General Discussion Triathlon Talk » Average swim time Rss Feed  
Moderators: jmk-brooklyn, Ron Reply
2011-05-03 1:29 PM


8

Subject: Average swim time

I am doing my first sprint triathlon and the swimming is in a indoor pool.  Does anyone know what the average swim is for a beginner at 300meters.  I read somewhere that it is 7 minutes, but I can't swim 12 laps straight yest in a 25meter pool to equal 300meters.  It is taking me 11.30 minutes and that is with stopping a couple of times. 

I would like to know a time to be working for since I am teaching my self how to swim properly by watching videos like totalimmersion and others.



2011-05-03 1:40 PM
in reply to: #3480087

New user
135
10025
Subject: RE: Average swim time
You can usually find previous years' results online for a given triathlon.  Check your gender/age group results for the tri you're going to do and you should get an idea of front/middle/back results.
2011-05-03 1:50 PM
in reply to: #3480087

User image

Veteran
230
10010025
Charlotte
Gold member
Subject: RE: Average swim time

Can't speak for the universe but I can give you some data points from a (pool) sprint tri I did last year that was 300 yards and included a lot of first-timers. I'll give times for my event then an adjusted number (+10%) to adjust approximately for yards/meters conversion:

50 percentile (median):  6:12 / 6:49

75 percentile:  7:08 / 7:51

90 percentile:  7:57 / 8:45

95 percentile:  8:35 / 9:27

Based on that, I'd view 9:00 as the minimum threshhold for adequacy.  That would put you in the worst 10% of a pretty weak field in that one event anyway, but you would still have some folks slower.

On a separate note, if you can at all afford it, consider getting a coach.  At my local YMCA I was able to get ten 45-minute lessons for $13.50 each - not free, but well worth it, and much less than most independent coaches would cost.

That help?

2011-05-03 1:59 PM
in reply to: #3480087

User image

Expert
864
5001001001002525
Subject: RE: Average swim time
ktdiamond - 2011-05-03 1:29 PM

I am doing my first sprint triathlon and the swimming is in a indoor pool.  Does anyone know what the average swim is for a beginner at 300meters.  I read somewhere that it is 7 minutes, but I can't swim 12 laps straight yest in a 25meter pool to equal 300meters.  It is taking me 11.30 minutes and that is with stopping a couple of times. 

I would like to know a time to be working for since I am teaching my self how to swim properly by watching videos like totalimmersion and others.

 

With pool swims, it is important that you get yourself seeded close to the time you are expecting to swim.  If you currently take 11:30 to swim it because you have to stop, do you think you will swim it differently when you have other people around you?  If you seed yourself too fast, then you will have to stop (or at least pause) at the wall if someone is trying to get around you. 

When is the race?  If it's less than a month from now, I would suggest swimming 100m (4 lengths) and then multiplying your time by 3.  If you're practicing a lot (like 4-5x/week) you'll probably improve slightly so take about 5-10 secs off per 100m and then use that as your time.  You may be a natural but it took me a year of swimming (not consistentlY)  before I went from being in the bottom 15% to about the bottom 40%. 

You don't have to be accurate to the second but you have to be in the ballpark. I know I seeded myself correctly when I only have to pass or get passed by 1-2 people during the whole swim.  They start you off time trial style anyway so you usually have at least 3-5 seconds between you and the next person so if you are off by say 20 seconds, that usually won't mean more than a couple of people you have to pass/or be passed by.  It's no fun if you miss by 3-4 minutes as you will be encountering an endless stream of irritated swimmers passing by you the whole swim (and it will slow you down even more). If you seed yourself well, you'll be amazed at how few people you run into...

2011-05-03 2:03 PM
in reply to: #3480087

User image

Champion
6604
50001000500100
Sarasota, FL
Bronze member
Subject: RE: Average swim time
7 minutes for 300M is 2:20/100M, which is probably going to be a the BOP at most races. 

I wouldn't worry about your speed right now, just focus on developing good form and building your endurance so you can make the distance comfortably.  Your pace will pick up as your form and endurance improve.  Just takes time.  You should be trying to swim at least three times a week if your schedule permits.

Don't feel like you need to swim 300's all the time.  Start out with 25M or 50m intervals (with short rests) to work on your form.

Check out the swim articles here on BT.  Lots of good tips there.

Good luck,

Mark 
2011-05-03 2:15 PM
in reply to: #3480128

User image

Champion
6604
50001000500100
Sarasota, FL
Bronze member
Subject: RE: Average swim time
bruce_v - 2011-05-03 2:50 PM

Based on that, I'd view 9:00 as the minimum threshhold for adequacy.  That would put you in the worst 10% of a pretty weak field in that one event anyway, but you would still have some folks slower.



