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ehoch
June 30th, 2008, 01:28 PM
Yes - one more time it's about the suit:

Here is a comparison to 2004 and what it took to make top 16 (top 8 for the 400) over the first 7 events:

2004 listed first then 2008 then the approx. % drop

400 IM - 4:24.8 to 4:21.0 1.5%
100 Fly - 1:01.29 to 59.97 2%
400 Free - 3:55.0 to 3:51.4 1.6%
400 IM - 4:49.57 to 4:43.2 2.3%
100 Br - 1:04.0 to 1:02.36 2.5%
100 Bk - 1:04.12 to 1:02.31 2.6%
200 Free - 1:51.1 to 1:48.76 2.2%

Ok - to be fair, people are getting faster, but I would guess at least a 1.5% drop across the board for the suit -- that is net time !

ehoch
June 30th, 2008, 01:31 PM
Let's see if this holds - predicting as they are swimming the 100 Breast

100 Breast 1:10 low
100 Back 55.5
400 Free 4:09.0

slknight
June 30th, 2008, 01:31 PM
Ok - to be fair, people are getting faster, but I would guess at least a 1.5% drop across the board for the suit -- that is net time !

What is the "normal" percentage drop between Olympic years? It would be interesting to compare the difference between 2000 and 2004, for example.

Midas
June 30th, 2008, 01:42 PM
What is the "normal" percentage drop between Olympic years? It would be interesting to compare the difference between 2000 and 2004, for example.

I agree. I'd almost think that these types of drops are not unheard of...

hofffam
June 30th, 2008, 01:46 PM
Based on Phelps, Lochte, and Hoff - all who wore a LZR, the drops were minor. Phelps dropped less than 1 sec in a 400. I assume Phelps's last WR was in a FS Pro at the World Championships.

These were hardly the big drops seen earlier this year - especially if you look at the 50 free.

ehoch
June 30th, 2008, 01:48 PM
You guys are so naive ....

2000 times to make it back:

400 IM 4:50.76 and 4:24.36
400 Free men 3:53.2
100 Fly w 1:01.35
100 Bk w 1:04.36
100 Br m 1:03.73
200 Free 1:51.6

Small drops some stay the same some get a little slower - that is normal.

Jazz Hands
June 30th, 2008, 02:11 PM
Let's see if this holds - predicting as they are swimming the 100 Breast

100 Breast 1:10 low
100 Back 55.5
400 Free 4:09.0

About the same for the 100 breast and 100 back today, which is surprising because I thought those two events had really gotten fast recently.

knelson
June 30th, 2008, 02:11 PM
Based on Phelps, Lochte, and Hoff - all who wore a LZR, the drops were minor.

But do you think these three are fully rested?

hofffam
June 30th, 2008, 02:21 PM
But do you think these three are fully rested?

No probably not. But were the French and Australians fully rested earlier this year when they were crushing world records?

Was Kitajima fully rested when he crashed the 200 br record? No.

Daaaave
June 30th, 2008, 02:37 PM
This thread could also be called:

Some quick numbers on four years of additional training
Some quick numbers on improved knowledge of nutrition
Some quick numbers on holding trials in an indoor vs. outdoor pool
Some quick numbers on the impact of more professional swimmers over a four-year period
Some quick numbers on SDK
Some quick numbers on the impact of natural disasters immediately preceeding a timed sporting event

Correllation does not imply causation. Do the suits make a difference? Seems like a reasonable hypothesis. Can we attribute performance improvement to the suit without controlling for the many other variables that also lead to performance improvement? Nope.

Another confound is LZR high-neck suit vs. legs only. Does anyone really think a LZR legs is going to hack a couple % off your time vs. an FS-Pro high-neck, or even the similar FS-Pro legs?

Chris Stevenson
June 30th, 2008, 03:06 PM
You guys are so naive ....

There is a difference between what you believe -- or what sounds reasonable -- and what you can prove. The whole "correlation does not imply causation" thing is SOP. Science is conservative by nature.

As an aside: if I'm hearing her correctly, in her interview on Floswimming (another great one), SVDL did not seem to think the B70 was any better for her than the FSPro she wore to make OT cuts.

knelson
June 30th, 2008, 03:11 PM
No probably not. But were the French and Australians fully rested earlier this year when they were crushing world records?

No, exactly my point. The suit is making people faster even when they aren't rested.

mctrusty
June 30th, 2008, 03:25 PM
Some quick numbers on SDK


SDK sure seems like it is being used to better effect this year than ever before.

Daaaave
June 30th, 2008, 03:27 PM
No, exactly my point. The suit is making people faster even when they aren't rested.

Another hypothesis for which we have the same amount of evidence to support is that better training and four years of experience racing is "making people faster when they aren't rested."

Or, as far as the Men's 400IM is concerned, a hypothesis could easily be: close competition in a high-stakes race makes "people faster when they aren't rested."

BTW, you have to think that Phelps and Lochte are pretty close to fully rested.

knelson
June 30th, 2008, 04:51 PM
I bet they are rested, but not fully rested. Especially Michael. There is absolutely no question his big meet is the Olympics. Trials is merely a necessary stop in the road for him.

Daaave, I agree there are other possible factors at play here, but is there any reason these factors have figured in more in the past four years than they have previously? Anecodotal evidence that the latest generation of tech suits are a quantum leap over the previous suits is overwhelming, IMO.

Midas
June 30th, 2008, 05:13 PM
As an aside: if I'm hearing her correctly, in her interview on Floswimming (another great one), SVDL did not seem to think the B70 was any better for her than the FSPro she wore to make OT cuts.

She thinks about that hard, ignoring the interviewer's question, and ultimately speculates that she might have swum even slower without it. She (and we) will never know.

As an aside to your aside, what a great interview--she has such great personality and enthusiasm, not to mention candor and genuineness. It was a pleasure listening to her speak. My respect for her has grown.

hofffam
June 30th, 2008, 06:04 PM
I bet they are rested, but not fully rested. Especially Michael. There is absolutely no question his big meet is the Olympics. Trials is merely a necessary stop in the road for him.

Daaave, I agree there are other possible factors at play here, but is there any reason these factors have figured in more in the past four years than they have previously? Anecodotal evidence that the latest generation of tech suits are a quantum leap over the previous suits is overwhelming, IMO.

I doubt any of us can prove it - but my own "guess" is that the #1 reason for the fast times this year is four years of training timed to peak for Beijing. The #2 reason is an accumulation of training advances around the world over many years. #3 could be suits. #4 could be the psychological effect of the swimsuits (the belief that they are faster).

ehoch
June 30th, 2008, 06:07 PM
All the other factors are over and above -- that is why the drops are bigger in some events, but the suits are about 1.5-2%. That is actually what they have been claiming all along (Schubert started this).

You can stick or head in the sand and believe what you want, but the numbers don't lie. By the end of the Olympics all WRs are going to be on average 1.5%-2% faster than last year. Some more - some less. Can't wait for the 1:49.9 in the 200 Fly ....

You had these type of drops in the 60s and 70s - but not in the last 15 years.

geochuck
June 30th, 2008, 06:15 PM
They all swim faster because of a bathing suit.

Do you really think that none of these swimmers improved in their swimming abilities???? I have many questions about this. What a bunch of bull wash...

All these swimmers are now going to say I improved my times only because I wore this amazing swim suit. I think you will find that if they say this they receive money or some kind of payment to say it is the swim suit.

