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CreamPuff
May 16th, 2008, 03:47 PM
Anyone out there going to start doing some pool practices in a wetsuit due to the new "proposed" rule change of allowing wetsuits in USMS open water swims? :frustrated:

The thought of practicing in a pool in a wetsuit absolutely makes me want to barf; however, I don't want to be penalized (and I've not yet learned to swim in one of these rubber bands) if this rule change goes through for next year.

Any thoughts on how to deal with the ridicule in practice?

The way things are going, I guess I had better learn to swim with fins as well. . .
Maybe with the approval of wetsuits and fins, the powers that be will approve swimming with paddles and buoys - then I'm in! :party2:

I'm thinking that if you can't beat 'em, join 'em. :doh::doh::sad:

Chris Stevenson
May 16th, 2008, 04:27 PM
Anyone out there going to start doing some pool practices in a wetsuit due to the new "proposed" rule change of allowing wetsuits in USMS open water swims? :frustrated:

Kristina,

This thread probably belongs in the OW Forum, but:

The rule hasn't been voted in and is not the radical change that it has been presented as. Wetsuits are already allowed in all USMS OW competition except national championships. In such races, there is a separate wetsuit category that is populated by slower swimmers. All the proposal does is allow the same thing to happen at national championships, at the discretion of the race director. The race director can also decide to start the wetsuit-cladd swimmers in a separate wave (this is true at any race).

Personally, I don't believe I will ever wear a wetsuit in a competition unless the water is too cold for me to swim in briefs. The only other possible exception I can think of is the Chesapeake Bay swim, since almost everyone wears them.

IMO, the greater change is allowing the FINA approved wetsuit lookalikes like the Xterra Velocity. I think race directors may have their hand full distinguishing between them and "real" wetsuits.

http://www.xterrawetsuits.com/velocity.html

By the way, if you don't like the proposal, you should show up at next year's convention and speak out against it. Even if you aren't a delegate, you still have a voice...and the convention is in your backyard (Atlanta)...

And I'm curious: could you explain to me why you have no problem with technical suits like the FSPro (and presumably the LZR) but react so strongly against wetsuits?

The Fortress
May 16th, 2008, 04:34 PM
Any thoughts on how to deal with the ridicule in practice?

The way things are going, I guess I had better learn to swim with fins as well. . .
Maybe with the approval of wetsuits and fins, the powers that be will approve swimming with paddles and buoys - then I'm in! :party2:



As to ridicule, ignore it. You know what you're doing.

As to fins, I'll give you my usual :thhbbb: and just say that I recently found out a teammate of mine did competitive monofin swimming in Korea after a RC tear. Now, she has the finest underwaters of any woman I know and wear fins a lot in practice. Oh, she also just won the 50 and 100 back at Austin. :cheerleader:

Paul Smith
May 16th, 2008, 04:39 PM
At the 3 different clubs we practice with most often there are almost always 1 or 2 swimmers in wetsuits...pretty common when we were in Colorado as well.

knelson
May 16th, 2008, 04:42 PM
At the 3 different clubs we practice with most often there are almost always 1 or 2 swimmers in wetsuits...pretty common when we were in Colorado as well.

No kidding? I can't imagine someone wearing a wetsuit for a pool workout.

rtodd
May 16th, 2008, 06:00 PM
Can't do breast in one. Never tried fly.

CreamPuff
May 16th, 2008, 06:21 PM
Can't do breast in one. Never tried fly.

Flip turns are a hoot.

CreamPuff
May 16th, 2008, 06:24 PM
Question pertains to training with a wetsuit in a pool during masters practices .

The issues that I have with wetsuit and techsuits include:
Expense $
Learning curve/ change in training or technique during races to best use the equipment
Speed disadvantage sans the suit
Looking like he-man
Am I buying my ranking?
Am I really faster than when I was 16 or is it the suit?
Opens floodgate for more approved toy usage in races - fins, paddles, buoys, etc.

I'd hate to show up to a bike race with a pair of Nikes (and no bike) and expect to do well. So I join in with whatever the rules are.

