“Sounds like sour grapes to me. The people swimming over you most likely are not newbies, but faster, more experienced swimmers wishing you would get out of their way,”His comment got me to click on PhotoShop and go at it for a few more illustrative graphics.
You may want to stop reading right about here because my graphic talents are not even equal to that of my young son. As proof I offer up a recent drawing of his. So I would highly suggest that you just scroll down the page to a nice story about my recent Ironman that includes no PhotoShop graphics what so ever.
You’ve been warned!
This is the text of the email I just sent Dave: “Thanks for your comment. Sour Grapes…no not really. Actually I got boxed in by a group of swimmers of similar ability. I should have gone anaerobic and swam ahead of them, but I didn't think about that as I was swimming.
I just kept wondering why they kept slamming into me instead of swimming in clear water.”
To illustrate this point I’ve drawn another terrible graphic. You will notice that I’m red as a lobster because I’m steamed from being boxed in.
You will also notice that the real problem is really not with the Newbies. The problem is the Newbie who’s been swimming a year or two and now decides that they are the next Phelps or Spitz. These are the boys and gals who like to swim under, or over, or through, or on top of, other racers.
I think that true Newbies tend to be a little too intimidate on the swim to really go and mix it up in the “crunch.”
You’ll notice in the next auful graphic that I define the crunch as the area where everybody comes together as they head for the first buoy. It is the narrowest part of the funnel that forces swimmers (who all started pretty far apart) to come together to round the first buoy.
Because everybody else in the entire race will eventually more into your swim line and you’ll be the person caught in the crunch. That’s why many coaches will advise Newbies to start on the outside to keep out of the crunch zone as long as possible.
But no matter where you start at some point you will end up in your own crunch zone. That is just what happens when you put several hundred, or thousand swimmers into any given body of water and pull ther trigger. In Austria I was drafting a good swimmer when I noticed that we were going to complete miss going around one of the buoys. We were in fact swimming right for a course marshal who was turning folks around to head back around the buoy.
I felt like I owed my drafting partner a heads-up on the situation so I sort of tapped his shoulder. He just kept on swimming. So I grabbed him by the waist (bad idea) to get his attention. He spun around in the water like an angry python and raised his fist to clobber me on the nose. It wasn’t until I pointed to the buoy that he understood and thanked me for stopping him.
Sometimes we all get a little too caught up in the moment and do stupid things in the heat of battle. That’s why I always try to remind before every race that you can’t win a triathlon on the swim.
Oh yea...I promise no more pitiful illustrations.