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Ahelee Sue Osborn
October 10th, 2009, 01:35 AM
We all have them in our programs... TRIATHLETES!

So - this is their big hoo-ha day of the year.
The Hawaii Ironman, World Championships.

Do you have anyone in your masters swim club competing?

We have Sharon Boles and many others who have dropped in to various sessions to check their swim strokes before the biggest show in triathlon.

I also have hundreds of friends in the race most of which swim in masters swim workouts all over the world.

I plan to watch them all on the livestream coverage - ALL DAY LONG!

http://ironman.com

and

http://www.universalsports.com

mermaid
October 10th, 2009, 06:57 AM
Thanks - you're the best!
:bliss:

swimshark
October 10th, 2009, 07:09 AM
My dad's friend, who used to win the 65-69 age group until he had to drop out 2 years ago, is no longer doing it. He was the one I used to follow. But I'll watch for it to be on tv. I can't wait for the day when my sister does this one :applaud:

qbrain
October 10th, 2009, 08:56 AM
I plan to watch them all on the livestream coverage - ALL DAY LONG!


But why is Ahelee not there live and in person sweating it out with everyone else? You swim and bike, do you not run?

Faded_Memories
October 12th, 2009, 04:34 PM
I pulled the stream up a few times to watch.

I thought it was really cool that EVERY single finisher got their name and home announced.

Couple interesting moments: I saw one guy stop short of the finish line and ROLL across it, and saw a married couple finish together.

?!? 2 people with the exact same pace? Do you think one of them has to 'hold back' to stay together?

All inspiring for sure.

I started swimming again back in Feb, I'm 34 and swam a little before and during High School, but never was a significant scorer for the teams. I started again to workout when I had to close my business.

Decided to do it to manage the stress and hopefully lose some weight. I could barely do more than 50M at once then. Now I occasionally do a mile+ nonstop, and did 3.5 mi and 2.25 last Thursday and Friday to earn my 100 Mile Club shirt.

Since I have found endurance in the pool I am now looking to shoot for a Sprint Tri in the Spring. Maybe I'll accidentally find a job to screw up those plans....heaven forbid.

-eric

rtodd
October 12th, 2009, 05:52 PM
I watched quite a bit of it. It was really cool to watch the entire swim. Of course after they got on their bikes, I ran to the auto parts store, did two oil changes, cleaned the gutters, played with the kids and showered. Then I watched the last hour of the bike.

Swim is almost meaningless. Bike is nearly as meaningless and the run is everything. At least for an ironman. Sprint distance the swim may mean a bit more.

No wonder why triathletes do not emphasize the swim training. Forget about getting them to learn strokes! To me it seems to be all about the run.

Ahelee Sue Osborn
October 13th, 2009, 01:13 AM
It may seem like the swim and bike are meaningless, but actually a poorly executed leg of either can kill the race or at least make success a lot more painful/difficult.

I always dislike watching the athletes who miss the swim cutoff.
Mainly because I have a hard time believing that anyone who trains for the swim and approaches it with some level of concentrated effort couldn't possibly swim that slow.
I have also seen these swimmers talkiing and treading water instead of using the energy swimming - at least on their back to continue forward motion!
Over confidence and the attitude that it doesn't matter so much sets these slower swimmers up for a miss.

I went back and read the heart transplant athlete's blog to find out what he did to prepare. I read his own words stating that he has swum the distance in workout, so he would be fine for the swim - as in no problem... He missed the cutoff by seconds.

The longer you are out in the swim, the harder it is on the bike. Catching up is one thing. The headwinds get stronger by the minute and the heat increases. The earlier the bike start the better.

If you don't mind walking a alot - or slowing way down on the run you can ride the bike as hard as possible.
There has to be a good pacing strategy on the bike to be able to get off and run a marathon.
Even more serious conditioning to race 112 miles on the bike and then run a fast marathon let alone be able to run it without walking.

There is nothing easy about the Ironman if you are really racing.
I do think "non-athletic" individuals can train for this Ironman distance and accomplish a finish - at a much slower speed.
Same with other ultra-distance events like swimming The English Channel.

swimshark
October 13th, 2009, 07:30 AM
No wonder why triathletes do not emphasize the swim training. Forget about getting them to learn strokes! To me it seems to be all about the run.

