200 Butterfly Focus Main Set: Coach Mitch Dalton

Set Details

Coach Name: Mitch Dalton

Coach Position: Assistant Coach, Women's Swimming

Club/School: The University of Texas

When/Where this Workout Would Be Used

  • Group: NCAA 200 Flyers under 1:52
  • Focus of Workout: 200 Butterfly


200 Fly Group

Working on pacing strategies based on NCAA 200 flyers under 1:52.

200 fly differentials from 2nd-3rd-4th 50 (+3.0, +.5, +.92 = ≤1:52.0)


The Set

5 rounds

1 x 50 dive fly fast (:40)

1 x 50 push fly (:45)

2 x 25 fly (25)

2 x 50 free under 28 (:40)

1 x 50 under last 50 pace 2:20

   (swim easy between rounds)


How it’s done:

5 rounds

1 x 50 dive fly fast hit your 1st 50 split of the 200 fly (:45)

1 x 50 push fly no more than 3.0 drop off – thinking 2nd 50 of 200 (:45)

2 x 25 fly going 13.00 with stroke count & kick count of 3rd 50 fly (:30)

2 x 50 free <28 seconds get the heart rate higher and create stress with freestyle (:40)

1 x 50 under last 50 pace (<29.5 if you want to be 1:51 or better!) (2:20) on

   (swim easy between rounds on interval)



The set had two main goals:

  1. Train the speed, stroke, and kick count in which you want to race with. Often times 200 flyers pace faster than what they need in practice, then can’t maintain in a race. This mini set was an effort to work on this. If your swimmers game plan in a 200 fly does not include kicking 15 meters off each wall, then they shouldn’t do that for 50s at pace!
  2. Have confidence in how to execute your last 50 of the 200 fly when you are tired. The end of 200 fly is always going to hurt. This set was designed to simulate the “last 50 pain” so the swimmers could focus on the details which would help them close a race. Multiple rounds helps them gain confidence in their focus of execution under duress versus a sole focus pain.
  3. If I could do it again: I would probably do more rounds – it’s not that high of a yardage set – but I think my swimmers could have gone 8 rounds+ and really benefited from it. If needed, you could just add some more easy swim after each round.


A few things to consider:

  1. When doing pace remind athletes they should take their turn time into consideration. For example if their desired pace is 30.00 and it takes them 1.1 seconds to do a butterfly turn, then the pace they need to be training 50 repeats is actually 28.9.
  2. I’ve listened to a lot of great coaches on butterfly thanks to the #ButterflyRevolution. Some of the main points which have really stuck with me are below. When writing butterfly main sets, I always try to design sets with the following in mind:
  1. Train the engine with freestyle and mix in fast fly
  2. Train with the stroke you want see in the race – correct technique matters!
  3. Smaller distances with lots…and lots …and LOTS of repetition!

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