View Full Version : How many here are sprinters and how many long distance swimmers?

March 20th, 2003, 01:05 PM
I just wanted to have an idea about the number of sprinters compared to the number of long distance swimmers here..

1: sprinter
2: long distance swimmer

March 21st, 2003, 04:17 PM
What about a category for long distance swimmers who want to be sprinters? There was a saying, "When the going gets tough the sprinters get out."

Phil Arcuni
March 23rd, 2003, 02:45 AM
Or the sprinters that want to be distance swimmers? That's what I thought I was - I told myself that I just couldn't make it to practice enough, and that I was trapped at the <= 200'ds because I was a stroke swimmer.

So last week I took a lactate test - a set of descending 5x200 frees on six minutes. They say the first one was at my "threshold" even though I was fl.o.o.o.o.o.ting. By the last one, with my lactate at about 16 mmole, the coach told another swimmer "I guess I should believe him when he says he's tired" ! What is amazing to me is that I passed 12 mmole so easily, while the 'distance' swimmers worked so hard and could not get above 10.

So one can learn something about oneself late in life - even if it is not such a good thing to learn!

jim thornton
March 23rd, 2003, 11:32 AM

can you explain the details of this test you took? does it involve muscle fiber biopsying, blood tests, or anything else that might be construed as painful?

does Ronco make a home test model?

also, please explain the normal levels of minimolage (or whatever mmole stands for) in distance and sprint swimmers respectively.

Phil Arcuni
March 24th, 2003, 12:12 AM
Hi Jim,

Here is a website that I found after a fairly quick search - there is probably a lot more out there:


Anyway, the test is for something called 'lactate' which has some relationship to the 'lactic acid' that swimmers talk about. [What I will say here is my interpretation of what I have read and heard. I am not an expert.] Lactate is created by muscle activity, the more intense the activity, the more lactate. The better your body is at removing lactate, the less you will have. If you have a lot of it your muscles stop working so well or as efficiently - you lose strength and feel bad.

I know that at the end of a 200 fly race I have a lot of lactate (one of my favorite racing stories - I swam my first 200 fly as a master, and went out in a nice 58+ sec. I came back in 1:10+. I could not turn my arms over when I reached the last flag (more accurately, my arms would not turn over), so I kicked the rest of the way to the wall. I had a *lot* of lactate. (and the timer said "you would have done much better if you had taken a couple more strokes."))

Anyway, it is physiologically impossible to operate for any length of time with a lot of lactate in you body. The critical amount is said to be (though the actual number looks somewhat arbitrary to me) 4 milli mole per (liter, I think) of blood. Below that level, you are fine, above that your performance will degrade, until your muscle activity is low enough so that your body can clear the excess amount out. On the other hand, large concentrations can be tolerated for a short amount of time, particularly if the peak occurs at the *end* of a race, when the finish corresponds to when your body needs to rest.

So distance swimmers and sprint swimmers will train for different lactate profiles during their swim. Distance swimmers will want to swim at a sustainable pace, one that does not force their lactate to get too high. Sprinters will want to swim such that their lactate peaks at the end of their race, and the larger concentration they can tolerate before their muscles shut down, the better. In really short races it does not matter so much - there is little time for the lactate to build up, so the more power you can apply the better. This also has a lot to do with how to pace a 200 - if your lactate reaches its maximum concentration at the 100, you are in trouble.

So in the test I took, the person tested swims a 200 free at an easy pace. the swimmer notes his/her time and heart rate, and someone else pricks an ear and takes a small blood sample. There is a neato device that displays your lactate concentrations in only a few seconds. This is repeated 4 more times, with each swim being faster than the one before, until the last one which is as fast as you can go. five minutes after the last swim, the lactate is taken for the last time. At the end the lactate concentration is plotted against the swim velocity.

This curve is critical. The velocity at which the lactate concentration equals 4 mmole is called the swimmers 'threshold', the speed that can be maintained almost indefinitely. (and until now I thought 'threshold' was the threshold for tossing ones cookies - no wonder I thought threshold sets were so hard. Now I know, at least now that I am resigned to being a sprinter, that it is that pace that leaves one feeling good about the world after the workout (it hasn't happened very often to me)).

(Have I really typed so much?) Anyway, the curves of sprinters and distance swimmers can be very different. A distance swimmer's lactate will stay low throughout most of the descending set. Once it gets past threshold, however, it does not get much higher and the swimmer quickly tires and can not go much faster. Think of a pretty flat, horizontal curve with a little upward curve at the end. However, the high lactate level quickly falls with rest after the last swim.

A sprinter, however, can easily get his/her lactate above threshold and swim considerably faster than threshold velocity. Think of a curve that heads off at a 45 degree angle. Often the peak lactate will be considerably higher than that of a distance swimmer. The lactate may not clear as quickly with rest as it does with a distance swimmer.

I think ones curve is influenced both by talent (type of muscle?) and by training. A swimmers threshold has a significant influence on how one trains - swimming at threshold is good for training the body to remove lactate and improving the cardiovascular system in certain ways, swimming faster than threshold less so.

In my test my lactate went above threshold very soon, and my peak of 16 mmoles caused a lot of discussion among the experienced testers. It may be fairly high for 45 year-old masters swimmers, but is similar to that of more elite and younger swimmers (but happened *way* to the left (that is, slower velocity.) Most of the other people I talked to about their test managed to get to 10 mmoles, but some less than that, and few more.

I've written enough, but this explains a lot about how distance and sprint swimmers swim workouts differently. It also makes it clear that the mild contempt that gull80 has for sprinters may not be appropriate. I mean, who works out at their pain threshold more often?

March 24th, 2003, 08:30 AM
Interesting topic ... takes me back to undergraduate physiology lessons.

Just one comment. When lactate (in truth, I understand that it's a build up of hydrogen ions rather than true lactic acid, but heck, what's in a name?!) is produced by the body, you can chart the increasing levels in your peripheral blood over time.

I note the last post mentioned having blood drawn after each swim ... crucially, I'd be interested to know how long after each swim had been completed that blood was taken.

When I was doing testing in late 1980s, the consensus of opinion was that peak levels were seen in peripheral blood samples (e.g. finger or earlobe stick) around 7 minutes after the exercise had ceased.


If memory serves me well, I believe Maglischo's Swimming Faster contains a fair amount of info. about lactate testing.

March 24th, 2003, 10:30 AM
Actually it was more like envy rather than contempt. I mean, 1000 or 1650 yards of pain vs. 50 or 100 yards? Anyway, lactate and lactic acid are one and the same. It's the byproduct of anaerobic metabolism which begins when the muscle cells are deprived of oxygen. Do these results reflect differences in training, in which case a distance swimmer could become a sprinter?

March 24th, 2003, 06:11 PM
I wish I would have had the money at the time to take that test with you Phil.

I have no idea what type of swimmer I am. I swim all distances, all events. I tend to do comparatively better in the 200 strokes, 400IM and 500 Freestyle, so I guess I would be a middle distance swimmer.

This year when I did the 1650 Butterfly I trimmed 45 seconds off of my last years time and felt pretty good afterwards. It could have something to do with going from 254K yards last February to 301K this year but should there be that much of a difference?

March 24th, 2003, 06:47 PM
I've always been lead to understand that we are all born with either fast twitch/white muscle fiber or slow twitch/red muscle fiber. That being said, sprinters can generate explosive bursts of speed that are limited to the short distance events. Whereas the distance swimmers can maintain a race pace for over half an hour before they finally wear out.

It's usually a rare occasion to see a swimmer cross over from sprint events to long distance and vice versa. But putting sports physiology aside,...spartan like training can bring about phenomenal performances irregardless of the fiber theory.

For example, an exception to the rule would be Tom Dolan,.. a virtual animal in the water. His five hundred yard record stands untouched. And the splits were broken down with a 47 on the first hundred and 49 and change for the following four. His fifty time was also one of the fastest ever recorded at 19 plus. Here's a unique case of someone excelling at both sprinting and distance swims.

P.S. Peter...you are an animal. 1650 fly!!!!!????

March 24th, 2003, 06:50 PM

Where did you take the test? I would like to take one. I live in the same area as you.

thanks for an interesting topic.

Mark Norman

March 24th, 2003, 10:53 PM
I understand your problem with 200 yard swims, Phil. Mine is with breastroke. I should be doing around 3:25 to 3:35 given my times in the 50 yard and the 100 yard. I think that there were a few factors that day why I swam a 3:43.98. One the wind had made me have a bad cough before the 50 yard, I had to find into a small place at the meet to stop from coughing. I had trouble breathing and came up real fast on the underwater pull since I lack oxgenpr Second, I already swam the 100 yard breastroke and 50 yard breastoke that day and my legs were tired. Thirdly, I go out slow and don't know how to pace it. At a short course meters I went out slow too but I spilt it much better and I was able to stay down longer on the truns and it was the first event that day. I did the meter swim at 3:53.85 only 10 seconds slower than the yard time. It hard for us when we don't swim breastroke or butterfly that much in races at 200 yards how to pace the race.

