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View Full Version : 1500m (1650yd) swim vs 5km (3mi) run



Rykno
February 28th, 2011, 02:41 AM
yesterday I swam a 1500 to get a sign up time. it's been nearly 6 months since i have swam anything over 400m. I had no idea how I should swim it, or how it would feel during. took off way too fast 1:15, then 2:25 at the 200 and 5:20 at the 400. but then averaged about 1:25-1:26 for the rest and ended upw ith 21:10.

it got me thinking about a 5km run. I don't run, but it seems that almost every spring I decide it's time to start and i do run 3-5 times and I always use a 5km as a test/goal distance.

my goal for the 1500 in 3 weeks is to be under 20:00 so I have 3 weeks to learn how to hold a 1:20 pace, as well as to prepare mentally how it feels to swim that long. but I find it funny that my goal for the 5km has also been to run it under 20:00

anyone else have similar times for the 1500 and 5km? (1650yd vs 3 miles)

lefty
February 28th, 2011, 11:01 AM
My 1500 goal was 18:15, my 5K is 18:36. I made the connection too. I say that I am in "swim shape," or "run shape" based on which goal I am closer to.

want2beafish
February 28th, 2011, 11:10 AM
I do. Pretty close, actually.

My best time for the 1650 was 19:52 at SCY Nats in Atlanta, tapered and suited (B70). Untapered and without a tech suit this season I have been in the 20:45 range for both the 1500 SCM and 1650 SCY. My best 5K run time is 21:11, but I think I can go under 21 based on a 10K I ran this past weekend (42:51). Right now I'm very happy with how I'm running, but not as much with how I'm swimming.

I think a lot is dependent on swim form, gender, and age, and swim background. For me, it's a little easier to go faster in a 1500/1650 than it is a 5K run. I'm a 45 year old female, FWIW, not a triathlete (recovered triathlete, actually), knew how to swim as a kid but never competitively until 2007. I'm interested in reading feedback from this thread, as it's something I've thought about as well.

I think you'll find as you improve your pacing, you'll drop a lot of time in both the pool mile and the 5K.

jaadams1
February 28th, 2011, 11:16 AM
I can do the 1500 in probably about 18:00 or so. Comparing that to a 5K run...I'd say my swimming would win any day. That's because running is for runners...not swimmers. :bliss: Plus, my knee wouldn't handle the repeated impacts over that kind of distance.

pmccoy
February 28th, 2011, 11:33 AM
Here's my 2 cents but keep in mind that I'm not a great distance swimmer. I do swim at about your pace though... perhaps a bit slower. You might get some good feedback posting on the "distance lane".

I haven't competed in the 1650 but we do them in practice frequently. However, we usually break them up into smaller intervals so that we can concentrate on different parts of the race. So, we might do 4 x 400 (yards) on 5:30 + a 50 sprint with the intent of descending each 400. You could do something similar with the 1500. Maybe 5 x 300m on 4:15. You could shoot for descending to 4:00 (your 1:20 pace).

I think a lot of what you do depends on your style. Do you like getting a lead and holding on? That works for some people. I tend to do better building into my distance sets. I go smooth and easy (but not slow) for the first 400 and try to click up a notch each 400. If I go too fast at first, I end up in a world of hurt later on. My better times are when I focus on my own pace and what I'm doing - not chasing the guy swimming next to me - especially for the first 800 yards. I'm always looking for that optimum balance where I'm tired at the end but still have enough to swim hard on the last 50.

As for running, I stay away from that stuff. My knees don't handle it well

Bobinator
February 28th, 2011, 11:46 AM
I think it's mostly in your stroke technique! With = conditioning my 5K pr when i was a runner was 18:32. I've probably trained physically harder in swimming and the best I've done is 24:04.

pendaluft
February 28th, 2011, 11:54 AM
My 5K is about 10 minutes slower than my 1650 (on a good day). But we got a lot of hills here (for the run, not as many hills in the pool).

aztimm
February 28th, 2011, 12:50 PM
This is something I've wondered as my swimming and running have developed together over the past few years. However, I've never competed in a running 5k (favoring longer distances) nor a swimming 1500 (prefer the 800). But maybe this year I'll finally make the plunge and do both.

To make it somewhat fair, I think the 5k would need to be done on a flat course, preferably a track. But that's a totally separate event (just like a 1.5km open water is).

Off the top of my head, I'd predict my 5k run to be 60-90 sec faster than a 1500m swim.

orca1946
February 28th, 2011, 06:51 PM
Same time if done at same pace???????

__steve__
March 2nd, 2011, 01:50 AM
I would be very slow in both events, probably 27 for the swim and 24 for the 5K

lefty
March 2nd, 2011, 10:40 AM
World Records

Men's Swimming: 1500M LCM 14:34 / 14:10 SCM
WOmen's Swimming: 1500M LCM 15:42 / 15:28 SCM

Men's Track: 5000M 12:37
Women's Track: 14:11

Presumably you should be about 10% slower in the swim than the run.