Iwannafly
June 30th, 2008, 06:43 PM
You can stick your head in the sand and believe what you want, but the numbers don't lie.
You're right that the numbers don't lie because there are no numbers. The only people that have any real scientific data to date are the people at NASA and Speedo that did the testing. If you'll notice, they haven't released any of their data or analyses. I have to believe that if they really succeeded in improving performance that much, they would be presenting their research to journals or at conferences.

As Daaaaaaaaaaave and Chris said, any quantification of performance gain is purely hypothetical. There is absolutely no way that you can unequivocally state a number and have it be anything other than a guess.

KeithM
June 30th, 2008, 06:46 PM
If you look across the globe so far this year to compare:
1) Previous Olympic Years to this one
2) Previous rates of improvement between Olympics.

... It definitely indicates that it's not just improved training, knowledge, etc. Those variables always exist. But they haven't varied to this extent in ages. The suits are having a substantial impact. Go ahead and rail against the "hype" but there is no doubt in my mind there is a big technology input at work.

ehoch
June 30th, 2008, 06:55 PM
So - let's move 6 month ahead from today :

- all WR will be on average 2% faster than pre LZR
- all top 8 / top 16 times at the olympics will be 2% faster compared to 4 years ago
- improvements in the last 3 Olympic cycles are only about 0.5%
- all the top 25 / 50 or 100 times in the World are 2% faster than last year

You guys can figure out some science experiment -- the clock never lies.

Chris Stevenson
June 30th, 2008, 07:13 PM
All the other factors are over and above -- that is why the drops are bigger in some events, but the suits are about 1.5-2%. That is actually what they have been claiming all along (Schubert started this).

You can stick or head in the sand and believe what you want, but the numbers don't lie. By the end of the Olympics all WRs are going to be on average 1.5%-2% faster than last year. Some more - some less.

Ah, the 2% mantra. Just repeat it often enough and it becomes fact.

This thread reminds me of the movie "Thank You for Smoking" (which I thought was hysterical).

KeithM
June 30th, 2008, 07:26 PM
The first six months of 2004 prior to trials only one WR was broken. This year over the same period prior to the U.S. trials 20 WR's have been broken. 19 of those by swimmers wearing a LZR. Why such a massive discrepancy? It's not just the world record breakers it is across the board improvements beyond anything seen in the last three decades. The camp that chooses to pitch the "other variables" argument (e.g. better training, nutrition, etc.) cannot articulate specifically why those variables would lead to such abberant stats now and not before. So they throw out that speed bump in the knowledge that one can't disprove a negative. Fine it's a theory. But it's has much more support than anything else. There has been extensive study done by Whitten/Lord analyzing the data that came up with 1.9-2.2% improvement on aggregate.

geochuck
June 30th, 2008, 07:57 PM
Reason - In my day there maybe 10 swimmers within 2 seconds of breaking world records.

Now there are maybe 300 or more.

Now guys are making money.

Before you hand to be an amatuer.

It is easy to say it is a swim suit.

But I think there are more and more fast swimmers.

LindsayNB
June 30th, 2008, 08:16 PM
You're right that the numbers don't lie because there are no numbers. The only people that have any real scientific data to date are the people at NASA and Speedo that did the testing. If you'll notice, they haven't released any of their data or analyses. I have to believe that if they really succeeded in improving performance that much, they would be presenting their research to journals or at conferences.

Presuming that a commercial company really had a strong interest in publishing in journals or at conferences, doing so would still interfere with FINA's ability to state that there was no scientific proof that the suits enhanced performance (and could therefore be considered illegal).

Chris Stevenson
June 30th, 2008, 11:20 PM
It's not just the world record breakers it is across the board improvements beyond anything seen in the last three decades. The camp that chooses to pitch the "other variables" argument (e.g. better training, nutrition, etc.) cannot articulate specifically why those variables would lead to such abberant stats now and not before. So they throw out that speed bump in the knowledge that one can't disprove a negative. Fine it's a theory. But it's has much more support than anything else. There has been extensive study done by Whitten/Lord analyzing the data that came up with 1.9-2.2% improvement on aggregate.

Oh, a peer-reviewed extensive study in a reputable journal? Citation, please.

I saw the USA Today article last week showing WRs in Olympic events in Olympic years. I don't have it handy, but I remember thinking that there have been similar bumps in the past 3 decades (1984 seems to stick in my brain, as well as 2000). But this year isn't over yet, either.

I haven't seen the Whitten/Lord data analysis. But everything I have seen cannot be used to assign specific amounts to different causes. That's because no attempt has been made to control any variables either through clever sample selection or in controlled experiments. In the absence of such, suit-lovers sometimes seem to want to assign ANY and ALL improvement to the suit.

Tonight no ARs or WRs were set, despite the fact that LZRs were everywhere. So I guess the US really stunk it up tonight, since without the LZRs we would have been more than 2% slower than we have been in the past.

Let's take the simple statement that "the LZR improves times by 1.9-2.2%." But there isn't even a single LZR suit. I saw many breaststrokers and backstrokers wearing LZR legskins tonight. Are they just as effective as the full body suit? If they are, why stop there? I cannot believe that covering calves is really that critical, so why not go with the LZR jammers?

I wouldn't think these suits are equally effective, at least by any mechanism that I can imagine. But if the full body LZRs are (say) worth 2% and the legskins only 1%, why does anyone wear the legskins?

It also seemed to me that the female suits expose a lot more skin on the back then the male suit. Or maybe I just noticed it more. :) Why? Wouldn't you want to cover as much on the females as the males?

Or maybe just TOUCHING a LZR suit, or glancing at one of their ads, before a race is good for 0.2%, no matter what you are wearing.

Bottom line: please note that I am NOT saying these suits are ineffective. (Outrageously overpriced and prone to failure, perhaps.) But as far as I can tell this 2% number is a guesstimate, pure and simple.

But on the positive side, no one is talking about PEDs anymore. Kudos to Speedo for taking THAT minor little "other variable" out of the picture.

Daaaave
June 30th, 2008, 11:54 PM
You guys can figure out some science experiment -- the clock never lies.

Oh man. Science, schmience. I guess if I feel in my gut the suit is responsible then it must be. Jeez, "some science experiment," like that would be a cockamamy way to figure out causes and effects of things.

No one is arguing whether the clock is lying. Look, the suit very likely makes a measurable difference. I have said that before; "it's a reasonable hypothesis," I've said. But it is irresponsible and inaccurate to claim that each time a swimmer dons a LZR (in any form? full body only? legs?) there will be a 1-2 second difference in time. I think Chris made a good point about the non-record-breaking performances: good think Hansen had a LZR on tonight or he'd have been 1:01--yikes. Why didn't Hoff or Ziegler crush the AR tonight? Probably nothing to do with the suit they wore--so why is it the only factor brought up when records ARE broken.

Why did Lochte improve his PR so much more than Phelps? They both had on LZRs! Wait, but Phelps was faster--maybe he's just more LZR-y. Obviously, PVK and Jensen beat Vendt because they're bigger and get more LZR coverage--oh wait, but Keller's bigger than all of them. I'll bet he had on the wrong size LZR.

knelson
July 1st, 2008, 12:18 AM
Why didn't Hoff or Ziegler crush the AR tonight? Probably nothing to do with the suit they wore

Um, Hoff's American Record was set wearing a LZR back in May. Tonight's swim by Ziegler was a personal best.

