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shera
January 30th, 2015, 03:28 PM
Any advice on how to train for a 100 and 200 breaststroke? I don't get to do a lot of breaststroke in practice with my team. But I swim on my own once a week, so I'd like to add a set specific to the 100 and 200 breaststroke, especially the 200. So I'd appreciate any suggestions on how to train for that event. 200 breaststroke is my best and favorite event, but I've not raced much since I was a kid, so I never put any thought into training specifically for it. Thanks!

ElaineK
January 30th, 2015, 06:35 PM
Any advice on how to train for a 100 and 200 breaststroke? I don't get to do a lot of breaststroke in practice with my team. But I swim on my own once a week, so I'd like to add a set specific to the 100 and 200 breaststroke, especially the 200. So I'd appreciate any suggestions on how to train for that event. 200 breaststroke is my best and favorite event, but I've not raced much since I was a kid, so I never put any thought into training specifically for it. Thanks!

Yes. Read the following thread and do everything King Frog (Allen Stark, the one with the frog avatar) says to do! :D
http://forums.usms.org/showthread.php?16584-The-Breaststroke-Lane&highlight=The+Breaststroke+Lane

secondheart
January 30th, 2015, 08:52 PM
My best event is the 200 breast. Practicing breaststroke once a week on your own is simply not enough. Like you the majority of my team work outs are freestyle. I modify the work outs by swimming last in the lane and swim breaststroke - for example - 10x50s on :50 ( I swim 4x50s breaststroke @200 pace, 1x50 easy free, 2x50s breast @ 100 pace, 1x50 easy free, 2x50s breast @ 100 pace). You can make other modifications on other sets - makes the workout more interesting (so long as you press the pace).

pwb
January 30th, 2015, 09:16 PM
Shera,

First of all, the 200 breaststroke is a beautifully difficult event. The 200 fly gets all the "street cred" as being the biggest, baddest 200 stroke event, but those of us in the know fully realize that the 200 breast is a beast.

As for training for it in your team workouts, my recommendation would be to move to a slower-interval'd lane and do breaststroke when everyone else is doing freestyle. After all, freestyle sets are, well, free-style and any stroke is allowed.

My second bit of advice would be to suggest to your coach that freestyle-centric only workouts are boring, not in the best interest of developing his/her swimmers and, well, boring ;)

As for your days when you train by yourself, this is a golden opportunity to do some pace work. At the risk of exposing myself to flaming for blatant self-promotion, I'd suggest you try my workout #3 (done breaststroke instead of IM) from this week's Stroke & IM workout thread - http://forums.usms.org/showthread.php?24867-Week-4-Start-Jan-26th-(Cycle-1-400-IM-focus). For me, this set is a very good predictor of what I'm going to be able to do in a meet for a 200.

Allen Stark
January 30th, 2015, 10:59 PM
Due to my knees being twitchy,I don't do much full stroke BR in workouts,so I do about 300 as BR and the rest as BR pull/dolphin kick with fins.Depending on your age and the health of your knees you may want to do the same.
Secondheart and pwb both have great suggestions.
One point I would really emphasize is,after warm up,do all your BR at race pace.There is no reason to teach your body to swim slowly.When you need to go slow and recover,go freestyle.
The USRPT sets http://forums.usms.org/showthread.php?22783-Ultra-Short-Training-At-Race-Pace work well for both the 100 and 200 BR,although I find I need more rest than recommended by Rushall,about a 1:1 swim to rest ratio(BR is just more labor intensive than free.)
This is my favorite set for the 200 BR: 5X300 on the 5-6-or7 min.Swim the first 100 at 200 pace with the goal time of matching your ideal split for the 2nd 100 of your 200.Then the final 200 as free recovery.The reason for variable rest is because you need to allow enough rest to make the interval.Ideally,you would start each 300 about as tired as you would be after your first 100 of the 200 in a race.
My favorite set for 100s is similar, 8X200 first 50 is BR at 100 pace,goal time the ideal split for the second 50 of your 100,then the final 150 is recovery speed free.Interval for me is 4-5 min,but YMMV,remember the rest is enough to make sure you can hit your goal time.

