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View Full Version : Janet Evans just swam a 4:22 for her 400 free



havepoolwillswim
August 13th, 2011, 05:21 PM
A second faster than her 400 a couple months back.

Y'all think she'll qualify for trials next year? Thank you and I'll take your answer off the air.

Swimosaur
August 13th, 2011, 05:59 PM
The cut is 4:19.39 (http://www.usaswimming.org/_Rainbow/Documents/47f659f4-8b91-4375-906e-393321a5d99d/2012%20Olympic%20Trial%20Cuts.pdf)

I would not bet against her.

marksman
August 13th, 2011, 06:08 PM
She swam a 4:03 nearly twenty four years ago, and beat steroid-filled east germans in the process.

Not that she has anything to prove, but yea she'll qualify for trials.

orca1946
August 13th, 2011, 07:17 PM
Good for her!!! If I remember, didn't she swim with both arms straight over recovery ? BUT with a great under water pull !!

Lump
August 13th, 2011, 09:25 PM
Cut: Yes
Team: NO

jaadams1
August 13th, 2011, 09:41 PM
When she makes the cut, that will be even better than the others who make the sprints or breaststroke events at an older age, IMO. It takes a lot of work to be in shape to make a trials cut in a distance event. Nice!! :bow:

Karl_S
August 13th, 2011, 10:51 PM
I'd guess that she will make the OT cut, but a quick search of the USA Swimming database shows that 170 women have gone sub 4:22 in the past year and 106 have made the OT cut. That's a lot of competition.

The Fortress
August 13th, 2011, 11:34 PM
When she makes the cut, that will be even better than the others who make the sprints or breaststroke events at an older age, IMO. It takes a lot of work to be in shape to make a trials cut in a distance event. Nice!! :bow:

Disagree. You have to be in outstanding shape to make it in the sprints. Haven't you read how much Dara trained? I know Wally Dicks trains(ed) a ton. Just because Evans may do more sheer yardage in the pool does not make it a more impressive feat or mean that she's in better shape. That's just anti-sprinter claptrap.

I really hopes she makes it though!

Chris Stevenson
August 13th, 2011, 11:46 PM
You have to be in outstanding shape to make it in the sprints.

Thats true, but I believe age erodes aerobic capacity faster than strength. (There was some article recently on Rich Abrahams that said as much.)

I was always most impressed by Dennis Baker's near-miss in the 200 fly 3 years ago.

Lump
August 14th, 2011, 12:18 AM
It can go both ways I suppose. The men's 400 free OT cut has actually gotten SLOWER since I swam in 1992. It was 3:58.6 (give or take a tenth) back then. What's up with that.....it's 20-years later!

Okay, so we've seen some sprinters of "older age" come back but when was the last time you saw someone come back in the 1500?

Karl_S
August 14th, 2011, 09:59 AM
The OTC in the 400 LCM free is 4:19.39
Janet swam 4:22.84, which is 98.7% of the OTC.
Historically Janet's best 400 is 4:03.85 = 106.4% of OTC.

The OTC in the 800 LCM free is 8:50.49.
Earlier this year Janet swam 8:59.06, which is 98.4% of the OTC.
Historically Janet's best 800 was 8:16.22 = 106.9 % of OTC.

Basically she is just as competitive in the 400 as the 800, the slightly larger drop in her 800 is probably not statistically significant.

Another approach is to compute the ratings for her swims. There are a couple of rating calculators on the web, one by Great Bay Masters (GBM) and another by Virginia Masters (VM).

race VM/GBM
400@4:22.84 = 102.4/102.1
800@8:59.06 = 103.6/104.2

At least in comparison to other USMS swimmers, her 800 is slightly more competitive.

I was going to analyze Janet's 1500 too, but somehow the results for the women's 1500 have disappeared from the SPM Swim Phone results.

That Guy
August 14th, 2011, 10:09 AM
I was going to analyze Janet's 1500 too, but somehow the results for the women's 1500 have disappeared from the SPM Swim Phone results.

For her 1500, she swam an 800 split request and then warmed down the last 700. So just as well not to analyze it, the results would be misleading.

gaash
August 14th, 2011, 10:58 AM
A second faster than her 400 a couple months back.

Y'all think she'll qualify for trials next year? Thank you and I'll take your answer off the air.

I think she can qualify but I have to admit only a second improvement over a few months just coming back is a little bit of a dissapointment. Would love to see her get back to the top.

tjrpatt
August 14th, 2011, 11:11 AM
I think she can qualify but I have to admit only a second improvement over a few months just coming back is a little bit of a dissapointment. Would love to see her get back to the top.

Maybe she is not rested for this meet.

isobel
August 14th, 2011, 12:17 PM
Uh, any guys swimming masters in her age group feeling "chicked"?

She's a HOUSE. She's a BIG FORCE OF NATURE.

I think that's my favorite. A force of nature.

I also am a force of nature, but need a little more organization.

Off to swim some distance at the piscina.

