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jim thornton
February 20th, 2012, 01:53 PM
Consider this year's SEC winning times vs. the NCAA record times:

400 Yard IM WomenNCAA: N 3:58.23 2/26/2010 Julia Smit, Stanford

1 Beisel, Elizabeth FR Florida-FL 4:03.27 3:58.35 (+.12)

400 Yard IM Men

NCAA: N 3:35.98 3/27/2009 Tyler Clary, Michigan

1 Solaeche Gomez, Ed Florida-FL 3:47.99 3:43.57 A (+7.59)

Hypothesis: the change in men's legal swimming suits has had a much greater effect than the change in women's legal swimming suits.

Is this true? I don't know.

However, I do think it is possible to find out.

Have any of our mathematically astute forumites yet attempted a regression analysis to see how much the change in suit technology has affected women and men swimmers, respectively?

This may be a cherry-picked example, but it looks as if the current crop of legal suits for women have resulted in virtually no change in the 400 IM.

In men, on the other hand, the change looks to be about 7.5 seconds. Granted, you can't make too many assumptions comparing NCAA records (with full body suits) vs. SEC championship times (in the new suits) in just one event.

However, it's now been two years since the B70 and other body kayak flotation devices have been illegalized for both genders, and replaced by the respective FINA approved garments we are now allowed to wear.

There have been reams of times recorded in college and masters databases, ripe for the plucking!

Surely someone out there has already been (or could be cajoled into) crunching sufficient quantities of data to come up with some rough guidelines for the impact the suit change has had!

Surely I am not the only one hoping to apportion my performance declines according to 1) the toll of years, and 2) the change in suit technology.

In my age group, here are the times in the 400 IM in 2010 (body kayaks) vs. 2011 (jammers for men; new short john legal body suits for women)--note, I highlighted in red those who made the list both years in the same age group, allowing for a better person-to-person comparison:

MEN

400 Individual Medley SCY Men 55-59 (2010)

1 Michael T Mann 55 CMS Colorado 4:28.69
2 Donald B Gilchrist 56 NCMS North Carolina 4:40.65
3 Phil L Dodson 57 IM Illinois 4:45.42
4 Bob Yant 56 IM Illinois 4:47.76
5 Jim Clemmons 59 MAM Pacific 4:48.86
6 Peter M Guadagni 55 WCM Pacific 4:49.17
7 Neil R Wasserman 55 O*H* Lake Erie 4:50.68
8 Stephen D Kevan 55 OREG Oregon 4:52.39
9 Thomas G Bliss 55 ORLM Florida 4:54.56
10 Jimmy Welborn 55 RATS Southeastern 4:54.94



400 Individual Medley SCY Men 55-59 (2011)

1 Michael T Mann 56 CMS Colorado 4:30.56 (http://www.usms.org/comp/meets/swim.php?s=1443400)
2 Rick Colella 59 PNA Pacific Northwest 4:35.84 (http://www.usms.org/comp/meets/swim.php?s=1446946)
3 Timothy M Shead 58 GOLD Florida Gold Coast 4:45.05 (http://www.usms.org/comp/meets/swim.php?s=1420851)
4 Donald B Gilchrist 57 NCMS North Carolina 4:50.58 (http://www.usms.org/comp/meets/swim.php?s=1446366)
5 Neil R Wasserman 55 O*H* Lake Erie 4:53.22 (http://www.usms.org/comp/meets/swim.php?s=1346822)
6 Peter M Guadagni 56 WCM Pacific 4:56.53 (http://www.usms.org/comp/meets/swim.php?s=1450071)
7 Paul G Karas 55 MICH Michigan 4:57.64 (http://www.usms.org/comp/meets/swim.php?s=1424036)
8 Mark Montgomery 55 NOVA Southern Pacific 4:59.58 (http://www.usms.org/comp/meets/swim.php?s=1446556)
9 Phil L Dodson 58 IM Illinois 5:02.66 (http://www.usms.org/comp/meets/swim.php?s=1421224)
10 David C Bright 58 NEM New England 5:05.44 (http://www.usms.org/comp/meets/swim.php?s=1445875)

WOMEN

400 Individual Medley SCY Women 55-59 (2010)

1 Laura B Val 58 TAM Pacific 5:03.92
2 Nancy Steadman Martin 55 GSM New Jersey 5:09.76
3 Lo D Knapp 55 UTAH Utah 5:17.95
4 Camille W Thompson 55 PNA Pacific Northwest 5:28.88
5 Shirley A Loftus-Charley 58 VMST Virginia 5:29.09
6 Charlotte M Davis 59 PNA Pacific Northwest 5:33.04
7 Nancy Kryka 55 MINN Minnesota 5:36.70
8 Catherine K Kohn 56 SLAM Ozark 5:40.95
9 Ronda S Nisman 55 MOST South Texas 5:41.99
10 Barbara Protzman 55 GOLD Florida Gold Coast 5:50.96

400 Individual Medley SCY Women 55-59 (2011)

1 Nancy Steadman Martin 56 GSM New Jersey 5:17.93 (http://www.usms.org/comp/meets/swim.php?s=1444128)
2 Shirley A Loftus-Charley 59 VMST Virginia 5:28.24 (http://www.usms.org/comp/meets/swim.php?s=1268993)
3 Elaine S Valdez 55 MOST South Texas 5:29.46 (http://www.usms.org/comp/meets/swim.php?s=1445172)
4 Pat A Sargeant 57 GOLD Florida Gold Coast 5:34.59 (http://www.usms.org/comp/meets/swim.php?s=1265324)
5 Evie S Lynch 58 PHX Arizona 5:39.49 (http://www.usms.org/comp/meets/swim.php?s=1442529)
6 Nancy Kryka 56 MINN Minnesota 5:47.26 (http://www.usms.org/comp/meets/swim.php?s=1445414)
7 Mary M Welsh 57 TCAM Pacific 5:54.69
8 Margaret Hair 55 HMS Inland Northwest 5:59.80 (http://www.usms.org/comp/meets/swim.php?s=1276994)
9 Barbara Protzman 56 GOLD Florida Gold Coast 6:02.14 (http://www.usms.org/comp/meets/swim.php?s=1420808)
10 Karen Bierwert 58 NEM New England 6:06.35 (http://www.usms.org/comp/meets/swim.php?s=1456616)

I concede this does little to prove or disprove my hypothesis. If I am looking at the times correctly, only one 55-59 TT swimmer improved times between 2010 and 2011--Shirley.

The variation in declines shown by all the others of both genders was quite large, from Michael Mann's less than 2 seconds, to Phil Dodson's over 17. All sorts of non-swimming-related factors can play a role here, which is why to get meaningful results, lots and lots of results have to be subjected to what I think Chris Stevenson called a "regression analysis" to draw even quasi-reliable inferences.

Is there someone out there, perhaps a retired math professor with a touch of Asperger's who shares my fascination with this dead-horse-beaten topic, who would be willing to perform just such a regression analysis and share the results on this thread?

I am tempted to add a poll so that we can each vote according to what we want to believe, only to have this subjected to the cold hard reality of scientific inquiry!

