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View Full Version : Go The Distance program is stupid and overrated



onlybrit
July 1st, 2014, 06:13 PM
Does anyone else think the go the distance program is seriously stupid. The prizes stink, it's too hard to get them if you even get the prize you deserved. I don't even think most people are even telling the truth about how much they swim to cheat.

__steve__
July 1st, 2014, 06:17 PM
Then wear a noseclip

flystorms
July 1st, 2014, 06:21 PM
I'm sorry you feel that way, but not at all. I use it to keep myself focused and on track with races in my future. It's not about the "prizes", but the goals you set out to achieve. Everyone who does it has different goals. Some are just getting back in the pool and need a spot on the horizon. Sprinters aren't going to do as much as distance/OW swimmers. And if you think about it, this is program doesn't cost you a bit to enter or not, yet you still get them if you reach certain milestones.

If you are lying about the miles/time you're logging, it's only hurting yourself. If you don't want to participate, don't. It's that simple.

flystorms
July 1st, 2014, 06:22 PM
Then wear a noseclip

:applaud:

Allen Stark
July 1st, 2014, 06:48 PM
I gave up on it when I found I was focusing more on distance than quality.I don't even keep track of my yards during a workout.I found that liberating,but that is just me. It is very valuable as a motivating tool for many and,since most people do like to keep track of their yardage it is a great,free tool.The prizes are just an added bonus.

knelson
July 1st, 2014, 06:50 PM
To the OP: Yeah, all these free prizes for this free, totally voluntary event are terrible. :shakeshead:

mcnair
July 1st, 2014, 07:10 PM
I'm goal-driven (not gift-driven), so it works great for me. I also feel a great sense of accomplishment when I look back over a month or a year and see all those workouts, day in and day out, even the 2000-yard/35-40-minute ones, really do add up to something impressive.

gdanner
July 1st, 2014, 08:27 PM
It's a great way for me to keep track of how much I've done and how much I might need to do again, if I expect to go certain times. And it's slightly entertaining to see how much I've done compared to others. For those reasons, I've been flogging for several years now. I wish I had started sooner!

isilver78
July 1st, 2014, 08:45 PM
I gave up on it when I found I was focusing more on distance than quality.I don't even keep track of my yards during a workout.

I agree with this statement BUT did managed to put GTD to great use. Thanks to the flogs I can now see how much faster I am swimming with smarter workouts as compared to years before :) GTD was great for forcing me to track workouts and unintentionally build a tool to train better.

__steve__
July 1st, 2014, 08:55 PM
It's a good way to compare net distance each year. Also to look back at the month to see how many days of rest were taken, how I feel and so forth. Being a distance challenged swimmer I barely make over 250 miles, and the goal gifts make me chuckle - but I like it. Heck, it only takes 30 seconds each day to log the info, so why not?

rxleakem
July 1st, 2014, 09:50 PM
Although I sometimes have to give a specific description of what flogging I participate in :blush:, it is the closest that I will likely ever come to getting the perks that a sponsored swimmer gets. This year (by reviewing my flog), I can see how far behind I am as opposed to the past four years. And I'm ok with that.

Bobinator
July 2nd, 2014, 06:48 AM
Hi onlybrit- I think people with opinions like yours should become a member of the USMS National Fitness Committee and come up with useful, motivating ways to benefit our usms swimmers. I happen to be a member of the committee and would be happy to present any of your ideas during our next conference this September in Jacksonville, Florida.
The idea is to offer a variety of activities and programs with the hopes that most of our members will find something that benefits their swimming lifestyle. GTD may not be perfect, but you can tell by the log pages that a large number of swimmers use it daily on some level and possibly enjoy the benefits it provides them. I'm sorry GTD isn't working for you.

Sincerely,

Robin Walker




Does anyone else think the go the distance program is seriously stupid. The prizes stink, it's too hard to get them if you even get the prize you deserved. I don't even think most people are even telling the truth about how much they swim to cheat.

ElaineK
July 2nd, 2014, 09:01 AM
Hi onlybrit- I think people with opinions like yours should become a member of the USMS National Fitness Committee and come up with useful, motivating ways to benefit our usms swimmers. I happen to be a member of the committee and would be happy to present any of your ideas during our next conference this September in Jacksonville, Florida.
The idea is to offer a variety of activities and programs with the hopes that most of our members will find something that benefits their swimming lifestyle. GTD may not be perfect, but you can tell by the log pages that a large number of swimmers use it daily on some level and possibly enjoy the benefits it provides them. I'm sorry GTD isn't working for you.

