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Thread: Masters Motivational Times

  1. #61
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    Re: Masters Motivational Times

    Quote Originally Posted by jeffsab View Post
    I was looking at the state records here in Michigan the other day and noticed that we have some comparatively weak SCM records for this very reason. There were only 2 SCM meets in 2009 compared to 9 SCY meets.
    I have actually used the motivational time standards (or could equally well use Chris' swim rating calculator) for this exact purpose. I'm a breaststroker and can't touch the AAAA state records in those events. But some of the SCM records were BB or A in less popular events.

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    Re: Masters Motivational Times

    Quote Originally Posted by jim thornton View Post
    What do you think the odds are that the two best and most active, mathematically proficient, swim-data curve fitters would both be from the south and have surnames beginning with St?
    Better than the odds that they'd also both have the same profession.

    I'll point out, though, that my table only required addition and multiplication -- purely 4th grade arithmetic. Chris' nonlinear least squares curve-fitting with power laws requires at least high school algebra.

    Quote Originally Posted by jim thornton View Post
    St. Chris, for his part, knows of this other formula, but it is possible that St. Steve does not. It's an age regression swimming time calculator that Phil Arcuni posted a number of years back on this forum, that is, in the pre-speed suit era.
    You are correct in assuming my ignorance, so thanks for the link. The only age-based normalization formulas I knew of before this thread were specific to track & field, so it's great to have swimming-specific ones.

    Quote Originally Posted by jim thornton View Post
    Would either of your fellows care to turn your keen mathematical minds to the job of predicting "equivalent times" with and without such suits--and do so before we need to wait several years for new data to filter in upon which your new curves can be fitted and hung?
    Not a chance. I don't know a B70 from a B52, having never been inside either one. My table adopts an "ignorance is bliss" approach on the question of tech suits.
    Last edited by sjstuart; December 16th, 2009 at 09:27 AM. Reason: typo in quote

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    Very Active Member jim thornton's Avatar
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    Re: Masters Motivational Times

    Quote Originally Posted by ehoch View Post

    Look at the 200s in my age group - Free record is about 7 seconds above the NCAA record -- Backstroke is 13 / Breast 12 sec / Fly 11 / IM 11

    The two factors that might explain at least some of this apparent discrepancy:


    1. freestyle is the fastest stroke, so in percentage terms, a 7 second change in a 200 free is not quite so far off from a 13 second change in the 200 breast as the number of seconds indicates
    2. masters practices, at least in my experience, tend to focus more on freestyle than the other strokes. this is particularly true on "distance" day where almost everyone does freestyle. this might not be the case with top college swimmers, where I would image there would be more specialization in practice by non-freestyle swimmers

    Chris, I wish there was a way that Hy-Tech could incorporate your ranking system instantaneously with timing results. It would not be much of a boon to the youngsters like Ehoch or Michael Ross or, for that matter, you.

    But for those of us who have begun "rage, raging against the dying of the light," I suspect there could be some value in being able to approach a 20-something davatchka in the full flower of her youth and say, "Sorry I had to beat you so badly in that event. Is there anyway I might help console you?"

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    Re: Masters Motivational Times

    Quote Originally Posted by jim thornton View Post
    But for those of us who have begun "rage, raging against the dying of the light,"
    Wow who knew, Dylan Thomas was a masters swimmer??



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  5. #65
    Very Active Member Chris Stevenson's Avatar
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    Re: Masters Motivational Times

    Quote Originally Posted by ehoch View Post
    It's just my opinion - and I understand the math, but for the Men - all the strokes are valued way way too high compared to Freestyle. Have not looked at the women's records.
    What you are basically saying is that the masters freestyle records are harder than the others.

    I think you may be underestimating Mike's 100 SCY backstroke swim a little. At age 41 he swam the fastest masters 100 backstroke ever -- at any age -- by over half a second (0.63 sec to be exact). In 100 freestyle, on the other hand, the fastest record is 42.91; 0.63 sec faster than that is 42.28.

    It may well be that the sprint records are generally pretty hard: a lot of people train for them and swim them in meets.

    There may be another factor too: in her book, Dara Torres also comments on the fact -- and cites research to support her statement -- that aging affects sprinting the least. Certainly her own achievements seem to support that (and I keep meaning to chase down her references).

    So I don't know that it is a good idea to compare masters times to (say) college times. Aging -- and training volumes for typical masters swimmers -- will affect events differently.

    In the freestyle events I swim (mid-D and occasionally distance), I don't find the ratings to be downgraded; perhaps the opposite. My freestyle times are often rated pretty comparably to my butterfly times, but at USA-S meets I almost always do significantly better in the fly events. I don't believe the records for the free events at distances of 200 on up are any tougher than in the non-free events.

    Maybe the take-home message is pretty simple: take the road less traveled. Or, equivalently: it sucks to be a sprinter. But I didn't need any fancy statistics to tell me that.

  6. #66
    Very Active Member swimmj's Avatar
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    Re: Masters Motivational Times

    Quote Originally Posted by qbrain View Post
    Jim Jim Jim, don't worry so much. Alzheimer's will take care of your comparison worries. Each new time will become a personal best time as far as you can remember. There is greatness in your future!
    A great idea I heard is to consider every new master's age group as a new baseline. So, Jim, you are only 2.x years away from aging up and doing all new PR's in your new age group.

    --mj

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    Re: Masters Motivational Times

    What you are basically saying is that the masters freestyle records are harder than the others.
    Yes - absolutely - use any point measurement system, FINA or I think US swimming has one as well and compare times.

    I think you may be underestimating Mike's 100 SCY backstroke swim a little. At age 41 he swam the fastest masters 100 backstroke ever -- at any age -- by over half a second (0.63 sec to be exact). In 100 freestyle, on the other hand, the fastest record is 42.91; 0.63 sec faster than that is 42.28.
    Come on Chris - that is just nonsense. Of course it's a fast swim, but you can't just pick the fastest Masters times and start comparing. Just because Sabir Mohammad dropped into Masters for a meet and swam a 42 in Masters, does not mean you can just say that is the same as Mike's swim. You are comparing the old apples and oranges. So if Peirsol decided to swim a Masters meet - that would make Mike's swim less valuable ???

    There may be another factor too: in her book, Dara Torres also comments on the fact -- and cites research to support her statement -- that aging affects sprinting the least. Certainly her own achievements seem to support that (and I keep meaning to chase down her references).
    I thought it was always that endurance was easier to be maintained -- all the aging runners go towards the Marathon ... plus I did not say that the sprint records are harder - I said Freestyle.


    So I don't know that it is a good idea to compare masters times to (say) college times. Aging -- and training volumes for typical masters swimmers -- will affect events differently.
    Well - I compare swimming times - and I know the records in my age group pretty well. I will give you the LCM 200 records in seconds above the world record...

    200 Free + 13 /// Back + 21 // Breast + 16 // Fly + 14 // IM + 18

    In your theory they are all equally strong -- I just totally disagree. Here the Free / Fly and Breast are about the same - but Back is way off. Maybe we disagree because I am a Freestyler and you are a Backstroker

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    Very Active Member jim thornton's Avatar
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    Re: Masters Motivational Times

    Quote Originally Posted by ehoch View Post
    Here the Free / Fly and Breast are about the same - but Back is way off. Maybe we disagree because I am a Freestyler and you are a Backstroker

    Do you think that one of the factors here with backstroke could be that this stroke has changed more in recent years than the others? I am speaking specifically of turns and SDKS. Anyone in their 40s almost certainly did not learn these in the early part of their backstroke careers, back in the days when nobody SDK'd off the walls, and you had to touch each wall with your hand on every turn.

    Maybe the reason the 200 backstroke masters records are so much further off the world records than other strokes is because most masters past a certain age had to learn these new techniques in later life. They might be very, very good at them--Chris and Mike Ross have superb SDKs. But perhaps the world record is held by somebody who learned these things when he was 4 or 5.

    If this has any validity, then one might predict that breaststroke, too, would show some greater divergence in masters records since the wave stroke was also pioneered relatively recently. Watching guys swim this at Nationals, and you still see the flat style predominating in older age groups.

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    Very Active Member jim thornton's Avatar
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    Re: Masters Motivational Times

    Quote Originally Posted by swimmj View Post
    A great idea I heard is to consider every new master's age group as a new baseline. So, Jim, you are only 2.x years away from aging up and doing all new PR's in your new age group.

    --mj

    Thanks. I will talk to the undertaker about the hull speed of my future coffin.

    Perhaps this will keep me afloat as I cross the river Styxx, joining Dylan Thomas on the far banks in the not too distant future.

  10. #70
    Very Active Member Chris Stevenson's Avatar
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    Re: Masters Motivational Times

    Quote Originally Posted by ehoch View Post
    Well - I compare swimming times - and I know the records in my age group pretty well. I will give you the LCM 200 records in seconds above the world record...

    200 Free + 13 /// Back + 21 // Breast + 16 // Fly + 14 // IM + 18

    In your theory they are all equally strong -- I just totally disagree. Here the Free / Fly and Breast are about the same - but Back is way off. Maybe we disagree because I am a Freestyler and you are a Backstroker
    You chastise me for cherrypicking my data, and then you do the exact same thing? The rating system does not say those particular records are equally strong; in fact it more or less agrees with your analysis of the records in your age group.

    200 free: 101.2
    200 back: 99.3
    200 breast: 102.6
    200 fly: 102.4
    200 IM: 100.6

    What the system does is say that, across all age groups, the records in a given event (ie, combination of distance/stroke/gender/course) are equally strong. (I should point out that I use a "statistically robust" regression method that devalues records that seem abnormally strong or weak.)

    I think that if you want to evaluate MASTERS times, using MASTERS records makes the most sense, rather than using elite WRs or other standards. There are several reasons:
    -- using masters WRs/ARs allows one to model the effects of age, where elite WRs do not easily lend themselves to this
    -- masters are not elites. Or, as you say, apples should be compared to apples.
    -- there are already some age-independent rating systems out there based on things like WRs. You can use them if you don't think you get a fair shake from this one.

  11. #71
    Very Active Member TRYM_Swimmer's Avatar
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    Re: Masters Motivational Times

    Quote Originally Posted by funkyfish View Post
    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.
    This is probably because more US swimmers swim SCY than SCM, so the Top Ten is harder to reach. On various occasions, I have made TT in SCM or LCM, but never in SCY.

    Great tool!

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

    I only wish I understood this argument so I could decide which nerd is winning. I feel equally lost when wookie tries to convince me sheep are better kissers than goats.

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    Re: Masters Motivational Times

    Quote Originally Posted by jim thornton View Post
    Thanks. I will talk to the undertaker about the hull speed of my future coffin.

    Perhaps this will keep me afloat as I cross the river Styxx, joining Dylan Thomas on the far banks in the not too distant future.
    LOL. One of my best ever masters races was a 200 SCM free in a lane right next to Dave Radcliff, who was 74 at the time. I was 47. I had a modest lead at the first 50 and kept it until the final lap - he outkicked me and had a great finish. I was happy with my time (a 3 second PR) and really enjoyed the race. I shook his hand and offered congrats on a great race. A couple of weeks later he was in our area and worked out with us - a really fun guy to swim with and dangerous in any distance of free. He has a younger spirit than some of my 9 year old age group swimmers and calls me and my hubby, who is your age, "kids". It's all perspective.

    I also just had a relay experience where I was down over a 1/2 lap of the pool on the fly leg of a 400 Medley Relay and chased down and caught a swimmer 12 years my junior. She knew I was coming fast and her swim was a PR of 4 seconds - again, great race. I think one of the very best things about masters is getting to race against anyone who is close to you in speed.

