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CreamPuff
June 22nd, 2009, 04:45 PM
What's the right thing to do in this situation?

In general, in the National level group, drafting is a no-no. I really like training with them b/c drafting of any kind is pretty minimal. Either we all go 10 seconds back or if we are going 5 and you catch the person in front of you, you either pass them or they let you go in front of them at the next stop.

However, what do you do in this practice situation?

You are swimming 2nd in the lane. Boy in front of you starts missing the intervals during the last 25% of the set. He's done a great job of leading the lane until this point. You catch up to him as your entire lane is now missing the intervals (although the rest of the lane was missing the intervals on their own doing anyway).

However, you are not sure you can/ should pass him. Should I have tried to pass even though we were at the tail end of the set (and passing would be a heck of a chore as we were all pretty dead)? Stayed on his feet as the set is almost over? Waited another 5 seconds but then having other people on my feet? No one else was really on my feet as we had sort of put some distance between us and the rest of the lane. I sort of feel if the lane leader misses the send offs that it's more of a touch and go/ anything goes/ fend for yourself scenario.

Thanks!

osterber
June 22nd, 2009, 04:51 PM
First of all... if you're going 5 seconds apart, you're drafting, period. There is no way to not draft if you're only 5 seconds behind someone.

If the person in front of me starts missing sendoffs, and I'm still making the sendoffs, then I just keep going on my sendoff. The person in front of me should yield, and try to squeeze in behind. If the sendoff allows, I'll try to bump up a spot. But if I'm touch-and-go, I'm not going to move up.

The real answer here is "it depends". It depends on everything... the personalities and talents of the other people in the lane, etc.

-Rick

Lump
June 22nd, 2009, 05:38 PM
Pass, pure and simple. Even if you don't end up doing any better than him, you need to take the initiative to try. If I were leading the lane I'd be more pissed that you just hung at my ankles than trying to lead. It doesn't help anyone if you stay back. Push yourself and the folks you swim with.:cheerleader:

FYI....5 seconds apart is ridiculous. The only time I ever did that would be in a meet warmup situation. 5 seconds encourages drafting. I suppose the team numbers dictates that, but still. If you are LCM then you should be able to go 10 sec apart.

humanpunchingbag
June 22nd, 2009, 06:07 PM
However, what do you do in this practice situation?

You are swimming 2nd in the lane. Boy in front of you starts missing the intervals during the last 25% of the set. He's done a great job of leading the lane until this point. You catch up to him as your entire lane is now missing the intervals

However, you are not sure you can/ should pass him. Should I have tried to pass even though we were at the tail end of the set (and passing would be a heck of a chore as we were all pretty dead)? Stayed on his feet as the set is almost over? Waited another 5 seconds but then having other people on my feet? No one else was really on my feet as we had sort of put some distance between us and the rest of the lane. I sort of feel if the lane leader misses the send offs that it's more of a touch and go/ anything goes/ fend for yourself scenario.

Thanks!

I run into this practically every time I train with our local Masters group. As the leader. I have one woman that trains with me that is really very talented. She was a wunderkind when she was a teen-ager and really has not aged much since then. She is also extremely competitive.

We train in a crowded 25 meter pool, so 5 seconds apart is practically required. She almost never goes lead off despite the fact she can keep up and kick my ass most days. Her typical pattern is to go slightly less than 5 apart, then drop on your feet at about the 50 meter mark and hang on for the entire set. Is she drafting? Of course. Does is matter to me? Sometimes.

As the leader (I share it with another guy who, despite only training sporadically, can kick it into high gear anytime he chooses and burn by me) I ignore her competitive training most of the time. Sometimes I feel crowded and, if I can, I just turn it up a notch and pull away. If I have nothing in the tank (like I tend to as my blood glucose bottoms out if I skip eating before training), I am more than happy to drop out and let her buzz by. That is what I think should happen. Its just one rep of one set of one work-out in a long line of sessions.

I think you should have just stuck to YOUR pace time and let him decide to drop back on his own or put up with you barking at his feet. If he drops back, then he will likely get that five more seconds of rest he needs to regain his form while you get bragging rights to completing the set. If he stays in front and starts to become road kill, then you need to just keep on tapping at the door until he figures out that he needs to drop back. Otherwise he is the guy failing to have proper etiquette.

