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Thread: Masters Motivational Times

  1. #1
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    Masters Motivational Times

    When I started swimming masters a few years ago, I soon found myself wanting some time standards to compare myself against. Sure, tracking my own PRs is motivating, but I also wanted some sort of objective mark to measure myself against.

    There is the Top 10 list, of course, but I'm not close enough to those times for them to serve as realistic motivation. Nationals qualifying times provide a slightly lower bar, but these are still out of many masters' reach. It seems like there should be some sort of time standards that are more widely applicable -- like the A, AA, ... motivational times in kids' age group swimming.

    I did use those USA Swimming motivational times for a while, but I got tired of comparing myself to 12-year-olds. Eventually I decided to create my own masters' motivational time standards, using the same method that is used for the kids.

    I have really enjoyed using these motivational times over the past couple of years, and I'm guessing they might be useful to others as well. Especially for those, like me, who are competitive enough to be motivated by a quantitative benchmark, but not fast enough to aspire to the Top 10 list.

    I have just updated the SCY list, and figured I would post it here for others to use.

    Please enjoy. I'd also love to hear any feedback.
    Attached Files Attached Files
    Last edited by sjstuart; March 21st, 2010 at 09:03 AM. Reason: added 2010 SCM times

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    Re: Masters Motivational Times

    Kind of motivates me to take up another sport. I hate to be negative, but my personal lifetime goal would only make your table if you ran it out through about the letter 'G'.
    Please don't take it personally, as it is not anything you have done, it is just my frustration. I find a lot of advice on this forum for people a whole lot faster than me and a whole lot of people at my pool who are slower than me. I had hoped your very meticulously constructed table would address that gap. Maybe next time.
    Young for my speed. . .

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    Very Active Member Donna's Avatar
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    Re: Masters Motivational Times

    I like the fact you were able to come up with this. Since I swim in USA meets I have been using the 17-18 year old motivational times, but they are so hard for me at age 47, but I keep trying.

    Hope to see you at some of the South Carolina meets.
    Donna Hooe
    GAJA/Savannah Masters/GCAT
    Certified Level 2 ASCA Coach

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    Very Active Member chowmi's Avatar
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    Re: Masters Motivational Times

    SJStuart, this is the cutest thing I have seen in a long time!!! I think it is so awesome you took the time to create this list, even looks like the USA times list, tee hee hee! Now, get to work and make us one for SCM and LCM, then don't forget to update for the next quad plan in 2013!! Just kidding!

    You will likely get responses across the board. I highly support what you have done and it is very interesting to see how people quantify their performance.

    Excellent work!

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    Very Active Member Lump's Avatar
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    Re: Masters Motivational Times

    Great idea! This is actually a great idea on doing this sheet. Growing up we always had to have a AAA time (or was AA?) in order to be a Georgia All-Star and get the coveted "All-Star Towel" each year (of which I still have 3 from the 80's!). They would put what time standard you reached (could also be Senior Nats, Junior Nats, Olympic Trials) an had you name stitched on it.

    Good to see that I'm somewhere between AA and AAA....I'm almost an All-Star again!

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    Re: Masters Motivational Times

    Quote Originally Posted by notsofast View Post
    Kind of motivates me to take up another sport. I hate to be negative, but my personal lifetime goal would only make your table if you ran it out through about the letter 'G'.
    Please don't take it personally, as it is not anything you have done, it is just my frustration. I find a lot of advice on this forum for people a whole lot faster than me and a whole lot of people at my pool who are slower than me. I had hoped your very meticulously constructed table would address that gap. Maybe next time.
    I certainly don't take it personally, and am happy for the feedback. But it makes me feel awful if the chart had the opposite of its intended motivational effect.

    I just used the same formula as is used for the USA Swimming times. It may be that the spread of times for meet-going masters swimmers is bigger than it is for kids. Maybe the formulas would have to be adjusted to do a better job of covering the gap.

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    Re: Masters Motivational Times

    Quote Originally Posted by chowmi View Post
    Now, get to work and make us one for SCM and LCM, then don't forget to update for the next quad plan in 2013!!
    Never fear, I have SCM and LCM also. I'll attach SCM here. I'll wait to post LCM until after I update it when this year's top 10 list is finalized (sometime this month).

    [edited 3/21/10: SCM times now appear in the first post]
    Last edited by sjstuart; March 21st, 2010 at 09:06 AM.

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    Very Active Member gigi's Avatar
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    Re: Masters Motivational Times

    I think it's great, especially since it makes me feel a lot faster than I really am in some of my events. It's already motivated me to get some faster times. Thanks for putting this together!

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    Re: Masters Motivational Times

    I too think it's a great idea. I am curious how you come up with the numbers, however. What is the methodology?

    Would someone with a AAAA time have a shot at a Top 10 time?

    It will be interesting to see what will happen when the tech suits are banned what kinds of adjustments will have to be made.