Oh, hell. I will add such a poll, at the considerable risk of being drubbed off these forums for the foreseeable future for the sin of trollish monotony.

SwimStud
February 20th, 2012, 02:01 PM
...Jim, regardless, none of this will make you any faster...have you added weights and plyos to your training regimen yet?
:bump:

jim thornton
February 20th, 2012, 02:03 PM
...Jim regardless none of this will make you any faster...have you added weights and plyos to your training regimen yet?
:bump:

No, but I have added quite a bit in the way of garbage yards!

Fresnoid
February 20th, 2012, 02:06 PM
I don't think either gender has been handicapped. Both had been temporarily artificially assisted by the body suits and we're now back to normal.

knelson
February 20th, 2012, 02:10 PM
This may be a cherry-picked example, but it looks as if the current crop of legal suits for women have resulted in virtually no change in the 400 IM.

It's definitely a cherry-picked example and it should also be noted that the current women's record was set after the new suit rules went into effect. Not that that would do anything to disprove your hypothesis.

Just as a guess, I'd say at the highest levels the suit changes have affected men slightly more than women, but not by much. In masters the changes has affected men much more. I also agree with what Keith said, above. Not to mention we aren't competing against women, so I'm not sure why it should matter that they get to wear suits with more coverage.

jim thornton
February 20th, 2012, 03:41 PM
I don't think either gender has been handicapped. Both had been temporarily artificially assisted by the body suits and we're now back to normal.

Ah, but is not the removal of artificial assistance, once one has gotten used to it, a form of handicapping?

Consider the plight of the wintry chickadee, used to its daily smorgasbord of seeds at the garden bird feeder. Then suddenly, the estate owners leave for a trip to the Bahamas, and our poor chickadee is left to starve!

Also, the question is more akin to this: from which gender has more artificial assistance been removed? I think you would be correct if we were all forced to swim naked and without the benefit of shaving and hair cuts of any sort. But artificial assistance has not been entirely removed, and my hypothesis suggests that we men have fared worse! Perhaps USMS should sponsor a Naturist Games to settle the question once and for all?


It's definitely a cherry-picked example and it should also be noted that the current women's record was set after the new suit rules went into effect. Not that that would do anything to disprove your hypothesis.

Just as a guess, I'd say at the highest levels the suit changes have affected men slightly more than women, but not by much. In masters the changes has affected men much more. I also agree with what Keith said, above. Not to mention we aren't competing against women, so I'm not sure why it should matter that they get to wear suits with more coverage.


Good catch, Kurt! I forgot that we masters had our 2010 spring meets grandfathered in.

As far as not competing against women, this is true, technically. But what I am seeking is not only justification to tell, say, Leslie The Fortress Livingston that she might not have beaten me quite so badly had the playing field been level.

Rather it is in competition with myself that I am having trouble making the adjustment.

For example, in what has proven to be my most reliable chance to make the Top 10:

200 Freestyle SCY Men 55-59 (2010)--B70 Aided


1 Michael T Mann 55 CMS Colorado 1:48.79
2 Jack R Groselle 55 O*H* Lake Erie 1:49.76
3 Brad Horner 56 WMAC Wisconsin 1:51.71
3 Phil L Dodson 57 IM Illinois 1:51.71
5 Paul G Karas 55 MICH Michigan 1:52.01
6 Jim Mc Conica 59 VCM Southern Pacific 1:52.32
7 Larry B Krauser 56 HMS Inland Northwest 1:54.03
8 Larry W Wood 56 TXLA South Texas 1:54.48
9 Donald B Gilchrist 56 NCMS North Carolina 1:54.73
10 James Thornton 57 TPIT Allegheny Mountain 1:54.89

200 Freestyle SCY Men 55-59 (2011)--Bejammerd!

1 Rick E Abbott 56 AKMS Alaska 1:49.56 (http://www.usms.org/comp/meets/swim.php?s=1442002)
2 Michael T Mann 56 CMS Colorado 1:50.19 (http://www.usms.org/comp/meets/swim.php?s=1443402)
3 Jack R Groselle 56 SYSM Florida 1:53.43 (http://www.usms.org/comp/meets/swim.php?s=1422214)
4 Tom Hickcox 58 ARIZ Arizona 1:56.54 (http://www.usms.org/comp/meets/swim.php?s=1407132)
5 Michael J Blatt 55 VCM Southern Pacific 1:57.02 (http://www.usms.org/comp/meets/swim.php?s=1449828)
6 James Thornton 58 1776 Delaware Valley 1:57.75 (http://www.usms.org/comp/meets/swim.php?s=1426378)
7 Paul G Karas 55 MICH Michigan 1:58.20 (http://www.usms.org/comp/meets/swim.php?s=1424038)
8 Loren Druz 55 WCM Pacific 1:58.66 (http://www.usms.org/comp/meets/swim.php?s=1450063)
9 Rick Colella 59 PNA Pacific Northwest 1:59.27 (http://www.usms.org/comp/meets/swim.php?s=1400961)
10 Phil L Dodson 58 IM Illinois 1:59.71 (http://www.usms.org/comp/meets/swim.php?s=1421225)

It looks like everyone who repeated the 200 in these years slowed down. Interestingly, I went from 10th place with a body suit, having swum my lifetime best in this event, to 6th place with a jammer, with a time that was almost 3 seconds slower.

Only 3 of the TT times in jammers would have even made the TT list during the body suit era.

I suppose I should just tell myself that it's "okay" to subtract about 3 seconds from my times today to get a fair approximation of what I would have done in the 200 while wearing a B70.

But for whatever reason, I am having trouble doing this, which I know is ridiculous.

Case in point: yesterday, at one of our little local meets, I swam a 2:00.07 in the 200. It was in a 5-lane pool, and not what you would call ideal circumstances. If I could tell myself it is perfectly acceptable to subtract about 3 seconds from this time to see what I would have done two years ago under similar conditions, I would be thrilled!

Alas, I can't quite bring myself to do this. A lot of my times are right on the cusp of various threshholds that have meaning, at least to me. Breaking 2 minutes in the 200, say, or 55 in the 100, or even 25 in the 50 were all times I had grown accustomed to being able to do without exorbitant effort.

But now there's been this jump, and it coincides with me soon to age up to the next age group (I am already FINA 60, though 59 for yards).

Anyhow, this one two punch of getting older and times taking a bit of a beating because of the suit change have conspired to make me want to find a universal Coefficient of Suit Change Fudge Factoring that allows me to compare apples to oranges as easily as yards to meters times.

That's all. We all hope to hang on to our times for as long as possible, and by so doing, elude the Reaper just a wee bit longer.

I am hoping to bolster my effort through math.

ViveBene
February 20th, 2012, 03:47 PM
"It looks like everyone who repeated the 200 in these years slowed down."

Heavy water, Jim. Only explanation.

The Fortress
February 20th, 2012, 04:08 PM
Also, the question is more akin to this: from which gender has more artificial assistance been removed?

