 (26.30) 1:41.42 (25.79)

=== Preliminaries ===

7 Jostes, Scott Texas 1:36.21
22.49 47.39 (24.90)
1:12.02 (24.63) 1:36.21 (24.19)
21 Davies, Phil Wisconsin 1:38.43
22.36 47.08 (24.72)
1:12.64 (25.56) 1:38.43 (25.79)
23 Sorensen, Kyle Wisconsin 1:38.86
22.65 47.80 (25.15)
1:13.54 (25.74) 1:38.86 (25.32)
28 Nemeth, Chris Wisconsin 1:39.83
22.53 47.72 (25.19)
1:13.35 (25.63) 1:39.83 (26.48)
36 Daneke, Alex UC Davis 1:40.89
23.18 48.79 (25.61)
1:14.67 (25.88) 1:40.89 (26.22)
38 Schaffer, Alex Texas 1:41.32
23.33 48.39 (25.06)
1:14.86 (26.47) 1:41.32 (26.46)
39 Yamashita, Yuta Arizona St 1:41.34
23.81 49.17 (25.36)
1:15.32 (26.15) 1:41.34 (26.02)
40 Madwa, Mohammed Arizona St 1:41.45
23.24 48.72 (25.48)
1:14.92 (26.20) 1:41.45 (26.53)
41 Arbios, Alex UC Davis 1:41.51
23.78 49.13 (25.35)
1:15.37 (26.24) 1:41.51 (26.14)
42 Andrews, Conner Wisconsin 1:42.08
23.07 48.72 (25.65)
1:15.30 (26.58) 1:42.08 (26.78)
43 Wiesner, Steven Wisconsin 1:42.40
22.79 48.22 (25.43)
1:14.61 (26.39) 1:42.40 (27.79)
44 Kraus, Evan UC Davis 1:42.54
23.55 49.40 (25.85)
1:15.72 (26.32) 1:42.54 (26.82)
45 Roberts, Fraser Wisconsin 1:42.73
22.97 48.31 (25.34)
1:15.22 (26.91) 1:42.73 (27.51)
46 Murtagh, Colin Texas 1:42.82
22.77 47.81 (25.04)
1:15.23 (27.42) 1:42.82 (27.59)
47 Wise, Dustin Texas 1:43.09
23.16 48.57 (25.41)
1:14.89 (26.32) 1:43.09 (28.20)
48 Ruane, Nolan Arizona St 1:43.11
23.43 49.00 (25.57)
1:15.65 (26.65) 1:43.11 (27.46)
49 Sutton, Donald Texas 1:43.16
23.72 50.12 (26.40)
1:16.79 (26.67) 1:43.16 (26.37)
50 Borchard, Adam UC Davis 1:43.27
23.88 50.23 (26.35)
1:17.14 (26.91) 1:43.27 (26.13)
51 Anderson, Kyle UC Davis 1:43.48
24.19 50.42 (26.23)
1:17.07 (26.65) 1:43.48 (26.41)
52 Lagerhausen, We Wisconsin 1:43.58
22.55 48.15 (25.60)
1:15.10 (26.95) 1:43.58 (28.48)
53 Hunter, Pierce UC Davis 1:44.14
24.05 50.16 (26.11)
1:17.05 (26.89) 1:44.14 (27.09)
54 Robinson, Brand UC Davis 1:45.54
23.64 50.03 (26.39)
1:17.64 (27.61) 1:45.54 (27.90)
55 Houston, Craig TXLA 1:45.63
23.59 53.20 (29.61)
1:16.75 (23.55) 1:45.63 (28.88)
56 Calenti, Tony Arizona St 1:46.88
25.37 52.38 (27.01)
1:19.63 (27.25) 1:46.88 (27.25)
57 Donnelly, Danie UC Davis 1:48.56
25.26 52.84 (27.58)
1:20.70 (27.86) 1:48.56 (27.86)

pwolf66
December 17th, 2008, 03:47 PM
15th place is a perfect example of how NOT to split a 200 free
that must have been agonizing

The correct way to swim a 200 is
easy speed, breathe, save your legs for the 2nd 100, and finish tough.
15 Jackson, Jonath Texas 1:36.92 1:37.25 2
r:+0.69 20.97 44.37 (23.40)
1:09.92 (25.55) 1:37.25 (27.33)


Ouch, 20.97? yeah, that must have hurt like hades. Still only 3 tenths higher than seed. I wonder if he just got a little too worked up and went out way too fast?