Gotta quit my habit of staying in the :bed:

izzzzzzz

Ahelee Sue Osborn
August 14th, 2011, 12:26 PM
Maybe she is not rested for this meet.

This is exactly my thought...

She spoke about being on track and again - ahead of schedule to hit certain times.

So maybe she is swimming this fast unrested and plans a USA Swimming meet later in the year.
Heck, the first time she swam a masters meet, no one was in the pool with her. She might as well have been doing a get out swim in workout.

I can't wait to see her race some USA Swimming girls who can give her a race!
Then we can talk about what she can and can't do in the pool these days.

pwb
August 14th, 2011, 12:51 PM
Uh, any guys swimming masters in her age group feeling "chicked"?For sure! I was in the heat of the 400 with her yesterday, she was in lane 6 and I was in lane 2, so I wasn't able to see her. Not that it would've mattered since she beat me by over 6 seconds (and it was a best time for me!). A couple of 20- or young 30-something guys gave her someone to race. I got a video of the 800 she did on Friday night at the meet (as a split request on her way to her 1500) and will post that later today.

My layman's assessment -- the trials cuts will be a piece of cake for her and she's got loads of time to get faster. I have no reason to bet against her making the team; she looks super-fit.

Ahelee Sue Osborn
August 14th, 2011, 12:58 PM
A couple of 20- or young 30-something guys gave her someone to race.



Some will say it was a race... but in my opinion, racing guys when you're a girl is not the same.

Looking forward to Janet's venture back into USA Swimming, but stoked she is starting here with the masters. Just like a few others before her have done.

pwb
August 14th, 2011, 03:23 PM
Here's what I video'd on Friday night -- she went for an 800 split. I was counting for someone else, so I set the video camera on the starting block. I haven't listened to this yet, so any comments you hear do not reflect those of USMS, this forumite, the web-hosting company, etc., etc. :)

Janet Evans 800 (split on 1500) @ SPMA S'west Zones - YouTube

Thrashing Slug
August 14th, 2011, 04:11 PM
Is Janet Evans an open water swimmer? Her stroke looks like it was adapted for swimming in chop. She's hoisting her head out of the water on every cycle.

gobears
August 14th, 2011, 04:13 PM
Here's what I video'd on Friday night -- she went for an 800 split. I was counting for someone else, so I set the video camera on the starting block. I haven't listened to this yet, so any comments you hear do not reflect those of USMS, this forumite, the web-hosting company, etc., etc. :)

Janet Evans 800 (split on 1500) @ SPMA S'west Zones - YouTube (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=KQzGzCmVs-g)

What's up with the announcer saying that she swam in the 1972 Olympics and that her stroke is the one she used as an age grouper "back in the 70's"? How old does he think she is???

havepoolwillswim
August 14th, 2011, 05:14 PM
What's up with the announcer saying that she swam in the 1972 Olympics and that her stroke is the one she used as an age grouper "back in the 70's"? How old does he think she is???

According to the announcer, Janet Evans is 64. Awesome.

That Guy
August 14th, 2011, 05:42 PM
According to the announcer, Janet Evans is 64. Awesome.

And she's competing in the "Western Championships for Masters," whatever that is.

pwb
August 14th, 2011, 06:15 PM
According to the announcer, Janet Evans is 64. Awesome.


And she's competing in the "Western Championships for Masters," whatever that is.I think the announcer was hitting the sauce as his facts were all over the board. He didn't even get Brian Goodell's Olympic gold stat correct (said '72 instead of '76). On top of that, he routinely got the heats wrong. Still, he seemed well-intentioned and tried to get the crowd into things from time to time.

elise526
August 14th, 2011, 07:00 PM
I'll go out on a limb and say she makes the team. Since the time she set records, there is so much more information about training and nutrition than there was at the time she set the records. Plus, according to top exercise physiologists, there are unique things about her body (can't remember exactly) that enabled her to set those world records. A freak of nature with modern training? A good bet as any!

Fort, don't you think getting back in shape to swim a world class 400 free is much harder than a world class 50 free? So much more yardage is involved.

Ten years ago, I tried getting back into 200 fly shape and just had to quit. It was too hard. I found getting in shape to swim a decent 50 fly to be much easier.

gaash
August 14th, 2011, 07:34 PM
I'll go out on a limb and say she makes the team. Since the time she set records, there is so much more information about training and nutrition than there was at the time she set the records. Plus, according to top exercise physiologists, there are unique things about her body (can't remember exactly) that enabled her to set those world records. A freak of nature with modern training? A good bet as any!

Fort, don't you think getting back in shape to swim a world class 400 free is much harder than a world class 50 free? So much more yardage is involved.

Ten years ago, I tried getting back into 200 fly shape and just had to quit. It was too hard. I found getting in shape to swim a decent 50 fly to be much easier.

Definitely easier to get back into shape for sprints and as someone else pointed out, I believe it is accurate that cardio "goes" before muscle.

