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SullyIM
December 21st, 2010, 08:51 AM
I've been working really hard on my 100 IM. I'm a relatively new swimmer and want to improve my times as much as possible before my first ever swim meet this February.

My (perceived) biggest problem in the 100 IM is getting comfortable on the breaststroke leg. After two SDK to start the fly and back I do feel i get my breath under control by the end of the backstroke, but really struggle to get a nice pull out. Sometimes, I even abandoned the pull out and surface straight into the stroke. Then, once I get into the stroke, I feel like I am breathing too often, but not getting any air - almost like hyperventilating.

Does this mean I am going out too hard on fly and/or back. Any drills, sets, focuses to work on to help this? Thanks for any suggestions.

knelson
December 21st, 2010, 10:35 AM
Is it possible your problem is breathing on backstroke? Since your face is out of the water you might be tempted to not breathe rhythmically, but you still should. Concentrate on breathing in whenever your left arm comes out of the water or something along those lines.


Does this mean I am going out too hard on fly and/or back

Probably not. You can't take a 100 IM out too fast. It's a sprint.

ande
December 21st, 2010, 10:58 AM
Keep training hard & get in better shape
Keep working on your IMs.

How do you want to race your 100 IM?

Do it the same way in practice
You should NEVER shorten up your breastroke pull out in a race
It's just a 100, it's going to hurt.
Be well conditioned, physically strong and mentally tough.



I've been working really hard on my 100 IM. I'm a relatively new swimmer and want to improve my times as much as possible before my first ever swim meet this February.

My (perceived) biggest problem in the 100 IM is getting comfortable on the breaststroke leg. After two SDK to start the fly and back I do feel i get my breath under control by the end of the backstroke, but really struggle to get a nice pull out. Sometimes, I even abandoned the pull out and surface straight into the stroke. Then, once I get into the stroke, I feel like I am breathing too often, but not getting any air - almost like hyperventilating.

Does this mean I am going out too hard on fly and/or back. Any drills, sets, focuses to work on to help this? Thanks for any suggestions.

Rich Abrahams
December 21st, 2010, 01:08 PM
Make sure you are exhalling fully on each breath, especially the breaststroke leg. If I don't concentrate on this on a 100 IM I'm totally out of breath going into the freestyle leg.

That Guy
December 21st, 2010, 01:17 PM
Make sure you are exhalling fully on each breath, especially the breaststroke leg. If I don't concentrate on this on a 100 IM I'm totally out of breath going into the freestyle leg.

I think it's also important to mention that the exhale should occur underwater. I've made that mistake in breaststroke before and it is sort of like hyperventilation when you have to exhale and inhale very quickly. I think this topic has come up in freestyle threads before too. And now, by popular demand, random smilies: :cake::worms::cheerleader::bed::banana:

ElaineK
December 21st, 2010, 04:02 PM
And now, by popular demand, random smilies: :cake::worms::cheerleader::bed::banana:


Wooohooo! :bliss:

hofffam
December 21st, 2010, 04:37 PM
Although I agree with Ande - get in better shape, you may also be over swimming the race in fly and/or back. You might be able to dial back a bit in fly, lose .5 seconds, and gain back more than that in breast with a stronger pullout. I found some time ago that I couldn't just blast the 100 IM right of the start. I think the 100 IM is a more demanding race than 100 free, and almost no one swims the 100 free 100% from the start. If your legs are dead on breaststroke, you probably swam too fast on fly/back.

orca1946
December 21st, 2010, 07:23 PM
What do you feel is the weaker stroke in the I m ?

SullyIM
December 21st, 2010, 08:43 PM
Thanks for all the advice, some replies below

I'm a slow swimmer.
Here was a set from a workout I did earlier this week.
16 x 50 (25 fast stroke, 25 EZ free)
1-4 Fly, :18, :17, :17, :17
5-8 Back, :20, :20, :19, :19
9-12 Breast, :21, :21, :20, :19
12-16 Free, :16, :15, :15, :15
My best 100 SCY IM is 1:18 over summer, today I did 1:22 on much less training.

I am pretty sure a breathe regularly on back stroke, but I'll pay closer attention tomorrow.
I do know my exhale occurs underwater on fly, free and breast.
Hard to say which is my weakest stroke, all four? I'll let you guys look at my sprint times and decide for me.

couldbebetterfly
December 21st, 2010, 10:10 PM
Speaking as someone whose back & breast times have been very similar until something clicked only a few months ago, you might find this helpful....or not....

I consider back my weakest stroke and like you on the IM I would be short on breath on the breast pull out due to the panicked, thrashing nature of my backstroke, and then lose the plot on breast, which is my 3rd stroke anyway!