Phil Arcuni
March 25th, 2003, 12:52 AM
Alex - It looks like the peripheral blood responded pretty quickly - the samples were taken within about 30 seconds of the swim and definitely corresponded to the effort of the most recent swim. In one case that I got a peak at, a 'distance' swimmer's lactate went from 8 mmole after her last swim to 1 mmole, 5 minutes of rest later. I can't say mine cleared out so rapidly.

gull80 - Well, maybe it is 1650 of pain, but if it is true that distance swimmers spend most of their time at threshold, then the swims are relatively pleasant. At least, that is my impression of my relatively little time spent swimming at *my* threshold.

Peter - I don't know if you are a sprinter or a distance swimmer. Actually, I think you are a *swimmer.* (and an animal, be sure to let your wife know! ;) ) For those of you who are ignorant, Peter has a long list of amazing swimming accomplishments, from swimming every event, all courses, to 1650 flys, to remarkable February distances every year (and he is still married!). I have never seen anyone go through swim suits or hair faster than Peter. :p

Splash - The testing was arranged by our team, and it cost $40. Looking through the paperwork that we got, the only blurb I can find is "The human peroformance team at SMI has recently been named the US Swimming High Performance Clinic for Northern California. These test are incorporated into Stanford and Berkeley Swim programs. Please feel free to call me with questions you may have." But there is no number! I will check with the coach. Also, it sounds like you might find some information at the US Swimming website.

Cynthia - there has been some debate on which swimmers are 'smarter' - freestylers, breastrokers, etc. In *my* opinion swimmers of 200 events are the smartest. You need to be very clever to swim an event that is neither a sprint nor a distance event.

March 30th, 2003, 08:16 PM
So that's why I like the 200s. I chose 'grey matter' instead of 'fast twitch' muscles....

Anyway I'd trade a kidney for your ankle flexibility Phil.

BTW, Phil did the 1650 Fly too in 2002 and he came in with what was it, a 22 something? Now that we know you're a sprinter that feat is even more phenomenal.

April 19th, 2003, 02:50 PM
I've been a sprinter all my life, not only a sprinter, but a drop-dead sprinter. I would always be hanging on for dear life at the end of a 100.

I've always done way better in meets than in practice. In workouts there is very little recovery time, often only 5 or 10 seconds, and there's no way that I can sprint for 45 minutes straight. Trying to repeat 200's or 400's in workout is a major chore and I feel as if every muscle group is shutting down. I'm not really getting out of breath because I can't move my arms fast enough.

Now that I am in the 50-54 age group (and going up a group in September) I seem to have lost my raw speed.

The only solution is to take it out a little slower which is against all my instincts. But it does seem to be working.

Now it looks like my best chances are in the 200. There are still a lot of big guys who can blast out a 50 or a 100. I'll just have to swim smarter than them in the 200.

When I was in college I could swim a hundred in 51, but the best I did in a 200 was 2:02. Pretty embarrasing.

This year I have swum two 200's in competition. One was split 28.5, 34.5, 34.5, 33.5 and one was 32, 33, 33, 33. The second one was a lot easier than the other.

I'm going to try to go out in 30 at nationals and see if I can keep the rest at 33, maybe even get the last one under 33.

Wish me luck.

Tom Ellison
April 30th, 2003, 09:27 AM
Where do "Liver Glycogens" (SP?) fit into all of this? I've been told that dist swimming taps into this....any comments....?

April 30th, 2003, 12:15 PM
Middle Distance! What happened to an option for middle distance?

Liver Glycogen? I think that is a by product from my Mom's "famous" liver and onions...

April 30th, 2003, 10:35 PM
I'm a true blue sprinter and proud of it! When I was younger I trained hard enough to overcome my "slow twitch" muscle shortage and could actually compete in the 500 and the mile. Now I don't have the time or energy to train 4-5 hours a day!!! I LOVE SPRINTING! I've decided my longest "distance" swim is a 200! Why fight mother nature? I admire long distance swimmers. BUT I'm tired of them saying they work harder than sprinters. Sprinters' muscles can contract faster, therefore their muscles fatigue quicker! Lets try to appreciate each others talents! I don't think I have EVER negative split a race. I don't think I could! I admire those swimmers that can.

