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jim thornton
November 15th, 2007, 11:18 PM
what is the optimal differential between the first and second 50 on a 100 yard short course freestyle? The first 50 benefits from the dive and the relative freshness of the swimmer; the second 50 requires two turns and contending with lactate and fatigue.

Is it better to go all out and try to hold on, or save a little for the end?

Say you can swim an all-out 50 by itself at 25 seconds. How would you ideally swim the 100?

Example: 25.5 then 28.5 for 3 second differential and a 54.0

or 26.0 and 28 for a 2 second differential and a 54.

Which method do you think is best?

Rob Copeland
November 15th, 2007, 11:36 PM
A lot of how you swim is dependent on what your strengths are and your training. Are you more of a 50-100 swimmer or 100-200+ swimmer?

If you look at what method is best, take a look at NCAA Division 1. At last yearís nationals the average 100 free of the top 50 swimmers was 43.55 with 50ís of 20.72 and 22.83 (difference of 2.11). The smallest difference was 1.36 and the largest was 3.37.

ande
November 16th, 2007, 12:17 AM
ideal is 1.5 - 2.0




what is the optimal differential between the first and second 50 on a 100 yard short course freestyle? The first 50 benefits from the dive and the relative freshness of the swimmer; the second 50 requires two turns and contending with lactate and fatigue.

Is it better to go all out and try to hold on, or save a little for the end?

Say you can swim an all-out 50 by itself at 25 seconds. How would you ideally swim the 100?

Example: 25.5 then 28.5 for 3 second differential and a 54.0

or 26.0 and 28 for a 2 second differential and a 54.

Which method do you think is best?

knelson
November 16th, 2007, 12:30 AM
I really think you should go out as fast as you possibly can. Usually this means you'll be at least a couple tenths off your best 50 (which makes sense because you're slower touching to your feet rather than your hands). Then just try to hold on for the second 50. That said, I've never split a 100 like that in my life, but I still think it's the way to go for the fastest possible time. If you can pull it off you'll have an incredible time. If not, you could die like a dog on that second 50, but at least you went for it and maybe it will inspire you to train harder and actually be able to do it next time.

Rob Copeland
November 16th, 2007, 12:58 AM
IUsually this means you'll be at least a couple tenths off your best 50. One more stat from 2007 NCAA's. The average 50 time was 19.76, almost a full second slower then the first 50 split in the 100 (20.72).

david.margrave
November 16th, 2007, 01:02 AM
This is something I'm interested in, I have some relevant pictures from an SCM meet last weekend. I didn't quite go all out on the first 50 (my 50 free event time the next day was 28.34), but even still I slowed way down and got passed by 2 people on the 2nd 50. I was pretty much out of steam on the last 25.

SwimStud
November 16th, 2007, 08:13 AM
Here's a second's worth of progress in 6 months...

Splits for 100 Free SCY

April 07
34.79, 34.57 = 1:09.36
October 07
30.53, 37.66 = 1:08.19

Ummm far from optimal! This is what happened when I did it Kirk's way (not his at his suggestion...I just did it). I also forgot to breathe on the first 25. I was looking for a 1:05 or less but it was over by the time I got to the first turn. I know I told a few of you about this before but I only got the splits yesterday...enjoy!
"Death by Piano" :rofl:

The Fortress
November 16th, 2007, 09:28 AM
I really think you should go out as fast as you possibly can. Usually this means you'll be at least a couple tenths off your best 50 (which makes sense because you're slower touching to your feet rather than your hands). Then just try to hold on for the second 50. That said, I've never split a 100 like that in my life, but I still think it's the way to go for the fastest possible time. If you can pull it off you'll have an incredible time. If not, you could die like a dog on that second 50, but at least you went for it and maybe it will inspire you to train harder and actually be able to do it next time.

Ack. I could never do this. As Rob points out, I think this method works better for people who train a lot or are more geared toward 100-200.

However, that said, I should definitely take my next 100 free out faster than my last one. But the prospect of "dying like a dog" is so unappealing ...

pwolf66
November 16th, 2007, 09:37 AM
SS: where'd you get the splits from? I forgot to write mine down :cry:

Fort: Dying like a dog huh? Yep, I'm still having that problem. We'll see if I can keep the splits within a second or 2 at Zones. Shooting for 30,32 at Zones and I have been trying to train 100s that way.

