View Full Version : Training for 200 yard Event in 77 Days!

March 16th, 2013, 10:22 PM
Hi everyone, this is my first post here. I'll make this short and sweet.

I know many of these threads have been made, and I have read many of them. I am training for a 200 yard test on June 1st (that leaves 77 days from now). I need to make at least 2:45 on the test, but like to get at least 2:30. I have never swam (for timed races) before until about a month and a half ago and I can now swim about a 200 yard (8x25 yard laps) while pushing myself very hard (i'm GASSED after that). I never timed myself for the full 200 yard swim but I swim a 50 yard in about 45-48 seconds (this is without going all out, but at a slightly above "comfortable" pace) so this translates to about 3:00 to 3:10 seconds for a 200 yard. My question is: what should I do to train to meet my goal?

I currently lift weights (full body workout, just started), and run about 20-25 minutes a day (without stopping) to increase cardio. I am unsure if I should focus more on building strength (by lifting weights), improve technique (i know i have poor form), or just swim?

Thank you for helping me meet my goal!

March 18th, 2013, 02:19 AM
There's a lot here... your age is a determining factor for starters; i.e., the older you are the harder it will be to make the kinds of physiological changes that you need to make very quickly in order to meet your goal in 77 days.

200s are not comfortable events when swum hard... you have to swim them like almost all-out sprints, but the distance is too long to be able to maintain your all-out sprint speed, so technique is really important, turns are really important. The training for middle distance is about making your body more comfortable with the uncomfortable (which will make ever faster paces seem comfortable).

All the weightlifting in the world is not going to help you swim faster if you don't simultaneously work on technique, swimming efficiency, feel for the water... all of which you can only really get from swimming. In fact, weightlifting could actually slow you down if you don't do the right exercises, the right way. Lots of drills in the pool will help you more with technique.

To be able to swim a 200 fast, you have to be able to swim longer than 200 at a normal pace without getting tired. To be able to swim 200 in 2:45 you have to average about :41 per 50, so your absolute max speed to something faster than :41. Swim some 300s, 400s, 500s at slower speeds if you can maintain technique (this will improve your endurance); then swim a lot of hard 25s and 50s to try to get your top speed faster... swim 100s and 200s to bridge the gap between your aerobic pace (the longer stuff) and your sprint pace (the short stuff)... this is your anaerobic zone, where your 200 lives, teaching your body to deal with ever increasing levels of lactic acid; push your threshold back farther and farther. But mix it up, get in the pool as often as possible, increase yardage slowly, take an easy day after a really hard day to let your body recover and rebuild... then attack it again.

And have someone look at your stroke, maybe find someone to swim with, you'll swim faster with someone else pushing you.

March 18th, 2013, 02:59 PM
mcnair's advice above is good. Get a coach as stroke improvement will make you much faster than just getting fitter. I would cut the running and swim as much as possible up to 6 times a week. You might need to ramp up to this depending on your current fitness. Weights can be good but focus on things like pullups, seated row, and dips. Also stop lifting weights 2 weeks before your test to let your muscles fully heal.

The next time you are in the pool after warming up rest for about 5 minutes and do a 200 swim for time to see exactly how fast you are now. You should do this once a week to track your progress and just doing this it will help you get faster. You can also swim a broken 200y such as: 100y, 10s rest, 50y, 5s rest, 50y. Work towards trying to finishing this broken 200y in under 3m.

What kind of suit are you wearing? You don't need an expensive suit but a speedo style or skintight jammer style suit and a swim cap will help. If you are wearing a baggy jammer now just changing to a proper suit could cut a second a length from your time.

Good luck.

March 19th, 2013, 03:49 PM

why are you going to be tested for a 200 yard swimon June 1st ?
What are your current times for 2, 50, 100 & 200 free?
How important is the goal to you? what will you earn if you make it? what will you lose if you don't?
what should I do to train to meet my goal?

you are unsure about what to focus on, building strength (by lifting weights), improve technique (i know i have poor form), or just swim?

Only swimming is swimming.
how are you training for it now?
How important is swimming a 2 fr in 2:45 to you?
What your training time budget? hrs per day? times per week? alone or with a team?
what's your age, height and weight?

How are you training now?
What suit do you plan to wear when you test?

please answer my Qs


you can greatly benefit from simple technique improvements
Learn how to dive, streamline, glide, & turn
new swimmers tend to kick too hard
Proper pacing can help a bunch, new swimmers to swim way to hard on their 1st 50 and die a painful death on the last 150
get in better shape