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Jamesmap2
August 2nd, 2011, 09:05 PM
Hey guys, do you have any strategy to swimming the 50 free?

1) Do you just go as hard as you can and hope you can stay strong till the end?

And
2) Same thing with breathing (if you can't last a lap without breathing) so do you pace your breathing or do you try to last as long as you can and then breath till the end?

nkfrench
August 2nd, 2011, 09:29 PM
Depends on how long it takes you.

If you take >45 seconds to go 50m you'll need to pace it like an elite swimmers paces a 100m race.

Also assuming long course 50m not short course 50m. Breathing strategies may be different if there is a turn involved.

pwb
August 2nd, 2011, 11:18 PM
Hey guys, do you have any strategy to swimming the 50 free?The best way I've found to swim the 50 is to make sure you're in an event where you have to string at least 8 of them together before the race is over.

Jamesmap2
August 2nd, 2011, 11:18 PM
at the moment im @ about 32 seconds and i am training in a long corse pool

jaadams1
August 2nd, 2011, 11:19 PM
The best way I've found to swim the 50 is to make sure you're in an event where you have to string at least 8 of them together before the race is over.

I like that. :) Though 4 50s works for me as well.

Jamesmap2
August 2nd, 2011, 11:20 PM
The best way I've found to swim the 50 is to make sure you're in an event where you have to string at least 8 of them together before the race is over.

Nahh sprinting where its at

pwb
August 2nd, 2011, 11:36 PM
Nahh sprinting where its atWhy? You pay more per yard, get less race time, have to get everything so precisely right to have a good race and, then, even if you drop like A LOT of time for a 50, it's like 0.2 seconds. I personally don't see the attraction ... but, if you want to race these things and do it well, there are two options:


Move to Colorado, secretly follow Rich Abrahams around and do everything he does; OR
Take the next 2-3 years and do everything that Fortress does -- http://forums.usms.org/blog.php?u=4677 -- particularly all that crazy dryland stuff.

fmracing
August 3rd, 2011, 08:54 AM
Why? You pay more per yard, get less race time, have to get everything so precisely right to have a good race and, then, even if you drop like A LOT of time for a 50, it's like 0.2 seconds.

Jamesmap, Don't listen to this guy.... A perfect 50 is a thing of beauty...

pwb, Here's some money to make up for your lost dollars per yard figures: :2cents::2cents::2cents::2cents::2cents::2cents:

^^All intented as sarcastic razzing of the distance guy

Rather than advice from a distance guy that doesn't like sprints. I am a true sprint guy that also does 100's. So here's MY answers to your questions, and they won't involve trying to sway you away from the best event, evar:

1) There is no pace for a 50, every stroke should be propelling you to go as fast as possible, other than, you want to make sure you're not spinning your wheels. Make sure you're getting traction in the water. You should be able to sprint your entire race at maximum effort. If you can't this is a direct function of training. You'll need to work more in practice towards being able to maintain your anaerobic effort longer.

2) I start out every single 50 race with the intention of not breathing for the duration. In masters, I'm at about a 50% ratio of races that I take a breath, and races that I don't. In my younger years I didn't breathe in a 50 swim ever. For ~32 seconds, you will probably need a breath, maybe even two. You have to remember, breathing may help you feel more comfortable, and ride higher in the water if you breath all your air out early, but it isn't going to contribute much to your swim. By the time the air you breathe hits your muscles, the race will be over. You'll want to work some things in practice to help this. Do 50's in practice: 25 breath as much as you want, 25 no breath. Do them every week until you can make the second 25 no breaths for the whole set. Its hard, but it will help. If you're going to breathe, plan ahead during your race. If you don't want to plan ahead exactly when you'll breathe, then tell yourself during the race, "I am going to breath in 6 strokes, in 4 strokes, in 2 strokes... brth". It will help keep the breath nice and short. I put "brth" shortened and lowercase for a reason. No need to gasp for a 50, remember its for comfort and bouyancy only. That air will not help the muscles during the race. If you wait til you MUST breathe, you'll tend to take a huge gasping breath that will not only kill your time, it will throw your stroke off for a few cycles while your arms delay to allow for the huge breath you took.

Speedo
August 3rd, 2011, 10:43 AM
Hey guys, do you have any strategy to swimming the 50 free?

1) Do you just go as hard as you can and hope you can stay strong till the end?

And
2) Same thing with breathing (if you can't last a lap without breathing) so do you pace your breathing or do you try to last as long as you can and then breath till the end?1) No. If you're a sprinter and are truly going all out, you will not make it 25m before fading. Do you think a 100m track runner (9+sec) can keep that pace for 200m (19+sec, w/2nd 100 starting at full speed)?
2) If you can't make the whole 50 without breathing (I can't), then I'd suggest breathing more than once. You don't want to be concentrating on wanting to breathe, so breathe a few times and concentrate more on your technique- don't lose sight of going fast. :2cents:

qbrain
August 3rd, 2011, 11:35 AM
1) Do you just go as hard as you can and hope you can stay strong till the end?

2) Same thing with breathing (if you can't last a lap without breathing) so do you pace your breathing or do you try to last as long as you can and then breath till the end?

1) No. Start out almost as fast as possible and finish as fast as possible.

