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View Full Version : Rankings (or rating yourself) --RANT--



Rykno
November 14th, 2008, 07:05 AM
I know that I have seen others talk about "how good am I if I swim the 200 in this time", or "if my mile is 17min".

and then the responses are typically, look at results from previous meets, or last years top 10 time.

But does anyone try to take into account how many actually swim that event/distance? Is one a good swimmer merely because only 12 people swim the 400 IM.

I looked at the 2007 top 10 SCM for Men 30-34. for Breast and IM I would have been top 10 in 3 of 6 events/distances.

50 br 33.37 outside of top 10
100br 1:14.08 (10)
200br 2:42.20 (7)

400 IM 5:19.71 (7)

but how many 30-34 competed in those events in 2007? I would guess that more people competed in 2006 at the World Championships in Cali.

In Sweden I have top 10 times in nearly everything but 50-100 free, but that is only because it's not too often that there are more than 10-12 swimmers in my age grupp. I know of 4-6 swimmers that will be 35-39 in 2010 and all of them are significanly faster than me, just not sure swimming at the Worlds is something they plan on doing.

I recently looked at a German time standard, since they had one for every year 11-18 and then an open I used the open table. The table was scaled to 1-20. 20 being the fastest. something simliar to the US AAAA standards but with more divisions. I was at best 6 of a possible 20 in Breaststroke. and not even 1 in Back and Fly. and between 1-2 for Free and IM. to me that seems more like a realistic measurement of my ability.

aquageek
November 14th, 2008, 08:33 AM
Hmmm, good question. Based on the repulsive looks I get from most women, including the 4 in my family, I'd say I rate about a 2 or 3. In Sweden I'd probably be lower and Germany a little higher.

Typhoons Coach
November 14th, 2008, 09:52 AM
In my opinion, the top 10 times are a good enough gauge for "ratings", but it is not the "be all end all".

knelson
November 14th, 2008, 09:59 AM
I think ultimately you can only compare yourself to others who actually swam the events. There are always going to be lots of people who could have beat you, but if they didn't swim then it's a moot point.

Yes, looking at 'real' time standards is a good reality check, as is swimming against kids.

Typhoons Coach
November 14th, 2008, 10:14 AM
Yes, looking at 'real' time standards is a good reality check, as is swimming against kids.

Ain't that the truth!!

abc
November 14th, 2008, 10:17 AM
There are people on my team who have broken USMS national records for their age groups in workout. These same people do not compete. Be wary of ranking yourself according to the people who currently compete. There are a lot of other fast swimmers out there. At the same time, I think a top ten time is still a significant achievement and congratulations to anyone who can achieve them, regardless of participation.

aquageek
November 14th, 2008, 10:28 AM
There are people on my team who have broken USMS national records for their age groups in workout.

I'm skeptical of this claim. I don't know a single ultra fast swimmer who doesn't compete and breaks records in practice. I guess it surely is possible but that person would have a serious swimming pedigree and a background of competition. Especially since Austin, the national records are very tough, most made wearing new tech suits.

Typhoons Coach
November 14th, 2008, 10:29 AM
There are people on my team who have broken USMS national records for their age groups in workout. These same people do not compete. Be wary of ranking yourself according to the people who currently compete. There are a lot of other fast swimmers out there. At the same time, I think a top ten time is still a significant achievement and congratulations to anyone who can achieve them, regardless of participation.

Why don't they compete?? That seems almost ludacris of them not to at least try a meet or two...just my opinion.

CreamPuff
November 14th, 2008, 10:39 AM
I'm skeptical of this claim. I don't know a single ultra fast swimmer who doesn't compete and breaks records in practice.

Ditto.

How about name(s) of the people/ person; event(s); and age groups in which the records would have been broken; and the time. I'm guessing it's not over 3 people if any. Give specifics at which point I think your point could be very interesting.

I too swim with World Record holders and past Olympians. They ain't breakin' the national records in practice. At all. Not even close.

aquageek
November 14th, 2008, 10:47 AM
I don't like your new name. I want (S)he-Man back.

I would also like to say if you are good enough to break records, you aren't a casual swimmer and probably have superior training methods, or a plan anyway. Busting out a national record at practice is also much different from a meet situation. I, too, want names, events, etc. I swim with some smoking fast guys and even on their best practice days they aren't coming close to a prepared meet performance.

CreamPuff
November 14th, 2008, 10:52 AM
:thhbbb:

The Fortress
November 14th, 2008, 11:03 AM
I don't like your new name. I want (S)he-Man back.

I really must concur.

I know some fast people, masters WR holders even, who don't compete much. But I'm quite sure they're not breaking records in practice ...

Maybe there's some young stud Olympians still in primo shape doing this ... seems unlikely. I've heard this claim before on the forum ...

abc
November 14th, 2008, 11:08 AM
I'm sure there are others on this forum who could validate my claim about record-breaking swimmers who don't compete. Maybe they would chime in as well to help support my statement. I would be very uncomfortable with giving out names--even my own as you can tell by this forum. Surely I'm not the only person on a team with individuals like these.

aztimm
November 14th, 2008, 11:08 AM
There are people on my team who have broken USMS national records for their age groups in workout. These same people do not compete. Be wary of ranking yourself according to the people who currently compete. There are a lot of other fast swimmers out there. At the same time, I think a top ten time is still a significant achievement and congratulations to anyone who can achieve them, regardless of participation.