Sincerely,

Robin Walker

Well said, Robin! :applaud:

Onlybrit, if you think it's "seriously stupid," than either don't use it or do something about it. Why don't you take Robin up on her offer and see what you can do to improve the program? Personally, I think it's excellent. The FLOG is a great tool for keeping track of my workouts in the same way the other posters mentioned. :agree:

As for the prizes, it doesn't cost anything to enter GTD, so being critical of the prizes makes you sound like a spoiled brat. I have received EVERY prize I have earned over the past four years, so the sponsors have followed up on their promises. Perhaps yours got lost in the mail.

pmccoy
July 2nd, 2014, 09:54 AM
Does anyone else think the go the distance program is seriously stupid.I'm sure someone else does somewhere. Its fun for me but I'm sure it isn't for everyone. Most people that don't like it voluntarily don't participate.
The prizes stink, it's too hard to get them if you even get the prize you deserved.As others have pointed out, it is hard to complain about free stuff when there is no cost to participate. A couple years ago, they did gift certificates that required that you purchase a certain amount in order to redeem them. That was kind of lame but I wasn't willing to complain about it. They probably helped out some people that were planning on buying some equipment. I just quietly chose not to redeem them. I think the swim bags (250 miles) are pretty nice. They don't exactly overnight your prizes the second you hit the required yardage but I've never failed to receive any prize promised to me.
I don't even think most people are even telling the truth about how much they swim to cheat.I finished first in my age group one year. The Nike prize van didn't show up at my doorstep showering me with gifts and praise at my accomplishment. I didn't get a medal. There was no All-American patch or a top ten mention. I didn't even get an email. Somewhere in a forgotten 2012 archive is my name on the top of a list. That's hardly an incentive to cheat. The only drawback I've seen so far is that accepting gifts from Nike could impact my 4 years of NCAA eligibility :).

smontanaro
July 2nd, 2014, 10:22 AM
While onlybrit's comments were perhaps a bit harsh, they did resonate with me. I write this as someone who hasn't been in the water since perhaps March, so keep that in mind.

I have participated in GTD for several years, and am nominally participating this year, though I am stalled for now. I'm a guy who's generally a pool swimmer, and who never wears a cap. How many 50-mile caps do I really need? I think it would be nice if the shorter distance goals changed from time-to-time. Maybe a bag tag like the "swimming saves lives" tags or a pair of goggles (Swedes are cheap, for example).

Looking at this year's awards schedule (http://www.usms.org/fitness/content/gothedistance), there appears to be nothing between the 50-mile and 500-mile marks, at which point you get a new suit, which I'm guessing will be of more value to women than men. Despite the prodigious efforts of a number of swimmers (http://www.usms.org/fitness/results14/gtd14results.php), most people aren't going to make that 500-mile goal. For me, it would just mean more shoulder problems. I'd much rather pay for my shiny new swimsuit than for an MRI. Looked at another way, of the 7032 people who have logged at least 50 miles so far this year, if current trends hold, perhaps 750 people will be awarded a swimsuit. I'm sure that's a substantial commitment by the sponsors, but it's likely not an achievable goal by the bulk of the USMS membership.

Just my 2...

__steve__
July 2nd, 2014, 10:43 AM
Maybe a bag tag like the "swimming saves lives" tags or a pair of goggles (Swedes are cheap, for example).

(light bulb!) What about and option to cash our prize and have it go to the swimming saves lives foundation instead? Would that be too complicated, or possible?

Chris Stevenson
July 2nd, 2014, 12:09 PM
The OP was obvious a troll and not worthy of direct response.

But more generally this thread and various others I have seen over the years makes me question why there are prizes in GTD at all. The focus should be on setting goals and tracking one's progress toward that goal. The GTD tool is useful in that it can tell you how far above/below pace you are, and you can compare to previous years. The swag is a distraction. I also don't really understand why the totals are publicly ranked, though I do like the ability to aggregate by (say) team since that can be motivating.

And if one doesn't think that total mileage is worthy of tracking - an opinion I am sympathetic toward - then clearly it isn't a tool for you.

knelson
July 2nd, 2014, 12:59 PM
I also don't really understand why the totals are publicly ranked

Because GTD is an event. You can flog without entering GTD, correct? If you aren't interested in being ranked just flog without entering the GTD event. That's my take, anyway.

jpetyk
July 2nd, 2014, 02:36 PM
When I don't have a meet on the horizon, which is most of the time, GTD is sometimes the only thing that pushes me to get up at the butt crack of dawn. :bed: The prizes are nice...my equipment bag is most useful.

