We are watching our team (North Bay Aquatics) race 200 frees here in Clovis, CA this weekend. We have had some well-constructed swims (which have been fast) and some not so well put together which have been disappointing.
This leads us to the basic primer on “how to swim a 200 free” – born in part from Mike McDonald who coaches younger swimmers at the Tiburon Peninsula Club here in northern California.
Mike says to the younger ones if you want to swim a 200 here is all you need to know…talk about the power of keeping it simple. Swim the first 50 like you are giving a stroke demonstration; swim the 2nd 50 giving a stroke demonstration with some extra power added in; on the third 50 show me your kick; on the fourth 50 show me your character. We love the simplicity. And man does it work!
When you look at any of the faster times posted at the collegiate level (there are many this time of year as the conferences hold their championship meets with the NCAA’s to follow) simply check out the results with the splits. The guys and gals swimming up front are swimming the same speed for every lap. The first 50 is always faster due to the dive but the swimming speed is the same…whatever the first 50 is, call it “x”, then the next 3x50 are all “x+2”. The ratios are slightly different for back, breast and fly but when you study how the fastest swimmers manage their energy resources you find that they know how to meter out their reserves such that the speed stays up throughout the swim.
The easy way for a youngster to figure out that process is by the simple instructions of: “stroke demo, stroke demo with some energy, kick, character.
It works so well we recommend Mike patent it!