We also have a few of these folks who sometimes workout with my team. Basically they're triathletes who aren't interested in swim meets. Overall, my team has a pretty low percentage of swimmers who do any meets (myself included).

aquageek
November 14th, 2008, 11:12 AM
I'm calling serious BS on these claims unless you are talking young post Olympians. Given the level of training by 35+ athletes these days and some of the serious studs out there at meets, I'm not buying for a second there is a practice national record breaker.

No triathlete is dropping into practice and breaking records, no way, no how.

pwolf66
November 14th, 2008, 11:14 AM
I'm sure there are others on this forum who could validate my claim about record-breaking swimmers who don't compete. Maybe they would chime in as well to help support my statement. I would be very uncomfortable with giving out names--even my own as you can tell by this forum. Surely I'm not the only person on a team with individuals like these.


Then how about just saying what times they're swimming for what event?

I'm also on the breaking records in practice wagon of doubt. I've perused the records and while there are some 'soft' ones, I'm not sure how someone could be breaking them in practice as you are talking about non-rested, hand (or clock) timed, from a push, non-tech suit swims in less than world class conditions. But hey, I've been wrong before.

Allen Stark
November 14th, 2008, 11:45 AM
I have a workout partner who could,he just aged up to 60 fairly recently and he is swimming well again.He refuses to compete any more as he says he's done all he wants to.You may have heard of him,Don Schollander.(By the way,I don't do his workouts,I'm over in the corner doing my BR drills.)

aquageek
November 14th, 2008, 11:47 AM
I will concede, as with Hulk, that certain times are soft. But, in the 35-54 age range, I would be highly surprised to see someone pull a national record in practice. Under 35 and over 60 I can see it, although there are some really really fast 60+ guys out there in meets.

mattson
November 14th, 2008, 11:50 AM
Maybe he is forgetting the part about wearing fins, and the guy at the other end pulling on the bungie cord. :drown:

mjgold
November 14th, 2008, 12:48 PM
I'm skeptical of this claim. I don't know a single ultra fast swimmer who doesn't compete and breaks records in practice. I guess it surely is possible but that person would have a serious swimming pedigree and a background of competition. Especially since Austin, the national records are very tough, most made wearing new tech suits.

We have a few guys on our team who are obnoxiously fast, but they compete very rarely, and when they do, it is usually only a few events. They like to swim fast and have good workouts, but they don't like competition and the "hassle" of a meet. Personally, I think they're crazy because I love meets, but to each his own.

inflictfreedom
November 14th, 2008, 12:58 PM
I'm pretty sure if the ranking order was reversed I could place in the top ten fo' sho.

tjrpatt
November 14th, 2008, 01:16 PM
I have this friend who could easily do a 5:30 in the 500 free at a Masters meet. Of course, she is not training at the moment. But, she refuses to do it because of childhood issues. For me, doing meets motivates me to train harder so I can swim faster at the next meet, and thus, I lose more weight.

There are alot of people that I train with that just don't do any meets. I just don't get because they are able to do this killer 4000 to 5000 yard workout day in and day out and yet, they don't want to see what kind of times that they can do. Of course, some people have families and I get that but, alot of masters swimmers do bring their kids and significant others to the meets. Heck, some Masters swimmers bring their parents and inlaws. I guess that everyone has their reason for and against doing masters meets.

aquageek
November 14th, 2008, 01:38 PM
We aren't talking obnoxiously fast or a 5:30 500. The allegation made was national record. A 5:30 for a woman is pretty darn fast but it's not a national record in the lower age groups, it is Top 10 however.

I see the swimmer formerly known as (S)he-Man, now known as Jiggly Puff, holds the top slot last year in her age group with a 5:12. Makes me feel a lot less bad about the whooping she put on me in the 500. Revenge will be mine, o' Puffstery one.

elise526
November 14th, 2008, 01:49 PM
A 5:30 for a woman in 500 free would not break any national records unless she is over 60. In fact, it would not make the top ten at all for this year in the 25-29 age-group or the top five in any age group under 50.

National record holders are a breed unto themselves and to suggest that their records can be broken in practice is downright disrespectful. I think some good swims can be done in practice, but look up the times before a claim is made that a record can be broken in practice.

I also want to add that not only is a record impressive because of the speed, but it is impressive because it is done in a tense, high-pressured setting - competition. A fast swim in practice is not as impressive because it is done on the swimmer's own terms -when he/she knows that he/she feels good at that moment.

abc
November 14th, 2008, 02:33 PM
You can choose to believe what you want. If you don't think this can be done, then don't believe it--it really doesn't matter that much to me in the grand scheme of things. Someone was just looking at rankings and trying to find where they were relative to others. I only caution that these rankings are incomplete and that there are other swimmers out there that still have record-breaking speed.

elise526
November 14th, 2008, 02:38 PM
You can choose to believe what you want. If you don't think this can be done, then don't believe it--it really doesn't matter that much to me in the grand scheme of things. Someone was just looking at rankings and trying to find where they were relative to others. I only caution that these rankings are incomplete and that there are other swimmers out there that still have record-breaking speed.

