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Can we address the gorilla in the room?
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Can we please stop calling it "Adult Onset Swimmer"?

It makes it sound like y'all have some sort of disease or are broken or something. You can swim now therefore you are a swimmer. I did not start biking until my 20's and I don't say I have adult onset cycling haha

I just had to get that out of my system haha sorry
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Re: Can we address the gorilla in the room? [Twinkie] [ In reply to ]
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Twinkie wrote:
Can we please stop calling it "Adult Onset Swimmer"?

It makes it sound like y'all have some sort of disease or are broken or something. You can swim now therefore you are a swimmer. I did not start biking until my 20's and I don't say I have adult onset cycling haha

I just had to get that out of my system haha sorry

Just so you know, it's very hard to swim in a gorilla suit. Running is much easier.

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Re: Can we address the gorilla in the room? [Twinkie] [ In reply to ]
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Twinkie wrote:
Can we please stop calling it "Adult Onset Swimmer"?

It makes it sound like y'all have some sort of disease or are broken or something. You can swim now therefore you are a swimmer. I did not start biking until my 20's and I don't say I have adult onset cycling haha

I just had to get that out of my system haha sorry

People like excuses.
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Re: Can we address the gorilla in the room? [Twinkie] [ In reply to ]
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Cycling isn't as technical of a sport when compared to swimming. Swimming is greatly affected by the body's bio-mechanics unlike cycling. True swimmers have a freakish range of motion and this is done by growing up swimming while the body is developing and adapting to the demands placed on it. So if you grow up a swimmer, your body reflects that in it's development.

For people who are fully developed (aka all grown up) there is little to no chance that they will ever achieve that same range of motion. So in a way, it is inherently a bio-mechanical deficiency that we speak of when saying "Adult On Set Swimmer"

------
"Train so you have no regrets @ the finish line"
Last edited by: PushThePace: Jun 13, 18 12:20
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Re: Can we address the gorilla in the room? [PushThePace] [ In reply to ]
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I don't think age has anything to do with it, you either have the coordination or not. If you watch junior squads there's plenty of terrible swimmers, they all eventually quit. Of you go even younger to learn to swim classes you can see it. Same class, same teacher, some kids swim worse than triathletes where some have the beginnings of good technique.
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Re: Can we address the gorilla in the room? [Twinkie] [ In reply to ]
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Twinkie wrote:
Can we please stop calling it "Adult Onset Swimmer"?

It makes it sound like y'all have some sort of disease or are broken or something. You can swim now therefore you are a swimmer. I did not start biking until my 20's and I don't say I have adult onset cycling haha

I just had to get that out of my system haha sorry

I thought it was a disease!
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Re: Can we address the gorilla in the room? [Twinkie] [ In reply to ]
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 For a surfer, my swimming is surprisingly bad; stone-like, in fact. And by "Stone-like," I mean that in a Brian Jones kinda way

Blessed are the Nobodies, for Theirs is the Kingdom of Fascinating Stories
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Re: Can we address the gorilla in the room? [Twinkie] [ In reply to ]
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I did not start biking until my 20's //

You are lying, every kid rides some kind of bike at some point. And every kid runs doing some sport, or just runs, it is what kids do. But many do not learn to swim, ever. So after you are out of school and you never learned to swim, you are a AOS. And it makes a huge difference in this one particular sport that you did not learn it as a kid. This is why I coined that term, it is a distinct category. Can you overcome it and become great? Well eventually the sperm does get to the egg, so occasionally one does succeed... (-;
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Re: Can we address the gorilla in the room? [Twinkie] [ In reply to ]
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because it give me a good excuse for my shit swimming
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Re: Can we address the gorilla in the room? [PushThePace] [ In reply to ]
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Cycling isn't as technical of a sport when compared to swimming.

That is not entirely true. Both cycling and swimming at high levels take technique and talent and a lot of work.

Part of what you are seeing with the difference between people who swam competitively as kids and the dreaded "AOS" is you are doing the equivalent of comparing semi to totally serious bike racers to total newbies. Any kid who was on the a swim team back when they were a kid for more than a couple years was likely at least the equivalent of a Cat 3 crit racer in cycling parlance (the kids that suck by and large quit after a year or two). The guys who swam seriously in high school were cat 1s or 2s and the college swimmers are at least 1's and were full on Continental pros or higher if they got scholarships. AOS bike riders get their asses totally handed to them on the Saturday group ride too by the 40 year old retired cat 1 racers.

There is actually no physical reason an AOS can't get nearly as fast as they would have if they had taken up competitive swimming as a kid - if they do the work they would have had to do back then. Talent (and age) does matter and will eventually be a limiter and not everyone, kid or not, can work themselves into being a superstar. But being 35 and being slower than a 14 year old has much more to do with the fact that `14 year old already has several hundred thousand yards under his belt under the watchful eye of a coach and years of swimming hard next to a bunch of people who are faster than him.
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Re: Can we address the gorilla in the room? [monty] [ In reply to ]
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monty wrote:
eventually the sperm does get to the egg, so occasionally one does succeed

The only swim meet I ever won, I guess?

