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Re: QFT: Paulo Sousa on Swimming [Devlin] [ In reply to ]
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Devlin wrote:
David B wrote:
This is always my issue with the whole swimming thing. You can bust your ass for an entire year (or even two) to get an improvement of :30/100meters, so a time savings of 7.5 minutes in an Oly distance race or even up to 20 minutes in an Ironman if you can keep your new technique smooth for an entire 4000 meters. If you can improve your cycling by 2 mph and your run by :30/mile then you gain over 40 minutes in an Ironman. Obviously if you combine all three you're laughing - but I think that time invested on the bike and the run is much better spent when you think about spending 6-8 hours a week in a pool as opposed to biking and running during that time. Just my .02.


If you are a 1:20 swimmer, then a 20 minute improvement in your time is a 25% improvement. I don't think there is a person on the board that wouldn't take a 25% improvement in any segment.

Sure there is. Percentage improvements are irrelevant compared to total time improvements. I'm not sure if it came across clearly but he is talking about choosing between 40 minutes improvement on the bike and 20 minutes improvement on the swim. I'm sure that 40 minutes improvement on the bike is closer to 5-10 %, not 25%, but who cares? It still puts you across the line 20 minutes sooner than the guy who swam 20 minutes faster.

Obviously, this all only works if you accept his hypothetical performance improvements. Maybe he's totally wrong. But we choose to allocate our training based off what our best guess is of the benefits. If he thinks he can get a bigger total gain by cycling those extra hours instead of swimming, then it is only logical for him to choose the cycling. You might convince him otherwise, but not, I think, by talking about percentages.
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Re: QFT: Paulo Sousa on Swimming [JoeO] [ In reply to ]
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JoeO wrote:
Devlin wrote:
David B wrote:

This is always my issue with the whole swimming thing. You can bust your ass for an entire year (or even two) to get an improvement of :30/100meters, so a time savings of 7.5 minutes in an Oly distance race or even up to 20 minutes in an Ironman if you can keep your new technique smooth for an entire 4000 meters. If you can improve your cycling by 2 mph and your run by :30/mile then you gain over 40 minutes in an Ironman. Obviously if you combine all three you're laughing - but I think that time invested on the bike and the run is much better spent when you think about spending 6-8 hours a week in a pool as opposed to biking and running during that time. Just my .02.


If you are a 1:20 swimmer, then a 20 minute improvement in your time is a 25% improvement. I don't think there is a person on the board that wouldn't take a 25% improvement in any segment.


Sure there is. Percentage improvements are irrelevant compared to total time improvements. I'm not sure if it came across clearly but he is talking about choosing between 40 minutes improvement on the bike and 20 minutes improvement on the swim. I'm sure that 40 minutes improvement on the bike is closer to 5-10 %, not 25%, but who cares? It still puts you across the line 20 minutes sooner than the guy who swam 20 minutes faster.

Obviously, this all only works if you accept his hypothetical performance improvements. Maybe he's totally wrong. But we choose to allocate our training based off what our best guess is of the benefits. If he thinks he can get a bigger total gain by cycling those extra hours instead of swimming, then it is only logical for him to choose the cycling. You might convince him otherwise, but not, I think, by talking about percentages.

That's short sighted short term thinking.

John



Top notch coaching: Francois and Accelerate3 | Follow on Twitter: LifetimeAthlete |
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Re: QFT: Paulo Sousa on Swimming [Rappstar] [ In reply to ]
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Rappstar wrote:
-Tex wrote:

Swimming more is not sexy. Paying $100 for a 1 hour session or whatever is not sexy. Swimming alone sucks. You may not save 10 minutes on an Ironman swim, but I bet you'll save it on the whole race. Unfortunately, you can't quantify how much 'energy' you saved by swimming the same time going 'easier' than you did a year earlier.


I'm amazed at how often part in bold gets overlooked. Swimming makes you a better (triathlon) cyclist, just as cycling makes you a better (triathlon) runner. It's not only about the time you save in the water. It's about starting the bike fresh as well.


I rarely chime in on any slowtwitch threads, but figured I'd put my two cents in on this one, especially given Paulo has been coaching my wife and I for the past year.

The biggest change (not the only) working with Paulo was the change he made to our swim volume. Adding over 10K per week to our avg week. Without a doubt - as in 100% confident here - swimming this much on a regular basis has improved our abilities as triathletes more than we thought possible. The visible change has been in our ability to ride harder, and run faster after swimming. Yes, Paulo is also a great cycling and running coach so some changes there have helped as well, but without the ability to shake off a 3.8km swim like it never happened we would be right where we were a year ago. Personally, the changes in my bike power and my run splits have been huge.