Insofar as the rankings, it really does not matter if these people that you mention can break records in practice. I personally would only want to compare myself to those that have the desire, the guts, and the courage to race in competition. What matters is who shows up to race.

Midas
November 14th, 2008, 02:57 PM
No doubt about it rankings have to be taken with a grain of salt, but they are still quite meaningful. Yes, if all the people who kicked my arse as a kid were still swimming, I might not even be in the top 100. But they aren't and I am. Of those still swimming, I feel justifiably proud of my rankings. I think this gets even more significant the older one gets.

One thing USMS swimmers can do if they want to increase the competition against whom they are ranked is to use "Event Rankings" feature under the "Competition" tab of usms.org and set a broad range of ages. For example, I'm 35 and if I select everyone aged 30-64 in the 100 breast LCM, my ranking goes down by 10 places (relative to my ranking within in my age group). Impressively, 5 of these additional 10 people not in my age group who swam faster than me are OLDER (40+). My goal is to break into the top 10 of the 30-64 "age group". While this is a goal that will only get harder as I age, there are plenty of examples of super-fast 40 and even 50 year olds out there--a trend I think will continue and expand.

aquageek
November 14th, 2008, 03:07 PM
I have to side with Elise and Fort on this. I don't take rankings with any sort of grain of salt. I know many of those on the rankings, either personally or by reputation, and none of those guys/gals are slackers. It pains me to admit this about the Smiths, but it is true. I also workout with some top 10 guys and there's nothing grain of salt about their dedication or results. No one lucks into a ranking and no one knocks out a national record in practice. The fact you won't name the event or time proves this.

Also, getting your Red Bull on and knocking out something fast at practice and then rushing home to check the rankings is the feel good story of the season, but it doesn't mean jack. With the exception of a few (probably) the run-up to a national record at 35+ is a big undertaking that requires months of preparation. Even the "softer" rankings are still damn impressive.

If you are really good and have record breaking speed, you prove it at a meet, you don't allege it via proxy on a discussion forum.

CreamPuff
November 14th, 2008, 03:15 PM
You can choose to believe what you want. If you don't think this can be done, then don't believe it--it really doesn't matter that much to me in the grand scheme of things. Someone was just looking at rankings and trying to find where they were relative to others. I only caution that these rankings are incomplete and that there are other swimmers out there that still have record-breaking speed.

How about giving us *any* data so that we can determine the real question - how *incomplete* are they. I agree in that rankings are NOT the end all, be all.

I'm sure you clearly remember these record breaking swims in practice. How about describing them without the names. Coaches reaction; time; swimmers' reactions; event; conditions; etc. At this point, you've given us nothing.

I think it would be fascinating to see what percentage of people are out there who are not swimming meets and who break national records in practice. (I feel it's few if any.) However, we can't determine this TO ANY EXTENT as we are not being given even the events; number of swims you witnessed; god forbid we ask for names (although if I brought this topic up, I would certainly obtain permission from said unofficial record breaker to be mentioned on this board; okay, I'd just spout out the name if it were me).
However, no data is being given. Just blanket statements. I call crock.

Triathletes?! :rofl:I swim with the #1 in the nation and world ranked triathletes including professional tris some of who are my personal friends (all distances including Ironmen distance). They are not setting national records in meets much less practice.

CreamPuff
November 14th, 2008, 03:17 PM
I see the swimmer formerly known as (S)he-Man, now known as Jiggly Puff, holds the top slot last year in her age group with a 5:12. Makes me feel a lot less bad about the whooping she put on me in the 500. Revenge will be mine, o' Puffstery one.

Thanks. That's really not a fast time. The girls I now train with can do 4:50 to 5:10 at the slowest.

elise526
November 14th, 2008, 03:27 PM
Thanks. That's really not a fast time. The girls I now train with can do 4:50 to 5:10 at the slowest.

You are too humble, CreamPuff! That is a fantastic time! I wonder how many of those gals you mention will be able to do a 5:12 at 36. :)

Typhoons Coach
November 14th, 2008, 03:29 PM
I'm sure there are others on this forum who could validate my claim about record-breaking swimmers who don't compete. Maybe they would chime in as well to help support my statement. I would be very uncomfortable with giving out names--even my own as you can tell by this forum. Surely I'm not the only person on a team with individuals like these.

Alright...I respect that. However, what about times, events, and ages. If you don't know exact then you can give an approx. For me, as a coach, I find it hard to imagine that the Master's coach on that team is not hitting them and himself upside the head if this is the true case.

pwolf66
November 14th, 2008, 03:29 PM
You are too humble, CreamPuff! That is a fantastic time! I wonder how many of those gals you mention will be able to do a 5:12 at 36. :)

Oh Diety, I know that I CAN'T do that and that's enough for me.

(S)he-Puff, we have to meet at the Auburn meet, I have to meet someone who is THAT fast and THAT humble. It's a refreshing change from the Smiths.

The Fortress
November 14th, 2008, 03:35 PM
You can choose to believe what you want. If you don't think this can be done, then don't believe it--it really doesn't matter that much to me in the grand scheme of things. Someone was just looking at rankings and trying to find where they were relative to others. I only caution that these rankings are incomplete and that there are other swimmers out there that still have record-breaking speed.

I don't give a toss about any alleged fast time being done by someone who doesn't compete. It's irrelevant and doesn't effect my analysis of the rankings.