I don't think too many people are fudging their numbers just to get free stuff. I know a couple of people have unbelievable totals, and I happen to know of one in particular that actually does swim that ridiculous amount every day. :fish2:

I swim with folks that are all about the yardage. They don't care if it's all garbage, just as long as it is a nice big number. I prefer quality, and that's why my goal is 2-300 miles less than theirs.
:2cents:

ALM
July 2nd, 2014, 04:00 PM
Because GTD is an event. You can flog without entering GTD, correct? If you aren't interested in being ranked just flog without entering the GTD event. That's my take, anyway.

Kirk is correct. Many USMS members have FLOGS and log their daily yardage, but they do not click the link to "enter" the GTD event.

If you do enter the GTD event and then change your mind, you can withdraw at any time and then your yardage totals will no longer be included in the daily public reports.

aztimm
July 2nd, 2014, 06:27 PM
Hi onlybrit- I think people with opinions like yours should become a member of the USMS National Fitness Committee and come up with useful, motivating ways to benefit our usms swimmers. I happen to be a member of the committee and would be happy to present any of your ideas during our next conference this September in Jacksonville, Florida.
The idea is to offer a variety of activities and programs with the hopes that most of our members will find something that benefits their swimming lifestyle. GTD may not be perfect, but you can tell by the log pages that a large number of swimmers use it daily on some level and possibly enjoy the benefits it provides them. I'm sorry GTD isn't working for you.

Sincerely,

Robin Walker

Thank you for sharing about the USMS National Fitness Committee, and for being a member of this committee :applaud:

I'm sure it involves quite a bit of behind the scenes work.


When I don't have a meet on the horizon, which is most of the time, GTD is sometimes the only thing that pushes me to get up at the butt crack of dawn. :bed:


This is also the primary reason that I've participated in GTD over the past few years. Everyone thinks AZ is always warm and sunny, but we have some cold, dark mornings in winter when it is more tempting to just roll over in bed than get up and deal with swimming outside, sometimes on a frosty morning.

Like others mentioned, I do swim with a team (MMAC), and we have a few swimmers who participate in GTD. We have an informal contest among ourselves on distance. The Zone/LMSC reports are handy to see where those on our team fall. If someone falls behind, sometimes we'll give them a rubbing...
Some of us do swim in meets, and quality certainly does matter. Even if we don't swim in meets, we do have sprint workouts, when a 2500 yard workout may be a stretch. Several swimmers on my team particiapte in a local o/w swim series called SCAR, where they can rack up tons of miles.
Participating in GTD also gives me some extra motivation to swim when I travel, for either work or on vacation. Coming back from a 2 week vacation with 3-4 workouts versus none actually does make a big difference.

loonytick
July 2nd, 2014, 07:11 PM
Well, count me as one who really appreciates GTD. I need that extra little nudge of a year-long distance goal to keep from slacking off, and I appreciate the way GTD calculates whether I'm on pace or not in terms of year-to-date mileage. I also have a big head full of thick hair, so I stretch out swim caps way too quickly. It may be a little thing, but I absolutely appreciate that getting the 50-mile cap means one less I have to buy over the course of a year.

orca1946
July 2nd, 2014, 08:18 PM
Onlybrit --- WOW !!! For your 1st post you really are welcome into our forum??? OK so don't join and show them where to put those free awards.

Judester
July 3rd, 2014, 04:32 AM
Hi onlybrit- I think people with opinions like yours should become a member of the USMS National Fitness Committee and come up with useful, motivating ways to benefit our usms swimmers. I happen to be a member of the committee and would be happy to present any of your ideas during our next conference this September in Jacksonville, Florida.
The idea is to offer a variety of activities and programs with the hopes that most of our members will find something that benefits their swimming lifestyle. GTD may not be perfect, but you can tell by the log pages that a large number of swimmers use it daily on some level and possibly enjoy the benefits it provides them. I'm sorry GTD isn't working for you.

Sincerely,

Robin Walker

I think there should be a "Frequent Flyer Mileage" activity. Ok, so maybe the name is a little corny but I would love a good fly challenge. Of course, the FLOG would have to be modified to accommodate sub-categories of swimming.