2) If you need to breath during a 50 you need a breathing strategy and to be efficient at taking a breath while sprinting. The only time you want to be dying for a breath is right at the finish, so take your breathes earlier than you absolutely have to. Oxygen takes time to get from your lungs to your muscles which would indicate that you should breath earlier in the race and there is no point to breath right before the finish.

pwb
August 3rd, 2011, 11:38 AM
Jamesmap, Don't listen to this guy.... A perfect 50 is a thing of beauty... All joking aside, I do agree. What a perfect 50 requires, though is perfection:


Perfect reaction time off the blocks -- work on this throughout the season, both in and out of the water. Get used to jumping/moving quickly to the sound of the beep.
Perfect / clean entry into the water -- think about getting your whole body through the same hole in the water. Rich Abrahams once mentioned (I think it was him) squeezing your glutes off the start and the turns to further tighten the core/the legs/the streamline.
Perfect amount of underwater kicks (dolphin preferred) that allow you to propel from the momentum of the dive, but don't spend too much time underwater on a 50. You generally don't see the elite 50 guys spending the time on their underwater SDKs that you do see from, say, a Phelps or a Lochte on their 200 free.
You need the perfect balance between a high stroke rate and a perfect catch -- turn the arms over too fast and you'll be slipping and not propelling; turn them over too slow and you'll look like one of us distance guys trying to sprint and not be happy with your time.
Perfect turn -- whatever you do, don't breathe into or out of the wall. Snappy, snappy turn -- make sure you're hitting your core exercises outside of the pool. Make sure you know your stroke count at race speed so you don't need to look for the wall. Head down in and out.
Perfect finish & close -- drive, drive, drive to the wall.

Wow. All that required perfection just tires me out.

For the record, I took the 2010 SCM and 2011 SCY season and tried to be a sprinter. I swam lots of 50s, focused on all of the above in workouts and I only ever had one 50 race where I felt like I approached a modicum of decency on all components. I've given up on the 50 because I don't have the attention span to be perfect for 21+ seconds! Give me a race where I can make a mistake or two here and there and not have it blow the final time.

fmracing
August 3rd, 2011, 12:42 PM
All joking aside, I do agree. What a perfect 50 requires, though is perfection:

Good analysis, though much of this (60-70%) shouldn't have to be thought about during a race since you only get a thought or two. Most of these can be perfected and nearly completely preprogrammed during practice, thereby making such an ordeal a lot less tiring.

"There's no time to think up there, if you think, you're dead." :)

I don't want to trivialize some of what you wrote there as they are all valid points, but...

There is only 3 points of discretion, I feel, that a properly prepared sprinter has to actively think about during a race. In my experience... the "lost perfection" part of my races has always been one of these three things:

1) WHEN to initiate the start sequence (reaction)
2) WHEN to turn (turn distance from wall)
3) WHEN to take that digging stroke that will be the last, turn on side, and try to break your fingers on the pad (finish).

Train properly, prepare properly, and nail this trifecta, and you will have a perfect 50 race.

These points kinda digress from what the OP was actually asking though, so I'll leave it there for now.

jaadams1
August 3rd, 2011, 11:55 PM
Take the next 2-3 years and do everything that Fortress does -- http://forums.usms.org/blog.php?u=4677 -- particularly all that crazy dryland stuff.


Just reading this statement almost made me sick!!! :afraid: (just kidding Fort!) :)
I don't think I could put myself through all the stuff Fortress does on a daily basis. My knees would probably explode in the first week of training first of all!!

...but if I could get a cool red convertible for trying it, sign me up!! http://www.usms.org/forums/blog_attachment.php?attachmentid=529&d=1310334791

__steve__
August 4th, 2011, 05:46 AM
Don't stretch prior to the event. I recently found that stretching slows me down over a second.

androvski
August 4th, 2011, 08:49 AM
Don't stretch prior to the event. I recently found that stretching slows me down over a second.
Yes. Avoid static stretching before racing or exercising, since it temporarily hinders your strength and power. Instead, do dynamic stretching.

aztimm
August 4th, 2011, 11:23 AM
What events are you doing before and/or after this 50 free? How much time will you have between them?

While some may argue that breathing during a 50 free has no benefit for it (I am not one), I've found that the more I breathe the better/faster I can recover after, and not suffer too much for other events after it. And if I swam an event within 30 min before, I'll certainly need to breathe more during it.

I don't focus on the 50 free, but will do it as filler between other events. In my last LCM meet, I did the 50m free in about 32. I don't have a breathing strategy, I breathe whenever I feel I need to. If I had to guess, I'd say at least 4 times, and probably closer to 8.

funkyfish
August 4th, 2011, 06:27 PM
Based on my experience, here's what I do:
1) Relax during the start and focus on a snappy reaction (practice this with dives and jumping),
2) Get a huge breath on the start (while leaving the platform) and hope it lasts at least 35m.
3) Focus on a strong, fast kick. The kick sets my tempo for my arms, the faster I kick, the faster I stroke. In watching elite sprinters, they all seem to have monster kicks.
4) Do my best to keep my head down, when my head is down, my feet stay up.

Other points to consider. 50s tend to require more rest/taper than distance events. Training-wise, it's good to swim superfast 15s and 25s to practice swimming at race speed, and swimming with fins will help you find areas of resistance and help with reducing drag.

Good luck :banana: