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humanpunchingbag
July 18th, 2009, 01:13 AM
So a lady friend of mine and I were discussing Masters training yesterday, specifically the art of sharing a lane with a mixture of like-minded people not necessarily doing the same work-out (ie: public swimming). Right now all of us are in the same boat; the local indoor Olympic-standard pool has been closed for bi-annual maintenance and we are all having to share a wierd old 50-yard outdoor pool which has long-course lap swimming for only a four hour window each day. Most everyone knows everybody by now, so we are all getting along pretty well. With the exception of the triathletes.

So, without trying to poke a sleeping bear with a stick, why is it that tri-athletes cannot seem to get along with competitive swimmers in the training pool? Here are my observations of the group we have here, though they might not be typical examples:

1) Holy smoke are these guys serious about talking about serious training. Note how I worded that. They talk the talk a lot, ignore anything us competitive swimmers might have to say on the subject of training swimming, and generally clog up the end of the pool as they talk. and talk. and talk. Despite the fact they all sport the same middle-aged paunches, they just cannot conceptualize that they are not truly elite athletes and they do not get to set the rules of the pool.

2) They hog the lane. If these guys can drive, how come they cannot figure out circle swimming? It seems to me a pretty simple concept that you stay on your side of that black line on the pool bottom going one way, and then circle to the other side of the line on the way back. That darn line was not painted on the bottom of the pool just so you can swim straight.

3) Circle swimming and trying to mesh the circle swimming of several lanes is just a foreign concept to most of them. It just seems proper that if lane one is circling clockwise, lane two should circle counter-clockwise so you don't bash you freaking arms across the lane lines. The tria-athletes seem to always circle the absolutely wrong way, and with those wide-ass strokes they all seem to use, it is almost inevitable that you will clash. Thankfully most ex-competitive swimmer have developed that 6th sense that tells you to duck when you are about to be smashed (you all know that 6th sense: its called watching where you are going, another apparently foreign concept. Goggles are obviously used for finding floaters at the bottom of the pool rather than looking ahead periodically)

4) Interval training. Tri-athletes seem to believe that is a innovative, modern concept that needs far more study (usually done while they have deep discussions at the end of the pool) before they actually implement it. Serious tri-athletes just know that swimming the same 1000 meter swim with no set pace every single session is a clear formula for winning the next Iron-man. The tri-athletes seem to resent the breaking up of swim sets into reps on intervals, especially if it done by some pathetic competitive swimmer that keeps on passing them while they grind out that standard 1000.

5) Finally, my greatest irritation: X marks the spot!! When you sit at the end of the pool, discussing deeply distressing new concepts such as interval training, circle swimming, and high elbow recovery on the front crawl, why must you sit right in the center of the lane. Did it ever occur to you that the center of the lane has a big cross painted on it and generally Xs and crosses designate landing zones. Of course I know that you rarely use flip turns, but some of us poor simple-minded swimmers do and, from force of habit and in the interest of not smashing into the person behind us, we usually flip-turn on the X. We also tend to come in on one side of the line (that line on the bottom of the pool, put there presumably for some swimmers to find their way back to the discussion at the end of the pool) and leave on the other side. Its called circle swimming.

Is there some shortage of information on swim training for tri-athletes? I know that there are all sorts of magazines and books about triathalon; do they all ignore the fact that to succeed at swimming you actually have to follow some sort of structured training program? Do they even touch base on simple pool training etiquette?

I used to think that it was just my cross-eyed cussed and curmugeonly ways that found the local tri-athletes to be slightly slow and backward with regards to training-pool etiquette, but my lady-friend was far more cynical than I: she was pretty sure that the tri-athletes purposefully are difficult as part of a competitive strategy.

chaos
July 18th, 2009, 07:20 AM
HPG,
maybe you should move away from where ever it is you live..... the triathletes i know can all swim pretty well and follow the pool rules etc.

djacks
July 18th, 2009, 08:16 AM
The dead give away for me is if they are wearing and using a sports watch (Ironman Platinum Edition - now 3 grams lighter). The idea of using the pace clock is foreign to them.

Visit slowtwitch.com to read up on topics such as "Since I'm faster in a 100 breathing every four strokes, than I should use this breathing pattern in my open water 1500."

http://forum.slowtwitch.com/Slowtwitch_Forums_C1/Triathlon_Forum_F1/Fish%3A_Why_does_alternate_breathing_help_so_much_ P2398286

dorothyrde
July 18th, 2009, 08:40 AM
HPG,
maybe you should move away from where ever it is you live..... the triathletes i know can all swim pretty well and follow the pool rules etc.

Ditto, I never have issues with the triathletes, pretty civil people, mostly men, who treat me pretty well when I share a lane with them. Maybe because I don't try to convert them to my way of training! Let them train how they like.

Bobinator
July 18th, 2009, 08:40 AM
I agree with Chaos. The triathletes around here are great. (I don't live where cha0s lives) Lots of them swim with USMS teams and we all get along fine.
I suggest that you try talking to them in the same tone of voice you use with your swimming friends. After you establish a rapport you might be able to slowly interject things they need to do to become a better lane mate.
If they want to do straight/uninteruppted swims just suggest splitting into 2 lanes so both parties can do what they want to do in optimal conditions. I think taking the pro-active yet respectful approach will get you what you want and possibly win you some friends. Starting a pissing war with triathletes is petty and childish. sorry :( :bighug:

Hoosier
July 18th, 2009, 09:14 AM
I dont have any problems with the Tri's in my pool....they are faster than me anyway. I think you have just run into a bad group...dont blame the entire nation of Tri's.

quicksilver
July 18th, 2009, 09:21 AM
We have a few over the summer too. Our lanes get busy due to the kids team taking half of the pool.
When the occasional triathlete drops in our lane, my friend and I tell them what set we're doing, and suggest that they can try to keep up if they want.

