View Full Version : Some questions about broken 200's

March 25th, 2009, 12:49 AM
For a start,

Why do a broken 200 as opposed to a regular 200? What is the particular advantage of breaking up the distance (or any distance for that matter)?

Is it better to break it up at the 50 or the 100?

What is the ideal rest time between 50's and 100's within a broken 200?

What is the ideal rest time between broken 200's within a set?

What is the ideal number of 200's to do in a set?

Are the accumulated times of a broken 200 an accurate indicator of how fast you can actually go?

If breaking it up at the 50, how much time should be added on for each flip turn?

How many broken 200's should I be able to do at a specific time to be confident that I could repeat that time in a race?

March 25th, 2009, 01:01 AM
This may be a way to increase speed or to work on technique. You may do 50's or 100's as you work on different speeds. You might also do this with a 500

March 25th, 2009, 11:52 AM
Most people swim faster in meets than in practice, so broken swims are a way to simulate that. I think broken swims are most commonly done as a single swim, not a set. For a broken 200, 4x50 is probably most common, although you might also try breaking at the 100 and then at the 150. I would say you need a minimum of ten seconds rest at each break. If you're worried about the time difference due to turns then finish the broken swims to your feet. The only problem with this is unless you have a coach timing you it is difficult to get your intermediate times accurately.

March 25th, 2009, 12:36 PM
My team regularly does sets of broken swims. For a 200, we may do a set like (something like 30 or 45 sec rest after each)--
1 x 200 cruise
2 x 100 w/15 sec rest at break
4 x 50 w/10 sec rest at break
8 x 25 w/5 sec rest at break
1 x 200 all-out

If done correctly (taking the proper rest), and if the coach calls out times, you can then compare your final times (subtract the rest) and see how they compare. You can also see how turns impact your performance, as you'll get fewer (or none) with the shorter distances.

March 25th, 2009, 12:57 PM
Many years ago I surprised myself and had a much better than expected 200 breaststroke race. My coach had lots of broken 200s in our workouts. They were broken in every possible combination. The purpose was to swim the correct race pace regardless of the way the 200 was broken. It worked for me.
We did 2 x 100; 4 x 50; 50, 100, 50; 75,50,75; 25, 75,75,25, etc.

March 25th, 2009, 02:07 PM
Let us know how you do!

March 29th, 2009, 09:51 PM
I'll mention what my high school practices were. Sometime during practice, one set of 5 x 200s on 3 min, broken. 30 seconds rest, either 10 seconds between each 50, or 100 (15 sec)/50 (10 sec)/25 (5 sec)/ 25. The rest during the swim allows your body to get used to swimming closer to race pace.

Pacing within the 200 should be even, with the overall time (with rest time subtracted) within 5-10 seconds of meet speed. (Our team managers wrote down the 200 times, so we paid attention to keeping it constant.) When it gets to taper time, increase the rest, reduce the repeats, and the overall time should eventually reach race speed.

March 30th, 2009, 03:02 PM
at UT we'd leave on the 30
swim a 50, rest 10 sec,
swim a 50, rest 10 sec,
swim a 50, rest 10 sec,
swim a 50

you could also
100 rest 10
050 rest 10

I think the best way to train for 200's is to swim fast 200's with plenty of rest, like on 5 or 6 minutes

If you do 200's with not much rest you're actually training to swim longer events

for me, my broken 200 times were way faster than my 200 times in meets so for me they don't mean much

The fewer times you stop the more accurate your time will be

we'd also do broken 100's
50 rest 10
25 rest 10

You need to get accustomed to how bad it hurts to swim 100's & 200's fast.
Get tougher & wiser.

March 30th, 2009, 08:39 PM
for me, my broken 200 times were way faster than my 200 times in meets so for me they don't mean much

It is the same for me, too. Certainly if I break at the 50, anyway. If I break at the 100 it is much more accurate.

Here is an example of what I have been doing the past week:

3/24 Broken @ 50m (10 seconds rest)

1. 30.01
2. 30.49
3. 30.75
4. 30.22 [Total time = 2:01:47]

(This was average for me as, if I have had good sleep and haven't exerted myself too much the day before, I can get an accumulated total of 1:58.)

3/28 Broken @ 100m (10 seconds rest)

1. 1:02:48
2. 1:03:83 [Total time = 2:06:31]

(This was much closer to my most recent best LCM time of 2:10:33. If I add on another second and a half for the extra flip turn and another second for having to swim in the morning - I always swim slower in the morning- then it is just about spot on).

Breaking it at the 100 is much more like the actual race situation. If I break it at the 50 I miss all those flip turns. I am the worlds worst flip turner. Officially my 50m and 100m LCM times are slower than my SCM times! I come out of the turn exhausted and gasping for breath. I am convinced if I could swim a 200 without having to turn once I could drop my time by 4 seconds.

Having said that, I think breaking it at the 50 gives you a good idea of how fast your ideal race pace 50 should feel. Quicksilver once suggested that you approach the 200 as if it were 4 x 50's. I like that way of thinking and through doing repeated 50's with minimum rest in between I have been able to dial in to that 50 pace almost automatically now.

Still needs lots of work.

Thanks everyone for your suggestions.

March 30th, 2009, 08:53 PM
I am a big fan of broken 200's. That being said, I do it to add variability to my workout. I used to, to prep for a 200 free in a meet, swim 10 x 200 on 5:00. I would throw in some broken 200s to add variety.

Chris Stevenson
March 31st, 2009, 05:34 AM
Ande's suggestion of 10 sec @ 50s is a standard way to break 200s. Like him, I am usually faster on them than in the actual race.

I also find that it doesn't quite simulate the feel an actual race 200, though it is far better than simple 200 repeats without much rest.

For me, such 200s are best for getting a good sense of pacing. (And that's important.)

Other possible ways to break 200s that can a little better reproduce the race feeling (IMO):
-- 75/75/50, 10 sec rest
-- 100/50/50, 10 sec rest
-- 100/100, 15 sec rest
-- decreasing rest (eg broken at the 50s, take 8/6/4 sec rest).

Perhaps not surprisingly, the less rest you get during the broken swim, the more it feels like the real thing.

March 31st, 2009, 09:22 PM
To be a little contrary, I think how well sets predict your times will vary strongly by the type of swimmer you are. I pretty much never approach race times at practice and find that even broken at the 50, I will do a slower time than in a rested meet. I am not sure if it is just that I have trouble summoning the requisite passion in practice or that I taper well or something else, but I find 50s on 1:00 give me a better idea of the kind of pace I will be able to hold in a 200 and 200s broken at the 100 give me faith I can hold on just fine.