Chris Stevenson
August 14th, 2011, 09:16 PM
Fort, don't you think getting back in shape to swim a world class 400 free is much harder than a world class 50 free? So much more yardage is involved.

I bet what Fort or another sprinter might reply is that training to be an elite sprinter takes just as much time and effort, it just isn't in the pool (accumulating yardage) as much as for distance races.

By the way, I have realized the source of my notion that aerobic capacity fades faster with age compared to strength/power: it was the article on Mark Foster (http://www.guardian.co.uk/sport/2008/jul/27/swimming.olympicgames2008) posted earlier in this thread. Specifically:


...the fact that he is a sprinter, rather than an endurance athlete ..., also helps. 'Strength reduces at a slower rate than aerobic parameters,' Whyte confirms. 'That explains why strength and power-based sports have more mature athletes in the elite ranks. Foster only competes over 50metres and we know that it is possible to maintain performance to an older age in these type of events.'


I have also seen other comments that strength/power fade faster than aerobic endurance, though! No idea who is right. My *own* experience is that my strength and power are much closer to what they were in my 20s, compared to aerobic capacity. At USA-S meets I can hold my own against some kids in the 100 who just blow me away at 200+ distances.

But besides age, there is the confounding effect that I just don't train at the same volumes anymore.

I wonder if cross-training might help sprinters a bit in this regard. I simply cannot imagine pounding out the 15k-20k per day that distance swimmers used to do back when I was young (do they still do this?). Maybe cross-training confers a little more ability to recover from workouts? And maybe less likelihood of overuse injuries?

I look at the leaders of Go the Distance and know that some few masters swimmers are putting out some impressive numbers, though. I remember reading about some of the workouts that Dennis Baker was doing a few years ago and thinking to myself that they came pretty close to matching, in terms of workout volume and intensity, what I used to do in college. Maybe I only *think* I can't do that kind of thing in middle age (who has the time, anyway, though...).

The Fortress
August 14th, 2011, 09:55 PM
I bet what Fort or another sprinter might reply is that training to be an elite sprinter takes just as much time and effort, it just isn't in the pool (accumulating yardage) as much as for distance races.

I have also seen other comments that strength/power fade faster than aerobic endurance, though! No idea who is right.

I wonder if cross-training might help sprinters a bit in this regard. I simply cannot imagine pounding out the 15k-20k per day that distance swimmers used to do back when I was young (do they still do this?). Maybe cross-training confers a little more ability to recover from workouts? And maybe less likelihood of overuse injuries?



That's exactly what I was trying to say! Probably the same amount of time and effort involved in training. And I would never say that Janet is "in better shape" than Dara. By other markers of fitness (cardio isn't the only one), Dara may be far more fit or in "better shape."

elise526
August 14th, 2011, 10:00 PM
I won't dispute the fact that it takes tons of training and hard work to be good at either the sprints or middle distance. One thing I do know for sure, the 400 free sure is a lot more painful than the 50 free.

Frankly, I can't imagine anything more grueling than a 400 free. It seems to be along the lines of what I would call an endurance sprint. This being the case, I would think that training for it would require a demanding dryland program as well some demanding sets in the water.

Lots of arguments can be made as to what constitutes "fit." What does "fit" really mean? Are we talking about body composition or are we talking about VO2 max? Are we talking about vertical jump or are we talking about flexibility?

The Fortress
August 14th, 2011, 11:08 PM
Don't all of those factors go into overall fitness? And I'm not sure pain is relevant.

I cannot buy that the word sprint can be associated with the 400 free.

elise526
August 15th, 2011, 12:28 AM
Don't all of those factors go into overall fitness? And I'm not sure pain is relevant.

I cannot buy that the word sprint can be associated with the 400 free.

I would agree that pain is not relevant to fitness. I really meant to keep the two concepts separate in my last post.

I also meant to hint that if you look at all measures of fitness, can we be so sure that Dara would come out more fit than Janet? Sure Dara is in fabulous shape, but does she have the VO2 max or flexibility that Janet does? I doubt it, because if I recall correctly, it was Janet's VO2 max and flexibility that made her the freak of nature able to hold on to world records for an awfully long time.

What is impressive about the 400 as opposed to the 50 is that one has to have the ability to tolerate pain over a greater time period.

As to whether the 400 is a sprint or not, think about the one mile in running. Compared to a 5k (which is like the 1500 in swimming), doesn't the mile involve more sprinting ability?

Anybody over 30 that can make the cuts for Olympic Trials is super impressive. I do have to admit, however, I am a little bit more impressed with Janet's endeavor of making the 400 as opposed to somebody making it in the 50. The 400 just plain old hurts. There is no way around it. Anybody that can tolerate that kind of pain is awesome.

Speedo
August 15th, 2011, 10:21 AM
Re: Dara vs. Janet, I think a cage match would settle this argument.