Invariably if they understand the game plan, they'll know how to step in and when to step aside.
Usually they leave with a big thank you, and say something like they never would have tried that on their own.

Perhaps organizing the lane is the best way to reduce the random chaos.

stillwater
July 18th, 2009, 09:29 AM
Don't forget about the poseathon/stretch on the pool deck before entering the water. Or the tons of toys/crap placed at the end of the lane, (an excuse for some to miss a rep while putting toys/crap on). And, never, ever swimming a stroke besides freestyle.

Nice post humanpunchingbag.

FindingMyInnerFish
July 18th, 2009, 09:29 AM
1. I've never had a problem with triathletes either--in masters practices or elsewhere. I hear the stories here about the bad ol' triathletes, but I guess I've been lucky, since I haven't met anyone who conforms to the descriptions put out on this forum. Which isn't to say I don't believe such individuals exist. I've never seen a mountain lion in the wild either, and never encountered a shark while swimming, but I've heard reports of the dangers of these animals and exercise due caution in their vicinity.

2. I'm not a triathlete, b/c the bike part holds no interest for me, but I plead guilty (with an explanation, your honor) to using a sports watch. I'm nearsighted and probably should get prescription goggles--in any case, find it hard to see the pace clock, but can see my watch. I also plead guilty as charged on the sans flip turn count. This is something I know I have to correct. At one point, I had somewhat mastered the flip turn and was quite pleased about that, but I since developed a phobia--had one go very wrong and came out of it with a very bad cramp. After that, I would approach the wall and something in me would freeze--then I'd end up doing an open turn. I struggled with this a while, then decided that for the time being I'd make my peace with just doing open turns. I envy those who do them easily and without a second thought.

3. At my pool, I will do my best to observe circle swimming but find that by doing so, I have near collisions with those who don't. At the noon swim period, often only a local swim coach and I have even heard of circle swimming. I had hesitated to share his lane, however, since he is a good deal faster--but he actually invited me to do so after seeing me trying to weave my way around those who didn't observe the practice. (He's also shared great tips and suggestions about my stroke and I definitely have benefited from his advice.)

4. I dare not stop to talk training (or the Phillies' chances or what Obama should do about health care) for too long--it leads to the assumption that I must be done, an impression I prefer to avoid, since that means that the lane fills up with others whose lane habits and mine might not mesh.

5. If the triathletes cited only want to swim an unbroken 1000 yards or so, how is it that they're parked at the end of a lane talking. Wouldn't they be busy swimming their 1000 yards?

6. My running experience actually has shown me the value of interval workouts. I love doing them on land or in water.

And again, many of the triathletes I know are very considerate, decent people who enjoy the variety of swim, bike, run. It's not my thing, but whatever gets you going!

John C Smith
July 18th, 2009, 09:41 AM
Holy smoke are these guys serious about talking about serious training. Note how I worded that. They talk the talk a lot, ignore anything us competitive swimmers might have to say on the subject of training swimming, and generally clog up the end of the pool as they talk. and talk. and talk. Despite the fact they all sport the same middle-aged paunches, they just cannot conceptualize that they are not truly elite athletes and they do not get to set the rules of the pool.

They are definitely cut from a different cloth.

CreamPuff
July 18th, 2009, 10:50 AM
I really get a kick out of the tris who use an abacus! And I've seen several instances. . .

humanpunchingbag
July 18th, 2009, 11:02 AM
3. At my pool, I will do my best to observe circle swimming but find that by doing so, I have near collisions with those who don't. At the noon swim period, often only a local swim coach and I have even heard of circle swimming. I had hesitated to share his lane, however, since he is a good deal faster--but he actually invited me to do so after seeing me trying to weave my way around those who didn't observe the practice. (He's also shared great tips and suggestions about my stroke and I definitely have benefited from his


I actually watch for people that understand pool etiquette, regardless of speed or ability and either make them welcome in my lane or actually invite them over. I find that by filling your lane with people that know how to train, it discourages the many people who think that lane swimming should be a free-for-all scrimage.

The black watch comment hits home a bit right now. The pool I have to use right now has not one training clock up, so I am having to wear a watch right now. Drives me crazy, but I do find it easier to keep track on distance swims.

Sorry to all the tri-athletes here: I did say that I thought that the group we had here in this city might be a different breed of trainer. I actually know many of them fairly well; the guys that come out to train with the Masters groups really know how to get along in the circle swimming millieau. On the other hand there is a bunch of these guys that just cannot or will not try to get along. The feeling is almost "clique" like. (note that most of us competitive swimmers get along really well with the regular public swim fitness crowd; they know us and better yet, know how to live and let live. This includes the elderly lady we all term "dog paddle" lady for good reasons)

The most irritating one so far: the guy that boasted to me that he could almost keep up with me on the 50 meters, but he thought that the wet suit probably was helping him somewhat (do you think?). That does beg the question as to why he was wearing a wet suit in a heated pool in the middle of winter and why he thought that a fifty sprint would compare to a 400 meter interval pace.

chaos
July 18th, 2009, 12:01 PM
I really get a kick out of the tris who use an abacus! And I've seen several instances. . .

i use the lane line for that

aztimm
July 19th, 2009, 12:40 PM
My team is made up of more triathletes than competitive swimmers. If I had to generalize, I'd say the triathletes are better with pool etiquette, and they will swim every stroke. Perhaps my team is the exception.

thewookiee
July 19th, 2009, 04:47 PM
I really get a kick out of the tris who use an abacus! And I've seen several instances. . .

