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View Full Version : How fast should your first 50 be in the 100 free?



daveindc
October 28th, 2008, 03:21 PM
I think I need to up the speed on the first 50 a bit. At the meet on Sunday, my 50 time was 24.45, but my first 50 in the 100 was a 26.9. Interestingly, my first 50 at the meet 3 weeks ago was also a high 26 and that's when my 50 free was a 25.2. Let me just post the splits before this gets too confusing:

10/5: 50y free - 25.2 100y free - 56.65 (1st 50: 26.9)

10/26: 50y free - 24.45 100y free - 55.88 (1st 50: 26.9)

So I improved on the backend of my 100yd free only. I think maybe I'm not going out fast enough if I go out 2.5 secs slower than my 50y free time. Of course this is only one race and I had a goggle issue on the 100yd free Sunday plus I tweaked my lower back on the start. Also I think my endurance is better than what it used to be so I have to get used to that. I looked at some times from when I was 16 and I had a 25.5 50yd free, but a 59 sec 100 yd free ugh.

What's a good breakdown of the 100yd free?

abc
October 28th, 2008, 03:31 PM
When I raced, I tried to go out a second slower than my best 50.

pwolf66
October 28th, 2008, 03:38 PM
Optimum 100 Free is front 50 about 1 sec slower than your 50 and about 2-3 second (aiming for 2.5) differential between front and back 50s.

So for me, optimal (i.e ain't there yet) is 24.1/26.6 for a 50.7

Typhoons Coach
October 28th, 2008, 04:10 PM
My best 50 right now is a 24.23 (not good...I know). I try to hit my split on :25. As someone mentioned previously, I am far from that actual right now, but ideally that's where I want to be. Oh, and breathing every 5 in the first 50 and every 7 in the last 50.

Kurt
October 28th, 2008, 04:17 PM
My experience has been that you can achieve a significant reduction in swim effort without "dramatically" slowing your swim speed/time.

This may make more sense when thinking about the converse which is that a siginificant increase in swim effort does not proportionately increase your swim speed.

Point is, I think your goal could be for the first 50 to be between 1-1.5 seconds slower than your best 50 time.

I think your energy saved may still be sufficient to carry you through the back 50 in good shape.

The other element is at the faster 50 sprint speed you likely have a higher stroke rate and lower stroke length. If you back-off the throttle just a tad and focus on stroke length, you may come in at just about 1-1.5 seconds slower only, and still have achieved some good energy savings.

TheGoodSmith
October 28th, 2008, 05:10 PM
Translation: It needs to be a lot harder than you think if you don't want to fall behind. There is no comfort zone in this race.


John Smith

pwolf66
October 28th, 2008, 05:15 PM
To echo John, you have to swim this race at race pace many times to find where your optimum split is. Going out too hard, you risk seizing up on the last length, going out too easy, you just can not make up for it enough on the 2nd 50.

onefish
October 28th, 2008, 05:29 PM
A masters coach used to have us do UEKS (pronounced yukes, effect is more like pukes) by 100s - 25 underwater, 25 easy, 25 sprint kick, 25 sprint swim. Try 5 of these on a modest interval - say, 20 seconds rest max. The first builds confidence, the third destroys it, the 5th is a joke if one is sincere about the effort thing.

I think this builds muscle and brain memory for these shorter, total intensity races. Closest simulation, in the absence of doing something singular for time, of that piano feeling on a 100 or 200 sprint I've been able to simulate in a workout.

DV

ehoch
October 28th, 2008, 05:31 PM
Here is my guide --

- look at some of the best in the world, BUT pick people that somewhat match you as a swimmer. There is no point in comparing your splits to Phelps if you are a drop dead sprinter. At the same time, your splits may look better than Cielo's if you are a distance swimmer.

- keep in mind that % of slowdown on the first 50 compared to max speed may be a better guide. Meaning - if you can go 20.0 and you go out 1 second slower than max speed that equals 5% -- that equals 1.5 for somebody going 30 sec in a 50.

- Front end speed rules - you have to take it out hard, but breathe a lot !!!

knelson
October 28th, 2008, 06:10 PM
Is there a general rule on how much slower you are to your feet versus your hand? Taking out a 100 free only a second slower than your 50 time probably means going out very close to top speed.

FlyQueen
October 28th, 2008, 06:18 PM
I try to take it out like a bat out of hell but with lots of O2 - or like it's a 50 but breathing every 3. I kick like a psycho try to get my turnover going and want to be in pain by the 50. Then I try to hang on. My splits are usually within 3.