If you simply equate this "fitness" concept to OT cuts (i.e if you make OT cuts you are officially "fit"), Dara made cuts last month by almost a second in the 50 free. Janet has not made cuts yet. Thus, Dara is more fit than Janet.

fmracing
August 15th, 2011, 10:24 AM
Re: Dara vs. Janet, I think a cage match would settle this argument.

If you simply equate this "fitness" concept to OT cuts (i.e if you make OT cuts you are officially "fit"), Dara made cuts last month by almost a second in the 50 free. Janet has not made cuts yet. Thus, Dara is more fit than Janet.

lol

:worms:

gaash
August 15th, 2011, 10:25 AM
I think there is more than enough evidence despite not being purely scientific that sprinting is easier to maintain speed at a later age than distance swimming. (This may actually not be the case w/running for some reason) Just take a look at the top swimmers ages/event and all the comebacks etc. What are the odds that it is all coincidence? Possible, but unlikely.

elise526
August 15th, 2011, 10:54 AM
Re: Dara vs. Janet, I think a cage match would settle this argument.

If you simply equate this "fitness" concept to OT cuts (i.e if you make OT cuts you are officially "fit"), Dara made cuts last month by almost a second in the 50 free. Janet has not made cuts yet. Thus, Dara is more fit than Janet.

Haha. That is pretty good, Speedo! Probably the best answer.

What about looking at the number of people over 30 that are within 4 seconds of the OT cut in the 400 free versus the number of people over 30 that have made the OT cut in the 50 free?

isobel
August 15th, 2011, 11:24 AM
This is exactly my thought...

She spoke about being on track and again - ahead of schedule to hit certain times.

So maybe she is swimming this fast unrested and plans a USA Swimming meet later in the year.
Heck, the first time she swam a masters meet, no one was in the pool with her. She might as well have been doing a get out swim in workout.

I can't wait to see her race some USA Swimming girls who can give her a race!
Then we can talk about what she can and can't do in the pool these days.
(trying to have pictures show up; not working)

In the second picture her body alignment looks really weird; seems like it would create a lot of drag. Was that during her race?

Speedo
August 15th, 2011, 11:24 AM
Haha. That is pretty good, Speedo! Probably the best answer.

What about looking at the number of people over 30 that are within 4 seconds of the OT cut in the 400 free versus the number of people over 30 that have made the OT cut in the 50 free?I get what you are saying, and agree that it may be more difficult for folks over 30 to make the 400 cut. That said (and sticking to my ultra-simple definition of fitness), I'd rather be "fit" than fit "for my age." :)

jroddin
August 15th, 2011, 11:37 AM
Disagree. You have to be in outstanding shape to make it in the sprints. Haven't you read how much Dara trained? I know Wally Dicks trains(ed) a ton. Just because Evans may do more sheer yardage in the pool does not make it a more impressive feat or mean that she's in better shape. That's just anti-sprinter claptrap.

I really hopes she makes it though!

I would like to conduct a scientific experiment. I nominate Professors Stevenson and Sohlberg to oversee the data. I nominate PWolf to underwrite the idea by paying for all of the entry fees. I nominate Mr. Thornton to be the control group and The Fortress to be the experiment.

The experiment is to compare best times across a span of 30 years for any sprint event of the subject's choosing and then the 400 IM. We will divide the time delta by the best time to come up with a percentage. Presumably the best time will be from 30 years ago or this experiment won't work. For practical purposes we will exclude any swimsuit effects on the times. The Fortress has 9 months to achieve a 400 IM time and can either use this timeframe to come up with a new sprint time or may use a time from the past 2 years. My hypothesis is one can perform relatively better with age in the sprints vs distance.

BTW I have no idea why Mr. Thornton is in the control group but I'm sure he can come up with an appropriate justification. I nominated Wolfy to underwrite the experiment because he has missed enough meets this past year that by paying for these extra meets makes it a financial wash (although I'm not one to talk in this dept).

Just using some round numbers, a ten percent decline would be as follows:
50 free: 24.5 becomes vs 26.95
400 IM: 4:45.00 becomes 5:13.50

Wookie has volunteered to donate a pair of tractor pull tickets to an upcoming Monster Truck Rally for all of the participants in this experiment. And perhaps Dr. Williams (psychnw) can determine what is wrong with my brain for thinking of all of this in the first place.

quicksilver
August 15th, 2011, 12:25 PM
Most long distance runners are still entering their prime in their 30's. And the shorter distance runners usually peak at age 27. The same might hold true in swimming. It's difficult to say since there are very few examples other than Dara.

