View Full Version : Racing events? Middle Distance?

July 11th, 2012, 11:31 AM
I am getting ready to swim in my first race but I am not sure what events to do. I ran track when I was in high school and did better at the middle distance events (800 and 1600). I am going to be 35 in two more days so things have changed drastically in the years since. What races should I be looking to enter? What kind of times would be good for a first timer?

July 11th, 2012, 01:36 PM
For a first race, I would suggest not being too concerned about times. Instead, focus on getting the technical aspects of the race correct, so that you finish legally, without getting disqualified. Freestyle races are governed by the fewest rules, so in principle, it should be easier to finish a freestyle race legally. Let the time be what it is, learn what you can from the race, and try to improve next time.

You do not mention what kind of training you've been doing recently, so it's tough to say what distance to suggest. The safest, CYA suggestion I could give would be 50 freestyle, which corresponds roughly to 200 meters on the track. It's an all-out sprint, so you can't make too many strategic mistakes. If you'd prefer something more like an 800 meter run, enter a 200 free, and try to pace yourself so that you still have some energy left at the end. It's not easy!

Good luck in your races!

July 11th, 2012, 02:47 PM
Thanks. That all sounds very helpful. It didn't even occur to me to make sure I don't get dq'ed. I may have been putting the cart before the horse! Thanks for the insight, I appreciate it.

July 11th, 2012, 03:09 PM
If you don't know what your time is when registering, more often than not you can seed as "NT" (no time). Or you can just time yourself, use that, or convert course times with a calculator if need be. Be sure to read the USMS handbook for relevant info prior

One thing about swimming I believe that is particularly different to a degree than running is that shorter, sprinting events are more forgiving to someone still developing their form, especially if you have power. But this is only to an extent.

Did you have any structured, instructional swimming experience, or are you starting from scratch?