The Men's 5000M record is absurd.

want2beafish
March 2nd, 2011, 03:00 PM
World Records

Men's Swimming: 1500M LCM 14:34 / 14:10 SCM
WOmen's Swimming: 1500M LCM 15:42 / 15:28 SCM

Men's Track: 5000M 12:37
Women's Track: 14:11

Presumably you should be about 10% slower in the swim than the run.

The Men's 5000M record is absurd.

Good way of looking at it. Obviously it's harder to control conditions for a 5K road race (terrain, weather, etc.) than it is for a pool race, but comparing to a track 5000M is probably about as close as one can get.

I guess I have some work to do. :)

Thrashing Slug
March 2nd, 2011, 05:13 PM
My 5K run is 20% faster than my pool 1650.

My open water 1500 with a wetsuit is only 4% slower than my 5K.


Those world records are crazy fast.

ourswimmer
March 2nd, 2011, 08:37 PM
I think it's mostly in your stroke technique! With = conditioning my 5K pr when i was a runner was 18:32. I've probably trained physically harder in swimming and the best I've done is 24:04.

Or your running technique!

I loved to run but was just terrible. I have never run a 5K for time except at the end of a sprint tri (have done 10K, half-marathon, full marathon) but at my absolute running peak I was thrilled to go under 2 hours for a half-marathon and would have been stunned to break 24 minutes for 5K. By contrast, my 1500m PR (long course) is just under 20:00.

lefty
March 4th, 2011, 11:38 AM
My 5K run is 20% faster than my pool 1650.

My open water 1500 with a wetsuit is only 4% slower than my 5K.


Those world records are crazy fast.

Slug for what it is worth, I am pretty involved in the production of triathlons and (sadly), I can tell you that the swim at most triathlons are short. Favorable current aside, if a lot of people are swimming the open water 1500 in less than 19:00 at just about any triathlon, the distance is short.

The production company I am affiliated with has a reputation of having "long" swims. In reality our distance are accurate but people are accustom to short swims.

Thrashing Slug
March 4th, 2011, 06:53 PM
Slug for what it is worth, I am pretty involved in the production of triathlons and (sadly), I can tell you that the swim at most triathlons are short. Favorable current aside, if a lot of people are swimming the open water 1500 in less than 19:00 at just about any triathlon, the distance is short.

The production company I am affiliated with has a reputation of having "long" swims. In reality our distance are accurate but people are accustom to short swims.

It makes sense that the swim would be the least accurately measured part of the race. I've definitely noticed a lack of consistency in the "feel" of triathlon swim distances over the years, even the same race from year to year. Of course, even if the swim is accurately measured you still have other variables like sighting, drafting, current, and interference from other swimmers. Those are what make open water swimming so much fun!

Fresnoid
March 7th, 2011, 01:34 PM
World Records

Men's Swimming: 1500M LCM 14:34 / 14:10 SCM
WOmen's Swimming: 1500M LCM 15:42 / 15:28 SCM

Men's Track: 5000M 12:37
Women's Track: 14:11

Presumably you should be about 10% slower in the swim than the run.

The Men's 5000M record is absurd.

Then I'm not as good at running as I thought.
In my 30's 5K 18:39, 1650 16:59
In my 40's 5K 18:52, 1650 17:44

jim thornton
March 8th, 2011, 12:17 AM
I've always thought that swimming freestyle and track running have close to a 1:4 ratio--that is, the world's best swimmers can cover about one-fourth the distance as the world's best runners can in the same time.

Running records:


200 m Progression 19.19 (-0.3 m/s) Usain Bolt Jamaica

400 m Progression 43.18 Michael Johnson

800 m Progression 1:41.01 David Rudisha

Compare this to the Swimming records for 1/4th the distance. Swimming one-fourth the distance is still a little bit slower, but the gap seems to be closing by the 200 m.

50 m freestyle 20.91 César Cielo

100 m freestyle 46.91 César Cielo

200 m freestyle 1:42.00 Paul Biedermann

The SCY records are:

50 free 18.47 César Cielo (Auburn)

100 free 40.92 César Cielo (Auburn)

200 free 1:31.83 Dave Walters (Texas)

So anyhow, the 1500 m (or 1650 yard) swim would be roughly equivalent to a 6000 m run (or 6600 yard run). Correct me if my math is wrong here, but:

1500/6000 = x/5000; x = 1250 meters. 1250/1500 = the conversion factor, or roughly 83 percent.

So...Bottom line: Take your swimming time for the 1500 m or 1650 yards and multiply it by 83 percent, and you should have a reasonably accurate "equivalency goal" for your 5K running time, that is, if your swimming and running abilities are comparable.

