The Obscure Endurance Sport Women are Quietly Dominating

IronMikeIronMike Alexandria, VACharter Member

How has this not already been linked here? Article entitled what I titled this thread.

Our very own @evmo cited in the article, although they misname the Federation.

bluemermaid9dpm50JenASydneDslknightevmoswimdailyMaryStellaSolocurlyDanSimonelligrappledunkssthomastortugagabic415

Comments

  • dpm50dpm50 PA, U.S.Senior Member

    Obscure to some.... but not to the truly cool! :)

    Sarah4140tortugagabic415flystorms
  • curlycurly Issaquah, WAMember

    I have always liked the fact that water is a great equalizer. It's great in the open water events around here that the women are finishing in the top ten overall a lot of the time. Not really surprising to read the article.

  • wendyv34wendyv34 Vashon, WASenior Member

    When you take wetsuits out of the picture, the "top 10" equity becomes even more apparent.

    I was at a little 2.5K race last weekend where the top several guys all wore wetsuits, (results aren't posted yet so I don't know exactly who finished where). The guy who finished 2nd by a nose probably beat me by 6 minutes or so, but when we both swim skin, it's a toss up as to who will win. The first female was a teenager and I believe she beat the first (adult) male skin swimmer by a few seconds. They were just a wee bit ahead of me, I got separated from them in the waves about mid-way and dangled 5 yards back for an eternity, (or maybe 10 minutes). It would've been a more fun and interactive race, had everyone been swimming skin. Most likely the overall winner would've been the 16 year old girl.

    Curly is right, there are a bunch of fast women in the PNW.

    It's always a bad hair day when you work at a pool.

  • curlycurly Issaquah, WAMember

    wendyv34 said: When you take wetsuits out of the picture, the "top 10" equity becomes even more apparent. Curly is right, there are a bunch of fast women in the PNW.

    You got that right...

  • ssthomasssthomas Charter Member

    Personally, I saw this as an excuse to eat more icecream to increase my body fat, which will make me float better and thus make me faster than the boys. Did anyone else get that from the article?

    FlowSwimmersslknightkejoycesuziedodsdpm50pavlicovrosemarymintSarah4140Chrisgreenewendyv34gabic415Solojendutflystorms
  • timsroottimsroot Spring, TXCharter Member

    @ssthomas - I'm not a girl, but I use that excuse a lot (just usually with pizza instead of ice cream)

    ssthomasdpm50rosemarymintwendyv34
  • IronMikeIronMike Alexandria, VACharter Member

    timsroot said: @ssthomas - I'm not a girl, but I use that excuse a lot (just usually with pizza instead of ice cream)

    beer

    Chrisgreenemjstapleswendyv34phodgeszohogabic415Jaimiedpm50flystorms
  • timsroottimsroot Spring, TXCharter Member

    IronMike said:

    beer

    The acceptable answer here is whiskey, I'm sorry

    JaimieSarah4140
  • emkhowleyemkhowley Boston, MACharter Member
    edited September 2016

    ssthomas said: Personally, I saw this as an excuse to eat more icecream to increase my body fat, which will make me float better and thus make me faster than the boys. Did anyone else get that from the article?

    I got that too and found it problematic. This piece started out with some good physiological data, but devolved into the old saw of "women are fatter" which I find a reductive and woefully incomplete argument. The real story is more nuanced, and nowhere was there any mention about the savage level of training some women engage in (@ssthomas I'm looking at you) which, oh, surprise, might make them faster than some of the men.

    I think the men vs. women debate is a slippery one because it forces so many vast generalizations. And to be able to try to do it justice in an 800-word web article falls short of the subtlety the debate deserves.

    This is one of the problems with today's "media" of which I am a part. We're forced to find as many superlatives as we can--editors love firsts, greatests, bests, most obscure, etc., and they often will pass over a piece if it's not presented as THE GREATEST EXAMPLE OF XYZ THAT EVER EXISTED!

    And headlines have to be SEXY, even if they're not completely accurate. When I recently wrote a piece for Atlas Obscura, the editor changed the headline descriptor of the subject from "Polymath" to "eccentric". Might be a subtle difference to some, but eccentric wasn't the right word--this man wasn't crazy, he was just interested and versed in absolutely everything. I see that as a big difference. But "eccentric" is more clickbait-y--and polymath might send some scrambling for a dictionary, and we can't have that--so there you go. Eccentric it shall be forever more.