Weird as it may sound working on my backstroke actually "improved" my breaststroke leg. Really kicking hard and getting into a good breathing and armstroke pattern meant that I actually knew how many strokes it would take to do the back length, so I could prepare for a big breath in before starting the breast. Then once you get a good pull out you're in your rhythm.

Always go out fast, my theory is that no matter how shattered you are at 75, you always have enough left for 1 length free.

FTR I do a 1.12, so I'm not super fast either.

swoomer
December 22nd, 2010, 07:31 AM
As a breaststroker, I experimented with this. I had the feeling that I didn't have enough left for the second half of the 100 IM, so I off a little in the fly/back segment. The result was a slow time. So my theory is to swim every leg as hard as you can and live with the pain. It only lasts for a little while!

Jeff Commings
December 22nd, 2010, 10:37 AM
You should never "back off" in a 100 IM. Treat the race as four separate 25 sprints. Never set up one stroke to prepare for the next one.

As Ande said, train for the way you want to swim. You can do some fast 25s to work on your explosive speed, but be sure to also do some fast 100 IMs (with lots of rest) to work on transitions and let your body understand the unique nature of a 100 IM.

You should, however, be more strategic in a 200 IM race (and obviously, a 400 IM).

ElaineK
December 22nd, 2010, 11:42 AM
You should never "back off" in a 100 IM. Treat the race as four separate 25 sprints. Never set up one stroke to prepare for the next one.

As Ande said, train for the way you want to swim. You can do some fast 25s to work on your explosive speed, but be sure to also do some fast 100 IMs (with lots of rest) to work on transitions and let your body understand the unique nature of a 100 IM.

You should, however, be more strategic in a 200 IM race (and obviously, a 400 IM).

Great to hear from you, Jeff! Thanks for posting; I value your advice! :bow:

carlos_fernandez
December 22nd, 2010, 12:17 PM
I've been working really hard on my 100 IM. I'm a relatively new swimmer and want to improve my times as much as possible before my first ever swim meet this February.

My (perceived) biggest problem in the 100 IM is getting comfortable on the breaststroke leg. After two SDK to start the fly and back I do feel i get my breath under control by the end of the backstroke, but really struggle to get a nice pull out. Sometimes, I even abandoned the pull out and surface straight into the stroke. Then, once I get into the stroke, I feel like I am breathing too often, but not getting any air - almost like hyperventilating.

Does this mean I am going out too hard on fly and/or back. Any drills, sets, focuses to work on to help this? Thanks for any suggestions.

Do kick sets of SDK, on your back and on your stomach. I personally prefer no board b/c you get the feel of the required undulation. On my back I'll go half a lap or more and then flutter kick to the wall. On my stomach, 5-6 sdk off the wall, surface one arm fly and then lunge down underwater for 3-5 sdk's. Lather. Rinse. Repeat.

Start off w/ 25's and build into 50's.

Also, in workout make sure you do 4-5 sdk's per lap in fly and back. This way when you get into a race and do 2 sdk's for fly and back, it seems like nothing!

By focusing on SDK's, you are preparing your body and mind for those 4 sdk's in the first half of your 100IM. More importantly, you're working your core, which is good for your overall swimming.

You've received some excellent advice from some truly amazing swimmers. :bow: Pay attention to the sprinting advice. Do sprint 100IM w/ plenty of rest. Also do 50's stroke combos: fly/back, back/breast, breast/free, free/fly. Try doing 8 on the :50 or :55 (focusing on decent stroke and building endurance), then add 10 seconds rest and really focus on stroke, and then finish off w/ 4 or 8 on 1:15 or 1:30 where you're focusing on speed.

BTW, most triathletes would kill for your times. You are NOT a slow swimmer!

coachkopie
December 22nd, 2010, 12:19 PM
A) agree with KNelson. be sure to exchange air and do it rhythmically and consistently in backstroke (that gets overlooked). you will fine your own pattern but a common one is exhale on one arm recovery and inhale on the other etc......

B) remember we EXHALE TO Inhale. play with bobbing and feel and hear the bubbles erupts around your head as you exhale and just before you go to inhale.

++ exhaling is from the torso. through the nose and mouth but not from there. it is from the torso and the bubble must be like an eruption; not a gentle puffy blowing.