Kurt
October 28th, 2008, 06:37 PM
YES to the chap above who stated "breath a lot". I learned to swim with age-groupers and always restricted my breathing as instructed UNTIL I reviewed all my 100free videos (long course meters) and noticed that most of the elite swimmers breathed every stroke!

Why? Because if you do not do so on the first 50, you will not get the lactate removal on the second 50 and the burn sets in much sooner.

As for the loss of speed when breathing every stroke, two focus points will diminish that.

1. Slightly press the flat side of the head (face) into the water when breathing just to make sure the head does not raise up even the slightest bit when breathing.

2. When breathing to any side, the stroking arm on the other side can have a "tendancy" to drop elbow and so just try to "pin" that non-breathing side elbow up at just below the water surface fighting any desire to drop elbow.

Kurt

Typhoons Coach
October 28th, 2008, 10:27 PM
I know I posted before describing what I do with regard to a 50, but (again) I am hypocritical of what I coach. I coach my swimmers to swim the first 25 at a slower pace and kick it in for the last 75. Different physiological reasons for that, but that's how we train the age-groupers and the masters swimmers.

david.margrave
October 29th, 2008, 01:23 AM
My best to-date masters 100 free SCY was first 50 +1.22 over my best 50 free time, and second 50 +1.53 slower than the first 50. This was in a very fast pool (federal way) with a taper that I think worked out just perfectly.

Compare that to my 100 LCM at nationals. First 50 +2.33 over best LCM 50, and second 50 +2.58 over first. That hot weather in Portland took its toll on me.

david.margrave
October 29th, 2008, 01:27 AM
I'm going to try this breathing advice. And I think I've noticed that I'm doing what you describe on 2.



Why? Because if you do not do so on the first 50, you will not get the lactate removal on the second 50 and the burn sets in much sooner.


2. When breathing to any side, the stroking arm on the other side can have a "tendancy" to drop elbow and so just try to "pin" that non-breathing side elbow up at just below the water surface fighting any desire to drop elbow.

Kurt

Rykno
October 29th, 2008, 03:48 AM
I think one needs to take into consideration your stroke. do you swim freestyle the same when you swim the 50 vs 100?

I think that I have a different arm speed and grip of the water when I "try" to swim the 50. I stress myself so that I don't move fwd as much as I should with each arm. when I swim the 100 I have a more correct stroke and therefore can swim faster.

I currently swim the 50scm 27.68. (approx 24.8-24.9 scy) but really haven't had a race that everything worked. either slow start, foot sliding on wall, started turn too early and only had toe contact...I've never in my life swam a 50scm under 27.0. My 50 goal is to get under 27.00

my current 100scm time is 1:00.94. my splits were 28.92 / 32.02. My goal is to get under 1:00. but I also know that I can't get my splits to 1-2 seconds because my body doesn't work that way. for me to get to 59.99 i will have to open 28.0 and come home in 31.99 nearly 4 seconds. but what I am hoping is that I can come back in something faster than 31.99 and maybe get my time down to 59.3

it's the same thing in breaststroke. I have to open fast, because I die the same amount the second 50. my last race 34.78 / 39.83 = 1:14.61 Nearly 5 seconds difference. My 50 time is 33.37 so I don't see myself swimming the first 50 anything under 34.5. so if I am ever going to get to 1:12 scm I need to be able to swim the second 50 in 37.5

Chris Stevenson
October 29th, 2008, 09:02 AM
I want to emphasize the "time at your feet" comment above. Yes, 1-1.5 seconds off fastest 50 is common, but remember that you lose about 0.5 seconds (some lose more) with a "foot touch" compared to a hand touch.

So one second off your fastest 50 is taking it out pretty darn fast.

Similar situation for backstroke. In the fly, you can theoretically be closer since it is a hand touch...but many people have worse fly endurance than freestyle endurance, so a 1-1.5 second rule is still not a bad idea.

(You may notice I omitted any mention of breaststroke. That wasn't an oversight, since I have no business commenting on it.)

FlyQueen
October 29th, 2008, 09:20 AM
I know I posted before describing what I do with regard to a 50, but (again) I am hypocritical of what I coach. I coach my swimmers to swim the first 25 at a slower pace and kick it in for the last 75. Different physiological reasons for that, but that's how we train the age-groupers and the masters swimmers.

If I don't go all out from the get go I will have a terrible swim - time wise and feeling wise. I am not able to back off the legs at all in the first 25. I've tried this out and it always ends up much slower and still as painful as if I just go all out from the start.

As an aside, when I started swimming this way I also started working on kicking a lot more in practice - set aside days to just kick, and tried to 6 beat kick constantly in practice even if it was an easy 6 beat kick.

FlyQueen
October 29th, 2008, 09:24 AM
(You may notice I omitted any mention of breaststroke. That wasn't an oversight, since I have no business commenting on it.)