My educated guess is that once the wetsuits are allowed in OW championships, you will no longer see just the "slower" swimmers using them.
You will see a trend towards the fastest swimmers using them. I think that the intentions of the rule change are good (to include more people), but the impact will be profound on USMS. :2cents: I've seen wetsuits turn mediocre swimmers into pretty fast swimmers. Imagine what they can do for fast swimmers when used correctly. Can't say I'm looking forward to the added expense and effort (much less the taunting from the kids)! I think I had better reserve my wetsuit practices to masters!

From what I've seen in 5 years of masters is a trend to pile on as many toys as possible to go as fast as possible in practices. People, myself included, want to be fast and feel good about themselves. I think that is inevitably going to carry over to competitions. I don't like it as I learned to swim well without the toys. However, I've got to pony up and learn to use the toys (just like I had to learn to swim fast with paddles and a buoy) to be competitive.

Paul Smith
May 16th, 2008, 06:37 PM
Wetsuits have been a part of OW/Triathlons for years so I'm not sure where all this is coming from...aside from a recent update to the USMS rules.

As for training in a wetsuit I see almost exclusively swimmers involved in OW/Tri's and the reality is if your going to race in those events that allow wetsuits you should probably spend some time getting familiar with it.

On allowing fins in races guess what...Randy's OW race down in Bonaire (May be a different location) in the fall has a category for that as well!

geochuck
May 16th, 2008, 06:43 PM
Wet suits if they are allowed will certainly improve times for OW events.

aquageek
May 16th, 2008, 07:11 PM
If you wear a wetsuit you are no longer considered a swimmer. And, if you show up to a pool practice in one you should have your pool and USMS membership permanently revoked.

Allen Stark
May 16th, 2008, 07:30 PM
I nearly did a workout in a wetsuit.In Feb the heater at my main pool broke.They kept the pool open but almost no one was swimming and no one for very long.After one truncated workout I thought"I'll just wear my wetsuit tomorrow."Instead I changed my schedule so I could use another pool.Good thing I did or Geek would have banished me.

Chris Stevenson
May 16th, 2008, 07:43 PM
My educated guess is that once the wetsuits are allowed in OW championships, you will no longer see just the "slower" swimmers using them. You will see a trend towards the fastest swimmers using them.

Perhaps, but I don't think so. Big Shoulders (http://www.bigshoulders.org/) and other races -- like this one (http://www.restonmasters.org/2miow.html) -- have been allowing wetsuits for years. The fastest swimmers still mostly swim without them.

In fact, both those races allowed wetsuits even when they were national championships and somehow civilization marched on. (They got around the rules by starting the wetsuit-clad swimmers in a separate wave.)

There is one big difference between this rule and allowing suits like the LZR: there is a separate awards category for wetsuit-wearing swimmers. Given the distaste that most "real swimmers" have for wetsuits, why would that category suddenly become the more important one? The only reason I can see is to train for a triathlon.

CreamPuff
May 16th, 2008, 07:53 PM
Chris, are you pleased with how USMS Swimmer pitched this story?

"[Chris Stevenson] . . . is credited with (or blamed for) authoring the controversial measure."

ourswimmer
May 16th, 2008, 07:53 PM
Chris is right: you can relax. I have probably swum in 60-80 USMS-sanctioned OW races over the past 10 years, in California, Oregon, and Illinois, and I think every event except one or two that I have ever done has had a wetsuit division. The definite exception is the Trans-Tahoe Relay, which seems to have an unofficial naked division instead. I think also maybe they didn't have a wetsuit division at FINA Worlds in 2006. I swam in a race once that was designated as the USMS 1500m national championship, but I think even then there was a wetsuit division. Maybe the winner(s) in that division just couldn't call themselves national champions.

The fastest swimmers have had ample opportunity to adopt wetsuits but have not, although many do wear technical suits such as fastskins. Lisa Hazen, Susan Preston, and Suzanne Heim-Bowen would not be caught dead in wetsuits, at least not for a little 2-mile lake swim, even though Susan in particular always looks as if she is absolutely freezing when she finishes because she is so lean. As Chris says, the wetsuit swimmers are almost always slower than the non-wetsuit swimmers.