I do not believe passing in mid pool is ever a good bet: you will blow yourself out to get by, then you will start missing the set because you screwed up your pace. Those short rest sets are all about setting a pace and staying in the groove. If you start trying to sprint in mid pool, I cannot think of a better way of destroying your groove.

knelson
June 22nd, 2009, 06:26 PM
I think you're fine staying behind unless he tells you to take over. When I'm in this position I find it annoying that someone is right on my tail, but it also motivates me to keep going. At the point where I feel like I'm holding that person up I'll stop and let them pass.

tjrpatt
June 22nd, 2009, 06:32 PM
5 seconds apart is pretty normal in my practices and in my region. At The age group practices that I did recently, we had to go 5 seconds apart because a one of the top swimmers in the country is leading the lane. He will lap people if everyone went 10 seconds apart and in LCM if given the chance.

The guy should have maybe thought that it was time to go second or was too stubborn to admit he had nothing left. If you were too tired to pass him, cut into the next lap and get in front of him that way. I had that done recently and frankly, I was struggling so I didn't mind. But, when people start to touch my feet, I know that is the time to let someone go ahead of me.

Maybe have a discussion before hand about what to do if the lead person can't lead anymore.

qbrain
June 22nd, 2009, 07:35 PM
Given that situation, with the two of you out in front of the rest of the lane, if you can make the interval, you should take the lead. This will give the current leader a small break, and a small draft, and he might be able to pull off the rest of the set.

If you can't make the interval, and you are dying as badly as he is, passing will only cause you to crash. If you pass then crash and get run over, there was no benefit and a lot of harm.

If you can't muster the extra energy to pass, and you are not where near his feet, then stick with your new interval.

You are a girl, and he is a boy, so lane etiquette favors whatever you decide to do, as long as you are not a total ***** about it.

CreamPuff
June 22nd, 2009, 09:05 PM
Thanks for all the thoughts! Wow! There are just so many possibilities here!
I think I've done and/ or at least thought all of these things at some point depending on the situation as Osterber mentioned.

To clarify a few things:
Often, the coaches dictate to us if we are to leave 5 or 10 seconds. Sometimes, due to high lane volume (even LCM) we are told to leave 5 back even on things for time. Typically, the very strong boys (and some girls) lead the lane.

I think in the future, if space is available I will leave 10 back. I can absolutely feel draft with 5 seconds back (whether I am leading - drag- or following - free ride). HOWEVER, I feel for the kids in the back of the lane (let's say 10 to 12 of us are in a lane LCM). Being someone that has had to go last in the past, it's very stressful having even a few people leave 10 back b/c you are almost caught by the first person before you even begin! Think about 100 pace on 1:15 and do the math.

Sometimes I'll ask the person in front of me if they want me to leave 5 or 10 back. I've had "I don't care. Whatever you want to do." And often I will be told that "we are leaving 10 back." :angel: So it's useful to clarify things up front. I did not do this with the lane leader today as he usually creams me.

This young man (16) is VERY polite with me (and even calls me Miss Kristina) so I really want to do what is considerate. Sounds like some upfront clarification prior to the set beginning is a good place to start. Thanks again!

quicksilver
June 23rd, 2009, 12:38 PM
If there were enough time at the wall before he pushed off, I would have asked how's it going and encouraged a quick response.

It could have either
a.) spurred him on, to dig in a little deeper, because now he's aware that he's falling off pace (or)
b.) he might have said that he's out of gas and he would have loved for you to take the reigns.

It's hard work leading the lane, and a bit of friendly support can make all the difference.

Redbird Alum
June 23rd, 2009, 01:31 PM
Kristina -

Rather than leave later, ask if he would like you to move up. It may help motivate him in either response he makes, and you will have an opportunity to push yourself through clear water for a change (rather than slipstreaming).

CreamPuff
June 23rd, 2009, 02:53 PM
Kristina -

Rather than leave later, ask if he would like you to move up. It may help motivate him in either response he makes, and you will have an opportunity to push yourself through clear water for a change (rather than slipstreaming).

Quicksilver, #1 option you listed was great and I used that effectively a few days prior b/c there was time between repeats to ask how this guy (another one) was doing. As I suspected, he had a bad shoulder that day and I went ahead of him.

