View Full Version : Setting Goals and Splitting the 200

January 21st, 2007, 04:14 PM
A little background: Today I swam in a mini-meet to get a "baseline" time for my 200 scy breaststroke. I'm still very young (26) got back into swimming in October after letting my weight and fitness go to the birds and the last time I truly swam competitively I was 21 (from the time I was seven). Based on some posts on Ande's thread on PB through the years it seems like I should eventually be able to come within striking distance of some of my old PBs. That being said, I've got quite a long way to go but am making very good quick progress.
In late October I started with a 03:26.71 in my 200 Breast (at a meet). Today I swam a 03:13.12 (I was shooting for 3:16, so I am psyched). I have only been able to swim about 45 minutes 5 days a week and was not training for the 200 Breast, just getting some general stroke work in. I should be able to swim for 50-60 minutes 5 days a week for a while through July. I could potentially add 2 dryland sessions to my schedule. I would like to focus on the 200 Breast and get my time to sub 3:00.00 by July. This is no where near close to my former best time in the 200 (2:28.06 but I also did not train for the 200 breast then).
Additionally, I've lost 15 pounds since October (12 to go) and have made significant endurance progress. I figure just loosing the weight and gaining my fitness back will be a huge help on the 200 without changing a thing with my practices.

So my questions:
1) Currently I am not splitting my 200 correctly. Today I was 8 seconds slower in the second 100 than the first 100. I feel that holding back a little on the first 50 could have helped on the rest of the event and just with some proper splitting I could have gone 3-4 seconds faster. So, how can I help to acheive this proper splitting? Are there particular drills or sets I can work on in practice? I have a fear of going out too slow and it throwing off my pace for the rest of the 200.

2) Have I set a reasonable goal time, or am I possibly selling myself short? It's hard to set goals when you're just getting the swing of things again. There is a specific meet on my Birthday that I would like to swim that sub 3:00 at. It's taken me 3 months to drop 10 seconds and I think I could keep up this time dropping pace for a little while. Should I really be setting my sub 3:00 goal for the end of April? What are people's experiences with early master's goals?

Sorry for the long post, I've got a lot on my mind at the moment. Generally I'd like to just hear more about specific things than can be done in practice to help split a 200 non-IM properly and how to set time goals when you're still testing your body's new limits and gaining lost fitness.



January 21st, 2007, 04:29 PM
Kudos on the weight and time dropped so far Michelle. I'm at a similar time to you and want to get to sub 3:00. I 'll keep track of this thread.

You swam today? Does that mean you're not doing the Groundhog next week?


January 21st, 2007, 05:58 PM
Nope, no Groundhog. There was a meet 20 minutes away instead of the 2 hour drive next week would have brought.

January 21st, 2007, 06:17 PM
Nope, no Groundhog. There was a meet 20 minutes away instead of the 2 hour drive next week would have brought.

That's a shame we'd have been in the same heat!! I guess we'll see if anything halfway from there to Danbury comes up. If you don't swim with a group and ever need a "competitive" type workout let me know.

January 22nd, 2007, 01:08 AM

I don't know jack about pacing a 200 breast, but I have never swam anything (with a time I liked) where I dove in and effectively loafed it until the latter half of the swim. Your dive and subsequent length of swimming is going to be the fastest you will be moving the entire length, so I would definetely take advantage of a little of that speed off the start and set a good pace for the rest of your race.

As for practicing, sets of 50s on ~10-15max sec rest working on pace. Work all turns (making sure to use that dolphin kick in the pullout) really well. Do a broken 200 where your focus is on the 3rd 50.

Allen Stark
January 22nd, 2007, 10:38 AM
The books say that 4 sec drop off between 100s is the goal and it is my goal. To do that you need a good sense of pace.Also to do that the first 50 needs to feel easy. In a 200 breast I find if I am going to make a mistake I am better off going out too slow. If you feel strong at the 100 pick it up. By picking it up I find I do better by stroking harder not faster(decrease SPL not increase SR) Then the last 50 increase stroke rate. Here is a good set to work on pace. If your goal time is 3:00 and you want a 4 sec. difference you want to swim the second 100 in 1:32. That is your goal time in workout. Try swimming 8x100 in 1:32(actually early on under 1:36 is close enough) Give your self enough rest to make the time,maybe on the 4 or 5 min. If that seems out of reach try sets of 4X50 holding :46 pace.Lower the rest until you can do them as a true broken 200.
Good Luck and good swimming

January 23rd, 2007, 03:06 PM
It sounds to me that rather than practicing my full stroke breaststroke in longer distances such as 200 or 300 and try to drop the pace by getting to swim full out, I should really try holding on to the pace I want in intervals and slowly dropping the rest. Maybe I'll add in here my own theory that in order to get in practice swimming the full 200, I should be doing sets of 200 or 300 but they should not be sets of full breast and should be drills with full turns.

It sounds like taking the split 200 approach at the correct pace will be a much faster way to drop my time than say sets of 200's trying to increase the speed. Has anyone tried it the other way around, or done some combination of this?

It also seems to match another theory I have heard which is that breaststrokers should swim more drill than full stroke in practice.

January 23rd, 2007, 03:19 PM

Let me chime in with my experience over the last month or so. I did What Allen suggested and found myself keeping my set of 100's to close to a goal time.
I did one 200 straight out after warm up to keep a feel for the length of the race and teach my mind that I can do the distance, and not get myself psyched out. Then I'd do 10 x 100, 10 x 50, 4 x 25 dive in and sprint, w/ easy swim back to the block.

Recently I began dropping the interval of rest on my 100's and 50's to work out the muscle and aerobic part and still found my 100's only dropped by 5 seconds, maybe 6, over the entire 10 reps (10 x100 then 10 x 50).

While doing this I saw my 200 time drop somewhere from 5 to 7 seconds from a base time...somedays I was a bit stronger & energetic than others. I'm tapering a little this week (I'm going to move the interval back out and try to hold a solid time for a few 100's) and have the meet Sunday. I'll report how I do to you...it might help you out.

Would love to keep a dialogue with you on this see what you find works for you etc.