Wednesday, November 09, 2005

Mass swim start strategies?


One of the things that really scares me about the swim at IMFL'06 is the prospect of being swum over by all those thousands of strong swimmers. It may be unavoidable for me toward the end of the first lap, and during the entire second lap. BUT I'm thinking of ways to avoid the congestion during that scary mass start.

Now *if* I could swim in a straight line in open water (and no, I can't, yet), starting far to the side looks like a good strategy, without giving up too much time at the start. If the leg going straight out is 800m long, and you start a full 100m to the side, which is a LONG freaking way on the beach, and you swim straight out to the furthest buoy, you only have to swim an extra SIX meters. (If my math is correct. Remember your Pythagorean Theorem?).

Of course, swimming straight is the kicker here, because any deviations from that straight line cost you distance.

Thoughts from you more experienced Ironmen?

Or should I not worry about it and JFS? (Just Friggin' Swim).

Comments:
starting in the back is not a bad thing. I think as long as you stay back and to the outside you don't need to go 100m off. Also from IMAZ that I know of, you can swim inside the buoys as long as you swim outside the turns. The kayakers will keep you honest.
 
When you learn how to swim in a straight line - please let me in on the secret.
 
In 04 I started right in the front to the left side...I got pushed to the inside, which is fine as long as you go on the outside of the turnaround bouys, which I did...I never got hit once. You have to be careful of the tide as well, even though you may want to lign up to the left or the right, you have to be aware of which way the water is pushing you. Remember, you are swimming in the ocean and you can be pulled in any direction. Anything can happen that day, you need to prepare yourself for any conditions. You might not make that decision as to where you'll start until minutes before the race.
 
How 'bout this, Shelley: You swim and I hold on to your feet.
 
I started on the far right at IMFL 05. It didn't seem to cost me too much time. Swimming straight in the ocean and it's current is very difficult. It was for me.

Anyway, I wouldn't sweat the swim too much. You can ask people around you what time they plan to swim and seed yourself accordingly. If you don't have a lot of confidence in your swim, I would go further back and further to the right.
 
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