At any rate, don't worry about it. They always score the wetsuits separately and they nearly always start them separately as well. Just don't enter the wetsuit division if you don't want to race wetsuit wearers, and if you do want to race the fastest people. And even if someone in a wetsuit comes in ahead of you, you can always say, "well, s/he had an advantage from the wet suit." (When a man outswims me, I like to console myself by thinking "well, he had an advantage from the testosterone.")

CreamPuff
May 16th, 2008, 08:12 PM
Woa! 60-80 OW races! That is a record in and of itself. Very impressive! :bow:
Guess that clears up my question.
Don't worry. Be happy!


Chris is right: you can relax. And even if someone in a wetsuit comes in ahead of you, you can always say, "well, s/he had an advantage from the wet suit." (When a man outswims me, I like to console myself by thinking "well, he had an advantage from the testosterone.")[/FONT]

Interesting philosophy on the racing. I can't say I subscribe to that approach.

quicksilver
May 16th, 2008, 08:21 PM
I've done a few triathlons wearing a thin guage BodyGlove which is really meant for early summer surfing.
The abrasions from the suit can be brutal...especially around the neck and arms.

Long story short..there's no question that the suit offers a very welcome buoyancy factor and protects from jellyfish stings.
It helped quite a bit. Get yourself a jar of Vaseline before putting it on.

PS...the starting line at triathlons and open water swims can be a treacherous place. Aside from the errant foot thrashing...there's also clawing, clobbering, and all sorts of run-ins. If anything, at least the suit has some protective value.

Chris Stevenson
May 16th, 2008, 08:46 PM
Chris, are you pleased with how USMS Swimmer pitched this story?

"[Chris Stevenson] . . . is credited with (or blamed for) authoring the controversial measure."

That gives me too much credit (or blame), but I started the ball rolling in our LMSC and did the writing, reflecting the contributions of the other LMSC officers. At the last convention, there seemed to me to be a very clear intention to try to attract triathletes into USMS through open water swimming and this was essentially our response.

If you are interested in this sort of thing, I've attached what our LMSC board sent to Marcia Cleveland, chair of the OW Committee (what used to be the Long Distance Committee). I do not know exactly how, or if, the OWC changed the proposals, or if they omitted any part of it; I haven't really had time to check. I will do so as the convention approaches, I suppose.

When we debated this within our own LMSC, there was really no concern like the one you expressed. The biggest fear was the fear of success, that allowing wetsuits too much would make events too popular by attracting too many triathletes. The Lake Reston swims that I linked to in my last post are an example; some long-time participants in our LMSC remembered fondly when the event was less popular.

But look at the Open Water championships on the USMS web site. For example, here are the ones from last year

http://www.usms.org/longdist/ldnats07/

With all due respect to those who organize them -- they do a great job, in my experience -- participation is incredibly low, it is almost embarassing to call them "national championships."

ourswimmer
May 16th, 2008, 09:01 PM
Woa! 60-80 OW races! That is a record in and of itself. Very impressive! :bow:
Guess that clears up my question.
Don't worry. Be happy!

It’s not any sort of record at all. Lots of people do 6 or 8 1- to 3-mile OW races a summer. Anyway, I didn’t give you a number so that I could boast. I gave you a number so that you could see how much data I have to support my conclusion that the opportunity to wear a wetsuit will not alter the dynamics of USMS-sanctioned OW races.


Interesting philosophy on the racing. I can't say I subscribe to that approach.

As to the racing philosophy: Just like I don’t race men for prizes, I don't race wetsuit swimmers for prizes. They are different divisions. A wetsuit doesn't interfere at all with my swim, unless I wear one. So I can't think of any good reason to care if they happen to be running a wetsuit race, or a men’s race, on the same course at the same time as they run my race. I can still race them all head-to-head and see where everybody comes out.

geochuck
May 16th, 2008, 09:20 PM
I used to swim 10 marathon races in the summer early fall. One 10 miler, one 15 miler, three 20 milers and the rest 25 to 33 miles. Also a couple of 44 K races at the end of October over seas.

Never wore a wet suit except for training, it was only a tube that covered my stomach to my lower thighs. That was when the ice broke in the rivers and you hade to avoid the ice and the logs coming down the river.


:shakeshead: Itís not any sort of record at all. Lots of people do 6 or 8 1- to 3-mile OW races a summer. Anyway, I didnít give you a number so that I could boast. I gave you a number so that you could see how much data I have to support my conclusion that the opportunity to wear a wetsuit will not alter the dynamics of USMS-sanctioned OW races.

