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SwimNews.com - Elliot Meena, The Swim Scout: Updating the Baseline Race Strategies
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Updating the Baseline Race Strategies

May 1, 2014  - Elliot Meena, The Swim Scout

Now that another collegiate season is over, it’s time to update the relative baseline race strategies for the 100 & 200 yard stroke races.


As stated in my previous article regarding race strategies, using a relative strategy based on percentiles rather than an absolute strategy based on time does not disfavor any swimmers and allows for comparisons across strokes and distances.


For criteria, I analyzed the times (both final and splits) for the top five female and male finishers in each of the 100-yard and 200-yard stroke finals from 2010-2014 NCAA Division I Championships. Note that the main assumption to make in this analysis is that the 2nd (and 3rd and 4th where applicable) 50 is dependent upon the speed of the first.


For each race listed below, you will find the average splits, final times and percent delta from the first lap. For a full list of split breakdowns and recommended race strategies, please refer to the case study presentations for female and male


Female 100 Yard Butterfly

  • 24.22 + 27.39 = 51.61

    • 1st to 2nd 50 = 13.1%


Female 100 Yard Backstroke

  • 24.90 + 26.49 = 51.39

    • 1st to 2nd 50 = 6.4%


Female 100 Yard Breaststroke

  • 27.69 + 31.10 = 58.79

    • 1st to 2nd 50 = 12.3%


Female 100 Yard Freestyle

  • 22.95 + 24.61 = 47.55

    • 1st to 2nd 50 = 7.2%


Male 100 Yard Butterfly

  • 21.21 + 24.28 = 45.49

    • 1st to 2nd 50 = 14.5%


Male 100 Yard Backstroke

  • 21.89 + 23.61 = 45.50

    • 1st to 2nd 50 = 7.9%


Male 100 Yard Breaststroke

  • 24.28 + 27.58 = 51.87

    • 1st to 2nd 50 = 13.6%


Male 100 Yard Freestyle

  • 20.08 + 21.95 = 42.03

    • 1st to 2nd 50 = 9.2%


Female 200 Yard Butterfly

  • 25.82 + 28.74 + 29.26 + 29.62 = 1:53.45

    • 1st to 2nd 50 = 11.3%

    • 1st to 3rd 50 = 13.3%

    • 1st to 4th 50 = 14.7%


Female 200 Yard Backstroke

  • 26.52 + 28.08 + 28.30 + 28.30 = 1:51.21

    • 1st to 2nd 50 = 5.9%

    • 1st to 3rd 50 = 6.7%

    • 1st to 4th 50 = 6.7%


Female 200 Yard Breaststroke

  • 28.86 + 32.12 + 32.56 + 33.12 = 2:06.67

    • 1st to 2nd 50 = 11.3%

    • 1st to 3rd 50 = 12.8%

    • 1st to 4th 50 = 14.8%


Female 200 Yard Freestyle

  • 24.28 + 26.03 + 26.28 + 26.30 = 1:42.90

    • 1st to 2nd 50 = 7.2%

    • 1st to 3rd 50 = 8.2%

    • 1st to 4th 50 = 8.3%


Male 200 Yard Butterfly

  • 22.90 + 25.90 + 26.11 + 26.67 = 1:41.58

    • 1st to 2nd 50 = 13.1%

    • 1st to 3rd 50 = 14.0%

    • 1st to 4th 50 = 16.5%


Male 200 Yard Backstroke

  • 23.48 + 25.26 + 25.57 + 25.69 = 1:39.99

    • 1st to 2nd 50 = 7.6%

    • 1st to 3rd 50 = 8.9%

    • 1st to 4th 50 = 9.4%


Male 200 Yard Breaststroke

  • 25.44 + 28.61 + 29.00 + 29.46 = 1:52.50

    • 1st to 2nd 50 = 12.5%

    • 1st to 3rd 50 = 14.0%

    • 1st to 4th 50 = 15.8%


Male 200 Yard Freestyle

  • 21.70 + 23.42 + 23.73 + 24.08 = 1:32.94

    • 1st to 2nd 50 = 7.9%

    • 1st to 3rd 50 = 9.4%

    • 1st to 4th 50 = 11.0%