Paul

SwimStud
November 16th, 2007, 09:38 AM
Hey SS, where'd you get the splits from? I forgot to write mine down :cry:

Paul

Searched the results database section on USMS.org and it's also posted on a PDF

pwolf66
November 16th, 2007, 09:41 AM
Ah, the one's posted on the Patriot Masters site did not have splits.

The Fortress
November 16th, 2007, 09:52 AM
Ah, the one's posted on the Patriot Masters site did not have splits.

Official results and splits are up now. They were unofficial before.

I am a whimpy sprinter, scared to die like a dog. So my one and only 100 free, my splits were 1.3 seconds apart and I went out much slower than my 50 free PR. So I'm going to attempt to go out somewhat faster next time. But I won't try this tactic for a 100 fly. Too ouchie.

knelson
November 16th, 2007, 10:41 AM
I think the reality is almost everyone's going to hold back a little on the first 50, that's why you need to go in with the mentality that you're going to go out as fast as you can. I do agree with Rob that your training and swimming strengths are a factor. Unless you're in great shape taking out the first 50 within a second of your PB is going to take its toll on the second. However, I think if you are in great shape and want the fastest possible 100 free this is what you need to do.

JimRude
November 16th, 2007, 11:18 AM
Although I have always been more of a 50 than a 100 swimmer, from a psychological point of view it always felt better to come from behind and (figuratively speaking) run someone down than to be leading and desperately try to hang on...

Stillhere
November 16th, 2007, 11:47 AM
Going back 45 years or more I always was told/coached that the rule of 2 applied if you were in good shape.

stussy96
November 16th, 2007, 12:08 PM
Going way be to when I was little (we're talking no older than 14ish), my coach would always give our splits at meets. Our goal was to make them as close as possible or within a second or 2.

Sometimes, mine would be a difference of like 4 seconds. He would say "It looked like you were dragging Yamahas behind you! You know, those big pianos!" Funny how the piano sayings seem universal with some other coaches, according to our stories...

Or, in things like breast/fly, if we pulled ourselves way up out of the water on the turns to get some extra air "you looked like Godzilla!".

Needless to say, going back to topic, your splits should be pretty close. Obviously, that first 50 will ALWAYS be the fastest, espcially with the start, but your other 50's shouldn't be that far. In distance, you should be holding fairly steady 50 to 50 with little fluctuation.

Then there's the 200, the worst distance/sprint known to man. It's in a category of it's own. I hated it with a passion. Talk about dragging Yamahas. That same coach told me to "take it out quick the first 50, cruise that middle 100, then bring it home the final 50. Don't save any for the dance."

He had a lot of sayings...

quicksilver
November 16th, 2007, 12:34 PM
First 50...one second off your all out time.
Second 50...take that time and add 2 seconds.

The four second differential appears to be consistent between the average bear and the elite swimmers.


I have a quirky formula which has proven to be accurate in guessing at one's 100 time...take the best 50 time (x2)...plus 4 seconds.
It usually comes with half a second of the 100 time.

pwolf66
November 16th, 2007, 02:32 PM
Hmm, with your math I should have gone about 53-54 instead of high 56 in my last meet but I do not think that your calculations take into account the 'endurance of a dead squirrel' factor :thhbbb:

Paul

The Fortress
November 16th, 2007, 03:11 PM
Hmm, with your math I should have gone about 53-54 instead of high 56 in my last meet but I do not think that your calculations take into account the 'endurance of a dead squirrel' factor :thhbbb:

Paul

It doesn't work for me either. Way off. I'm thinking it's not accurate for yardage slacker masters? Could just be a real underachiever, I guess.

quicksilver
November 16th, 2007, 03:21 PM
Hi Paul,

Having seen that your swimming career is newly resurrected...I understand where you're coming from.
In my first year back...at age 41...the piano drop on the 3rd turn was inevitable. It was like swimming through concrete.