The Fortress
July 1st, 2008, 09:22 AM
In the absence of such, suit-lovers sometimes seem to want to assign ANY and ALL improvement to the suit.

Or maybe just TOUCHING a LZR suit, or glancing at one of their ads, before a race is good for 0.2%, no matter what you are wearing.

Bottom line: please note that I am NOT saying these suits are ineffective. (Outrageously overpriced and prone to failure, perhaps.) But as far as I can tell this 2% number is a guesstimate, pure and simple.



Now wait a minute! I just made a long list of factors that could effect race times (at least mine). The suit is definitely just one factor. However, I'm sure if I could just touch a LZR or two without ripping them, I'd drop a few tenths!

Kate Ziegler's PB is probably due to her sport psychologist, not her LZR. lol

aquageek
July 1st, 2008, 09:28 AM
I don't think you can assert they are overpriced. You can assert they are expensive but Speedo shouldn't be expected to sell them at a loss. Part of me wonders if the cost isn't a significant part of the controversy. If this suit was $50 would folks complain so much?

geochuck
July 1st, 2008, 09:32 AM
I still think a body paint suit would do the job. You could make it a one piecer and include a swim cap painted on also.

pwolf66
July 1st, 2008, 09:51 AM
But let's not just focus on the suits.

How about all the other factors that combine to make up a 'fast' pool?

1) Air quality
2) Water temperature
3) water density
4) currents - with 1million+ gallons of water you will have currents but they will be in tenths of knots.
5) Water purity
6) water depth -
7) Blocks - size, texture, angle
8) Air temperature
9) Air density


just to list a few. Yes, most of these factors are in the tenths of % but still when a swim is measured in 100ths of a second and you are talking 1 minute + events, those are statistically significant factors. Yes, modern swim suits are faster but so are modern pool designs.

phdude
July 1st, 2008, 09:53 AM
good to see more cooler heads on this board rather than the suit-hypers. the only truly scientific study I've seen (although he wasn't able to do any controlled experiments) actually discussed the possibility of bodysuits impacting performance to the swimmers' detriment. the use of neutrally buoyant material(or temporarily buoyant until saturation) in the new suits was postulated to impact performance to a degree, however. it probably is good for a tenth per 50 or 100. not the degree of improvement people were are thinking (2%=half a second off a 50), but for an improvement over shaved skin, that's actually pretty impressive.

what is most interesting is that I am not seeing many blue70's at the meet. considering that it seems to provide more buoyancy than the lzr, it's puzzling that i am not seeing anyone wearing them. i think a big part of suit choice is psychological-everyone seems to be taking speedo's handouts, so people don't want to go against what everyone in the crowd is doing.

phdude
July 1st, 2008, 10:07 AM
I don't think you can assert they are overpriced. You can assert they are expensive but Speedo shouldn't be expected to sell them at a loss. Part of me wonders if the cost isn't a significant part of the controversy. If this suit was $50 would folks complain so much?

yeah, speedo has to make up a ton on development and marketing costs. no one seems to complain about computers being overpriced, but the production costs, at least on the parts that I am involved in designing, are less than a tenth of what you all pay for. why? because companies have to pay all of us engineers salaries over the years it takes to develop the products, and then all of the marketing campaigns to convince you to buy the product. i'm sure that the lzr must cost less than 50 dollars to produce (20 dollars wouldn't surprise me, these are made in china right??) but they have to pay all of their athletes, engineers, as well as market the product and provide 2500 free suits to athletes at trials! so they have to make this all back somehow. and if the market will bear the cost, that's what the price is. it's like intel producing 1000 chips on the same wafer, and the ones on the outside run at 2 ghz so they get sold for a couple hundred, and the ones at the center that cost the same to produce but can run slightly faster get marked up to $1000 when they first come out. and people pay those prices when they come out. why? i do a lot of high performance computing, but i don't need to pay 80% more for a 5% speed improvement, especially when the price will come down a lot in a couple months.

similarly, i don't need to spend 10-20x the price for a lzr compared to my speedo when it will likely only improve my speed by a couple tenths. but phelps? sure! and if i was competing at a higher level and had the disposable income, sure i might consider it.

what is most surprising to me is that you see so many kids at high school championships in the fs-pro bodysuits at like 300 a pop. a complete waste of their parents' money, especially when you consider jimmy broke the high school record wearing a speedo brief.

Chris Stevenson
July 1st, 2008, 10:12 AM
Um, Hoff's American Record was set wearing a LZR back in May. Tonight's swim by Ziegler was a personal best.

I was really rooting for Ziegler to make the team, I'm glad she did. Despite no records, it was a great race, with four swimmers more or less even at the 300.

(Hoff's AR was set in February, I believe.)

Daaaave
July 1st, 2008, 10:20 AM
Um, Hoff's American Record was set wearing a LZR back in May. Tonight's swim by Ziegler was a personal best.

My point is simply that when records aren't broken the suit suddenly disappears as a variable from everyone's arguments. Classic sampling bias: only looking at data that may support your hypothesis.

So Ziegler went a personal best at the olympic trials in an event for which she's been training several years. And the suit gets the credit?

Chris Stevenson
July 1st, 2008, 10:22 AM
I just made a long list of factors that could effect race times (at least mine).

Please, do share...until then we can only speculate:

1. Sinus infection
2. Shoulder
3. Monofin accident
4. Forgot to pack inhaler
5. Broke foot trying to hop a fence to catch daughter's soccer game
6. Beat Hulk in arm-wrestling match, but hurt elbow
7. Stayed up late reading USMS forum messages
8. Got so bitchy during taper I rear-ended a state trooper on the way to the meet...and then cussed him out and spent the night in jail

pwolf66
July 1st, 2008, 10:28 AM
Please, do share...until then we can only speculate:

1. Sinus infection
2. Shoulder
3. Monofin accident
4. Forgot to pack inhaler
5. Broke foot trying to hop a fence to catch daughter's soccer game
6. Beat Hulk in arm-wrestling match, but hurt elbow
7. Stayed up late reading USMS forum messages
8. Got so bitchy during taper I rear-ended a state trooper on the way to the meet...and then cussed him out and spent the night in jail

9. Could not fit in %$^D fastskin due to excessive musculature.

LindsayNB
July 1st, 2008, 10:47 AM
One has to wonder if the new suits, like many other pieces of equipment, require some experience to gain full benefit from. Perhaps putting on a new type of suit for the first time for your big race is not the way to get the best advantage. There were some articles in the Australian press indicating that Eamon Sullivan for example had a learning process and made adjustments and improved with each race in the suit.

Chris is the stats expert and perhaps he'll chip in on this but I don't think it is valid to say that because some people have bad swims in an LZR that the LZR cannot be partially responsible for other people having good swims.

Daaaave
July 1st, 2008, 11:05 AM
Chris is the stats expert and perhaps he'll chip in on this but I don't think it is valid to say that because some people have bad swims in an LZR that the LZR cannot be partially responsible for other people having good swims.

Yes! Logic, statistics, and empirical methods. That's right, examples of bad swims in LZRs do not alone refute the hypothesis that LZRs could have a statistically significant positive impact on swim times. But these examples do illustrate that other factors are at play (e.g., conditioning, athlete's mental state, 10K screaming fans, a deeper pool than in 2004). These factors are in play in "good" swims as well as in "bad" swims.

