View Full Version : What to train for for Nationals?

January 24th, 2013, 01:37 PM
I swam my first meet of 2013 (after taking a break from meets since November) last weekend and had a blast. However, it posed a conundrum for me in terms of what to train for for Nationals in Indy. I swam the 400 IM, 100 back, 100 IM, and then breast on our 200 medley relay.

Here's the issue. I'm still not in good enough shape in the water to be as good an all around swimmer as I used to be. Prior to the meet, I considered myself to be good at the 100/200 back (my 50 is pretty sucky, since I can't find the top gear), decent at the 50/100 fly, and decent at the 100/200 IM. However, I did much better in the 400 IM than I expected, and also had a very solid (for me) 50 breast on the relay, neither of which I thought would happen.

Last weekend was the first time in about 8 years that I'd swum the 400 IM at a meet, and only the third time I'd swum it (counting swimming it in practice) in the same timeframe. I'd entered the race due to a bet with a teammate, and hadn't trained for it at all. My race management was horrible--took the fly and back out waaaaay too slow, hammered the breast too hard, and then died on the free. On top of that, none of my walls were anything spectacular; I fiddled with my goggles a couple times on the backstroke portion; aaaaand I had eaten only a bagel and cream cheese that day. All that said, I went a 5:09, which was substantially faster than I expected. Just through better race management and working on walls, I most likely could have been under 5:00. The cut is only a 4:50, which I believe is well within reach.

Secondly, I swam a low/mid 32 breast leg on our 200 medley relay. I haven't swum breast on a relay in probably 15 years, haven't swum it in a meet in 8 years, and have done absolutely no breast training this year. That swim was with an absolutely godawful start (long story short, the guy swimming back messed up his stroke count, which screwed up my windup, so I almost fell off the block on top of him, and had no forward momentum on the start...and I was laughing for the first 25). The cut in the 50 is a high 30, which could conceivably be within reach if I actually spend any time working on breast in practice for a change.

Sooooo...all that said, here's the situation:

I'm definitely continuing to train for the 100 and 200 back. The 50 is ancillary and will come with my 100 training. I think I'll just swim the 100/200 at Nats.
I'll start training for the 50/100 fly. I trained for them leading up to last year's spring Nats, but have only done maintenance training for fly since then, so my times are currently only in the same ballpark as last year's times.
Which events should I pick for my other two to swim at Nats? By the time it comes to register, I should have cuts in the 50 fly and 100/200 back for sure, and possibly the 100 fly, as well. Should I train for one of the IMs? As I stand right now, I'm theoretically closer to achieving the 200/400 cuts than the 100 cut, even though I have considerably more time to drop in the latter two events than the 100. Or should I train for the 50/100 breast? My walls are by far my strong point in breast, and it now appears that I might actually have some speed on top of that.

100/200 back and 50 fly are locked in for Nationals, and I'll most likely add in the 100 fly on top of that. What should I train for to pick the other two events I'll swim at Nats? Should I train for the 200 IM? How about the 400 IM? Or should I train for the 50/100 breast?

I've got five more meets between now and the entry cutoff for Nationals, so I've got time to figure out a gameplan for the next 3 months of training.

What do y'all think?

January 24th, 2013, 05:44 PM
Looking over your post and the order of events in Indy - I would choose this scenario: FRI - 400IM/50BR, SAT - 50FLY/200BK, SUN - 100BK/100FLY. Since you like competing in all the strokes, it makes for a difficult decision come race day. Completely understand. If you really like the 400 IM and with some fine tuning in your race, sounds like you have a nice shot at a cut - so I say go for it! I'm a bit bias, I'm a former 400 im swimmer. ;) Obviously, as you train for the mega IM, it will definitely help all the strokes. I am also all for spreading out my events at Nats (for recovery, food, relays, social time, etc) - just something to think about if you are definitely in for the 2-back... will you want the 100 breast before it? Me personally? No, because that race is a bear and I'd want plenty of rest - but Nationals is a very long meet. So if you want to go that route... it's just a matter of having a good plan in between races. However, give yourself one or two more meets to decide on your events... I'd race that 400 im again soon :). I am not a coach and I could be way off... but good luck to you and I look forward to hearing about what you're going to enter!