You do not have to be good at a stroke to know how to swim it well or how it should be raced. I coach breaststroke and if you look at the Indy results you'd see why I should never be allowed to mention that word in practice. :shakeshead:

knelson
October 29th, 2008, 10:31 AM
I think the drop-off in breast is similar to fly. Most people are at least three seconds slower on the second 50.

Syd
October 29th, 2008, 10:32 AM
10/26: 50y free - 24.45 100y free - 55.88 (1st 50: 26.9)

What's a good breakdown of the 100yd free?

I think those are very good splits. Your first 50 could be a little faster. If you can go 24.45 for the 50, then I think you should be aiming for 26 low for your first 50 of the 100. There is only a 2.08 second difference between your first and second 50 which is right on the money.

Those are good times.


If I don't go all out from the get go I will have a terrible swim - time wise and feeling wise. I am not able to back off the legs at all in the first 25. I've tried this out and it always ends up much slower and still as painful as if I just go all out from the start.

That's me 'to a T'. I am definitely not a back-halfer. If I don't give it my all in the first 50, I am going to swim a slow time. Period. And I will still have the same difference between my first and second 50.

lefty
October 29th, 2008, 12:08 PM
Here is my guide --

- look at some of the best in the world, BUT pick people that somewhat match you as a swimmer. There is no point in comparing your splits to Phelps if you are a drop dead sprinter. At the same time, your splits may look better than Cielo's if you are a distance swimmer.

- keep in mind that % of slowdown on the first 50 compared to max speed may be a better guide. Meaning - if you can go 20.0 and you go out 1 second slower than max speed that equals 5% -- that equals 1.5 for somebody going 30 sec in a 50.

- Front end speed rules - you have to take it out hard, but breathe a lot !!!

Great advice! Phelps and Lezak both are 47.5 in the 100M but swim it completely different. Neither does it "wrong." Are you a 200/400 guy? Then swim the first 50 at 98% like Phelps.

Kurt
October 29th, 2008, 03:36 PM
I'm going to try this breathing advice. And I think I've noticed that I'm doing what you describe on 2.

Hi Dave,

If you try swimming with a snorkle, or just swim 3-4 stroke cycles without breathing, you can see how easy it is to maintain a high elbow during the each arm stroke.

But add in body roll during a breath cycle and it is so easy for that opposite side elbow to drop and with me at least, it translates in to a noticeably slower swim time.

It's funny, we always hear that it is the head raising-up during a breath that slows us down, but my head is 100% flat and so I think it is not the breath itself, but the dropping of the opposite-side elbow when breathing.

Kurt:D

mattson
October 30th, 2008, 01:52 PM
...but my head is 100% flat and so I think it is not the breath itself, but the dropping of the opposite-side elbow when breathing.

Maybe you just need a more streamlined head... :frustrated: :banana:

Chris Stevenson
October 30th, 2008, 02:12 PM
You do not have to be good at a stroke to know how to swim it well or how it should be raced.

I agree. But not only am I not good at it, I almost never race or practice it. (Gee, I wonder if those two facts are related?)

Most of my swimming opinions are based on my own personal experience, and the rest on personal observations. I simply lack experience in breaststroke to comment on it, and haven't made it my business to study the stroke.

FlyQueen
October 30th, 2008, 06:14 PM
I agree. But not only am I not good at it, I almost never race or practice it. (Gee, I wonder if those two facts are related?)

Most of my swimming opinions are based on my own personal experience, and the rest on personal observations. I simply lack experience in breaststroke to comment on it, and haven't made it my business to study the stroke.

I think the amount of time I spend doing breaststroke in practice directly correlates to my 50 split from the 200IM. :drown:

Blackbeard's Peg
October 31st, 2008, 11:11 AM
This optimum crap is all relative - age and type of swimmer play a big role in this. I clearly violate the rules, considering a half-second allowance for flip vs. touch, my first 50 of my best 100 was faster than my best 50. OOPS!

lifetime best 50 free: 23.89
lifetime best 100 splits: 24.24, 26.29 (total 50.53)
same meet '08 Austin Nationals...

I certainly don't have the sprinter's speed for a 50, but it is pretty close. I can obviously can take the two races out at probably the same speed, and then maintain that same pace for another 50 in the 100, whereas the sprinters are dying harder and harder as the race continues. :chug:

Maui Man
October 31st, 2008, 01:27 PM
I try to swim fast & breath frequently the first 50 as to not be oxygen deprived the second 50. My goal is to be 1.5 seconds off best 50 for first half and two seconds slower for second half. The key is getting enough oxygen into the lungs to have a very strong 2nd 50.