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    Very Active Member debaru's Avatar
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    Re: Masters Motivational Times

    I returned to swimming 6 weeks ago after a very long absence and have felt so syrupy slow, but after seeing your SCM times list, I now have something realistic to shoot for in my age group (55-59 women).
    Thanks for taking the time to put together your "motivational" lists.
    I would give up chocolate, but I'm no quitter.

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    Re: Masters Motivational Times

    Checking out the the 60-64 Mens division the 50 100 and 200 free times look about right, but there must be an error re the 500, 1000 and 1650????

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    Re: Masters Motivational Times

    Yeah, there definitely seems to be a mistake somewhere. For example, the 55-59 men 500 free BB time is 7:07.09 while the corresponding 60-64 time is 5:18.79. I doubt I'll be swimming that fast in four years unless I stumble upon the forgotten set of Cocoon in some abandoned condo complex in Florida.

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    Re: Masters Motivational Times

    Quote Originally Posted by jim thornton View Post
    I too think it's a great idea. I am curious how you come up with the numbers, however. What is the methodology?

    Would someone with a AAAA time have a shot at a Top 10 time?
    Yes, the next step above AAAA is Top 10.

    Each category is some percentage slower than the bottom five times in the Top 10, averaged over 3 years. AAAA = 5%, AAA = 10%, ... BB = 40%.

    It will be interesting to see what will happen when the tech suits are banned what kinds of adjustments will have to be made.
    Yes, these times are based on 3 years when tech suits were becoming more and more common. As the tech suit times roll off the list and get replaced with non-tech suit times, the times should get a little slower.

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    Re: Masters Motivational Times

    Quote Originally Posted by Maui Mike View Post
    Checking out the the 60-64 Mens division the 50 100 and 200 free times look about right, but there must be an error re the 500, 1000 and 1650????
    Quote Originally Posted by smontanaro View Post
    Yeah, there definitely seems to be a mistake somewhere. For example, the 55-59 men 500 free BB time is 7:07.09 while the corresponding 60-64 time is 5:18.79.
    Yes, there was definitely a mistake in the M60-64 500/1000/1650. Sorry about that. I have revised the attachment in the original post.

    If anyone spots more errors, please let me know.

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    Re: Masters Motivational Times

    Wow - what fun. Thanks for taking the time to put this together.

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    Re: Masters Motivational Times

    Quote Originally Posted by gigi View Post
    I think it's great, especially since it makes me feel a lot faster than I really am in some of my events. It's already motivated me to get some faster times. Thanks for putting this together!
    gigi said it all for me. All of my times proved to be a little better than I thought they would be. I love things like this!! Thanks for posting this. Looks like I have got some work to do.

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    Re: Masters Motivational Times

    Quote Originally Posted by notsofast View Post
    Kind of motivates me to take up another sport. I hate to be negative, but my personal lifetime goal would only make your table if you ran it out through about the letter 'G'.
    Please don't take it personally, as it is not anything you have done, it is just my frustration. I find a lot of advice on this forum for people a whole lot faster than me and a whole lot of people at my pool who are slower than me. I had hoped your very meticulously constructed table would address that gap. Maybe next time.
    Hey notsofast,

    The motivational times are percentage based, not percentile based, so your comment that you wouldn't show up until G is actually fine, going from G to F would be a very reasonable goal, and there is no reason that the table can't be built like the A table so there is F, GGG, GG and G times increasing the rate of progression.

    Here are rough estimates of A - M for the 25-30 100 Free:
    A: 58.16
    B: 1:07.85
    C: 1:17.55
    D: 1:27.24
    E: 1:36.93
    F: 1:46.63
    G: 1:56.32
    H: 2:06.01
    I: 2:15.71
    J: 2:25.40
    K: 2:35.09
    L: 2:44.79
    M: 2:54.48

    Now if you have a H time, what does that tell you about how you rank compared to other swimmers? It doesn't, that isn't the point of the motivational times. The motivational times give you a ladder to climb if you want to, and the top of the ladder is a top 10 time, but each rung is arbitrary competition wise.

    Hopefully the concept is not still demotivational.

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    Re: Masters Motivational Times

    Very cool! Thanks for sharing this!

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    Very Active Member funkyfish's Avatar
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    Re: Masters Motivational Times

    Quote Originally Posted by sjstuart View Post
    Yes, these times are based on 3 years when tech suits were becoming more and more common. As the tech suit times roll off the list and get replaced with non-tech suit times, the times should get a little slower.
    Guess I'm doing better than I thought since I kinda drug my feet about getting a tech suit, and have just raced in legskins and jammers. I see that I need more endurance since I'm at or just below the AAAA times in my 50s, but am in the AAA times for 100s. Also noticed that I fair better in scm than in scy, which I suspected, although I'm not sure why that is. Neat tool, I appreciate the time put into doing this.

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    Re: Masters Motivational Times

    I think these times look spot on (for M35-39, at least). They fall almost perfectly in line with my own personal goals.

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