Redbird, makes a lot of sense. On this (looong) set, there was not time for any words. We were all touch and go. I'm not sure how realistic it is for a 36 year old woman to lead a lane during a USA-S National practice, but I will certainly start thinking about it if my body can hold up! :D

swimshark
June 23rd, 2009, 03:01 PM
Redbird, makes a lot of sense. On this (looong) set, there was not time for any words. We were all touch and go. I'm not sure how realistic it is for a 36 year old woman to lead a lane during a USA-S National practice, but I will certainly start thinking about it if my body can hold up! :D

Puff - your age and the group shouldn't make a bit of difference on whether you lead or not. :) It's all about how others are swimming and how you are doing that day. I also swim with USA-S team and I've lead on many occasions at 38. I dare them to keep up with me.:bolt:

stillwater
June 23rd, 2009, 07:54 PM
Did you ask to lead before the set started?

I am guilty of hemming and hawing on fast interval sets, in the hope of an easier swim. I am, after all a cheating weasel.

Do you know this boy and his speed? If not, you do now; time for note to self.

Lastly, he is 16. My guess is that you won't have this problem for long.

rtodd
June 23rd, 2009, 08:36 PM
If you are kinda just hanging in there anyway, shout a word of encouragement.......... "C-mon, we can do this". That may be all it takes to finish the set the way you want. To pass, you gotta really feel confident you don't take the reigns and then bonk out.

Question: Are all lanes the same width? I've been in some 50m pools where the lanes are real wide and can support easy passing, while others can be tricky.

quicksilver
June 23rd, 2009, 09:05 PM
how realistic it is for a 36 year old woman to lead a lane during a USA-S National practice, but I will certainly start thinking about it if my body can hold up! :D

At the end of the day, masters swimming is really cool. Stuff like this never happened 20-30 years ago.

Can't imagine what goes through the mind of a 16 year old boy, getting overrun by a "girl", not to mention, by one who's 20 years his senior! :)
Talk about a big slice of humble pie.

orca1946
June 24th, 2009, 06:34 PM
We almost have the same swimmers in our lane . We know which strokes some should lead & others fall in line according to speed. When off the pace, yes ask them to move back a place.

CreamPuff
June 24th, 2009, 06:48 PM
Orca, great point. What's so challenging about USA-S National club team is that things are in continual flux. You've got college kids home for the summer and they are at varying levels of physical fitness as this is their off season. And then on some days you have SR I and National teams combined. On some days, certain swimmers are injured or very tired or not feeling well. On other days, you've got some kids breaking out to a new, amazingly fast level which is a beautiful thing to see! Add in the fact that there can be upwards of 12 or more people in a narrow lane. . . And don't forget that some of these sets are 1 to 1.5 hours in duration and they include a mix of pull, kick, and swim (so you've got different kids with different strengths).
It's the toughest practice you'll ever love. :)

I noticed when I swim masters, I can pretty much determine with certainty who will do what. There are fewer surprises I guess.

Qsilver, LOL! Well, the kids certainly get the better of me. I always get my daily serving of humble pie when I swim with them.

Rtodd, the lanes are the same width but they are NARROW! But the coaches DO tell us to pass so I have no excuse. I think if I bonk I have a small excuse of being old but I agree in that I'd prefer to avoid that humiliation!

Stillwater, I DO know this fast boy although he's improving at a HUGE rate (I agree with you in that surely I won't have this problem for long :bitching:); however, I've made some stroke changes that have made me faster so I'm still figuring out what I'm capable of. After round 1 of the set I went from 3rd in the lane to somehow leading it but this kind young man stepped in to save me.

Shark, you are a bada$$! :cheerleader: I will try and follow your lead! I don't think I'm daring these kids to do anything. I just hope to not be run over by them.

qbrain
June 25th, 2009, 09:22 AM
Can't imagine what goes through the mind of a 16 year old boy, getting overrun by a "girl"

Since you have forgotten, it goes something like "That girl just rubbed up against me! I wish this wasn't swim practice..."

As for what you were really implying, when I swam in high school, there were always girls who could train just as fast as the boys. The fear wasn't that you would get run over by a girl, but that you would bonk, and not be able to keep up with the entire lane.

jim thornton
June 25th, 2009, 10:59 AM
Miss Cristina,

USS swimming might be much more regimented than masters, but here's what I will do in our little practices when a similar situation arises.

Scenario:

Blazingly fast 18 year old girl takes off before me. I leave 2 seconds later, hoping to draft for at least 10 yards before she so outdistances me that even her existence becomes an article of faith.

Repeat 10-19 times.

By rep #20, she is starting to get sort of tired, and I am still reasonably refreshed, having drafted most of the workout.

I am extremely tempted to sprint on the last one, tickle her girlish toes, maybe even grab same and let her pull me a while, in the process letting her know that the natural Talibanic order of things--with me in the position of supremacy--still holds.