Like Jordan, and I'm sure Paulo, is trying to get across, swimming a lot is going to allow you to maintain your best technique throughout the swim and finish off the TRIATHLON much better. It's not going to somehow turn you into a Michael Phelps, perfect technique, kind of swimmer. As Jordan said earlier, most triathlete are just trying to be less crappy in the water...and increased swim fitness will indeed make you less crappy.
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Re: QFT: Paulo Sousa on Swimming [Devlin] [ In reply to ]
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Devlin wrote:
JoeO wrote:


Sure there is. Percentage improvements are irrelevant compared to total time improvements. I'm not sure if it came across clearly but he is talking about choosing between 40 minutes improvement on the bike and 20 minutes improvement on the swim. I'm sure that 40 minutes improvement on the bike is closer to 5-10 %, not 25%, but who cares? It still puts you across the line 20 minutes sooner than the guy who swam 20 minutes faster.

Obviously, this all only works if you accept his hypothetical performance improvements. Maybe he's totally wrong. But we choose to allocate our training based off what our best guess is of the benefits. If he thinks he can get a bigger total gain by cycling those extra hours instead of swimming, then it is only logical for him to choose the cycling. You might convince him otherwise, but not, I think, by talking about percentages.


That's short sighted short term thinking.

John


No, it's just plain practical thinking. Get the low-hanging fruit first. Then go for the smaller gains. Taking that approach doesn't mean I'll never really push the swim. If I get my 40 minutes on the bike this year, I can go for 20 minutes in the swim NEXT year.
Last edited by: JoeO: Dec 29, 11 8:52
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Re: QFT: Paulo Sousa on Swimming [JoeO] [ In reply to ]
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JoeO wrote:
Devlin wrote:
JoeO wrote:


Sure there is. Percentage improvements are irrelevant compared to total time improvements. I'm not sure if it came across clearly but he is talking about choosing between 40 minutes improvement on the bike and 20 minutes improvement on the swim. I'm sure that 40 minutes improvement on the bike is closer to 5-10 %, not 25%, but who cares? It still puts you across the line 20 minutes sooner than the guy who swam 20 minutes faster.

Obviously, this all only works if you accept his hypothetical performance improvements. Maybe he's totally wrong. But we choose to allocate our training based off what our best guess is of the benefits. If he thinks he can get a bigger total gain by cycling those extra hours instead of swimming, then it is only logical for him to choose the cycling. You might convince him otherwise, but not, I think, by talking about percentages.


That's short sighted short term thinking.

John


No, it's just plain practical thinking. Get the low-hanging fruit first. Then go for the smaller gains. Taking that approach doesn't mean I'll never really push the swim. If I get my 40 minutes on the bike this year, I can go for 20 minutes in the swim NEXT year.

How much faster can your run get??? Dude your fast, I think your gained would be a bike/ swim focus. Maybe your bro can help you with the swim :0)

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Re: QFT: Paulo Sousa on Swimming [Rappstar] [ In reply to ]
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This video shows you the difference fitness make. Both have good technique, one is a good skier the other a world class skier.

http://svtplay.se/...far_karlsson_pa_fall

The skier on the left needs fitness, not drills ;-)

Member of Valhalla Racing Team
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Re: QFT: Paulo Sousa on Swimming [Bmanners] [ In reply to ]
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Bmanners wrote:

How much faster can your run get??? Dude your fast, I think your gained would be a bike/ swim focus. Maybe your bro can help you with the swim :0)

Actually my running is getting slower (except maybe for the marathon) because my best running days were in my 20s and 30s. Part of the reason why I took up triathlon a few years ago and like it is that I finally have endurance sports I can actually get better at! :-)
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Re: QFT: Paulo Sousa on Swimming [BDoughtie] [ In reply to ]
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BDoughtie wrote:
On the other hand, open water swimming is a 16 min ride from home, so if I wake up early enough, I can ride to the swim, ride home, drop off swim gear and then ride to work. Again, I understand all of this may not be possible in many communities, but in mine where it is possible, I see very few people taking advantage of this opporutunity.

_____

Do you have a change of clothes at work? Or do you carry clothes in like a bag or something. I dont work in a suit and tie job, but always wondered about the difficulty in that situation with riding a bike to work (ie for a workout or simply commute style riding). I've got to think for someone's job where they have to wear a suit and tie, doing a swim workout and then biking to work just wont cut it, unless there is a facility to shower/change/prepare for work.