Either way, Janet turns 40 in a few weeks and her current times are simply outstanding.

chowmi
August 15th, 2011, 01:10 PM
According to USA Swimming's list of OT Qualifiers (06/24/11)
Women
50 free 73 qualifiers
100 76
200 83
400 93
800 48

Men
50 free 90 qualifiers
100 86
200 83
400 77
1500 54

gaash
August 15th, 2011, 01:26 PM
According to USA Swimming's list of OT Qualifiers (06/24/11)
Women
50 free 73 qualifiers
100 76
200 83
400 93
800 48

Men
50 free 90 qualifiers
100 86
200 83
400 77
1500 54

By Age?

pwb
August 15th, 2011, 01:28 PM
As a mid-distance to distance guy, I want to side with the argument that training for and competing at a high level in the 400/800 is harder than the 50/100. My own experience racing this summer across the three events I swam best in --


200 fly -- was 5.8% off lifetime best
400 IM -- was 8.6% off lifetime best
1500 free -- was 10.9% off lifetime best

-- is anecdotally in that direction. If I go back to when I was wearing my bodysuit, when my 50 was a lifetime best and my 100 was close to a lifetime best, my 500 was 7.2% slower than a lifetime best.

As a counterpoint to my personal data, though, it should be noted that, on average I swim about 25% of the weekly volume now versus what I did when I was a teenager and in college. I'm pretty sure that, if I could raise my training to 75% of where I used to be, with some smarter addition of strength work and race pace, my distance times could be closer (on a percentage basis) to my best than my shorter distance times. I just don't have the time to do that ... but I imagine Janet's making that kind of time in her quest.

So, I really want to say that it's harder to do what Janet's doing than what Dara's doing, I don't think it actually is. I think they are two very different sides of the same coin. If you look at Dara these days versus Dara back in the 80s, she is way more ripped and muscular now than then -- she's had to amp up her dryland and strength as a 40-something in a manner she didn't have to do as a 20-something. That doesn't require hours slogging 10K or more workouts, but it is very different (I believe) than she trained when she was younger. Janet will undoubtedly need to train more yards/meters, but she'll also need to figure out what she needs to do differently now with a 40-something body to compete. Neither of them would probably want to train like the other, but I think it's wrong to think that either of them has an 'easier' road than the other.

knelson
August 15th, 2011, 01:30 PM
I'll go out on a limb and say she makes the team.

Then I'll take the contrary view and say she doesn't. She's swimming well, but I think she'd need to throw down something in the neighborhood of 4:10 right now to have a realistic chance next year. Her Mission Viejo swim would place her somewhere around 90th at USA Swimming Nationals that were just swum a couple weeks ago. She's got her work cut out for her.

Ahelee Sue Osborn
August 15th, 2011, 01:35 PM
Janet will undoubtedly need to train more yards/meters, but she'll also need to figure out what she needs to do differently now with a 40-something body to compete. Neither of them would probably want to train like the other, but I think it's wrong to think that either of them has an 'easier' road than the other.

I wouldn't know a single thing about this... But I do wonder if having 1 child vs. 2 is a pro or con for these fast swimming mothers.

Ahelee Sue Osborn
August 15th, 2011, 01:36 PM
In the second picture her body alignment looks really weird; seems like it would create a lot of drag. Was that during her race?

It is a shot from her 1500 race.
The photographer messaged me about that exact thing - how high she rides in the water and her head position on her breath.
He said she looked almost like a water polo player :)

She was wicked fast with that stroke before and looks like she is sticking with it.

quicksilver
August 15th, 2011, 01:46 PM
Kirk may be right in that there's a huge field in the distance events at the moment. And some of them will only be getting faster in the coming season.

The results from the 2011 Conoco Phillips (http://www.swmeets.com/Realtime/LC%20Nationals/2011/) meet show the average age between 18 and 19 years old. Between the A and B finals there's at least 10 girls under the 4:10 zone...and 10 more under 4:14 or better.

Karl_S
August 15th, 2011, 03:02 PM
I think she can qualify but I have to admit only a second improvement over a few months just coming back is a little bit of a dissapointment.
Her 800 split in the 1500 at SPM (apparently she swam the 1500 to get the 800 split, which would make sense because there is no women's 1500 in London) was about 9:02, actually slower than this past june.


Would love to see her get back to the top.
It would indeed be very cool.

gdanner
August 15th, 2011, 03:04 PM
It can go both ways I suppose. The men's 400 free OT cut has actually gotten SLOWER since I swam in 1992. It was 3:58.6 (give or take a tenth) back then. What's up with that.....it's 20-years later!


The meet has been getting less exclusive over time. Here are some examples on the number of competitors at each OT meet:

Men's 100 fly

1992 - 32
2004 - 51
2008 - 106
2012 - 110+ (est.)

Men's 200 fly

1992 - 20
2004 - 41
2008 - 84
2012 - 110+ (est.)

Men's 400 free

1992 - 28
2004 - 27
2008 - 70
2012 - 100+ (est.)

I've assumed this to be the case for years, since most of the current cuts are slower than 2004 cuts (and as you pointed out even earlier in some cases). I never looked at actual numbers until now.

Membership numbers in the prior year leading up to OTs:

1991 - 165,622
2003 - 235,013
2007 - 251,547
2010 - 286,900 (most recent full year)

Especially in the last 8 years, the number of qualifiers has increased much more than the membership growth. But that will happen when you make cuts slower even though suit technology and training methods are continuously improving. With most events having over 100 swimmers, I have to imagine cuts will be faster in 2016.