But some niggling interior sense--call it morality, call it conscience, call it fear of being punched--tells me not to do this.

Instead, I leave a full second later than usual, i.e., 3 seconds after her push off.

If the set continues, and I continue to catch up, I have a bit of wriggle room. I can, if absolutely necessary, leave 4 seconds after her. Or--god forbid--the actual 5 that I am supposed to have done the whole time.

It's sort of like the Fed easing interest rates to prevent economic collapse.

Already, I hear your obvious objections, Miss Christina! And I have an answer for them!

What if even 5 seconds is not enough?

This may sound like blasphemy, but the answer is simple: 6 seconds, or even 7 seconds, or 8!

Especially if the person coming after you is struggling, they will be grateful to be able to better draft off you for a while. And especially if there are not too many reps left to go, the person in the front will not be demoralized or enraged by what may well strike him/her as the "sally save up" phenomenon.

If your coach is Germanic, and insists upon the trains running absolutely on time, you could dip underwater at the precise send-off interval, count one Mississippi, two Mississippi, then push off, and nobody would be the wiser.

With this approach, and you living in Georgia, I predict it will be no time at all before the boys are asking you to bust up their chifferobes...

CreamPuff
June 25th, 2009, 07:45 PM
You need to visit one of the USA-S GA teams down here. The 15 to 18 year old gals would not put up with your antics. We may be in the south, but I think some of them have some good old fashioned Bronx and Jersey in them.

Things that I have witnessed when boys (or girls) such as yourself try those silly tricks include:
Giving you the evil eye
Turning around in the middle of the lane to avoid you
Lane hopping - leaving your lane
Screaming
Cursing
Belittling
Giving a nice foot kick to the face
Complaining to the coach while ensuring you are thrown out of the practice

I've learned so much from the kiddos!

Good lord! Who and where is this poor 18 year old girl whose toes you have violated?! I need to disclose my tricks to this poor soul!

If you and I ever practice together, the lifeguards had better take cover. :angel:


Miss Cristina,

USS swimming might be much more regimented than masters, but here's what I will do in our little practices when a similar situation arises.

Scenario:

Blazingly fast 18 year old girl takes off before me. I leave 2 seconds later, hoping to draft for at least 10 yards before she so outdistances me that even her existence becomes an article of faith.

Repeat 10-19 times.

By rep #20, she is starting to get sort of tired, and I am still reasonably refreshed, having drafted most of the workout.

I am extremely tempted to sprint on the last one, tickle her girlish toes, maybe even grab same and let her pull me a while, in the process letting her know that the natural Talibanic order of things--with me in the position of supremacy--still holds.

But some niggling interior sense--call it morality, call it conscience, call it fear of being punched--tells me not to do this.

Instead, I leave a full second later than usual, i.e., 3 seconds after her push off.

If the set continues, and I continue to catch up, I have a bit of wriggle room. I can, if absolutely necessary, leave 4 seconds after her. Or--god forbid--the actual 5 that I am supposed to have done the whole time.

It's sort of like the Fed easing interest rates to prevent economic collapse.

Already, I hear your obvious objections, Miss Christina! And I have an answer for them!

What if even 5 seconds is not enough?

This may sound like blasphemy, but the answer is simple: 6 seconds, or even 7 seconds, or 8!

Especially if the person coming after you is struggling, they will be grateful to be able to better draft off you for a while. And especially if there are not too many reps left to go, the person in the front will not be demoralized or enraged by what may well strike him/her as the "sally save up" phenomenon.

If your coach is Germanic, and insists upon the trains running absolutely on time, you could dip underwater at the precise send-off interval, count one Mississippi, two Mississippi, then push off, and nobody would be the wiser.

With this approach, and you living in Georgia, I predict it will be no time at all before the boys are asking you to bust up their chifferobes...

jim thornton
June 25th, 2009, 09:41 PM
I take it that I won't be bustin' up no CreamPuff chifferobes anytime soon?

Note to self: wait a couple months, and try a more gentlemanly approach.

gigi
June 25th, 2009, 10:20 PM
ha ha
bust up a chiffarobe
ha

mermaid
June 28th, 2009, 08:06 AM
I can assure all of you, Jim is not kidding.

nkfrench
June 28th, 2009, 01:16 PM
USAS swimming practice ? Elite group ? No room to pass ?

Grab his ankles and go right over the top if you can.