Blessed are the Nobodies, for Theirs is the Kingdom of Fascinating Stories
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Re: Can we address the gorilla in the room? [STP] [ In reply to ]
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So you’re arguing the theory of evolution then?

------
"Train so you have no regrets @ the finish line"
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Re: Can we address the gorilla in the room? [PushThePace] [ In reply to ]
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https://en.wikipedia.org/...uatic_ape_hypothesis

http://www.sci-news.com/...swim-dive-01319.html

Blessed are the Nobodies, for Theirs is the Kingdom of Fascinating Stories
Last edited by: RandMart: Jun 13, 18 14:11
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Re: Can we address the gorilla in the room? [Twinkie] [ In reply to ]
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I agree with the OP for the most part. Def for the typical AG-triathlete - start in youth does NOT make a shred of difference. It's ALL about working hard and consistently as an adult.

Don't get me wrong - there is definitely some added value in learning an activity as a kid that pays dividends as an adult years down the road. But it's nowhere as make-break as triathletes think it is.

Pure swimmers who swam from youth ALWAYS make the mistake that 'anyone could swim like them if they had only started as early as they did.' Biggest fallacy ever. Anyone who sticks with swimming through years of youth programs is very talented in swimming - full stop. There are NO ifs, ands, or buts about this.

There is NO parent out there that will continue driving their kid to swim practices for years, often butt-early in the morning, sometimes twice a day, when their kid is hating it and finishing in the bottom 25% every time. Only the 'FOP', if not "FFFOP" of youth swimmers emerge from years of youth swimming, so fast youth swimmers are literally the most talented of the bunch. At the least, all the true BOP or MOBOP-talent youth swimmers will drop out well before years and years of practice.

It's very common here for collegiate swimmers to say, 'well, I was a MOP swimmer, I clearly have no talent since I was never close to a NCAA championship blah blah blah.' Yeah, sure, a collegiate swimmer is a MOP swimmer compared to normies. Just like a collegiate D3 low-level runner who runs 16:50 5ks is a MOP runner compared to normies, right....
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Re: Can we address the gorilla in the room? [Twinkie] [ In reply to ]
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Twinkie wrote:
Can we please stop calling it "Adult Onset Swimmer"?
y

Fwiw USAT isn't looking around and saying "hey, here is a excellent running/biker let's teach them to swim" because it is just isn't efficient to do so. For the most part it is much easier to teach someone to be a great biker than it is to be a great swimmer. Learning basic things like speech and movement patterns are incredibly important things to do learn at a young age. Sure you can learn German at 30 but you are not going to Germany and fooling anyone that you are not from Germany. Swimming is a tough sport and I have witnessed this with my peers for a long time. The number of times, I have written off a certain triathlete because they can't swim is numerous. I also know how long and how much effort they are going to have to put in to make improvements and that affects their ability to train the run/bike.

You might not like the term but AOS is a real thing. I wouldn't be surprised to see it in medical textbooks real soon.


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Re: Can we address the gorilla in the room? [Twinkie] [ In reply to ]
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Twinkie wrote:
Can we please stop calling it "Adult Onset Swimmer"?

It makes it sound like y'all have some sort of disease or are broken or something. You can swim now therefore you are a swimmer. I did not start biking until my 20's and I don't say I have adult onset cycling haha

I just had to get that out of my system haha sorry

Hi! My name is Tom Hampton and I have AOS.
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Re: Can we address the gorilla in the room? [RandMart] [ In reply to ]
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RandMart wrote:
For a surfer, my swimming is surprisingly bad; stone-like, in fact. And by "Stone-like," I mean that in a Brian Jones kinda way

good one.......
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Re: Can we address the gorilla in the room? [Thomas Gerlach] [ In reply to ]
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Thomas Gerlach wrote:
Twinkie wrote:
Can we please stop calling it "Adult Onset Swimmer"?
y


Fwiw USAT isn't looking around and saying "hey, here is a excellent running/biker let's teach them to swim" because it is just isn't efficient to do so. For the most part it is much easier to teach someone to be a great biker than it is to be a great swimmer. Learning basic things like speech and movement patterns are incredibly important things to do learn at a young age. Sure you can learn German at 30 but you are not going to Germany and fooling anyone that you are not from Germany. Swimming is a tough sport and I have witnessed this with my peers for a long time. The number of times, I have written off a certain triathlete because they can't swim is numerous. I also know how long and how much effort they are going to have to put in to make improvements and that affects their ability to train the run/bike.