Four years later, the stamina has returned...and I can nearly even split the 100.
In due time your dead squirrel feeling will be a distant memory... Until you start doing 200's. :D


"It doesn't work for me either. Way off. I'm thinking it's not accurate for yardage slacker masters? Could just be a real underachiever, I guess."

At some point the body adjusts to whatever work load you're giving it. Training at a harder interval for a longer duration is tough. But everyone can learn how to adjust as long as the change isn't radical. Sooner or later the interval which seemed impossible gets easier to swim through. That's when the times start dropping.

In a way a more challenging workout forces you to swim with economy and effectiveness. ...tighter streamlines, better body posture...more dolphin kicks...Anything that will assist you in picking up a second here and there will have a positive effect.

The Fortress
November 16th, 2007, 03:43 PM
"It doesn't work for me either. Way off. I'm thinking it's not accurate for yardage slacker masters? Could just be a real underachiever, I guess."

At some point the body adjusts to whatever work load you're giving it. Training at a harder interval for a longer duration is tough. But everyone can learn how to adjust as long as the change isn't radical. Sooner or later the interval which seemed impossible gets easier to swim through. That's when the times start dropping.

In a way a more challenging workout forces you to swim with economy and effectiveness. ...tighter streamlines, better body posture...more dolphin kicks...Anything that will assist you in picking up a second here and there will have a positive effect.



So maybe it would help if I did some 100 frees in practice or meets? :joker:

I thought us sprinters were supposed to be doing serious race pace work with more rest. But now you're saying to do tougher intervals ... I guess we have to do some of both? I've just gotten very fond of my semi-regular set of 32 x 25 or 16 x 25 ...

Does your 3 second theory hold for the strokes too or just for the 100 free? Must be a higher differential for strokes. Plus, does the 3 second differential for the 100 free hold for every age group?

swimr4life
November 16th, 2007, 04:17 PM
I LOVE the 100 free! It is my favorite race!!:banana: When I'm in shape.... I split it about 0.5 seconds off my best 50 time on the first 50 and then bring it back on the last 50 about 2-2.5 seconds slower than the first.

richabrahams
November 16th, 2007, 04:42 PM
Instead of talking about the number of seconds for the differential, why doesn't it make more sense to calculate the percentile differential based on your best time? The NCAA men (all in incredible condition and way beyond what masters might hope hope to achieve) average a 4.85 percent differential using Rob's figures from last year's NCAA's (2.11 seconds divided by 43.5 seconds). So if your best 100 is one minute, and you were in fantastic shape, the differential should be more like 2.91 seconds. 3.4 seconds if your 100 is a 1:10

Personally, I'm more of a 50 swimmer. When going all out (due to the pain, once or twice a year is sufficient) I try to be within 1 second of my 50 time at that meet and usually average in the high 2 seconds differential (2.7 seconds when I went a 49.1 a couple of years ago). That year my training was really focused on tolerating those lactates. You've got to pay the price for a fast 100.

Rich

aquaFeisty
November 16th, 2007, 04:44 PM
I was stuck at a 1:03high 100 free for 10 years until I decided to just take the race out hard, maximize my pain as much as possible and let the time take care of itself. Wouldn't you know, I went a 1:02.

Last year, I went a lifetime best 1:00.6 splitting it 28.3, 32.3. At the same meet, I went a lifetime best 50 free of 27.6. I tried to take out the 100 as if it were just a 50. I had a rotten turn #2, so I think I'd have been pretty close to my 50 time if it had been a hand-touch and I'd not breathed from the flags in.

If I say to myself, "I'll take this 100 out just a hair under my 50 speed," it doesn't seem to work. I go out 1.5-2.5 seconds slower and the second 50 hurts only fractionally less. Yes, there was a 4 sec differential on my 100 free splits, but that 32.3 is the fastest I've ever come back in the 100, even if I go out in a 30. This was with a training base last year of 3 days/week for <10,000 yards/week. Definitely not ideal.

quicksilver
November 16th, 2007, 04:57 PM
So maybe it would help if I did some 100 frees in practice or meets? :joker:



Does your 3 second theory hold for the strokes too or just for the 100 free?