PS I would be honored if you would, in all future discussion of this topic, refer to the 83 percent conversion factor as simply the Thornton Coefficient.

Let us test it out on Lefty's stats:

Men's Swimming: 1500M LCM 14:34 (874 seconds)
Men's Track: 5000M 12:37 (757 seconds)

83 percent of 874 seconds is 725 seconds.

Not perfect, but not bad. Only 4 percent off. Who knows? If the 1500 m swim had been a straight shot in open water instead of assisted by wall pushoffs, the times might be identical.

Rykno
March 21st, 2011, 12:43 PM
well I managed to swim my 1500 in 20:00.36 so I guess I have my work cut out for me if I am going to run a 5km under 20 this summer.

1:13.46
2:31.37 (1:17.91)
3:50.22 (1:18.85)
5:09.11 (1:18.89)
6:28.83 (1:19.72)
7:48.79 (1:19.93)
9:08.40 (1:19.61)
10:29.67 (1:21.79) around 750 I stopped thinking about my turns
11:50.43 (1:20.76)
13:11.97 (1:21.48)
14:33.50 (1:21.53)
15:55.35 (1:21.85) looked at the lapcounter and spent a 50 doing simple math in my head


17:18.85 (1:23.5) figured out I only had 200 left and started to pick up the pace


18:40.56 (1:21.71)
20:00.36 (1:19.8)

This was my first 1500m ever in a pool. Next time my goal will be to open around 10:30 like this time, but then to stay mentally alert of all my turns, streamlines off the wall. and see if I can't get down around 19:50.


For the first 750 I took my first stroke out at the flags (5m) without really trying. Something just clicked around 750 and fell back into my old routine.

__steve__
March 22nd, 2011, 12:05 PM
Using Thorton's coefficient:

If your running your 5k's @20 min then 1.5 km swim should be ~ 16:35 if your dist swimming is as strong as your running

jim thornton
March 22nd, 2011, 04:17 PM
well I managed to swim my 1500 in 20:00.36 so I guess I have my work cut out for me if I am going to run a 5km under 20 this summer.

1:13.46
2:31.37 (1:17.91)
3:50.22 (1:18.85)
5:09.11 (1:18.89)
6:28.83 (1:19.72)
7:48.79 (1:19.93)
9:08.40 (1:19.61)
10:29.67 (1:21.79) around 750 I stopped thinking about my turns
11:50.43 (1:20.76)
13:11.97 (1:21.48)
14:33.50 (1:21.53)
15:55.35 (1:21.85) looked at the lapcounter and spent a 50 doing simple math in my head
17:18.85 (1:23.5) figured out I only had 200 left and started to pick up the pace
18:40.56 (1:21.71)
20:00.36 (1:19.8)



Two items for your consideration, Mr. Rynko:

1. I see you live in Sweden. Did you ever meet any of the fellows in the wonderful documentary film, Men Who Swim?

2. Though you beat me by around 4 seconds (I swam the 1650 in 20:03.90), so technically I have no business advising you, I would like to point out that there is another way to swim the distance that might let you do a better time in the future while suffering less pain.

You swam in a meters pool, so the splits aren't entirely comparable, but the basic idea is that you started off fast and progressively slowed down till a little resurgence at the end.

I started off slowly and negative split pretty much the whole thing:

Leg Cumulative Subtractive
1 34.85 34.85
2 1:13.66 38.81
3 1:52.57 38.91
4 2:31.45 38.88
5 3:09.96 38.51
6 3:48.15 38.19
7 4:26.16 38.01
8 5:04.07 37.91
9 5:42.01 37.94
10 6:19.86 37.85
11 6:57.06 37.20
12 7:33.92 36.86
13 8:10.76 36.84
14 8:47.65 36.89
15 9:24.23 36.58
16 10:00.75 36.52
17 10:37.02 36.27
18 11:13.48 36.46
19 11:49.72 36.24
20 12:25.99 36.27
21 13:02.22 36.23
22 13:38.45 36.23
23 14:14.86 36.41
24 14:50.92 36.06
25 15:26.74 35.82
26 16:02.49 35.75
27 16:38.18 35.69
28 17:13.63 35.45
29 17:48.82 35.19
30 18:23.98 35.16
31 18:59.38 35.40
32 19:33.53 34.15
33 20:03.90 30.37

For really extraordinary younger swimmers, going fast the whole way without too much regard to pacing is probably the way to go. But the older you get--I'm now 58--the more I am convinced that performance in longer events is much more dependent on good strategy and pacing than brute endurance.

A young fellow in my heat was a little ahead of me till the 650 mark. I had no sense I was speeding up, but suddenly I couldn't see him anymore, and I assumed he had take the lead.

