View Full Version : Butterfly sets

October 16th, 2009, 02:16 PM
This is more of a question of curiosity than anything.

I mainly swim freestyle in practice. When we do IM sets, I will do the fly, and sometimes the back parts, but if I am trying to keep up with my lane's interval, I usually skip breast stroke. I have noticed the more fly I swim, the better my cardio feels for longer free sets. So I want to do more fly.

I grew up a freestyler, 50, 100, 200 mostly. I also swam IM, but not the 400. I grew tired of swimming and switched career sports, so I never learned the answer to my question (below).

For individuals who compete in the 100 or 200 fly, or the 400 IM, what kinds of fly workouts do they do?

When I do 15 x 100s freestyle as set, do fly swimmers do 10-15 x 100s fly? That just seems painful to me. I am not sure I could even do 5 100s fly, maybe with fins.

Thanks for the replies.

October 16th, 2009, 02:36 PM
For individuals who compete in the 100 or 200 fly, or the 400 IM, what kinds of fly workouts do they do? Interesting question. I don't know if my approach can be used as an example but anyway. Here's what I've done so far.

In preparation for the Autumn swim season (which began few weeks ago) I spent the whole summer making sure I could swim repeated longish BF intervals. That brought be to be able to perform sets of 200s (BF full stroke) at slow to moderate pace. I could hold 1min/50m easily. My best 200s (meters) would be booked little under 3:45. At this pace, my butterfly looked like this:
YouTube - Base endurance Butterfly - Full stroke (Side View)

Doesn't look nice, but at this pace, I know I won't die. That work was done alone, not in a squad.

Now that I swim in a squad, I won't join the fastest lanes. But in the mid speed lanes, I can do all *choice* or *specialty* or *best stroke* sets at butterfly without being dropped from the set. So far in the season, I managed to book volume in excess of 1000 to 1500 of butterfly. For instance, our last workout was as follow:

600m @ 100relax/50m distance per stroke (free style x 2, and butterfly x 2).

2 x the following block (first block = specialty; second block = freestyle)
- 4x25 off 35sec
- 100 kick, 100 progressive, 100 fast

2 x the following block (first block = specialty; second block = freestyle)
- 4x50 choice off 1min
- 200 Stroke


So in this example alone, I booked 1100m of butterfly (roughly).

Again, it worked for me, don't know if that would work for all. Bottom line, I first made sure that I could lower the energy expenditure of swimming base endurance butterfly (that was a technical challenge more than a fitness one) so that I could perform tons of miles of my favorite stroke.

Calvin S
October 16th, 2009, 03:38 PM
every friday is fly day with my club. two weeks ago the main set was as follows:

4 x 200 @ 2:45 add-on fly desc. 1-4
4 x 200 @ 2:20 AE free
4 x 200 @ 2:45 add-on fly desc. 1-4

add-on fly means you do 150fr/50fly on #1, 100fr/100fly on #2, 50fr/150 fly on #3, and #4 is all fly.

a lot of our fly days involve drills, drills, drills. maybe a long (2.5-4k yd/mtr) set with lots of drill, kicks, and then some 100s descend at the end repeated several times.\


basically fly day will be around 6k yards/meters (so less than the other 5 days we practice a week) but at most 50% of it is fly, and of that, as i said above, only a small percentage is "fast" or endurance fly.

I dont think we have ever done more than maybe 5 100s in a row on an interval all fly. we mix it up.

BR KnuckleDragger
October 16th, 2009, 05:22 PM
If you want to start training for the 2 Fly, start with 25's. Get to where you are can do 8 x 25 fast on a good pace, next add 50's and migrate into 100's. It will take you a while (weeks or months) to get in "Fly shape" use zoomers to start strengthening your core for the Fly on some sets.

In training for the 200 BR I swim broken 200's.
4 Rounds of 4 x 50 with 10 seconds rest

I swim lots of sprint 50's holding my goal split times for the 2BR: :35's (Some are on the 1:00 some are on the 2:00 - see other thread on performance or pace)

I also pull alot of 150's - 200's BR and Kick tons of 50's

I recently started adding Fly and have incorporated the same type of training. Even though I was in shape for free or Breast, I could barely swim Fly. After a couple of months, i'm swimming some descent 100's.

I don't think I would ever even try the 2 Fly...that just seems way to painful although there is a sadistic type of pain during a 2 BR that can make you puke.