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ElaineK
February 26th, 2013, 06:29 PM
OK, Forumites, I need help figuring this out... :help:

I am a breaststroker, for sure; definitely best at the 50. It goes downhill from there, according to how my times fall on the (outdated, I know) 2010 Motivational Times Charts. Since I have always been a speedster in general (definitely a rabbit, rather than a truck), I thought of myself as a sprinter. And, my 50's in all strokes rank higher than my 100's and 200's.

BUT, my coach declared me a true distance swimmer, after I swam my 2,000 fly (and felt better at the end than at the beginning), negative split my back-to-back 3k and 1k open water swims, and negative split my 400m free and 800m free races on my first attempt. He also whips me on the first half of our training sessions, but I get stronger and start negative splitting during the second half of our 4,000 yard workouts.

More evidence: According to the Motivational Times Chart, I rank highest in the 50 and 1650 freestyle and poorest in the 100 and 200.

So, what gives? I'm best at the extremes, but, even when I correctly split my 100's and 200's, they :censor:. Any ideas as to why this is and whether I am truly a sprinter or distance swimmer? :dunno:

thewookiee
February 26th, 2013, 07:35 PM
One possible thought, when you are at meets, how are your warm-ups designed? Are you focusing more on the 50's in warm-up? This might be a simple fix, get in a bit longer warm-up at the start of the meet. You say you are doing better as your practices go on, so maybe that is what you need at meets.

SuperChloe
February 26th, 2013, 07:54 PM
I don't know that this is really helpful, but I am way better at the 500 and the 50 than I am at the 100 or 200 freestyle. In fact, if I ever swim the 200 free again, it will be too soon. I think I either need to go ALL OUT, or I need to pace myself (for freestyle). I'm not capable of going all out in the 100 or 200 free (apparently), and I wasn't even when I was in tip-top shape in high school. That said, the 200 back is my all time favorite race. I used to classify myself as a sprinter, but now I don't box myself in. I like/am good at some events, I don't like/am not as good at other events. Who cares? I'm a grown up now, I can do what I want! :bliss:

ElaineK
February 26th, 2013, 09:52 PM
One possible thought, when you are at meets, how are your warm-ups designed? Are you focusing more on the 50's in warm-up? This might be a simple fix, get in a bit longer warm-up at the start of the meet. You say you are doing better as your practices go on, so maybe that is what you need at meets.

My typical meet warm-up is 4x100 free (increasing speed on each one), 4x50 breast drill, 2x100 IM, a couple of build breaststroke 25's (build to sprint) and a couple of breaststroke starts off the blocks with a fast breakout. I also warm-up before any race event that is more than 30 minutes after the previous warm-down. I can't sit on the bench too long at all; especially before a breaststroke race.

By the way, 50's and long events are also my best in practices when I practice "race" them.

ElaineK
February 26th, 2013, 09:55 PM
I don't know that this is really helpful, but I am way better at the 500 and the 50 than I am at the 100 or 200 freestyle. In fact, if I ever swim the 200 free again, it will be too soon. I think I either need to go ALL OUT, or I need to pace myself (for freestyle). I'm not capable of going all out in the 100 or 200 free (apparently), and I wasn't even when I was in tip-top shape in high school. That said, the 200 back is my all time favorite race. I used to classify myself as a sprinter, but now I don't box myself in. I like/am good at some events, I don't like/am not as good at other events. Who cares? I'm a grown up now, I can do what I want! :bliss:


I need a "like" button for your post! :applaud: By the way, I am going to try racing 200 backstroke for the first time next month. As a matter of fact, I am going to race the 50, 100, and 200 backstroke, instead of breaststroke, for the first time as a trio.

slow
February 26th, 2013, 10:36 PM
What are your goals as a masters swimmer? To be the best at something? To be a good teammate? To have fun rivalries?

Or are you asking: How do you know if you are mostly flat-twitch, mostly slow-twitch, or evenly split? Because there are fairly good tests for that.