Me too. I love to slide an extra disk(or more like 6 or 7) over while they swim.

pwb
July 19th, 2009, 05:35 PM
HPG,
maybe you should move away from where ever it is you live..... the triathletes i know can all swim pretty well and follow the pool rules etc.


Ditto, I never have issues with the triathletes, pretty civil people, mostly men, who treat me pretty well when I share a lane with them. Maybe because I don't try to convert them to my way of training! Let them train how they like.


I agree with Chaos. The triathletes around here are great. (I don't live where cha0s lives) Lots of them swim with USMS teams and we all get along fine.
I suggest that you try talking to them in the same tone of voice you use with your swimming friends. After you establish a rapport you might be able to slowly interject things they need to do to become a better lane mate.
If they want to do straight/uninteruppted swims just suggest splitting into 2 lanes so both parties can do what they want to do in optimal conditions. I think taking the pro-active yet respectful approach will get you what you want and possibly win you some friends. Starting a pissing war with triathletes is petty and childish. sorry :( :bighug:


I dont have any problems with the Tri's in my pool....they are faster than me anyway. I think you have just run into a bad group...dont blame the entire nation of Tri's.

Maybe it's just Canadian triathletes. :)

Our folks in Scottsdale are great. Intense, for sure, by I admire that intensity. Plus, it's fun to get to know their faces and names so I can cheer them on as they pass me on the run of any splash & dash I do.

Paul Smith
July 19th, 2009, 10:11 PM
Maybe it's just Canadian triathletes. :)

Our folks in Scottsdale are great. Intense, for sure, by I admire that intensity. Plus, it's fun to get to know their faces and names so I can cheer them on as they pass me on the run of any splash & dash I do.

Patrick...the Tri's up train at Cactus are unique in that they have "bought in" to doing training that is more in-line with a regular swim team. I have rareky swam or coached multisport athletes who will actually do stroke work, drills, kick sets, etc...these folks do and they have all show incredible improvement in their swim legs.

On the other hand I still can't get you to SDK 15m of every wall when doing backstroke work...hmmm.

lefty
July 20th, 2009, 10:43 AM
i use the lane line for that

12 x 100's on 1:25 means that number 12 is when you leave on the :35. Swimming on :45 then number 12 is the 3 time you get to 15. If you are swimming a 1,000 checking the clock is easier than moving any kind of counting devise, plus it is invaluable to know your pacing.

DPC
July 20th, 2009, 12:01 PM
In general the Tri's in our pool are ok - they share their lane, and stay out of the way, don't stop to chat too often, they do a lot of ladder swims - but we are usually two to a lane, so no harm no foul.

There are a couple that boggle the mind though - one loves to run on an on about what he's doing, how fast he's going, where he's competing, and then why thing didn't go as planned (broken bike, rain, goggles filled up,Mars and Jupiter collided, etc).

And then there is "Wetsuit Willy" - bless him and I'm glad he's at least doing something, but.... comes in, in his full B70 wetsuit (the compression isn't that good - picture balloon being squeezed at one end), thrashes on for about 300 yards, middle of the lane or zig zag, then just sits at the end of the lane for a good 10 minutes catching his breath, and then gets out. This generally happens when I'm doing a set of IMs or fly set (hard enough without the added obstacles). Now, I'm generally the only one in the pool doing a workout, printed on a card, visable with all my stuff at the end of the lane, and everyother lane can have a single swimmer/noodler in it, but I always get that guy.

Other than that everyone gets along pretty nicely.

nevergivin
July 20th, 2009, 12:07 PM
I find it cowardly that you blame your "lady- friend" for all of your elitist comments instead of conversing with the swimmers you are referring to. I am a swimmer that enjoys triathlons and find your attempt to seperate yourself as some sort of purist as offensive. I dont know what the Triathletes were thinking, I can see what a huge turnoff your program would be!

chaos
July 20th, 2009, 12:36 PM
12 x 100's on 1:25 means that number 12 is when you leave on the :35. Swimming on :45 then number 12 is the 3 time you get to 15. If you are swimming a 1,000 checking the clock is easier than moving any kind of counting devise, plus it is invaluable to know your pacing.

i would never stop in the middle of a 1,000, and can easily do the math, however, i often do sets like 20x 200's or 176x 25 fly or 50x 100 on 5sec rest...etc. the lane line works well to keep track.

Chris Stevenson
July 20th, 2009, 12:52 PM
My experience with triathletes in the pool -- and certainly wrt pool etiquette -- has been positive. Some of them obssess about their sport (as do some swimmers I know), many do not. None of the ones I have observed had any issue with interval training; indeed they are usually familiar with the concept through track and cycling.

Sure, the majority of them are mostly concerned with distance freestyle. Why shouldn't they be? That's what is most relevant to their discipline (though most triathletes underestimate the value of being able to sprint in the water). It only becomes an issue if it is disruptive to practice, or if the triathletes dominate the team and the coaches cater only to them.

For our purposes there are two types of triathletes: those who have a background in competitive swimming and those who do not and are trying to learn the sport as an adult. For the latter group, I have come to realize from conversations with triathletes that swim practice can be an intimidating experience. Particularly at first, when most of the people around you have grown up in the sport. There are many terms and practices that will be unfamiliar.

As far as swimmers displaying an "elitist" attitude: I would agree that we should try to be pretty understanding, and most masters teams I have experienced have been very welcoming to newbies. But I have also seen the same attitude from cyclists and triathletes when a new person tries to join the group. And often for much the same reason: a person who doesn't know what they are doing can disrupt the training of the others and can even pose a danger. (The risk of injury is generally greater in cycling, but no one likes collisions in the water either.)

Muppet
July 20th, 2009, 01:07 PM
I too am a swimmer first and foremost who does an occasional tri, and I too am also a bit miffed by the anti-tri comments. For every triathlete that does any of the afformentioned annoying things in a public swim, there is a swimmer who does the same.