Chris Stevenson
August 15th, 2011, 03:29 PM
As a counterpoint to my personal data, though, it should be noted that, on average I swim about 25% of the weekly volume now versus what I did when I was a teenager and in college. I'm pretty sure that, if I could raise my training to 75% of where I used to be, with some smarter addition of strength work and race pace, my distance times could be closer (on a percentage basis) to my best than my shorter distance times.

It is an interesting conjecture -- that if you ramped up your training closer to HS/college levels your distance events would be as close to your bests as your shorter events -- but despite you're being "pretty sure," it is just an opinion devoid of data.

A complication in your case is that I imagine that you trained primarily for distance, so your best times in short events might be more accessible than your best times in the longer events. That fact may taint the personal data you gave, skewing them to favor the shorter events over the longer.

In LCM, I trained equally for the 100 and 200 fly while in college and I think I did about equally well in them by the standards of the time (eg, world rankings were very similar). My personal data based on this year is:

100 fly: +6.86% (55.4 to 59.2)
200 fly: +13.30% (2:01.8 to 2:18.0)

More training would probably improve both of these and probably would improve the 200 more than the 100. But I can't ever see the 200 fly getting as close, relatively speaking, to my career best as the 100 fly. (But of course this is just opinion, too.)

I wonder if Janet was rested at all for the meet. If not, both 400 and 800 times were very good and she should have no trouble getting the OTs, a very impressive feat for anyone in their 40s, regardless of events. I would be shocked if she made it to the finals of Trials, though; it would be nice to see!

As far as Dara vs Janet...didn't Dara make the OT cut (or come very close) at 2006 Masters Worlds, something like 1 month after delivery when she was in her upper 30s? I have a hard time imagining a distance swimmer managing that feat! (Actually, I have a hard time imagining anyone else doing that in ANY event.) As far as "fitness" level, however defined, unless Janet medals in London in 2012 I think we'd have to give the nod to DT.

The Fortress
August 15th, 2011, 03:40 PM
The Fortress has 9 months to achieve a 400 IM time



Bah! Been there, done that, never going back. Perfectly happy being a sprint specialist.

I didn't disagree that it was harder to make a comeback in the distance events. I just disagreed that Janet Evans is more fit than DT because she can swim a fast 400 free or that distance specialists are necessarily more fit than sprint specialists. And I agree with Chris that DT gets the nod, and would most definitely win a cage fight!

knelson
August 15th, 2011, 03:43 PM
The meet has been getting less exclusive over time.

The only conclusion that can be reached is they want Olympic Trials to bring in more money. More qualifiers means more money coming in. To me when you're getting over 100 people per event it's getting a little ridiculous, but so far USA Swimming hasn't asked for my opinion. :)

jroddin
August 15th, 2011, 03:52 PM
The meet has been getting less exclusive over time. Here are some examples on the number of competitors at each OT meet:

Men's 100 fly

1992 - 32
2004 - 51
2008 - 106
2012 - 110+ (est.)

Men's 200 fly

1992 - 20
2004 - 41
2008 - 84
2012 - 110+ (est.)

Men's 400 free

1992 - 28
2004 - 27
2008 - 70
2012 - 100+ (est.)

I've assumed this to be the case for years, since most of the current cuts are slower than 2004 cuts (and as you pointed out even earlier in some cases). I never looked at actual numbers until now.

Membership numbers in the prior year leading up to OTs:

1991 - 165,622
2003 - 235,013
2007 - 251,547
2010 - 286,900 (most recent full year)

Especially in the last 8 years, the number of qualifiers has increased much more than the membership growth. But that will happen when you make cuts slower even though suit technology and training methods are continuously improving. With most events having over 100 swimmers, I have to imagine cuts will be faster in 2016.

The slower cuts may be intentional. The swimmers all pay entry fees per event to USA-S to swim in the meet just like Nationals or a local meet. More entries = more entry fee revenue. 2000 was the last year Trials was held in a traditional natatorium (Indy). Since then they went to a large outdoor stadium (Long Beach 2004) and then the huge indoor Qwest Center (2008, 2012). Their rental costs are much higher now than Indy (e.g. temporary pools, arena rental, etc.) so it could simply be a business decision to loosen the cuts. I have no idea if this is true or not, it's pure speculation on my part but somebody has to pay the rent!

PS. Just after posting I saw Kirk's post immediately before mine. We're obviously on the same wavelength.

smontanaro
August 15th, 2011, 04:00 PM
As a counterpoint to my personal data, though, it should be noted that, on average I swim about 25% of the weekly volume now versus what I did when I was a teenager and in college. I'm pretty sure that, if I could raise my training to 75% of where I used to be, with some smarter addition of strength work and race pace, my distance times could be closer (on a percentage basis) to my best than my shorter distance times. I just don't have the time to do that ... but I imagine Janet's making that kind of time in her quest.