What does that mean exactly? 
Mark


2011-05-03 2:28 PM
in reply to: #3480128

User image

Lethbridge, Alberta
Silver member
Subject: RE: Average swim time
bruce_v - 2011-05-03 12:50 PM

...

On a separate note, if you can at all afford it, consider getting a coach.  At my local YMCA I was able to get ten 45-minute lessons for $13.50 each - not free, but well worth it, and much less than most independent coaches would cost.

...


Further to this idea, you could also check for adult group lessons. Even during individual coaching you need to spend most of your time working on the tips you get. A group lesson can provide almost as much attention, sometimes at a more reasonable cost (though the coaching quoted above sounds like a great deal).
2011-05-03 2:42 PM
in reply to: #3480087


8

Subject: RE: Average swim time

Thanks are of your replys are making me feel more comfortable.  Even though this is my first one, I still want to do good for myself.  I am much stronger in running and decent in cyclying, but weak on the swimming. 

The pool length is 50meters and the lanes are 50meters wide. 

The event takes place June 26.  I have been swimming at least 3 times a week using workouts from Swimplan.com .  It has me doing about 24-30 laps to complete all of the different drills.  I am a pretty fast learner and ex college sprinter and football player. 

I also don't want to irrate people by putting a time that I can handle in the race and slowing people down.

2011-05-03 2:43 PM
in reply to: #3480269

New user
135
10025
Subject: RE: Average swim time

ktdiamond - 2011-05-03 3:42 PM

The pool length is 50meters and the lanes are 50meters wide.

That's a really big pool!
2011-05-03 2:46 PM
in reply to: #3480204

User image

Veteran
230
10010025
Charlotte
Gold member
Subject: RE: Average swim time
RedCorvette - 2011-05-03 3:15 PM
bruce_v - 2011-05-03 2:50 PM

Based on that, I'd view 9:00 as the minimum threshhold for adequacy.  That would put you in the worst 10% of a pretty weak field in that one event anyway, but you would still have some folks slower.



What does that mean exactly? 
Mark

My understanding of the OP was that s/he was looking for some information regarding pace of beginning swimmers and to use that to determine a time to shoot for.  I gave her some percentile paces from a similar-length pool sprint I had done with what seemed a reasonably high proportion of first-timers. 

After giving the data I thought it might be helpful to the OP to give a qualitative interpretation of a potential time to shoot for.  I felt that a middle-of-bottom-decile might be a good 'next' target - hopefully both seeming achievable and reassuring that it wouldn't be the slowest time in the field.

I chose to arbitrarily refer to that as a minimum threshhold for adequacy.  Maybe not perfect wording and others might have chosen other words, but I suspect that a sufficiently broad interpretation of the words in the dictionary would find them at least minimally appropriate .

2011-05-03 2:49 PM
in reply to: #3480274

User image

Elite
3316
20001000100100100
Miami
Subject: RE: Average swim time
bwalling - 2011-05-03 2:43 PM

ktdiamond - 2011-05-03 3:42 PM

The pool length is 50meters and the lanes are 50meters wide.

That's a really big pool!

 

that is not a pool that is the ocean



2011-05-03 3:12 PM
in reply to: #3480087

User image

Master
1923
1000500100100100100
Midlothian, VA
Subject: RE: Average swim time
m2tx - 

When is the race?  If it's less than a month from now, I would suggest swimming 100m (4 lengths) and then multiplying your time by 3.  

Wha? NO!  That's the kind of messed up logic that causes pool swims in tris to become such cluster****s.  If a swimmer can't even currently DO a 300 meter swim, there is highly unlikely their time will be anywhere near 3x their 100m time.  Maybe add 50% to each 100 or something would be more likely to be accurate as they get gassed or hang on the wall.

Lets start with a 100 time of say, 2:30:

2:30 +
3:15 +
4:52
-----------
10:37

Obviously we CANNOT come up with an accurate formula as there are too many variables to consider per each individual. However, simply extrapolating out from a shorter sampling time has the inherent error of not considering any type of fatigue or other causes of speed drop-off.  To iterate again, for a swimmer that cannot yet consistently do a distance of X, timing them at a fraction of x and multiplying that by the divisor just is a bad idea.


 

2011-05-03 3:24 PM
in reply to: #3480087

User image

Veteran
230
10010025
Charlotte
Gold member
Subject: RE: Average swim time

I'm totally on board with giving appropriate swim times for pool sprints... but I didn't get the impression that that's what the OP was asking for.  My guess was that this person learned English as second language so there's not great clarity with tenses, etc., but hopefully if the question was what time to enter for seeding it wouldn't have been phrased as a time to shoot for (?).