At the public 50m pool at which I've been known to frequent during the summer, the triathletes have better lane etiquette than the swimmers. I can't begin to tell you how annoying it is to be cruising into the wall and have a head-up breaststroker push off just as you get ready to do a flip turn. It's the triathletes that move over and hold up (or like described in an earlier post, will join my workout).

From my perspective, I think some of the swimmer-only community here on these forums harbors some envy and jealousy towards triathletes. So you don't like swimming lots of freestyle or in murky water; or you don't like wetsuits; or you still have training wheels on your bike; or you don't like the culture that says spending $5k on a bike is ok; or you think running is boring; or you can't run (x) miles without (y) body part(s) hurting... You are probably jealous/envious that these wanna-be triathletes have the balls to stretch out of their comfort zone and attempt to rise up to an athletic challenge that deep down you think you'd like to do and wish you "could" do yourself. Instead of bitching to your lanemate at the next rest interval, how about putting yourself out there and go tri (sic) a race.

chaos
July 20th, 2009, 01:11 PM
[QUOTE=Muppet;187127] or you don't like wetsuits QUOTE]

hate the suit, not the person in it!

bachorb
July 20th, 2009, 02:22 PM
The most irritating one so far: the guy that boasted to me that he could almost keep up with me on the 50 meters, but he thought that the wet suit probably was helping him somewhat (do you think?). That does beg the question as to why he was wearing a wet suit in a heated pool in the middle of winter and why he thought that a fifty sprint would compare to a 400 meter interval pace.



We like to take a few swims in our wetsuits the week before a race to get comfortable with it. If it was winter he probably had a race in Latin America or Australia - a lot of triathletes will have a winter race in a tropical location that sort of doubles as their vacation.

I also don't understand the griping about us and doing only freestyle. Why would we do anything else? We are, after all, not swimmers. We're triathletes - triathlon swimming is more about surviving the swim and expending as little energy as possible doing so. Very very few of the top pro triathletes came from swimming backgrounds (Andy Potts is a bug exception). Overall, as a sport triathlon puts strong swimmers at a comparative disadvantage since you only spend about 15% of the race or less in the water.

I can see why some more elitist swimmers may have a beef with triathletes, but, come on, get over yourselves! A lot of fast triathletes have a problem with all the beginners doing triathlon these days. They need to get over themselves as well.

amswimmer
July 20th, 2009, 02:42 PM
I swim with some very elite tri's. For the most part they are friendly and courteous. HOWEVER, they will never do anything other then free and they hate to do anything that may resemble a quality set. They will frequently change the interval if they feel we are getting too much rest. I know I can change lanes when they do this but I don't and then I complain that we never do quality or the interval is too fast to do stroke.

aquageek
July 20th, 2009, 03:23 PM
I'm sure there is some running or biking forum out there where snobby bikers and runners complain about swimmers who join them.

thewookiee
July 20th, 2009, 03:30 PM
I'm sure there is some running or biking forum out there where snobby bikers and runners complain about swimmers who join them.

Two things that you know a lot about in life....complaining and being snobby

djacks
July 20th, 2009, 04:11 PM
They can dish it out too...

Lets Stereotype!! Runners, Cyclists, and Swimmers ...
http://forum.slowtwitch.com/Slowtwitch_Forums_C1/Triathlon_Forum_F1/Lets_Stereotype!!___Runners%2C_Cyclists%2C_and_Swi mmers_P1172080

FWIW I swim with some fast triathletes who are really great guys. But it is fun to poke fun at them.:duel:

FindingMyInnerFish
July 20th, 2009, 04:25 PM
Aquageek sadly is right. Go to letsrun.com and read any threads about triathletes. No mercy! :eek:

Thing is, I think we all have some flaw that someone could mock. We each have to do what we do and find our own satisfaction and if someone mocks our choices, so be it.

Sometimes it's a matter of learning a sport's etiquette and that takes time, requires patience of both parties, whether the newcomer to the sport is a triathlete or not.

I don't know what specific pet peeves cyclists have about newcomers, but runners tend to get heated up about beginners lining up too far in the front or stopping short to take walk breaks or running/walking 3-4 or more abreast. Headphones are a constant debate topic--probably better to bring up your religious or political views before even mentioning your views about headphones, especially headphone use during races. For swimmers, it seems to be the wearing of wetsuits, the refusal to do any stroke but freestyle, the refusal to do flip turns, the tendency to brag about one's equipment, speed, status in sport, etc. (actually that last one is probably a pet peeve whatever the sport).

If I'm in a practice in which other strokes are included besides freestyle, I'll give them my best shot--hey, the coach sets up the practice, not me; s/he has more experience than I do in these matters or I'd be coaching instead; so s/he gets to call the shots regarding strokes and other details. I wonder, thouigh, if much of a newcomer's discomfort with other strokes comes from lack of confidence. Surrounded by people who are very efficient in the other strokes and not being so oneself is pretty intimidating. I simply choose to accept that I'm learning, not an expert and have to start somewhere. But perhaps for some, it's difficult to allow themselves that kind of vulnerability, so they'll seem to diss the stroke work etc. and treat it as unimportant rather than acknowledge insecurity.

As more and more people start trying to get fit, we'll see more and more etiquette no-no's. And with that, we'll need to be more and more aware of the need to cooperate with one another.

ViveBene
July 20th, 2009, 04:59 PM
They can dish it out too...

Lets Stereotype!! Runners, Cyclists, and Swimmers ...
http://forum.slowtwitch.com/Slowtwitch_Forums_C1/Triathlon_Forum_F1/Lets_Stereotype!!___Runners%2C_Cyclists%2C_and_Swi mmers_P1172080

FWIW I swim with some fast triathletes who are really great guys. But it is fun to poke fun at them.:duel:

That was a pretty good thread! I particularly liked:

Masters coach: "If you get to wear a wetsuit for the swim, I get to wear Rollerblades for the run."

