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RunningSwim
August 22nd, 2008, 12:17 PM
I hope that you do not mind me starting a thread on my first post, but I saw this and wondered what swimmers would think about it. I swim, but not competitively.

Anyway, here is the question posted on LetsRun:

"Phelps is a phenomenal athlete.

How many of you runners who ran competitively in college think you could beat him in a foot race?

Any distance from 100 meters to the marathon, your choice."

You can see people's answers on the thread here (http://www.letsrun.com/forum/flat_read.php?thread=2638899), but I am interested in hearing what you think as well. This is an interesting question.

Thanks.

beluga
August 22nd, 2008, 12:29 PM
I read somewhere that Phelps was excused from doing road work because he kept tripping.

mctrusty
August 22nd, 2008, 12:36 PM
I could take him in a foot race. Any distance. I never ran until I turned 29, either.

knelson
August 22nd, 2008, 12:55 PM
There's really no reason to believe Phelps is a fast runner. Think about track stars getting in the pool. I'm pretty darn confident I could beat Usain Bolt in a swimming race of any stroke or distance.

mctrusty
August 22nd, 2008, 01:00 PM
Think about track stars getting in the pool. I'm pretty darn confident I could beat Usain Bolt in a swimming race of any stroke or distance.

This reminds me of playing water polo against the wrestling team in high school every Xmas break. Most of them were in great wrasslin' shape, but the swimmers always put a stomp on 'em in water polo.

Jazz Hands
August 22nd, 2008, 01:00 PM
The idea that Phelps is some kind of super athlete is ridiculous. He's a really good swimmer, and that's all.

mattson
August 22nd, 2008, 01:07 PM
Having abs-from-hell would help a great deal in running.

But I've heard of a lot of swimmers with loose ankle joints having injuries when they go running. :toohurt:

elise526
August 22nd, 2008, 01:08 PM
Seems like I read in either USA Today or SI that he is not a great runner. The reasoning was because of his build - long torso, short legs. It seems that the ideal build for swimming does not always work well for running and vice versa. What is so impressive to me though is the women in the Olympic triathlon. Many are former college swimmers yet are able to split a 35 on their 10k at the end of the triathlon.

Laura Bennet, representing Team USA, finished fourth in the triathlon. She swam 100 fly at the 1996 Olympic Trials and was an 8 time All-American for SMU. She split a 35:10 on the 10k in getting fourth. Although out of the medals, what an athlete!

jim clemmons
August 22nd, 2008, 01:20 PM
I'm pretty darn confident I could beat Usain Bolt in a swimming race of any stroke or distance.

Except maybe straight to the bottom unintentionally?

:drown:

aquageek
August 22nd, 2008, 01:23 PM
The idea that Phelps is some kind of super athlete is ridiculous. He's a really good swimmer, and that's all.

That statement is silly, beyond silly actually. Many many elite athletes were multi sport stars in high school, they just chose to specialize in a single sport. Because Phelps only swims does not mean he wouldn't excel in another sport.

Go to a high school that produced a pro calibre athlete and check out their trophy case. Most likely you will see that athlete on many teams.

Because you are young, you have grown up in an era of single sport specialization and year-round teams for most sports. Most of us geezers went from sport to sport based on the season. Most of my friends who played sports in college or professionally were extremely talented in a variety of sports, most notably the football players for some reason.

Here's a list - Herschel Walker, Bo Jackson, Marion Jones (I know, bad example but she was a fantastic basketball player also), Julius Peppers, Randy Moss, John Elway, that Dix sprinter in the Olympics from FSU, Jim Brown, the list is pretty much endless. I've read where Lance Armstrong is a heck of a runner as well.

I would even contend that an elite athlete is more likely excel in another sport than your average athlete because so much of what it takes to get to that level is an attitude and work ethic.

knelson
August 22nd, 2008, 01:37 PM
Don't forget Dave Winfield. He was drafted in football, baseball and basketball.

aquageek
August 22nd, 2008, 01:41 PM
Don't forget Dave Winfield. He was drafted in football, baseball and basketball.

That's a great point. Unfortunately with baseball being almost a full time year round job for kids, you don't see that type of overall sport's talent anymore. Seems like of you are really good at baseball you don't even go to college, maybe 2 years in a JC in Florida or something.

shark
August 22nd, 2008, 01:50 PM
When confronted by some who think that swimmers are not good athletes, my argument has always been: Swimmers can do a variety of sports, biking, running, kayaking, football, basketball, etc. to proficient levels (meaning that they might not win or die doing them but at least they finish) Allow Bolt or Johnson, Lewis, maybe even Owens to try swimming the amount swimmers do, they might actually drown and die. Even the distance runners, some of them, would probably drown and die.

Whoever says swimmers are not good athletes is just plain stupid.

tjrpatt
August 22nd, 2008, 01:55 PM
Phelps said on numerous interviews that he is not good on land activities. Same here, if it is not in the water, I can't do it well. You will never see me do a tri unless they cut the running out.

Lump
August 22nd, 2008, 03:02 PM
I've seen great swimmers that were great runners and terrible runners. I've also seen not-so-good swimmers be great runners. Most of the good runners on my team were good swimmer, but I think it has more to do with work ethic. No direct correlation though.

aquageek
August 22nd, 2008, 03:32 PM
The notion that athleticism is limited to a single sport is as ridiculous as the notion that intellectual ability is limited to a single subject.