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The Fortress
July 26th, 2007, 09:52 PM
The thread on how long a meet lasts/seed times got me thinking. Do forumites like a fiercely competitive race or heat or do we swim our own races largely ignoring those in other lanes (especially since seed times may not be accurate)?

For myself, I enjoy a good race or a grudge match, particularly against someone I know. :lolup: But I can also swim my own race, ignore others and focus on my own times. At SCY zones last May, I was so intent on my 50 free, I didn't even notice that the adjacent lane was empty until I watched the race on video with Mr. Fort. I was perfectly oblivious. At my last meet, in my 50 fly grudge race against Muppet, some guy in my heat beat me by .2, but I couldn't have cared less. I was happy with my time.

sarge
July 26th, 2007, 09:53 PM
I race myself because that's the only chance I'll ever have of winning.

SwimStud
July 26th, 2007, 10:00 PM
Usually race myself...though if it's close in the next lane that's incentive

ALM
July 26th, 2007, 10:02 PM
I race myself because that's the only chance I'll ever have of winning.

Sarge,

LOL!!! :laugh2: :agree: :lmao:

I'm saving that quote to use someday in my signature line. I'll give you credit, of course.

Anna Lea

CreamPuff
July 26th, 2007, 10:03 PM
I race myself because that's the only chance I'll ever have of winning.

I wouldn't want to race myself. I'm crazy.

I love a good race. Preferably against women (as I have a better chance of winning). Although, I'm learning to race the men and not hate it. If I get creamed by either party, I try and get creamed less the next time around. :banana: Less creamage can still be a victory.

FindingMyInnerFish
July 26th, 2007, 11:22 PM
I'm in Sarge's camp, although my three competitors, "me," "myself," and "I" can get pretty fierce. Gotta watch some of their tactics! :duel:

swimr4life
July 26th, 2007, 11:42 PM
On longer races I'll sneak a peek at the competition but, usually I don't look around too much. You really shouldn't on a 50 or a 100 because it will slow you down. I try to swim my own race. You can only control what you do....not what your competion does! I'm usually swimming as hard as I can anyway!

AlanM
July 27th, 2007, 07:39 AM
Up until the GB Masters this year, I had always raced against the clock. However, in the 1500m, I swam a 10s personal best and was really happy - I had paced my race really well and let the field go at their crazy early pace, then hauled them all back and whupped the lot of them in the final 500m. I also knew that this was good enough to secure third place in my age group - the only faster swimmers were in later heats. Sure enough, they both beat me but second place was only 0.56s faster!

I then found myself racing the second place guy (Bob) in the 800m - this time we were in adjacent lanes and had a really great competition as our race strategies played out. Unfortunately, it turned out that Bob is just plain faster than me (or was it his full body suit v my jammers?) and he took 1.5s out of me in the last 100m. However, this was the best fun I've had since returning to masters swimming. Had a good chat with Bob after the race and am looking forward to our next head-to-head at the ASA masters in October.

m2tall2
July 27th, 2007, 08:02 AM
I LOVE having some competition right next to me (or in my sights on a flip turn). While I don't let anyone else distract my own particular race plan, I like knowing where I am and always have my best races with close competition.

waves101
July 27th, 2007, 08:26 AM
I like having a fast heat with the competition right there. It makes it very easy to get psyched up and that's when I have my best races.

aquageek
July 27th, 2007, 09:29 AM
This is a very good thread. For me, I like to race myself. In many meets you never know what ages are in your heat. I have the tendency to race my heat as opposed to my race which can have disastrous results. However, if you have someone next to you who is pulling you along and you are racing your race, it can be beneficial.

The exception to this rule of mine is when gull is next to me. Then it's toss out the plan and just try to win.

imspoiled
July 27th, 2007, 11:45 AM
I am always pushing myself for PB times and ways to improve my race--better splits, turns, or whatever. Especially in longer races, I've learned not to swim to the competition--it really wrecks my own plans. In a sprint, it's all about the field. I love to finish a 50 and not know who touched first.

Unlike Fort, I prefer not to swim in a heat with someone I know well. It's much easier to stay focused when the swimmers around me are complete strangers.

Dana

Allen Stark
July 27th, 2007, 11:46 AM
I want to have the philosophy of "swim your own Race".I want to have the philosophy of"the only one I'm racing is myself".I want to have the philosophy of"you can only control what you do,you can't control who shows up or how fast they are."I REALLY do,but as soon as the psych sheets are out I start worrying,plotting,and/or cursing.I don't want to be that way,I just am.:dunno:
"Hi my name is Allen and I'm addicted to competition.":doh:

imspoiled
July 27th, 2007, 12:22 PM
Hi Allen!

Um, me too! The second the psych sheets are out I start plotting. In advance of the race, I want to know where the competition is and whether there's a chance to smoke them. Reasoning that knowing what it will take to win helps me prepare. But, on race day, I need to close my mind to all the other stuff and just focus on the plan. Unfortunately, I've never been the type of swimmer who can look at the heat sheets and say, "It's gonna take a 26.5 to win." Then, hop in and swim a 26.5.

scyfreestyler
July 27th, 2007, 12:23 PM
I generally try to swim my own race but I have used the balance of the field to inspire/encourage me after a bad start in a 50 Free. Went from last to first in the second 25 so watching your competitors can be an advantage.