:rofl:

sydned
July 20th, 2009, 08:56 PM
I'm a reformed triathlete now doing almost all open water swims. I'm the butt of many jokes on my team whenever an IM set comes up. What I've told my teammates is that as soon as they can swim over 5 miles straight free in open water, I'll do so slammin' 100 IMs. So far, not one has taken me up on the challenge...

Bobinator
July 21st, 2009, 08:27 AM
I like to use my"Ironman" watch on solo swims. I prefigure my intervals for the whole workout and totally go by my watch. If I used the big pace clock(some times its not even on) I often lose track of how many reps I've done. I had no idea I was annoying people by doing this. Sorry :angel:!

Chicken of the Sea
July 21st, 2009, 03:52 PM
Chaos you would hate having me in the lane next to you. I'm a chronic laneline puller when I do backstroke and would have all the little lane-line rings completely messed up. Actually if I know there'll be a lot of backstroke in a workout I push them all down to one end at the start to get the laneline ready :groovy:

chaos
July 21st, 2009, 05:11 PM
deplorable behavior!

Chaos you would hate having me in the lane next to you. I'm a chronic laneline puller when I do backstroke and would have all the little lane-line rings completely messed up. Actually if I know there'll be a lot of backstroke in a workout I push them all down to one end at the start to get the laneline ready :groovy:

Cmonster
July 22nd, 2009, 10:06 AM
I'm a reformed triathlete now doing almost all open water swims. I'm the butt of many jokes on my team whenever an IM set comes up. What I've told my teammates is that as soon as they can swim over 5 miles straight free in open water, I'll do so slammin' 100 IMs. So far, not one has taken me up on the challenge...


I do slammin' 200 Im sets so tha I can swim over 5 miles OW just a little faster:)

I read through most of these, As I am a recovering distance swimmer now triathlete I was happy to see that the tri folks were getting defended. It sure is nice to have someone to talk to at the front of a tri start...all those other recovering swimmers.

bamueller
July 22nd, 2009, 02:40 PM
I like to make jokes about the tri-guys too, but the root cause is probably because I am jealous of their endurance and drive to compete in an event that would bring me to my knees. During my master's practices, there are a number of tri-guys swimming, of all levels, and I have absolutely no issues to report.

It is those noodler-types that call themselves tri-guys that I like to make fun. So when I make fun of tri-guys, it's those individuals who are leaning up against their camaro, listening to REO Speedwagon, thinking they are hot-sh*t, telling me wife they always swim a mile in the pool everytime they get in. Now that's a good opportunity to make fun.

Faded_Memories
November 9th, 2009, 03:47 PM
I really get a kick out of the tris who use an abacus! And I've seen several instances. . .

Hey now. I built myself one shortly after I started swimming again, and that was long before I decided to train for a triathlon.

Mine is a gladware disposable container with some floral wire and cheap beads. I carry my goggles, H2O Interval and my YMCA card in it down to the pool, and fill it up with water at the end of my lane so it doesn't get knocked around by any waves. Very helpful.

I haven't come across and triathletes that I know of, and I am looking for them. I need someone to train with!

It's all relative though I think.

I feel like the king of the pool at the 'Y due to my regular visits and miles logged, but there are some that swim faster than me, and I don't think I could keep up with the highschool teams. (And when I was ON one I didn't either.) As much as I swim circles around many of my neighbors here, most of you would likely consider me a speedbump.

And ironically, that behavior suits me more now that I want to do triathlons, since obstacles more simulate open water swims with bodies colliding anyway.

-eric

jeffsab
November 10th, 2009, 03:05 PM
I also don't understand the griping about us and doing only freestyle. Why would we do anything else?

Swimming other strokes can allow you to train more because it works different muscles, it improves your feel for the water (your catch, which is a big deal in freestyle), and it contributes to better overall swimming fitness.

That said, these problems are not restricted to triathletes, but any cretin who doesn't feel like they should have to follow the rules of the pool or goes to masters practice but doesn't want to train like the other competitive swimmers.

My pet peeve is the people who do not finish to the wall and abruptly stand up in the middle of the lane 3 yards short instead.

aquageek
November 10th, 2009, 03:24 PM
I also don't understand the griping about us and doing only freestyle. Why would we do anything else?

Here's why - doing the other strokes, learning to flip turn, dumping the paddles will help you in tris. You get into a swim program and train with a coach doing strokes, I 100% guarantee improvement in your races. Paul Smith has proven this time after time in his program.

Thrashing Slug
November 10th, 2009, 11:55 PM
That slowtwitch thread was much funnier than this one. Does that make me a triathlete? :D

art_z
November 11th, 2009, 01:55 PM
3) Circle swimming and trying to mesh the circle swimming of several lanes is just a foreign concept to most of them. It just seems proper that if lane one is circling clockwise, lane two should circle counter-clockwise so you don't bash you freaking arms across the lane lines. .

Wait, ... what? I can't speak of swimming in Canada, but in the US, where I've swum competitively since 1978, everyone swam counterclockwise, just like we drive, on the right hand of the lane. Sure there would be some hand smacks on occassion, but its really no big deal.

