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inflictfreedom
November 7th, 2008, 01:16 PM
I mostly swim freestyle, actually ... I only swim freestyle. I'm thinking it would be good to throw in a few others, mainly breast and back (forget fly). How much time should I dedicate to these strokes outside of my regular freestyle sets?

Cheers,
Eric

fanstone
November 7th, 2008, 01:28 PM
Use freestyle all the time. Maybe do some breaststroke for resting purposes. The backstroke will fill up your sinuses with water, avoid at all costs. The butterfly is useful only when you want to get your heart rate up or when no one else can swim it and you are given no choice when going to a meet with your other team mates.

inflictfreedom
November 7th, 2008, 01:38 PM
Use freestyle all the time. Maybe do some breaststroke for resting purposes. The backstroke will fill up your sinuses with water, avoid at all costs. The butterfly is useful only when you want to get your heart rate up or when no one else can swim it and you are given no choice when going to a meet with your other team mates.


Ha ... yeah, fills up sinuses and bruises head when you forget to check for the wall.

mjgold
November 7th, 2008, 02:02 PM
I'm assuming the last poster was joking--at least I hope.

It varies from coach to coach for our team, but we probably do between 25 and 50% stroke work during our practices, mostly back and breast with the option to do fly if you want. This is in addition to IM sets. It's mostly drill with some swim mixed in.

Mary1912
November 7th, 2008, 04:19 PM
I spend about 70% of my workout on freestyle and then the rest is other strokes, mainly back and breast and an occasional lap of fly just so I don't forget how to do it. LOL.:agree:

inflictfreedom
November 7th, 2008, 04:47 PM
I spend about 70% of my workout on freestyle and then the rest is other strokes, mainly back and breast and an occasional lap of fly just so I don't forget how to do it. LOL.:agree:

I never could get the fly down, so I don't even bother with it. I think 70% sounds pretty good ... maybe modified IM's or something with the occasional backstroke set.

inflictfreedom
November 7th, 2008, 04:53 PM
... how about this

Current routine: 2050 total
300 free warm up.
250 kick.
3 x 500 freestyle.

With some other stuff thrown in: 2550 total
300 warm up
250 kick
500 free
IM (100 free / 50 back / 50 breast) x 5
500 free

... maybe?

mjgold
November 7th, 2008, 05:18 PM
Here's an example of our workout:

Warm Up
5 x 100 Swim 1:40/1:45/1:50
4 x 100 Pull 1:35/1:40/1:45
3 x 100 Kick 1:55/2:00/2:05
2 x 100 Swim Build 1:30/1:35/1:40
1 x 100 IM 1:35/1:40/1:45


Main Set #1
3 x 300 1. Every 3rd Length is Kick :20 SR
2. 2 150’s Build by 50
3. Underwater Turns
6 x 75 Rotate IM 1:15/1:20/1:25
ie 1. Fly/Back/Breast
2. Back/Breast/Free
3. Breast/Free/ Fly etc.
2 x 200 1. IM 2:40/2:45/2:50
2. Free
2 x 50 Choice EZ 1:00

Main Set #2
Choice
8 x 50 :55
6 x 50 :50
4 x 50 :45
2 x 50 :40
1 x 50 :30 SPRINT!!!


Warmdown

200 EZ

It's about 4,550 yards. That's about average for us, and we do that 4 times a week. Sometimes there is more freestyle, sometimes there is more stroke work.

inflictfreedom
November 7th, 2008, 05:44 PM
Uh, wow...that's a lot. I can only get in an hr in the morning and then again in the evening ... that set would take me forever to finish. Pretty sweet though. I'll probably steal bits of it. Thanks!

