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Thread: Seeing/Knowing Split-Times??

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    Seeing/Knowing Split-Times??

    Apologies if this seems to be a really strange topic.

    So, as I continue to do flip-turn drills, with a goal of doing flip-turns at my next meet (several months from now), something occurred to me:

    How do you know your split-times in a particular swim when doing flip-turns?

    Does it matter? (It matters to me, but am I a silly OCD/Newbie/ex-runner?)
    M-50m, T-200m, W-800m, T-25m, F-100m, S-400m, S-1600m.

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    Moderator Rob Copeland's Avatar
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    Re: Seeing/Knowing Split-Times??

    If there is a clock on the side of the pool then you can check your splits on the way in to or out of your turns. If not, you can invest in an underwater pace clock, like Pace Pal.
    The opinions expressed in the above post are mine and not those of U.S. Masters Swimming.

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    Re: Seeing/Knowing Split-Times??

    Get a firebelly

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    Re: Seeing/Knowing Split-Times??

    ***looks up firebelly***

    Sorry, I was going to add more to my initial post but I had to suddenly run off.

    At Olympics, etc, do the world's best have an awareness of splits? Are underwater clocks available for them?

    As a somewhat competitive runner, this was crucial to me. And now as a Newbie swimmer who can glance at the clock during open turns, I have the luxury of knowing/adjusting my pace.

    But yes, I now understand that we can glance just before/after flipping.
    M-50m, T-200m, W-800m, T-25m, F-100m, S-400m, S-1600m.

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    Very Active Member knelson's Avatar
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    Re: Seeing/Knowing Split-Times??

    Quote Originally Posted by Skuj View Post
    At Olympics, etc, do the world's best have an awareness of splits? Are underwater clocks available for them?
    No, and in fact it's against the rules:
    "SW 10.16 No pace-making shall be permitted, nor may any device be used or plan adopted which
    has that effect." (this is from the FINA swimming rules http://www.fina.org/sites/default/fi...g_16032018.pdf)

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    Very Active Member pwb's Avatar
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    Re: Seeing/Knowing Split-Times??

    Quote Originally Posted by Skuj View Post
    Does it matter?
    Not in the moment ... wasting your time/energy looking is only going to mess with your form (which is a huge determinant of speed). After the fact, knowing your splits is kind of mildly interesting, but in an out-of-body kind of way since you can't do anything about it then.

    I have found that runners have a harder time adapting to the zen of swimming ... go with the flow and the feeling, live in the aquatic moment ... and, please leave those stupid watches on the deck ... they just mess with your balance in the water anyways ...

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    Re: Seeing/Knowing Split-Times??

    Quote Originally Posted by pwb View Post
    Not in the moment ... wasting your time/energy looking is only going to mess with your form (which is a huge determinant of speed). After the fact, knowing your splits is kind of mildly interesting, but in an out-of-body kind of way since you can't do anything about it then.

    I have found that runners have a harder time adapting to the zen of swimming ... go with the flow and the feeling, live in the aquatic moment ... and, please leave those stupid watches on the deck ... they just mess with your balance in the water anyways ...
    Interesting.

    At my first meet I swam "blind" - ie I couldn't find a clock to check. Afterwards my splits were PAINFUL to look at. I started way too fast and died. If I had known at the time what my very silly first 50m was, I'm sure that I would have adjusted accordingly (it wasn't too late then) and had a better result.

    But, this was my first meet and I agree with you about form/zen etc. I can learn this.

    Also....it's illegal!!? (Knelson's post). Are we talking about clocks on the wall, or "pacemaking" here?
    M-50m, T-200m, W-800m, T-25m, F-100m, S-400m, S-1600m.

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    Very Active Member aztimm's Avatar
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    Re: Seeing/Knowing Split-Times??

    Quote Originally Posted by pwb View Post
    Not in the moment ... wasting your time/energy looking is only going to mess with your form (which is a huge determinant of speed). After the fact, knowing your splits is kind of mildly interesting, but in an out-of-body kind of way since you can't do anything about it then.

    I have found that runners have a harder time adapting to the zen of swimming ... go with the flow and the feeling, live in the aquatic moment ... and, please leave those stupid watches on the deck ... they just mess with your balance in the water anyways ...
    It is true! When I was running, I wore a Garmin device and would check my pace periodically, depending on the distance/workout I was doing. When I forgot to charge or something was wrong with it, I felt blind running without it. Pretty much the same with cycling; some cyclists have rather sophisticated computers mounted on their bikes that could easily run $700+ (I just wore the same device I wore for running).