    And trying to condense something as complicated as why one human body performs better than another into a short piece suitable for a web-weary audience that has no familiarity with the subject is a losing proposition. All the variable, intangible, and uncontrollable aspects of something like a marathon swim always make success or failure about so much more than sheer body composition. But we often get stuck on fat. Where's the discussion of focus, hard work, stubbornness, and all the other qualities that make great swimmers faster?

    Working within ever more limited word counts and with too-busy editors who don't understand or just plain aren't aware of the nuance of a subject can be frustrating for us writers. Especially if the subject we're writing about is one we're personally invested in. I can't say that I'd be able to offer a better piece than what was already printed--it would depend on how much room I was given to play in and how much the editor would trust me to get the story right and not futz with it afterwards. I could try, but certainly this publication won't touch marathon swimming again for a long while--don't want to fatigue the audience with some bizarre sport no one of consequence engages in, now do we? They can just be off in their little ponds being crazy and obscure and all backward with women beating the men and stuff.

    If you want to read a good and thorough treatment of some of these topics, pick up a copy of Karen Throsby's new sociological study of marathon swimmers Immersion. It's an academic study of some of these topics, and a deftly handled one that doesn't fear not receiving enough likes or shares online.

    AnthonyMcCarleythelittlemerwookiesuziedodscurlyDanSimonellijbsssthomasdpm50KarenTJenArosemarymintrlmbluemermaid9

    Stop me if you've heard this one... A grasshopper walks into a bar... https://elainekhowley.com/

  • curlycurly Issaquah, WAMember

    Fierce training... couldn't have said it better. I have been beaten by women who are fierce competitors. They didn't beat me because they had more body fat, I'm pretty sure of that.

    grappledunkssthomasdpm50
  • IronMikeIronMike Alexandria, VACharter Member

    emkhowley said:

    If you want to read a good and thorough treatment of some of these topics, pick up a copy of Karen Throsby's new sociological study of marathon swimmers Immersion. It's an academic study of some of these topics, and a deftly handled one that doesn't fear not receiving enough likes or shares online.

    Still waiting for Immersion in Kindle. @KarenT ??

    jendut
  • ssthomasssthomas Charter Member

    I did read somewhere once that the reason women tend to perform better than males when you look at averages isn't necessarily because we're faster, but because there are fewer of us and those of us who commit to major swims do so with a willingness to train hard. On the other hand, males are more likely to just wing it and see how they do on minimal training. When you compare fastest males and fastest females, the males still win. But, when you compare averages, the average woman works her butt off, while the average male tries to get by on less. Those are large generalizations and of course there are exceptions to the rule. It is interesting that the article didn't touch on that, though.

    I'm still eating ice cream.

    evmodpm50emkhowleylakespraytortugathelittlemerwookiebluemermaid9Sarah4140
  • KarenTKarenT Charter Member

    @IronMike - not for a while, I'm afraid. It'll come out in paperback next summer (hopefully), and there's a chance then.

    rosemarymintIronMike
  • lakespraylakespray Senior Member

    @SSthomas "On the other hand, males are more likely to just wing it and see how they do on minimal training"

    :))

    Solotortugarosemarymintwendyv34ssthomasFlowSwimmers
  • wendyv34wendyv34 Vashon, WASenior Member

    This is another generalization, based on my observations while teaching adults to swim over the last ~20 years. Of course, these observations are just that. I see lots of people who can swim, to some degree, coming in to the pool for help to complete a triathlon, get over fear of open water, move up to the fast lane, etc. and I've run a number of video stroke clinics over the years.

    My observation has been that women are more likely to accept technical improvements as a way to get faster, rather than try to apply more muscle to the problem. Some of the toughest cases I've instructed were very fit men. Many of the quickest learners were women, some of whom might not have appeared fit, especially by "media standards". It's really about finding the easiest, most efficient way to do something, rather than just getting a bigger hammer. There are many other factors that go into a person's potential for swimming and I know plenty of men who have beautiful technique, so don't take this the wrong way, guys. I really enjoy training and racing with you.

