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elise526
August 19th, 2008, 12:18 AM
Anybody out there run into triathletes that do not have a swimming background but have decided that because they have done a few triathlons that they are experts? I'm seeing this an awful lot these days. It can be a challenge to coach these folks because they are not open to new ideas or suggestions on drills. Anybody been able to handle this situation successfully?

SwimStud
August 19th, 2008, 08:12 AM
Bomb diivng from the side seems to help...:rofl:
You could just try swimming faster than them for a while and seeing if they want to listen after that.

thewookiee
August 19th, 2008, 08:22 AM
Yea, at one of the pools I swim at, they show up like blood hounds in the early spring.

You are right...they don't want help, no matter how bad they think they aren't and they don't want to share lane space.

Once, I was helping a friend of mine when a wannab be triathlete stopped me to tell me that I was wrong with my advice. I asked him what I was wrong about and why he knew better. He said because " I am a triathlete"

My friend kindly handled the situation for me. She said "since John can kick faster than you can swim, I will listen to John"

aquageek
August 19th, 2008, 08:36 AM
I train alongside a group of triathletes once a week. They are very eager to learn for the most part. The key is a strong coach who can set them straight. Good luck.

mattson
August 19th, 2008, 09:14 AM
I asked him what I was wrong about and why he knew better. He said because " I am a triathlete"

Maybe he has given cycling advice to Greg LeMond or Lance Armstrong. (Although... Lance was a triathlete when he was younger...)

elise526
August 19th, 2008, 09:16 AM
Yea, at one of the pools I swim at, they show up like blood hounds in the early spring.

You are right...they don't want help, no matter how bad they think they aren't and they don't want to share lane space.

Once, I was helping a friend of mine when a wannab be triathlete stopped me to tell me that I was wrong with my advice. I asked him what I was wrong about and why he knew better. He said because " I am a triathlete"

My friend kindly handled the situation for me. She said "since John can kick faster than you can swim, I will listen to John"

John - Pretty funny he said he knew better than you because he was a triathlete! Sounds like your friend handled it well.

Most of the time, as geek said, they are usually eager to learn. I was probably being unfair to generalize about triathletes.

SwimStud
August 19th, 2008, 09:18 AM
" I am a triathlete"



That reminds me of when I argued with a noodler about the danger of her swimming to the flags and back while I was coming off the wall fast. She didn't seem to grasp what I was agitated about and thought she didn't have to lap in the lap lane.

I used the phrase,"Lady, I'm a competition swimmer!"
:doh:

Yeah, it was a "I don't believe I just said that!" moment...

jnbaker
August 19th, 2008, 09:41 AM
It seems like all the triathletes I see in the pool have very pretty strokes, but lack any power. They remind me of 12 year old kids from age-group swimming. The recovery looks good, but they must be doing something wrong below the water 'cause it takes them a bunch of strokes to cross the pool.

It seems weird to generalize like that, but I swear, whenever I see someone with a pretty recovery, but inefficient stroke it turns out to be a triathlete.

A pretty stroke with sloppy open turns is also a giveaway.

quicksilver
August 19th, 2008, 10:34 AM
From what we've had at our pool this is a small observation.

Triathletes only know one stroke and one speed.
Distance freestyle.

Im sets...distance freestyle mode.
Stroke sets...distance freestyle.


It took them a while to realize that working on other strokes would actually improve their swimming.
Same with flip turns.

funkyfish
August 19th, 2008, 11:26 AM
My friend kindly handled the situation for me. She said "since John can kick faster than you can swim, I will listen to John"

Interesting thread. I totally agree with the quote above. My wife teaches adult and kid swim lessons, she used to age-group swim and swam competitively in high school, and is planning on competing again. She coaches two triathletes and gives them various workouts that they can handle. One thing she has them do is stroke work/counting/reducing strokes, and various interval training. Kicking and sprinting is also involved. One "student" goes with the program, the other doesn't see the point in interval, kicking or sprint work.

She tries to compare running/biking different distances at different intervals to the same thing in swimming, but it doesn't seem to sink in. Not sure what the hang up is, but as noted above, when someone can kick faster than you swim, you might want to open the mind up some.