C) carry that to breaststroke and:

+ exhale to inhale
+ it is not a long gradual exhale but rather maybe a little nasal exhale but a more explosive exhale (probably from nose and mouth) just before and as you go to inhale.

play with it.

play with it in both relaxed exercises and also under challenging efforts.

raised fitness will help but this is more about rhythm and air exchange than about fitness.

play with it and enjoy the FLOW.

orca1946
December 22nd, 2010, 01:45 PM
All 4 are very unique in the stroke, but you still need to set up a pattern of breathing for each.

coachkopie
December 22nd, 2010, 02:28 PM
once again - bubbles, bubbles and exhale to inhale. if you exhale then go toward your inhale. it is not a spastic rushed exhale nor is it a long gradual exhale. bubbles show you're exhaling into the water and that you are truly exhaling versus puffing from your mouth. through the mouth and nose it is a full release exhale.

regarding going all out - sure a 100 is fast; it is really fast. it is gritty too (try racing a quarter mile on the track) - same basic time element. a great 100 involves laying it on the line. a great effort 100 is an admirable thing - guts and racing gusto. But no one on planet earth can possible go absolutely 100% for a 40 - 50 - 60 - or 70 plus second effort. it is a true grit race but if we can find some level of flow while laying it on the line we will manage our best race possible. nothing slow; nothing tentative but racing gusto with an element of flow and rhythm and full, rhythmic air exchange for most of us mortals are the keys. OK?

SullyIM
December 23rd, 2010, 12:17 PM
Thanks for all the help and suggestions.
I incorporated a lot of them into today's workout.

1. Did 4 x 100 backstroke really focusing on breaths
2. Did 16 x 25 (4 of ea stroke working on kicks of the wall and breakouts)
3. Did 16 x 25 from middle of pool (working on turns, 4-FL to Bk, 4-Bk to Br, 4 Br to Fr, then 4 flip turns)

After all of that I did a smooth 100 IM in 1:25. Obviously slower than my PR, but only a few seconds off a sprint earlier this week and way less effort.

I'm pretty sure I can get sub 1:20 off the blocks now, hoping to shoot for sub 1:15 by end of February.

Karl_S
December 23rd, 2010, 05:23 PM
I've been working really hard on my 100 IM. I'm a relatively new swimmer and want to improve my times as much as possible before my first ever swim meet this February.
My (perceived) biggest problem in the 100 IM is getting comfortable on the breaststroke leg. After two SDK to start the fly and back I do feel i get my breath under control by the end of the backstroke, but really struggle to get a nice pull out. Sometimes, I even abandoned the pull out and surface straight into the stroke.
I sometimes encounter a similar problem on the last turn of a 200 back - I feel so much pressure to breathe that I don't finish a proper kickout before the breakout. One thing I have found that really helps is to breathe rythmically for most of the 7th length, then take two quick breaths followed by a huge lung-filling gulp of air going into the final turn. Of course it is sometimes difficult to remember to do this during a race when every muscle is screaming for me to stop and I'm trying to time my turn just right etc... but as hinted at by many others here, (See kirk's comment below.) finding a good breathing strategy helps a lot.

Is it possible your problem is breathing on backstroke? Since your face is out of the water you might be tempted to not breathe rhythmically, but you still should. Concentrate on breathing in whenever your left arm comes out of the water or something along those lines.

One great thing about backstroke is that breathing does not slow you down! Ande has a SFF tip on backstroke breathing:
U.S. Masters Swimming Discussion Forums - View Single Post - Ande's Swimming Tips: Swimming Faster Faster

and big breaths: Tip 187 Biggest Breath:
U.S. Masters Swimming Discussion Forums - View Single Post - Ande's Swimming Tips: Swimming Faster Faster


You can't take a 100 IM out too fast. It's a sprint.
Kirk is a terrific swimmer, way out of my league, but I'd like to qualify his final comment a little. A 100 is a sprint, but there is some degree of "pacing" even in short sprints. For example , consider this comment from Ande's SFF tip #24:

"Yesterday I spoke with Shaun Jordan (Shaun swam for the US in the '88 and '92 Olympics.) we were talking about the 50 free and he was telling me how Matt Biondi and Tom Jager taught him to build his 50 meter free race, that he needed to relax on the first 10 strokes and build into the wall. Rather than going all out from the start. This allowed him to swim much faster on the second 25."

U.S. Masters Swimming Discussion Forums - View Single Post - Ande's Swimming Tips: Swimming Faster Faster

Here are some other SFF tips with related info:

Tip 71 Sprint Training:
U.S. Masters Swimming Discussion Forums - View Single Post - Ande's Swimming Tips: Swimming Faster Faster

Tip 145 Be well Prepared for the Most Difficult Part of your Races:
U.S. Masters Swimming Discussion Forums - View Single Post - Ande's Swimming Tips: Swimming Faster Faster

Tip 248 Hit Your Targett Splits:
U.S. Masters Swimming Discussion Forums - View Single Post - Ande's Swimming Tips: Swimming Faster Faster

In short, you certainly can kill yourself by going out too hard, even in a 100 IM. Should you go out hard. For certain. But the goal is to swim a 100 IM AFAP. It is not to swim a 25 fly AFAP and then figure out what to do next.