He actually dropped way behind, the victim of over-enthusiasm at the beginning.

Live and learn!



Using Thorton's coefficient:

If your running your 5k's @20 min then 1.5 km swim should be ~ 16:35 if your dist swimming is as strong as your running

Thanks, Steve, for being the first person besides me to use what I profoundly hope will one day become a much bandied-about household phrase:

The Thornton Coefficient

How mellifluously it rolls off the tongue to charm the ears of any and all within its sonic orbit!

Thanks!

__steve__
March 22nd, 2011, 09:10 PM
Please accept my appology, I incorrectly applied the formula

5k's @ 20 min = 1.5 km ~ 24:00 LCM
actually i was rigt in post 20 and changed it here incorrectly. Probably explains the C's I recieved in college math

jim thornton
March 22nd, 2011, 11:26 PM
Please accept my appology, I incorrectly applied the formula

5k's @ 20 min = 1.5 km ~ 24:00 LCM

I think you were right the first time.

1.5 km swim should be roughly equal to a 4 x 1.5 run, or 6k.

Since he is only running a 5k, the time should be 5/6ths of his 1.5 k swim.

The only mistake I can see is that you spelled Thornton wrong. You left out the first n.

swimmerlady
March 23rd, 2011, 10:18 PM
Interesting question - A few years ago I saw a race for the USAT Aquathlon that was a 1500M swim and a 5K run. I thought those distances would be a pretty fair race for a decent swimmer and a decent runner. A good swimmer (not elite) could do the mile under 20 minutes and so could a good runner.

I entered the race and my times were within a minute of eachother. When I looked through the results there were many people who had the same thing too. I really enjoyed that race and would love to see more events like it. Triathlons annoy me since I spend about ten minutes swimming and an hour and ten minutes on the other stuff that I don't have a passion for.

Check out the link:
Usat Aquathlon National Championship 2009 (http://www.athlinks.com/time.aspx?eventid=81293)

http://www.athlinks.com/time.aspx?eventid=81293&courseid=115681&mode=a

Rykno
March 24th, 2011, 03:26 AM
1. I see you live in Sweden. Did you ever meet any of the fellows in the wonderful documentary film, Men Who Swim?
no, affraid not. most things that make it out of Sweden are from the big three (Stockholm, Göteborg and Malmö) I'm 2-4hrs driving from all of them.



2. Though you beat me by around 4 seconds (I swam the 1650 in 20:03.90), so technically I have no business advising you, I would like to point out that there is another way to swim the distance that might let you do a better time in the future while suffering less pain.

You swam in a meters pool, so the splits aren't entirely comparable, but the basic idea is that you started off fast and progressively slowed down till a little resurgence at the end.

For really extraordinary younger swimmers, going fast the whole way without too much regard to pacing is probably the way to go. But the older you get--I'm now 58--the more I am convinced that performance in longer events is much more dependent on good strategy and pacing than brute endurance.

A young fellow in my heat was a little ahead of me till the 650 mark. I had no sense I was speeding up, but suddenly I couldn't see him anymore, and I assumed he had take the lead.

He actually dropped way behind, the victim of over-enthusiasm at the beginning.

Live and learn!


one of my teammates (45) swam in the lane next to me. I prefer the 50 and 100 breast. but I am starting to like the challenge of swimming longer events. I built up a 2 second lead from the start and held it until about 600m at 700m we were even, and at 800m he was 1 sec ahead, and then he was able to pull away with a little more than 2 secs /100m.

I knew going in I was going to slow down, but my goal was more to minimize the difference between my average 100 and my max 100 split. turned out it was 3.5s so yeap I probably opened too fast.

a few heats later the winner in my age group swam 16:43:08 his last 100 was 1:03 after holding between 1:06-1:08 through out.

it's a shame I will have to wait 2 yrs before I can swim it again. but luckily I have several OW events between now and then.

jim thornton
March 24th, 2011, 10:56 PM
Interesting question - A few years ago I saw a race for the USAT Aquathlon that was a 1500M swim and a 5K run. I thought those distances would be a pretty fair race for a decent swimmer and a decent runner. A good swimmer (not elite) could do the mile under 20 minutes and so could a good runner.

I entered the race and my times were within a minute of eachother. When I looked through the results there were many people who had the same thing too. I really enjoyed that race and would love to see more events like it. Triathlons annoy me since I spend about ten minutes swimming and an hour and ten minutes on the other stuff that I don't have a passion for.

Check out the link:
Usat Aquathlon National Championship 2009 (http://www.athlinks.com/time.aspx?eventid=81293)

http://www.athlinks.com/time.aspx?eventid=81293&courseid=115681&mode=a


Swimmerlady, you might find my proposal for a "fair triathlon" amusing:

http://forums.usms.org/blog.php?b=10779