As far as not competing against women, this is true, technically. But what I am seeking is not only justification to tell, say, Leslie The Fortress Livingston that she might not have beaten me quite so badly had the playing field been level.

Rather it is in competition with myself that I am having trouble making the adjustment.

But for whatever reason, I am having trouble doing this, which I know is ridiculous.



1. Who cares?

2. Why compare times with me? Unlike you, I'm a chick, I'm a sprinter and I'm not a freestyler.

3 & 4. I am not sure why you can't just let the B70 times go. There was surely no one more addicted to or in love with the tech suits than me. I wore them every single swim in every single meet. I hated to see them go. Yet, when they did, poof, I moved on and immediately forgot all my previous times. Or, if not forgot, just consigned them to a long past era. And despite being a whiney sprint diva, I really have engaged in almost zilch complaining and hand wringing on this issue.

At bottom, you are simply still aggravated by the fact that women have boobs which must be covered up by law. You wish that exposure of your belly would likewise be deemed obscene. Alas, it is not.

My take on the suits is that they helped large (tall & overweight) swimmers more than skinny swimmers, poor kickers more than good kickers, short axis strokes more than long axis strokes and (possibly) distances more than sprints.

Chris Stevenson
February 20th, 2012, 04:26 PM
Your poll is missing the answer I would choose: "Don't know or (much) care."

While I might be slightly interested from an academic perspective, it has been a messy divorce...

Chris Stevenson
February 20th, 2012, 04:32 PM
At bottom, you are simply still aggravated by the fact that women have boobs which must be covered up by law.

Perhaps Jim (like many of our gender) has mixed emotions: joy about their existence, disappointment that fickle convention dictates that they must be covered.

jim thornton
February 20th, 2012, 05:08 PM
Unlike you, I'm a chick...At bottom, you are simply still aggravated by the fact that women have boobs which must be covered up by law. You wish that exposure of your belly would likewise be deemed obscene. Alas, it is not.

My take on the suits is that helped large swimmers more than skinny swimmers, poor kickers more than good kickers, short axis strokes more than long axis strokes and (possibly) distances more than sprints.

Points acknowledged and taken, if not well taken.

1. The truth is that our respective hormones levels are starting to converge, dearest mither. What is good for the post-menopausal goose is good for the caponated gander.

2. I would be happy to have a moob-boob off with many of my female swimming counterparts, though artificial enhancement types cannot join the competition. (When I asked my cosmetic surgeon about giving me some double Ds, he insisted on a psychiatric evaluation first.)

3. Oh, my belly is deemed obscene, all right. Just not officially.

4. By large, do you mean heavy? I will agree with you there. But I am a bad kicker, and my distance swims have actually improved with the new suits, though the sprints have gotten worse.


Your poll is missing the answer I would choose: "Don't know or (much) care."

While I might be slightly interested from an academic perspective, it has been a messy divorce...

Very sorry to hear that Mrs. Stevenson has given you the boot. (Note: I am assuming this has not actually happened, but if it has, I am so, so seriously sorry and sympathetic, Christ. Honestly, she didn't deserve you.)


Perhaps Jim (like many of our gender) has mixed emotions: joy about their existence, disappointment that fickle convention dictates that they must be covered.

Perhaps your obsession with breasts, which is something that we males with female levels of testosterone can understand only from memory, if that, figured in your divorce?

In any event, remember the words of Bertrand Russell in his epic The Conquest of Happiness: "All misery can be eliminated by concentration on extremely arcane mathematical formulae including, but not limited to, those necessary to perform regression analyses in swimming times with various materials used in the swimming costumes."

It is an exact quote, and one, I must say, is prescient.

Thanks, Chris, for getting started immediately and proving that Leslie, the sole voter to date that suggests the new suits hurt women more than men, is incorrect and can be proven so by Science!

The Fortress
February 20th, 2012, 05:25 PM
4. By large, do you mean heavy? I will agree with you there.

But I am a bad kicker, and my distance swims have actually improved with the new suits, though the sprints have gotten worse.



Yes, full body B70s were kind to those with extra poundage. I really don't feel that you're in that category, Jimby.

That's why I said possibly. I don't pay too much attention to masters distance times and so cannot really opine. Kicking is likely of less import in distance events as well.

I wonder if there is less effect on people who fret less about the loss of the suits? :) Is there not some solace in blaming the suits for any time gains instead of age?

rxleakem
February 20th, 2012, 05:37 PM
I think I am happy to have missed that era in masters swimming. Maybe those new goggles will help folks drop time? :bump:

Chris Stevenson
February 20th, 2012, 05:56 PM
Very sorry to hear that Mrs. Stevenson has given you the boot. (Note: I am assuming this has not actually happened, but if it has, I am so, so seriously sorry and sympathetic, Christ. Honestly, she didn't deserve you.)

I appreciate the sympathy (and unintended reverence) but I am indeed still happily married...the divorce I refer to is between masters swimming and the tech suits. Though I am sure that some would hope it is only a temporary separation!

Allen Stark
February 20th, 2012, 08:02 PM
Jim,you are a great guy but:dedhorse:

isobel
February 21st, 2012, 12:03 AM
Potentially proving true idiocy, but I am waiting for the tech suit advantages to "older swimmers" (women with boobs) such as myself to get the QTs for nationals to be a bit slower.

I am assuming that this year's SCY nationals QT times are still much faster than they were when I was dreaming of being old enough to actually qualify, pre-tech suits.

I may be terribly, terribly wrong, because there are so many more very fast women racing now. At any rate, I had anticipated qualifying in distance events, only to see the times are at least a minute (and sometimes more) faster than they were a few years ago.

I do not wish to disclose my age. I did say today at the Store 24 that I remembered when President's Day was actually on G. Washington's B-day, and switched around, like the 4th of July. This of course caused the clerk to ask me, if I didn't mind her asking, how old I was.

I answered, of course, that I was 90.

The sad thing is that she sort of believed me, though wondered what insane amount of work I had had done to look under 50.

I like telling people I am 90 but I don't like the fact that they consider it a possibility, with plastic surgery.

Main point, I am hoping the times for the somewhat older women swimmers, for distance in particular, are still being skewed toward fastness as a result of the averaging in of the years tech suits made a difference.

Which I do believe they did, for the distance events.

Now it appears I may qualify for the 50 and 100 breast sprints, which I have never raced. TBD. I know I can enter without qualifying, but I want to qualify in my distance events, and had looked forward to qualifying when looking ahead a few years ago.

Oh well. I still have my ballet career to work on. It's coming along rather nicely.

When I get feedback from my editor (digression re other post on moisturizers) and article is either deemed insane or funny and is either printed or ditched, I will post it on that thread. Great stuff, guys. Please ignore this paragraph and continue debating tech suit time differences.

I never wore a tech suit. Not worthy of one. Not of that caliber swimmer. I have no pride. I can admit this. I still like to race.

Spock
February 21st, 2012, 02:06 AM
Ah, but is not the removal of artificial assistance, once one has gotten used to it, a form of handicapping?