Of course you'd have to take greater care with your yardage as well, right? The key is the "smarter" part. I'm sure your 40-something body is not going to be as resilient as your 20-something body was. I think one of the things that makes it possible for Dara to tackle this problem is that she can afford to devote essentially her entire professional life to the effort, including all the ancillary stuff: diet, dry land, stretching, etc, etc, etc. I suspect Janet probably has similar freedom to make the attempt. (Diana Nyad as well with her recent Cuba-to-Florida attempt.)

Just chipping in my $0.02 from the peanut gallery.

isobel
August 15th, 2011, 04:35 PM
It is a shot from her 1500 race.
The photographer messaged me about that exact thing - how high she rides in the water and her head position on her breath.
He said she looked almost like a water polo player :)

She was wicked fast with that stroke before and looks like she is sticking with it.

You're so right: 1988 Olympic Women's 800m Freestyle final - Janet Evans - YouTube


But wouldn't you think with all the changes since 1988 in freestyle technique, she might be faster with better body alignment? But what do I know, for sure. She's amazing.

elise526
August 15th, 2011, 05:50 PM
I don't think anybody is claiming that Janet Evans is more fit than Dara simply because she can swim an impressive 400. I just cautioned against the assumption that Dara is more fit than Janet because she has already made OT cuts.

I simply made the point that the 400 free is a more painful event than the 50 free.

Really, fit has nothing to do with an impressive feat. Haven't we all seen swimmers who look far from fit do some pretty impressive times and set impressive records?

To be at OT level in any event certainly takes tremendous amounts of work. I still think training for middle distance takes more time than training for sprints whether in the water or on the land. Maybe somebody can do a comparison of Phelps' training versus that of a 50 freestyler. Sorry, I don't believe the combined hours of dryland and pool work of a sprinter is going to come near to what a middle distance swimmer does with dryland and pool work. To me, more work means it is harder.

If we are talking about how fit somebody looks, well, I think Janet looks quite fit. http://www.nbc.com/Celebrity_Circus/contestants/janet_evans.shtml


In a vote, my male friends picked Janet's body type over Dara's. Check out the above links.

SLOmmafan
August 16th, 2011, 02:48 PM
OT cuts are still tremendously hard to make, and ultimately the number of spots on the Olympic team remains constant. I don't mind opening up OT to a wider number of participants...

havepoolwillswim
August 16th, 2011, 03:01 PM
Interesting answers/discussions- thanks all.

For next year's Olympic trials, roughly predict the times it will take just to make the finals in the women's 400/800.

pwb
August 16th, 2011, 03:11 PM
For next year's Olympic trials, roughly predict the times it will take just to make the finals in the women's 400/800.Sub 4:07 for Top 8 in the 400 and 4:04 low makes the team.

Sub 8:28 makes Top 8 in the 800, #1 will be sub 8:20, #2 will be 8:20+/8:21-.

Namor
August 16th, 2011, 04:51 PM
This article

http://http://cowles.econ.yale.edu/P/cp/p12a/p1212.pdf

also finds that sprint performance declines less rapidly with age in both running and swimming (though it is only interested in decline post-35). Why this is (physiology, training volumes etc) isn't explored.

MickYoung
August 16th, 2011, 05:05 PM
As far as time, distance and age for women, I looked at the USMS records page to get an estimate. I thought that would lead to a clear answer.

I was wrong about the clarity. I got conflicting results.

I just looked at LCM records (because I'm lazy).


FIRST,
I looked at what age has the fastest record.

50 yd < 44 *
100 yd < 44 *
200 yd < 34 *
400 yd < 29
800 yd < 34
1600 yd < 29

The stars here indicate that Dara Torres holds the record.

By this measure, age seems to do better at sprints

SECOND:
Then I looked at [(fastest time for any age)/ (record for 45-49)]. The logic being the the 45-49 seems to be the first group that is out of olympic contention. Although maybe Dara or Janet will change that.

This ratio can be taken as the % speed for the fastest 45-49 year old compared to the fastest.

50 yd .884
100 yd .899
200 yd .914
400 yd .917
800 yd .935
1500 yd .929

This indicates that speed in the short races diminshes more than in the long races. That is, age does better at distance.


****

Caveats:

The first trial may be somewhat biased by a single outlier: Literally half the numbers are Dara Torres' records. On the other hand, some of the discussion here is Torres vs Evans. Torres's masters worlds records at age 44 are the fastest times for any age. Evans Age 40-44 record for 800 LCM is 11.62 seconds off the best time.

Another is that, in the second method, I am comparing best times vs post menopausal times. (I think. I'm a little fuzzy on that.) Where perhaps what is being discussed are peak times vs late pre-menopausal times.

***

My inclination to believe the second method and think older folks will do better at distance.

