I was just wondering how it is best to pace 400m freestyle and also the 200m’s free, back. breast.
I am asking because I am a sprint swimmer I often find myself struggling with these distances which I think is probably due to my pacing.
Thank You, James
The most common patterns in 200m and 400m races are:
• that each lap gets slower especially when the swimmer has gone out too hard or does not have a high level of fitness;
• the middle laps are the slowest and the swimmer has plenty of energy to speed up and swim fast near the end of the race; or
• the third 50m in a 200 or third 100m in a 400 are the slowest because the swimmer has a mini rest to prepare themselves for the last quarter of the race.
The secret to pacing a 200m or 400m race is to even split the whole way through the race.
The first lap will tend to be a bit faster than the others because of the start and how fresh you feel, however it is important to pace all other laps around the same time.
To get the best time possible, your lap times need to be at the fastest pace possible where you can hold that pace for the distance of the race.
For example in a 200m race, your first 50m may be 35 seconds and then aim to hold 38 seconds for the last three 50’s.
Swimming with even splits will often give the swimmer the best time possible.
Strong swimmers will often negative split a race, meaning that the second half of their race is faster than the first. These swimmers normally have a lot of experience and are very fit.
The Swimming Expert