To the extent that the rankings are "incomplete," it is not because of the "stay-at-home-been-there-done-that" folks. It's because: (1) other competitive swimmers may not have gotten a chance to swim certain events or to compete in certain courses that year; (2) a ranked competitive swimmer could have taken a season off, but will be back; or (3) they're jinxed like Jiggly Puff and their times got thrown out for pool non-compliance.

After my workout last night, I'm sure I'm striking fear in the hearts of all the real swimmers competing in the 200 back. Ha!

Jiggly Puff, I refuse to suck up, but you know I heart you. lol

CreamPuff
November 14th, 2008, 03:36 PM
You are too humble, CreamPuff! That is a fantastic time! I wonder how many of those gals you mention will be able to do a 5:12 at 36. :)

Thanks Elise. I'm pretty sure humble is not a word to describe me. :blush:

I swim at Swim Atlanta where the pool of swimmers runs huge and the talent is very deep. Heck, Amanda Weir was next to me yesterday. Eric Shanteau was out at the pool a few weeks ago post his surgery. Kathleen Hersey trained there prior to leaving for college. I'm just a cog in the big machine over there - just really trying each day to have fun and witness some great swimming. Since I swim with the kids that's who I compare myself to. I know I'm not supposed to do that. . . but it happens.

aquageek
November 14th, 2008, 03:41 PM
(S)he-Puffy is very humble, trust me. (P)uff-Man lets the swimming do the talking, same with Fort.

But, (C)hecream-Puffman has changed her name so now I'm confused.

The Fortress
November 14th, 2008, 03:59 PM
(S)he-Puffy is very humble, trust me. (P)uff-Man lets the swimming do the talking, same with Fort.

But, (C)hecream-Puffman has changed her name so now I'm confused.

Is anyone else wondering if Geek started happy hour early? Or perhaps has too many endorphins jangling around from incessant power spinning?

CreamPuff
November 14th, 2008, 04:12 PM
Is anyone else wondering if Geek started happy hour early? Or perhaps has too many endorphins jangling around from incessant power spinning?

Yea. I was really confused by his last post. And I had an evil lunch - cobb salad and bacardi and diet coke (I NEVER drink at lunch but it was a special going away lunch.)

aquageek
November 14th, 2008, 04:19 PM
Yea. I was really confused by his last post.

I'm just very confused about what your name is anymore. I need stability in my life in these tough times, (S)he-Puff.

PJElder
November 14th, 2008, 04:35 PM
Maybe abc is referring to the 95+ age group for either Men or Woman. Some of those records can be broken by simply completing the distance.

Those records are where I plan on cleaning house on the national record board. Only 61 more years to go!

PJE

Chris Stevenson
November 14th, 2008, 04:35 PM
And I had an evil lunch - cobb salad and bacardi and diet coke

THAT is evil? You really need to get out more.:)

The rankings are complete. People who actually get out there in competition and swim are the ones who deserve to be in there.

Everyone knows the somewhat volatile nature of top 10 times. Even if everyone competed, some years people get injured, or have to spend a lot more time at work, or need to spend more time with family, or whatever.

I agree with the basic idea the original poster had that season goals (or evaluation of success) should not be based too much on factors over which you have no control: how fast other people swim, who has aged in or out of an age group, who is swimming or not, etc.

If you drop a ton of time, or do a tough event for the first time, but somehow just miss the top ten, should you be disappointed? Of course not. Sure it is nice to improve AND be ranked highly, but if I had to choose, I know which I would prefer.

mjgold
November 14th, 2008, 04:41 PM
The harsh responses on this site shock me sometimes. I don't understand why when someone is talking about rankings and the subject of fast swimmers who don't compete comes up, people have to jump in and say how they don't give a stuffed clam about those swimmers. What is the purpose of that?

Anyway, as far as fast swimmers in practice, we have a couple guys that compete maybe twice a year tops. They are all very fast, but one of them regularly swims around the 50 fly record. He decided to go with the team to compete at a meet not too long ago, and his time was like three tenths off the national record. I watched his swim, and he definitely goes faster in practice, so I'm sure he could have broken it; yet, he does not compete regularly. Is this relevant to the rankings? Perhaps not, but people are exceptionally skeptical on this forum when someone mentions a swimmer doing something cool like swimming very fast.

Peter Cruise
November 14th, 2008, 04:45 PM
I just know that if meet event orders were structured a certain way, the Fortress would blast everyone out of the higher rankings (instead of 99.9% of everyone), probably even in evilstroke...

knelson
November 14th, 2008, 04:48 PM
but people are exceptionally skeptical on this forum when someone mentions a swimmer doing something cool like swimming very fast.

I don't really think so, Michael. A lot of us just have the attitude that these purported 'fast' swimmers really need to "show us the money." Times done in practice aren't worth a hill of beans unless those performance can be replicated or bettered in actual competition.

The Fortress
November 14th, 2008, 04:49 PM
One of them regularly swims around the 50 fly record. He decided to go with the team to compete at a meet not too long ago, and his time was like three tenths off the national record. I watched his swim, and he definitely goes faster in practice

I don't believe for one moment that he goes faster in practice.