Viktor_Dembski-1969
January 31st, 2015, 02:27 AM
Due to my knees being twitchy,I don't do much full stroke BR in workouts,so I do about 300 as BR and the rest as BR pull/dolphin kick with fins.Depending on your age and the health of your knees you may want to do the same.
Secondheart and pwb both have great suggestions.
One point I would really emphasize is,after warm up,do all your BR at race pace.There is no reason to teach your body to swim slowly.When you need to go slow and recover,go freestyle.
The USRPT sets http://forums.usms.org/showthread.php?22783-Ultra-Short-Training-At-Race-Pace work well for both the 100 and 200 BR,although I find I need more rest than recommended by Rushall,about a 1:1 swim to rest ratio(BR is just more labor intensive than free.)
This is my favorite set for the 200 BR: 5X300 on the 5-6-or7 min.Swim the first 100 at 200 pace with the goal time of matching your ideal split for the 2nd 100 of your 200.Then the final 200 as free recovery.The reason for variable rest is because you need to allow enough rest to make the interval.Ideally,you would start each 300 about as tired as you would be after your first 100 of the 200 in a race.
My favorite set for 100s is similar, 8X200 first 50 is BR at 100 pace,goal time the ideal split for the second 50 of your 100,then the final 150 is recovery speed free.Interval for me is 4-5 min,but YMMV,remember the rest is enough to make sure you can hit your goal time.

Allen, what do you think, for example, about a series of 4 x 50 m with a rest of 10 seconds or 2 x 100m? As training for the 200m breaststroke?

Allen Stark
January 31st, 2015, 11:44 AM
Allen, what do you think, for example, about a series of 4 x 50 m with a rest of 10 seconds or 2 x 100m? As training for the 200m breaststroke?

4X50 with 10 sec rest is a standard broken 200.Those are great. I can't do 2X100 with short rest and hold the 2nd one at race pace,if you can then go for it.
Actually I realized I do some other things that aren't strictly race pace,but are interesting for variety such as
1) 200 BR sprint the first 50 and then hold your stroke as best you can. This is good to get past the fear of going out too fast,but these really hurt.
2) 5X50 BR on the minute,maximum of 2 sec over your goal time for your last 50 split,but never take more than one less stroke/length than your race goal. This is great for DPS and streamlining.
3) 200 BR descend each 50 with the last one as near as possible to your final 50 goal split(you need to have a pace clock you can clearly see at the turn.)

shera
January 31st, 2015, 08:24 PM
Thanks, everyone for your replies and set suggestions! Don't get mad at my "freestyle-centric" coach...he does a great job and also gives a lot of choice sets...I just don't like to be the only one swimming breaststroke and losing out on precious rest. But with a little creativity, I can definitely get in more breaststroke during my workouts with my team.

Alan, yes my knee is also a little twitchy. I only do breaststroke after a long warmup, and I've been doing some different dryland exercises recommended by a physical therapist to strengthen and stabilize. So I don't have knee pain, but I'm definitely mindful of changes and joint health as I get older.

Today happened to be the day I swim on my own, and I tried PWB's workout. I printed it and brought it to the pool, then realized I didn't understand some of the lingo...and I don't know my base times. There is definitely a learning curve...which is good, because it make things interesting. So I will have to look up some of the terms (Indiana IM kick?!?) and figure out this whole base time concept. (Our coach had me figure out a 100 free base in the fall, but I need to do the same for strokes.)

I ended up instead doing Alan's 5x300 breaststroke set (except I only did 3 because I ran out of time.) I really liked the set. I used my split from the second 100 of my most recent 200 breaststroke race as a base time. I was two seconds slower on the first one, one second slower on the second one, and I hit it on the third one. I do find it hard to stay relaxed when I'm trying to swim at race pace, but that will hopefully come easier with practice.

Thanks again!

Allen Stark
January 31st, 2015, 08:33 PM
I ended up instead doing Alan's 5x300 breaststroke set (except I only did 3 mbecause I ran out of time.) I really liked the set. I used my split from the second 100 of my most recent 200 breaststroke race as a base time. I was two seconds slower on the first one, one second slower on the second one, and I hit it on the third one. I do find it hard to stay relaxed when I'm trying to swim at race pace, but that will hopefully come easier with practice.

Thanks again!

Nice, I am glad you liked it .