ElaineK
February 27th, 2013, 09:51 AM
What are your goals as a masters swimmer? To be the best at something? To be a good teammate? To have fun rivalries?

Or are you asking: How do you know if you are mostly flat-twitch, mostly slow-twitch, or evenly split? Because there are fairly good tests for that.

​See above!

mcnair
February 27th, 2013, 06:10 PM
My guess is that you're probably evenly split between slow and fast twitch muscle fibers (most people are if I remember correctly), but that you're better conditioned for the two extremes.

I have some other suspicions based on my running experience... those long-sprint to middle-distance races are extremely difficult to train for: 400, 800, 1600-meter runs (I think of the 200s and 400 IM in this vein, but there are a lot of similarities between the 400-m run and the 100-m swims too); and yet, if you take even a short break or do a week of EZ running, they are the first distances to suffer. Not so with endurance events (your 10K to marathon pace is not going to suffer from a week or two of easier running, if anything your race times might improve as you get that spring back in your step)... or with pure sprints, where muscle memory and sheer turnover matter more.

If I remember correctly from reading about this when I was planning my training for running, the middle distance events require you to push your lactate threshold ever closer to your VO2Max... that requires a lot of physical discomfort (400-m and 800-m repeats at 1600-m pace in running; 400-m repeats are so much nicer at the 10K pace!). Don't know if this makes any sense.

SuperChloe
February 27th, 2013, 06:17 PM
mcnair, I think that makes a lot of sense. Really interesting! I'm glad I'm not the only one who finds the 200 to be absolutely killer.

ande
February 27th, 2013, 07:10 PM
you go both ways, some can do it, most can't
Don't have an identity crisis,
Come out of the closet and accept what you are
Be loud be proud
After all, you are the original Elaine-Iak

ekw
February 27th, 2013, 08:27 PM
mcnair, I think that makes a lot of sense. Really interesting! I'm glad I'm not the only one who finds the 200 to be absolutely killer.

I think the 200 free might be my least favorite race. Anything shorter than a 200 I just go as hard as I can and resign myself to being a slow-twitch person. Anything longer I can pace. But the 200? Ugh.

ElaineK
February 27th, 2013, 08:56 PM
you go both ways, some can do it, most can't
Don't have an identity crisis,
Come out of the closet and accept what you are
Be loud be proud
After all, you are the original Elaine-Iak

:ohyeah:

slow
February 28th, 2013, 01:06 AM
Sorry, I wasn't understanding and still might not be clear. But I don't think this is the type of feedback you were wanting?

Regardless, if you wish to explore simplistic tests for slow twitch vs. fast twitch, here are a couple of ideas:

http://www.brianmac.co.uk/musclefibre.htm
http://www.fasterbetterstronger.com/id43.html

The first you can do in the weight room using various muscles on different machines/stations. The other is a vertical jump test. There are other types of tests given on the internet. I don't know the details -- I was tested much younger and I was always extremely on the endurance side.

But beyond the physical attributes, there are other factors like mental outlook and emotional composition that play a big role in determining what is "best" for us. Not to mention that being able to master certain strokes (in a technical sense) and being smart (about strategy and splitting) can mask that we don't have much natural talent at that stroke/distance.

hnatkin
February 28th, 2013, 08:26 AM
You might consider a longer meet warmup. I do about twice what you are doing in warm up to get ready since I start out with a nice long 500 before I do my pace 100s. Based on your tendency to get stronger as you go longer, it might be worth a shot next week at St Nicks.

__steve__
February 28th, 2013, 08:39 AM
Sometimes I think we are chiefly products of our training, natural ability is just a head start. In my humble opinion you were naturally a sprinter, but worked hard enough on the other extreem to improve there as well

fatboy
February 28th, 2013, 12:33 PM
I agree with Ande - be happy you are so versatile!