This is strictly due to statistical considerations, and has nothing to do with the fact that I'm a 58 year-old distance swimmer.

elise526
August 16th, 2011, 06:48 PM
One thing we over 40 year old swimmers can thank Dara for is the idea that we aren't washed up at 40. Because of her, exercise physiologists started considering the idea that athletes don't decline with age as much as was previously thought.

If Janet can make the team or place at OT, I think she will make execise physiologists reexamine the theory that aerobic capacity declines with age or at least does not decline as much as they previously thought.

One thing I hope the exercise research gurus consider is that as one ages, there may be less time available to train and recover as there was at say age 18. If an individual at 40 training for a distance event has the same amount of time to train and recover (maybe a tiny bit less training and a little bit more recovery due to age), maybe there is not as much of a decline.

I think one of the biggest factors in endurance type events is the mental factor. I think you see marathon runners and triathletes peaking in their thirties instead of their twenties because athletes in their thirties are simply mentally tougher than younger athletes. Life has tested them more.

So, the time factor may really be the reason why we see more folks over 30 making the time cut for OT in the sprints as opposed to middle distance and distance events. It may not be due to there being a marked decline in aerobic capacity. How can exercise physiologists really test a decline in aerobic capacity anyway? You would have to take an athlete at 18, test them, and keep them in the same shape doing the same thing for 12 years to see if his/her aerobic capacity has declined. Has this been done? If anybody knows it would be great to see the study posted.

gull
August 17th, 2011, 10:30 AM
The declines are real. The physiological changes are real. Additional time spent training will not overcome this. Janet will make the cut, but she will not make the team. That does not diminish her achievement. Especially given that she is clean.

chowmi
August 17th, 2011, 10:56 AM
The meet has been getting less exclusive over time. Here are some examples on the number of competitors at each OT meet:
........

I've assumed this to be the case for years, since most of the current cuts are slower than 2004 cuts (and as you pointed out even earlier in some cases). I never looked at actual numbers until now.

....

Especially in the last 8 years, the number of qualifiers has increased much more than the membership growth. But that will happen when you make cuts slower even though suit technology and training methods are continuously improving. With most events having over 100 swimmers, I have to imagine cuts will be faster in 2016.

Gdanner,

Very interesting! I have followed the 50 free, and that's much easier since it started up in 1988. Cut seemed to drop every 3rd time, yet I was slightly flabbergasted they did not drop the cut this time, so it has been the same for 3 OT's

1988 26.89 (also available in SCY, SCM)
1992 26.89
1996 26.59
2000 26.59
2004 26.39
2008 26.39
2012 26.39

At one time I had written down how many qualified, but I lost that post-it note. It's probably on the bottom of a shoe somewhere in my closet. Anyway, it did follow the typical pattern of fewer every time time cut was dropped, and more the following year when it was the same. I really thought it would drop to 26.19 or 26.09 this time; so many girls go 25.99 or better.

I personally like a big OT meet. I think it gives many swimmers a chance to experience OTs and in many cases, they will be back for another OT or more. Giving as many USA swimmers a chance at the highest level can only help USA swimming overall. Plus, I am going to watch OTs and I want to see a bunch of swimming, not just 3 or 4 heats in an event!

And back to the thread topic, I really enjoy stories about the Janets, the Daras, and The Forts, and everyone else in masters swimming. There is always something that each person says/does that is so inspiring and makes you think about how you swim/train/approach swimming. I may not be faster on paper, but I think my swimming has an entirely new plane of awareness and thought that I never had when I was at my peak in college. It is so much fun!!!!!!!!!

ande
August 19th, 2011, 07:25 PM
Impressive swim & swimphone is a cool app
http://www.swimphone.com/mobile/meets/splits.cfm?smid=3133&mrid=543884&id=331H-03TWU&fn=Janet%20B&ln=Evans&s=finals

havepoolwillswim
October 7th, 2011, 12:56 AM
Janet update....

"She competed in two masters' meets this summer with top times of 4 minutes 23.87 seconds in the 400 and 8:59.06 in the 800, and Schubert said she has done better in training. The Olympic trials qualifying standards are 4:19.39 in the 400 and 8:50.49 in the 800. She hopes to get those times at a USA Swimming competition early next year."

link here (http://www.latimes.com/sports/la-sp-janet-evans-olympics-20111007,0,7094098.story)

Bobinator
October 7th, 2011, 08:26 AM
This is exactly my thought...

She spoke about being on track and again - ahead of schedule to hit certain times.

So maybe she is swimming this fast unrested and plans a USA Swimming meet later in the year.
Heck, the first time she swam a masters meet, no one was in the pool with her. She might as well have been doing a get out swim in workout.

I can't wait to see her race some USA Swimming girls who can give her a race!
Then we can talk about what she can and can't do in the pool these days.

She looks extremely fit!
What is she doing in the 2nd picture with her head up and out of the water?

orca1946
October 8th, 2011, 12:10 AM
The cut - yes. The team will be harder because of all the others that make the cut.