Must be a higher differential for strokes. Plus, does the 3 second differential for the 100 free hold for every age group?



To swim a strong hundred...you do need a strong engine. The 50 might be one of the few events where you can escape the guillotine of lactic acid that drops down on most people around 30 or more seconds into a strong effort. When you think about it...the 100 is an endurance sprint. The last lap is where your homework can pay-off.

I think you could still do your sprints...just put 4 of them together at a time. That kind of training is grueling. Keeping yourself on a solid diet of tight intervals combined with the speed work is a great recipe. Some masters do very very well with as little as 2500 to 3000 yards a session. It all depends on how hard the work load is.


And yes that formula works great for any stroke ...any age...Did it work for you?

I've tried it for the Cesar Cielo going sub 19 for the 50...
18.69 plus 1 = 19.69
19.69 plus 2 = 21.69

19.69 plus 21.69 = 41.38 (with a.50 margin) That works.
He went 41.17.


And for the average Joe...<best 50 time of 27.50>...
27.50 plus 1 = 28.50
28.50 plus 2 = 30.50

28.50 plus 30.50 = 59.0 (with a.50 margin) 59 to 59.50 is the outcome.


Our age group kids who try to break "the minute" always seem to do it once they nail a 50free at 27 seconds.

knelson
November 16th, 2007, 05:09 PM
And yes that formula works great for any stroke ...any age...Did it work for you?

I've tried it for the Cesar Cielo going sub 19 for the 50...
18.69 plus 1 = 19.69
19.69 plus 2 = 21.69

19.69 plus 21.69 = 41.38 (with a.50 margin) That works.
He went 41.17.

So there was actually an error in the formula as you originally stated it. It's actually twice your fastest 50 times plus four seconds, not three.

The Fortress
November 16th, 2007, 05:13 PM
To swim a strong hundred...you do need a strong engine. The 50 might be one of the few events where you can escape the guillotine of lactic acid that drops down on most people around 30 or more seconds into a strong effort. When you think about it...the 100 is an endurance sprint. The last lap is where your homework can pay-off.

I think you could still do your sprints...just put 4 of them together at a time. That kind of training is grueling. Keeping yourself on a solid diet of tight intervals combined with the speed work is a great recipe. Some masters do very very well with as little as 2500 to 3000 yards a session. It all depends on how hard the work load is.


And yes that formula works great for any stroke ...any age...Did it work for you?

I've tried it for the Cesar Cielo going sub 19 for the 50...
18.69 plus 1 = 19.69
19.69 plus 2 = 21.69

19.69 plus 21.69 = 41.38 (with a.50 margin) That works.
He went 41.17.


And for the average Joe...<best 50 time of 27.50>...
27.50 plus 1 = 28.50
28.50 plus 2 = 30.50

28.50 plus 30.50 = 59.0 (with a.50 margin) 59 to 59.50 is the outcome.


Our age group kids who try to break "the minute" always seem to do it once they nail a 50free at 27 seconds.

No, the 3 second forumula doesn't seem to work for me. But I'm more of a 50s swimmer. However, my 100 free may have been due to some race inexperience -- first time swimming it since college. I'm swimming the 100 free SCM in Dec. and plan to take it out faster.

Although I do typically train only 4x per week, 2500-3500 per session, I do a lot of intense training. I do lactic acid sets, lots of sprinting and shooters, and also some aerobic work (did 20 x 50 backstroke on :45 a couple weeks ago.) But I think, perhaps because of the intensity of the training, my 100s are starting to improve. Not yet at the 3 second differential. I think I'll aim for 5 or so.

Rich is right though. To do some good 100s, you need to be busting your ass in practice with some fast lactate swims. Or, as you note, it helps to have an engine.

quicksilver
November 16th, 2007, 05:29 PM
So there was actually an error in the formula as you originally stated it. It's actually twice your fastest 50 times plus four seconds, not three.


I was waiting for the hole poking. From an engineer no less! :doh:


One second off of best 50...then 2 more seconds over that time...is four!
I guess that's where the .50 fudge factor came about.

"It's actually twice your fastest 50 times plus four seconds, not three."