fanstone
November 7th, 2008, 06:25 PM
When not swimming with the group, with the coach, for instance on Saturday mornings, this is what I might do:
swim 3 pools (150 meters in 25 meter pool) free then one pool (there and back) breast, but keep the speed up on breast so as not to "rest". So each series will have 200 meters. After two series I do 100 meters of kick drill, with one length dolphin, two sideways and one back. This breaks the training into 500 meter blocks. All this is done with swimming speedo fins. I am pitiful at backstroke unless I am going fast, so I only do it when swimming i.m. at meets. I only do 100 meter i.m. so whatever I do with back is okay. I will do a drill with fly which is: do three dolphin kicks off the wall (under water, the SKDs) then do two or three full butterfly strokes, then breathe and finish the lap with free, repeat till you are exhausted. You can get a lot of 25 series done that way. Eventually you might make the three full fly into four or more as you don't tire up so much.

mjgold
November 7th, 2008, 08:09 PM
Uh, wow...that's a lot. I can only get in an hr in the morning and then again in the evening ... that set would take me forever to finish. Pretty sweet though. I'll probably steal bits of it. Thanks!

No prob. Our workouts vary daily, but I think they're really good. They take us between an hour and an hour and a half to finish depending on how long they are. That one took us from 7pm to around 8:15pm. Basically, the general format of our workouts is 1) 30 min workout focusing on different parts of the stroke (i.e., kick, stretching out, etc), 2) a long main set that runs about 20 to 30 minutes, 3) a shorter main set that is shorter and more fun, and 4) a quick warmdown that is usually either a 150 or 200 EZ.

Syd
November 7th, 2008, 08:41 PM
The backstroke will fill up your sinuses with water, avoid at all costs.

Billy Fanstone, I damn nearly snorted coffee all over my computer when I read that!

That's just how I feel about backstroke. I don't care much for breaststroke, either. I train free and fly almost exclusively with free making up about 80 percent (and sometimes more) of my workout.

Like inflictfreedom I also wonder whether I should be doing more of the other strokes, or not. Not for racing purposes, mind you. I am only interested in them to the extent that they help me out with my freestyle. I wonder if I did more of the other strokes, would they improve aerobic capacity? Would training the other strokes, perhaps, make me a stronger and faster freestyler?

Ripple
November 7th, 2008, 10:59 PM
I like doing all the strokes (even side stroke, on rare occasions) because I feel I work more muscles that way. Plus, it keeps things interesting. I feel that each stroke adds a little something to the others.

mjgold
November 7th, 2008, 11:08 PM
If I did nothing but front crawl, I would kill myself. Don't get me wrong, I love front crawl, but if I couldn't mix it up a little, it would be so boring. When we do anything over a 200 FR, I start to get bored around the 75 yard mark, and it's even worse knowing I'm not even halfway done.

Typhoons Coach
November 8th, 2008, 08:04 PM
I mostly swim freestyle, actually ... I only swim freestyle. I'm thinking it would be good to throw in a few others, mainly breast and back (forget fly). How much time should I dedicate to these strokes outside of my regular freestyle sets?

Cheers,
Eric

If you are a specialty swimmer and truly only swimming freestyle I would say to do about 85 - 90% of your workout in freestyle and throw a couple of odd strokes in there every now and then just to add some muscle variation.

inflictfreedom
November 10th, 2008, 12:00 PM
Mostly I was thinking that throwing other strokes in would help stretching and possibly help prevent over use and shoulder problems, also it might keep things a bit more fun/interesting. Freestyle is a bit boring, and i've gotten used to what I do. It's easy to just fall into a routine and stick with it.

Lots of great advice, thanks.

Typhoons Coach
November 10th, 2008, 01:17 PM
It's easy to just fall into a routine and stick with it.

I think that's the case with a lot of swimmers, though! They fall into a set routine and don't get enough variation and excitement in the workout (just my opinion as a coach).

inflictfreedom
November 10th, 2008, 01:37 PM
Yeah ... it's tough to be creative at 5:30 am.

Redbird Alum
November 10th, 2008, 02:54 PM
Yeah ... it's tough to be creative at 5:30 am.