CreamPuff
May 16th, 2008, 09:34 PM
I used to swim 10 marathon races in the summer early fall. One 10 miler, one 15 miler, three 20 milers and the rest 25 to 33 miles. Also a couple of 44 K races at the end of October over seas.

Never wore a wet suit except for training, it was only a tube that covered my stomach to my lower thighs. That was when the ice broke in the rivers and you hade to avoid the ice and the logs coming down the river.

Woa! George, that is really amazing. I wish you had some footage of your avoiding ice and logs and who knows what else! Guess if you were in the Hudson, it would be bodies.

CreamPuff
May 16th, 2008, 09:45 PM
As to ridicule, ignore it. You know what you're doing.

As to fins, I'll give you my usual :thhbbb: and just say that I recently found out a teammate of mine did competitive monofin swimming in Korea after a RC tear. Now, she has the finest underwaters of any woman I know and wear fins a lot in practice. Oh, she also just won the 50 and 100 back at Austin. :cheerleader:

Fort, I know better than to knock the finners! I've learned my lesson. I really need to learn to swim with them. One woman that I swim with is a perpetual user of fins; however, she is an ex NCAA Div I All American and mother of four! She kicks my butt (even with her back problems) and still has time to run her own business AND do missionary work in Tanzania! I am SOOO not kidding! Those finners are a hearty bunch.

geochuck
May 16th, 2008, 10:15 PM
Woa! George, that is really amazing. I wish you had some footage of your avoiding ice and logs and who knows what else! Guess if you were in the Hudson, it would be bodies. The odd bear out of hibernation but they were not intersted in me.

In La Bostanais River, Quebec they would pile logs on the ice and when the ice melted they would come down the river to the paper mill in La Tuque.

La Tuque is where we had a 24 hour team race. Two guys taking turns relay style. My share of the race worked out to be half or more of the race depending wether my partner was able to continue. I sometimes had to swim a little extra milage. In 24 hours we covered about 66 miles.

knelson
May 17th, 2008, 01:21 AM
And, if you show up to a pool practice in one you should have your pool and USMS membership permanently revoked.

Or at the very least everyone should point and laugh.

aquageek
May 17th, 2008, 04:52 AM
I will admit that if Stevenson is a proponent that is a farily decent argument in favor of them, hard as it is to say that.

fanstone
May 17th, 2008, 09:44 AM
Slightly off subject: the fire-fighters in Brasilia (fire-fighters are a military outfit in Brazil and do all sorts of search and rescue missions) have a race of 3,000 meters called "the outfitted race". They cover the 3,000 using masks, snorkels and fins! Only legs are allowed, the arms are held close to the body. Besides the burning legs, the biggest problem is keeping a true course in the dark lake. They have to lift their faces and check the bearings every now and then. They go from point to point and move fast. At this particular O.W. event, the triathlon type suits are allowed, this in July, supposedly Winter. A couple of friends borrow the suits and usually do the 1,000 meters two minutes faster. But the winners are always swimmers without any special suits. The outside temperatures are in the 70s so no one is worried about the cold. No prize money is given, so there are no separate rosters. I hate wearing those damn things, even the smaller ones when scuba diving. But most scuba diving outfits have a rule of wearing the f.....ng rubbers, even in warm waters. I guess you might go hypothermic without perceiving. On the other hand, swimming naked isn't comfortable either! ooops, wrong forum....billy fanstone

geochuck
May 17th, 2008, 10:42 AM
Naked swimmers have a wee problem.

Allen Stark
May 17th, 2008, 12:31 PM
After reading the article on wetsuits in the new SWIMMER I was struck that it said the Tri Assn had twice as many members as USMS.This seems amazing to me.I wonder how they got those figures.That means they must have nearly 100,000 members.I can see why USMS wants their participation.

Blackbeard's Peg
May 19th, 2008, 12:02 AM
If you wear a wetsuit you are no longer considered a swimmer. And, if you show up to a pool practice in one you should have your pool and USMS membership permanently revoked.