May 9th, 2003, 11:17 AM
This reply is in response to an earlier post about Tom Dolan.

He is a great guy, an unbelievably competitive workout swimmer (saw him go under 9 minutes in practice for a 1000), and one of the all-time greats.

But Tom NEVER, and I mean NEVER, would consider himself anything remotely close to a sprinter. The thing is, if you can go a 1:33 in the 200 free, then you can split a 19 on a relay by default. I would guess that there are 1000 people who could beat tom in a 50 if not more and he certainly never recorded on of the fastest times ever.

We sprinters have to protect out turf! Oh, and keep in mind, if there is a little kid drowning in the pool - the mother doesn't stand up and say, "quick, someone swim 66 laps and then save my poor child!" Or even worse, "Quick, someone swim breaststroke out to my drowing kid!" In your time of need, you want a sprinter - you NEED a sprinter.

All in good fun of course (unless your drowning that is!).

May 10th, 2003, 09:03 AM

You're absolutely right about Tom being a hardcore distance guy. The fact of the matter is that he happened to have split his hundreds on the five hundred and thousand much faster than many people can go all out for the same lengths. Most any 47+ hundred swimmer would crash and burn if they had to keep that pace up for another sixteen laps.

So the real question is/was....can super humans like Tom sprint? Absolutely. But the statistics may show that most distance people don't have the explosive sprinting ability as you've mentioned.

And P.S.... I think you're right on about having a sprinter in the lifeguard tower. But I am sure there are many who would argue this point to the contrary.:cool:

May 12th, 2003, 01:32 PM
You probably want a Life Guard with SOME indurance if the "pool" is actually the ocean or a lake : )

Dominick Aielloeaver
May 18th, 2003, 08:02 PM
I believe A lot of the older swimmers, are the distant swimmers . And the younger swimmers are the short swimmers or speed swimers. but never the less I thought your survey was good.

May 25th, 2003, 09:14 AM
For the past few years I've been trying to work out whether I'm a distance swimmer or sprinter, I do all distances and events, similar to pbsaurus - only I guess I've been endowed with a little more grey matter as I've never done a 1650 fly!!!! :)

I've now decided I'd like to concentrate on specific events but my results are comparatively pretty much all the same.

Would this be a matter of choose what you like doing best?
Any advice?

Matt S
June 3rd, 2003, 11:12 AM

You are precisely correct. If you are reasonably comfortable with all strokes & distances, pick the events that appeal to you for any reason, no matter how profound or flippant. (The 200 free because you really admire Franze van Almzick, or the 400 IM because you get to use all strokes and a bad start or turn will not ruin your race, or all 50's because they are done quickly and you can do a race-paced swim in practice several times a day, or...)

Do the events that make you say "Dang! I only got to swim it once! Too bad we do all our events as timed finals because I would LOVE to have a prelim, semi-final and final swim of this event." BOREDOM is the biggest obstacle to a long-term exercise plan, so pick the events that will have you looking forward to practice.


October 6th, 2003, 12:14 PM
In high school, I was a sprinter, but not a terrific one. The best times for the 100 free were around 1:10 or 1:12. Not that special. And, for the 50 free, I was lucky to crack 28 or 29 seconds.

You maniac fast people out there...and you butterfliers! Mad skills!

So, now I'm almost 30--and figured, distance would make sense. Hopefully this knee will be ready to run a 5-10K by next spring, and I could do some tri's. It would be awesome to pass most people during the swim. It seems the longer I go, the faster I am.

Are there many triathletes here?

Have a great day!

October 6th, 2003, 04:30 PM
i used to do distance but have started splitting this down into sets of 250 metres,or even 125 metres,i still do 3000metre workouts but must admit i feel fitter and healthier doing smaller sprints ,i would sometimes before swim2500metres without stopping,all i used to feel was drained at the end(lactic acids in abundance i think,combined with the occassional charlie horse for good measure)i looked like i'd come from the ministry of funny walks when i exited the pool.....

October 12th, 2003, 06:30 PM
I love to do distance.
if I had my choice between a 1500, or a few 100 sprints, I would do a 1500.
Sprints are a torture! ;)

October 13th, 2003, 01:02 PM
Like Jerrycat, I too was a sprinter and remember my 50 free times when I was 15 around the mid to lower 22's. I'm 29 now and just getting back in the pool and hopefully able to get near that same time again.