Of course, there are exceptions. Case in point, my 200 Free at the LCM champs this year. My first 200 in any course I should point out..my pacing ability is limited in other words. I had intended to swim my own race but upon diving in the man next to me pulled ahead quite strongly and I made a rather subconscious decision to chase him down (mistake #1). My mistake was not realized until the 50M turn and by then I figured I might as well just try to hang on and see what I can pull off (mistake #2). I was whipped by the 150M mark and my splits were horrible. Blinders would have proved useful in that race I am sure.


Race your competition but be smart about it would be my advice.

Edward The Head
July 27th, 2007, 01:29 PM
It depends on what I'm swimming and how I feel. Last year in the 200 fly I got beaten by the woman next to me by a second or so. She ended up next to me in the 200 IM so I made it my goal to beat her and I did. I usually don't worry too much about who is next to me unless I see that I am keeping up. I swam an 800 last year and the woman next to me was 30 seconds faster, I didn't think I would keep up, but I did and ended up 40 seconds faster. So it depends on who's next to me and if I think I can keep up or not. Since I'm not a sprinter I can gage more after the first 50 or 100.

Blackbeard's Peg
July 27th, 2007, 01:30 PM
Case in point, my 200 Free at the LCM champs this year. My first 200 in any course I should point out..my pacing ability is limited in other words. I had intended to swim my own race but upon diving in the man next to me pulled ahead quite strongly and I made a rather subconscious decision to chase him down (mistake #1). My mistake was not realized until the 50M turn and by then I figured I might as well just try to hang on and see what I can pull off (mistake #2). I was whipped by the 150M mark and my splits were horrible.

Matt- I find no fault with the "go out fast and hope you can hold on" strategery! 200s are tough, 'cause they're a sprint. But you need to be smrt (like a rock) about it and actually sorta pace it or yes, it will hurt!

Some of my best longer races were swum with that mindset. I found that if I didn't take advantage of the speed off the dive, I wasn't going to make it up later. In a 500, my first 100 is always 3-4 seconds faster than my last. In my case, if I take it out quickly, ie :57, I'll be going a 1:00 at the end. If I pace to start with, ie :60, that last 100 is a 1:03. Just by backing off, i'm already down 6 seconds.

newmastersswimmer
July 27th, 2007, 02:12 PM
The thread on how long a meet lasts/seed times got me thinking. Do forumites like a fiercely competitive race or heat or do we swim our own races largely ignoring those in other lanes (especially since seed times may not be accurate)?

For myself, I enjoy a good race or a grudge match, particularly against someone I know. :lolup: But I can also swim my own race, ignore others and focus on my own times. At SCY zones last May, I was so intent on my 50 free, I didn't even notice that the adjacent lane was empty until I watched the race on video with Mr. Fort. I was perfectly oblivious. At my last meet, in my 50 fly grudge race against Muppet, some guy in my heat beat me by .2, but I couldn't have cared less. I was happy with my time.


Its all about racing others for me.....but I'm a tad shallow LOL! Now I must destroy you! LOL!

Jeff Commings
July 27th, 2007, 02:39 PM
Read my story in the current Swimmer magazine to find out how I feel about this topic.

shoalsswimmer
July 27th, 2007, 03:12 PM
I always try to race my own race (which is overall the best strategy), but it is easy to get caught up racing others in your heat; especially if you know them, are in the same age group and are really matched up well speedwise. Freestyle (because you can see everyone) is really the only stroke where I have had this problem. I remember one instance (and learned a valuable lesson) in a mixed heat for the 100 free where one of my teammates was in lane 7 and I was in 6. We had both turned in 55s. Her start, turn and underwater are significantly better than mine. I swam a poor race all because of paying too much attention to what she was doing off the walls. I would catch up a little between the walls then see the gap widen at the 2nd and 3rd turn. I distinctly remember watching her SDKing off the turns, instead of concentrating on my own. That's as bad as it gets when being taken out of your own strategy. I remember more about her swim than I do of mine.
I did, however have a positive experience in a 50 free LCM at another meet even though I paid a little too much attention to the field. Lane 2 of 10. I breathe to the right (three times this race) and could see how close I was to the faster entries(almost even) and got really pumped during the swim. Finished 4th but turned in a PB.

talne621
July 27th, 2007, 03:41 PM
i try to break my best times. i usually put my seed times a little faster to help push me more into swimming faster. in distance races i try to pace myself with them.

Donna
July 27th, 2007, 08:53 PM
I tend to swim my own races not paying attention to the competition. The only exception is when I am racing my training buddy in the 1000 which I did 3 years ago and will do again at Nationals in the 1500. He entered my time plus a second for his time.

In our 1500 race I am the tortoise and he is the haire. Should be interesting and we all knows who wins that race. I will disregard his swimming until I start catching him probably somewhere around the 800 mark. Then the race starts for me.

This is the only time I will actually race the competition. Grudge match!

Karen Duggan
July 28th, 2007, 04:34 PM
I'll swim the 1650 at our Pacific Champs as a 7th event... this was one of the most fun races I've ever had. I swam right next to Charlene O'Brien and we were right next to each other the whole way. It was a blast! She took off the last 50 and beat me by 2 seconds, but to this day we talk about how much fun that was.

I scout out the comp to see where their strenghts lie. For example, in a 200 or 400 IM I like to know who the flyers are, so when I'm getting smoked, I can tell myself, "yea, go ahead, ya flyer! I'll see you after the backstroke!!" LOL. If I am in a close race though I'll push harder...

I prefer to swim my own races, esp. at Nationals because the entry times are not always accurate- more sandbagging than I would like by some... nothing I can do about it though. In the end I have my own goal times and let the medals fall where they may :wine: