Reply To: How to Train for the 50 Free

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doc
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Billratio,

I just retired from club coaching (35 years) and have moved (in town) to work as an assistant for a DI school so been a little busy. Just as a reference. I have 4 girls under 23.52 in the 50 and 51.21 in the 100, which I do the planning and work with on a daily basis. I also work with the guys but you asked about women.
We do “25s on 2:00” speed is determined by dividing their 50 time in ½. I use their 1st 50 split of the 100 divided in ½ for “25s on 1:00” The 100 back half pace is determined by using the 100 back ½ split for “50s on 2:00” or your 1:30. Only 2 of the girls regularly swim the 200 free and I use their average speed from 50s 2, 3, & 4 to determine pace for “50s on 1:00” All work is from a push. All times generated are “no slower than speeds” and USRP rules apply for all sets.

Because the majority of them don’t really swim anything other than free they are on a cycle of four days where primary event is 50/100 free and 2 days primary is 200 free with any secondary work being “25s on 1:00” and “50s on 2:00” of a stroke other than free. (Need them for relays).

Your question on doing both 50s on 1:00 and 1:30. It’s fine. What I would do is just have one day where she goes “50s on 1:00” and devote 2 days to “50s on 2:00 or 1:30” whichever one gives her the best chance at holding pace.

The question of “one better than the other” depends on what you’re training for. I would caution you that spending a lot of time with “50s on 1:00” can run the speed and power right out of a true sprinter, especially with high numbers. You have to be careful in how you sequence the work within the workout and the number you’re asking her to do.

The whole speed thing is a tough nut to crack. Couple of years ago I went to track websites and looked at what the top sprint coaches did for development of speed. The common dominator was shortening the distance to achieve the speed needed then they slowly move the distance out to where they could hold that speed i.e. speed constant and distance increasing. Sounds easy enough  but in swimming we have all kinds of issues e.g. can’t hear, 4 people in a lane, could you see 4 track guys in one lane all going at roughly the same time and we have this thing about always having to finish at a wall. You get the idea.

So we have to get creative. I use highway cones (Lowe’s or HD has them) on the bottom of the pool to at least give them an idea of where they have to go to and for use in deep ends. I made a device that just clips on to the lane line that again just gives them a reference point. Perfect no. It’s better than nothing and cheap to make.

On the 20s or any distance that doesn’t finish at the wall you can still figure a time for that use “Distance divided by Time” will equal Velocity in y/S and you can plug that in to any distance. Example: use her 50 BT of 24.84, 50/24.84 is 2.012 y/S. Then take the 20 and divided it by 2.012 and it would be in the 9.94 second range. She now is no longer annoyed  Excel can do this in a heartbeat and you can do it for all kinds of distances 20s, 30s, etc. Just put your highway cone in and go.

On “flag to flag” work. I’ve used this to develop power. They start from under the ba flags (Hwy cone) in a prone float position and must immediately get to full speed and finish under the opposite flags. If you can you can go off a whistle (most places have a heart attack because of the LGs) or off first movement. It’s about being explosive.

Just some thoughts,

Oldschool aka Doc

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