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The 100 meter freestyle is an easily timed distance.
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Swimming can be challenging and exhausting, but it also risks becoming repetitive and boring unless you give yourself a gauge to measure your progress. Understanding the implications of a pace clock and timing your swims gives you a better perspective on your swim efforts. The 100-meter swim gauges your fitness and provides a clear indicator of your improvement. A decent time for this distance depends on your skill, fitness and training.
The world record in the 100 meter freestyle is 46.91 seconds, as of 2018, according to the International Swimming Federation. This number isn't necessarily "decent" -- it's for a single swim that required years of meticulous training by a professional athlete. An average swimmer can train every day of the week, but typically doesn't chase world records. Focus on improving your swimming ability while also achieving a relatively fast time. Swim times are specific to your ability and goals, and when you advance, you should celebrate.
Consider the Stroke
Freestyle or the crawl stroke is the most efficient stroke and generally the fastest of the four competitive strokes. According to USA Swimming, the national governing body of swimming in the United States, the crawl stroke is defined as "alternate stroking of the arms over the surface of the water and an alternating, up-and-down, flutter kick." You can swim other strokes during a 100-meter swim, but a decent time will change according to your ability with that stroke. For example, swimming a 100-meter freestyle in 70 seconds is fast, but swimming the same time using breaststroke or butterfly is extremely fast.
Not every swimming pool is measured in meters. Many competitive or lap swimming pools in the United States are 25 yards. Other types of swimming pools are 25 or 50 meters long. The 50-meter pool is considered an Olympic-sized pool. When timing your swim in a 25-meter pool, your time will be significantly faster than that of the 50-meter counterpart, as you turn more often. In addition, a diving start will be faster than a push start from the wall.
It's Personal To You
Regardless of what stroke you swim, one minute is often a valiant goal. The 60-second barrier in a 100-meter swim requires hard work and training. Other aspects of a swimmer, such as age, gender and stroke dictate how decent a time will be. Each swimmer is different as each stroke is different -- set goals and use practice time to help you get faster in the water.