On the other hand, if we just want to make sure every pool sprint question gets proper seeding methodology responses just to be safe, can't say that's really a bad idea.

2011-05-03 3:33 PM
in reply to: #3480087


8

Subject: RE: Average swim time

This is from the website of the race itself about the pool.

 A 300-meter dual-start pool swim with wide 50-meter lanes.  Its an Aquatic Center.

I can swim up/down non-stop then I have to take a 10 sec. breather before starting again.  Which would only be 50m. 

Thanks,

Keith

2011-05-03 3:55 PM
in reply to: #3480338

User image

Expert
864
5001001001002525
Subject: RE: Average swim time
faded_memories - 2011-05-03 3:12 PM
m2tx - 

When is the race?  If it's less than a month from now, I would suggest swimming 100m (4 lengths) and then multiplying your time by 3.  

Wha? NO!  That's the kind of messed up logic that causes pool swims in tris to become such cluster****s.  If a swimmer can't even currently DO a 300 meter swim, there is highly unlikely their time will be anywhere near 3x their 100m time.  Maybe add 50% to each 100 or something would be more likely to be accurate as they get gassed or hang on the wall.

Lets start with a 100 time of say, 2:30:

2:30 +
3:15 +
4:52
-----------
10:37

Obviously we CANNOT come up with an accurate formula as there are too many variables to consider per each individual. However, simply extrapolating out from a shorter sampling time has the inherent error of not considering any type of fatigue or other causes of speed drop-off.  To iterate again, for a swimmer that cannot yet consistently do a distance of X, timing them at a fraction of x and multiplying that by the divisor just is a bad idea.

 

The guy is not racing for another 2 months.  If he's swimming regularly, he should be able to get to swimming 300m at his 100m time right now+ 5-10 sec.  Beginners improve rapidly. 

If he's not practicing much - he should be putting in close to the time he's putting in now - which is around 11:30.  If he swims 2:30 currently, and practices and gets coached consistently, he's going to be pretty close to 8:00.  He's an athlete so he knows what it'll take to improve - which is coaching and practice.  He'll probably reflect slower than that in the actual tri because the results usually take into account getting out of the pool and running some distance to the floor sensor that marks the end of the swim time.

All I'm saying is that he/she should try to time himself.  If 100m is all he can do before needing a 10 sec break, then he needs to add the 10s break then multiply it. Better than just picking some average time and guessing...

2011-05-03 4:01 PM
in reply to: #3480398

User image

Expert
864
5001001001002525
Subject: RE: Average swim time
ktdiamond - 2011-05-03 3:33 PM

This is from the website of the race itself about the pool.

 A 300-meter dual-start pool swim with wide 50-meter lanes.  Its an Aquatic Center.

I can swim up/down non-stop then I have to take a 10 sec. breather before starting again.  Which would only be 50m. 

Thanks,

Keith

So you probably take about 1:45 to do 50m right now?  That's about 3:30/100m.  You'd probably be somewhere between 9-11min in 2 months depending on whether you get good coaching and consistent practice.  I think you'll be able to get to 9 minutes within months, then gains will slow down.  Definitely get some coaching as swimming isn't natural for most people (it certainly wasn't for me).  I'd encourage you to try the Learn-to Swim program from this website. It has helped me (along with some coaching).

http://www.beginnertriathlete.com/cms/article-detail.asp?articleid=1945

If you swim 3x/month, you should be able to get to Month 2 and you'll be able to swim 300m straight by that time.  If you follow that program (and have a coach look at your stroke), bet you'll be swimming close to 9 min for 300m by the time you race.

Regarding the pool - it's a 50m pool (length) and they're just saying that the lanes are wide (but they didn't say anything about how wide they are). 



Edited by m2tx 2011-05-03 4:05 PM


2011-05-03 4:28 PM
in reply to: #3480398

User image

Master
2308
2000100100100
North Alabama
Subject: RE: Average swim time
ktdiamond - 2011-05-03 3:33 PM

A 300-meter dual-start pool swim with wide 50-meter lanes.  Its an Aquatic Center.

Keith

This doesn't mean they're 50m wide by 50m long. They are 50m long and have wide lanes. Probably a bit wider than the standard YMCA lanes, but definitely not 50m wide.

2011-05-03 7:04 PM
in reply to: #3480274

User image

Extreme Veteran
845
50010010010025
Springfield, OH
Bronze member
Subject: RE: Average swim time
bwalling - 2011-05-03 3:43 PM

ktdiamond - 2011-05-03 3:42 PM

The pool length is 50meters and the lanes are 50meters wide.

That's a really big pool!

They built it that way so people would quit complaining about pool swim triathlons.

New Thread
General Discussion Triathlon Talk » Average swim time Rss Feed