    --mj

    p.s. I never get any sympathy from the DH about my age, as he's always 8.75 years older.
    Last edited by swimmj; December 16th, 2009 at 05:24 PM. Reason: correcting usage issue

  14. #74
    Very Active Member Chris Stevenson's Avatar
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    Re: Masters Motivational Times

    Quote Originally Posted by ehoch View Post
    Yes - absolutely - use any point measurement system, FINA or I think US swimming has one as well and compare times.
    This is probably an ideological impasse since ultimately it is about a choice of what is the appropriate yardstick to evaluate masters times. (I prefer to use masters records, you prefer elite records or presumably other elite standards like US OT qualifying times.)

    But it occurs to me that possibly one way to check your assertion that the VA rating system undervalues freestyle times would be to rate all the TT times in freestyle -- or maybe just the top times -- and compare them to the other strokes. If the freestyle times are systematically lower then that would lend credence to your argument. I will do this over the weekend (it wouldn't take long but I can't do it now) and report back.

  15. #75
    Very Active Member jim thornton's Avatar
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    Re: Masters Motivational Times

    Chris, please don't forget to consider the Hardy-Weinberg equilibrium:

    p^2 + 2pq + q^2 = 1
    p = recessive allele
    q = dominant allele

    p^2, q^2, and 2pq are percentages.

    or the effect ofComplex (Imaginary) Numbers:

    i = SQRT(-1)
    i^2 = -1
    1/i = -i
    SQRT(i) = SQRT(1/2) + SQRT(1/2)i

    or, for that matter, the occasionally bamboozling
    Frustum of Right Circular Cone

    Volume = (1/3)PI(r^2 + rR + R^2)h
    Lateral Surface Area = (PI)s(r + R)
    Total Surface Area = PI[r(r+s)+R(R+s)]
    r = small radius
    R = large radius
    h = height
    s = slant height = SQRT[(R-r)2+h2]


    I know that many of our current readers might find these possible cofounders unnecessarily complicated, but I think the only way to impress Mr. Ehoch and his fastidiously Germanic mathematical mindset is to be as detailed as possible.

    Just so long as the bottom line conclusion here remains what we all know it to be: that given the various age, psychiatric, physical, and character weakness handicaps that I, Jim Thornton, personally suffer, math proves that I am clearly the best swimmer of all time when the proper mathematical adjustments have been factored in.

    Thanks, Chris. And you, sir, are a very close No. 2!

    As for you, Mr. Ehoch, you appear to be the best German now swimming in America in your age group with your knowledge of math.

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    Re: Masters Motivational Times

    Posted these next to the age groupers national cuts times...I know some of the youngster are surprised that A) Old farts still race and 2) some of them are faster than they are!



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    Re: Masters Motivational Times

    No need to justify them, in my opinion. These are for motivation, not for validation. And so my special request is for no adjustment for fastsuits. I don't want a handicapped table or percentile calculator; I want one that will MOTIVATE me, regardless of suit type.

  18. #78
    Very Active Member jim thornton's Avatar
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    Re: Masters Motivational Times

    Quote Originally Posted by chowmi View Post
    No need to justify them, in my opinion. These are for motivation, not for validation. And so my special request is for no adjustment for fastsuits. I don't want a handicapped table or percentile calculator; I want one that will MOTIVATE me, regardless of suit type.

    Michelle, as a former Pittsburgher, you of all people could benefit from the inclusion of the effect of Complex (Imaginary) Numbers:

    i = SQRT(-1)
    i^2 = -1
    1/i = -i
    SQRT(i) = SQRT(1/2) + SQRT(1/2)i

    I have thusly incorporated this into my NFL rankings, and the Steelers have managed to win yet another Superbowl this year, despite not making the playoffs.

    Talk about motivating!

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    Re: Masters Motivational Times

    I think the B-A-AA etc. system probably means more to those of us who swam age group/USA swimming then someone new to masters, but it is nice to have some type of guideline to figure where you are swimming (in relation to top times). Especially nice for those of us who swim in somewhat isolated areas and don't see really fast competition on a regular basis.

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    Re: Masters Motivational Times

    The top post has been updated with LCM motivational times.

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