Trichica
August 19th, 2008, 01:11 PM
It seems like all the triathletes I see in the pool have very pretty strokes, but lack any power. They remind me of 12 year old kids from age-group swimming. The recovery looks good, but they must be doing something wrong below the water 'cause it takes them a bunch of strokes to cross the pool.

It seems weird to generalize like that, but I swear, whenever I see someone with a pretty recovery, but inefficient stroke it turns out to be a triathlete.

A pretty stroke with sloppy open turns is also a giveaway.


Guilty as charged. I took lessons at the age of 40 to learn how to swim just to do tris. Great recovery--have to get a better catch.

I took more private lessons to learn a flip turn and to dive and also for the other three strokes. Slowly but surely coming alond due to the great patience and instruction of the masters coaches and fellow team mates.

But, I hear you and I too get upset when tri people argue with the coach as to why they have to do a certain set or stroke. Our pool offers tri swimming, they can do that if they so desire is my view and I do tris. Now, doing an IM kills me, but I try--why not and as bizarre as this sounds LOVE doing the butterfly!

I think it depends on the person. I fell in love with swimming; cannot get enough of it and trying very hard (and also spening a great deal of $$$$) to learn. I was aksed by a tri friend why are you bothering to flip turn--you will never do it in open water. I said, because I want to learn to swim and to be a swimmer. I love the challenge that swimming has presented for me and someday want to do swim meets. (BTW--I do play and do flips in the ocean!)

So not all tri folks are not eager to learn. But, I too have experience the reluctance to learn/do the other strokes and to do fast intervals. And I too still roll my eyes and take a deep breath when the sets are IM......but I chug along nonetheless.

Most people want quick fixes--quick results--and doing just what they need to get thru a race. I get the sense that some may see as learning the other strokes or doing sets as wasting their time. Just a guess....and my perception.

LindsayNB
August 19th, 2008, 01:21 PM
Speaking of triathletes and triathlon, I have to say that watching the Olympic triathlon on tv was a lot of fun. I'm a swim fanatic and I would still have to say that triathlon is more interesting to watch, although only on tv with continuous coverage, it wouldn't be so great if you were watching from a single point and couldn't see all the breakaways and bridging and so forth.

zippy81
August 19th, 2008, 01:32 PM
All the guys I swim with are tri guys (except the two of us in the "fast" lane) and mostly willing to listen to the coach and ask me for advice. However, lately a few have been kinda doing their own workout and leaving early, not sure what thats all about. They are nice guys, they just always swim free and don't understand its sometimes good to rest in between sets and not swim the workout straight through.

aquageek
August 19th, 2008, 01:45 PM
The problem is that tris are easily seduced by their glossy magazines, full of cruddy swim advice. There's terrible sayings like "don't kick, save your legs." And, even a rigorous tri training schedule for advanced/distance tris is woefully lacking on the swim workouts. And, since they are superior people they refuse to acknowledge there are alternate ideas that might actually be more beneficial to their swims.

cantwait4bike
August 19th, 2008, 02:07 PM
The problem is USAT. They certify "coaches" based on if they can spell swim backwards. Once 99% of them get their certification they believe they know everything about swim,bike,run. Funny because again 99% of them were never even competitive triathletes.....just MOP or BOP.

Having competed at pro and world AG level since 1985, there is nothing more valuable than a good swim coach. The only thing I've found swim coaches have a little hard time with is the triathlete's need to reduce kick with a wetsuit.

Old Navy
August 19th, 2008, 02:22 PM
I must be fortunate. The triathletes I've had the opportunity to work and train with have all been very receptive to swimming advice. As I get more into open water swimming it is great to have them around because once the weather begins to warm up they push to get into the lakes to train. I'm loving the OW training.

That Guy
August 19th, 2008, 02:24 PM
http://www.msnbc.msn.com/id/26272630/

:lmao: (http://www.msnbc.msn.com/id/26272630/)

Trichica
August 19th, 2008, 02:53 PM
http://www.msnbc.msn.com/id/26272630/

:lmao: (http://www.msnbc.msn.com/id/26272630/)


Thanks for that link.

