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LOL! Another BT'er to the rescue! :) That Newton thread wouldn't have gone 3 posts on BT without someone suggesting that perhaps improved run pacing might be the results of their training as opposed to their shoe's. Come ST! They are like lambs to the slaughter! ;)
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He posted those results, it was around 21:xx for 1.5K average, which for a swim only race didn't seem very fast to me either even in his AG, and I posted as much, but he didn't respond.
-Of course it's 'effing hard, it's IRONMAN!
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LOL! Another BT'er to the rescue! :) That Newton thread wouldn't have gone 3 posts on BT without someone suggesting that perhaps improved run pacing might be the results of their training as opposed to their shoe's. Come ST! They are like lambs to the slaughter! ;)[/reply]
To all fairness though, it would have also spawned a couple of Vibram Five Finger threads too...
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So, a bunch of "triathletes" that can ride a 40K in 1:00 and run a 5K in 18:00, but cannot swim for shit think their limiter is fitness??
If you cannot swim a 1.5K in under 24 minutes you need SERIOUS help with technique.
This is 100% what I experienced, and after talking to other folks in the local triclub who learned to swim with TI at the same time I did, it's the NORM, not the exception. It's really "duh, common sense!" but Terry definitely oversells his TI approach.
I think he does this subconsciously - he's an accomplished swimmer with a lifetime of swimming experience, so his "go easy" taps into that. So it likely does work for him as it does for folks who swam a bunch in childhood and revisited it as an adult.
But for adult true newb learners like myself, it's not realistic at all. How are you possible supposed to magically swim 1:40/100m for 1500m when all you do in practice is do well-rested, technique-perfect sets at your uber-comfy pace of 2:10/100m with tons of rest between each 200m? I had repeated rude awakenings of swimming closer to 2:30 in OWS on race day because of the shock of having to swim while fatigued - something I hadn't done enough in practice due to Terry's advice.
Perhaps the only good thing, in my opinion, about the outlandish claim that you can swim fast with no hard work, is that it seduces newbs (like me) who otherwise wouldn't have touched triathlon with a 10-foot pole because of our fear of the swim leg. If I knew how hard I'd have to work on the swim just to get to MOP, I almost certainly never would have started triathlon at all! But I drank Terry's cool aid, and I recall being super-excited to find that "free speed" he was talking about.
2 years later, and I've yet to find any sort of free speed in swimming. Yes, technique is crucial, and I spent an entire year doing nothing but technique, but I wouldn't call that free speed, more like avoiding drowning (slower than 2:40/100m.)
I can tell you what definitely works for a beginner like me to get a lot faster, though. Swim 15,000k per week. For months. That DEFINITELY works, and is absolutely indisputable. Regardless of what minor technical flaws you still have.
Well...you don't use your arms in either a 40k bike or 5k so I'd have to say fitness and perfect technique wouldn't get you to a 24min swim..IMHO
Unless you have a swim technique that doesn't require you to move your arms?
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Pay special attention to his 'caveat' where he makes an exception for those elite swimmers that did a ton of red-line training in their youth...those are probably the studly swimmers giving him grief on the BT thread (or their disciples who are just repeating what they heard).
IMO, elite swimmers are not necessarily the best people to get your advice from. They are physiologically different. It's like their childhood of swimming evolved them in to something we will never be.
And he made a VERY, VERY good point about swimming being restorative. It can be better for recovery than just laying in your bed.
Actually, I fall into that category. (Oly 5k about 19:xx and bike spilt about 1:03xx. Swim = terrible!)
I learned to swim 2 years ago. Zero swim background. Spent an entire year on technique and nothing but technique, and only started working hard recently.
I'm sure I have some technique problems, but I've been going to a good masters program of late, and the good coach there (locally respected) agrees that at this point, I'll only make minor gains with technique. Definitely nothing like 20-30sec/100 off.
It all comes down to background. I've been running for over 15 years, and ran 8 marathons, two under sub-3. Add my genetic big legs, and it's no surprise that I can run/bike at a respectable clip.
But on swimming, the limiter is clearly my swim-related endurance and power. There simply aren't enough capillaries built up in my swim muscles to function efficiently, and I can feel it. Even though my cardio might be capable of a good bike/run, my arms/lats/back are weak, and force my heart to pump super hard just to keep up. It feels exactly as I do when I do a one-legged bike drill - HR will still spike extremely high since your heart is trying to pump more blood through your entire body to supply a fast-fatiguing area.
It took me years to go from a 25min 5k to a sub-18, and a huge amount of work. (I'm not one of the gifted ones who did it with <35mpw). There's no reason to believe that it won't take similar work to get similarly fast in swimming, years, possibly.
If you doubt this is true, consider the fact that at least two guys in our local tri club who started triathlon several years ago (earlier than me) nearly qualified for the Olympics in swimming in their prime but aren't even close to FOP on the bike/run despite focusing on bike/run now. (Granted, they are almost definitely not training as hard as they did on their swim days, but still, point remains.) Swim fitness and run fitness do not necessarily overlap.
