Swimming By the Numbers: How Elite Women Swim the 200 IM


After a long delay, this is the next instalment in a series that looks at how the elite swim the 200 by looking at their race splits. This time we’re analyzing the 200 Individual Medley for women.

It’s taken me a long time to figure out how to analyze the 200 IM. When I analyze a stroke 200, such as 200 Backstroke, I have 50 and 100 metre long course personal bests for each of the top 24 swimmers to work with, and every one of those 24 can be expected to be incredible at Backstroke. But for an IM, every swimmer is not incredible at each stroke, and to do the same analysis I would need 50 metre PBs for each stroke for each swimmer. Those PBs just aren’t available. mainly because many of these IMers just didn’t swim stroke 50s at big meets.

That aside, I’ve come up with a way to look at the numbers, which brings us to this blog.

The Data

The data set consists of 24 elite swimmers at the time of the 2012 Olympics. I used the fastest 24 times and associated splits from the Olympics and the US Olympic Trials. For each swimmer, I used the fastest time they swam during the competition, and not just their last swim.

I also wanted a way to determine if the swimmer was sprint oriented or distance oriented, or in-between. So I added some analysis by gathering each swimmer’s 50 Free LC PB, 200 Free LC PB and 400 IM LC PB. These are swims that the vast majority of the elite 24 had. I was able to collect or estimate all of the 50 Free PBs, since most of these swimmers either swam a 50, 100 or relay 100 at a big meet in 2012 or 2011. Every selected …read more

Source: Rick’s Blog