My sister, who has done 7 Ironmans and is a good swimmer, calls any tri for her "catching the swimmer" :D

osterber
October 13th, 2009, 10:42 AM
Do you have anyone in your masters swim club competing?


We had two from Cambridge Masters Swim Club (MA):


Dede Griesbauer, coach and swimmer for CMSC, finished as the 10th pro female. It appears she may end up 9th due to a DQ ahead of her. Top-10 pro female for three years running.
Paul Gompers, CMSC swimmer, was 55th in the 45-49 male age group.


-Rick

Ahelee Sue Osborn
October 13th, 2009, 07:28 PM
A good friend I used to hang with at the Hawaii Ironman has a writer type husband who wrote the piece below for the Ironman website.
http://ironman.com
While we don't exactly see eye to eye on all the athletes (he calls them aliens), Lee definitely offers perspective from a spectator's viewpoint.

Ironman Realities

Lee Gruenfeld looks back at this year's Ford Ironman World Championship

Published Tuesday, October 13, 2009

Experience is a harsh teacher -- she gives the test before she gives the lesson - and once in a while we need a reminder that toeing the start line at Ironman isn't an automatic ticket to a lifetime of bragging rights.




We’re creatures of adaptation, we humans. We become quickly inured to repetition, treating patterns as normalcy, routine as status quo. But whenever our natural human tendency toward complacency seems poised to redefine the comfort zone, a snap back to reality seems, in retrospect, almost inevitable. This explains the collapse of our economy, spacecraft crashes, Kansas City beating the Yankees and disappointing outcomes on the Ford Ironman World Championship course.

The race in Kona isn’t some pre-fab reality show with a guaranteed fairy tale ending. What start out as heart-warming stories often result in heartbreak and, despite our attempts to put the most positive spin on plot lines we’ve been cheering for, the hard fact is that Ironman can be nasty, brutish and long.
The heart transplant recipient isn’t following a script provided by a sentimental producer and ends up in tears on the swim exit stairs, frozen to the spot because nothing in his pre-race visualization told him what to do if the unthinkable happened.
The double amputee’s race isn’t choreographed for the benefit of a television audience, and he never got to the part of the race that worried him the most because side winds on the return trip from Hawi conspired to ensure that he’d never even get to put his run legs on.
A big guy who used to be bigger wants to celebrate his hard-fought weight loss with a hard-fought Ironman win, but he’s a few minutes late and doesn’t make the cutoff.

In a way, these disappointments are a good thing. We stand at the finish line cheering for hundreds of athletes as they cross the final timing mat with their arms in the air. After hours of this their faces blur together in our minds, the gestures become clichéd, the various flavors of expressed pain and achievement become indistinguishable…we become numb and complacent. Finishing becomes routine. What’s another body across the line after the hundreds who came before?

It’s the disappointments that snap us back. They remind us that starting is no guarantee of finishing. They drive home that every one of these people has suffered, sacrificed and striven. They help us to understand that dreaming is not enough, that Kona is not Disneyland and that none of those briefly spotlighted faces got here by wishing upon a star .

Disappointments underscore the effort of the seemingly effortless Chrissie Wellington. They make us think hard about the fact that 70-74 isn’t some “Isn’t that sweet?” infomercial but one of the most fiercely competitive age groups in the race. They make our eyes widen in wonder at the ones who crash, puke and cramp but only long enough to shake it off and keep on going.
They help us understand the immense achievement of challenged athletes like Sarah Reinertsen and Scott Rigsby and David Bailey, with one good leg among the three of them.

I’ve watched several dozen Ironman races around the world and it never gets old for me. Part of the reason is that, as a total non-athlete myself, I have learned that the you-can-do-anything-you-set-your-mind-to mantra is nonsense of the first order. I couldn’t do this race if the fate of the entire galaxy hung in the balance. Very, very few people could, but it doesn’t seem that way to us who are close to the sport because we’ve been privileged to witness that vanishingly small percentage of the populace who can.

I hope that I, and you, never lose that sense of wonder at these aliens who walk among us.

joshua
October 14th, 2009, 11:28 AM
As a sprinter, I always asked myself why someone would willingly put himself thru all that pain for so long. Guess it builds character (or insanity). Just don't try and convince me that this type of athletic activity promotes health.