I suspect that there may be an improtant physiological difference between a 100 swum by someone "fast" and a 100 swum by you or I. A fast swimmer might finish a 100 in :50 or less. That's actually closer to a 50 time for us than it is to our 1:20 for a 100 IM. That fast swimmer will probably take out a 100 the way we would take out a 50. In other words, a 100 is much closer to a flat-out effort for a fast swimmer than it is for us mortals. A fast swimmer can do a 200 in sub 1:40. That's a better approximation of our 100 time. Look how the best pace a 200 IM. That might be a good strategy for the 100 IM for us slower folks.


...workout deleted... After all of that I did a smooth 100 IM in 1:25. Obviously slower than my PR, but only a few seconds off a sprint earlier this week and way less effort.
I'm pretty sure I can get sub 1:20 off the blocks now, hoping to shoot for sub 1:15 by end of February.

If you are going an "easy-speed" 100 IM from a push in practice and getting 1:25, then a 1:15 in February rested and tapered sounds like a reasonable goal it me. Good luck. Keep us posted.

carlos_fernandez
December 23rd, 2010, 06:10 PM
In short, you certainly can kill yourself by going out too hard, even in a 100 IM. Should you go out hard. For certain. But the goal is to swim a 100 IM AFAP. It is not to swim a 25 fly AFAP and then figure out what to do next.
But you should be well w/in 1/2 second of your top 25 fly.


I suspect that there may be an improtant physiological difference between a 100 swum by someone "fast" and a 100 swum by you or I. A fast swimmer might finish a 100 in :50 or less. That's actually closer to a 50 time for us than it is to our 1:20 for a 100 IM. That fast swimmer will probably take out a 100 the way we would take out a 50. In other words, a 100 is much closer to a flat-out effort for a fast swimmer than it is for us mortals. A fast swimmer can do a 200 in sub 1:40. That's a better approximation of our 100 time. Look how the best pace a 200 IM. That might be a good strategy for the 100 IM for us slower folks.

Maybe. But with regards to being competitive, a 1:40 200 free = 1:50 200 IM, more or less. You're now well over half a minute longer than the 100 IM of the OP. That makes a major difference.

There really isn't any "pace" involved in the 100IM when you're going btw 14-20 seconds per lap.

If the OP works on breaking down the race in practice and strengthening those weaknesses, plus incorporates TRUE speed work (i.e. repeat 25's on the 30 ain't speed work), he can blow the lid off his times. He's already in that point of no-return zone where he's closer physiologically to the big guns.

And that means taking a 100 out in .75-1.0 of a 50 fly/back. (If he were a little bit faster I'd recommend .5-.8 seconds slower than a 50 fly/back.)

Karl_S
December 23rd, 2010, 08:27 PM
But you should be well w/in 1/2 second of your top 25 fly.
...stuff cut...
And that means taking a 100 out in .75-1.0 of a 50 fly/back. (If he were a little bit faster I'd recommend .5-.8 seconds slower than a 50 fly/back.)
That sounds just about right to me.

SullyIM
December 23rd, 2010, 09:49 PM
B

If the OP works on breaking down the race in practice and strengthening those weaknesses, plus incorporates TRUE speed work (i.e. repeat 25's on the 30 ain't speed work), he can blow the lid off his times.


What is true speed work? Is that like 50s on 3 minutes and the like?

carlos_fernandez
December 24th, 2010, 05:30 PM
What is true speed work? Is that like 50s on 3 minutes and the like?

Yup!

Probably a bit more frequent should be 50's on the 1:30 or 2:00. A really, really easy set to incorporate in any workout is 10x25 on the minute.

knelson
December 24th, 2010, 08:16 PM
Kirk is a terrific swimmer, way out of my league, but I'd like to qualify his final comment a little. A 100 is a sprint, but there is some degree of "pacing" even in short sprints. For example , consider this comment from Ande's SFF tip #24:

"Yesterday I spoke with Shaun Jordan (Shaun swam for the US in the '88 and '92 Olympics.) we were talking about the 50 free and he was telling me how Matt Biondi and Tom Jager taught him to build his 50 meter free race, that he needed to relax on the first 10 strokes and build into the wall. Rather than going all out from the start. This allowed him to swim much faster on the second 25."

Thanks for the accolades, but I can tell you no one would call me a "terrific swimmer" if they watched me swim a 100 IM! I do think Shaun Jordan's advice is good, but I think the key part is the word "relax." I have a feeling what he's really getting at is you don't want to just start slashing and flailing from the start. You want to establish a nice, powerful stroke. There's no way these guys are really holding back on a 50.

As far as the time difference between these swimmers and novices, yes its a factor, but I don't think you should swim the race like a novice because of this. It might be true that the OP could swim a faster 100 IM by holding back a little on on the first 50, but I don't think it's a good precedent. If his goal is to improve his 100 IM he should work on viewing each 25 as a sprint. I can tell you from experience that holding back on the first half is a hard habit to break. Yeah, if you go out hard you are going to crash and burn sometimes, but I think this is better than having too much left at the end of a race.