You might not like the term but AOS is a real thing. I wouldn't be surprised to see it in medical textbooks real soon.


I say it's much more of a time-commitment to get 'good' at swimming (requiring tons of time) compared to bike/swim.

An 'elite' youth swimmer will swim twice a day, 2+ hrs per day.

An 'elite' youth HS runner nowadays will typically max out at 40-50mpw due to risk of injury. There was a movement toward 70+mpw for awhile, but coaches are noticing plateaus and burnout in early adulthood, so they're pulling back the volume. (There's an article in NYT or something about the next great American HS female runner, and her coach maxxes her at 40mpw per the article.)

Any way you dice it, 50mpw is wayyyy less of a time commitment than 2+hrs/day, 7 days per week. In addition, the body seems to respond faster to run/bike training for those with talent, probably because we are hardwired to run and use our legs for locomotion. Whereas in swimming, it's utterly unnatural for us to swim fast and long.

It's also inaccurate to use language comparisons to sports like swimming. Science has proven that humans have a SPECIFIC language center that accounts for kids' natural language acquisition. We definitely do not have a 'swimming' center of our brain, and the wiring of the neural impulses will invariably be different.

There is def some advantage to starting young, but it's arguable that even that advantage will be eclipsed by talent effects in sports. I think it's telling that in a lot of other high-coordination team sports like basketball, soccer, lacrosse, football, coaches are now moving away from recruiting single sport-specific kids groomed from childhood, and trying to recruit top athletes from entirely different sports, as they'll have a different set of talent/skills from the other sport, yet still be acquire the critical bulk of the new sport. If starting from age 6 were so critical, I doubt this would be the favored pathway by many high level college/pro recruiters.
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Re: Can we address the gorilla in the room? [Twinkie] [ In reply to ]
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i never heard of the term until I visited this forum. i would just call these people non-swimmers or recreational swimmers. Actually thinking about it I would call anyone who would wear a speedo a swimmer and then there is everyone else.
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Re: Can we address the gorilla in the room? [monty] [ In reply to ]
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monty wrote:
I did not start biking until my 20's //

You are lying, every kid rides some kind of bike at some point. And every kid runs doing some sport, or just runs, it is what kids do. But many do not learn to swim, ever. So after you are out of school and you never learned to swim, you are a AOS. And it makes a huge difference in this one particular sport that you did not learn it as a kid. This is why I coined that term, it is a distinct category. Can you overcome it and become great? Well eventually the sperm does get to the egg, so occasionally one does succeed... (-;


Monty, to some degree you are correct, and you've virtually watched my change into attempting to become a swimmer in my 50's. I am finding my body is morphing to actually conform to the water. Things like getting into this torpedo position 2 years ago, I just did not have the range of motion in my neck and shoulders to do:



My

neck and shoulders would not let me get into this position but 3000 km of swimming later it can



and forget about my core doing this 2 years ago, but now it can:



And I think my spine would snap trying this:



While it may not be entirely possible for us adult adopters of swimming to get to the proficiency level of those that did it in the teens (just like if I try to teach a 52 year old to head a soccer ball or do a bicycle kick which I can still feel in my bones when I watch a pro do it), I think with enough practice we can gradually increase our range of motion and also the associated timing and application of force to develop proficiency.

I THINK the other aspect that people leave out is that you need a decently big engine to do swim technique with great proficiency. Slowman wrote about it around 15 years ago in an article entiled "the high cost of good form". It is going to be easier for a 4.5W per kilo athlete to be able to do 10-15m of underwater dolphin kicks off a wall than a 3W per kilo athlete. The latter can swim all they want, but they suffer an aerobic capacity disadvantage that the 4.5W per kilo athlete has. All those 20-30 hour weeks you guys spent in the pool at teens while us runners were barely doing 6-7 hours per week at track practice, means you developed some seriously kick ass engines that not that many non swimmers developed in youth. It is no wonder that all you early day pros (yourself, Dave Scott, Mark Allen, Scott Molina) came from swim backgrounds. You just don't do enough volume in many of the other sports in youth to get to these massive aerobic engines. On this last card I lucked in because although I was not swimming, I was minimally doing track and soccer or track + baseball + soccer + tennis + playing the park through my youth. Iwas on the 3 hour per day training program through my entire teen life and did not even think it was training. So my engine got to evolve over multiple sports...plus my dad telling me to take the bus to practice or ride my bike, but no lifts....so I just rode or ran to practices.

I really don't think you can become a good swimmer without a good engine in adult life. The athlete with a small engine is doubly impaired because they can't carry enough oxygen to their muscles to pull fast enough to get to the next breath quicker, so they delay oxygen going in. If you put a 6W per kilo engine in me vs 4W per kilo engine, I am pretty sure I can easily take my 200 fly below 2:20 with the exact technique I have not. But right now, I am up around 3:30.