Consider the plight of the wintry chickadee, used to its daily smorgasbord of seeds at the garden bird feeder. Then suddenly, the estate owners leave for a trip to the Bahamas, and our poor chickadee is left to starve!
[/COLOR][/COLOR]

You crack me up, Jim.

I miss the suits. It was nice going 21.2 again. But, like Fort, I move on.

GGS5T
February 21st, 2012, 08:18 AM
The bodysuit was worth 8 seconds per 100m to me.

What annoyed me most about the ban was that it also applied to masters swimmers. We are hardly going to pose a threat to Phelps and Lochte's records.

I tend to go along with the thinking that if we don't see many (or even any) world records at the London Olympics, worldwide interest in swimming will decrease dramatically. This could even result in the reintroduction of the suits.

Where other sports, especially cycling, embraces technology by accepting... aero-dynamically designed frames, one-piece skin suits, helmets, handle-bars, disc wheels, spokes, smooth nylon socks, taped over shoe laces. Not forgetting filling the front tire gap at the rim - what can swimming offer? A lack of desire to move the sport forward.

no200fly
February 21st, 2012, 09:07 AM
DAM Spring Short Course Yards Swim Meet
SPONSORED BY DALLAS AQUATIC MASTERS
February 25, 2012



2nd Annual
REPUBLIC OF TEXAS



WORLD SHORT COURSE YARDS CHAMPIONSHIPS



February 26, 2012









__________________________________________________ __________



Saturday, February 25



– Meet warm-up at 11:00am, Meet start at 12:00 pm. Saturday’s events will run as a sanctioned USMS meet and results will be submitted to USMS records and Top Ten. Sanction 262-001.


Sunday, February 26 – Meet warm-up at 8:30am, Meet start 9:15am



Sunday's events are not USMS sanctioned and will not be submitted to USMS records. Tech suits are legal on Sunday!


Sunday’s events will be categorized and awarded as follows:


The Pentathlon: A 50 of each stroke plus a 200 IM.



The Sprint Pentathlon: A 25 of each stroke plus a 100 IM.


The Decathlon: Fastest combined time for all ten events.



Swimmers may enter as many events on Sunday as they wish and are not required to swim all events. Tech suits are legal. Awards will be given for the following: Fastest Pentathlon, Fastest Sprint and Decathlon.

jim thornton
February 21st, 2012, 10:47 AM
Oh well. I still have my ballet career to work on. It's coming along rather nicely.

Spending a lot of time at barres, are we?

Maybe I should take up ballet.

Are there any dances where the female actually tosses the male spinning into the air, and gracefully catches me on the way back down?

I could see me being pretty good at being tossed and caught.

Like a trout in reverse, when you think about it.

Rich Abrahams
February 21st, 2012, 10:54 AM
Jim,
Perhaps the answer to your prayers:

http://www.swimbrief.net/2012/02/neverwet-product-that-could-ruin-2012.html?m=1

Some of the videos are amazing.

aztimm
February 21st, 2012, 10:56 AM
Have you contacted the swimmers in your lists to see if their training was the same year over year? No injuries, illness, or other issues that could have caused them to slow down?

Even so, as you age I've heard eventually you get slower. Not sure when that starts, but perhaps it is between 55 and 60?

pmccoy
February 21st, 2012, 11:00 AM
Jim,

I ran a quick analysis of some Men's NCAA D-I finals. There are some problems in doing this so I limited the data to the consolation round only. That should give a fairly consistent dataset of very good swimmers giving their all without having to average in the genetic anomaly that pops up and blows everyone away regardless of what he is wearing. The biggest problem is that while the data is available, it isn't really in a format ready for use. Compiling the data is a pain in the neck and I don't see myself being patient enough to run more data for more events... or even for women. Well... maybe... if there's enough interest beyond what I found so far.

For each year, I have 16 datapoints: 8 consolation swims and 8 prelimnary swims for the swimmers that made the consolation. The only exception is 2008 where I couldn't readily find the prelim data. 2008 only uses the consolation data. I averaged the swims for each year and then compared the years. Here's what I found:

50 Free (Average over 5 years - 19.53s)
2007 - 19.63s (.51% Slower)
2008 - 19.65s (.61% Slower)
2009 - 19.26s (1.38% Faster)
2010 - 19.58s (.26% Slower)
2011 - 19.53s (.00% Slaster)

500 Free (Average over 5 years - 258.7s)
2007 - 259.6 (.35% Slower)
2008 - 259.1 (.15% Slower)
2009 - 256.4 (.89% Faster)
2010 - 259.0 (.12% Slower)
2011 - 259.4 (.27% Slower)

Some notes:
* I didn't use a lot of datapoints - error could be off the charts
* Error would be even worse for masters swimmers for reasons too numerous to get into

Hope this helps. I know it isn't comprehensive enough to answer the gender question or address the bulging waistline effect.

MickYoung
February 21st, 2012, 11:09 AM
I answered, of course, that I was 90.

The sad thing is that she sort of believed me,

Let me assure you that, on the internet, you don't look like you're 90.

On the internet, you look the same way everyone else on the internet does - like a 47 year-old dude living in his mother's basement. ("Hi! I'm Mandy!" Do you like 8th grade?")

MickYoung
February 21st, 2012, 11:15 AM
I answered, of course, that I was 90.

The sad thing is that she sort of believed me,

Let me assure you that, on the internet, you don't look like you're 90.

On the internet, you look the same way everyone else on the internet does - like a 47 year-old dude living in his mother's basement. ("Hi! I'm Mandy!" Do you like 8th grade?")

MickYoung
February 21st, 2012, 11:16 AM
I answered, of course, that I was 90.

The sad thing is that she sort of believed me,

Let me assure you that, on the internet, you don't look like you're 90.

On the internet, you look the same way everyone else on the internet does - like a 47 year-old dude living in his mother's basement. ("Hi! I'm Mandy! Do you like 8th grade?")

jim thornton
February 21st, 2012, 11:18 AM
You crack me up, Jim.

I miss the suits. It was nice going 21.2 again. But, like Fort, I move on.

Your moving on, by my analysis, requires more psychological adjustment, Mr. Spock, than Leslie's moving on.

Let us compare your respective best events--50 free for you, 50 back for the Fortress.


2011 Short Course Yards--jammers

2 M45-49 50 Free (http://www.usms.org/comp/tt/toptenlist.php?Year=2011&CourseID=1&AgeGroupID=6&Sex=M&SwimmerID=048UF#50Free) Spock 46 WMAC Wisconsin 21.91

2010 Short Course Yards--body suit

2 M45-49 50 Free (http://www.usms.org/comp/tt/toptenlist.php?Year=2010&CourseID=1&AgeGroupID=6&Sex=M&SwimmerID=048UF#50Free) Spock 45 WMAC Wisconsin 21.24
differential: +.67

You slowed down fairly substantially; I would argue, however, if your jammer time had crept up into the 22's, you would have been more distressed. You benefit from whole integer integrity, i.e., you are still swimming 21s! Believe me, the calculus changes when the whole integers change!