ETA: I'm not trying to make excuses for why more people dont commute to work, more or less trying to understand the dynamics that actually allow you to pull it off. For some, I've got to guess without proper changing facilities, it's just not kousher (sp) to bike-swim workout-bike to work. Of course if someone is the boss man of their company, they can basically do whatever they want.

Sometimes I have to wear a suit at work, usually not. Just dress pants and dress shirts. I keep extra clothing at work and we have a shower facility. I actually won't take a job at a company that does not have a shower facility no matter how much it pays. The quality of life impact associated with not being able to conveniently access workouts can't be compensated with $$$ in my value system (at least any of the jobs that I'd be kind of qualified for can't pay enough to offset having to miss workouts). I miss enough workouts on business travel that I really don't want to have to deal with having to miss them at home :-)

Dev
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Re: QFT: Paulo Sousa on Swimming [T-Wurt] [ In reply to ]
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Trevor,

Welcome aboard. Don't be a stranger.

Now I am confused.

Wasn't there a coaching group on here recently advocating, no swimming for triathletes! ;-)


Steve Fleck @stevefleck | Blog
Last edited by: Fleck: Dec 29, 11 9:50
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Re: QFT: Paulo Sousa on Swimming [Fleck] [ In reply to ]
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Wasn't there a coaching group on here recently talking about doing no swimming for triathletes! ;-)

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Re: QFT: Paulo Sousa on Swimming [rhys] [ In reply to ]
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Need more popcorn....
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Re: QFT: Paulo Sousa on Swimming [Devlin] [ In reply to ]
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Devlin wrote:

Sure there is. Percentage improvements are irrelevant compared to total time improvements. I'm not sure if it came across clearly but he is talking about choosing between 40 minutes improvement on the bike and 20 minutes improvement on the swim. I'm sure that 40 minutes improvement on the bike is closer to 5-10 %, not 25%, but who cares? It still puts you across the line 20 minutes sooner than the guy who swam 20 minutes faster.

Obviously, this all only works if you accept his hypothetical performance improvements. Maybe he's totally wrong. But we choose to allocate our training based off what our best guess is of the benefits. If he thinks he can get a bigger total gain by cycling those extra hours instead of swimming, then it is only logical for him to choose the cycling. You might convince him otherwise, but not, I think, by talking about percentages.


That's short sighted short term thinking.

John[/quote]
If you only had limited time to devote to training, where would you allocate your hours? Swimming often involves things like specific times (if in masters), travel, changing, etc. I can pick up my bike and/or run out my front door. 2 workouts a week = probably another 1.5 hours training time if I only swim 2 times instead of 4. I don't think that any plan is short sighted - it is what works for the individual athlete. Also, many of the commenters are acting like we all are looking to finish an Ironman in under 10 hours. If you don't care about that, then does the opinion change?
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Re: QFT: Paulo Sousa on Swimming [Fleck] [ In reply to ]
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Fleck wrote:
Trevor,

Welcome aboard. Don't be a stranger.

Now I am confused.

Wasn't there a coaching group on here recently advocating, no swimming for triathletes! ;-)

Fleck =


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Re: QFT: Paulo Sousa on Swimming [JoeO] [ In reply to ]
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JoeO wrote:
No, it's just plain practical thinking. Get the low-hanging fruit first. Then go for the smaller gains. Taking that approach doesn't mean I'll never really push the swim. If I get my 40 minutes on the bike this year, I can go for 20 minutes in the swim NEXT year.

What people seem to miss is that for those of us who aren't pros, triathlon is about fitness and lifestyle as much as it's about race results. If you're an MOP triathlete what's the difference between BOMOP and MOMOP and FOMOP? Not really much in the grand scheme of things. You might care about your own improvement (and you should!) but not many other people likely do.

If you're a single sport athlete such as a cyclist and swim to cross-train, then you don't have any real reason to put huge amounts of effort into swimming. What you're looking for is a low-impact lung-blaster workout that you can do on recovery days.

But if you're a TRIATHLETE, swimming is part of the craft and improving your swimming should be worked on for the simple reason that being a good triathlete is more than just placings or finishing times. In my view, someone who isn't committed to all 3 segments of triathlon isn't really as 'good' a triathlete as someone who views the sport as a whole, with 3 equally important phases, regardless of if they're actually fast or slow in races.
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Re: QFT: Paulo Sousa on Swimming [-Tex] [ In reply to ]
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Thanks for the info Brandon!

Swimming is still a bit of a mystery to me. I've felt on the verge of a breakthrough for years, but it's never come.

Probably time to not worry so much about perfect technique like the best pool swimmers, and just focus on pulling lots of water and getting in tons of time in the pool.