Or put it another way, if you put my engine inside Lionel Sander's body, that 18:50 1500m long course he swam, I bet turns into somthing like 23-24 minutes (which is just a bit faster than what I swam recently at swim Canada masters nationals).

In running terms you can take two athletes with exact same body proportions, muscle composition, technical ability (hard to measure) and training plan, and one guy will be a 38 minute 10K runner and another will be 31. Engine size does matter because it allows us to swim and run with better form and not every adult onset swimmer has a good engine to go with the hours of swimming they may choose to do.
Last edited by: devashish_paul: Jun 13, 18 16:14
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Re: Can we address the gorilla in the room? [STP] [ In reply to ]
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STP wrote:
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Cycling isn't as technical of a sport when compared to swimming.


That is not entirely true. Both cycling and swimming at high levels take technique and talent and a lot of work.



Cycling is a highly constrained motion. Swimming is highly unconstrained. You could put that gorilla on a bike, and he'd pretty much nail the technique.





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Re: Can we address the gorilla in the room? [lightheir] [ In reply to ]
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lightheir wrote:
It's also inaccurate to use language comparisons to sports like swimming. Science has proven that humans have a SPECIFIC language center that accounts for kids' natural language acquisition. We definitely do not have a 'swimming' center of our brain, and the wiring of the neural impulses will invariably be different.

I was just thinking about things like proprioception in general. Moving your hand thru water, understanding where you body is in relation to your hand in water seems like something that would be very beneficial to learn and practice from a young age as you are working on things. I don't disagree that the language is slightly different analogy and definitely not saying you can't learn to swim and how much motivation matters too. However, I have watched enough kids/young adults learn to type, play the piano, swing a golf club to know that it helps if you start at a young age. I can't think of anything more cruel as an obstacle than the drag created by water. Developing subtle techniques to reduce drag/increase propulsion goes a long way.

Bottom line...if I am betting on some triathlon horses, I am always going to bet against the non-swimmer if they all have the same engine size. I have watched enough super talented athletes exit because their swim just wasn't there. Maybe they could have developed it with enough practice, but it just doesn't happen. When an adult onset swimmer triathlete swims with Frodeno/Gomez/Amberger I'll change my tune. Right now we have Sanders and Hanson, and it is hard to even debate Sanders as a true onset as I arbitrarily use 25 as my cutoff and he was well under that. Hanson swims well in swim practice but hasn't been able to make the jump fully. My argument is that is engine is making up for the efficiency deficit and that just isn't sustainable in a race.


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Re: Can we address the gorilla in the room? [Thomas Gerlach] [ In reply to ]
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Can we just agree that all of those super fast "Child Onset Swimmers" are all terrible cyclists and move on? Pink-ish?

Don't drown. Don't crash. Don't walk.
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Re: Can we address the gorilla in the room? [rotosound] [ In reply to ]
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rotosound wrote:
Can we just agree that all of those super fast "Child Onset Swimmers" are all terrible cyclists and move on? Pink-ish?


No they are all pretty solid cyclists. They may or may not evolve to uber runners, But Josh bagged some pretty solids runs at Cairns 2017 and IM South Africa 2018 too . I would say that Richie Porte is a pretty solid child onset swimmer turned biker!
Last edited by: devashish_paul: Jun 13, 18 20:23
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Re: Can we address the gorilla in the room? [Thomas Gerlach] [ In reply to ]
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Hello Thomas Gerlach and All,

In support of your comments above ....

Let me say at the outset that I think humans can learn to swim well later in life.

Also we are not cats .....



....... However ..... in discussing the importance of learning at an early age .....

Google

Pruning is a process that is more important than was once believed. Experiences during infancy and childhood form the connections that shape the development of the brain. Pruning is a key part of brain development because it eliminates the connections that are not used often enough.

And ............... https://computervisionblog.wordpress.com/...-acquired-or-innate/


Excerpts:


"A further experiment was done by Hubel and Wiesel to understood whether the ability to see is innate or acquired. The experiment is done by suturing one of the eyes of a newborn kitten and reopen it after a certain period. Surprisingly kittens with one eye deprived of vision for the first 3 month remain blind on that eye for their whole life."




"Another cat experiment done by Blakemore and Cooper gave an even clearer result. Two special cylinders are made, one with only vertical stripes inside and the other with only horizontal stripes.

Newborn kittens are placed in one of the cylinders the first few month. Kittens that only perceive vertical lines for the first few month of birth could only see vertical lines not horizontal lines for the rest of their life. The following video explains more in detail."

==============

Not mentioned in the above experiments was one done with cats raised in an environment without any straight edges (inside a sphere).

The adult cats would walk right off the edge of a table since they could not perceive the straight edge.

Cheers, Neal

+1 mph Faster
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