2011 Short Course Yards--current legal women's suits, which don't seem like much of a change, if any, to me!

4 W45-49 50 Back (http://www.usms.org/comp/tt/toptenlist.php?Year=2011&CourseID=1&AgeGroupID=6&Sex=W&SwimmerID=038W8#50Back) Leslie C Livingston 49 GMUP Potomac Valley 28.19 (http://www.usms.org/comp/meets/swim.php?s=1217995)

2010 Short Course Yards--full body suit

3 W45-49 50 Back (http://www.usms.org/comp/tt/toptenlist.php?Year=2010&CourseID=1&AgeGroupID=6&Sex=W&SwimmerID=038W8#50Back) Fortress 48 GMUP Potomac Valley 28.29
Differential: -.10

Leslie actually improved by .10 in her 50 back with the new suit! I must say it is a lot easier to move on when the change not only doesn't slow you down, but you improve!

Q.E.D.

--Jim Thornton, former Stanford acceptee (who opted not to go because my parents would not pay for me to come home for Christmas vacations.)


Proposal so that the rest of us can move on:

Given the preeminence of Mr. Spock and the lovely Fortress as swimming gods in our sport, I suggest that forevermore (or at least till someone will do my much prayed for regression analysis) that all men can legitimately subtract the Spock Coefficient of .67 per 50 from their jammer times to get an approximation of what the same time would have been in a body suit.

Thus my recent 2:00.07 200 free would benefit by subtracting 4 x .67, or 2.68 seconds, giving me an apples to apples comparison time of 1:57.39, which is cause for some personal celebration, I must say!

Now we simply factor in the American and Finnish formulae for age grading to compare a 1:57.39 at age 59 to what it would have been last year when I was a year younger:

1:56.04 ( 1:56.28) Note: Finnish formula in parentheses.

Women, on the other hand, should use instead the Fortress Coefficient of Negative .10 per 50.

Leslie's 2011 50 backstroke, once one factors in this, was therefore chronologically identical to her previous year's performance.

However, she also has aged a year, so let us factor in the same American and Finnish formulae that have helped me swim so magnificently through mathematics:

0:27.98 ( 0:28.00) Thus Leslie's 28.19 done at age 49 actually does represent an American and Finnish formulae improvement of sorts, this representing a 27.98 or 28.00 had she swum it identically in the same newly legalized cheating suit but one year of bodily decay earlier!

Thus, a win-win for us all, though perhaps a wee bit more of a win for men since the Spock Coefficient actually complements the Finnish formulae, whereas the Fortress Coefficient works mildly at a cross purposes.

My work here, as a former Stanford University acceptee, is done.

The Fortress
February 21st, 2012, 11:29 AM
You are cherry picking again!

My best time in the suits is actually 27.9 in 50 back SCY; I just swam 28.2 last October. But my 50 back appears to be impacted less than any other 50 or stroke.

If you want to cherry pick 50s, I was a whopping 1.9 seconds slower in the 50 fly in LCM last summer than with the suits. And even in backstroke, my 50 time was .6 slower than with the suits (31.9 vs. 32.55). My 50 free was an abysmal 1.2 seconds slower last summer. Perhaps LCM is more effected by the suits, and perhaps I just had a crappy meet (true). But (and cherry picking again) even if you look at SCY, my 50 free goes from 24.9 to 25.7, another .8 -- which is worse than Spock. So your coefficient needs correcting, Stanford acceptee!

In fact, my times have been worse without the suits in every single event in every single course except the 50 and 100 back SCM, which were the result of one day where everything went perfectly. Women are definitely effected by the rule change. Best not to dwell on it and just worry about jammer/kneeskin times.

SwimStud
February 21st, 2012, 12:14 PM
Jim...work on establish EVF through a deeper hand entry rather than clutching at straws...this may aid the swimming!
:banana:

knelson
February 21st, 2012, 12:20 PM
Where other sports, especially cycling

To me you've stated the crux of the matter right there. The sport is called cycling. It involves propelling a bicycle. Obviously you want the fastest bicycle possible. Swimming, on the other hand, is all about the swimmer propelling himself through the water with no mechanical contraption for assistance. In swimming the suit is considered a costume, not a piece of equipment.

orca1946
February 21st, 2012, 12:38 PM
I have said a lot that men should be able to wear the same coverags as women to make the new suits equal.

pmccoy
February 21st, 2012, 01:18 PM
Interesting... ran some numbers for NCAA D-I women:

50 Free (Average over 5 years - 22.38s)
2007 - 22.51s (.57% Slower)
2008 - 22.42s (.17% Slower)
2009 - 22.25s (.59% Faster)
2010 - 22.42s (.17% Slower)
2011 - 22.31s (.32% Faster)

500 Free (Average over 5 years - 258.7s)
2007 - 284.0s (.80% Slower)
2008 - 283.0s (.45% Slower)
2009 - 280.7s (.37% Faster)
2010 - 281.4s (.12% Faster)
2011 - 279.6s (.76% Faster)

jim thornton
February 21st, 2012, 02:22 PM
Men's NCAA D-I finals.
50 Free (Average over 5 years - 19.53s)
2007 - 19.63s (.51% Slower)
2008 - 19.65s (.61% Slower)
2009 - 19.26s (1.38% Faster)
2010 - 19.58s (.26% Slower)
2011 - 19.53s (.00% Slaster)

500 Free (Average over 5 years - 258.7s)
2007 - 259.6 (.35% Slower)
2008 - 259.1 (.15% Slower)
2009 - 256.4 (.89% Faster)
2010 - 259.0 (.12% Slower)
2011 - 259.4 (.27% Slower)




NCAA D-I women:

50 Free (Average over 5 years - 22.38s)
2007 - 22.51s (.57% Slower)
2008 - 22.42s (.17% Slower)
2009 - 22.25s (.59% Faster)
2010 - 22.42s (.17% Slower)
2011 - 22.31s (.32% Faster)

500 Free (Average over 5 years - 258.7s)
2007 - 284.0s (.80% Slower)
2008 - 283.0s (.45% Slower)
2009 - 280.7s (.37% Faster)
2010 - 281.4s (.12% Faster)
2011 - 279.6s (.76% Faster)

Pete, correct me if I am wrong, and especially correct Leslie if she is wrong, but it looks like these comparisons show pretty strong evidence for my hypothesis.

2009 was the last year where floaty body suits were legal for both genders in NCAAs, right?

Before 2009, most of the swimmers probably used some kind of body suit, though I am not sure floaty ones predominated then.

It looks like men were definitely a lot faster with floaty suits, and since then their times have dropped off significantly from the 5-year average.

Women also were helped a lot by the floaty suits, but since then their times in the 50 and 500 have still been lower than the 5 year average with the exception of 2010 in the 50.

Can you please let Leslie know that Science at this point seems to be very much on the side of the Stanford acceptee (and rejectee), and appears to offer almost zero consolation to those who would like to extend anecdotal evidence into the realm of truthiness.

P.S. Thanks very much for doing these analyses! I realize this is preliminary and heavily codiciled, but it does add something significant to our discussion!

