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Vlog the Inhaler, or The Occasional Video Blog Musings of Jim Thornton

Request predictions! How low will USMS records go by 2070?

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It's been a while since I have posted anything on my blog, and I suspect whatever readership I might have once had has withered away to practically nothing.

But for you few putative (or imaginary) stalwarts who have faithfully awaited a new post in the once immensely popular Vlog the Inhaler blog, I humbly beseech your help.

I am writing a story for Swimmer magazine on where USMS records are likely to be 50 years from now.

There are a total of 1800+ individual pool records possible, so to narrow things down, I'm concentrating on two events in two age groups: the 100 yards free and the 400 yard IM in age groups 45-49 and 65-69.

The current records here are pretty amazing, and the curves showing the trajectories since USMS began 50 years ago suggest there is likely plenty of room to drop.

If you could send me your email address to , I will send you my little prediction form plus graphs of the record trends. Thanks in advance.

Alternatively, you could just post your predictions here. In any event, I need to have my story in by the 15th, so please act with some alacrity! Again, thanks so much in advance.

PS if you could include any rationale
behind your predictions (mathematical analysis, guess work, gut feeling, whatever) that would be fantastic!

Note: current records and record holders are in red below.

Name: _______________________

Your predictions for records by 2070:

Men 100 Free

Now:45-49 (N. Grainger: 46.21) 65-69 (R. Abrahams: 49.42)

By 2070 _________________ _________________

Women 100 Free

Now: 45-49 (E. Braun: 51.99) 65-69 (L. Val: 57.88)

By 2070: _______________ _________________

Men 400 IM

Now:45-49 (N. Grainger: 4:01.32) 65-69 (R. Colella: 4:30.64)

By 2070: ___________ _____________________

Women 400 IM

Now: 45-49 (K. Pipes-Nielsen: 4:32.87) 5-69 (L. Val: 5:21.70)

By 2070: ___________ __________________

Rationale for your choices:

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  1. __steve__'s Avatar
    Using Excel XY scatter one could get a hypothetical estimation. Using historical accounts on the X axis vs seconds on the Y, just follow the graph for the future. Unfortunately I don’t have Excel on my computer. But 50 years would be quite a stretch anyway, especially with recent performances which would skew the forecasted graph to impossible times by 2070, let alone 2050, especially considering water’s effect on terminal velocity. Furthermore we’ve already made much of the improvements in drag for swimming allowed for competition.

    My guess, in order of percentage improved upon:
    W65-69 400IM (4:59.18)
    M65-69 4IM (4:18.81)
    M45-49 4IM (3:47.56)
    W45-49 4IM (4:19.23)
    W65-69 1FR (56.14)
    M45-49 1FR (45.05)
    W45-49 1FR (50.95),
    then finally the least improved upon percentage estimation would be the 65-69 1FR (48.68).
    Updated August 13th, 2020 at 10:41 AM by __steve__
  2. Karl_S's Avatar
    Steve's predictions are way too conservative. Lots of folks in their 40s hit very near to times they did in college. We are talking 50 years from now.