Peter, I have given up hope of even being with sniffing distance of you in the evilstroke. (Or anyone else for that matter, truth be told.)

mjgold
November 14th, 2008, 04:54 PM
That's good for you. Luckily, I don't care, nor does it change the truth. I find it hilarious that a large portion of you people act very childish when it comes to other people's accomplishments. Every time someone posts an improvement or an accomplishment on here, I'm happy for them, and I really hate when I'm not the best at something.

aquageek
November 14th, 2008, 04:55 PM
Anyway, as far as fast swimmers in practice, we have a couple guys that compete maybe twice a year tops. They are all very fast, but one of them regularly swims around the 50 fly record. He decided to go with the team to compete at a meet not too long ago, and his time was like three tenths off the national record. I watched his swim, and he definitely goes faster in practice, so I'm sure he could have broken it;

Seriously, get a grip. The clock doesn't lie. You get the record for MEET PERFORMANCE, not practice performance, not practice tales of legend. They haven't started handing out medals for practice performance but, if they start, looks like we already have a few national record standard bearers.

Have you ever heard the terms "practice swimmer" versus "meet swimmer" used?

Oh, and "regularly swimming around the 50 fly record" is about the strangest thing I've heard. What in the world does that mean?

If you take competition as the pinnacle of performance then allegations of records set in practice are meaningless. This isn't to downplay the importance of strong practices but the records exist for those who compete.

BTW - is that blog of yours for real? How much do your sponsors pay you?

mjgold
November 14th, 2008, 05:01 PM
I think you misunderstood my point, or perhaps I didn't present it well. Obviously if you are not swimming that fast in the meet, it doesn't matter. I was just addressing the fact that everyone jumped on that person for mentioning fast swimmers that don't compete with allegations that she was lying. If you swim super fast in practice and choke in a meet, then you aren't as good a performer as the guy who doesn't. Personally, I think swimming a 25.28 50m fly when the record is 24.98 is pretty good.

As far as "regularly swimming around the record", now that I read it, it sounds really weird. What I meant was, our team has slow and fast lanes, and the fast lanes swim race pace for a large portion of practice with the coach timing them. He always leads the lane, and he always swims around his race times (which are not many, since he only competes every now and then).

Apparently I really suck at this internet thing. Of course, my girlfriend tells me that I don't communicate well in person either, so I guess I'm just not good at it at all.

aquageek
November 14th, 2008, 05:05 PM
I was just addressing the fact that everyone jumped on that person for mentioning fast swimmers that don't compete with allegations that she was lying.

You need to reread the post. No one has ever said people don't swim fast, very fast and even super duper fast in practice. The assertion made was that national records were broken in practice. There's a vast difference. We called the bluff.

The beauty of the internet is smack talking and being unable to back it up, until you go to a meet and get junkpunched. I speak from experience on this matter.

mjgold
November 14th, 2008, 05:05 PM
Gotcha. I misunderstood, and I apologize.

Chris Stevenson
November 14th, 2008, 05:28 PM
"Junkpunched," have to remember that one.

I'm sure mine isn't the only coach out there who can be slightly, um, generous with hand times? In practice, swimmers can anticipate the go and leave a little early. Or coaches start the watch slightly late. Or swimmers do one-handed turns, etc.

I don't think it is mean or incorrect to assert that top ten times are the fastest times done in official competition that season. There are no asterisks. Someone else can say wudda/cudda/shudda, but it is meaningless unless done in competition.

Kurt Dickson
November 14th, 2008, 05:40 PM
Rumor has it Jeff Comings broke a NR or WR in a blue seventy in workout recently (he however competes with some regularity and is legit).

aquageek
November 14th, 2008, 05:43 PM
Rumor has it Jeff Comings broke a NR or WR in a blue seventy in workout recently (he however competes with some regularity and is legit).

That's a record that is more than plausible. Legit is putting it mildly.

FlyQueen
November 14th, 2008, 05:51 PM
Similarly many of the Olympians were clocked doing crazy fast times (some faster than trials) during taper workouts leading into Beijing - those are known swimmers that are racing world class competition and no one doubts those claims.

I think I heard Phelps has broken (around 03/04) world records in practice - again it's Phelps and that was prior to his monsterous assault on world records so I buy it.

The national records in masters for the most part are darn legit. The record holders in most age groups trained hard, had lots of talent, and had great races. I know a few of these people - they don't touch their own records in practice so I personally find the claims that national records are broken in practice to be less than likely.

I think a lot of people on here misrepresent things (swims, times, etc.) whether intentionally or not. Those are names I won't list but I'll bet beers most people would agree.


We love to tar and feather each other on here ... most of my tarring and feathering is done to those who I know and love OR to those I know to be full of you know what ...

FlyQueen
November 14th, 2008, 05:53 PM
Hmmm, good question. Based on the repulsive looks I get from most women, including the 4 in my family, I'd say I rate about a 2 or 3. In Sweden I'd probably be lower and Germany a little higher.

The cape picture puts you at least at a 5 ... the speedo picture a 6 ...

The Fortress
November 14th, 2008, 06:25 PM
I find it hilarious that a large portion of you people act very childish when it comes to other people's accomplishments. Every time someone posts an improvement or an accomplishment on here, I'm happy for them, and I really hate when I'm not the best at something.