This is not scientific but here is an anecdote: I work with a triathlete who is now approaching 60 and has been "triathleting" for about 25 years. During that time he has had innumerable running and bike injuries. He was instructed by the docs to stop his triathletics and limit himself to swimming. He didn't. Not that there is necessarily a connection, but my co worker has now come down with skin cancer on his nose. I wonder if his health would have been better served had he opted for a more "middle of the road' athletic pursuit.

lefty
October 14th, 2009, 01:00 PM
As a sprinter, I always asked myself why someone would willingly put himself thru all that pain for so long. Guess it builds character (or insanity). Just don't try and convince me that this type of athletic activity promotes health.

I think you are correct that doing an Iron Man is not a "healthy" endeavor. I don't even think a marathon is good for most people. The people who can actually handle this amount of stress on the body are very few and far between.

But if you are suggesting that Tri's aren't good for you on the whole, well, I strongly disagree. Speaking personally here, I have started tri training and I am in the best shape of my life including while a college swimmer. But you won't catch me running 20 miles Sunday mornings...

joshua
October 14th, 2009, 11:18 PM
But if you are suggesting that Tri's aren't good for you on the whole, well, I strongly disagree. Speaking personally here, I have started tri training and I am in the best shape of my life including while a college swimmer. But you won't catch me running 20 miles Sunday mornings...

Here are my thoughts on this: Tri's train only your endurance (mostly c/v a little muscular). You are not training other aspects of physical fitness such as strength (limit, explosive etc.), flexibility, coordination (think tennis or basketball). So yes, if you are only evaluating "shape" as equivalent to endurance than yes, you are in good shape. Since you are expending alot of calories, you are losing weight (assuming that you are not Mac-eating). But have you checked your muscle mass? Long distance endurance training is catabolic. Just look at marathon runners.

Chris Stevenson
October 15th, 2009, 05:05 AM
Swim is almost meaningless. Bike is nearly as meaningless and the run is everything. At least for an ironman. Sprint distance the swim may mean a bit more.

No wonder why triathletes do not emphasize the swim training. Forget about getting them to learn strokes! To me it seems to be all about the run.

Swimming, yes: it is such a small part of the sport and any discrepencies can be easily made up in the other legs. (Heck, in the transition zones.) That's true of sprint tris as well.

But I don't see how you can be so dismissive of the bike leg, since it takes up more than half the race. Maybe in the Olympic version of the event, where drafting is allowed: there if you are good enough to be in the lead group, you're fine -- it comes down to the run.

Out of curiousity I pulled the top 5 finishers and their splits:

1 Alexander, Craig 12/10/1 36/MPRO 00:50:57 04:37:33 02:48:05 08:20:21
2 Lieto, Chris 26/1/2 37/MPRO 00:51:07 04:25:10 03:02:35 08:22:56
3 Raelert, Andreas 17/17/3 33/MPRO 00:51:00 04:38:00 02:51:04 08:24:32
4 McCormack, Chris 37/4/4 35/MPRO 00:52:51 04:32:44 02:55:58 08:25:20
5 Henning, Rasmus 24/13/5 34/MPRO 00:51:06 04:37:07 02:55:33 08:28:17

Obviously these are the pros, but the swim splits are pretty darn good for an ocean swim of 2.4 mi duration. But the differences between the 5 are fairly meaningless. (Though arguably McCormack would have moved up a place if he had been as good a swimmer as the other four.)

Not so of the bike splits. Sure, the fastest cyclist didn't win but he did get 2nd and, IMO, he could have gotten first if he had had better strategy (ie saved a little more for the run). And he DID get 2nd despite having the slowest run split by quite a bit. The spread in bike splits is certainly at least comparable to the spread in the final times.


Here are my thoughts on this: Tri's train only your endurance (mostly c/v a little muscular). You are not training other aspects of physical fitness such as strength (limit, explosive etc.), flexibility, coordination (think tennis or basketball). So yes, if you are only evaluating "shape" as equivalent to endurance than yes, you are in good shape. Since you are expending alot of calories, you are losing weight (assuming that you are not Mac-eating). But have you checked your muscle mass? Long distance endurance training is catabolic. Just look at marathon runners.