One thing you can do is set up a week's worth of stuff ahead of time, with some agenda or theme for the week. This has always worked for me.

Examples include drilling various parts of the stroke, developing "cross-over" drills that force you to think (like freestyle pull utilizing a dolphin kick, corkscrew swims, alternate breathing sides/breathing locations).

I would think your 3*500 would get boring, although therre are times I have done similar workouts.

Typhoons Coach
November 10th, 2008, 10:41 PM
Yeah ... it's tough to be creative at 5:30 am.

Ha! You're telling me; this is exactly why I write the workouts at night for my swimmers. I cannot and will not force myself to be creative that early in the morning!

inflictfreedom
November 11th, 2008, 01:44 PM
One thing you can do is set up a week's worth of stuff ahead of time, with some agenda or theme for the week.

Hmm, ha ha ... themed swimming sounds fun. Maybe pirate drills ... put on an eye patch and swim across everyone's lane yelling "Gar!" underwater. Eventually it's a dry-land routine as I run away.

hofffam
November 11th, 2008, 02:21 PM
The OP didn't say whether he is a fitness swimmer or competes.

If he competes and freestyle is all he wants to race - then there is little reason not to concentrate on freestyle if racing speed is the priority.

But some variation is good for reasons already stated:

- reduce boredom
- work new muscles and avoid overuse
- rest or recovery with other strokes

My best event is sprint breastroke, then sprint fly, then 100IM. I will never race non-IM backstroke unless I am the last choice for a relay.

In my 3200 yd. workout today, 600 yds of the main set was IMs. 1200 yds. was freestyle, plus some IM kick. I think in general between 2/3 and 3/4 of my workout is freestyle.

geochuck
November 11th, 2008, 02:30 PM
There are only two strokes that I do Crawl and Fly. The other two breast stroke and backstroke are not in my want to do category. I usually swim the fly one or two lengths at a time a few times while swimming.

I see this word bored, how in the world can any one become bored if you are thinking about your swimming stroke???

inflictfreedom
November 11th, 2008, 03:02 PM
Hoffman - I'm mostly a fitness swimmer, when I compete it's for fun during the open water aquathlon season here in CA. I'll keep freestyle a heavy majority and use other strokes to break it up. Prob back and breast. Nobody likes backstroke huh? Wonder why they don't make goggles with little mirrors so you can see the wall coming up or something.

Goechuck - Not bored when i'm swimming, but variation prob. would help motivate me when there's something new/challenging in store to get up to and go . It's a love hate relationship with exercise sometimes. Especially now that it's getting colder, once I'm there it's great ... but getting there ... that's the real challenge sometimes.

Typhoons/Redbird - I'll definitely have to write up my sets from now on (the night before) ... will help me set better goals.

I want to add another 800/1000 yards to my routine. But, ah ... I have to swim faster to get it in. Another reason I've been focusing on freestyle so much.

Ripple
November 11th, 2008, 03:26 PM
There are only two strokes that I do Crawl and Fly. The other two breast stroke and backstroke are not in my want to do category. I usually swim the fly one or two lengths at a time a few times while swimming.

I see this word bored, how in the world can any one become bored if you are thinking about your swimming stroke???

People who have been swimming for many decades probably have decided what they are best at and what they don't want to be bothered with any more, and that's fine for them. When I was a runner and then a bike racer, I learned I wasn't cut out for marathons or mountain biking.

I do think about my swim stroke constantly, but with only 11 years of continuous fitness swimming under my belt, it's all still new to me and I feel I owe it to myself to try every aspect of swimming and give it my best shot.

For example, I used to do the world's worst breast stroke, but now that I have learned to swim it properly in the last year or so, I want to focus on improvement and see how far I can get with it. Maybe in another decade, I'll decide it's not something I want to do any more, but I can't know that without trying.

Mary1912
November 12th, 2008, 03:08 PM
Yeah ... it's tough to be creative at 5:30 am.

So true. That's what time I hit the water. :bed: