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2013-09-22 7:41 PM

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Subject: Where to start in the IMAZ swim
I'm a 46 y/o M, MOP, but I'm relatively good at the swim.
In my only HIM, I had a time of 34:10, which was in the top 15-20% of my age group.
I actually caught up to and passed some swimmers in the two groups in front of me.
In a recent sprint, I started too far back in the pack (I had wiped out on my bike a few days before, so I thought I'd be slow & sore), and had a lot of difficulty getting around slower swimmers. Igot kicked in the face & had my goggles dislodged. That swim was tiring.
I regularly do OWS's of 1.5-2.4 MI at a pace of ~1:30-1:35/100 yd.
My 2.4 MI OWS time is typically 1:05 or so.

I'm hoping to do the IMAZ swim in under 1:15, but I want to avoid the mayhem as much as possible.
I'm willing to sacrifice a little time to avoid heavy traffic.
Where would be a good place for me to start the swim?
How do I avoid the major mess?

Thanks,

Peter

(I posted this in the IMAZ forum, but didn't get any responses)


2013-09-22 8:12 PM
in reply to: GDTRFB

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Subject: RE: Where to start in the IMAZ swim
I'm a slower swimmer than you, so I wouldn't line up where I did. But, what I would say is that youtube has a ton of videos from past IM Az starts. Those are a good start to see what the start will be like. 2012 was remarkably similar to the past years that I viewed. From watching all that tape, I was able to figure out a good place for me to start. You might be able to do the same.
2013-09-23 2:36 AM
in reply to: GDTRFB

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Subject: RE: Where to start in the IMAZ swim
I swam a 1:17 at AZ last year. I lined up about 20 yards to the right of the buoy line, about 6-8 people from the front of the line. I had a moderate amount of contact but I think you will have contact no matter where you start.

FWIW I ended up swimming right on the buoy line when everything settled out.

My swim times are very similar to yours and I feel more like a MOP swimmer than a top 15-20%.
2013-09-23 2:41 AM
in reply to: GDTRFB

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Subject: RE: Where to start in the IMAZ swim
Why aren't you planning to swim a 1:05 if that is your typical 2.4 OWS time?

That would certainly put you FOP. If I thought I could swim that kind of time I would be lining up very close to the front and trying to leave the chaos behind me pretty quickly.

A friend of mine swam a :58 there last year and said he had clear water for the whole race.
2013-09-23 11:24 AM
in reply to: GDTRFB


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Subject: RE: Where to start in the IMAZ swim
I did the IMAZ swim in 1:15 and if memory serves me correctly, I was about 20 yards in front of the bridge, in the dead center. I wasn't really planning it strategically as far as swim goal(my goal was 1:25), but more to find as much open space around me as a could. I was probably 30 yards back from the front. No matter where you are, unless you're the fastest swimmer or the very very back of the group, there's going to be contact, no way around it. But I didn't experience any hard punches or kicks, mainly just a few of us swimming into each other. A few times I stopped to take a look around to spot some open water, but it was a smooth swim.
Biggest log jams were at the turn buoys because everyone, and I do mean everyone, tries to cut the turn as close to the buoy as possible. I learned not to do this after the first one. The second one I took a really wide turn, avoided all contact and had a very smooth turn. Despite the wide line, I don't think it was any slower.
The swim opens up dramatically on the return trip and I don't remember any contact at all after making the turn around. It felt like a nice relaxiing warm up to a very long day ahead.
2013-09-23 12:11 PM
in reply to: TriDadinAsheville

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Subject: RE: Where to start in the IMAZ swim
I did the swim last year in Arizona in 1:04. I lined up at the buoy line about 2 or 3 people off the front. I was close enough that I held onto a kayak while we waited for the cannon. There was a good amount of initial contact, but as long as you're a 1:30/hundred or less swimmer that's really your best option. To avoid any of the scrum, you'll have to start super far back, and you'll spend your entire swim going around people. Starting where I did by the time I got to the turn around there was hardly any swimmers around me.

Another bonus, getting out of the water that fast will get you through transition with very few other people. Even 10 minutes difference in your swim time will mean big crowds for T1 and the first lap of the bike course.


2013-09-23 7:42 PM
in reply to: wannabefaster

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Subject: RE: Where to start in the IMAZ swim
Originally posted by wannabefaster

Why aren't you planning to swim a 1:05 if that is your typical 2.4 OWS time?

That would certainly put you FOP. If I thought I could swim that kind of time I would be lining up very close to the front and trying to leave the chaos behind me pretty quickly.

A friend of mine swam a :58 there last year and said he had clear water for the whole race.



You're right, I should be planning on a time of ~1:05.

I'll plan on starting near the front, close to the buoy line. I'll take the turn a little wide, and head down the backstretch.
From my limited tri-swim experience, I find it easier to get bumped & run over than to run over &/or try to pass people.

2013-09-24 10:10 AM
in reply to: GDTRFB

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Subject: RE: Where to start in the IMAZ swim
I started in the front right section last year and was very happy there. I swam around 1:05. I started at the very front (not intentionally, just ended up there). I knew some people would pass me but I also prefer having people swim over me than having to swim over/around other people. It thinned out quite a bit in the first 100 meters, then a ton after the first turn.
2013-09-24 10:13 AM
in reply to: MonkeyClaw

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Subject: RE: Where to start in the IMAZ swim

Originally posted by MonkeyClaw I started in the front right section last year and was very happy there. I swam around 1:05. I started at the very front (not intentionally, just ended up there). I knew some people would pass me but I also prefer having people swim over me than having to swim over/around other people. It thinned out quite a bit in the first 100 meters, then a ton after the first turn.

This is good to hear.  I'm hoping for a sub 1:05 - 1:1010 (ish) swim as well and everytime I watch a you tube video of the swim start my heart starts racing and I think, Holy Sh it!  That looks rough.  I guess I will be towards the front taking off with an aggressive first 200 yards and settling into a smooth stroke for the remaining 4,000 yards. 

2013-09-26 3:38 PM
in reply to: siouxcityhawk

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Subject: RE: Where to start in the IMAZ swim
Originally posted by siouxcityhawk

Originally posted by MonkeyClaw I started in the front right section last year and was very happy there. I swam around 1:05. I started at the very front (not intentionally, just ended up there). I knew some people would pass me but I also prefer having people swim over me than having to swim over/around other people. It thinned out quite a bit in the first 100 meters, then a ton after the first turn.

This is good to hear.  I'm hoping for a sub 1:05 - 1:1010 (ish) swim as well and everytime I watch a you tube video of the swim start my heart starts racing and I think, Holy Sh it!  That looks rough.  I guess I will be towards the front taking off with an aggressive first 200 yards and settling into a smooth stroke for the remaining 4,000 yards. 




For those who are using this approach, don't forget that you need to train like this occasionally. Do a long set, say 1000-2000 yards where you go hard for the first 200-300 then settle in to your race pace.
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