    That being said, I love Elaine's statement "...the savage level of training some women engage in...which, oh, surprise, might make them faster than some of the men." I have a super-tough friend who swims like a speeding train, for hours. I'd absolutely describe her training as savage and her competitive spirit as fierce. She puts a lot more hurt on herself than I do on myself, so it's no wonder that she beats the snot out of me every time we swim. She's definitely one of those ladies Curly referred to earlier.

    The Haagen Daaz chocolate peanut butter was delightful after a bumpy, breezy swim this afternoon. :x

    ssthomasSoloflystorms

    It's always a bad hair day when you work at a pool.

  • KarenTKarenT Charter Member
    edited September 2016

    I've been working on a blog post about this article for a few days following a brief exchange on FB about it - it's published here

    ssthomasJenAswimdailyrosemarymint
  • SpacemanspiffSpacemanspiff Dallas, TexasSenior Member

    My wife has to put up with me 24/7. She has developed quite a bit of endurance and a seemingly limitless pain tolerance threshold. But I can't speak for all women...

    dpm50

    "Lights go out and I can't be saved Tides that I tried to swim against Have brought be down upon my knees Oh I beg, I beg and plead..."

  • smithsmith O-H-I-OMember
    edited September 2016

    There's definitely something to consider as it applies to "ultra" distances.

    As it applies to the current, conventional definition of "marathon", it's not even close. Simply put, elite men completely crush the women. If both are competing under the same conditions, elite men are winning by about 6+ minutes in a 10K. For Americans, that's getting lapped somewhere to the tune of 10-11 times in a 25 yard pool.

    However, women on the FINA Grand Prix circuit have made it more interesting. Former English Channel world record holder Petar Stoychev dominated the circuit for years before retiring. Below is a clip of the final few minutes of the 2011 56K Santa Fe Coronda race in Argentina. If you watch closely, the 5th place finisher, Cecilia Biagioli of Argentina, is within 50 meters of Stoychev at the finish. She actually led the race earlier in the day.

    Lactate is for wimps.

  • IronMikeIronMike Alexandria, VACharter Member

    Interesting finish location...and interesting finish

  • AnthonyMcCarleyAnthonyMcCarley Berwyn, PACharter Member
    edited September 2016

    The core problem with these kinds of articles is that they don't define a key word.

    This lack of definition causes misunderstandings that can result in bad feelings. In this environment it is extremely easy to misspeak or mishear.

    It would be very easy for me to "hear" @ssthomas calling me lazy and stupid when she writes, "On the other hand, males are more likely to just wing it and see how they do on minimal training." Yes, I recognize @ssthomas is referencing an article and not expressing her own opinion. And I am fortunate enough to have enough interaction with Sarah to believe that she doesn't think of me as lazy. Nevertheless, this article led us to a possible misunderstanding and it would be easy for me to take offense.

    The article doesn’t provide a clear definition of an "average" marathon swimmer. Therefore, we can argue all day long, because we don't have a clear definition of the key word.

    "Everyone who swam" isn't a reasonable definition for "average" swimmer. For example let's take a look at age. Here is a list of the nine oldest swimmers of the English Channel (source Openwaterpedia):

    Otto Thaning (South Africa), 73 years, E/F, 12:52 in 2014

    Cyril Baldock (Australia), 70 years and 9 months, E/F, 12:45 in 2014

    Roger Allsopp (England), 70 years and 4 months, E/F in 17:51 in 2011

    George Brunstad (USA), 70 years and 3 days, E/F in 15:59 in 2004

    Donald Riddington (Australia), 68, E/F in 19:45 in 2013

    Clifford Batt (Australia), 67, France-to-English in 18:37 in 1987

    Ashby Harper (USA), 65, E/F in 13:52 in 1982

    Joe Smith (England), 65, E/F in 14:09 in 1999

    Roger Allsopp (England), 65, E/F in 15:30 in 2006

    All men. If the average age of every woman who swam the EC was 22 (I have no idea what it actually is), would it be "apples to apples" to compare average women to an average group that included these men?