Thanks kirk. :)

The Fortress
November 16th, 2007, 05:33 PM
"It's actually twice your fastest 50 times plus four seconds, not three."

Thanks kirk. :)


Thanks Kirk too! That makes me feel better!

hofffam
November 16th, 2007, 05:45 PM
I really think you should go out as fast as you possibly can. Usually this means you'll be at least a couple tenths off your best 50 (which makes sense because you're slower touching to your feet rather than your hands). Then just try to hold on for the second 50. That said, I've never split a 100 like that in my life, but I still think it's the way to go for the fastest possible time. If you can pull it off you'll have an incredible time. If not, you could die like a dog on that second 50, but at least you went for it and maybe it will inspire you to train harder and actually be able to do it next time.

I think this is bad advice. In the first 25 seconds of all out swimming you will exhaust your anerobic capacity. Lactic acid will quickly develop and you will fade quickly. Your splits will be too far apart and your time will be worse than if you had swum the race correctly. I don't have the monster book Swimming Fastest with me but it offers race guidance. I think it suggests the 1st 50 is about 1 second above your best 50. It aims for the 2nd 50 about 2 secs above the first 50.

knelson
November 16th, 2007, 05:58 PM
I think it suggests the 1st 50 is about 1 second above your best 50. It aims for the 2nd 50 about 2 secs above the first 50.

But how much slower, really, is "one second above your best 50" when we're talking a split to your feet rather than a hand touch? Maybe 0.5 seconds? That ain't much. Do you think slowing down by half a second in the first 50 is going to make that huge of a difference in your second 50? I don't.

swimr4life
November 16th, 2007, 06:09 PM
Everybody is different... so you have to find what works for you and your body type. (fast twitch or slow twitch muscles) If I go ALL OUT on the first 50, I DIE A PAINFUL, "PIANO ON THE BACK" DEATH! :violin:

I have to hold a little back on the first 50. The times that I have gone all out, I have not swam well. The last 25 is in slow motion....like swimming in jello and much slower.

Syd
November 16th, 2007, 06:51 PM
I really think you should go out as fast as you possibly can. Usually this means you'll be at least a couple tenths off your best 50 (which makes sense because you're slower touching to your feet rather than your hands). Then just try to hold on for the second 50. That said, I've never split a 100 like that in my life, but I still think it's the way to go for the fastest possible time. If you can pull it off you'll have an incredible time. If not, you could die like a dog on that second 50, but at least you went for it and maybe it will inspire you to train harder and actually be able to do it next time.


I think this is bad advice. In the first 25 seconds of all out swimming you will exhaust your anerobic capacity. Lactic acid will quickly develop and you will fade quickly. Your splits will be too far apart and your time will be worse than if you had swum the race correctly. I don't have the monster book Swimming Fastest with me but it offers race guidance. I think it suggests the 1st 50 is about 1 second above your best 50. It aims for the 2nd 50 about 2 secs above the first 50.

That is the way Roland Schoeman did it in Athens and it seems to be his preferred way of approaching the 100m. He shares the world record for the 100m free SCM with Ian Crocker (46.25). He also has the world record for the 50m free SCM (20.98) and the 50m fly LCM (22.96).

Some may argue that it was exactly this approach that cost him the gold in Athens. Watch it here: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=h2ihO7RLXgg He goes out in a blisteringly fast 22.60 (this is less than a second faster than his best all out 50 - I think he went a 21.74 once but I just can't find it now) and comes back in 25.63 for a total time of 48.23. Only 6 hundredths of a second off Van Hoogenbrand! His split difference is 3.03. Imagine if he could get that second 50 to within 2.5 seconds of the first....that would be under world record pace. You can see the wheels starting to fall off in the last 25m and Van Hoogenbrand gains steadily on him. Now perhaps if he had gone out in a 22.90 it could have made all the difference....

Syd

Glenn
November 16th, 2007, 08:05 PM
Jim,

If I am correct, you are more of a distance guy. As others have said, each person is different. Many people have told me to swim the 100 all out. It doesn't work for me. My best 100 swim in several years was at Federal Way.

