Race Strategy

We will endeavor to post on the bottom of this page recent trends towards even pace swimming in elite swimming (world records and gold medal performances) - Last updates 4 August 2012.

 

 RACE STRATEGY - EVEN PACE SWIMMING

At every swimming meet, be a local club meet or the Olympic games, their will be swimmers (and parents) of swimmers that believe that the laws of physiology don't apply to them.  It's incredible how often some try to defy basic biochemistry, and they all come up with the same answer.

We even hear commentators making the mistake with statements like "being tough", "giving yourself a chance" and "wont die wondering".   Athletes can win this way, but the argument is they could have won by more with a more even spread of effort. 

At Knox Pymble we very lucky to have over 100 years of coaching experience between the current coaching team.  It is important that swimmers and parents put their trust into the coaches advice, and learn from our observations of countless races and take advantage of our experience over the decades.  Swimmers must see their coach right before heading to the Marshalling Area.  It is of upmost importance that our parents do not undermine and contradict the coaches advice and instructions.

Watching the Olympics (and other sport)  we have all witnessed examples of athletes being over taken at the final stages of their race.  Some sports requiring continual muscle contraction and therefore pace judgment include:

Swimming is no different.  We would prefer to have our swimmers finishing over the top of our rivals in the final stages than vice versa.

(As I'm typing up this advice I hear Robert de Castella explaining, during the womens 10,000 at the 2012 London Olympics, that the best way for the women to pace the race is to run it as evenly as possible!)

The only way to swim races is to have an Even Distribution of Effort; roughly even pace with allowance for dive.  Daniel GYURTA'S provided us with a great example, winning the mens 200 BR and setting the World Record in the process at the 2012 London Olympics:

Ideally for Backstroke and Freestyle events the first quarter of the race should be roughly 2 seconds faster (allowing for the dive) than the other 3 segments of the event.  For Butterfly and Breaststroke this is a little more challenging.  Although the above example is not perfect, it is a very good example for Breaststroke.

It is very common for novices to swim too easy (or recover from their first quarter of the event) in the 3rd quarter of their race.  ie.

It is very important that our swimmers develop back end speed, and attempt to emulate race execution that Magnussen and the Chinese swimmers display. NEVER SWIM OFF SOMEONE ELSE! 

 

REAL LIFE EXAMPLES:

 

1500 FS at the 2012 US Olympic Trials:

The 1500 FS at the US Olympic Trials was won by Andrew Gemmell in 14.52.19. His splits were 3.59.89 - 7.59.43 (3.59.54) - 11.57.27 (3.57.84), with a last 300 of 2.54.92. He was fourth at 400, third at 800 and second at 1200. In second place was Connor Jaeger in 14.52.51. His splits were 3.59.77 - 7.59.15 (3.59.38) - 11.57.33 (3.58.18), with a last 300 of 2.55.18. He was third at the 400, second at the 800 and third at the 1200. Both make the Olympic Team.

In third place was Chad Le Tourette (though only 23 or 24, the oldest and most experienced swimmer in the field) in 14.57.53. His splits were 3.55.83 - 7.55.39 (3.59.56) - 11.56.79 (4.01.40), with a last 300 of 3.00.74. He was in first at every turn until the 1300. He watch the Olympics on television.  

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