    Further, meaningful data comes from tests done in a controlled, repeatable environment. Open water marathon swimming is anything but a controlled environment. Tides, weather, conditions, time of day, captains, etc., all play giant roles in this hobby. For example I personally know two swimmers who are faster than I am yet they both had EC swims that took longer than mine. Conditions don't change year to year - they can change within the hour. There doesn’t appear to be enough data in a controlled environment to produce any meaningful conclusion - yet the article points us to one.

    Sorry to go political, but intentionally not defining a word is used against us all the time. Take a moment to consider that in the U.S. no politician defines the word "healthcare". We argue about healthcare endlessly, without result, partly because we all have our own definition for the word. And the politicians don't define the word because not having a definition enables them to control the argument (and us) as they need.

    My experience is that almost every multiple-person project that has gone off the rails got there because an important term, word or phrase wasn't clearly defined and universally understood.

    Just for the record, I am quite aware that in a swim of any distance, @ssthomas would smoke me.

    I have to admit that I don’t like this idea of comparisons in solo marathon swims – I may be idealistic, but I believe marathon swimming is about personal growth. Personally, I believe every aspiring or accomplished marathon swimmer is above average!

    evmoJustSwimslknightcurlyJenAssthomasbluemermaid9DanSimonellirlmthelittlemerwookie
  • JenAJenA Charter Member

    "They" statements -- unless you know every person in the group you are describing -- are typically stereotypes.

    We are cultured to do this at such a young age ("sugar and spice and everything nice" vs "snakes and snail and puppy dogs' tails"), but stereotypes lead to undervaluing differences between individuals, prejudice, us-vs-them, feelings of exclusion, etc.

    evmoDanSimonelliAnthonyMcCarleyrosemarymint
  • ssthomasssthomas Charter Member

    For the record: I was most definitely NOT calling males lazy. I know plenty of people of both genders who swim hard and train hard- as well as people who are genetically gifted and can happily finish a marathon swim on little to no training. I'm jealous of the latter.

    This is a complicated discussion since so much does rely on generalizations and we really are a niche sport.

    I also wonder if it makes a difference in how many males vs how many females are participating? It seems to me that there are more guys out there than there are women. (Just here in Colorado, I can think of 3-4 female swimmers who have done any of the Triple Crown swims, but I can come up with at least 10 males.) If you have fewer women who are generally stronger/more confident female swimmers (in references to Karen's blog) and more males of all ages and backgrounds, that surely will throw off your averages.

    I'm with Anthony: Marathon swimming is more about personal growth (and love of adventure!) than anything and I'm inspired by people swimming all distances from their first 1 mile open water swim to Chloe's 77 miles!

    And I just like any excuse to eat ice cream.

    AnthonyMcCarleybluemermaid9evmoDanSimonellirlmthelittlemerwookie
  • malinakamalinaka Seattle, WACharter Member

    I went to a WNBA game yesterday, and noticed that Key Arena was being quietly dominated by women. I don't mean that the players were quietly dominating, although one could probably draw comparisons between them and their MNBA counterparts. I mean that the fans were not the typical makeup I remember from my days of being taken to basketball games as a youth. The demographics were skewed heavily away from 18-45 year old males. There was a notable absence of machismo and testosterone. It was like a different sport. It was almost pleasant to watch.

    The tough-guy strong-man of our sport would be better caricatured as a reclusive lumberjack more than as the star of Fittest on Earth 2015. Is it surprising that in a sport where manliness is more about how pink your budgie smuggler is and less about your Game Face, there will emerge a certain level of equality between the genders?

    ssthomasevmothelittlemerwookie

    I don't wear a wetsuit; it gives the ocean a sporting chance.

  • NiekNiek Heiloo, NetherlandsCharter Member

    The ChannelSwimDatabase version 2016 made by Julian Critchlow.
    He also writes in his email to the channel_swimmers@googlegroups.com: There are plenty of statistics courtesy of the CSPF on the site at http://cspf.co.uk/solo-channel-swimmers should you be interested or you can calculate others from the database (note the count of individuals and crossings is calculated to the right of the database should you want to know “Which number swimmer from Malta am I?”)

    http://openwaterswimming.eu - Cold, wind, waves, sunburn, currents, jellyfish and flotsam! Hop in and join the fun!