ElaineK
July 3rd, 2014, 02:36 PM
I think there should be a "Frequent Flyer Mileage" activity. Ok, so maybe the name is a little corny but I would love a good fly challenge. Of course, the FLOG would have to be modified to accommodate sub-categories of swimming.

Try this for a good fly challenge: http://www.grinswim.org/~nasti/butternuts.html

Several Forumites have taken the challenge, including me (900 yards, 2000 yards, and 1000 yards continuous fly). Give it a shot, Judester! :cheerleader:

Bobinator
July 3rd, 2014, 04:18 PM
Brilliant idea Steve!!! SSL has been one of the most meaningful movements I've personally participated in lately. I will mention this in the discussion fodder @ convention.
(light bulb!) What about and option to cash our prize and have it go to the swimming saves lives foundation instead? Would that be too complicated, or possible?

mcnair
July 3rd, 2014, 04:51 PM
I think there should be a "Frequent Flyer Mileage" activity. Ok, so maybe the name is a little corny but I would love a good fly challenge. Of course, the FLOG would have to be modified to accommodate sub-categories of swimming.

I love this idea.... it's one thing to log total yardage, but when I look back at a month's worth of swims and see 25 2-4,000-yard days I would love to know at a glance how much of that was fly, back, etc. So, one 3000 yard workout might be mostly free, but another racks up 800 in backstroke; another 3000-yarder might include 600 in fly. How many miles of fly do I swim in a month? How many miles of back? Can't really tell that easily now. I swam almost 40 miles total in June, but I bet 12-18 of it was backstroke, because I was training hard for those events.

This would also make correlating training patterns and injuries a lot easier... what percentage of my yardage does the fly have to be at before my shoulders start really annoying me? Where is the breaking point? These are all questions I try to go back over my training logs to answer from time to time... but I'd love to look at the flog and see the running totals in one spot.

mcnair
July 3rd, 2014, 04:54 PM
Brilliant idea Steve!!! SSL has been one of the most meaningful movements I've personally participated in lately. I will mention this in the discussion fodder @ convention.

I agree; great idea. Not sure I need another swim cap or bag, so just saying donate the cost of my prize to the foundation is a great way for all of us who swim regularly and log our yardage to support this cause.

suphillips
July 4th, 2014, 07:17 PM
I love GTD. It was the primary tool I used two years ago when I started setting real fitness goals and lost over 60 lbs. I started logging everything....my swims, runs, pilates, and I feel like it gave me the documentation I needed to define what it took to maintain the fitness level I want for my life. The weight has stayed off, my distance swimming feels great and is an absolute joy, and I love watching the miles accumulate on my flog. I'm on track for my second year of a million meter goal, and I've never been more motivated for swimming.

And although it's probably worthy of a whole other thread, I disagree with the assumption that there is a quantity/quality tradeoff. Ever since I asked my coach to train me for distance swimming, we've been working on doing serious speed play embedded in longer distances, and it has worked amazingly well on both speed and stamina. My distance is up, and my quality is through the roof.

swoomer
July 4th, 2014, 08:31 PM
There is always negativity in the world. This started with a negative assumption, but so many positives have been expressed to validate GTD. Aside from the obvious, the goodies, I tend to focus more on the records year over year. If I had a great spell, and am now in a downturn, I can go back and see what I was doing when things were going better. I can track my training patterns over time and can see what makes a difference in results. I can't see how someone can possibly see anything negative about GTD unless, of course, they are only focused on the goodies. In my world, they're nice but not necessary for my motivation.

chowmi
July 7th, 2014, 09:10 PM
What?????

Where have I been all these years??!!!

Why would you NOT sign up, even if it's just for fun. After 6am EST tomorrow, yours truly will be somewhere at the bottom of the W45-49 list! I set my goal at 150 miles for the rest of the year, starting 07/01/14 - will probably not make it, but it will be fun to see how far off 25 miles/month I am!

I agree that it is a meaningful goal, depending on what you are trying to achieve. I'd like a freebie of any kind. Surely I can make the first milestone by the end of the year, even with only 1/2 year to get there. But I also agree with those that don't believe in it. Counting yardage and only yardage is like trying to train for a short drag race by driving a Prius going across america's highways at 68 mph. Yes, you'll log in a lot of mileage, but it won't be race specific.

I also think our poster is someone in disguise trying to drum up comments! So here was mine!

flystorms
July 7th, 2014, 10:07 PM
"I also think our poster is someone in disguise trying to drum up comments! So here was mine!"

