Swimming Faster Faster: Tip 12 Correct Splitting
We must correctly split our races to swim the very best times we are capable of. One of the things that makes Michael Phelps such a great swimmer is he splits his races very well. He can swim the second half of his best events faster than anyone ever.
He once split a 100 LCM FL 25.1 26.3
It's amazing how close his first and second 50 were
only 1.2 sec diff, flyers tend to split 100 fly 2.0 - 3.5 seconds apart when you subtract the first 50 from the last.
The bulk of this comes being in great condition from training long hard and smart. The other critical factor, is making wise choices on each race you swim. It's about the effort you exert over the race and breathing you do.
There's 3 categories onhow to split races
1) Correct splitting, which means taking our races out at just the right effort level to maximize your time in the event. Take it out right and finish tough.
2) going out too hard and dying
3) going out too easy and not swimming the best possible time
Correct splitting begins with the 50 and goes on out to the 1,650 and beyond for you open water swimmers.
One way to measure splitting is calculate the split difference.
to subtract the time from the last half of the race from the first half.
Last half time - first half time = split difference
After studying elite swimmers splits for many years here are some guidelines on how to split races when you compare the first half to the second half.
50's Fr and Back 0.5 - 1.0, Breast and Fly 1.0 - 2.0
Effort: you want to swim fast and relaxed with a super strong kick
100's Fr and Back 1.0 - 2.0, Breast and Fly 2.0 - 4.0
Effort: you want to swim fast and relaxed with a strong kick
typical 100 freestylers take out their 100 free about a second slower than their best 50, so if you go 20.0 in the 50
you should be around 21.00 taking out your 100.
200's Fr and Back 0.0 - 5.0, Breast and Fly 2.0 - 6.0
200's are controlled sprints. When we compare the last 3 50's
the better swimmers will keep them very close together
Effort: Warning if you take your 200 out too hard,
it's going to hurt and
you're not going to do the best time you're capable of.
As an example Michael Phelps split 48.8 in the Olympics on the 4 x 100 free relay, at olympic trials he was out in 52.0
so you should swim a 200 at around 95% effort,
The first 100 of a 200 should be about 2 to 4 seconds slower than your best 100 time.
It's similar to the 200, but you need to relax more and hold back more. The first 100 should be comfortable, the next 4 100's should be close together. Ideally descended. Save your legs for a strong finish.
Let's look at an actual 200 Free example because in the same heat it shows what to do and what not to do.
In the 2004 men's 200 free at the usa olympic trial finals,
compare Michael Phelps and Klete Keller's splits with Nate Dusings
1 Phelps, Michael 19 North Baltimore 1:46.27M
25.29 52.01 (26.72) 1:19.39 (27.38) 1:46.27 (26.88)
2 Keller, Klete 22 Club Wolverine 1:46.87M
25.79 52.58 (26.79) 1:19.78 (27.20) 1:46.87 (27.09)
3 Vanderkaay, Peter 20 Univ. Of Michigan 1:48.52
25.44 53.01 (27.57) 1:20.58 (27.57) 1:48.52 (27.94)
4 Lochte, Ryan 19 Daytona Beach Sw 1:48.65
25.21 52.69 (27.48) 1:20.51 (27.82) 1:48.65 (28.14)
5 Ketchum, Daniel 22 Univ. Of Michigan 1:48.67
26.03 53.41 (27.38) 1:21.15 (27.74) 1:48.67 (27.52)
6 Goldblatt, Scott 24 Berkeley Aquatic 1:48.76
25.78 53.69 (27.91) 1:21.13 (27.44) 1:48.76 (27.63)
7 Carvin, Chad 30 Mission Viejo 1:48.93
25.38 53.01 (27.63) 1:20.94 (27.93) 1:48.93 (27.99)
8 Dusing, Nate 25 Longhorn Aquatic 1:49.83
24.51 51.59 (27.08) 1:19.86 (28.27) 1:49.83 (29.97)
Nate took his race out too hard. Michael and Klete kept their last 3 50 times very close to each other. Keep in mind the top 2 got to swim the 200 free at the olympics and to top 6 earned a Gold medal for the 4 x 200 Free.
How much faster would Nate have gone if he had correctly split his race?
He would have had a very good chance at top 6.
Races are won and lost on the last 50,
best times are done or not done because of the last 50.
I've had races in my life that I split very well and others that I split poorly.
One of my best splits was a 100 scy free in 1984
44.77 21.5 23.2 23.2 - 21.5 = 1.7 sec diff
Perhaps my worst EVER was a 200 LCM fly at TAGS in 1981
when I was 18
2:17 1:00 1:17 77 - 60 = 17 second difference
To correctly split your races:
1) begin by being in great condition from training hard, smart, and long and being propertly rested for your race.
2) CORRECTLY SPLIT YOUR SWIMS IN PRACTICE
work on correct splitting, even splitting and negative splitting each day when you train. Learn what the effort feels like. It's all about the effort you exert and how hard you kick.
Know what you're capable of and how the effort feels.
3) swim smart in races,
Pay close attention to the effort you exert,
especially your legs,
you can't swim your best time in a 200 free if you start out at 100%. You'll go fast for a while then shut down.
If you correctly split your races you will Swim Faster Faster.
If you don't you won't.