Sorry, Leslie. Science doesn't lie.

pmccoy
February 21st, 2012, 02:56 PM
Pete, correct me if I am wrong, and especially correct Leslie if she is wrong, but it looks like these comparisons show pretty strong evidence for my hypothesis.
I wish this were more than just throwing some fuel on the fire. 40 data points doesn't make much of a scientific discovery (though I've seen scientists get a lot of mileage out of a few flimsy data points). I'd feel better about it if the same results turned up in DII and DIII. Maybe if the trend held through additional strokes as well. Unfortunately, grant money for this type of work seems pretty dry. Anyway, here are the some problems with my analysis:

* There's no way to know who was/wasn't wearing what kind of suit at these events. Sure, the floaty suits were prevalent but it isn't a given that everyone had them.
* As mentioned before, lack of data points along with no error analysis.
* It is very possible that the crop of 2009 women just wasn't up to par with the other years... or perhaps the 2009 men were exceptional.

I will say that when I ran the numbers for women, I expected the same trend that I saw for the men... especially with the longer distance events. I'm not fully convinced but it has got me thinking that perhaps flotation was not the only assistance that the suits offered.

The Fortress
February 21st, 2012, 03:45 PM
Pete, correct me if I am wrong, and especially correct Leslie if she is wrong, but it looks like these comparisons show pretty strong evidence for my hypothesis.

Can you please let Leslie know that Science at this point seems to be very much on the side of the Stanford acceptee (and rejectee), and appears to offer almost zero consolation to those who would like to extend anecdotal evidence into the realm of truthiness.

Sorry, Leslie. Science doesn't lie.

I'm not sure NCAA swimmer data can be extrapolated to masters. However, assuming you are correct -- and I haven't said you weren't -- does this data not give you some solace? Now you have something concrete to blame when your times inflate more than the oh so lucky female gender.

Bottom line: I've had a slew of personal worsts, and I've happily ignored them. So can you! Can't you just focus on your rankings instead? Wasn't there an example above where you were doing relatively better than others in the post tech suit era?

There are, I concede, some events where I am quite close to tech suit PRs. I wonder whether there might be some carry over from my prior suit obsession, e.g., maybe my body position is better or the suits helped improve (or caused me to focus on) my underwaters? For masters, there are just so many factors besides suits that contribute to meet times ...

And, Kirk, a suit IS equipment. Has been for some time.

isobel
February 21st, 2012, 05:05 PM
Let me assure you that, on the internet, you don't look like you're 90.

On the internet, you look the same way everyone else on the internet does - like a 47 year-old dude living in his mother's basement. ("Hi! I'm Mandy! Do you like 8th grade?")

I've got to put my computer out of my dog's reach. He keeps posting so many things without my permission! The amount of stuff he orders! Geez!

He preferred the tech suits, though. Hasn't swum in a meet since they were banned. (He did order a ton of them on sale, so if anyone wants to reintroduce them in a tech-specific meet, give him a shout.)

jim thornton
February 21st, 2012, 05:38 PM
Okay. Uncle.

I am over it.

Pretty much over it.

But here's the thing. The last thing. Or maybe the penultimate thing.

I thought the entire rationale for getting rid of the suits was that swimming, not swimming costumes, should determine the best performers.

Check out these two links:

http://forums.usms.org/picture.php?albumid=310&pictureid=2207

http://forums.usms.org/picture.php?albumid=310&pictureid=2206

The suit for women costs $595! The one for men a slightly less, but still ludicrous, $395.

Leaving aside whether these Speedo offerings are better than their competitors' equivalent models, is this just marketing gone mad?

Why doesn't FINA go whole hog and demand we all swim in suits made of the same material (say polyester or nylon) with no weird seam technology, etc. etc.?

To me, it just looks like the suit marketing wars continue unabated. Were there any suits that cost $595 back in the heyday?

Absolutely absurd. Sorry to Speedo, our benevolent sponsor, but you are the company who got this whole thing started, and your star protegee Michael Phelps didn't like the fact that Beederman had a better suit, and the bubble burst.

At $595 a suit, I suspect another bubble is even now inflating to supramaximal elastic volumes. I wouldn't be surprised in Speedo tries to sell us $200 goggles to protect our eyes from the shards when this one bursts, too.

jim thornton
February 21st, 2012, 05:53 PM
Jim,
Perhaps the answer to your prayers:

http://www.swimbrief.net/2012/02/neverwet-product-that-could-ruin-2012.html?m=1

Some of the videos are amazing.


Rich, I actually joked for a while about Scotchgarding myself before a race. Afterall, wasn't Teflon one of the coating ingredients in the original Aquablade?

But after writing about the human microbiome, I have decided that coating your skin with compounds like this is not the greatest idea.

Consider this from Wikipedia:

In 1999, the United States Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) began an investigation into the class of chemicals used in Scotchgard, after receiving information on the global distribution and toxicity of perfluorooctane sulfonate (PFOS),[3] (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Scotchgard#cite_note-2) the "key ingredient"[4] (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Scotchgard#cite_note-Betts2007-3) of Scotchgard. The compound perfluorooctanesulfonamide (PFOSA), a PFOS precursor, was an ingredient[5] (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Scotchgard#cite_note-4) and also has been described as the "key ingredient"[6] (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Scotchgard#cite_note-5) of Scotchgard. Under USEPA pressure,[7] (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Scotchgard#cite_note-6) in May 2000 3M announced the phaseout of the production of PFOA, PFOS, and PFOS-related products.[8] (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Scotchgard#cite_note-3M08-7)
3M reformulated Scotchgard and since June 2003 has replaced PFOS with perfluorobutanesulfonic acid (PFBS).[9] (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Scotchgard#cite_note-long-8) PFBS has a much shorter half-life (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Half-life) in people than PFOS (a little over one month vs. 5.4 years).[4] (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Scotchgard#cite_note-Betts2007-3) In May 2009 PFOS was determined to be a persistent organic pollutant (POP) by the Stockholm Convention.[10] (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Scotchgard#cite_note-PR09May-9)


I have tried Googling "is it safe to Rain-X your skin?" but have thus far only managed to glean that it could pinken you up and dry your skin.

I suspect it might do more than this.

Please, Rich, don't take this the wrong way. But you are older than I am, and you've had so many wonderful accomplishments in your swimming life to date.

Would you lube yourself up head to toe with a combination of Rain-X and Scotchgard and let me know if it helps your times?

If so, would you furthermore agree to soak in a mix of the two chemicals for, say, the next several months?

If it has no adverse effects on you, I would then like to have a less healthy fatso type guy who is a bit closer to me in physiology test it out, too.

And if this less than healthy fatso also suffers no ill effects, then maybe, just maybe, I will try it, too!

Thanks in any event for giving me that most precious of commodities: hope, be this of the real or false variety.

The Fortress
February 21st, 2012, 06:05 PM
Check out these two links:

http://forums.usms.org/picture.php?albumid=310&pictureid=2207

http://forums.usms.org/picture.php?albumid=310&pictureid=2206

The suit for women costs $595! The one for men a slightly less, but still ludicrous, $395.

Leaving aside whether these Speedo offerings are better than their competitors' equivalent models, is this just marketing gone mad?