Also recognize that unless you control for these other variables at play you can't attribute a "1-2% improvement" to any one of them. The "Whitten/Lord Study" as it's now being called (like it's a seminal paper on hydrodynamics) is well-intentioned but is ultimately anecdotal.

OldH2O
July 1st, 2008, 11:07 AM
It would be interesting to run the number on the trials where the LZR (or others) were not allowed. Canada, this well known model of fairness, is one. Germany, I believe, did the same, with morning finals on top of it if memory serves. the test will be % improvement with LZR being used vs no LZR. Of course, the swimmers who were not able to don the magic suit were psychologically weakened ...
As an aside, the Canadian medley team swam with LZR after the trials, were the times statistically better ?

LindsayNB
July 1st, 2008, 11:30 AM
It would be interesting to run the number on the trials where the LZR (or others) were not allowed. Canada, this well known model of fairness, is one. Germany, I believe, did the same, with morning finals on top of it if memory serves. the test will be % improvement with LZR being used vs no LZR. Of course, the swimmers who were not able to don the magic suit were psychologically weakened ...
As an aside, the Canadian medley team swam with LZR after the trials, were the times statistically better ?

They did demolish the Canadian record, even though Hayden didn't swim the free leg due to back problems.

The Fortress
July 1st, 2008, 12:21 PM
Please, do share...until then we can only speculate:

1. Sinus infection
2. Shoulder
3. Monofin accident
4. Forgot to pack inhaler
5. Broke foot trying to hop a fence to catch daughter's soccer game
6. Beat Hulk in arm-wrestling match, but hurt elbow
7. Stayed up late reading USMS forum messages
8. Got so bitchy during taper I rear-ended a state trooper on the way to the meet...and then cussed him out and spent the night in jail

Such a short list. Where's your imagination?!

I'm not surprised to see high school kids in Pros. I was trying not to DQ kids at a B meet last night, and saw a 7 year old in a fastskin. A 7 year old ... at a developmental meet ... in summer league .... :rolleyes:

ehoch
July 1st, 2008, 12:31 PM
Here is a comparison of what it took in the last 6 US Olympic Trials to make the top 8 in the 100 and 200 Free (Men): why pick those ? Because I was a 200 Free swimmer and I know the difference between a 1:49.9 and a 1:47. Also, Freestyle has had no change in rules and things have pretty much stayed the same except for some underwater kicking off the wall (which has not been revolutionized in the last 4 years).

1984 50.83 and 1:51.26
1988 50.5 and 1:50.7 (those are approx)
1992 50.53 and 1:50.60
1996 50.31 and 1:50.80
2000 49.96 and 1:50.23
2004 49.7 and 1:49.83

2008 not sure yet, but it will be under 49 AND 1:46.94

So in 20 years the time for the 200 drops 1.4 seconds and then in 4 years it drops more than twice as much ? We must have had a miracle in nutrition and training methods. Maybe it's the water or they are just more motivated ?

I don't know the exact difference of the suits - but it is BIG.
I don't know why some people only wear the legskins - maybe it's the problems in terms of water coming in for some swimmers - but I think we won't see many legskins in Beijing.

Midas
July 1st, 2008, 01:36 PM
what is most interesting is that I am not seeing many blue70's at the meet. considering that it seems to provide more buoyancy than the lzr, it's puzzling that i am not seeing anyone wearing them. i think a big part of suit choice is psychological-everyone seems to be taking speedo's handouts, so people don't want to go against what everyone in the crowd is doing.

As I understand it, Speedo is giving every swimmer at trials a free LZR, and I'm guessing outside of sponsored athletes (are there any?) blueseventy isn't giving their $400 suit away for free. That's probably a HUGE factor in why everyone is wearing LZRs. Also, if everyone wears the same suit, it sort of evens the playing field in that respect so it makes sense for most people to choose to wear one. The Tyr suit or the blueseventy suits may be faster and they may be slower. Nobody wants to be on the wrong side of that answer so wearing the LZR like everybody else (at no cost) removes that as a factor.

phdude
July 1st, 2008, 02:58 PM
it took a 1:47.0 to make the final of the 200. another thing that has changed a lot over the past 4 years is the infusion of money into the sport that allows good college swimmers to continue training at a high level after graduation.
if you look at the makeup of the top 10 finishers of the 200free, 8 of the 10 are out of college/professional and still swimming. in 2004, 3 of the top 15 were over 22. in 2000, 4 of the top 16, and those 4 had nowhere near the resources today's professionals have. in 2000, the average age of a top 15 qualifier out of prelims in 200fr was 21.3. in 2004, 21.8. in 2008, 23 even. we're seeing more swimmers with more resources, who are more physically mature. i think this has just as much to do with the time drops, if not more, than some swimsuit.

knelson
July 1st, 2008, 03:09 PM
phdude, it looks like you took out your reference to Jimmy Feigen, but it is true he broke the national HS record in the 50 wearing briefs. His time was 19.65. He went the 19.49 at the Texas state meet wearing a legskin (1% faster).

Daaaave
July 1st, 2008, 05:18 PM
phdude, it looks like you took out your reference to Jimmy Feigen, but it is true he broke the national HS record in the 50 wearing briefs. His time was 19.65. He went the 19.49 at the Texas state meet wearing a legskin (1% faster).

I can think of a lot of reasons a talented high school swimmer drops 16/100ths in a 50 at state champs vs. a few weeks prior. The suit could be one of them. But I'll bet the pool where TX states takes place is pretty nice, and I'll bet the crowd was really fired up which got him excited. I'm pretty sure he practiced starts and turns between the 19.65 and the 19.49--tiny RT and turn improvements can easily mean a .16 difference. I'm not saying it's not the suit; I'm saying there are other factors that everyone is suddenly ignoring. Suit or no suit--would anyone actually not expect him to improve that much in his key event at the biggest scy meet of the season?

hofffam
July 1st, 2008, 05:41 PM
I can think of a lot of reasons a talented high school swimmer drops 16/100ths in a 50 at state champs vs. a few weeks prior. The suit could be one of them. But I'll bet the pool where TX states takes place is pretty nice, and I'll bet the crowd was really fired up which got him excited. I'm pretty sure he practiced starts and turns between the 19.65 and the 19.49--tiny RT and turn improvements can easily mean a .16 difference. I'm not saying it's not the suit; I'm saying there are other factors that everyone is suddenly ignoring. Suit or no suit--would anyone actually not expect him to improve that much in his key event at the biggest scy meet of the season?

I have seen Feigen swim many times although I didn't see his state swim. He is an exceptional sprinting talent. I suppose his legskin was part of this drop at the state meet. But more than anything I think he tapered for state. He was so far ahead of everyone else that he had no need to taper for regionals or districts before that.

The Texas state meet is always held at UT's TSC. Feigen's regional meet was the Palo Alto (Texas) Natatorium near San Antonio. It is a championship caliber pool that has held Toyota Grand Prix events.

ehoch
July 1st, 2008, 05:57 PM
Funny how the doubters all provide one specific swimmer or one comment by a swimmer, when the overall numbers simply show a massive shift in times.

Comparing the top 8 times (or top 16 or top 25 in the world) is about as good a comparisons as you will get. It does not involve particular swimmers and it takes out the "freak factor" (somebody like Phelps).

