This is a continuation of my series on how the elite swim various races. In previous posts, I’ve analyzed all of the 200 races.
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 59.0 as one of their 100 splits, and their 100 PB is 55.0, then their Offset for that split is 4.0. You’ll soon see why this concept is useful.
Women’s 400 Freestyle Analysis
When analyzing the 200 Freestyle race (see here), I came across an interesting trend involving strategies. Based on the swimmer’s apparent tendency towards sprint or distance (or mixture of the two), a clear race profile emerges. The following chart shows actual data from the 200 Freestyle analysis. I added Katie Ledecky’s race profile, as she represents an extreme version of an elite distance-oriented swimmer.
With the 400 being twice as long, we can expect to see most swimmers with distance profiles.
Much of this analysis involves grouping the 24 swimmers into 3 groups of 8 (top 8, middle 8, bottom 8) based on different race elements, such as 400 time, 100 PB, 1st 100 split, 2nd 100 split, etc. )
This first two …read more
Source: Rick’s Blog