Peter Cruise
November 12th, 2009, 09:09 PM
When you smack hands with some tri wearing the latest Titanium 12 inch Guaranteed-to-make-you-swim-faster-without-actually-learning-how-Swim paddles it tends to sting...

djacks
January 13th, 2010, 09:39 AM
Throwing more fuel on the fire...
:duel:

"How to spot a Triathlete in the pool" over at slowtwitch.com:

http://forum.slowtwitch.com/gforum.cgi?post=2659990;sb=post_latest_reply;so=AS C;forum_view=forum_view_collapsed;;page=unread#unr ead


A few gems:
- the huge garmin 310x/405 on their wrist instead of using the pace clock
- hr monitor
- refusal to learn how to do flip turns
- Open water (big) goggles
- giving each other pointers on technique/training advice, LOL!
- tri tan lines on the legs

__steve__
January 13th, 2010, 11:55 AM
- tri tan lines on the legs
Heart rate monitor tan lines:D

Chris Stevenson
January 13th, 2010, 01:17 PM
"How to spot a Triathlete in the pool"

Lower body fat?

djacks
January 13th, 2010, 01:56 PM
Lower body fat?

Ouch. That's going to leave a mark.

Karen Duggan
January 13th, 2010, 04:00 PM
Interestingly, the only irritating tris in our workouts are in the slower lanes.
When Wendy Ingraham swam with us, she was faster than most of even the guys, and she was fun to swim with. Now Chris Lieto (who's been on our team seemingly forever) has sort of taken her place. Good swimmer, nice, and most people like him. Never had a problem with tris at the faster end of the pool.

Now the other end of the pool... that's another story. They don't always play well with lanemates. And we'll leave it at that!

drowndrt
January 13th, 2010, 06:48 PM
Chaos you would hate having me in the lane next to you. I'm a chronic laneline puller when I do backstroke and would have all the little lane-line rings completely messed up. Actually if I know there'll be a lot of backstroke in a workout I push them all down to one end at the start to get the laneline ready :groovy:
Carefull!!! Last time I did that, I dislocated two fingers and broke one. OUCH!!!



Wait, ... what? I can't speak of swimming in Canada, but in the US, where I've swum competitively since 1978, everyone swam counterclockwise, just like we drive, on the right hand of the lane. Sure there would be some hand smacks on occassion, but its really no big deal.

I've never heard of the meshed circle swimming. I've been competing for the larger part of 20 years (few years hiatus after college). Sounds smart, and would definitely get rid of the habit some have of circle swimming in competitions.

I've never had a problem with triathlete, but I have had a ton of similar problems with fitness swimmers and new swimmers. I'm not known for being quiet, and I usually have few problems after I help them with swimming etiquete. Also, I'm pretty adiment about using wall, and finishing to the wall. I've had a few comments said to me, but if I tell you that I need to finish and need to do flip turns, I'll do them. I wont use a person as a wall, and I'll try to no splash too much, but I'll be nice as I can make sure those in the same lane know how I swim. And I'll make sure I'm as courteous to them.


It's the passing I've never gotten fixed. If you aren't doing flip turns, and someone is on your feet, there should be no problem to wait until the wall, but let them pass at the wall PLEASE, especially when there's a full lane it's hard to go around.

inflictfreedom
January 13th, 2010, 10:25 PM
Phew, good thing I'm an aquathlon-ete!

bamueller
January 13th, 2010, 11:18 PM
This thread appeared to be dormant for the few months, so it is funny to see it come to life again. This past week, all the triathletes started coming back to the pool to begin training again. It's been quiet for a while, kind of nice. Now it is more crowded. My lane only added one more person, but the lanes next to me have added 3 or so per lane. All swimming with their watches on. They don't show up for the Saturday 7 AM practice.

Krausen
January 13th, 2010, 11:55 PM
I share lanes with Tri swimmers all the time and never have had any problems. I am lucky that we never have to circle swim at my pool, so that is never an issue. I do get some questions and looks while doing drills, but I enjoy having two or three swimmers drop in to do a 1000 and get out during my workout. Sometimes it gives me sombody to chase.

carlos_fernandez
January 16th, 2010, 10:12 PM
- giving each other pointers on technique/training advice, LOL!
The pool where I swim has a TON of tris, and they all give each other technique advice that is laughable.

I was talking with a coach this summer about triathletes. This is a very successful club coach, but he was amazed and annoyed w/ triathletes who would blow his workouts off b/c he "doesn't understand triathlons" and the role of swimming in that sport.

And then when one of them found out that he had coached numerous world record holders and they respected him, then maybe he knew what he was doing after all. :confused:


Interestingly, the only irritating tris in our workouts are in the slower lanes.
When Wendy Ingraham swam with us, she was faster than most of even the guys, and she was fun to swim with. Now Chris Lieto (who's been on our team seemingly forever) has sort of taken her place. Good swimmer, nice, and most people like him. Never had a problem with tris at the faster end of the pool.

Now the other end of the pool... that's another story. They don't always play well with lanemates. And we'll leave it at that!

I've never had direct probs w/ tris. On one team in LA that had a numerous Ironmen, a few of these amazing athletes were just pissy about getting pretty much zero rest, so instead of doing our workout they would take the crappy lanes off to the side and swim their straight 1000's on 10 seconds rest. Their argument was that there wasn't enough bang for the buck if they worked on speed.

I hate/hated that attitude. Plus at least on that team they were all type A obnoxious jerks.

A couple of years back I got to work out w/ elite tris, and I had no idea that they were triathletes. Very much go-with-the-flow men and women...

E=H2O
January 19th, 2010, 09:38 PM
I guess it's time that I stop telling triathletes that they should spend a fair amount of time in the winter working on their swimming.

I don't compete in pool meets, but I started back into OW racing a couple of years ago. I also started doing tris at the same time because at 57 I could workout whatever sport my body would allow me to do that day. So let share my thought on triathletes.

First, as a rule they are a great group. Lots of fun to compete against and socialize at the finish line. There are of course those exceptions.
Second, as for their pool behavior some of it is a result of their inexperience and frustration. Some is just bad attitude but you don't have to be a triathlete to have that.