  • IronMikeIronMike Alexandria, VACharter Member

    The core benefit with these kinds of articles is that they allow the uninformed to learn a little something of our fringe sport. And in this case, nary the specter of DN raises its ugly head. This article is a great starting point for a discussion with non-(open water) swimming friends.

    thelittlemerwookieNicc
  • IronMikeIronMike Alexandria, VACharter Member

    Another article based on the subject article here.

  • timsroottimsroot Spring, TXCharter Member

    @AnthonyMcCarley - You raise good points, and yes, sports in general lend themselves to imperfect datasets. With that said, i do think that there is some value is doing the type of data analysis that @Munatones did, as was cited in the article. The conclusions might not be true, but the analysis can lead to more intelligently framed questions, which leads to better experiments, better conclusions, and you enter a constructive loop of research

    DanSimonelliAnthonyMcCarley
  • IronMikeIronMike Alexandria, VACharter Member

    @DanSimonelli, this part of the new article I linked might be of interest to you:

    However, there's more to winning races than the size of the engine under the hood. Let's talk fuel efficiency, for instance. Women are better fat burners than men. Since fat is the fuel of choice for long, endurance efforts, we can keep humming along like that super economical Prius on our nearly infinite fat stores, while our male counterparts are tapping into—and eventually tapping out—their more limited glycogen (stored carbohydrate) stores. In the case of swimming, women have the physiological advantage of naturally higher levels of body fat, which improves our buoyancy, especially out in the open water, as well as insulates us so we stay warmer for a greater duration. That's why the longer the race, the closer we get.

    Wonder how that would figure if the man is keto-adapted? How about if both the woman and man are keto-adapted? It is one thing to have more body fat (on average) than your male competitor, but don't you still burn your glycogen store first if you are not keto-adapted?

  • DanSimonelliDanSimonelli San Diego CASenior Member

    Yes! Another glitch in this article.

    Absolutely doesn't make sense to say more adipose tissue equals better lipid metabolism. And certainly not as primary energy source unless keto-adapted.

    And, male or female, we both have abundance of fatty acid stored to utilize over glycogen.

    So, citing that the female having more fat and therefore more or better access to it as energy source is completely fallacious. At least how I understand the science.

    IronMike
  • AnthonyMcCarleyAnthonyMcCarley Berwyn, PACharter Member

    @timsroot, Absolutely agree that a “constructive loop of research” would be interesting and potentially useful. No insult to @Munatones (Steve) – I know that he has a passion for the sport and has an insatiable curiosity.

    But, this is what the author of the column used from Steve:

    A few years ago — purely to satisfy his own curiosity — Munatones analyzed the finishing times of men and women who participated in the biggest ultra-distance swims around the world. He did this for three years, keeping track of “12 or 13” races — he can’t remember exactly.

    We don’t know what races, the distance, the years, the number of (women or men) swimmers, or even the number of races. Yet, the author led us to a conclusion.

    Sometimes it is done through sloppiness, sometimes it is done with intent to manipulate us (to click on links, to comment, to engage), but not defining a key word, especially in a science publication, diminishes any conclusion.

    And the lack of definition dangerously has legs as you can see from the second column @ironmike shares above.

    Quote from the first column:

    Another study, published in 2015, looked at 87 years of finishing times for the 20.1-mile Catalina Channel Swim, and found that when “the swimming times of the annual fastest women and the annual fastest men competing between 1927 and 2014 were compared, women were 52.9 minutes faster than men,” Knechtle and his colleagues write.

    Quote from the second column (referencing the first column):

    Most notably, the article cited a Swiss study published in 2015 that revealed that in the 87-year span between 1927 and 2014, the fastest women were an average of 52.9 minutes faster than the fastest men. What's more, when they looked at average times across open water swimmers in general, the average woman is faster than the average man.

    Now Steve M’s nuanced quote is restated as a fact. The reference to Catalina is removed and the undefined word “average” is reused. If one were to read only the second column, one would very reasonably believe that women, without question, are faster than men. Once someone is convinced that they know something, it is challenging to get them to unlearn it. (This is why so many Nyad zealots think that people who question her claim are just “haters”. She has first-mover advantage.)