I usually do this once before swimming across the bay so I can get used to the feel. Last year, I took it to the outdoor pool and the county lifeguards totally made fun of me.

I usually overheat and bail on the rubber ~800m in and swim the rest of my workout in my speedo.

As you can see by my avatar, I've got no qualms swimming OW naked.

Leonard Jansen
May 22nd, 2008, 10:22 AM
With all due respect to those who organize them -- they do a great job, in my experience -- participation is incredibly low, it is almost embarassing to call them "national championships."

I read the proposal and have no real issue with it, but am a bit confused on one point: Would this, in effect, produce 2 national champions in a given age/gender group - one for the real swimmers and one for the wetsuit ballerinas?

As to the participation being too low, I think that is more a function of the size of the country than anything else. Also, even if you allow the WB's into the race, I don't see how that makes a national any more valid. You may have more people overall, but probably not any/many more in the RS group.

-LBJ

Chris Stevenson
May 22nd, 2008, 11:10 AM
I read the proposal and have no real issue with it, but am a bit confused on one point: Would this, in effect, produce 2 national champions in a given age/gender group - one for the real swimmers and one for the wetsuit ballerinas?

As to the participation being too low, I think that is more a function of the size of the country than anything else. Also, even if you allow the WB's into the race, I don't see how that makes a national any more valid. You may have more people overall, but probably not any/many more in the RS group.

-LBJ

Here is really the heart of the proposal we submitted to the committee

The Virginia LMSC proposes that article 3.5.7.5 be amended to read:
“Wetsuit competitors shall be excluded for the purposes of articles 305.11 through 306.1.”

305.11 is for all-american recognition, which is given to national champions; 305.12 is for the all-star team and 306.1 is for records. So the answer to your question is essentially "no." Sure, there will be a winner in the wetsuit category at a national championship, so in that sense s/he is a "national champion." The change also allows for awards (305.10) for WS-clad swimmers (eg at the race itself they can get a medal or t-shirt or whatever, saying whatever the race organizers want it to say).

However the WS winner would not be awarded the same level of recogniton as the non-WS swimmer, who will earn all-american status and points towards the all-star competition. This is in keeping with Marcia Cleveland's comments that non-WS swimmers will still be the "main" focus of attention (I forget her exact words).

OW competition can be a somewhat scary experience for novice swimmers -- not just triathletes! -- who are accustomed to a pool environment. I disagree strongly with the notion that such people should just "man up" and deal with it; I think masters swimmers is all about welcoming and helping such swimmers...hopefully coaxing them out of the WS at some point.

My own personal feeling: I wear a wetsuit when it is too cold to do otherwise (and I'm not macho about it either, I just don't relish shivering for hours after a swim). Wetsuits are a way to draw people into OW competition but the goal is to eventually wean them of it.

Many -- perhaps most -- triathletes will have no interest in taking that step since their races allow wetsuits and make no distinction between WS and non-WS swimmers. Fair enough, our own pool races do not distinguish between LZR-clad and non-LZR-clad swimmers either...and both suits are intended to enhance performance. There is no reason for purists -- most of whom probably wear a technical suit in pool races -- to be snotty about the triathlete's choice. There is room enough in the lake/river/bay/ocean for lots of swimmers.

On your second point, I believe you are correct. I agree that this proposal ALONE may not do much to increase participation. The proposal is actually a fairly minor change -- adding national championships to the other races where wetsuits are already allowed.

It should be part of a broader effort to make USMS OW races better known and more accessible to triathletes and other swimmers who do not participate in OW races; that is really the key. This is just a step in that direction, one that doesn't really cost much to implement.

The Fortress
May 22nd, 2008, 11:22 AM
Interesting tactic. Withholding official "Nats Champ" status and All-American status to attempt to entice the WS into joining the revered non-WS ranks. Behavior modification. Do you think it'll work? I don't know ... Guess I'd put my money on the WS gaining official status down the line. Now, I have to go make reservations to swim in the OW fin race since I'm in a snit about LC zones ... :bolt:

Oh, WS seems much more performance enhancing than the LZR.

aquageek
May 22nd, 2008, 11:46 AM
I would guess that the vast majority of OW races nationwide are held in waters 68 or above. So, that pretty much eliminates the need for a wetsuit. Further, if the race is strictly swimming (not part of a triathlon) there is no need to "save the legs" by wearing a wetsuit. Lastly, other than a handful of extreme OW events, most OW events are 5K or less, and usually markedly less.