Today - Women's 200 Free it took 1:59.98 for top 16. The last two trials it took 2:02.6 and 2:02.5. There were 46 girls under 2:02 this morning. There were 8 in prelims at Long Beach.

knelson
July 1st, 2008, 06:06 PM
I can think of a lot of reasons a talented high school swimmer drops 16/100ths in a 50 at state champs vs. a few weeks prior. The suit could be one of them.

Absolutely. I wasn't suggesting the suit made the difference, just commenting on what suit he wore for these swims. Neither swim was with the LZR, by the way.

ehoch
July 1st, 2008, 06:13 PM
in 2000, the average age of a top 15 qualifier out of prelims in 200fr was 21.3. in 2004, 21.8. in 2008, 23 even

Do not come up with phony numbers here - how lame is that. The average age of the top 16 prelim swimmers in the 200 Free for 2004 was 23.2 and in 2008 it was 23.0 --- I am guessing we are putting that theory to rest ?

geochuck
July 1st, 2008, 06:14 PM
Do I see the odd commission salesperson here trying to sell swimwear???

Chris Stevenson
July 1st, 2008, 07:01 PM
Usually the numbers I see combine the men and the women, but it would be interesting to see them split up. It would make sense to me that the tech suits (not necessarily just the LZR) help women more than men.

Ehoch, I don't think people are disputing that swimming has gotten faster, but you started this thread by stating that the drop was completely due to the LZR. You seem to have backed off that a little ("I don't know how much but it is big"), but that initial assertion was the only thing I was complaining about.

I think there are many factors that have contributed to recent drops. The suit is one, possibly even the dominant one. We just can't say for sure with the data we have.

My friend Dave Holland found this article (http://www.plosone.org/article/info:doi/10.1371/journal.pone.0001552) about WR progressions. It is not for the math-phobic, but the discussion is interesting and mostly accessible to anyone. The authors postulate ultimate ("asymptotic") limits in WRs and predict, based on their analyses, that half of these WRs will be closely approached by 2027: "Present conditions prevailing for the next 20 years, half of all WR won't be improved by more than 0.05%." This was written pre-LZR and for a number of sports, not just swimming.

The authors also discuss the impact of world wars and doping on WR progressions. They note that the top 10 times in 100m women or men high jump has not changed substantially for the last 20 years.

They also have some figures for swimming WRs; I have attached them. Note the piecewise model they used to fit the data, indicating that there have been periods in the past where there have been sudden drops in performance. Maybe we are starting a new one now, and in 5-10 years (or more) we will be able to look back and point to the drop that coincided with the introduction of the LZR and similar suits, as well as factors like the more common occurrence of the professional post-college swimmer (I agree with a previous poster that this has to be an important factor).

I'm sure you and others get frustrated with science-talk about lack of proof of the efficacy of these suits. Keep in mind that the bar of scientific certainty is purposefully high, and is never completely satisfied. That doesn't mean that people can't or shouldn't act before all is known. I wish that a similar precautionary attitude had prevailed about global warming, but I digress...:bolt:

Go buy your suit and enjoy it.

Chris Stevenson
July 1st, 2008, 07:04 PM
Do not come up with phony numbers here - how lame is that. The average age of the top 16 prelim swimmers in the 200 Free for 2004 was 23.2 and in 2008 it was 23.0 --- I am guessing we are putting that theory to rest ?

Wasn't it Schubert who also said that in two Olympics there won't be a swimmer under 27? Or something similar. A little over-the-top but I remember reading that there has been a pretty steady progression in the average age of the US Olympic swimmer.

All I know is that in my day :oldman: virtually no one swam past college, except in masters; that certainly isn't the case now.

OldH2O
July 1st, 2008, 07:14 PM
They did demolish the Canadian record, even though Hayden didn't swim the free leg due to back problems.


Individual then relay. I could not find how the starts were. Same swimmers, same meet, same motivation (probably but not sure), same pool

Tapp 55.53 55:11
Bois 1:01.53 1:00.29
Bartoch 52.28 51.68
Greenshields 49.14 47.91

phdude
July 1st, 2008, 08:03 PM
Do not come up with phony numbers here - how lame is that. The average age of the top 16 prelim swimmers in the 200 Free for 2004 was 23.2 and in 2008 it was 23.0 --- I am guessing we are putting that theory to rest ?


check your math. besides, the 2004 number for 16 is skewed by the appearance of josh davis, who was a non-factor as a distant 16th. if you compare the finals of all trials, you will see a shift to more professionals. if you can't see it, you're doing all you can to ignore what's obviously in front of all of us. none of what i said removed the possibility of a suit helping, it just goes against your single-minded notion of all of the time drops being completely due to the suit. objectivity please?

phdude
July 1st, 2008, 08:30 PM
that was an interesting final in the backstroke, the two legskins (peirsol and grevers) beat the two bodyskins (lochte and bal). new world record. 'nuff said.

ehoch
July 1st, 2008, 10:38 PM
All the things you guys are describing show the improvements made in the last 20 years. More pros - better training - longevity of swimmers - and so on. And again this time around we would have seen another small improvement in times --- but please somebody explain the 200 Free improvements for men and women. They dropped more in the last 4 years than all 20 years before combined. I am not backing off anything - there is a massive drop of about 2% - just check all the events.

geochuck
July 1st, 2008, 11:21 PM
So many changes in the swim stroke. So much changes in conditioning. The 200 is fast becoming the same as a 100. Better starts, better turns, better streamline makes for faster times.

knelson
July 2nd, 2008, 12:57 AM
that was an interesting final in the backstroke, the two legskins (peirsol and grevers) beat the two bodyskins (lochte and bal). new world record. 'nuff said.

Did I notice Peirsol wearing a LZR? Kind of a blow for Nike if so.

Chris Stevenson
July 2nd, 2008, 05:31 AM
About the legskins: I wonder if people are wearing them to avoid the chance of catastrophic failure, where the zipper comes undone during the race? That might also explain why the women are going for the open back suits.

Daaaave
July 2nd, 2008, 09:36 AM
All the things you guys are describing show the improvements made in the last 20 years. More pros - better training - longevity of swimmers - and so on. And again this time around we would have seen another small improvement in times --- but please somebody explain the 200 Free improvements for men and women. They dropped more in the last 4 years than all 20 years before combined. I am not backing off anything - there is a massive drop of about 2% - just check all the events.

Again, again, again, the suit is likely helping to some degree (although not sure why it would help the 200FR more than any other event).

One hypothesis for a jump in performance in the U.S. men's 200FR is the 4-minute mile effect. Recall that once Bannister broke through that purportedly impossible barrier, others soon followed. Thorpe's record at 1:44.1 seemed pretty unattainable for a long time - the best US guys were hovering in 1:46/7 territory. Then Phelps drops a couple 1:45's, then the big 1:43.9. The rest of the US guys realize what they have to do to be a player in this event. They study his splits, see how he works his turns. Heck, several of the guys among the 200 FR elite train with Phelps every day (PVK, Vendt, Tarwater)--or are good friends with him (Lochte), or have coaches that share some training ideas (Bowman -->Reese). Phelps elevated everyone's game in this event.

Shaman
July 2nd, 2008, 02:08 PM
Did I notice Peirsol wearing a LZR? Kind of a blow for Nike if so.