I think that this shows how important it is to have race experience so you know how to swim the race. I imagine that he would have been in much better shape swimming the front 50 in 21.5 and probably would have gone 2 seconds faster over all.

PJElder
December 17th, 2008, 04:08 PM
Maybe he asked the timer for a split for the first 50 and had never broken 21.0. If so, he did a nice job of hanging on and he avoided DFL.

Syd
December 18th, 2008, 12:31 AM
Lightning,



3rd 50: This is where I generally try to kick into thinking as if I'm trying to negative split the race. (I won't actually, but want my body to think that's the goal). My goal is to build throughout the last 100. In the 3rd 50, I focus on increasing my stroke rate. I don't think about shortening my stroke length, but it happens naturally and my stroke count for a length generally goes up by 2 strokes. Pick up the legs, but still not blasting them.
4th 50: "let her rip" -- blast legs, increase stroke rate, don't breathe into the finish.

This is great advice. You should have enough energy left to, at least, "feel" like you are negative splitting even if you aren't actually. That is why it is so important that the first 100 is smooth but fast. If your stroke has already started to break down at the end of the first 100 then you are going to be in trouble.

Hope it goes well.

orca1946
December 18th, 2008, 01:07 AM
Hold the 1st 50 at 28 then the mid 1oo at a fast race speed then all out last50. Also remember that you will also be swimming in other events plus relays, so you will have to pace yourself to finish all events. Good luck

CoachML
December 18th, 2008, 01:40 AM
I've never raced a 200, or even a 100 FR; my 50 FR SCY is 26.8.
I'm in a USA meet Sept 20th - expecting to get trounced by kids half my age, but still I want to put in a good showing.

How should I race? What should my 50 pace be? How do I not die on the last 50? etc...

I'm 44, male, swimming masters only 2 years, still learning lots, and open to all feedback - thanks!If your good, it's a sprint. Same goes for anything under a mile :)

Follow the leader for the first 125. Pick up speed for a 25, then sprint a 50.

bigirishape
December 18th, 2008, 07:55 AM
Lots of great feedback here. I think what it all boils down to is doing sets at near-race-pace in practice and see what feels best.

The only advice I got from my coach the first time he pegged me to do a 200 free (nobody else volunteered) he gave me one bit of advice.. "It's a sprint! Go baby, go!" Needless to say, I didn't do very well in that race. I died at 125 horribly...

As time went on, I got used to being seeded near the top and keeping pace with the leader for the first 100 within a body length or so, then blowing them out in the last 75-100. Being used to swimming the 500/1500/1650 gives you a good bit of energy available to blow out in a 200 free. :)

qbrain
December 18th, 2008, 08:34 AM
When I am swimming a 200 strategically, this is what I am thinking.

1st 50: easy stroke, don't kick at all
2nd 50: pick up the pace a little on the stroke, nice easy kick
3rd 50: strong stoke, build to strong kick
7th 25: build to sprint stroke, strong kick
8th 25: all out kick and stroke

Now my mind thinks I am neg splitting, but my body is even splitting the last 3 50s and my first 50 is a couple seconds faster then the other 50s.

I wish there wasn't such a disconnect between what I think I am doing and what I am actually doing, but that is my thought process to split my 200 well.

This is probably why everyone thinks the 200 is so hard. You actually have enough time to think about your race, but not ponder it. And what you think you are doing and how that translates into splits probably varies for everyone.

My suggestion for figuring out your mental game plan. Start doing fast 200s regularly in practice. Swim your 200 at a pace you know you can make, then turn it on full blast the last 25. Next time add another 25 that is fast before your full blast. What does it feel like to swim that 25 and still be able to go full blast on the final 25. This will help you figure out mentally what you need to do for the last 150.

As for the first 50, only real racing will help you. I am so hyped up on adrenaline, rested and ready to race, that if I think I am going out faster than warm up speed, then I am really going out way to fast.

pwb
December 18th, 2008, 09:25 AM
If your good, it's a sprint. Same goes for anything under a mile :)




The only advice I got from my coach the first time he pegged me to do a 200 free (nobody else volunteered) he gave me one bit of advice.. "It's a sprint! Go baby, go!" Needless to say, I didn't do very well in that race.