But I learned the lesson well of how to hold everything together while suffering, which is something I feel is a key to comfortable open water swimming and racing. If you never learn that lesson, then how are you supposed to handle it if the current kicks up badly, you get elbowed by another competitor in the ribs, you randomly cramp up for whatever reason. How do you know how to manage the aftermath if you get excited at the start and take it out hard enough to screw up breathing and heart rate if you haven't trained how to handle yourself when you feel like crap and your race is going pear-shaped?
The fact that you think it takes "fitness in your arms"....whatever that is, to swim a 24 minute 1500m shows you haven't a clue what you are talking about. BTW - a good 10 year old boy can swim that fast. It only takes fitness to swim a 1:40/100 if you are a shitty swimmer (based on technique). If you have reasonably sound technique 1:40/100 is a nice all-day cruise pace.....kind of like walking. I say this as a guy that considers himself to still be a shitty swimmer, but seem to come out near the FOP in the swim in most races. I am about a 1:05 40K TT and 21 minute 5K guy.
Just because you don't like the guy or the TI method doesn't mean he isn't correct in the larger picture. The methods are different, but the message is the same.
Not true for draft-legal racing, but for non-draft, my goal is to get out of the water sub-threshold. You are only about 20% in to an endurance race after all.
Just in case anyone missed this. Gerry is a *real* swimming coach - and a very good one. If you want to learn how to swim faster, read THIS post, and ignore anything Terry Laughlin writes. Terry is interested in selling TI videos/classes/etc. Gerry is interested in people swimming faster.
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And I'll bet that you didn't learn to swim 2 years ago, coming from zero swim background.
This sort of generalization is common for experienced folks. I could make the same comment about cycling or running. A 21 5k for me is so slow that would be a joke for me to race at that speed. Even after a complete layoff for 3 months with zero workouts, it took me 3 workout of under 3 miles each to run under 21 for 5k.
Does that mean it doesn't take any fitness to run a 21 5k? No - it just means I have the background built up in my legs so doing it again is easy. It's so easy for me that I've done a sub-21 5k with a stroller pushing my kid just for fun. That still doesn't mean that because it's easy for me, it should be easy for everyone, and that it's all due to my special running technique. For me to get to this level, I had to train my *** off - sprints, volume, and more sprints. Hurt like hell and no shortcuts.
If your fastest 5k ever was a 30 (and there are many on BT who fall in this category), it'll take a hellacious amount of work to get down to 21.
To say that swimming a sub-24 1.5k is so easy that anyone can do it with zero swim fitness is a load of bull. Sub-24 is near, if not FOP in most Oly races, and likely a better performance than a 21min 5k in a lot of races.
I think you're confusing your natural gifts and/or ability with the reality of the situation. That's the same exact critique I have for Terry Laughlin - it might work for him, but I doubt it works for even a minority. FOP is not commonplace precisely because it takes a combination of technique, talent, and hard work. Or else everyone on BT would be FOP.
I have a buddy that ran cross country in college just 5 years ago and no longer runs race a 5K with me and couldn't run faster than 8 minute miles. He maybe has only gained about 6lbs since college and used to run low 15 minute 5Ks, but the guy is just plain out of shape.
I question how much you really worked on technique for that year.
I'm not denying that technique is crucial for swimming - despite your snide remarks, I spent almost 1.5 hours per day, 3-4x/wk on technique last year, with a regular coach (was hella expensive, too!). But I do think that it's overstated, and the example you give is a classic example of such an overstatement.
You are definitely confusing innate ability and background and trying to generalize it as applicable to everyone, when it's clearly not. Just because it's easy me to run a sub-21 5k, for you to swim a sub-24 1500 OWS and easy a bunch of 10 year old swimmers (who often already have 3+ years of serious swimming experience!) to go that fast, doesn't mean that therefore it's all technique requiring no fitness and that EVERYBODY has the ability to do it.
Triathletes are shitty swimmers because they A) have shitty technique and B) because they don't fucking swim in training
Mastering technique requires repitition, repitition requires swimming, but not necessarily "hard" swimming. Let me be clear, I am not an expert, but I don't believe the term "fitness" is sport specific. VO2 is V02, what you can do with that number in a given sport is about economy. I am only evaluating the comments posted, I don't know anything about Terry.
Sub-24 is perhaps better than a sub-21 5k, but both are pretty shitty. The swim is disproportionate in most triathlon distances, so shitty swimmers can get away with it.
shitty is my word of the day.
At some point, and it is a point pretty low on the swimming latter, technique and fitness become mirror images of each other. You have to become more fit to exectute proper techinuque at speed and you need proper technique at speed to develop the fitness to execute techinque and on and on in an endless cycle. You do need to TRAIN to get faster, no just mimic ideal movements. You don't train just to get "fit" but your train, in part to get fit enough to execute proper techinique.
Maybe I'm looking at something else, but http://www.usms.org/...09/2micblresults.pdf
says that the 55-59 record is 44:35 set in 2008; perhaps Terry set it before that record eclipsed his own. But the record in 2008 was 46:09 set in 2007 http://www.usms.org/...08/2micblresults.pdf (I note that a 55-59 woman went 47:52 that year), when Terry went 46:20. Ah, he broke his own record, but lost to a guy who broke his record by more.
(yeah, I'm a bit bored)
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