    I started swimming with an Apple watch a few years ago. I'm now used to wearing it and I feel off-balance when I don't.
    Before my first event at USMS nationals a few weeks ago, I asked a referee if I could wear it and was told yes, so I did. We kind of joked how it would take longer to look at my watch -v- just checking the clock. I wear it more for analysis after the swims.
    When I'm doing a workout, I'll look at my watch periodically. My primary pool doesn't have a working pace clock, so I use my watch for that (even when the clock is working, I can only see it from one side, so if I'm doing 25s the watch is easier).
    For something like open water swims, I might check my watch when I'm doing feeds.
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    Very Active Member Calvin S's Avatar
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    Re: Seeing/Knowing Split-Times??

    Quote Originally Posted by Skuj View Post
    Also....it's illegal!!? (Knelson's post). Are we talking about clocks on the wall, or "pacemaking" here?
    If you are wearing a watch and dive in, and a referee or official sees it, you will be disqualified. Even if the watch is off, or you could somehow prove you weren't pacing with it. As for pace clocks, they are SUPPOSED to be turned off for meets, but a few weeks ago I was racing the 1500 at a USA-S meet and the officials forgot to turn the clock off. I don't see it as my job to remind them of that, and I just so happen to breathe to my right side, which faced the clock, so coming in at each 100 I could see the clock and easily figure out my splits. I checked it every 400 meters (skipping the first 100 meters because I did not see what the clock said when the horn sounded to start the race!).

    It was very helpful, but again, my conscience is clear here because I was going to be able to see the clock anyways. Should have been turned off. I have NEVER been at a big USA-S or USMS meet where pace clocks are on. They are a bit more on top of that sort of thing!

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    Very Active Member aztimm's Avatar
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    Re: Seeing/Knowing Split-Times??

    Quote Originally Posted by Calvin S View Post
    If you are wearing a watch and dive in, and a referee or official sees it, you will be disqualified.
    I think they changed the rule on watches, at least with USMS. At nationals a few weeks ago, I specifically asked about it, and was told it was fine. They had huge clocks up that gave splits and were far easier to see than my watch anyway. As far as I can recall, at every meet I've swum in, there have been clocks going that you could possibly see while swimming (I do remember seeing it at Texas A&M for our zone LCM meet 2 years ago).

    I wore my Apple Watch and no one said a word. I just discreetly started it as I climbed up on the blocks and ended the workout just before I climbed out of the water.
    Check out my blog here
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    Very Active Member Allen Stark's Avatar
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    Re: Seeing/Knowing Split-Times??

    FINA Worlds is very strict about the no watch rule. If you wear a watch to the blocks they will DQ you.

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    Very Active Member Calvin S's Avatar
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    Re: Seeing/Knowing Split-Times??

    Quote Originally Posted by aztimm View Post
    I think they changed the rule on watches, at least with USMS. At nationals a few weeks ago, I specifically asked about it, and was told it was fine. They had huge clocks up that gave splits and were far easier to see than my watch anyway. As far as I can recall, at every meet I've swum in, there have been clocks going that you could possibly see while swimming (I do remember seeing it at Texas A&M for our zone LCM meet 2 years ago).

    I wore my Apple Watch and no one said a word. I just discreetly started it as I climbed up on the blocks and ended the workout just before I climbed out of the water.
    I should have prefaced by saying my experiences come almost entirely from USA-S meets. I swim at MAYBE one USMS meet a year. The rest of my competitions are all USA-S. And I have seen people disqualified very recently for wearing watches.

    Let me also add that personally, from a competitive stand point, I don't care of my opponent(s) are wearing watches.

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    Re: Seeing/Knowing Split-Times??

    Quote Originally Posted by Calvin S View Post
    If you are wearing a watch and dive in, and a referee or official sees it, you will be disqualified. Even if the watch is off, or you could somehow prove you weren't pacing with it. As for pace clocks, they are SUPPOSED to be turned off for meets, but a few weeks ago I was racing the 1500 at a USA-S meet and the officials forgot to turn the clock off. I don't see it as my job to remind them of that, and I just so happen to breathe to my right side, which faced the clock, so coming in at each 100 I could see the clock and easily figure out my splits. I checked it every 400 meters (skipping the first 100 meters because I did not see what the clock said when the horn sounded to start the race!).

    It was very helpful, but again, my conscience is clear here because I was going to be able to see the clock anyways. Should have been turned off. I have NEVER been at a big USA-S or USMS meet where pace clocks are on. They are a bit more on top of that sort of thing!
    Fascinating.

    For purely interest sake, I need to ask a couple of questions:

    Why are clocks a "naughty" thing in swimming? How did this manifest? What is the issue here? (I come from a running background, with a reliance on split times, so please forgive my incredulousness around this.)