It is often said that triathletes can't swim. While this may be true of a few, it is more like they are not good at swimming. (There are of course some amazing swimmers at the top of the sport). They usually come from cycling and running where if you want to go faster you just train harder (or buy a faster bike). The whole concept of less is sometimes more escape many of these athletes.

What I have found is that they get frustrated with their swimming progress. At times they even discuss their swim workouts among themselves to find good ones even though they usually don't have a clue why they do or do not work for them. They even have some strange notions about training which they then decide to "share" with others.

I feel for their frustration with the sport, but many triathletes do not have time or interest in becoming good swimmers. The problem they have is that is that they are used to being on top of their sport, and in the pool they are getting destroyed by swimmers with a bit more than their 5% body fat.

One final note. While swimmers complain about triathletes, triathletes do their share of complaining about swimmers. Some have great things to say about Masters teams, but some do not. Now if I could only get them to dump their MP3 players while swimming and pay a little more time focusing on their stroke (and others in the pool around them). I never met a swimmer who could say that they got to be a better swimmer because of an MP3 player. With triathletes the justification in using them is because it is too boring to do all those laps without one, to which I say: Do fewer laps and focus completely on your stroke. That will make you faster.

So to finish off here is a list of a few swimming tips that triathletes share with others even though their race results show they barely swim under 2:00 per hundred in the 1 mile leg of an Olympic distance race:

1) Do open turns and do not push off the wall hard because it gives you too much rest and that is not what happens in an open water swim. (I love this one)
2) Wear a drag suit in practice to make you a better swimmer. Ignore the fact that they all wear wetsuits in a race and the lack of one in training provides more than enough drag.
3) You have to use paddles to get fast (I never use them).
4) You have to use a buoy to improve your stroke (I never use one)
5) You have to use these and any other water sex toys you can get your hands on. Make sure that you use them in every workout.
6) Once a week you should spend some time working on your stroke.
7) To work on your stroke you need to do specific drills even though they are not sure why)
8) You need to workout so that you can do a really fast 100 time. This is the best way to find out if you are getting better. Forget that a 1500 meter swimmer never swims as fast a 100 as a sprinter does. (a lot of the same people say they break 1:15 for a single hundred and then average 1:45 - 2:00 in the swim leg
9) You can't become a good freestyler by training different strokes. Worse yet is that you lose all that time you could be doing just freestyle (OK so I don't train different stokes anymore, but that's a different story).
10) Swimming with your eyes closed is good training for open water. (Seriously does anyone swim with their eyes closed in a race? I have never done this drill)
11) You should swim as fast as you can at the start of the swim and fight to stay in with the pack. Forget that you will die 50 - 100 yds from the start. (Alright so this is not a training tip but I had to include it)
12) Swimming is boring, that's just the nature of the sport so just get used to it. (Talk about negative attitude)
13) I had a friend that swam in college and he says you should ALWAYS . . . . (forgot to mention he was a sprint specialist)
14) I have a friend that swam competitively all his life and he says in a race you should ALWAYS. . . (forget that their idea of open water was a lane by yourself in an outdoor 50 meter pool (Not that this isn't an awesome way to train)
15) You have to log everyone of your workouts so you can look back on them (what is the purpose of this if you don't know why things were or weren't working)

Some may think these are good swimming tips, but if you saw the people sharing these among themselves I think you'd agree that they should probably skip these and get some one-on-one lessons. D*mn this is a long post.

chaos
January 19th, 2010, 09:50 PM
10) Swimming with your eyes closed is good training for open water. (Seriously does anyone swim with their eyes closed in a race? I have never done this drill)


i don't swim with my eyes closed when i am racing, but i do think it is good practice to do so when you have the luxury of your own lane or in the OW.

i feel like i can "see" my stroke much more clearly when my eyes are closed.

E=H2O
January 19th, 2010, 09:54 PM
i don't swim with my eyes closed when i am racing, but i do think it is good practice to do so when you have the luxury of your own lane or in the OW.

i feel like i can "see" my stroke much more clearly when my eyes are closed.

I knew someone would call me out on that one (and the water sex toys). A bit of levity was intended.

carlos_fernandez
January 20th, 2010, 12:07 AM
At times they even discuss their swim workouts among themselves to find good ones even though they usually don't have a clue why they do or do not work for them. They even have some strange notions about training which they then decide to "share" with others.
And when you are privy to this ----> comedic gold


D*mn this is a long post.
Honestly, your 15 points are well appreciated and ****ing funny as hell! Plus we actually learned a lot about some of the stuff that some of us may be able to address w/ triathletes.

Muppet
January 20th, 2010, 10:10 AM
6) Once a week you should spend some time working on your stroke.


Bob, great post.

interesting point #6, sometimes once is all people get into the pool anymore.

Ripple
January 24th, 2010, 07:15 PM
Visibility is pretty poor in some algae-filled inland lakes, so doing some lane swimming with the eyes shut can actually be a good way to prepare for it. Some people freak out the first time they get into such a lake and can't see more than a foot or two in front of their outstretched arm.
Most of the triathletes that I'm acquainted with really do want to swim better and are constantly looking for ways to do it. I don't agree with their emphasis on only swimming freestyle, but I can sort of understand it.
As for pool toys, in my brief experience with a master's swim club there was a lot of pull buoy/kickboard/paddle use thrown into those workouts as well. Maybe the triathletes would be better in a master's group, maybe not. Masters swim clubs are not always welcoming or inclusive.

E=H2O
January 24th, 2010, 07:41 PM
Visibility is pretty poor in some algae-filled inland lakes, so doing some lane swimming with the eyes shut can actually be a good way to prepare for it.

