Archive for Swimming

Nineteen Frequency

Posted in Triathlon, Wetsuit with tags , , , , , , on May 11, 2011 by brianestover

Since I currently am sans wet suit, the good folks at Trisports.com let me borrow two for my race last weekend. I choose the Nineteen Frequency to do the race in leaving the other suit at home.

The Frequency is Nineteen’s top of the line wet suit. The main chest panel and legs are 5mm to float you high and make you fast. The arms, lats and lower back have a very flexible 1.5mm #40 rubber panelling. This enables the arms to have a full range of motion. I did not notice any restriction when swimming. The 1.5mm arms also make the suit very easy to peel off the top of your body.

Nineteen Frequency

Wingspan System

There are several features and a lack of a feature which make this suit an awesome suit. Lets get to the lack of feature because it’s this lack of feature that helps a suit swim faster. There are no water gripping panels in the forearms. It seems every top of the line suit has some sort of panels. While I’ve not seen the data for the latest round of suits (2010 and on), I have seen data showing that these gripper panels at best have no propulsive function and in many suits actually cause the suit to be slower then the same suit without gripper panels. Unfortunately most companies view gripper panels as a must have to satisfy the I need another gimmick crowd.

The features that make this suit a good suit include the 2mm panel on the back of the calf and the legs that facilitate easy removal of the suit in transition. The suit is also cut higher in the back of the legs to help slip over your heels. Nineteen calls it EasyOff Legs and the suit does come off easily.

The other feature that in my opinion Nineteen does better then many of the brands is what they call Kungfu grip arms. It’s a small piece of silicone around the inside of the wrists. This helps keep the suit locked to your wrist and helps prevent water from flowing up into the arms upon entry and catch. During my race I never noticed any water flowing up into the suit. Unlike some other suits I’ve swam in, this suit is easy to remove over the wrists and hands. My previous wet suit always engaged you in a wrestling match to get out of it. The KungFu gripper tape works better since you are not wasting your time or energy wrestling with it in T1.

KungFu Arm Gripper

There were two small things I did not like about his suit. The first was upon jumping into the water I noticed water immediately entering trough the zipper area. The second was the velcro closure. The side that closes over the collar sealing it shut has been reinforced. While that reinforcement makes it easy to grab and open upon exiting the water, it took several tries to position it so that it did not scratch my neck. The neck collar itself is very comfortable and well designed. I never thought about it, did not get a wet suit hickey even without body glide and never had any water leak in while swimming. All of which are very, very good things.

Collar Tab

This is a very well thought out and designed suit that fits true to the size chart. It’s non gimmicky, it’s designed to keep water out, float you high, help you swim fast and make T1 as easy as possible. If you are looking to get out in front of the crowd and swim fast, this could be your suit. You can read more about it here.

Since I’m Swimming

Posted in Stuff, Swimming, Triathlon with tags , , , , , , on December 20, 2010 by brianestover

Might as well go big or stay home. Yesterday we headed to the Sydney Olympic complex. It’s huge, everything is in one place, all the venues. Easy to get around and close to where I’m currently staying.

Inspired by the legends who swam there before me, and after playing with the kids for 90 minutes in the pool, I went for a bit of a workout.

It dawned on me during this workout. Not having kids, that you have to keep from drowning all the time and who insist on being throw over and over and over and over, is like cheating. It was all I could do to swim decently. My stroke was falling apart faster then a F1 race car that slammed into a concrete wall. My arms and chest felt like someone had pummeled me. Having kids is hard work, work that I should not under take I’ve decided. It’s only 9:30am and I’m already thinking it’s nap time because I’m still wiped out. My sister thinks we should take the kids to the park. Unbelievable.

Mom, Dad, I’m sorry for being a difficult kid. It never dawned on me then that pushing the boundaries was making life more difficult for you guys. My bad.

Enough of that, though. The Aquatics center is huge, awesome really I’m just at a loss of words as to how cool this place is. Kids area with multiple slides, buckets dropping water on the kids, multiple hot tubs. An 8 lane LCM (long course meter) warm up/down pool. A 10 lane 50 LCM competition pool. A diving well/water polo pool. A fitness center with treadmills.

So when words fail, let pics take over. Sydneyer’s I’m pretty jealous. This is the best done aquatic center I’ve ever been to in my life. As a former swim coach, I’ve been to a ton of aquatic centers over the years.

The Competition Pool

Warm Up / Down Pool


Kids area

Diving & Water Polo pool

Podium’s Galore

Posted in Triathlon with tags , , , , , , , on September 26, 2010 by brianestover

Accelerate 3 athletes were grabbing podiums all over the US this weekend.