    How would wearing a watch in a race be helpful in any way whatsoever? How can you even glance at it without disrupting what you are supposed to be doing? Glancing at a clock on the wall can be done with no interruption in form, but glancing at a watch on your wrist?? Seriously?? What am I missing here?
    M-50m, T-200m, W-800m, T-25m, F-100m, S-400m, S-1600m.

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    Very Active Member Calvin S's Avatar
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    Re: Seeing/Knowing Split-Times??

    Quote Originally Posted by Skuj View Post
    Fascinating.

    For purely interest sake, I need to ask a couple of questions:

    Why are clocks a "naughty" thing in swimming? How did this manifest? What is the issue here? (I come from a running background, with a reliance on split times, so please forgive my incredulousness around this.)

    How would wearing a watch in a race be helpful in any way whatsoever? How can you even glance at it without disrupting what you are supposed to be doing? Glancing at a clock on the wall can be done with no interruption in form, but glancing at a watch on your wrist?? Seriously?? What am I missing here?
    I think part of it is that not every competitor has a watch or access to one, so it evens the playing field if NO ONE gets to have one. I realize you could also make the same argument for cap and goggles, but watch just seems different.

    As to how I can use a pace clock while swimming, that is a skill I honed and refined over years and years of swimming. I breathe every 2 strokes (or once per stroke cycle), so always to my right side. When in practice I time my last breath to be the stroke before my turn allowing me to take a normal breath and see the clock IF it is positioned a yard or two MAX from the end of the pool. I do not have to break stroke or breathing pattern. As I turn my body/head and breathe, the clock is clearly visible. It works even better if the clock is positioned a little higher off the ground. I have been using the clock to count lengths, laps, and repetitions for the better part of 20 years now. I don't count (1 lap, 2 laps, 3 laps, etc. in my head when ticking off the lengths of a 400 in practice), I just watch the clock and if I lose count, I can check the clock against what my pace. If I miscount on said 400 and see 3:03 when I flip, I can ask myself "Ok, are you at the 300 or the 250? Well if you are just flipped for the 300 you are averaging 1:01s (which is basically threshold for me). Does it feel like you are holding 1:01s? Am I about to puke and does my face feel on fire? No? Well then I just flipped for the 250."

    I realize that feels like a lot of soul searching when I could be focusing on other things like stroke, kick, or flip technique, but all those thoughts basically happen simultaneously for me. If I were to try and glance at my wrist to see a watch, that WOULD mess up my stroke. Glancing at the pace clock right before my flip turn is effortless for me. The only difficult part for me is if sometimes the pace clock is not on my right side as I approach the wall. This requires me to map out my strokes/breaths when I am about 12-15 meters from the wall so that my last breath comes on my opposite side (left), allowing me to still see the clock. Usually when the clock is positioned to the other side, I check less frequently.

    EDIT: Just want to add that this is also why I HATE pools where the pace clocks are positioned at the end(s) of the pool. For my method to work the clocks MUST be on the side of the pool, and really inside the flags to get the most accurate splits!

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    Re: Seeing/Knowing Split-Times??

    Thanks Calvin S.

    I'm very surprised that, in 2019, a rule is influenced by universal access to timing devices. I would think that swimming pools themselves are much harder to acquire in certain populations.
    M-50m, T-200m, W-800m, T-25m, F-100m, S-400m, S-1600m.

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    Re: Seeing/Knowing Split-Times??

    Quote Originally Posted by Skuj View Post
    Thanks Calvin S.

    I'm very surprised that, in 2019, a rule is influenced by universal access to timing devices. I would think that swimming pools themselves are much harder to acquire in certain populations.
    Please note mine was just an educated guess as to why they have the rule. Iím sure there are multiple reasons why, but I gave up understanding FINA, FIFA, FIBA, and every other French international governing body for sports years ago.

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    Re: Seeing/Knowing Split-Times??

    The Rules Committee chair (somewhat) recently posted a blog about watches here: http://forums.usms.org/entry.php?431...in-Competition

    Mollie Grover
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    Very Active Member knelson's Avatar
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    Re: Seeing/Knowing Split-Times??

    Quote Originally Posted by Skuj View Post
    How would wearing a watch in a race be helpful in any way whatsoever? How can you even glance at it without disrupting what you are supposed to be doing? Glancing at a clock on the wall can be done with no interruption in form, but glancing at a watch on your wrist?? Seriously?? What am I missing here?
    I'm not sure if any watches have this feature, but what if a watch could give an audible signal at a regular interval? With that feature you could set your stroke cadence and that would be considered pacing.

    At meets all pace clocks within view of the competition pool should be turned off. That doesn't mean they always are, of course.

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    Very Active Member __steve__'s Avatar
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    Re: Seeing/Knowing Split-Times??

    As a sprinter the split does not matter, always as fast as possible

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