I want to roll a sub :30 50 free......in my dreams I want a sick number like a 25 sec 50 free.

So far....I'm down to 31:34

What percentage of my daily workout should be just speed oriented and what percentage  logging yards with sets of 200s or more?

How often in say a week should I be training with USRPT workouts?

How often should I be using gear like a parachute for resistance? Do a couple hundies each training session or only every so often?

Is there anywhere here that I can look at a workout program that is like "ok your race is two months out.....here's workouts that will help you peak in eight weeks? It seems so many workouts here are just people posting "this was a killer workout" Ok great but if it isn't part of a structured plan then what benefit is it to me? Or....can you make the argument that hey, just pick any workout it's all going to the same goal no matter how you get there? 

  • If you want too be a sprinter you should make a commitment to sprinting. Build at least 2workouts/ wk around sprints. Do sprints sets early in the workout, not at the end. Sprint sets at the end of workout aren't sprints. The sprint work out I like is 25s on the X. X is determined by how much rest you need to hit your goal time. If your time goal is 30 sec for a 50 I think your goal time is 16 sec for 25(1/2  your goal time for a 50 plus one as the start should be good for 2 sec, 14+16=30) X is going to be longer than you think, this is not 5-10 sec rest, more like 25s on the 90-120 sec. If your goal time is 16 then 17 is a failure and rest more. Like USRPT, 3 failures and the set is over. If you are going to take 1 breath the first 25 of the race, take one breath on each 25. Swim it like a race. If you can, practice starts regularly. When you are doing longer swims sometimes take a fast stroke or 2 into the wall and do your turn AFAP. dolphin out of the turn like it was a sprint. If possible do weights a couple of times a week. Because I have shoulder issues I don't do parachutes or paddles.so I can't comment on them. If you do want to do some sprints at the end of practice put on some fins and feel what going faster than race pace is like.

  • I agree with Allen's suggestions with these additional comments targeted towards your goal in the 50:

    Every practice should include some sprinting - be it 25s or 50s. Not more than 250-300 yards of 25s or 50s. Alternate 25s and 50s by days. They should be 100% effort with lots of rest.  Incorporate your standard warm-up before doing these.  The rest of practice should be technique focused - streamlining, distance per stroke, incorporating 6 beat kicks.  

    IMO, you also have to do 50s.  And, as Allen said for 25s - from a block.  This could be 8 x 25 on 2:00 and that is it for sprinting. The first few times you do 6 x 50 on 2-3 minutes, figure out your breathing pattern for both lengths.  Any breaths on the first length ought to be completed before the flags, so you are not turning your head to breathe as you go into the turn.  Coming off the wall, you want to get at least 2-4 strokes before another breath.  Whatever pattern you figure out, practice it at slow speeds before ramping up to 100%.  Ideally, you want to hold your breathe for the final 7 yards.  Breathing while sprinting needs to be planned including the exhale.

    Figure out if you are a strong underwater dolphin kicker.  Some people are great at it.  Others not so much.  If you are great at it, figure out exactly how many kicks to take before surfacing.  The goal is NOT to stay under as long as possible (not further than 15 meters).  The goal is to carry speed from the start to an optimal point and set you up to be on-stroke into the turn.  If you are terrible at dolphin kicking, but do it because everyone else tells you to - stop listening to them.  Doing dolphin kick in this case will only slow you down.  Time yourself with and without dolphin kicks to develop your unique style.

    In addition to doing 25s off the block, do mid-pool 37s.  Start in the middle of the pool, accelerate into the turn, and practice the second 25 at 100%  including getting your final touch on-stroke.  Nothing worse than a great race ruined by a glide or a short stroke finish.

    As for a workout program, develop a race day warm-up routine that includes warm-up swimming (400-600 yards, build-up swimming such as 4-6 x 50/75 at 75-80%, 8-10 technique 25s).  Do this routine at every practice.  When you get 1-2 weeks before the target meet, you can keep volume up and reduce the amount of high intensity 25s and 50s you are doing.  Without knowing your age, practices/week, daily volume, going into more detail won't be helpful.

    Personally, I do not use training equipment - except a kickboard.  Every lap I swim, I try to emulate my best possible technique and body position while swimming and doing turns.  This means arms and legs and core are always working - no matter how fast or slow I am going.  Paddles and pull buoys change body position, parachutes definitely change body position, fins change body position,  etc.. Most swimmers use equipment as a change of pace or rest their legs instead of for the reasons they are intended.  Maybe use the parachute early season, but only if it does not mess with technique.

    For a 50, I would not incorporate USRPT - at least as you read how some incorporate it into training.  However, a 100 is a different animal and USRPT may be helpful.  Training for a 100 is going to require lactate tolerance sets such as 4-6 x 100 on 5-6 minutes.  Or 4 -6 x 25 on 10 seconds rest.  You need a different breathing pattern than the 50.  Your legs need to be conditioned for strong kicking for a minute or more which is considerably different than a 50.