That is just nonsense. People on the forum are uber-supportive (see Peter's attaboy thread, for example) and genuinely admire fast swimming and improvements. We are skeptical, however, of times that seem outlandish, such as swimming a 28 in SCY in practice and a 45 in SCM in a meet.

That said, I quite look forward to junkpunching Geek again.

Chris Stevenson
November 14th, 2008, 06:31 PM
There are a number of very fast people "out there" who only compete occasionally (eg when nationals is near their home town). They do some very fast times -- NRs/WRs even -- then disappear for awhile.

They are the "Jaws" of the Top Ten times...

3strokes
November 14th, 2008, 06:33 PM
Those are names I won't list but I'll bet beers ..........

:canada: ?

CreamPuff
November 14th, 2008, 06:51 PM
I find it hilarious that a large portion of you people act very childish when it comes to other people's accomplishments.

Whose accomplishments? In this thread it's "those who shall remain nameless."
I can't be happy for - air. . .

BillS
November 14th, 2008, 06:52 PM
I think you misunderstood my point, or perhaps I didn't present it well. Obviously if you are not swimming that fast in the meet, it doesn't matter. I was just addressing the fact that everyone jumped on that person for mentioning fast swimmers that don't compete with allegations that she was lying. If you swim super fast in practice and choke in a meet, then you aren't as good a performer as the guy who doesn't. Personally, I think swimming a 25.28 50m fly when the record is 24.98 is pretty good.



I've been hanging around here for about 3 1/2 years. Pretty regularly, someone new jumps on and posts that they swim a 50 (somehow, it's always a 50) of x stroke in x time. Almost invariably, it's a time that would land them in the Top 10 for their age group in the stated course. Always invariably, the time turns out to be mythical, or in the wrong course, or using a sticking pace clock, or insert your excuse here.

I've been to three Nationals, and have witnessed first hand record breaking swims. I've worked my ass off to shave precious tenths here and there. I'm not that slow. And I am a few light years away from cracking the Top 10 in my admittedly brutal 45-49 age group. I have nothing but respect for the swimmers whose names I see atop those lists year after year, and there is simply no way some hitherto unknown is knocking out record breaking swims at practice. Jeff Commings, yes. I saw him swim at Federal Way, and now that he's working his way through his phobia of modern technology and is wearing suits made in the last half century, I have no difficulty believing that he can do record-setting swims in practice. Look at Ande's blog, and how much effort he puts into fast swims in practice. He's one of the best swimmers in my age group, and he's not setting record times in practice -- but if he did, I'd buy into it. Dennis Baker, Roque Santos, Josh Davis, sure, I'll buy it.

It's not that people are being deliberately harsh, it's just that many of us have seen and heard this tired routine before. Swimming fast takes hard work, dedication, skill, guts, determination, and effort; and a national record setting swim requires quantum increases in each.

Whether it's the roll starts, leaving a second early, or a coach with a generous watch click, I somehow always feel much faster in practice than I turn out to be in meets. But the clock doesn't lie. Take a look at the recent Auburn relay practice on floswim. Why do you suppose they went to all the trouble to set up the horn and pads for a simple practice?

Until a swimmer has entered a meet, stepped onto the blocks, gone at the horn, not been deked, and hit the pad, I can't believe in an alleged national record setting time.

elise526
November 14th, 2008, 06:53 PM
mjgold - Most folks on this forum are very supportive of each other whether one competes or not. Folks here want to see people do well in practice and in meets. Also, folks are genuinely concerned when they hear about other swimmers here having health issues or life issues.

As I have learned in my four months here on the forum, forumites are a tough, analytical bunch. It is, however, the argument being attacked, not the person or persons making the argument.

There has to be a way to objectively measure things in society and this is done by tests, races, and rankings. No, rankings or tests do not measure everything or always reflect the whole picture, but there has to be some way to measure.

To analogize, I imagine that when I applied to the college I graduated from, there were tons of people out there smarter than myself that could have gotten into the college and squeezed me out of the picture. They either didn't take the tests or chose not to apply, so they became irrelevant in the acceptance process. Saying that they became irrelevant in the acceptance process does not mean I don't care about the people.

I think it is great that people are working out whether or not they chose to compete. If, however, one is looking at the rankings, you can't be hung up on "What if so and so had competed?" or "I wonder how many people out there could have beat me if every person in my age group had done this event?".

Typhoons Coach
November 14th, 2008, 07:37 PM
mjgold - Most folks on this forum are very supportive of each other whether one competes or not. Folks here want to see people do well in practice and in meets. Also, folks are genuinely concerned when they hear about other swimmers here having health issues or life issues.

As I have learned in my four months here on the forum, forumites are a tough, analytical bunch. It is, however, the argument being attacked, not the person or persons making the argument.

There has to be a way to objectively measure things in society and this is done by tests, races, and rankings. No, rankings or tests do not measure everything or always reflect the whole picture, but there has to be some way to measure.

To analogize, I imagine that when I applied to the college I graduated from, there were tons of people out there smarter than myself that could have gotten into the college and squeezed me out of the picture. They either didn't take the tests or chose not to apply, so they became irrelevant in the acceptance process. Saying that they became irrelevant in the acceptance process does not mean I don't care about the people.

I think it is great that people are working out whether or not they chose to compete. If, however, one is looking at the rankings, you can't be hung up on "What if so and so had competed?" or "I wonder how many people out there could have beat me if every person in my age group had done this event?".