IMHO, thinking of the 200 as a sprint gets a lot of people in trouble and is the path to significant pain. I think even the truly great swimmers at this race are not "sprinting" but are controlling their fast pace like referenced above.

bigirishape
December 18th, 2008, 01:50 PM
I'd be tempted to agree that a 200 is at least 1/2 sprint. If you watch it, I don't think anybody is going all-out from the start. I think the first 75 or 100 is feeling out your opponents, seeing who is fading, seeing how you feel energy-wise. The remainder of the race is when to kick it up, and how long you can sustain that pace...the only way to figure either of those answers is by practicing race-time situations.

Now I'm not saying that nobody can full-out sprint a 200. I am saying that anybody who goes all out in the first 50 will not have the same amount of speed in their last 50. But then again, I've always been a conservationist when it comes to energy in the pool. I go steady until about halfway, then if I've still got plenty of energy, I turn on the burners :)

USMSarah
December 18th, 2008, 03:10 PM
1st 50: easy stroke, don't kick at all
2nd 50: pick up the pace a little on the stroke, nice easy kick
3rd 50: strong stoke, build to strong kick
7th 25: build to sprint stroke, strong kick
8th 25: all out kick and stroke



I like this. It breaks the 200 down and gives you something to focus on for each section of the race. I'm gonna use this advice next month for my 2-back... seems a little less intimidating when you look at it like that.

=)

Lightning
May 19th, 2009, 03:19 PM
I just swam this race on Saturday(an unusual SCY during LCM season), tried to apply this thread's advice, and dropped 6 seconds from my time - a PB :bliss::banana:
The splits are below.
31.97 1:06.67 (34.70) 1:42.66 (35.99) 2:18.95 (36.29)

I held myself in check the first 50, stayed long and efficient,
slightly pressed the second 50,
pushed hard the 3, started to feel the burn and focused again on staying long and efficient,
gave it all the last 50.
My goal was 2:15, trying for 32, 34,34,34,
I was wiped out, but not in pain, so i'm wondering if I didnt push hard enough at some point. Should I have started out faster (my 50 FR is 27.0)
Any and all feedback on my splits are welcome!

geochuck
May 19th, 2009, 03:34 PM
A well paced swim Lightning. A best persoal time is great. You can now experiment with starting out a little faster and hold your last 150 at a little faster pace also.

knelson
May 19th, 2009, 03:38 PM
31.97 1:06.67 (34.70) 1:42.66 (35.99) 2:18.95 (36.29)

Should I have started out faster

I don't think so. Your hundreds were 1:06, 1:12. A six second drop off is pretty big.

Lightning
May 19th, 2009, 04:09 PM
1:06 to 1:12, hmm.. I forget to look at the hundred splits.
I guess experimenting with increasing my back-half pace, especially in my workouts, especially when fatigued, should help.

qbrain
May 20th, 2009, 09:09 AM
Your plan looks good, focus on getting the last two 50s down to 34s.

Lightning
May 20th, 2009, 10:11 AM
I'm starting to love the 200 Fr, and get a beginners feel for it, though I expect there are many nuances to learn over time as I develop...

Thanks Geochuck, Knelson, and Gbrain for the comments and support!
I'll report back in a few months after my next meet.

jim thornton
May 20th, 2009, 10:48 AM
Lightning,

You might find my blog on the 200 of some interest. I took the winning race from NCAA's and broke it down into 50s, guestimated at the winner's likely fastest sprint 50 speed, and then calculated how far each of his 200-race 50s diverged from this.

You can find the blog at: http://forums.usms.org/blog.php?b=2360

For what it's worth, I tried my best to put this same strategy in effect the last time I swam a 200, and got my best time in 6 years (albeit aided by a now-outlawed suit whose name still chokes me up so badly I can't bring myself to utter it outloud...)

knelson
May 20th, 2009, 11:05 AM
I guess experimenting with increasing my back-half pace, especially in my workouts, especially when fatigued, should help.

This kind of thing might help, but I think good old-fashioned threshold training will pay the most dividends. Try to do sets longer than 30 minutes where you are working close to your threshold with very little rest between repeats. Obviously you'll also need some speed wok, too, because a 200 has a definite speed component.

Another critical element is your kick. You'll see lots of people advocating kicking like crazy the last 50. This is great, but can also cause you to die like a dog on the final 25. You really need your legs to be in great shape to keep that kick going all the way to the end of the race.

geochuck
May 20th, 2009, 11:15 AM
Not to argue but rather than threshold training may I suggest MaxVo2 sets.