Determining Goal Pace

Ryan Woodruff, North Carolina Aquatic Club

Don Swartz and Ken DeMont over at Swim Coach Direct had an interesting post Sunday on race splits and training for the 200. I highly recommend it.

Their post encouraged me to share with you a tool we use to help swimmers on our team establish race paces for training purposes.

Click here to download our Excel spreadsheet for determining goal paces.

Here are the instructions once you have the sheet open in Excel:
1. Type the swimmer’s name where it says ‘Name here.’
2. Enter a swimmer’s goal time in the C column. Do not use any punctuation. For instance, for a goal time of 24.99 in the 50 free, type 2499. For a 2:28.50 in the 200 breast, type 22850.
3. The sheet should automatically compute pace times for you. ‘Pace’ means the swim is from a push. ‘Start’ means the swimmers goes off the blocks (or from a start for backstroke). The sheet computes different pace values for different events based on what I deemed the most useful information. A 15m start time is of little consequence in the mile, but could come in handy in the 100 fly.
4. Print out the pace card and take it to practice!

A few other notes:

  • The sheet is based on the assumption that a swimmer will swim an even pace for every length after the 1st 25. For freestyle, the difference between the 1st and 2nd 25 is 1.7. For fly, the difference is 2.0, for backstroke the difference is 1.0, and for breaststroke it is 2.5 seconds.
  • The C column is cross-hatched and the goal time is in gray in order to keep the swimmer’s focus on the race pace rather than her goal time.

Enjoy – let me know how it goes!

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