I actually like swimming so this shouldn't be too hard. Especially love swimming with paddles and pull buoy so I look forward to putting this idea to the test.



-Tex wrote:
The pull buoy at least helps put you in a wetsuit like position...which is what A LOT of the swims are these days. It takes the worry of having your legs sink out of the equation so you can focus on the pull a bit more. And, if you have a horrible kick, then it helps keep your legs together because that is one of the big things that will slow down poor swimmers besides body position...legs going all over the place. You can even practice a small two beat kick with the pull buoy. It helps to have a smaller pull buoy or at least narrower. That is one of the best ways to synch the kick and pull. Spending a ton of time to get a great kick is usually a waste of improving whatever type of swim you already have.

And to the couple of swimmers who have said they've had a one on one session. The Mrs.-Tex has been a swim coach since 2000 or so...myself as well. 9 times out 10 when someone wants a lesson they expect to hear one or two things that will magically save 10 seconds per 100 as has been said. 9 times out of 10 they get told 'your stroke is not that bad'. That is my experience too when looking at swimmers. They just need to swim more and swim harder.

Swimming more is not sexy. Paying $100 for a 1 hour session or whatever is not sexy. Swimming alone sucks. You may not save 10 minutes on an Ironman swim, but I bet you'll save it on the whole race. Unfortunately, you can't quantify how much 'energy' you saved by swimming the same time going 'easier' than you did a year earlier.

The biggest problem is similar to what Robertwb mentioned. That is open water swimming is different. What happens when you and 2000 of your closest friends start swimming? What happens when you can't extend out in front of you bc of someone else? You lose that great stroke length that you have been drilling to perfection. You HAVE to finish your stroke. It matters, and a lot of pool coaches will tell you there's no reason to finish your stroke. Stroke length is great, but what you get is a slow as molasses stroke rate and a slow as molasses time. Using a pull buoy can help you learn to keep that stroke rate up so that you can change paces. There's a lot of great info here on this thread.
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Re: QFT: Paulo Sousa on Swimming [T-Wurt] [ In reply to ]
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Is a lot of your swimming with paddles and pull bouy?

Was this quite different from what you guys were doing before?


Really enjoy reading your blog btw!
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Re: QFT: Paulo Sousa on Swimming [superphil] [ In reply to ]
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superphil wrote:
But if you're a TRIATHLETE, swimming is part of the craft and improving your swimming should be worked on for the simple reason that being a good triathlete is more than just placings or finishing times. In my view, someone who isn't committed to all 3 segments of triathlon isn't really as 'good' a triathlete as someone who views the sport as a whole, with 3 equally important phases, regardless of if they're actually fast or slow in races.

I don't know who you're hanging around with but most of the triathletes I know who train seriously do it so that they can race faster. Back of packers, middle of packers and front of packers. They want to go faster. It's not "craft". They're not method actors. It's a sport. They want to race faster than the other guy, or faster than themselves the last time they did it. They do view the sport as a whole. They look at the total combined finishing time.
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Re: QFT: Paulo Sousa on Swimming [bluepoint] [ In reply to ]
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bluepoint wrote:
Is a lot of your swimming with paddles and pull bouy?

Was this quite different from what you guys were doing before?


Really enjoy reading your blog btw!

Yeah, a lot of it is with paddles/pull buoy and band. I don't use big paddles. Also a lot of band only, which I've finally starting getting better at. Not much in the way of pull buoy only during the actual workout, but I always warm up with one. Seems to me whenever Paulo is on deck he hides my pull buoy -unless it's a specific paddle/pull/band set. :) He changes little things now and again so it's hard to say that that's what happens all year. Good approximation though.

Cheers,

Trevor
=======
http://www.teamwurtele.com
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Re: QFT: Paulo Sousa on Swimming [Fleck] [ In reply to ]
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"Wasn't there a coaching group on here recently advocating, no swimming for triathletes! ;-)"

I assume you are talking about Endurance Nation, in which case they have never advocated no swimming for triathletes. Of course, a lot of people only hear what they want to hear and are happy to distort what they say.



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Re: QFT: Paulo Sousa on Swimming [kdw] [ In reply to ]
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kdw wrote:
"Wasn't there a coaching group on here recently advocating, no swimming for triathletes! ;-)"

I assume you are talking about Endurance Nation, in which case they have never advocated no swimming for triathletes. Of course, a lot of people only hear what they want to hear and are happy to distort what they say.


