Monday's Swim Report - "In your face, Patty and Selma" Edition

1. reveals that the 2012 Mascot has been previewed to the IOC.  The article quotes one official who says "you are going to love it".  Hmm…I doubt it.  Will it  Springy  be another Whatzit?  Maybe Springy!  As one IOC Officer said "People, people, please!  You're forgetting what the Olympics are all about: giving out medals of beautiful gold, so-so silver and shameful bronze. " - The Simpsons

2.  The Swimmers Circle asks "Why is a Swimming Mile only 1650 Yards?"

3.  Sweat Science looks at sports drinks and claims "Sports drinks don’t help for one-hour exercise (unless you’ve been fasting".  Now I am not saying I agree 100% with the article but I hate the trend of parents giving kids "sports drinks" thinking they are better then soda.  They are not!  Damn it!  This is why your kids are fat!

4.  Chicago's Daily Herald reports on "Gurnee woman collects swim suits, goggles for Honduran orphanage."  

5.  He is.  He isn't.  Over the weekend rumors started to grow over the internet about Ian Thorpe returning to swimming.  Well guess what? He isn't.  Both the Herald Sun and BigPondSport report that Thorpe has said “I have no intention of returning to competitive swimming.

6.  Gold Medal Mel has a Gold Medal Minute with Eric Shanteau.  He also links to a Time Magazine article written by Shanteau.

7.  Check it out!  You can be fashion victim in the pool with your official Rob Aquatics Swim Suit now  Robaquasplishscreen  available on

8.  The Swimming Workout Wizard has a killer butterfly set.  60x50's!  Okay so it does include a few easy free swims but it's a killer set!

9.  Swimming World reports that "Mike Troy had a gold medal from the 1960 Olympics Games stolen recently."  What are people thinking when they steal a medal?  It's not like you can put it up on e-bay without anyone noticing making it worthless.  Well it's not worthless but has no monetary value to the thief.

10.  In OMG NEWS…Kast-A-Way looks at "First Ever LEGOLAND® Water Park Will Include Build-A-Raft River".  I wanna go! 

My 1500 SCM Freestyle

Here are my previous 1500 SCM Times:


Today I swam the 1500 in 18:32.41   

1:09.37 (35.86)    
1:45.89 (36.52)    
2:22.50 (36.61)
2:59.51 (37.01)    
3:36.64 (37.13)    
4:13.97 (37.33)    
4:51.24 (37.27)
5:28.55 (37.31)    
6:05.86 (37.31)    
6:43.27 (37.41)    
7:20.51 (37.24)
7:58.09 (37.58)    
8:35.38 (37.29)    
9:12.37 (36.99)    
9:49.65 (37.28)
10:27.15 (37.50)   
11:04.56 (37.41)   
11:42.01 (37.45)   
12:18.89 (36.88)
12:55.99 (37.10)   
13:33.26 (37.27)   
14:10.97 (37.71)   
14:48.32 (37.35)
15:25.94 (37.62)   
16:03.44 (37.50)   
16:40.68 (37.24)   
17:18.53 (37.85)
17:56.18 (37.65)   
18:32.41 (36.23)                      

It may have been slow but at least I can pace!  LIke 37 much?

My 1650 From May of 2007

Since today seems to be about the 1650 here are my splits and time from the 1650 Freestyle at the 2007 USMS Nationals:

31.05      1:04.98 (33.93)
        1:39.60 (34.62)     2:14.37 (34.77)
        2:49.19 (34.82)     3:24.38 (35.19)
        3:58.76 (34.38)     4:33.71 (34.95)
        5:08.96 (35.25)     5:43.45 (34.49)
        6:18.06 (34.61)     6:52.76 (34.70)
        7:27.13 (34.37)     8:01.54 (34.41)
        8:35.43 (33.89)     9:09.28 (33.85)
        9:43.46 (34.18)    10:17.16 (33.70)
       10:51.19 (34.03)    11:24.99 (33.80)
       11:58.80 (33.81)    12:32.81 (34.01)
       13:06.82 (34.01)    13:40.94 (34.12)
       14:15.62 (34.68)    14:49.50 (33.88)
       15:23.23 (33.73)    15:57.01 (33.78)
       16:30.63 (33.62)    17:05.09 (34.46)
       17:39.55 (34.46)    18:12.17 (32.62)    18:42.77 (30.60)

Doing The Pacing Math For The 1650

Earlier today I posted an email I got from a swimmer who is trying to figure out a pace for swimming the 1650.  Here is the background (you can read the full post HERE) -

This swimmer was able to swim the following:

- 1,000 at a 1:30-1:32 pace
- 8x 100 with about :20 rest at about 1:25 pace
- a 600 a little under 1:30 pace

The swimmer wants to know what would be his/her 1650 pace based on those swims and do I think that they could swim 12 x 100 at sub 1:25 with :20 seconds rest.  So the answer to the second question of being able to swim 12x100's on 1:25 pace with 20 seconds rest I say yet.  If you can do 8 of them 4 more isn't that much.  I will admit that I get fatigued in a different fashion than most as for example if you use the three examples given I'd have to guess taht my 1,000 would be at a faster pace then what I'd swim 8x100's.  For whatever reason when I swim once I get into a tempo I just keep at it but when you break it up by 100's I slowly fall apart as my body just can't to get back to a tempo. 

As for the 1650 I'd take you 1,000 divide it by 2 to get your average 500 split.  Which would at a 1:32 pace you'd do a 1,000 in about 15:32.  So take 15:32 and divide it by 2 which would be 7:46.  Then take 7:46 and add it to the 15:32 for your 1500 which would be 23.18.  Then add in another 150.  Or you just use a pace calculator to figure it out.  Using one calculator I found online you 1650 time at a 1:32 pace should be 25:18.  I'm basing this all on looking at other swimmers splits online.  Most poeple's last 650 is the fastest part while the 1st 500 is the second fasted part.  Something about the middle 500 trips most of us up.  Mentally I think we all try to save something up and pull back too much.  Since the swimmer said he/she swam the 1,000 on a very manageable 1:30-1:32 pace then I'd guess a 1:32 for a 1650 is doable.  It won't be very manageable but swimming the 1500/1650 is never "very manageable", at least not for me.

Tom Dolan's 1997 NCAA 1,650 Freestyle Pacing

These are the splits for Tom Dolan's American-Record 1,650 YD Freestyle Swim at the 1997 NCAA Men's Swimming Championships. 

24.13 for his last 50.

These splits are from the book "Swimming Fastest" which does into this swim in a bit more detail.  The most important thing that the book points out is that his 200 yard of the race was about 8 seconds slower than his best 200 yard swim and his 500 yard was also 8 seconds slower than his best 500 yard swim.  His 1st 500 split was 4:20.79 then his 2nd 500 split was 4:27 and his 3rd 500 split was 4:23. 

source:  "Swimming Fastest" by Ernest Maglischo.

Reader Question: Pacing the 1650

Every so often someone emails me with a swimming question.  Sometimes it's an easy question about finding a local pool or USMS team which I can just send a link away.  Sometimes the questions are all about me and I just reply with a quick answer.  But every so often I get an email like today that calls on me to ask for everyones collective experience.  MInd you I have my own ideas are will post a bit later but for now let's all help C out and find his/her pacing time for the 1650...

I was searching for some pacing information and one of your old posts came up from 2008.  I was wondering if you'd give me your 2 cents on a target pace?
Next month I'm swimming in a race for the first time in 25+ years- the 1650 - I basically haven't swum since then. I'm not trying to get faster, just trying to figure out what is a reasonable pace.
I swam 3x's with some of these results:
- 1,000 at a 1:30-1:32 pace - very manageable
- 8x 100 with about :20 rest at about 1:25 pace - still quite manageable
- a 600 a little under 1:30 pace
- several 50's at about :37 with :20 rest.  all very comfortable, but moderately hard
I'd like to do one workout next week that will tell me what kind of pace I can hit.  Do you think if I can do 12 x 100 at sub 1:25 with :20 seconds rest (without killing myself), then that might be a pace I can hold for 1650?
 I'm 48.
thanks for any advice!

In a follow up with me C writes back:

One other thing that is probably important is that I do compete at a high level in other sports in races that run about 20-23 minutes, pretty similar distance time-wise. so fitness-wise, I am in shape for this distance.  But I just don't know how to tell what is the magic pace that will not put me above AT in a swimming event, short of doing an all-out 1650 which I don't think is the right strategy.
thanks again!

Feel free to comment below and I'll pass it all along to C.  The power of social media and fitness.  Speaking of which soon I'll be linking to an article on on the vert topic of people who use social media (ie. blogging) to achieve fitness goals.  I was lucky enough to be approached by PBS to be part of the article.  But for now let's all help C out.  Also since I have notice a lot of traffic in relation to the 1500 and the 1650 I've decided to put it in it's own category and over time including a series over the weekend will be posting more about these two events

Finger Lickin' Good. The Swimmer Who Became The Bird

In my book reading adventures I just finished reading John Jerome's "Staying With It: On becoming An Athlete" (amazon link) which is based on his tale of becoming an Master Swimmer.  Although I found the book to be a bit boring I was able to gleam a few highlights from it. For example this little paragraph about Dark Meat vs White Meat:

The musculature of birds has other ramifications for athletics.  Chicken breasts are composed of white meat - fast-twitch muscles for sprinting.  Chickens fly, if at all, in short bursts, for which the long, slow delivery of oxygenated energy is not needed.  The energy supplies in the muscle itself are sufficient.  (Those energy supplies are stored as glycogen, a form of glucose, or sugar.  Some say white meat tastes sweeter than dark.)  For tasks of longer duration, like standing around, the oxygenated system is more efficient.  Endurance muscle - of better oxygenated slow-twitch fibers - is darkened by its more copious blood supply: dark meat.  Wild ducks, marathon flyers of the bird world, are mostly dark meat.

What does this mean?  Well keep this is mind if you happen to be flying with your swim team and crash in the Andes.  Those sprint swimmers will taste a lot better than us 1500 swimmers.

Swimmer Goes Postal for 1650

I know Postal Swims are money making scams for swim teams.  But strangely I want to do one.  The 1650 Postal.   Oh and maybe another.

First of all a few times a year the USMS website will announce that some team is having some sort of Postal Swim.  Sometimes it's a checkoff in which in one years time a swimmer must swim a series of events at a swim meet.  This series of swim events could be one of every freestyle competitive event such as 50/100/200/500/1000/1650 yards.  Now the swimmer pays a small fee lets say $12.00 and you mail in your certified events results.  The team then keeps track of all the events on some easy to use computer software and annouces winners at the end of the year.  In the meantime you can purchase postal related merchandise from this group.  Tee shirts that you can then check off the events competed with a perm marker.  Maybe some mug or other crap that they have at Cafepress.  So for very little work a team can make a small amount of money.  Not too bad a deal.  So normally I'm not a big fan of them.  It's like USMS Top 10 Times I'm excited to get them but I won't pay for the patches.  It's a scam. 

Saying all that I am thinking of doing at least one this year.  The second one I'd like to PostalSwim  do is a 1650 Postal.  I just need to find some pool time to do it in a workout or lap swim and have someone timing me.  TAMALPAIS AQUATIC MASTERS is running one which you can read more about LINK.  Here is some general info on it:

WHAT YOU NEED:    A pool at least 25 yards in length and someone to time you.
DISTANCE:    1650 yards or 1500 meters swum in a meters pool (50 m. or 25 m).
DATE:    Anytime between Dec. 19, 2008 and February 28, 2009.
AGE DIVISIONS:    18-24, 25-29, 30-34, . . ., 100+, male and female

I really only want to do it as a gauge to see how I'd do in a 1650 swim.  I haven't swam the 1650 since 2007's Nationals in Federal Way.

Now the 1st and easiest postal that I wil do is The Go The Distance.  With this event you don't have to pay a fee to do it.  You just sign up and keep track of your yardage/meter-ige.  If you are metal and pin happy you can then spend you hard earned money on that type of stuff.  But for the most part it is free.   You can read more about it on the USMS website LINK.  Here is the gist of it:

Gothedistance The objective of this event is for participants to track the time and distance they swim during the calendar year.   When participants achieve specific distance milestones ranging from 50 miles through 1500 miles they will be recognized on the U.S. Masters Swimming website and awards will be available for purchase for a minimal fee. 

There is no cost to enter this event.  Participants are requested to email (or use snail mail) to submit the total distance they swim each month.  A list of miles per month, cumulative mileage and time spent will be tabulated for each swimmer.  Once a distance milestone is achieved awards will be available for purchase.

The Go The Distance was mentioned in my teams newsletter and Rob at Robaquatics is doing it so why not do it.  Plus I decided I wanted to keep track of my yardage for 2009 anyways.  Plus this one isn't a money making scam.  Well that is if I don't buy all the extra things.

Officially Official: USMS Top 10 LCM Times for 2008

With the New Year comes a bit looking back at 2008 with the officially official list of USMS LCM Top 10 Times.  I'm assuming this is the final list as it no longer has preliminary list on the website in big bold red letters.  With that said I'm proud to have 2 top ten times!  Of course I only swam 1 swim meet this summer so that makes me even a bit prouder.  Considering I swam only twice in a long course pool before this meet makes me even more prouder of these swims.

In the 1500 LCM Freestyle in Men Ages 35-39 I am 6th. 
In the 200 LCM Butterfly in Men Ages 35-39 I am 8th.
On to 2009!  Of course I now will be anticipating the SCM Top 10 Lists for the next three months.  OH and I'm debating if I want to be one of those USMS swimmers who buy the top ten patches or not.  Hmmm...