    Women may be faster than men, but we don’t know it from either of these columns.

    It is okay if y’all think I am wearing a tinfoil hat, but in many cases an imprecise use of words is done intentionally to invoke emotion and action from us.

    (BTW, the title of the second column is: To All the Men "Getting Chicked,” Get Used to It.)

    DanSimonelliJenANiek
  • timsroottimsroot Spring, TXCharter Member

    @AnthonyMcCarley - Good point. I hadn't read the second article.

    For what it's worth, I don't care enough to get worked up about it. I've been chicked plenty, and will continue to be. I am willing to train hard enough to meet my goals, while still balancing other responsibilities, but I'm not competitive enough to worry about who I am faster or slower than.

    Anecdotally, I've heard that the longer the event, the less of an advantage the natural strength of a male tends to be, for whatever reason. There seems to be a better data set in ultra running, and as faster people are drawn toward ultras, the delta seems to be growing again between Men and Women. Is that a good thing or a bad thing? Who cares?

    AnthonyMcCarley
  • KarenTKarenT Charter Member

    The second article likens women to a Prius while men are a Mustang. All of this gendered, patronising nonsense should be put in a bag and thrown into the sea.

    JenAAnthonyMcCarleydc_in_sfsuziedodsJSwimkejoyceJustSwimemkhowleybluemermaid9rosemarymintthelittlemerwookie
  • malinakamalinaka Seattle, WACharter Member

    Karen, I agree with you: totally wrong! Those aren't the right vehicles!

    From DNOWS: "Of course, if swimming were vehicles, breaststroke would be a Volkswagen bug or Mini Cooper, backstroke would be a station wagon, butterfly would be a Viper and freestyle would be a Mercedes Benz."

    evmosuziedodsJaimiethelittlemerwookie

    I don't wear a wetsuit; it gives the ocean a sporting chance.

  • emkhowleyemkhowley Boston, MACharter Member

    KarenT said: The second article likens women to a Prius while men are a Mustang. All of this gendered, patronising nonsense should be put in a bag and thrown into the sea.

    I totally agree. And I hate the term "getting chicked." It's as though the shame a man feels when he's surpassed by a woman is so terrible, it needs a cutesy name to reduce the pride sting. smh

    curlyJenAKarenTNiekbluemermaid9dpm50rosemarymintthelittlemerwookiewendyv34Nicc

    Stop me if you've heard this one... A grasshopper walks into a bar... https://elainekhowley.com/

  • curlycurly Issaquah, WAMember

    I've never even heard of that term "getting chicked". That's pretty lame. Getting beat is more accurate and you really don't need to put excuses or anything to it. As I have always said to any swimmer whether aspiring or expert, there is always someone faster, so don't worry about it.

    Niekdpm50JenANicc
  • IronMikeIronMike Alexandria, VACharter Member

    I first got "chicked" (or, simply, beaten) by Ruth in a triathlon in 1985. She was so sweet. She was in the 50+ age group. She caught up to me as I was in absolute pain in the 10K portion of the tri, stopping every few 100m to squat down to relieve the pain in my quads, only to have to get on all fours to try and stand back up.

    I ran with Ruth for about a mile, all along she was talking about how beautiful it was in this part of Texas (Surfside). She asked me if I would do the tri the next year. I answered that I didn't know if I'd even finish this one (this was at about mile 5). I finally told her I'd meet her at the end as I had to relieve the pain in my quads.

    Sure enough, there she was with my Dad and sister at the end. I had apparently described them well enough for her to have found them and she talked up my dad about me. She was so sweet. She won her age group. I got 3rd. That 10K took me 1:10.

    I didn't consider it being chicked then. Just beaten. Probably my 18-year old self thought "beaten by an old lady." Didn't matter to me. I was raised by an Italian woman. I was taught by her it didn't matter, as long as you gave it your all. She also taught me that sometimes women beat men and that didn't matter.

    dpm50NiekssthomasNiccJaimie
  • timsroottimsroot Spring, TXCharter Member

    IronMike said: Texas (Surfside)

    Hey, that's (sort of) my neck of the woods. I'm willing to guess that no more than 10% of this forum could pick Surfside out on a map without a search feature

  • NiekNiek Heiloo, NetherlandsCharter Member

    How about 0% able to pick Heiloo, Netherlands ;)

    ssthomas

    http://openwaterswimming.eu - Cold, wind, waves, sunburn, currents, jellyfish and flotsam! Hop in and join the fun!