Nike's letting some of their athletes wear what they like with blacked out logos.

ehoch
July 2nd, 2008, 05:38 PM
Final post by me on this subject -- here are the exact numbers for the first 4 days:

I took 16th place, because that earns an evening swim now, plus one can be certain that swimmers around that place go all out.

I compared all the 100 and 200 events where prelims have been completed (12 events). I compared 16th place between 1984 vs 2004 and then 2004 vs. 2008.

Between 1984 and 2004 the 16th place time dropped on average 2.3%.
Between 2004 and 2008 the 16th place time also dropped 2.3%.

In 1984, swimmers had to touch the wall with their hand in the backstroke turn, Breaststrokers were not allowed to get their head under water or do a dolphin kick, and the Fly kick was only done during the butterfly swim.

I don't know the exact reason and how it all works, but the suits are making the good swimmers into great swimmers. Pick any event and look at places 5-25. Compare their times to last year, 4 years ago or any other way.

Based on this, I make a prediction right now -- I will come very close to my PR in the 100 Free this summer, and I should not be able to do so by any normal means.

geochuck
July 2nd, 2008, 05:43 PM
Ehoch I have enjoyed all of your posts on the subject. They are very intelligent. I for one just do not believe that the swim suit is a major factor in these great times.

Daaaave
July 2nd, 2008, 06:17 PM
Based on this, I make a prediction right now -- I will come very close to my PR in the 100 Free this summer, and I should not be able to do so by any normal means.

This is (probably) my last post on the topic. Yes, there is good evidence the suit is making some impact. But correlation does not imply causation. You need to control for other variables that could also be influencing the outcome. Based on your data, it looks like we can confidently say the suits are "correlated" with improved performance. We cannot yet say the suits "cause" improved performance - it seems like semantics but this is a material difference and is covered in Stats 101. The importance of fthis distinction comes to mind when considering the recent drowning study...but I'll avoid that can of worms.

The 2.3% improvement in four vs. 20 years is interesting, but do we know for a fact the overall rate of improvement is supposed to be linear over time? What if it's exponential until it reaches some plateau?

I wore a body suit for the first time a few weeks ago. It definitely feels fast--I felt like I was all shaved down. I went faster than expected in a couple races, and slower than expected in a couple races. I hope you get close to your PR this summer--that sounds like a worthy and exciting goal.

But if you rely on a suit to take the last step for you, there's a good chance you'll be disappointed. Plus, say you do go a PR with the suit--if you believe it is only 1-2% faster than you would have gone otherwise, think of all the little training things you can do to go even faster--or to get the same time w/o a magic suit! In a 100FR, 1% can be a start, turn, and one less breath! (you aren't Garett Weber-Gale, are you? I'm assuming you're a standard masters swimmer)

OldH2O
July 2nd, 2008, 06:45 PM
I would not call ehoch an average master swimmer, he can elaborate more on this if he wants.

Looking at the Canadian number I gave earlier, (padding the time with .5 to account for the relay) the average is .9%. The sample is small but the setting of the experiment is almost perfect as the only difference between the 2 sets of time is the suit. So an effect, yes, maybe less than 2% also.

Jazz Hands
July 2nd, 2008, 07:27 PM
Hoch is not a standard masters swimmer. Dude is fast.

Paul Smith
July 2nd, 2008, 07:28 PM
I for one just do not believe that the swim suit is a major factor in these great times.

I think your being a bit naive George, those of us who have tried each generation of the suits can attest to the fact that the recent changes that FINA made in allowing these "wetsuits" has had a dramatic effect on times.

As Glen Mills pointed out and I discovered first hand testing a BlueSeventy last week the "flotation" that it provides as a significant impact on body position...an is greater the longer the race. What this will do to things like TI is going to be interesting because it for the most part compensates for both fatigue and poor technique.

I also saw where you posted that changes in stroke and conditioning are the main factors. I would argue that there has been any major changes in training in years...fad chasing yes but other than possibly more emphasis on quality/fast swimming more frequently in work out no. And as far as stroke changes I agree with Hoch that the no hand touch in backstroke/flip turn, dolphin in breast and far more emphasis on underwater SDK are the real changes.

To those that have doubts at some point I hope you can get a chance to try one of these next generation suits first hand and come back and discuss.

geochuck
July 2nd, 2008, 08:20 PM
Paul are you saying that these great swims are only because of a swim suit. No world record set, it should say Phelps, wearing a floating device.

Next year it will be Phelps wearing swim paddles.

After that Phelps wearing zoomers.

What bogus type swimming is coming next.

Phelps is slower than his 200 fly WR by a fraction should he not be faster by 2 percent? Did he wear a LZR in March 2007, when he set his WR.???

Ripple
July 2nd, 2008, 08:48 PM
...What this will do to things like TI is going to be interesting because it for the most part compensates for both fatigue and poor technique...

Doubtful. I'm by no means fast, but yesterday in a 2k lake race I passed a few people who were wearing full-length neoprene wetsuits (I was in an ordinary swimsuit). There is always going to be a need for good technique.

Paul Smith
July 2nd, 2008, 08:57 PM
Paul are you saying that these great swims are only because of a swim suit. No world record set, it should say Phelps, wearing a floating device.

Next year it will be Phelps wearing swim paddles.

After that Phelps wearing zoomers.

What bogus type swimming is coming next.

Phelps is slower than his 200 fly WR by a fraction should he not be faster by 2percent? Did he wear a LZR in March 2007, when he set his WR.???

I'm saying its a combination of things, but the suits have advanced the times significantly/

Lezak goes 47.58 after "toiling" in the 48+ range for 8 years...he trains on his on, has not changed anything...and he put an LZR on tonight.

Shaman
July 2nd, 2008, 09:07 PM
I'm saying its a combination of things, but the suits have advanced the times significantly/

Lezak goes 47.58 after "toiling" in the 48+ range for 8 years...he trains on his on, has not changed anything...and he put an LZR on tonight.

He did have it on this morning when he went 48.15 I think. I don't think you can take all the credit away from Lezak. I'm sure he didn't drop 8 tenths all on his own but it wasn't all suit.

Paul Smith
July 2nd, 2008, 09:30 PM
He did have it on this morning when he went 48.15 and probably when he went 48.33 a few weeks ago. I don't think you can take all the credit away from Lezak. I'm sure he didn't drop 8 tenths all on his own but it wasn't all suit.

Lezak has always been a "gamer" in prelims/semis...loves to hold back as much as he can...and it cost him making finals the last go around in the Olympics.

Shaman, George....all you other naysayers...go try the suits and come back and talk to us. You simply don't get it....speculate and hypothesize all you want...there has been a fundamental breakthrough in technology on the same scale that using aero bars for cycling time trials had.

Shaman...you say the drop wasn't just the suit so share your first hand knowledge of the changes Jason has made the last 4 years in his stroke and the innovative training he's incorporated? So he goes 48.3 unrested a few weeks ago..rests a few days and goes 47.5....but couldn''t make those asme drops the last 4 years...give me a break!

geochuck
July 2nd, 2008, 09:48 PM
By the time I put on one of those suits, I would be too tired to swim and the race would already be over.

Will one fit me that would be the first question? How do I get 250 lbs of jelly into one of them?

Paul Smith
July 2nd, 2008, 10:25 PM
By the time I put on one of those suits, I would be too tired to swim and the race would already be over.

Will one fit me that would be the first question? How do I get 250 lbs of jelly into one of them?