October 14th, 2003, 02:15 PM
middle distance free is the best......i love anything from a 100free to 500free. i like 400im as well. i absolutely hate 50 free. i just can't get my turnover going, and i have bad starts so i'm pretty much out of the race before it even starts.

i have done a 1650 fly........it wasn't too bad. i think i did it because i was pissed at my coach, we had some sort of disagreement and it was kinda like "fine i'll just swim the whole thing butterfly!" i did it all and beat some ppl who were swimming freestyle.

i just get bored with distance....i lose count too so i usually end up swimming more than i was supposed to. i hated it when we did timed 3000yds in practice, i just never saw any real point to it even though it was supposed to test your level of conditioning during the season. i much rather do 8x200 sprints, 500s descend, or 100s off the blocks.

October 24th, 2003, 12:24 AM
Sprint Breaststoker now in my mid-40's. Swam a 46.12 in the 50 meter breast and a 1:43.31 in the 100 meter breast and a 3:58.01 in the 200 meter, went out three seconds slower in the first 100 meter than the last because I can't keep up the pace of doing a 200 meter breast if I swam the first 100 meter just 5 seconds slower than my 100 meter swim. Your right, the 50 is one of the most tiring races.

January 14th, 2004, 01:53 PM
How about a middle ground for us people who don't quite have the fast twitch for sprint, but lacks the patience for distance - There has to be other middle distance (200-500) swimmers out there...


May 2nd, 2004, 06:10 PM
I was never a sprinter even in running. I really don't even enjoy sprints now. Why all that work in practice just to swim a few seconds at the meet? I like my events to last a little longer.

Jerrycat I started doing triathlons two years ago.

May 3rd, 2004, 12:30 PM
I love distance :D

But I've been known to sprint a little here and there. Back in college I kept begging my coach to put me on the 200 fr. relay at conference. Finally my senior yr. (it only took me splitting faster than any of our sprinters to convince him) he gave in and let me be on the 200 fr. relay - WOOHOO! So come our conference meet - I'm sick and tell him to replace me in the relay :(

I don't enjoy sprinting all that much. It's over too quick. Start, turn, done. Where's the fun?

old dog
May 3rd, 2004, 09:50 PM
Originally posted by DocWhoRocks

I don't enjoy sprinting all that much. It's over too quick. Start, turn, done. Where's the fun? [/B]

No fun????!!!!
There is no real pain!!! :0)

Tom Ellison
May 4th, 2004, 08:36 AM
Real distance guys don’t feel pain…we feel discomfort….!:)

May 4th, 2004, 10:10 AM
Originally posted by old dog

No fun????!!!!
There is no real pain!!! :0)

So, no pain = fun?

I'm sitting here in my office chair, I'm not in pain. But I'm not having fun.

Tom Ellison
May 4th, 2004, 10:12 AM
I had fun once....

May 4th, 2004, 10:47 AM
Originally posted by Tom Ellison
I had fun once....

No you didn't.


Tom Ellison
May 4th, 2004, 10:52 AM
Did to...

May 4th, 2004, 11:14 AM
Originally posted by DocWhoRocks

So, no pain = fun?

I'm sitting here in my office chair, I'm not in pain. But I'm not having fun.

Not getting any exercise either...

Leonard Jansen
May 4th, 2004, 11:18 AM
Originally posted by Tom Ellison
I had fun once....

Marriage: Just say 'No.'


May 4th, 2004, 11:19 AM
Originally posted by Tom Ellison
Did to...


Originally posted by Scansy

Not getting any exercise either...

My fingers are getting a hell of a workout! :lol:

Tom Ellison
May 4th, 2004, 11:32 AM
Am not....

May 4th, 2004, 12:45 PM
Originally posted by Tom Ellison
Am not....

Don't make me come up to Cody! hehe :p

May 4th, 2004, 01:05 PM
Originally posted by DocWhoRocks

My fingers are getting a hell of a workout! :lol:

On a swimming forum! Once again, swimming is a great workout!

Tom Ellison
May 4th, 2004, 01:25 PM
Doc....it would be a long trip (I know, I just made it three weeks ago) for you to come and get me...I now live in Rome, NY....

