Thursday, July 24, 2014

Lane 4? No thanks, I'll take 8!

(via Food Republic)

Currents in pools are not a new phenomenon.  Just about every swimmer who's been around a while has experienced the difference between lanes in workouts and meets.  There was plenty of talk last year about currents in the world champs pool, right?  Read a new article on the issue here.

In Barcelona, rumors of a current surfaced in the early days of the meet and surprised FINA because, Dijakovic said, "by definition, pools don't have a current." But the rumors persisted, covered by French and Australian newspapers.

To investigate the rumors, Myrtha and FINA devised a makeshift test, using a floating plastic bottle that showed no discernible current.

That two-dimensional thinking didn't prove a danged thing, did it?  The dog-gone current was under the surface, ding-dongs!

American swimmer Eugene Godsoe said he wasn't sure whether there was a current in the pool that day, but that he and other competitors had heard about the rumored speed and slowness of certain lanes. Godsoe won a somewhat surprising silver medal in the 50-meter butterfly, swimming in lane 8 in the final. It was his fastest-ever time in that event.

"If there was a current, I think it was minuscule compared with the mental effect it had on the athletes swimming," Godsoe said. "If you're a swimmer and in the back of your head it's, 'I'm going to be really slow 'cause I'm in lane 1,' whether or not that's true, that's going to affect the way you perform."

Yet the placebo effect would hardly explain what happened during the 1,500-meter freestyle. In that event--involving 15 round trips in the pool—swimmers in lanes 5-8 swam faster in one direction than the other, suggesting that they faced an unfavorable current on return trips across the pool.

Conversely, lane 1-4 swimmers swam faster in the opposite direction, suggesting that any current in the pool was circular, giving swimmers in those lanes a boost on return lengths. In both cases, those results are unusual, because in distance events, the authors note, "the athletes typically attempt to maintain a fairly even pace throughout most of the race."

Facts?  We don't need no stinkin' facts!

Now, Myrtha is devising an instrument to detect water currents and will test it at the European championships next month in Berlin, said Tiffany. He said the new instrument will be "far more sophisticated" than the improvised test used in Barcelona.

Really?  What could possibly be more sophisticated than watching a bottle floating in lane 2...


  • At 5:23 PM, Blogger Button said…

    lion king:

    "i'll take a fifth...i mean the fifth lane..."

  • At 8:29 PM, Anonymous Lion King said…

    Release the dye! Or let those big boy swimmers do #1 after they get dehydrated (when "it" is darker)!

    Just a thought...

  • At 7:06 AM, Blogger Button said…

    i said you're in eight, not urinate!

  • At 3:20 PM, Anonymous Deer Slaye said…

    I recall a coaches meeting at TAGS years ago when the meet was stopped to discuss the current. We were told repeatedly that there was no current. During the meeting a coach made a paper boat out of a heat sheet and set it in lane 8. It moved rapidly down the pool. The meeting ended quickly and they turned off the pumps.


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