Thursday, May 8, 2008

Every once in a while I say something ...

...and I think – wow – that sounds smart…

Did I really say that?

Yesterday was one of those days…

I was running downtown with the midget and Saswata.

Saswata was telling me how I was not running fast on Sunday and I must have been tired and I getting worn down...maybe I went too hard on the bike etc…all of this opinion was offered because he was not only keeping up but was pushing the pace off the bike.

My response to him yesterday was really pretty simple but in my opinion it sounded smart…

"Dude - your harshing on my mellow - just shut up and run" :)

No seriously...I said...

You can’t judge your performance by the people around you – you have to have some measure to gauge if you are faster than normal that day or they are just slower…relative speed or PE compared to your training partners is just not accurate.

That day – he was just fast…

So – what does this have to do with anything?

I lived this same example again this morning.

I swam with Master’s group at the YMCA and Ryan (college swimmer – young guy - sorry – don’t know his last name) he and I split the fast lane. We did a set that was perfect for me and he was dreading it. He is a sprinter (I am not) and the set was 500, 400, 200, 400, 500 – not a sprinters set – hello mister old man slow twitch :)

Anyway, we stayed together on the 1st 500 and went close to normal pace. On the 400, he went out and I was left lagging. I pushed hard to keep up but he finished a ½ lap ahead of me and I was coming into the wall thinking – man – the sprinter just kicked my a$$ - that sux...but then I looked at the clock. My time was really good – ok - for an old man :)

My point – without the clock and a known distance – some basis for comparison – I would not have a reference to see if I was really slow or he was just really fast.

By the way - we still would not have made the HS Varsity team with our times but in old age – I was happy with it.

The 200 was next he did as IM and I can’t do IM for legal reasons…the last time I tried to do butterfly the lifeguards came out of their chairs and there was a lot of confusion. Needless to say I had to sign a waiver to never attempt that stroke again and I complied this morning :)

The back side of the set I used a speed suit to make sure it felt good for next weekend (Florida 70.3) and still fit from last year. Besides, I had talked earlier this week with Billy and he claimed to have gotten a 5 second + benefit from a speed suit and I basically called bull$h!t on him.

I knew the suit made a difference but no way was it 5 seconds per 100. I also figured it was also a way to minimize the ½ lap beating I just took from speedy :)

The results REALLY surprised me.

It was a FULL 5 seconds / 100 and that was at the end of the set. The difference in total time was 6%.


If you look at that for Olympic Distance that is 1:20 savings, for ½ IM it’s a 1:35 savings and a full distance 3:30 over no speed suit.

No wonder everyone is wearing these things :)

I am not sure which suits are faster – I only tried a SpeedZoot and it seems like there are more Blue Seventy’s around than any other - and to me - the Blue Seventy just looks better :)



These definitely make a difference.

There are a few articles on the web about the recent world records that have been smashed due to the new suits.

It is amazing and there are more recent records (23 total):


16th Feb 08 200m Backstroke Kirsty Coventry (ZIM) 2.06.39
17th Feb 08 50m Freestyle Eamon Sullivan (AUS) 21.56
17th Feb 08 100m Backstroke Natalie Coughlin (USA) 59.21
7th Mar 08 50m Backstroke Hayley McGregory (USA) 28.00
18th Mar 08 Wm 4 x 100m Freestyle Netherlands 3.33.62
21st Mar 08 100m Freestyle Alain Bernard (FRA) 47.60
22nd Mar 08 400m Ind.Medley Stephanie Rice (AUS) 4.31.46
22nd Mar 08 50m Backstroke Emily Seebohm (AUS) 27.95
22nd Mar 08 100m Freestyle Alain Bernard (FRA) 47.50
23rd Mar 08 50m Backstroke Sophie Edington (AUS) 27.67
23rd Mar 08 50m Freestyle Alain Bernard (FRA) 21.50
24th Mar 08 50m Freestyle Marleen Veldhuis (NED) 24.09
25th Mar 08 200m Ind.Medley Stephanie Rice (AUS) 2.08.92


Before this gets too long – which it already has…here is a really cool video of Dara Torres

See 40 is the new 30 - and - yeah - she's hot :)

I’ll close with this…

I almost always try to train with people that are faster than me. I seek them out and I think they help me push myself to a level that is above where I would normally be.

In the pool, on the bike and on the run…

I even lifted all winter with soccer mom but she doesn’t even know it. (She squats 225 and I worked hard to be able to do keep up with her…yes…I know Francis…that is weak and I should be ashamed…)

I heard Dara say this in her interview, Chris Lieto talks about swimming with the HS speedsters and riding with the cyclists.

These training partners help to lift the bar…improve your overall performance...

it’s also important to realize that sometimes that bar needs to be measured :)

Either that...or just "Shut up and run" :)

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