On a very windy day, Sarah smashed the women’s field on the bike, hung on during the run and won by over :30 at the Elephant Man Triathlon!

Rich snagged a 6th in his age group at USAT Age Group Nationals. This is one step up from last year’s age group finish. An uncharacteristic swim put him a little further back then he has ever been. His top four bike and run splits catapulted him through the field.

Billy grabbed 2nd Overall at the first Tri for Acts of Kindness Triathlon in Tucson, AZ.

I crossed the line 7th overall, ended up 6th over all and won my age group at the Elephant Man Triathlon. The guy who finished 5th got a penalty for drafting off me in the bike. That moved me up. I was smashing the entire field in the choppy swim, well, except for the guy on my feet. He nipped me across the swim mat by :03.

Trophy’s this year at Elephant Man were beer and bottle openers! Here we Sarah and I with our winnings!

At the Races

Posted in Triathlon with tags , , , , , , , , , on August 21, 2010 by brianestover

A couple of Accelerate 3 athletes put down some good results this morning.

Billy won the Hummingbird Triathlon this morning. It was a pool swim and just to make it somewhat close, he swam an extra 50 yards. By the time he hit the finish tape, he posted the fastest bike and run of the day to cruise to victory, well ahead of the rest of the field.

Kerry finished 5th in the women’s field while winning her age group at The Battle of Fort Desoto Triathlon in Florida. She had the fastest T1, bike and run in her age group to throttle her peers. Kerry used the fourth fastest overall female run to move into the top five, just missing out on fourth by :02

Once a Fish

Posted in Swimming, Triathlon with tags , , on August 8, 2010 by brianestover

always a fish. Or so I’ve been told by numerous swim coaches and have told numerous individuals. Swimming is such a technical sport, that those who swam as kids who an advantage over those who pick up swimming as adults. Take a mediocre at best age group swimmer, keep them out of the water for several years then have them pick up triathlon. That mediocre at best swimmer after 3 months of swimming will be a front of the pack swimmer. An adult who picks up swimming to do triathlons will almost never make it to the front pack. It’s just not going to happen except in the rarest of occasions. What is worse, for the adult who takes up swimming later in life anyway, is that the former swimmer will only have to train about 40% of what the adult does to get faster.

To keep things fair though, that mediocre swimmer will probably never be as fast as the person who went on to swim in college. It’s just the way the world works. Go to any masters swim group and you’ll see the progression down the lanes. Where I used to swim there was the Olympian/National/Elite level lane. You had to have been one of the best in the world at one point to swim in this lane. They warmed up about as fast as I did intervals. Rather cruel really. Then you’ve got the college swimmer lanes. These will get sub divided between NCAA qualifiers/All Americans and regular college swimmers. Then you get the AG swimmer lanes and finally it progresses down to the triathlete lanes. Or if you were my former swim club, you just had a separate practice for them.

I bring all this up because I went swimming yesterday. Swam once in the last four weeks previous to this. I still ripped off a 1650 short course yard set holding 1:20-:21 for the longer intervals and 1:15-:16 for the shorter intervals. There were the thoughts floating around in the back of my head that most triathletes if they took four weeks out of the water they would struggle for the next two months trying to get back into swim shape. Where many swimmers turned triathletes will take 2-3 months (or more in my case) out of the water and be in relatively good shape in two to three weeks. In some respects, former swimmers will always have a bigger ROI in their swimming because they’ve invested a larger % of the youth into swimming. For every yard they now swim, their triathlete buddies will have to swim 5 or 6 or more to make an equal leap in swim speed.

Hence the saying: Once a fish, always a fish.

1 down

Posted in Triathlon with tags , , , , , , , on June 3, 2010 by brianestover

1 to go, then it’s time to start thinking beat Jeff at Vineman. He’s been talking junk, and I’m a teeny, tiny bit worried…not.

I’m amazing, really, I am. At the Sahuarita Triathlon first I get punched in the eye by someone from a previous wave who was heading off course. Got a small shiner for my efforts there. In the construction zone on the bike, I managed to ride off a 3 ft ledge, caught a good bit of air testing the flight characteristics of my Transition without crashing, then I managed to step on a traffic cone and roll my ankle just after mile 1. My left ankle. The traffic cones were on my right. Wtf? How does that happen? Seriously? How? Wasn’t able to really do much more then hobble on it for about half a mile. It was just before the 2 mile mark before I could really start to run on it. By then there were a few more people ahead of me. Managed to pass the guy in my AG though in the final 2km but it probably cost me 1 spot on the overall.