I have to say that this is a great post! I agree that we need to step back and put as much effort to be objective into these debates. People do get caught up sometimes into something that they are passionate about; almost everyone has done that at least once (nobody is perfect). Anyway, I have to say that I agree with this post, but I have to put a disclaimer on this: "As a coach, I will be the biggest headache if you won't try to compete just once".

JimRude
November 14th, 2008, 07:52 PM
That's good for you. Luckily, I don't care, nor does it change the truth. I find it hilarious that a large portion of you people act very childish when it comes to other people's accomplishments. Every time someone posts an improvement or an accomplishment on here, I'm happy for them, and I really hate when I'm not the best at something.

They're NOT accomplishments - they're alleged accomplishments. There's a difference, and that's why they swim the meets, and use timing systems.

Allen Stark
November 14th, 2008, 09:01 PM
Bob Strand was noting that after 55 people don't seem to come out of the woodwork and swim fast at a big meet.Folks who come back after 40 usually need at least a year to get up to speed.Given a fair start for me I'd be lucky to get within 5 sec of my meet time for the 100 BR in practice.Some good workout swimmers could be closer,especially at longer distances,but given a fair start you still must be much faster to beat the record in practice.All this is moot anyway,as they say about medical records"if it isn't written down it didn't happen":if you don't do it in a meet it's like the proverbial tree falling in the forest(how is that for most metaphors in one sentence.)

NotVeryFast
November 15th, 2008, 08:09 AM
I agree with the OP's sentiment that the top 10 times are not a good guide to how you compare against other swimmers due to low levels of participation. There are definitely significant numbers of people swimming to keep fit who would be very fast indeed if they chose to compete. Breaking national records in practice is at the extreme end of the spectrum, but I certainly know one person who swam at my health club who has never competed in a masters meet in his entire life, and he would have been there or thereabouts for the number 1 ranking in GB in his age group if he had competed. I know this for a fact because he swam the time in a meet, just not a masters meet, so the time didn't go into the masters rankings. He had no interest in competing, he only did the non-masters meet to help out the club in an inter-club competition.

Another guy who I train with every week had only done one masters meet in the last decade or two when I joined the club. With my encouragement, he now holds 3 GB Masters Records.

I would guess that Mark Foster, for example, was able to swim at approx Masters WR pace in practice prior to actually breaking it in a meet. Or if Nick Gillingham decided to have a crack at the 40-44 200 breast WR, I would guess he could probably break the existing WR in practice.

I like our GB age-corrected rankings a lot as a reality check. In my age group, I am ranked 8th in GB for SCM 100 fly. In the age-corrected rankings I am ranked 80th, which I feel is a much more realistic assessment of how good a swimmer I am. The points basically give you a measure of how good a time is for any event at any age, though it breaks down a bit at really old ages.

If anyone wants to work out their age-corrected time in this way, just stick the following formula into cell A2 in an excel spreadsheet and put your age in A1:
=SQRT((98-A1)*(98+A1))/94.757585
Then you multiply your race time by the resulting adjustment factor to get the time the system thinks you would have done at your peak.

Chris Stevenson
November 15th, 2008, 08:17 AM
I imagine that when I applied to the college I graduated from, there were tons of people out there smarter than myself that could have gotten into the college and squeezed me out of the picture.

A good post.

But let's be honest, Lady Dawg: who would apply for admission to a school that mispells its own mascot's name?:bump:

aquageek
November 15th, 2008, 11:06 AM
A good post.

But let's be honest, Lady Dawg: who would apply for admission to a school that mispells its own mascot's name?:bump:

My wife, for starters.

elise526
November 15th, 2008, 01:16 PM
A good post.

But let's be honest, Lady Dawg: who would apply for admission to a school that mispells its own mascot's name?:bump:
I'm a fan, but didn't go to college there. I went to a college in Atlanta that does not have a football team. Love to be able to claim I was truly a DAWG, especially if I had swam for them, but I will have to settle for saying I was a former Eagle.

Chris Stevenson
November 15th, 2008, 05:33 PM
My wife, for starters.

My sympathies, we all have our crosses to bear.

My wife went to Duke, as did her sister, and my mother-in-law is a rabid fan (much more than either of her daughters, actually).

aquageek
November 15th, 2008, 07:31 PM
I don't know how dook/UNC marriages can work, but they seem to. I have close friends who have this in common with you and they do not watch the two (at least) annual basketball games in the same room.

Noodles Romanoff
November 16th, 2008, 01:03 PM
You can choose to believe what you want.

These and more urban legends at http://www.darwinawards.com/legends/
"These apocryphal stories are included as examples of Herculean Darwinian efforts. Be glad, be very glad, these people don't exist.

CreamPuff
November 16th, 2008, 01:25 PM
I see where some of the disconnect is.

In reviewing the Great Britain records with the US masters swimming records, they aren't comparable. Generally speaking (and there are a few exceptions), the US records are significantly faster. I could totally see Great Britain records being broken in practice. My meet times this past LCM season would qualify me for several GB national records where I'm not very close to US nat records. So I think it depends on what country you are swimming in.