Here is the piece. I think you will all love the "advise" on swimming....

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=1xv-HWuAajk&watch_response

3strokes
August 19th, 2008, 03:10 PM
Speaking of triathletes and triathlon, I have to say that watching the Olympic triathlon on tv was a lot of fun. I'm a swim fanatic and I would still have to say that triathlon is more interesting to watch, although only on tv with continuous coverage, it wouldn't be so great if you were watching from a single point and couldn't see all the breakaways and bridging and so forth.

Darn. I missed the swim and bike and caught only the tail end (but What a finish! Eh?)

Ken Classen
August 19th, 2008, 05:12 PM
I train alongside a group of triathletes once a week. They are very eager to learn for the most part. The key is a strong coach who can set them straight. Good luck.

I agree for the most part. Many of the triathletes I have coached were quite conducive to stroke advice, however suffer from impatience; I want to be fast all ready. Second some of them are critical of workout set structure. I find on the workouts they feel that any given days workout conflicts with what there triathlon coach or buddy is telling them and one has to be thorough in explaining the why’s and goals of the set and to translate it into triathlonease. Unlike many swimmers I know, tri’s are much more likely to spend $ beyond buying a Blue 70 on private coaching, video tapping, clinics etc.

Finally, I used to name drop a couple of Pro’s I worked with and specifically how long it took them to become good swimmers, which was a while.

elise526
August 19th, 2008, 07:09 PM
I agree for the most part. Many of the triathletes I have coached were quite conducive to stroke advice, however suffer from impatience; I want to be fast all ready. Second some of them are critical of workout set structure. I find on the workouts they feel that any given days workout conflicts with what there triathlon coach or buddy is telling them and one has to be thorough in explaining the why’s and goals of the set and to translate it into triathlonease. Unlike many swimmers I know, tri’s are much more likely to spend $ beyond buying a Blue 70 on private coaching, video tapping, clinics etc.

Finally, I used to name drop a couple of Pro’s I worked with and specifically how long it took them to become good swimmers, which was a while.

Thanks for the insight, Ken. I agree with you that impatience seems to be an issue. It always takes some by surprise when I tell them that it most likely will take more time in investment over the years (this includes all years a person has swam -even as a kid) to become a Top Ten swimmer in the 200 Free than it does to qualify for the Boston Marathon. Neither are easy feats, but I doubt you are going to easily find somebody that starts swimming for the first time as an adult make Top Ten in the 200 Free within a year or two. I've seen it happen quite a bit with Boston where people who don't have a running background, take up running as an adult, and qualify for the Boston Marathon within a couple of years of taking up running.

Running and biking seem to simply be easier to pick up and it seems you can get decent in these events as an adult so much faster than you can in swimming. For this reason, I think those that don't have a swimming background get impatient and think there is something wrong.

If somebody is training for sprint triathlons and runs 20 miles a week, they probably will put in 3 hours a week on running. You need this amount of running to do a decent 5k on the end of a triathlon. It is hard for folks to understand why they need the same amount of time (3 hours of swimming a week) to swim a decent 600, but honestly, it is needed.

aquageek
August 19th, 2008, 07:15 PM
If somebody is training for sprint triathlons and runs 20 miles a week, they probably will put in 3 hours a week on running. You need this amount of running to do a decent 5k on the end of a triathlon.

I prefer to run 50 minutes a week as training. Running is the sport invented by Satan himself.

elise526
August 20th, 2008, 03:29 PM
I prefer to run 50 minutes a week as training. Running is the sport invented by Satan himself.

Nah. Don't think Satan invented it. Do you think he would have wanted us to be able to flee from sin? :)

ddunbar
August 20th, 2008, 05:24 PM
Nope - if Satan had a hand in anything, it was the invention of the backstroke.

poolraat
August 20th, 2008, 05:41 PM
Nope - if Satan had a hand in anything, it was the invention of the breaststroke.

There. I fixed it for you.

ddunbar
August 21st, 2008, 04:28 PM
Sorry Poolraat, but the good Lord meant for us to see where we were headed and would not keep changing the distance from the flags to the wall.