  • timsroottimsroot Spring, TXCharter Member
    edited September 2016

    Niek said: How about 0% able to pick Heiloo, Netherlands ;)

    If you can, it's more than 0%...

    JenApavlicovdpm50
  • IronMikeIronMike Alexandria, VACharter Member

    timsroot said:

    Niek said: How about 0% able to pick Heiloo, Netherlands ;)

    If you can, it's more than 0%...

    Math wins!

  • wendyv34wendyv34 Vashon, WASenior Member

    I <3 the guys who aren't threatened by women who are faster than they are. Sometimes at the pool, there are guys who are annoying (to downright rude) because they haven't learned the "don't judge..." rule of swimming.

    I mostly train with guys, some faster, some not, and all of them are so supportive, positive and respectful. Same goes for the regulars that I swim with at races on summer weekends.

    ssthomasNicc

    It's always a bad hair day when you work at a pool.

  • ssthomasssthomas Charter Member

    wendyv34 said: I <3 the guys who aren't threatened by women who are faster than they are. Sometimes at the pool, there are guys who are annoying (to downright rude) because they haven't learned the "don't judge..." rule of swimming.

    UGH! Don't get me started on boys who don't like to let girls go in front of them or pass them at the pool. I find open water swimmers to be a lot more understanding and supportive on that front. On the other hand, pool swimmer boys REALLY don't like to get "chicked" by girls in a pool. I can't tell you how many times I've been lap swimming and some guy will get in next to me and try to "race" me. Women NEVER do that. And, in master's practice, there's always some new, young guy who will refuse to let a girl go first because he hasn't learned that being a boy doesn't automatically mean you're faster. Age, swimming background, and training regime make more of an impact than gender. It's always interesting to see how long it takes them to figure it out- some guys get it after a few practices, others never seem to get it. I avoid swimming with those guys...

    IronMikewendyv34
  • NiccNicc TennesseeMember
    edited September 2016

    If you don't mind me bringing things back to an earlier comment...

    I did read somewhere once that the reason women tend to perform better than males >when you look at averages isn't necessarily because we're faster, but because there >are fewer of us and those of us who commit to major swims do so with a willingness to >train hard. On the other hand, males are more likely to just wing it and see how they >do on minimal training. When you compare fastest males and fastest females, the >males still win. But, when you compare averages, the average woman works her butt >off, while the average male tries to get by on less. Those are large generalizations and >of course there are exceptions to the rule. It is interesting that the article didn't touch >on that, though.

    I think this is a really important point. Not because one gender is lazier than another, but I do think there are a lot of societal pressures in play that often (a) encourage guys to throw themselves into a sport of whatever variety catches their attention -- which isn't necessarily a bad thing -- while at the same time (b) questioning whether women with athletic pursuits are being "selfish" with their time, especially in cases where the woman is a wife/mother/etc. and the time commitment is longer than that of the average hot yoga class.

    If you're a committed swimmer, you get in there and train carefully, no matter what your gender or what people around you have to say.

    But if you are just toying with the idea of trying out the sport and you're surrounded by people with fairly stereotypical attitudes, then you're perhaps more likely to go ahead enter an open water event (and therefore be included in this data set) if you're male.

    ssthomasrosemarymint
  • curlycurly Issaquah, WAMember

    ssthomas said:

    wendyv34 said: I <3 the guys who aren't threatened by women who are faster than they are. Sometimes at the pool, there are guys who are annoying (to downright rude) because they haven't learned the "don't judge..." rule of swimming.

