This is a continuation of my series on how the elite swim various races. In my last instalment in this series I analyzed the women’s 400 Free.
There is no question that the 400 is a distance-oriented race, and so we can expect distance-oriented strategies. The purpose of this analysis is to determine which strategies are used by elite swimmers.
For this complete series of race analyses, the data set consists of the top 24 swimmers from the 2012 Olympics and the 2012 US Olympic Trials. For each selected swimmer, I used the fastest time they swam during the competition, and not just the last swim. I also collected each swimmer’s 100 Freestyle PB as of the time of the 2012 Olympics (disregarding any shiny suit swims).
I used the term ‘Offset’ to represent the difference between a swimmer’s split, and their PB for that distance. Ex. If a swimmer does a 56.0 as one of their 100 splits, and their 100 PB is 50.0, then their Offset for that split is 6.0. You’ll soon see why this concept is useful.
Men’s 400 Freestyle Analysis
When analyzing the 200 Freestyle race (see here), I came across some interesting comparisons between the men’s race and the women’s 200m race. For both genders, the 1st 50 was strongly correlated with overall success, meaning the very fastest 200 swimmers tended to have the very fastest 1st 50 splits. However, the men generally had a more aggressive last 50 than the women. One strange aspect did come out. The very fastest men tended to swim the 1st part of the race with lower offsets (closer to their 50 PBs) than the rest of the elite men, while the very fastest women tended to swim that first part with higher offsets . It will be interesting to see …read moreRead more