1st 50 - 27.12

2nd 50 - 27.19

I held back on the first 50 and had enough left to not have to contend with the piano! It worked for me.:groovy:

jim thornton
November 16th, 2007, 09:48 PM
Thanks to everyone for excellent advice. I am swimming in a little meet on Sunday and may try an experiment: go out slightly slower on the first 50 than I did at the last little meet we had, and see if I can postpone death long enough to recoup the difference.

It's funny because the same basic idea sort of applies to the 200, I think, and I did almost identical best times trying the two different stategies.

One time I went out in 57 and came back in 58, for a 1:55.+

The other time I went out in 55 and came back in 1:00, for a 1:55.+

The second race was much more agonizing than the first, though neither one was much of a picnic.

Obviously, if the race is a 50, you can't exactly go out a little slow on the first 25 to save up for the second!

One final thought-question: a friend from yesteryear gave me a race strategy that seemed to work pretty well for the 100 when you aren't in peak shape. It was this:

Go out the first 50 as fast as you can while staying smooth--no thrashing

The third length, concentrate on stretching out your stroke till you reach the far flags. At this point, begin a dead sprint. Do the turn as fast as possible and give it all you have left on the final length.

This sometimes works for me because concentrating on smoothness the first 50 keeps you fast but not dead all out fast; then you have the psychic rest of the third length just trying to keep your stroke long and fluid.

Then the true miserable hog-wimpering death march only lasts 25 yards, and we should be able to endure that, right, no matter how wimpy and--in Leslie's words--ouchee-avoidant we may be.

But, having said this, I have never done my best times using this strategy.

Anybody else have a solution?

The Fortress
November 16th, 2007, 10:05 PM
One final thought-question: a friend from yesteryear gave me a race strategy that seemed to work pretty well for the 100 when you aren't in peak shape. It was this:

Go out the first 50 as fast as you can while staying smooth--no thrashing

The third length, concentrate on stretching out your stroke till you reach the far flags. At this point, begin a dead sprint. Do the turn as fast as possible and give it all you have left on the final length.

This sometimes works for me because concentrating on smoothness the first 50 keeps you fast but not dead all out fast; then you have the psychic rest of the third length just trying to keep your stroke long and fluid.

Then the true miserable hog-wimpering death march only lasts 25 yards, and we should be able to endure that, right, no matter how wimpy and--in Leslie's words--ouchee-avoidant we may be.

But, having said this, I have never done my best times using this strategy.

Anybody else have a solution?


This is similar to how I swam a recent 100 back LC and 100 fly SCY. Seemed to work pretty well for me. I was happy with the times. I might have done a tad more "building" on the third length. But that, in a nutshell, is essentially how I swim 100s right now on my limited yardage. No way can I go "all out" on the first 50. That piano is freakin scarey. It hurts like hell anyway, but no need for a hideous piano IMHO.

Allen Stark
November 18th, 2007, 12:34 AM
Leslie asked about other strokes.100 BR should be about 3-3.5 for SCY,4 for LCM.I like to go out 1 sec slower than my best 50 in BR.(Sorry to hijack this to BR,but thats what I know.:banana::banana:)

jim thornton
November 22nd, 2007, 12:22 PM
In September, in one of our little local meets, I swam the 100 SCY in 54.53.

Alas the splits aren't posted, but I am almost certain I went out fast and died,
with the differential being well over two seconds (maybe even 3).

A week ago, I tried it again with an intention of going out slower, taking the
third length smooth, then sprinting all out.

This was a much less agonizing proposition, I must say, and my time did go down slightly.

Splits this time:

54.21 26.17 28.04 (differential 1.87)

For what it's worth, just telling myself to relax slightly kept my arms from prematurely
tightening up.

A friend also told me an interesting strategy for the 500, which I tried at the same meet.

1st 50--just a tiny bit faster than comfort zone (ftcz)
next 100--a little slower than comfort zone (stcz)
next 50--ftcz
next 150--stcz
next 50--ftcz
next 50--stcz
final 50--sprint!

Maybe it was just the mental distraction of trying to remember all this,
but it also worked in helping lower my time from a 5:42 at the September meet to
a 5:37 at this one.

Now, perhaps I should simply concentrate in getting into shape...