After racing in the 200m Butterfly over 100 times, I still had some doubt that I may not finish the race. Seems crazy!?
Any swimmer that swims a 200m Butterfly knows how difficult this event can be and especially if you get the pacing wrong. Pacing the 200m Butterfly can be very tricky to get right, which sometimes I still struggled with after years of experience. Even at major events, such as the World Championships, I messed up my pacing and ended up missing medals, finals and hurting a lot! It happens to even some of the most experienced swimmers.
However, those times you do manage to get that pacing right, there's no better feeling than smashing your best time, qualifying for an event or even winning a medal! Those are the feelings that keep us swimmers going.
Here are some of my tips to increase your chance of having a great 200m Butterfly swim:
- Have a plan and stick to it. It can be very easy to get excited, go out too fast and then die off at the end. Believe in your plan and don't let emotions get in the way.
- 1st 50m- Long, Strong and Relaxed. Saving energy in that first 25m is crucial in preventing that 'dying' at the end. In a race no swimming should ever be slow, there's no time for that, you want to have that 'easy speed'.
- 2nd 50m- Build, keep those arms relaxed and start to increase your speed slightly into that second turn.
- 3rd 50m- Increase the legs, start to kick harder and increase that stroke rate slightly.
- 4th 50m- The Last turn wants to be the fastest as well as fast fly kick off the wall, building again to a MAX finish, keeping hold of the water every stroke.
- Nail every turn by spotting the wall 10m out. Hitting the wall too close or too far away can mess up the whole swim and cause you to use up more energy, spot those walls and finish on a full stroke.
- Save the legs for the second half of the race.
- Never expect a 200m Butterfly to be easy, it's always going to hurt, slow or fast!
- Believe in yourself and try to look forward to it, dreading the race will only make it harder.
- Probably the most important.... do the right amount of training for a 200m Butterly, aim to do main sets on Fly and get the hours in the pool!
- Butterfly can be down to mental strength, it will feel harder then Front Crawl, but how good can you be and want to be?