    50's are 100% explosive effort for 30 seconds.  When you practice 25s or 50s, approach it that way.  Initially, you will find that you think you are at 100%, but you are not.  Over these next 8 weeks, you will be able to figure out what 100% is.

    When your meet arrives, try to warm-up in the lane you will race in.  Get to know the walls, the bottom, the target, even the block.  Warm-up is for the body and the mind to know the conditions you are racing in.  Be especially aware of a turn on a bulkhead because these can be visually very challenging.

    Good luck!

  • I agree with Windrath, he added some things that I forgot I wanted to add. USRPT can be good for 100s and 200s, but even Rushall is not sure the best way for 50s with it. 

  • We don't know your age, body type, or swimming history, but with a 50 SCY FR pr of 31.42, I'm guessing you have some stroke mechanics limitations, and/or start/turn issues. I suggest working with an experienced coach. Not someone who thinks coaching is writing a workout and yelling at you to go faster, rather someone who can analyze your stroke and help you optimize it. Alternatively, get some video and post it here. You will probably get some useful comments.

    (If that's your LCM 50 FR pr, you are in an entirely different place.)

  • Karl-S's comments are good suggestions.  There are a couple of ways you can "self-test" for stroke/physical limitations holding you back - regardless of your age:

    Streamlining:  Do the best streamline push-off you can.  Hold it until you surface.  If you surface 12-15 yards out or beyond, you have a pretty good streamline (or else very strong legs).  If you come up sooner, your streamline may need work or your legs are weak or you just aren't use to streamlining that far.  A dryland test of your streamline is lying face down on the floor in a streamline position (forehead on the floor).  Try to put a 3-4" block between your hands and the floor as well as between your feet (toes pointed) and the floor.  if you can do this, your back and shoulders have good flexibility for a good streamline.

    Ankle flexibility:  Really pointing your toes makes a huge difference.  If you cannot point your toes past 45 degrees, that will definitely hinder your speed.  You can also test this in the pool.  Flutter Kick a few 25s with a kickboard and count your downkicks for each 25.  Assuming you push-off about 3-5 yards, if you are in the 55-70 range and get to the end of the pool in ~30-45 seconds, that is pretty good.  if you are over 100 or it takes forever to get to the end, your ankle flexibility and/or kick mechanics need work. 

    Strokes/length:  Count your strokes for a 25 (assuming you surface 5-7 yards after the push-off) at 65-70% effort.  If you take more than 20 strokes, your stroke mechanics need some attention.  If you are in the 14-16 range, you may be ok, but this is not guaranteed.

    Tempo and arm relationships:  This is where Karl_S's suggest is really needed and someone needs to watch you.  Sprinting is NOT the time for catch-up stroke, dead spots/gliding at the front of the stroke, etc..  

    Head/Feet position:  Again, someone should watch and give feed back about head/feet position to make sure your feet are close to the surface and the water is hitting your head somewhere between your hairline and the top of your head.  Your body position should be neutral or very slightly arched and your butt should NOT be out of the water.  Beware people telling you to do downward "T" presses with your chest or push your hips up without watching to give feedback - both of these are very, very high level, subtle things to work on and only when everything else is dialed in.

    Kick mechanics:  kicking drives hip and shoulder rotation.  If you cannot kick tight and fast, up and down, your hips and shoulders tempo will be compromised.  Again, you need someone watching this.

    Hope these help - there are alot of self-diagnostics you can do if you know what to concentrate on.

    Good luck...

  • 6 foot 1 inch 63 year old as of this coming Novemeber.....so yeah I"m not Gumby when it comes to flexibility in general.

  • My swimming started in order to lose weight. One year ago May 1st I was 275. Now I"m hovering in the 234-237 range. Then USMS happened and I have a goal in mind and someone at the pool who's very knowledgable told me that people swim for a long time just to drop just half a second so maybe pick a shorter term goal. So yeah, first I want to get under 30.

  • The comment about warming up in the lane you'll swim in....that's gangster. So many sagely bits of advice. I thank you.

  • Great advice....I'm kinda doing this via youtube and gleaning bits and pieces of know how. Thank you for the assist

  • Thank you for the physical information.  Congrats on losing the weight.    Continuing to drop lbs will go a long way towards accomplishing your goal because streamlines will get better as drag is reduced, flexibility will improve for flip turns, starts and turns will become more powerful as your strength-to-weight ratio increases.  Technique will be easier to improved and tempo will increase as there is less mass preventing rotation.

    I am sure you have seen a huge improvement dropping 40 lbs.  Those improvements will continue as your weight drops.  You probably know the health benefits as well!

    Great job so far and keep it up and let us all know how about your progress!