You know, that thought crossed my mind a few days ago too. Glad to see it's a good discussion item!

pwb
July 8th, 2014, 12:18 AM
I just wish I could upload my much more functional Excel tracker directly into GTD instead of having to type it all over again. I have about 6 months of data to catch up on entering for 2014 ;)

Other than that, it's a great program.

orca1946
July 11th, 2014, 12:08 AM
Paul - now you can just add in all your miles/yards once a week or a whole month if you wish. I think?

aztimm
July 11th, 2014, 01:07 PM
Counting yardage and only yardage is like trying to train for a short drag race by driving a Prius going across america's highways at 68 mph. Yes, you'll log in a lot of mileage, but it won't be race specific.


Only a handful of swimmers on my team compete in meets regularly (and based on my unofficial guess from dropping in with other groups, I'd say this is more often the case).
There are quite a few more who do open water swimming, and truthfully, when you're swimming a distance, slow and steady is the way to go.
Racing 100m in a lake isn't such a good idea...not when you'd still have 3900m (or far more) to go :afraid:
Actually, GTD is a pretty good training tool for much of this. Our Triple Crown swimmer used GTD, quite successfully.

Bill Sive
July 12th, 2014, 08:25 PM
Go The Distance is what you make it. At first I did not understand why everyone did not achieve 500 miles or better. Then I slowly realized some people only swim one or two day per week. Some people have life events that prevent them from swimming. I have decided to remain quiet on this topic of acheiving 500 miles.

A couple of years ago Aqua Sphere sponsored a GTD type of event. It was Men vs Women. The prize was 10,000.00 British pounds sterling. Men came out ahead at the end, but the winner was everyone 60%, if I remember correctly, of the 10,000.00 was donated to Prostate Cancer Research, the other 40% was donated to Breast Cancer research. Some Olympic swimmers even signed up. I was glad to have participated.

Also a while back I also participated in another GTD type of event in 2012. The goal was to swim the length of the Thames River, by the time the 2012 Olympics started. (see my USMS Blog).

I am comfortable with the prizes Nike kindly provides.

The validation I receive from GTD was more validation than I received from my former swim team.

GTD has a good and honest purpose. I challenge you to find your purpose in swimming GTD or not swimming GTD.

orca1946
July 12th, 2014, 11:18 PM
I think he started this just to stir the pot & see what happens. Much more positive comments than he thought about.

jgale
July 14th, 2014, 07:28 AM
I have been using the FLOG tool since it was first introduced (and was an excel spreadsheet). I find it very valuable to track my yardage. It can be a helpful bit of motivation to keep my distance together between races or when life gets in the way. I used to do the same for many years when I was running for my primary sport.

That being said, I don't use it to compare myself to others. So if someone is cheating for the external validation, I am afraid that they are not getting it from me! Sorry.

magick17
July 17th, 2014, 02:01 PM
It's an awesome fitness motivator.. I love the 50 mile cap.
its keeps me in the pool and trying to stay above the set goal.
and FYI...most folks do not cheat....even the guy with the most amount of miles is true and honest....
sorry you can't find value in this free program and thanks usms for offering it.

ElaineK
July 17th, 2014, 03:18 PM
sorry you can't find value in this free program and thanks usms for offering it.

Have you all noticed that onlybrit has posted ONCE and has never been back? :bolt: Definitely the sign of a troll. :rolleyes:

Onlybrit, how about a response?:banana: I challenge you to give us a valid reason why we shouldn't utilize this FREE program. +1 on thanking USMS for offering it. :applaud:

sahoehle
July 17th, 2014, 03:43 PM
Does anyone else think the go the distance program is seriously stupid. The prizes stink, it's too hard to get them if you even get the prize you deserved. I don't even think most people are even telling the truth about how much they swim to cheat.


I think the program is fantastic! Thanks to Nike for donating or subsidizing the prizes. You're getting prizes for things you'd be doing anyway. I'm completely okay with the fact I'll probably get a cap and nothing else this year. It's more than I would've gotten without the program! And yes, some people probably cheat. But they'll get bad karma, so it's okay in the end.

Bill Sive
July 29th, 2014, 09:14 AM
From 2010 - 2014 (year to date) I have swum 2,444.04 GTD miles, when I started recording my distance via GTD. You can say I have swum from Long Beach, CA - Pittsburgh, PA. Washington DC is not that much further. Perhaps I can make it to Washington DC by the end of this calender year?! I would say that's not bad for someone who does not have a swimming background, and has only been swimming for 5 years. Yes, GTD is a motivator for me.