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JPEnge
November 30th, 2017, 01:34 PM
I've got a bug in my head that I want to break 1:00 in the 100 breast at Nationals in May. I was a backstroker/IMer in college and so never got a chance to swim breaststroke races rested (or really any breaststroke races at all - I think I did about 2 100s and 2 200s my whole college career). I did a 31.2 SCM 50 on 2 months of training (after 6 years off) with a completely jammed turn so I think this isn't an unreasonable goal.

Problem is, I know breaststroke training is a bit different than anything I have experience in - I'd probably wear out my knees and/or pull a groin trying to just sub out some of my best backstroke sets with breast. Anybody have insight on good drills or sets for building breaststroke speed? I'm most interested in learning about 1) progressive type stuff - things I can repeat or build on and be able to measure progress, and 2) drills for building effective stroke rate.

ElaineK
November 30th, 2017, 05:00 PM
I'll bet King Frog (Allen Stark) has takes a stab at this one! King Frog?

Meanwhile, check out this thread for a BUNCH of great breaststroke info: http://forums.usms.org/showthread.php?16584-The-Breaststroke-Lane&highlight=The+breaststroke+lane (http://forums.usms.org/showthread.php?16584-The-Breaststroke-Lane&highlight=The+breaststroke+lane)

Allen Stark
November 30th, 2017, 07:30 PM
Not sure about a coherent program, but here are some thoughts. SCY BR is nearly as much about underwaters as SCY BK. If you have good streamlining and good breath control that will really help. Make sure you are really warmed up before you do any BR kick in a workout. I have started doing eggbeater kick with snorkel in warm up to get my legs ready to kick. Do some really slow BR in warm up to work on technique and to get loosened up. Then,still in warm up, increase the speed until you get to at least 200 pace intensity. In the actual workout, I do only race pace BR or faster. The USRPT idea of 25s at race pace with 15 sec. rest is OK, except it doesn't help the turns and doing them with a turn at the end makes it hard to quantify. For this reason I do mostly 50s at 100 pace. To save my knees I don't do many 50s as full stroke, doing mostly BR pull/dolphin kick with fins as that still gets the timing right,It is a good drill for timing and for faster than race pace feeling. Then I finish with AFAP eggbeater 25s with snorkel. I find eggbeater kicking is much easier on the knees, uses the same muscles as the kick, and really gives the legs a workout. You can do them as vertical kicking if you prefer.
For the turns, make sure you are in a tight ball for the turn, then make sure you are in a ridged line for the streamline. You only get one dolphin kick, so make it a good one. Similarly, you only get one pulldown, so make it really strong. Shrug your shoulders to streamline after the pulldown. As you slow down make your kick and then immediately begin the next pull, just make sure your head breaks the surface before the insweep(you probably knew all that, but it bears repeating.) Good luck on your quest, see you at Indy.

JPEnge
December 1st, 2017, 10:01 AM
Thanks ya'll!

I like the idea of the eggbeater kick, Allen. And my "training" such as it were has gotten to be much more USRPT-style as I only have an hour a session and usually can only go a couple times a week, so I skew toward shorter pace work than longer aerobic stuff (incidentally that's probably why I will never be a 400 IMer again :P ). The breast/dolphin kick with fins also is probably a good addition - I'm very gangly (6'1" with 6'8" wingspan) but not a freakishly strong kicker like a Cordes/Dugonjic type so I need to build the handspeed but it's tough for me with the long arms/legs.

As for the turns/pullouts... I have those down pretty well. That's probably the only thing breaststroke-related I don't need any help with! I "came of age" as the dolphin kick pullouts were legalized and they were basically my saving grace in IM events, so I've fine-tuned them a lot - and surprisingly they came back really quickly when I came back to the pool.

Swimspire
December 1st, 2017, 12:36 PM
As Elaine suggested, I would definitely check out the Breaststroke Lane forum thread for some great information. Allen Stark also wrote a great article about his approach to breaststroke training: http://www.swimspire.com/swimming-training-philosophy-and-practice-with-dr-allen-stark/

Olympic silver medalist Kristy Kowal also demonstrated some great drills you can try to incorporate into your own workouts: http://www.swimspire.com/breaststroke-drill-video-series-olympian-kristy-kowal/

However, as you pointed out in your earlier post, focusing consistently on one particular stroke does come with some risks of injuries, so incorporate anything new into your workouts slowly. Good luck!

Debugger
December 2nd, 2017, 12:17 AM
I've got a bug in my head that I want to break 1:00 in the 100 breast at Nationals in May. I was a backstroker/IMer in college and so never got a chance to swim breaststroke races rested (or really any breaststroke races at all - I think I did about 2 100s and 2 200s my whole college career). I did a 31.2 SCM 50 on 2 months of training (after 6 years off) with a completely jammed turn so I think this isn't an unreasonable goal.

Problem is, I know breaststroke training is a bit different than anything I have experience in - I'd probably wear out my knees and/or pull a groin trying to just sub out some of my best backstroke sets with breast. Anybody have insight on good drills or sets for building breaststroke speed? I'm most interested in learning about 1) progressive type stuff - things I can repeat or build on and be able to measure progress, and 2) drills for building effective stroke rate.

As a breaststroker who's PB for SCY is 1:07 and SCM 1:15, I would also like to break 1:00.
Don't want to sound pessimistic but it seems to me that more likely scenario is described in another thread about Masters getting slower faster and faster while getting older. :cane:
Swimming 5 to 6 times a week, doing drills, stretching doesn't really help.

Debugger
December 2nd, 2017, 10:29 AM
As Elaine suggested, I would definitely check out the Breaststroke Lane forum thread for some great information. Allen Stark also wrote a great article about his approach to breaststroke training: http://www.swimspire.com/swimming-training-philosophy-and-practice-with-dr-allen-stark/

Olympic silver medalist Kristy Kowal also demonstrated some great drills you can try to incorporate into your own workouts: http://www.swimspire.com/breaststroke-drill-video-series-olympian-kristy-kowal/

However, as you pointed out in your earlier post, focusing consistently on one particular stroke does come with some risks of injuries, so incorporate anything new into your workouts slowly. Good luck!

The approach, which Allen describes in the article only partially works for me. It's fine for 50s and 100s but for 200 I discovered that after a while I my splits are getting worse, because I lack endurance.
For me if I need to prepare 200br I need 3 more phases when I work 1) on endurance 2) on threshold. About 2 months prior to the race I'm ready to the 3rd phase lactate tolerance. Without doing this homework my second half of 200 is falling apart (getting a bad split). One month prior to the race my focus switches to sprint and my workouts start looking more like what Allen describes.

I don't have a separate day for drills. In my case times in the sets are worse if I don't do some drills, therefore, I do them daily. Also I do some sprint and threshold work during all phases, but obviously the amount of sprint work will be significantly higher during the last month before the race. During last 2 weeks I completely eliminate any sets causing building lactate in my muscles and focus on all out short sprints with significant amount of active rest (very easy freestyle). This glycolysys system preparation boosts my times and I feel refreshed when I approach to the race. The race itself also goes smoothly and the split is more even.

This approach works for me. It requires some time spent for planning, significant focus while working on glycolysys system to maintain good technique and persistence to follow the plan to the end. At certain point there's a significant mental battle, because you feel tired and it seems that you are not reaching your goal but if everything is done correctly during the taper the feeling is that you are a superman.