If you have the pleasure of hanging around a bunch of tris, the first question asked of any swim is "is it westuit legal?" What the heck? I have no idea this obsession with the wetsuit. If they don't practice in a wetsuit, the water is warm enough and the distance is short, what's the need?

I say if USMS is gonna allow these things, make them go in the first wave about 2 minutes ahead of me so I can mow them down and humiliate them further.

I would suggest making them wear pink wetsuits but I suspect that Fort and (S)he-Man would rush right out to buy one as they are fashion mavens.

Chris Stevenson
May 22nd, 2008, 12:36 PM
If you have the pleasure of hanging around a bunch of tris, the first question asked of any swim is "is it westuit legal?" What the heck? I have no idea this obsession with the wetsuit. If they don't practice in a wetsuit, the water is warm enough and the distance is short, what's the need?


The need, of course, is performance enhancement...and for some, an extra security blanket. I know several accomplished triathletes who have suffered panic attacks in the OW portion of the swim, particularly in choppy water with poor visibility.

Fort, I realize that the WS is probably more performance enhancing than the LZR (as an aside, though: where is the evidence of that statement?), but that is a weak argument from both a practical and ethical standpoint. Practical: exactly how much enhancement is legal? Ethical: why is a "little" enhancement okay but not a "lot?" If it is a matter of principle, then it is violated in either case.

People who have no problem with the ethics will always fall back on buoyancy as a practical way to distinguish between legal enhancement and something like a wetsuit.

But all the arguments I always see against allowing wetsuits usually have a dominant ethical component: they aren't "real swimmers," etc. I simply fail to see how a LZR-clad swimmer is more of a "true swimmer" than a WS-clad swimmer. The so-called purists are on shaky moral ground, in my opinion, if they use technical suits in the pool.

(And before jumping on me for being anti-LZR, keep in mind that I don't have an ethical objection to the LZR or any other technical suit.)

In any event, we are not proposing that WS-clad be treated identically to those without a WS, just that they be allowed to race. I also don't have a problem with them starting in the same wave, I think that should be left up to the race organizers as a practical matter rather then be legislated from on high.

aquageek
May 22nd, 2008, 12:54 PM
I suffer panic attacks when running, I should be allowed to use a moped.

abc
May 22nd, 2008, 01:14 PM
I think Chris Stevenson said, "Fort, I realize that the WS is probably more performance enhancing than the LZR (as an aside, though: where is the evidence of that statement?)"

I don't think wetsuits offer an advantage. I grew up wearing wetsuits for surfing. I hated wearing them because they slowed me down and wearing a wetsuit caused significantly more fatigue, especially on my shoulders. Maybe I'm missing something and they have "specially" designed wetsuits for open water swimming. The only advantage I could see would be for a very weak swimmer. I don't see why a swimmer with actual speed would wear one.

For instance, my preference for an all out 50 (or 1500 for that matter) would be to race in a technical suit like the LZR. My next preference would be to swim naked. My last preference would be to wear a wetsuit.

knelson
May 22nd, 2008, 01:40 PM
If they don't practice in a wetsuit, the water is warm enough and the distance is short, what's the need?

Isn't this a little contradictory coming from you geek? The "need" is that this is a technology that can make them swim faster, just like the Speedo LZR is.

Chris Stevenson
May 22nd, 2008, 02:27 PM
I suffer panic attacks when running, I should be allowed to use a moped.

Geek, if you have the connections and finances to do it, why not? This is America, after all. :)

abc, I don't like the feel either: the constriction, the chafing.

But unlike the LZR, there is a lot of documentation about the advantages of wetsuits. Dave Holland did a quick search of the literature when we were discussing this in the fall; I've attached what he found. I'm sure there is more out there.

In the article in USMS Swimmer, Rob Jones -- who is a fast swimmer with lots of OW experience both with and without wetsuits -- guestimated about 1 minute advantage per mile (http://forums.usms.org/showpost.php?p=100323&postcount=19), an advantage of about 5% for him. Given his experience and the studies Dave found, it seems reasonable to me.