    UGH! Don't get me started on boys who don't like to let girls go in front of them or pass them at the pool. I find open water swimmers to be a lot more understanding and supportive on that front. On the other hand, pool swimmer boys REALLY don't like to get "chicked" by girls in a pool. I can't tell you how many times I've been lap swimming and some guy will get in next to me and try to "race" me. Women NEVER do that. And, in master's practice, there's always some new, young guy who will refuse to let a girl go first because he hasn't learned that being a boy doesn't automatically mean you're faster. Age, swimming background, and training regime make more of an impact than gender. It's always interesting to see how long it takes them to figure it out- some guys get it after a few practices, others never seem to get it. I avoid swimming with those guys...

    The more I hear that "chicked" word, the more I dislike it. I hope I don't hear it said by someone at a race. It completely diminishes both the victor and the vanquished.

    However, I would like to say that women do race when you jump into a lane next to them. A half decent swimmer who has someone more or less near to them is going to do a little testing just to see. But I do understand the obnoxiousness of it at times. Especially with a swimmer who is slower than you and just getting in your way. If someone is "racing" next to you, I think it's kind of fun and both of you get a better workout.

    There is a guy at my pool who is a triathlete. He usually will swim in a lane next to me. He is slower than me but whenever I catch up to him he does his best to keep up with me as long as he can. After the first time he was doing this he made it a point to complement my swimming and asked if it was OK to do that. He said he liked to try and push and I was good motivation for him. I liked that and said it was totally cool and he could do it anytime he wanted. On the other hand, there is a girl triathlete who hauls ass. She trains like a maniac. I like to swim next to her and when I'm motivated I will keep her pace. I don't think she likes me doing that, but I can't understand why. I'm friendly to her but I think she wants to kill me. I think I will stop doing that.

    But I totally get what @ssthomas is saying about guys wanting to make sure that they can beat the girl. I also can empathize because to be quite honest, I'm not terribly imposing. I've always been kind of skinny and I don't look like much of a swimmer. When I was younger I used to race butterfly and I could always see the look of distain from the massive, muscular dude in the next lane. It's almost like they wondered what the heck I was doing getting up on the blocks. And they were usually pissed when I beat them. And it was a different pissed. If you're beaten by someone you perceive as an equal, it's easier to take. Get beaten by a skinny little sh!t (or worse, a girl) and all of a sudden your manhood is threatened. I guess it's a good thing we guys on this forum enjoy swimming as a sport rather than mixed martial arts...

    ssthomas
  • gtswimgtswim PennsylvaniaMember

    Anyone faster than me is more than welcome to lead the lane. I enjoy getting the draft. :)

    dc_in_sfcurlyIronMikedpm50flystorms
  • ssthomasssthomas Charter Member

    curly said:

    However, I would like to say that women do race when you jump into a lane next to them. A half decent swimmer who has someone more or less near to them is going to do a little testing just to see. But I do understand the obnoxiousness of it at times. Especially with a swimmer who is slower than you and just getting in your way. If someone is "racing" next to you, I think it's kind of fun and both of you get a better workout.

    Totally fine to push each other when you're both at practice. I miss that in my solo lap swimming very much. I'm competitive enough that when a stranger gets in the lane next to me, I want to make sure I'm pulling ahead. I'm just talking about the random dudes who watch you for 10 minutes and then decide they want to race you for a 50 or 25. I had one guy who started swimming with me a couple of years ago. When I stopped, he asked if I minded if he joined me. I told him I didn't mind one bit and that I appreciated the company. I was doing a set of 500s- he'd do a 100, take a 50 off, and then jump back in. I really enjoyed it and we both got a better workout. I see him from time to time at the pool and always invite him to join me if he wants to. There's another tri guy who jumps in my lane when he sees me and tries to keep pace with me when he can. He calls me the "queen of the pool" (HA!) He doesn't bug me one bit. It's just the random dudes that I find weird. :-)

    Also, I prefer the back of the lane when possible- but feel for the ladies who are faster and get stuck behind people who don't want to let them go first.

    curlydpm50IronMikewendyv34
  • IronMikeIronMike Alexandria, VACharter Member

    ssthomas said:

    curly said:

    Also, I prefer the back of the lane when possible- but feel for the ladies who are faster and get stuck behind people who don't want to let them go first.

    When I was coaching I wouldn't let anyone slower get in front of a faster person (unless that was the drill). A good coach can prevent this issue. (I know @ssthomas and some others were talking about lap swimming vs. coached workouts.)

    ssthomas
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