What you are trying to optimize/evaluate is a little vague, but it seems to be general athleticism. Not so sure swimmers fare any better than triathletes in that regard. I don't see Phelps challenging Shaq (or anybody else) in his best sport.

Don't paint with too broad a brush. Not all triathletes focus on the Iron Man. The sprint tris are pretty short (relatively speaking) and you are redlining the whole way. I know quite a few triathletes who do high intensity and/or some interval-based training in both running and cycling. In fact, they are generally more aware of -- and hit -- the various HR training zones than most masters "fitness" swimmers that I know.

As far as muscle mass, we must not be looking at the same athetes; they generally look pretty good to me (and better than most masters swimmers I see at meets, by the way). Triathletes don't look anything like marathoners.

pwb
October 15th, 2009, 08:14 AM
Out of curiousity I pulled the top 5 finishers and their splits:
...
Obviously these are the pros, but the swim splits are pretty darn good for an ocean swim of 2.4 mi duration.


I'm consistently impressed with elite tri-guys who were not swimmers in their youth and who can keep up & beat at times guys like me who only train for swimming and only can swim.

One thing I see that a lot of triathletes do who came to swimming later in life is that they pay much more attention to learning about swim technique. I'm not saying that their technique is great, but, I often see tri-guys more open to technique feedback on their swimming than 'career' swimmers who 'know it' (but, in reality, could still use a lot of work on their technique).


As far as muscle mass, we must not be looking at the same athetes; they generally look pretty good to me (and better than most masters swimmers I see at meets, by the way). Triathletes don't look anything like marathoners.

I'm with you Chris. The tri-folks I know are some of the buffest looking people around, upper and lower body. They're lean, powerful and ripped in a way I doubt I'll ever be as a swimmer-only.

Chris Stevenson
October 15th, 2009, 09:00 AM
Interesting: "Lance Armstrong Commits to 2011 Ironman"

http://www.afacblog.org/

smontanaro
October 15th, 2009, 12:43 PM
Saw this in a local cycling mailing list:


It was also announced that former triathlete Lance Armstrong is planning to compete in the 2011 Ironman World Championships in Kona, Hawaii.

Game on!

joshua
October 15th, 2009, 12:57 PM
What you are trying to optimize/evaluate is a little vague, but it seems to be general athleticism. Not so sure swimmers fare any better than triathletes in that regard. I don't see Phelps challenging Shaq (or anybody else) in his best sport.



Not vague at all - you got it exactly. Forget the elite athletes, that's another dimension. I am speaking of exercising to promote total, well rounded health and fitness.




Don't paint with too broad a brush. Not all triathletes focus on the Iron Man. The sprint tris are pretty short (relatively speaking) and you are redlining the whole way. I know quite a few triathletes who do high intensity and/or some interval-based training in both running and cycling. In fact, they are generally more aware of -- and hit -- the various HR training zones than most masters "fitness" swimmers that I know.

As far as muscle mass, we must not be looking at the same athetes; they generally look pretty good to me (and better than most masters swimmers I see at meets, by the way). Triathletes don't look anything like marathoners.

I have not done any scientific research, so my impressions are totally anecdotal based on the triathletes I see at my pool. Many of them, especially the women, look pretty anorexic to me. There is another group of swimmers who also do serious strength training (some weights, some bw exercises). Completely different look. Full disclosure: I'm in the second group :applaud:

Leonard Jansen
October 15th, 2009, 01:02 PM
Interesting: "Lance Armstrong Commits to 2011 Ironman"
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Very interesting. You have to figure that if he is even a decent swimmer, the long bike leg will put him in the hunt, and maybe a good lead. It will then all come down to the run. The guy who won it this year ran a 2:48 marathon. Armstrong ran the NYC Marathon a while back in (I think) 2:59-ish and said it was the hardest thing he had ever done.
Fascinating.

-LBJ

joshua
October 15th, 2009, 01:04 PM
If Lance Armstrong has committed to the 2011 Ironman then does that mean the 2010 Tour de France will be his last? I can't see him be able to train for the July TDF and then train for the IM in Oct.

BTW, if I remember correctly, Lance began his athletic career as a triathlete.