$595 is indeed pricey. And I'm not sure they're any faster than the previous generation ... At least the kids wearing them at the VA State champs didn't seem to think so from what I heard. And I didn't see any huge time drops in them, only very marginal ones that could be due to other factors (fast pool, champs meet, better competition, etc.) Some complained that they were too tight, too compressing. Does anyone else have any feedback on the suits?

Chris Stevenson
February 21st, 2012, 06:49 PM
Some complained that they were too tight, too compressing. Does anyone else have any feedback on the suits?

The Univ of Richmond team ordered them, tried them on, and are leaving them home in favor of the older suits. Not a single person liked them. What a fiasco; I feel sorry for the women sponsored by Speedo who might feel compelled to wear the latest version.

The Fortress
February 21st, 2012, 07:16 PM
The Univ of Richmond team ordered them, tried them on, and are leaving them home in favor of the older suits. Not a single person liked them. What a fiasco; I feel sorry for the women sponsored by Speedo who might feel compelled to wear the latest version.

Thanks Chris. Speedo may have a dud on its hands if all the early feedback is negative.

I'm inclined to wait for the Arena. But I am in desperate need of a new suit and it's unclear when that suit will be released.

jim thornton
February 21st, 2012, 08:43 PM
How about this one, Leslie?

http://www.swimoutlet.com/product_p/34569.htm

pmccoy
February 22nd, 2012, 10:33 AM
Ok... last stab at this... I promise. I'm not trying to prolong this. Its just an interesting problem to me. I don't pine for the days to floaty suits. Mostly because I never owned one and only competed at one meet where the were around. I'd prefer that the suits not come back. I don't really care if women get more advantage from more suit coverage.

Here's a pretty chart I made last night:

http://www.usms.org/forums/attachment.php?attachmentid=3278&d=1329922039

This is the data I plotted from:


Year 2007 2008 2009 2010 2011
Men 500 Free 0.00% 1.23% 0.23% 0.08%
Men 50 Free 0.00% 1.88% 0.25% 0.51%
Men 200 Br 0.00% 1.79% 1.54% 1.54%
Men 200 Fly 0.00% 1.71% 1.14% 1.05%
Women 500 Free 0.00% 0.35% 1.16% 0.92% 1.55%
Women 50 Free 0.00% 0.40% 1.16% 0.40% 0.89%
Women 200 Br 0.00% 0.60% 2.33% 1.95% 1.95%
Women 200 Fly 0.00% 0.93% 2.20% 1.78% 1.52%

Unlike the previous runs, I just made 2007 to be the baseline year.

Here are the pseudo-scientific conclusions I get from all of this:

* Floaty full body tech suits were worth about a 1.5% performance gain give or take 0.5%. Maybe they help men with beer bellies more but that's a problem for a water tunnel. If you miss the old days, just divide your time by 1.015 and you should be good to go.
* The suits helped men and women about the same. Might have helped short axis swimmers a little more than freestyle swimmers. Too little data to conclude much on that.
* Taking away the suits hurt men a little more than women (relative to 2007). My theory on this is that suit manufacturers are learning a lot about what to compress and where/how much to compress it. With the lack of coverage on men, there's a lot less to improve upon.

I'll be interested to see if women keep trending upward in the 2012 NCAAs while the men's times remain relatively flat.

knelson
February 22nd, 2012, 10:42 AM
The Univ of Richmond team ordered them, tried them on, and are leaving them home in favor of the older suits. Not a single person liked them.

They clearly only tried on the suits and not the entire SYSTEM including the cap and goggles! :banana:

I'm in the market for a new suit to use for the upcoming championship season. At this point I'm leaning toward the Blue Seventy Nero TX, but I'll be interested to see what swimmers are wearing at NCAA Champs, etc. I'm not opposed to trying one of the high waist models.

swimshark
February 22nd, 2012, 10:47 AM
Oh well. I still have my ballet career to work on. It's coming along rather nicely.

I never wore a tech suit. Not worthy of one. Not of that caliber swimmer. I have no pride. I can admit this. I still like to race.

Enjoy those tondus and attitudes. :)

As for the tech suits, I have never worn anything newer than the Fusion except in practice. Last year I was able to wear a full body B70. I raced in 2 races during practice and hated the feeling the suit gave me. I guess I'm so used to feeling like I'm in more control that the suit didn't sit well with me.

knelson
February 22nd, 2012, 11:09 AM
Last year I was able to wear a full body B70. I raced in 2 races during practice and hated the feeling the suit gave me.

They do feel strange at first. I had the same reaction the first time I swam in a B70. Then I swam a 1000 free probably 15 seconds faster than I ever had in masters before and I quickly realized I could get used to that feeling!

jim thornton
February 22nd, 2012, 11:11 AM
Ok... last stab at this... I promise. I'm not trying to prolong this. Its just an interesting problem to me. I don't pine for the days to floaty suits. Mostly because I never owned one and only competed at one meet where the were around. I'd prefer that the suits not come back. I don't really care if women get more advantage from more suit coverage.

Here's a pretty chart I made last night:

http://www.usms.org/forums/attachment.php?attachmentid=3278&d=1329922039

This is the data I plotted from:


Year 2007 2008 2009 2010 2011
Men 500 Free 0.00% 1.23% 0.23% 0.08%
Men 50 Free 0.00% 1.88% 0.25% 0.51%
Men 200 Br 0.00% 1.79% 1.54% 1.54%
Men 200 Fly 0.00% 1.71% 1.14% 1.05%
Women 500 Free 0.00% 0.35% 1.16% 0.92% 1.55%
Women 50 Free 0.00% 0.40% 1.16% 0.40% 0.89%
Women 200 Br 0.00% 0.60% 2.33% 1.95% 1.95%
Women 200 Fly 0.00% 0.93% 2.20% 1.78% 1.52%
Unlike the previous runs, I just made 2007 to be the baseline year.

Here are the pseudo-scientific conclusions I get from all of this:

* Floaty full body tech suits were worth about a 1.5% performance gain give or take 0.5%. Maybe they help men with beer bellies more but that's a problem for a water tunnel. If you miss the old days, just divide your time by 1.015 and you should be good to go.
* The suits helped men and women about the same. Might have helped short axis swimmers a little more than freestyle swimmers. Too little data to conclude much on that.
* Taking away the suits hurt men a little more than women (relative to 2007). My theory on this is that suit manufacturers are learning a lot about what to compress and where/how much to compress it. With the lack of coverage on men, there's a lot less to improve upon.

I'll be interested to see if women keep trending upward in the 2012 NCAAs while the men's times remain relatively flat.


Pete, I beg you! Keep this going! No need to apologize whatsoever to the churlish fellows and lasses out there who are sick of this topic. There is at least on non-churlish fellow who is the opposite of sick of it.

This forum used to be a hotbed of amateur mathematical hobbyists with graphing calculators!

Perhaps it is the profoundly anti-science ethos of our age, where a cold day in January proves global warming is a hoax, or a panda's thumb is cause to reject evolution out of hand!