People in cults have no sense of humor.
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Re: QFT: Paulo Sousa on Swimming [Fastyellow] [ In reply to ]
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Fastyellow wrote:


Fleck =


Hey, that's my former BBQ coach! Here you see a uniquely American addition to the French culinary repertoire: BBQ sauce - the 6th mother sauce.

<Edited to add>: one poor sap asked if BBQ sauce didn't simply follow from tomato sauce? His question was answered with a bison rib to the head. Lesson: Don't mess with the pit master!


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Last edited by: Khai: Dec 29, 11 11:53
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Re: QFT: Paulo Sousa on Swimming [David B] [ In reply to ]
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David B wrote:
If you only had limited time to devote to training, where would you allocate your hours? Swimming often involves things like specific times (if in masters), travel, changing, etc. I can pick up my bike and/or run out my front door. 2 workouts a week = probably another 1.5 hours training time if I only swim 2 times instead of 4. I don't think that any plan is short sighted - it is what works for the individual athlete. Also, many of the commenters are acting like we all are looking to finish an Ironman in under 10 hours. If you don't care about that, then does the opinion change?

No, it doesn't change at all. I've always been of the opinion that an athlete should work to be better than they were the previous year. Maybe that's going from a 16:30 to a 15:30, or simply maintaining the level that they had against advancing age.

If you note, however, that I am advocating much of this in the off season, or yes, even sacrificing a part of a season with it. What's wrong with that? That's why I say that the argument "Well, I only have x hours" is short term, short sighted thinking.

So what if next season is shot? Or to counter the argument "Well, I can gain 40 minutes by focusing on the bike, so why focus on swimming where I only get 20 minutes", here's a radical thought. Spend two years, and get both. Spend a third year and get the gains in the run as well. Yes, you will lose a bit of what you gain when you are not focusing on a specific segment, but you will still be way ahead of where you were when you started.

I stand by my statement, that those kinds of arguments are short term, short sighted thinking.

John



Top notch coaching: Francois and Accelerate3 | Follow on Twitter: LifetimeAthlete |
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Re: QFT: Paulo Sousa on Swimming [Devlin] [ In reply to ]
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Devlin wrote:

So what if next season is shot? Or to counter the argument "Well, I can gain 40 minutes by focusing on the bike, so why focus on swimming where I only get 20 minutes", here's a radical thought. Spend two years, and get both.

I don't think anyone disagrees with you on this. We're just saying that it makes a whole lot more sense to go for the 40 minutes the first year and the 20 minutes the second. Not sure how that order is short-sighted while the reverse is not.
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Re: QFT: Paulo Sousa on Swimming [JoeO] [ In reply to ]
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JoeO wrote:
superphil wrote:

But if you're a TRIATHLETE, swimming is part of the craft and improving your swimming should be worked on for the simple reason that being a good triathlete is more than just placings or finishing times. In my view, someone who isn't committed to all 3 segments of triathlon isn't really as 'good' a triathlete as someone who views the sport as a whole, with 3 equally important phases, regardless of if they're actually fast or slow in races.


I don't know who you're hanging around with but most of the triathletes I know who train seriously do it so that they can race faster. Back of packers, middle of packers and front of packers. They want to go faster. It's not "craft". They're not method actors. It's a sport. They want to race faster than the other guy, or faster than themselves the last time they did it. They do view the sport as a whole. They look at the total combined finishing time.

Yeah, and I think that's shortsighted for a couple reasons. One, it's about the journey - you can figure out for yourself what this means to you. Two, as Rappstar, T-Wurt and others have very eloquently explained already, being a better swimmer makes you a better triathlete, ESPECIALLY in ironman.
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Re: QFT: Paulo Sousa on Swimming [superphil] [ In reply to ]
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superphil wrote:


Yeah, and I think that's shortsighted for a couple reasons. One, it's about the journey - you can figure out for yourself what this means to you.


I have figured it out. If I train easily, casually - then that's mostly for the journey. But if I'm dragging myself out of bed at 5:30 in the morning and doing swim interval workouts late at night and blowing $500 for an entry fee -- it's no longer just for the journey. That's for the result. That's for racing.

Quote:
Two, as Rappstar, T-Wurt and others have very eloquently explained already, being a better swimmer makes you a better triathlete, ESPECIALLY in ironman.


Better = faster. At least in every race I've ever done. Not faster in just the swim. Faster at the end of the race. They don't hand out the awards at T1. Maybe you have some other definition of better but that's mine. I don't think I'm alone in that regard.

Now we might disagree on how exactly to allocate our training to get to that finish line faster and that's fine. But I'm not doing this so I can wax philosophical about my "craft".
Last edited by: JoeO: Dec 29, 11 12:39
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