Leonard Jansen
May 22nd, 2008, 02:58 PM
I'm still struggling to see the problem here.

Yes, the wetsuit wusses are weak, immoral lepers who probably don't brush their teeth, but they are effectively in an entirely different race. They don't get to be the national champion and if enough of them show up their entry fees subsidize the after-race beer.

We used to have this in racewalking (no, not wetsuits) - We'd have a national championship in with a shorter citizen's walk. In the citizen's race, unlike in the "real" race, it was often the case that the bent knee rule was suspended. Effectively it was two different events held together for the purpose of development. That, plus the citizen's race often had many more people than the true national and their entry fees subsidized the whole thing. They were happy to be part of the competition, meet the top walkers, etc, etc and the top walkers got better prizes than they would have otherwise. I also never heard someone say that they were the "national citizen's walk champion" or some such.

Let the ballerinas in and make them bring the beer. (The latter should have been added to the proposed rule change - a shocking oversight.)

-LBJ

The Fortress
May 22nd, 2008, 03:04 PM
The need, of course, is performance enhancement...and for some, an extra security blanket. I know several accomplished triathletes who have suffered panic attacks in the OW portion of the swim, particularly in choppy water with poor visibility.

Fort, I realize that the WS is probably more performance enhancing than the LZR (as an aside, though: where is the evidence of that statement?), but that is a weak argument from both a practical and ethical standpoint. Practical: exactly how much enhancement is legal? Ethical: why is a "little" enhancement okay but not a "lot?" If it is a matter of principle, then it is violated in either case.

People who have no problem with the ethics will always fall back on buoyancy as a practical way to distinguish between legal enhancement and something like a wetsuit.

But all the arguments I always see against allowing wetsuits usually have a dominant ethical component: they aren't "real swimmers," etc. I simply fail to see how a LZR-clad swimmer is more of a "true swimmer" than a WS-clad swimmer. The so-called purists are on shaky moral ground, in my opinion, if they use technical suits in the pool.

(And before jumping on me for being anti-LZR, keep in mind that I don't have an ethical objection to the LZR or any other technical suit.)

In any event, we are not proposing that WS-clad be treated identically to those without a WS, just that they be allowed to race. I also don't have a problem with them starting in the same wave, I think that should be left up to the race organizers as a practical matter rather then be legislated from on high.

I just said that as a teasing aside, not as an "ethical argument." I'm neither a purist nor anti-wetsuit, particularly if the WS gets more people swimming and that's what rocks their boat. To each his own and separate categories should suit both. Why object if the WS are in a different category?

Are you saying I'm unethical, eh? :confused: We should allow wet suits in pool races too? Ditch the distinction between a device and a swimsuit?

Chris Stevenson
May 22nd, 2008, 03:13 PM
Are you saying I'm unethical, eh? :confused:

I believe "weak" was the word I used... :D

CreamPuff
May 22nd, 2008, 03:19 PM
I'm convinced. I really liked OurSwimmer's take on the whole situation. Anyone who has done as many OW's as she must know what she's talking about. The rule, if it passes, won't change much. And if it does change the face of things, who cares? To each his own. Bring on the wet suits. I still may try one out. . .

Anyhoo, my overtraining (according to the great Paul Smith) seems to be working out well as I've never been in better shape, so I say bring it baby! :bouncing:

Paul Smith
May 22nd, 2008, 07:56 PM
I'm convinced. I really liked OurSwimmer's take on the whole situation. Anyone who has done as many OW's as she must know what she's talking about. The rule, if it passes, won't change much. And if it does change the face of things, who cares? To each his own. Bring on the wet suits. I still may try one out. . .

Anyhoo, my overtraining (according to the great Paul Smith) seems to be working out well as I've never been in better shape, so I say bring it baby! :bouncing:

Just don't allow all that "over-training" tire you out to the point you forget to go buy that laser so you can be sure and measure every pool and OW race course you attend! :thhbbb:

Peter Cruise
May 23rd, 2008, 12:23 PM
Paul it is evident from your avatar that the perils of aging are catching you up- I speak, of course, about the uncontrolled growth of ear, eyebrow and nasal hair in the senior years, issues that must be addressed for streamlining's sake.