Good at the 50, good at the 1650. Maybe you are going out too fast in your 100 and 200 races? 50 is all out so it doesn't matter. 1650 has enough race left to recover if you are out too fast,. Since it is so long you are less likely to go out as fast as you might in a 100 or 200.

What do your splits look like. A lot of people more qualified that me to comment on this but it was my first thought.

ElaineK
February 28th, 2013, 04:44 PM
Sorry, I wasn't understanding and still might not be clear. But I don't think this is the type of feedback you were wanting?

Regardless, if you wish to explore simplistic tests for slow twitch vs. fast twitch, here are a couple of ideas:

http://www.brianmac.co.uk/musclefibre.htm
http://www.fasterbetterstronger.com/id43.html

The first you can do in the weight room using various muscles on different machines/stations. The other is a vertical jump test. There are other types of tests given on the internet. I don't know the details -- I was tested much younger and I was always extremely on the endurance side.

But beyond the physical attributes, there are other factors like mental outlook and emotional composition that play a big role in determining what is "best" for us. Not to mention that being able to master certain strokes (in a technical sense) and being smart (about strategy and splitting) can mask that we don't have much natural talent at that stroke/distance.

Thanks, slow. I put part of your quote in bold, because that was what I was trying to figure out. Not only was I looking for an explanation as to why I am best at the extremes (very short or the longest distances) in racing; but also how I can figure out what my body is objectively best suited to race.

You bring up a good point; the mental aspect is a big part of it. But, I guess that was part of my question, as well. Why do I gravitate (mentally) to the extremes. And, no, Forumites, I am not a schizophrenic! :afraid: (But, I will gladly 'fess up to being appropriately nicknamed by Ande as "Elaine-Iak") :D

Thanks for the links! I will give those tests a try after my next meet and see how it goes...

ElaineK
February 28th, 2013, 04:48 PM
You might consider a longer meet warmup. I do about twice what you are doing in warm up to get ready since I start out with a nice long 500 before I do my pace 100s. Based on your tendency to get stronger as you go longer, it might be worth a shot next week at St Nicks.

St. Pat's? ;) Great suggestion; I'll give it a try- unless we do not have access to the cooler 50m pool. The kiddie pool was HOT last year and I had a physical meltdown after my 100 breaststroke race; almost completely down for the count right after the race, due to my heat intolerance problem.

ElaineK
February 28th, 2013, 05:01 PM
I agree with Ande - be happy you are so versatile!

Good at the 50, good at the 1650. Maybe you are going out too fast in your 100 and 200 races? 50 is all out so it doesn't matter. 1650 has enough race left to recover if you are out too fast,. Since it is so long you are less likely to go out as fast as you might in a 100 or 200.

What do your splits look like. A lot of people more qualified that me to comment on this but it was my first thought.

My backstroke splits at my last meet were: 44.67, 48.12. I thought that was pretty good for my first attempt at 100 back. My 200 breaststroke splits were: 47.08, 53.07, 53.71, 52.43. My time was pathetic; 4-6 seconds off my typical time, due to having to kick at less than 100% power due to an injury. I won't even give you my 100 breaststroke split; my leg was THIS close to further injury during the first 50 and I had to back off the power almost completely. My stroke count skyrocketed because of it.

When I raced 400m and 800m free, my splits were on a bell curve, negative splitting towards the end and the worst in the middle.

orca1946
February 28th, 2013, 05:20 PM
A woman for all seasons & distances !!! Which do you like to do best ?

hnatkin
February 28th, 2013, 06:54 PM
St nicks, St Pats... Too many Sts to keep track of. I hope the 50 m pool is open. That little pool is scary. I don't even want to think about what's growing in that hot water! See you next week!

ElaineK
February 28th, 2013, 09:58 PM
A woman for all seasons & distances !!! Which do you like to do best ?

Both! :bliss:That's my biggest problem when it comes to swim meets; choosing which events NOT to do!