When I am swimming in algae-filled lake I use many things to keep me on course. Sometimes it's just the position of the sun: something I can see with my eyes open under water. Sometimes it is a mountain or tree that I can see as I breathe. And of course there are those times you just fall in behind someone that's faster than you even though you can only see the bubbles from their feet. When all else fails look up. The less time I spend with my head up sighting the better. I never want to be swimming blind. That is why I don't find this drill helpful, although people disagree with me on this one.

funkyfish
January 24th, 2010, 11:13 PM
One thing I've noticed with some triathletes is that it's really hard if not impossible to convince them of the importance of spending time improving their stroke, which requires slower swimming at much shorter intervals. I've had a few ask me how I learned to swim so well, or state that I must swim a lot to get so good. While it's true that I swim quite a bit more than they do, they stare in disbelief when I tell them that I get better and faster when I swim slower, shorter and focus on technique. Some triathletes have a quantity over quality mindset.

I also think that where I swim, there are more triathletes swimming than there are competitive swimmers. The coach of the local age-group team comes in every now and then, but to my knowledge he and I are the only masters swimmer using this particular pool. I'd rather have people actually swimming in the lanes than people walking in them.

As an aside, I give them props for running and cycling as much as they do. I can handle the cycling, but I'm a horrible runner and lack the will/discipline necessary to get better at it.
:banana:

sjstuart
January 25th, 2010, 08:59 AM
I'll stay mum on the main topic of this thread, but this comment in the original post caught my eye:


It just seems proper that if lane one is circling clockwise, lane two should circle counter-clockwise so you don't bash you freaking arms across the lane lines.

I have swum in many different pools, with half a dozen different masters groups. But I haven't ever seen anybody circle swim in any direction other than counterclockwise. Do people actually alternate directions in adjacent lanes? It makes sense, I suppose. I have just never heard of it. (Plus it would be as confusing to me as driving on the wrong side of the road, at this point.)

aquageek
January 25th, 2010, 09:41 AM
I have swum in many different pools, with half a dozen different masters groups. But I haven't ever seen anybody circle swim in any direction other than counterclockwise. Do people actually alternate directions in adjacent lanes? It makes sense, I suppose. I have just never heard of it. (Plus it would be as confusing to me as driving on the wrong side of the road, at this point.)

My Australian friends circle clock-wise and it is quite an adjustment to go counter clock-wise when they move here.

There's a kid's team in your area that alternates the direction of circle swimming by day, which I think is a really good idea.

LindsayNB
January 25th, 2010, 09:42 AM
At our six-lane pool they only put out two lane lines so we swim out along the lane lines and back in the middle and hence in alternating directions. This works well for avoiding arms clashing in free and fly. The potential downside is if you have two swimmers on either side of the lane line swimming the same direction swimming breaststroke with a wide kick they may kick one another for the whole length, likewise if two swimmers are both swimming back in the middle side by side. In practice people just learn to stagger and it isn't really a problem.

Karen Duggan
January 25th, 2010, 01:35 PM
Love that post Bob :agree:

I do have to say that I've always been a swimmer and run to lose weight. (I'm one of those swimmers with "more than 5% body fat". )

One summer my husband and I tried to do the track workout with Forward Motion in Danville, CA. They were doing sets that I had no clue what the number even meant. I'm not a sprinter or a distance runner (that I know of), so I really had no clue what the heck I was doing. My husband did fine, he had done these workouts before. No one there was very welcoming or friendly and that made me feel even worse. But I really just figured that they were doing their workout and I was probably just in the way.

Needless to say, I never went back. I'm a friendly person anyway, but since then I always go out of my way to make swimmers of any level feel welcome at our practices.

Ripple
January 25th, 2010, 11:09 PM
When I am swimming in algae-filled lake I use many things to keep me on course. Sometimes it's just the position of the sun: something I can see with my eyes open under water. Sometimes it is a mountain or tree that I can see as I breathe. And of course there are those times you just fall in behind someone that's faster than you even though you can only see the bubbles from their feet. When all else fails look up. The less time I spend with my head up sighting the better. I never want to be swimming blind. That is why I don't find this drill helpful, although people disagree with me on this one.
Well, it's more to prevent an anxiety attack than for anything actually swimming related. Some people don't react at all well to their first few experiences of murky lake water, after years of only swimming in clear swimming pools.

FindingMyInnerFish
February 1st, 2010, 10:02 PM
Love that post Bob :agree:

I do have to say that I've always been a swimmer and run to lose weight. (I'm one of those swimmers with "more than 5% body fat". )

One summer my husband and I tried to do the track workout with Forward Motion in Danville, CA. They were doing sets that I had no clue what the number even meant. I'm not a sprinter or a distance runner (that I know of), so I really had no clue what the heck I was doing. My husband did fine, he had done these workouts before. No one there was very welcoming or friendly and that made me feel even worse. But I really just figured that they were doing their workout and I was probably just in the way.

Needless to say, I never went back. I'm a friendly person anyway, but since then I always go out of my way to make swimmers of any level feel welcome at our practices.

As someone who has done workouts with a few different running clubs, I'm sorry you didn't have a good experience in your workout. I think I've been lucky in that the groups I've worked out with have been welcoming of newcomers regardless of experience. Recently, I did a hill workout with a much faster group than I am, yet I'd get "keep it up!" "Good job!" etc. While there wasn't a lot of conversation during the workout--ha! we were all too breathless!--before and afterward, people were quite friendly. In one group I've been in for a long time, we'll cheer for one another at races regardless of pace.... The 5-6 min. milers will encourage the 10-12 minute milers.

Although some swimming groups I've been in have been friendlier than others, I generally have been lucky there too--even in the more impersonal groups, I'll find someone I can talk with.

But your thought is good and something that I will keep in mind whether in a running or swimming group--to help newcomers feel welcome.