There are many of us former high Math SAT types out here who, because of advancing age, have largely forgotten what quadratic equations and regression analyses are.

The problem is that we are by and large a quiet, controversy-avoiding, introverted lot.

I am certain there are many shy lurkers just like me who find your analyses brilliant and fodder for endless ruminations!

Keep it up, my good man! Keep it up.

Next step: do some comparisons of masters times. What's a bit tricky here is the age change effect--where someone might make the TT in one age group, then age up to the next.

There are other factors, certainly, too--harder training, perhaps, in the age-up year.

But if you are looking for reasons to indulge your hobby, please, please know that one obsessive out here is enjoying the bejesus out of the fruits of your labors.

PS I like the stereotype-reverse--using pink to chart the male changes, and blue to chart the female ones.

ande
February 22nd, 2012, 11:33 AM
Suit changes affected:

+ men more than women

+ older swimmers more than younger swimmers

+ breastrokers more than other types of swimmers


men more than women
men in jammers have a lower percentage of their bodies coveraged than women in textile kneeskins

older swimmers more than younger swimmers
older swimmers tend to have looser skin and sometimes more fat
the looser skin increases resistance

+ breastrokers more than other types of swimmers
Breastroke has the most gliding, swimmers glided further and faster in full body rubber suits.

The actual performance drop off varies for each swimmer. Also It's possible for swimmers to swim faster in textile suits than they ever did in full body rubber suits.

To measure performance differences check FINA world rankings Year by year (http://www.fina.org/H2O/index.php?option=com_wrapper&view=wrapper&Itemid=805)

here's what the men's 100 freestyle LCM times were:

Year / 1st / 10th / 25th / 50th / 75th / 100th

2004 48.17 49.08 49.73 51.06 51.52 52.20

2007 47.91 48.72 49.35 49.90 50.17 50.53

2008 47.05 47.77 48.43 49.09 49.59 50.04 (olympic bump)

2009 46.91 47.78 48.37 48.93 49.43 49.80 (last year of full body tech suits)

2010 47.98 48.54 48.83 49.41 49.83 50.16 (first year of jammers)

2011 47.49 48.24 48.69 49.11 49.44 49.69

gobears
February 22nd, 2012, 11:41 AM
Suit changes affected:



+ breastrokers more than other types of swimmers



Have to admit that I looked forward to racing a little more in 2010 because (as a tightwad and a masters swimmer just swimming to have fun) I knew I would be swimming against my competitors' breaststroke swimming abilities and not their "suit-aided" abilities.

pmccoy
February 22nd, 2012, 11:48 AM
PS I like the stereotype-reverse--using pink to chart the male changes, and blue to chart the female ones.Didn't think anyone would catch that. I intended it to be the opposite but realized my folly after spending way too much time messing with the chart. I tried to slip it past an unsuspecting public rather than go back and fix it.

Masters are a trickier problem than NCAA D-I consolationists. I'll see what I can do. Maybe I'll have another slow night and a little time on my hands.

ande
February 22nd, 2012, 12:10 PM
Mens 100 LCM BR Breastroke:

Year / 1st / 10th / 25th / 50th / 75th / 100th

2004 59.30 61.54 63.10 64.71 66.80 67.78

2007 59.59 60.83 61.50 62.44 63.02 63.73

2008 58.91 59.63 60.53 61.48 62.32 62.91 (olympic bump)

2009 58.58 59.40 60.31 61.02 61.72 62.41 (last year of full body tech suits)

2010 59.04 60.26 60.93 61.70 62.17 62.56 (first year of jammers)

2011 58.71 60.08 60.68 61.33 61.65 61.93

from FINA world rankings Year by year (http://www.fina.org/H2O/index.php?option=com_wrapper&view=wrapper&Itemid=805)

Sojerz
February 22nd, 2012, 12:12 PM
Here are the pseudo-scientific conclusions I get from all of this:

* Floaty full body tech suits were worth about a 1.5% performance gain give or take 0.5%. Maybe they help men with beer bellies more but that's a problem for a water tunnel. If you miss the old days, just divide your time by 1.015 and you should be good to go.
* The suits helped men and women about the same. Might have helped short axis swimmers a little more than freestyle swimmers. Too little data to conclude much on that.
* Taking away the suits hurt men a little more than women (relative to 2007). My theory on this is that suit manufacturers are learning a lot about what to compress and where/how much to compress it. With the lack of coverage on men, there's a lot less to improve upon.

I'll be interested to see if women keep trending upward in the 2012 NCAAs while the men's times remain relatively flat.

Peter,
Thanks for raising an interesting question. A couple of thoughts on the statistical analysis. You might want to check the medians too, as one or two of the 16 swims could be skewing means. 1.5% is a small difference, and it's also possible that this is well within the typical deviations from one year to the next. The question is how random is the system from one year to the next, and is there really a trend or is this difference within typical deviations. Also, what about the palcebo effect and the reverse effect when the suits were removed from the scene? Also, because the consolation group each year is different, there could be other factors that are responsible for the differences. The comparison from one year to the next may be comparing apples and pears.

I also agree that because men don't swim against women (except in HS dual meets), why care about that comparison? If the suit mfr's claims of a reduced drag coefficient were correct, and because drag is a function of surface area (and other factors too, including form and velocity) and women's suits have a larger surface area, the impact (if any) would be larger for women than men in proportion to the surface area difference. This is not rocket science, it's straighforward hydraulics and I'm sure was tested in a hydraulics lab or pool before making the claims. It would be very surprising to me and lot of engineers to find that the suits did not impact women to a greater degree, unless the mfr's claims of reduced drag c were bogus.

As I think others mentioned, the number of other factors impacting masters swimmers (family, job, practice, etc.) is so large that it would seem almost inconceivable to make a comparison with enough control to prove/show a suit effect. My :2cents:

The Fortress
February 22nd, 2012, 02:07 PM
Also It's possible for swimmers to swim faster in textile suits than they ever did in full body rubber suits.



Maybe you should write a tip on this! Or a special one for Jimby entitled "Overcoming the Nocebo Effect."

jim thornton
February 22nd, 2012, 03:15 PM
Maybe you should write a tip on this! Or a special one for Jimby entitled "Overcoming the Nocebo Effect."

I propose calling this form of nocebo effect suitdoo, short for "suit vodoo."

I think it's also a good term for what Speedo stock holders are likely to be feeling soon when thousands of aspiring elite high school swimmers in Virginia with rich parents wake up and realize that $595 is a lot of money to waste on the FS3.

Remember that you heard this first here from me when you read a stock analyst report in the Wall Street Journal soon:

"Shares of Speedo took an absolute thrashing today as investors dumped their holdings in response to worldwide rejection of the company's latest 'miracle suit.' The FS3 was supposed to let swimmers go faster in an era where FINA has mandated swim suit technology can't provide anyone an advantage. The good news for Speedo: their suit fully complied with this mandate. The bad news: the suit fully complied with this mandate. 'My portfolio is in deep suitdoo,' complained one ruined investor as he headed out of the stock exchange, hoping to locate a cardboard box wherein to live out the rest of his life."