Ever heard of Nancy Kinney....79 year old rock star of a woman...wore one last weekend and swam 18 seconds faster in her 200 LCM back then the last time she swam it. Guess she caught on to all the new training techniques going around these days....and it only took her 20 minutes to get it on the first time.

geochuck
July 2nd, 2008, 10:49 PM
A few good turns, a little streamline accounts for 18 seconds in a 4:08.2 200.

Chris Stevenson
July 2nd, 2008, 11:14 PM
As Glen Mills pointed out and I discovered first hand testing a BlueSeventy last week the "flotation" that it provides as a significant impact on body position...

Paul, I did read what you wrote, what Glen wrote, what Fortress wrote, and what SVDL said in her interview. It was a little contradictory: you felt a major difference in body position. Glen did not, but felt it helped his underwaters a lot (you said the same). Fort disagreed with that, saying it didn't seem to help her SDKs. And SVDL didn't feel any different and swam slower than with the FSPro.

I think relying on feel is subjective and can be misleading. I've had some fast swims when I've felt terrible in the water, and some mediocre swims when I felt great. Ultimately it is about time, not feel.

Speaking of times: George brings up a good point too. Through four days, we've had some nice and exciting swimming...but no real jaw-dropping WRs, as we saw with the 50 free when the LZRs first came out. Phelps was slower with the LZR than a year ago in the 200 fly and free...is he more than 2% slower now than a year ago? I don't think so. His 400 IM saw a 1-second improvement, but this isn't 2% and his WR was set at the END of a long World Champs schedule while this swim was at the beginning and he was pushed by Lochte. I don't think the LZR was the cause of the improvement. Other WRs were incremental improvements over past ones. Add a 2% correction and Piersol and Hansen are quite a bit slower than they have been in the past.

I will indeed give the B70 a try this summer (no way was I going to get the current generation of LZR). But if I go faster than last summer, I can't be sure how much is the suit or not, since I'm swimming faster now than I was back then and I was also recovering from a broken hand.

The next time I taper/shave for a meet in trials and finals format, I'll compare the B70 to briefs or jammers to see the difference...much as I did with the FSII, finding no drastic difference. This is, I think, the only true way to test the suit: rested and shaved under race conditions, keeping everything else the same. Your experience in practice is nice and I enjoyed reading it, but it isn't the same.

LindsayNB
July 2nd, 2008, 11:38 PM
Is it possible that the LZR helps in some events more than others?
One could hypothesize that it helps the most in sprint freestyle for example.

I still think the question of whether the new suits immediately help everyone who puts one one is less interesting than whether they help some people, and of course who they help the most and how. Also, how much one can learn to use them to best advantage. Purely as an example, it could be that they help people who have less than perfect body position more than people who don't. Or they reduce form drag in streamline to varying degree based on body type and style such that Kitajima gets a big advantage while some other swimmer who wears legskins doesn't.

Does anyone know how many of the WRs have been in full body suits versus legs-only suits?

The Fortress
July 3rd, 2008, 09:10 AM
Paul, I did read what you wrote, what Glen wrote, what Fortress wrote, and what SVDL said in her interview. It was a little contradictory: you felt a major difference in body position. Glen did not, but felt it helped his underwaters a lot (you said the same). Fort disagreed with that, saying it didn't seem to help her SDKs. And SVDL didn't feel any different and swam slower than with the FSPro.

I think relying on feel is subjective and can be misleading. I've had some fast swims when I've felt terrible in the water, and some mediocre swims when I felt great. Ultimately it is about time, not feel.

Speaking of times: George brings up a good point too. Through four days, we've had some nice and exciting swimming...but no real jaw-dropping WRs, as we saw with the 50 free when the LZRs first came out. Phelps was slower with the LZR than a year ago in the 200 fly and free...is he more than 2% slower now than a year ago? I don't think so. His 400 IM saw a 1-second improvement, but this isn't 2% and his WR was set at the END of a long World Champs schedule while this swim was at the beginning and he was pushed by Lochte. I don't think the LZR was the cause of the improvement. Other WRs were incremental improvements over past ones. Add a 2% correction and Piersol and Hansen are quite a bit slower than they have been in the past.

I will indeed give the B70 a try this summer (no way was I going to get the current generation of LZR). But if I go faster than last summer, I can't be sure how much is the suit or not, since I'm swimming faster now than I was back then and I was also recovering from a broken hand.

The next time I taper/shave for a meet in trials and finals format, I'll compare the B70 to briefs or jammers to see the difference...much as I did with the FSII, finding no drastic difference. This is, I think, the only true way to test the suit: rested and shaved under race conditions, keeping everything else the same. Your experience in practice is nice and I enjoyed reading it, but it isn't the same.

A caveat about my SDK comment. I haven't been training SDKs as much since Nats, and I think this was somewhat reflected in my last meet. In fact, I recall Hulk saying I didn't spend as much time underwater in fly and that my backstroke turns were "mediocre." So, the suit did not compensate for training problems in my case. I'm not sure about the body position issue. I think it's harder to tell in sprints. The main sensation I felt was that my pull was stronger. But I did go faster than in my Pro last December. (I was tapered for the Dec. meet, however, I felt "off" and disliked the pool.)

Doug Martin
July 3rd, 2008, 09:40 AM
The next time I taper/shave for a meet in trials and finals format, I'll compare the B70 to briefs or jammers to see the difference...much as I did with the FSII, finding no drastic difference. This is, I think, the only true way to test the suit: rested and shaved under race conditions, keeping everything else the same. Your experience in practice is nice and I enjoyed reading it, but it isn't the same.

With regard to bodysuits in general--not the LZR or B70--and their effect, I actually conducted such a test at the Nationals in Austin. I'm in my 50s and grew up shaving for big meets and of course wearing briefs. I've worn bodysuits before but have always preferred the feeling of the water on my skin, and continued to believe I could be faster if I was fully shaved and tapered and wearing a brief. So, on Friday, I swam the 50 free and 50 fly wearing a vintage "paper suit" brief. Times were 26.05 and 22.82. On Sunday, not really being in shape to swim a good 100, I decided to wear a Fastskin Pro bodysuit and go all out on the first 50 of each. Times were 25.12 and 22.30. Clearer water might have made a slight difference, and I made a stroke adjustment in the fly, but there's no doubt the principal difference was the suit. Any remaining skepticism I had is gone.

Lindsay makes a good point, however--it doesnt mean that will happen for everybody. We often see this in swimming: there is no universal stroke technique or workout routine or dryland training regimen. What works for one person may not for another because of difference in body type and physiological makeup.

Chris Stevenson
July 3rd, 2008, 09:57 AM
A caveat about my SDK comment. I haven't been training SDKs as much since Nats, and I think this was somewhat reflected in my last meet. In fact, I recall Hulk saying I didn't spend as much time underwater in fly and that my backstroke turns were "mediocre." So, the suit did not compensate for training problems in my case. I'm not sure about the body position issue. I think it's harder to tell in sprints. The main sensation I felt was that my pull was stronger. But I did go faster than in my Pro last December. (I was tapered for the Dec. meet, however, I felt "off" and disliked the pool.)
Fort, EVERYONE knows why your pull was stronger...!:weightlifter:

Thinking some more about this...last year at World Champs, Phelps had a remarkable drop in the 200 fly (1:53.7 to 1:52.0) wearing the FS-Pro. Nowadays, of course, everyone would nod knowingly and assert that, without question, the improvement was mostly due to the LZR. At the time, I seem to recall that a lot of people attributed it to an improved strength program. (Hey, Fort, maybe YOU can start swimming the 2-fly now!!)