I agree with the OP's sentiment that the top 10 times are not a good guide to how you compare against other swimmers due to low levels of participation. There are definitely significant numbers of people swimming to keep fit who would be very fast indeed if they chose to compete. Breaking national records in practice is at the extreme end of the spectrum, but I certainly know one person who swam at my health club who has never competed in a masters meet in his entire life, and he would have been there or thereabouts for the number 1 ranking in GB in his age group if he had competed. I know this for a fact because he swam the time in a meet, just not a masters meet, so the time didn't go into the masters rankings. He had no interest in competing, he only did the non-masters meet to help out the club in an inter-club competition.

Another guy who I train with every week had only done one masters meet in the last decade or two when I joined the club. With my encouragement, he now holds 3 GB Masters Records.

JMiller
November 16th, 2008, 06:00 PM
I've read all the responses... really, laughed on a few posts, and disappointed by others, either way, this was entertaining for me. The initial assumption was probably trying to compare EX-age groupers with a decent masters record. It's so easy to say, this record isn't that fast, etc. but the relative perspective of age really does impact the result. For the most part, legitimate performances are very hard to accomplish, especially when you add 20+ years to the equation.

Which brings me to the next part, training performances actually do slide when you're not being held accountable by competition.

Saying a record has or could be broken in work-out is further off the mark, more disputable than one record falling once, to a person who doesn't see the life-long compatibility of enduring performance. Perhaps there really are a few gifted people who still don't recognize the value of the masters community, fine, but a few years later, and they won't even come close.

NotVeryFast
November 16th, 2008, 06:14 PM
I see where some of the disconnect is.

In reviewing the Great Britain records with the US masters swimming records, they aren't comparable. Generally speaking (and there are a few exceptions), the US records are significantly faster. I could totally see Great Britain records being broken in practice. My meet times this past LCM season would qualify me for several GB national records where I'm not very close to US nat records. So I think it depends on what country you are swimming in.
While it is true that the US records will typically be faster than the GB records, I think it is comparing like with like to look at training performances of GB swimmers relative to GB records. There may be other reasons for the US records being faster, but a major factor will be the bigger population. The bigger population will make the records faster, but it will also give you a correspondingly bigger pool of people from which to find people who can break the records in practice. So I think the two things ought to cancel out, and you should have a similar chance of finding a US swimmer who can break a US record in practice, compared with the chance of finding a GB swimmer who can break a GB record in practice.

aquageek
November 16th, 2008, 06:42 PM
NotVeryFast - I dispute your assertion. While a country's size means there are more people it in no way translates to success. Take China and India on one extreme with relatively weak programs versus Jamaica and Australia on the other hand with great programs. Britain's complete absence from discussion on sports these days is more indicative of poor programs and a lack of focus on athletics than some population argument.

Kurt Dickson
November 16th, 2008, 07:08 PM
Actually, second to China, Britain had the largest gain in Olympic medals this year (19 golds and 47 in total). They were particularly dominant in track cycling (7 out of 10 golds) despite Tour de France sprinting stud Mark Cavendish (4 stage wins) going home empty handed.

aquageek
November 16th, 2008, 07:55 PM
Any sports that matter, Kurt?

In all honesty, I stand corrected. I just don't find the UK to be the sports powerhouse they used to be.

Peter Cruise
November 17th, 2008, 01:54 AM
Be careful, Geek-o-mundo. Mention of 'sports that matter' could draw LBJ out of the weeds to regale us with anecdotes re racewalking (dryland noodling) where the notion of 'rank' could only refer to the judging of form.

NotVeryFast
November 17th, 2008, 08:20 AM
NotVeryFast - I dispute your assertion. While a country's size means there are more people it in no way translates to success. Take China and India on one extreme with relatively weak programs versus Jamaica and Australia on the other hand with great programs. Britain's complete absence from discussion on sports these days is more indicative of poor programs and a lack of focus on athletics than some population argument.
I explicitly said that population isn't the only factor. But whatever factors are leading to success at USMS Record level in the US, do those same factors not also improve standards at a lower level? Or do the USMS national record holders have exclusive access to a source of better performance?

An example of where elite performance does not translate into better performance for the whole population is elite cycling in GB, where the resources are focused on a tiny handful of cyclists, whose level of performance cannot be matched by those who don't have access to those resources. I doubt that this situation applies to USMS, though.

And regarding your observations on relative strength of programs, GB were 4th in the Olympic medal table, ahead of the "great" programs of Jamaica and Australia, and the US finished 2nd behind the "weak" program of China.

aquageek
November 17th, 2008, 08:44 AM
I know you are proud of all your medals in the UK. But, in taking a look at what you medaled in, there is not a lot to be overly proud of, mostly obscure sports and heavy on the cycling. UK used to be relevant in the sporting world, no longer.

As to USMS performance, I have no idea what you are talking about.

China failed to meet their own medal goal and if you exclude the medals from their obviously underage gymnastics team, I can't be convinced it was a very successful performance by them overall.

Leonard Jansen
November 17th, 2008, 10:46 AM
Be careful, Geek-o-mundo. Mention of 'sports that matter' could draw LBJ out of the weeds to regale us with anecdotes re racewalking (dryland noodling) where the notion of 'rank' could only refer to the judging of form.

Slap, slap, slap, slap!

You speak heresy - "dryland noodling", indeed!

Your penance: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=tA2K5iUoMU4

-LBJ