Na na na.....na....na na....:)

May 4th, 2004, 03:48 PM
Originally posted by Tom Ellison
Doc....it would be a long trip (I know, I just made it three weeks ago) for you to come and get me...I now live in Rome, NY....

Na na na.....na....na na....:)

You don't stay in one place long do ya?

Alrighty then, DON'T MAKE ME COME TO ROME! :p

May 4th, 2004, 04:08 PM
Originally posted by Tom Ellison
Real distance guys don’t feel pain…we feel discomfort….!:)

You can go the distance?
...Oh, you meant swimming....

May 4th, 2004, 04:10 PM
Originally posted by Leonard Jansen

Marriage: Just say 'No.'


Marriage: Pick the right one, not the Miss 'Right'

May 4th, 2004, 04:34 PM
After reading swimr4life's post, I had to relay this funny story. I'm a total sprinter myself and always have been. Last year I went out and did the Walnut Creek intensive camp. For the second workout of the day, you could pick whether to do a sprint, mid-distance, or distance workout. I, of course, chose to do a sprint workout. There were a handful of folks who were non-sprinter types who had decided to do the sprint workout for some reason. Without detailing the entire set, suffice to say we were getting lots of rest in between bursts of sprinting. For the first couple of rounds, those non-sprinters were all saying, "Geez what kind of a workout is this? What's with all this rest? This is easy!" Well, a short time later they got real quiet. Pretty soon they were groaning all the way through those long rests, along with the rest of us! I think they gained a little respect for those of us for whom a 200 is a distance event.

Tom Ellison
May 5th, 2004, 08:30 AM
Gosh, I've never dropped out of a race yet....and I am always in there for the long haul.....and...my flip turns are not bad either.....Being a mile guy...I always viewed distance events much the same as sailing a nice sail boat....It wasn't the destination I focused on....it was the journey ......;)

May 30th, 2004, 09:15 PM
I'm a slow sprinter.

June 16th, 2004, 11:39 AM
I like long distances like 400 sl or 800 sl. Like sprinter I'm very bad because of I reduce the lenght of harm (I don't know how can I say bracciata in english, sorry)
See you soon

June 18th, 2004, 11:23 AM
I was kinda disappointed that there was not a middle distance option for those of us who are in the middle...

June 21st, 2004, 01:20 PM
Originally posted by Alicat
I was kinda disappointed that there was not a middle distance option for those of us who are in the middle...

That's because middle distance swimmers are either sprinter wanna bees or distance wanna bees :p

June 25th, 2004, 02:14 PM
Originally posted by DocWhoRocks
That's because middle distance swimmers are either sprinter wanna bees or distance wanna bees :p

Great! I'm off to therapy again! LOL!

Sonic Swimmer78
July 13th, 2004, 04:31 PM
I just found out yesterday, while working out with my team that I am a distance swimmer. After telling our team's chairperson that I'm able to swim 4000 meters, she and I came to the conclusion that I'm a distance swimmer.

December 10th, 2004, 01:19 PM
I don't believe how long you are able to swim is any indication of whether your are a distance or mid distance or sprint swimmer. It's what you do within the total distance and how you train that determines that. I can knock out an easy 4000 any day of the week but add a bunch of sprint stuff in there and it's a much more meainingful workout for me.

December 10th, 2004, 05:36 PM
What about people who are both or middle distance? It depends on what stroke I'm doing.

December 10th, 2004, 05:46 PM
I am also middle distance all the way......We need to demand to be recognized as our own completely self autonomous genre....And not be bullied by some of the others on this thread (not naming any specific names though...that might rhyme with Bom Bellison or BachBooMocks) that have said that middle distance swimmers are either distance wanna bees or sprinter wanna bees.....It's time for a Coup!!.....We refuse to be ignored!!........we will be recognized!!


March 8th, 2005, 07:03 AM
Originally posted by newmastersswimmer
I am also middle distance all the way......We need to demand to be recognized as our own completely self autonomous genre....And not be bullied by some of the others on this thread (not naming any specific names though...that might rhyme with Bom Bellison or BachBooMocks) that have said that middle distance swimmers are either distance wanna bees or sprinter wanna bees.....It's time for a Coup!!.....We refuse to be ignored!!........we will be recognized!!

i totally agree!!!! although i know some people out there aren't wanna bees, they're don't wanna bees (as in i really i'm a distance swimmer, but i don't wanna bee! or i really am a sprinter, but i don't wanna bee! ;) :D )