Fantastic site, thanks for all your tips. Both my 10yr old boy and 5yr old girl practice fly using your stages technique.
I have a question. My 10yr old boy wants to enter a 400IM at his County Championships in March 2014. He can swim a 200IM in 3:25 and 100IM in 1:28. What is the best way to move up to 400IM distance and what time should he be aiming for?
Hi John and thanks for your feedback,
The first step for your son to swim a 400m IM is to race the 100m events in each of the four strokes. Step 2 is to race a 200m backstroke, breaststroke and freestyle. He may have raced these events already. In his 100m butterfly race he needs to practice being able to make the distance without being totally exhausted at the end. Swimming a couple of 400m freestyle races will also prepare him for a 400m IM.
In general, to race a 400m IM he will need to be training at least 6 hours a week (eg 4 x 1 ½ hrs) so that he has the aerobic capacity to get through the race. Most coaches will teach young swimmers to swim solid on the first 50m of each stroke and then build (swim faster) the second 50m. This is especially the case in the backstroke, breaststroke and freestyle legs.
The time that I have usually set a swimmer aged around 10 years who is swimming their first 400m IM is to double their 200m IM time and add one minute. So for your son, the time to beat would be 7:50 (2 x 3:25 plus one minute). Over time if a swimmer can double their 200m IM time and add 25 to 30 seconds they are doing well.
Good luck and please let me know how he goes.