But it occurs to me that perhaps it was the FS-Pro that was really a leap forward and the LZR was just an incremental improvement. I know that the U of Richmond coach believes that might be the case (or maybe he just doesn't want to blow his entire budget to outfit the team with LZRs). This conjecture maybe explains much of the data as well as the LZR explanation (eg, why Piersol didn't beat his WR by more, why Phelps didn't improve on his fly time to 1:49.9, as Erik once speculated, etc).

Just thinking out loud, we are all really just whistling in the dark here...

Chris Stevenson
July 3rd, 2008, 10:08 AM
So, on Friday, I swam the 50 free and 50 fly wearing a vintage "paper suit" brief. Times were 26.05 and 22.82. On Sunday, not really being in shape to swim a good 100, I decided to wear a Fastskin Pro bodysuit and go all out on the first 50 of each. Times were 25.12 and 22.30.

I remember when you posted that. I did my experiment at a USA-S meet, so no 50s, and I used the FSII not the FS-Pro. I didn't have the same improvement as you -- my times mostly got slower with the FSII, actually -- but I'm willing to repeat the experiment with a different suit. It probably won't be until next spring, however.

It may well depend on the swimmer and the event. I remember Paul wondering if the B70 was better for bigger swimmers. (In a way that seems pretty unfair...Paul already has an advantage in reach over most people and now he might get to negate one of the downsides of being big...). I also remember cursing my body suit at the end of the 200 fly, when I felt like I couldn't get enough air...!

By the way, 22 is a pretty smoking 50 fly time :)

knelson
July 3rd, 2008, 10:32 AM
Phelps was slower with the LZR than a year ago in the 200 fly and free.

Has Phelps worn the full-body LZR yet during Trials? So far I've only seen him wear the legs. I've heard a lot of talk about the corsetting effect of the full-body LZR, so maybe Phelps isn't getting this by only wearing the legs.

geochuck
July 3rd, 2008, 10:48 AM
I still want proof positive.

Are LZRs better?
Is Ying Fa faster then LZR?
Do some swimmers use Illegal potions?
Did Clemens cheat on his wife?
Did Clemens use anabolic steroids?
Is Wonder Bra coming out with the Swim Slim Girdle?

Jazz Hands
July 3rd, 2008, 10:49 AM
Fort, EVERYONE knows why your pull was stronger...!:weightlifter:

Thinking some more about this...last year at World Champs, Phelps had a remarkable drop in the 200 fly (1:53.7 to 1:52.0) wearing the FS-Pro. Nowadays, of course, everyone would nod knowingly and assert that, without question, the improvement was mostly due to the LZR. At the time, I seem to recall that a lot of people attributed it to an improved strength program. (Hey, Fort, maybe YOU can start swimming the 2-fly now!!)

But it occurs to me that perhaps it was the FS-Pro that was really a leap forward and the LZR was just an incremental improvement. I know that the U of Richmond coach believes that might be the case (or maybe he just doesn't want to blow his entire budget to outfit the team with LZRs). This conjecture maybe explains much of the data as well as the LZR explanation (eg, why Piersol didn't beat his WR by more, why Phelps didn't improve on his fly time to 1:49.9, as Erik once speculated, etc).

Just thinking out loud, we are all really just whistling in the dark here...

Phelps was wearing an FSII jammer in that race.

LindsayNB
July 3rd, 2008, 11:01 AM
But it occurs to me that perhaps it was the FS-Pro that was really a leap forward and the LZR was just an incremental improvement.

It seems very plausible that this might be the case with the legskins, most of the reasons cited for the improvement with the LZR seem to apply more to the full body version.

The Fortress
July 3rd, 2008, 11:18 AM
Fort, EVERYONE knows why your pull was stronger...!:weightlifter:

Thinking some more about this...last year at World Champs, Phelps had a remarkable drop in the 200 fly (1:53.7 to 1:52.0) wearing the FS-Pro. Nowadays, of course, everyone would nod knowingly and assert that, without question, the improvement was mostly due to the LZR. At the time, I seem to recall that a lot of people attributed it to an improved strength program. (Hey, Fort, maybe YOU can start swimming the 2-fly now!!)

But it occurs to me that perhaps it was the FS-Pro that was really a leap forward and the LZR was just an incremental improvement. I know that the U of Richmond coach believes that might be the case (or maybe he just doesn't want to blow his entire budget to outfit the team with LZRs). This conjecture maybe explains much of the data as well as the LZR explanation (eg, why Piersol didn't beat his WR by more, why Phelps didn't improve on his fly time to 1:49.9, as Erik once speculated, etc).

Just thinking out loud, we are all really just whistling in the dark here...

Gah. I guess I deserve all the public and private mocking after declaring myself a tank and announcing I was quitting weight lifting. lol. I think since I train alone mostly, I'm more apt to try out theories and see how they work. I'm not willing to try out the 200 fly though. I don't think "less is more" works for that.

I think you're onto something with the Pro being the key innovation. I noticed a big difference between the FS II and the Pro. Had the sensation of zipping through the water faster, especially in and out of turns. Don't have any clue about the LZR. Like you, I had no intention of ordering it.

Didn't Phelps wear a full body LZR in the 200 free?

Chris Stevenson
July 3rd, 2008, 11:52 AM
Has Phelps worn the full-body LZR yet during Trials? So far I've only seen him wear the legs. I've heard a lot of talk about the corsetting effect of the full-body LZR, so maybe Phelps isn't getting this by only wearing the legs.

Pretty sure he wore it in the 200 free.

Chris Stevenson
July 3rd, 2008, 12:00 PM
Phelps was wearing an FSII jammer in that race.

By golly, you're right. Boy he is really stinking it up this year if he went slower with LZR legskins. :)

I smiled at his comment after the race that taking out the race in 53+ was being "too conservative." Geez, Mike, grow a pair would you? :) (I was impressed enough when he took out the 400IM in a 55.)

Paul Smith
July 3rd, 2008, 12:15 PM
I remember when you posted that. I did my experiment at a USA-S meet, so no 50s, and I used the FSII not the FS-Pro. I didn't have the same improvement as you -- my times mostly got slower with the FSII, actually -- but I'm willing to repeat the experiment with a different suit. It probably won't be until next spring, however.

It may well depend on the swimmer and the event. I remember Paul wondering if the B70 was better for bigger swimmers. (In a way that seems pretty unfair...Paul already has an advantage in reach over most people and now he might get to negate one of the downsides of being big...). I also remember cursing my body suit at the end of the 200 fly, when I felt like I couldn't get enough air...!

By the way, 22 is a pretty smoking 50 fly time :)

Chris that was the point I was making in my earlier post...that I had tried each generation of the suits up to the BS (but no LZR or TYR yet). The difference in material between an FS Pro and a B70 is night and day...the B70 and TYR suits look, feel and smell like wetsuits...and unlike the older fabrics of the Speedo fastskin/Pro's they do not absorb water...another major difference.

George, when you go try a few come back and chat...

Jazz Hands
July 5th, 2008, 11:52 AM
Peirsol was wearing a Nike suit in the 200 back final, one of the suits Nike athletes were ditching because of a supposed disadvantage.