Spent the rest of the day laying on the couch watching netflix on the xbox and icing my foot. Needless to say training has been slim to none this week, thanks to being clumsy.

I’ve also been sleeping in every morning because I stayed up late partying like a rock star one night. It’s rather evident to me now, rock stars have a very tough life. Especially if they are an early to bed early to rise person like I am. One night of only a few hours of sleep and 3 mornings later, I’m still dragging ass.

Looking forward to heading up to Show Low, AZ this weekend to race the Trisports.com Deuces Wild triathlon. Hoping this week of no training, watching movies and learning that I’m no rock star pays off with a decent result.

Kicking Ass….again

Posted in Uncategorized with tags , , , , , , , , , , on May 16, 2010 by brianestover

It was a good weekend for Accelerate 3 athletes. 3 races in 3 states with 3 podiums. Once again proving that good things come in 3’s.

Kerry raced the Florida 70.3. What does she do this past week? She gets a new bike. Then proceeds to ride to the 4th fastest bike split in her AG, which I might mention is her longest ride on that bike. Not content with that, she throws down the fastest run in her AG, the second best overall female AG run split and the 13th fastest female run of the day. Not to shabby for her second ride on the new bike. I’ll post her power numbers as soon as I get them.

I raced the Tempe International Triathlon today. It was awesome to see a lot of my Trisports.com teammates out racing and placing in their age group or overall. After swimming a bit off course, I ended up 7th Overall and won the M35-39 AG. I started the bike and my legs were flat. The watts were low and I was riding like a pussy. It took getting passed, only for a bit, for me to snap out of it. I rode the second 20k loop 1.5 minutes faster and just over 20 watts higher then the first loop. I ran roughly the same time as last year, but the run was about .4 longer this year. I’m exiting the water here. Thankfully, other then the guy right behind me, I still had a decent gap on the rest of my AG field with only one guy out in front of me. AP/NP 238/251

Rich used the fastest run split of the day to leapfrog from 5th after the bike to 2nd OV at the Peachtree International Triathlon. Midway through the bike people started launching attacks. Rich just rides smart, in control, letting everyone chase each other down. Exiting T2 he put the wood to them, making some people rather unhappy as they tumbled down the results sheet. AP/NP 273/280

I Love Swimming

Posted in Swimming, Triathlon with tags , , , on May 12, 2010 by brianestover

Well actually that is a big, fat lie. It’s pretty obvious that I’m not a big fan of the pool. It’s getting into the water that I hate. But today, today, was one of those days where you are swimming effortlessly. Everything is clicking just right. All you hear is the splash of your arms hitting the water, it was like I was a metronome. Long, slow effortless strokes.

Within the first 50 of hitting the water, I knew it’d be a good swim. My nose strap breaking couldn’t stop how good it felt. My 400’s were just under 1:20 pace breathing every three strokes. To finish the set I did 3×200 descending on 3 minutes. Hit the wall in 2:42, 2:38, 2:35. Effortless. That 2:35 required no more effort then the 2:42. I’m actually almost optimistic, about my swim anyway, heading into this weekends triathlon.

Wildflower

Posted in Swimming, Triathlon with tags , , , , , on May 4, 2010 by brianestover

Wildflower Triathlon. When you talk about Wildflower you talk about hallowed ground. One of THE great triathlons of all time. Sure it’s a great race, but it’s also a logistical pain in the ass. You are in the middle of nowhere. Literally ~ 50 miles from the nearest hospital. Which, btw, is in Templeton, not that I would know that normally. But now I do. Why? Because I’m a great, good Samaritan.

So onto the race. It’s no secret that I’ve not really been training much nor did I really care if I raced or made the trip. Being the Genius I am, I racked my bike the night before. Even though the rules aren’t 100% clear on if you can or can’t. If you ask that is the best way to get a no. If you’ve already done something, well then people tend to figure out how to make it work. Anyway, wet suit on, ready to go, warmed up the micro-climate in my wet suit, around my feet, swam a minute or two and lined up in the front. Hey I may not be training much but I’m still a better swimmer then 90% of all triathletes. Gun goes off, a few guys get away from me. There is a line of guys on my feet. All of them except one guy defected to the feet of the guy to my right. Bad decision dudes. I’ve been doing this a long time and I’ve got some skills. So the drag race to the far turn buoy begins. I slowly, and I mean slowly eek out about a body length and a half lead on that train. It’s like two great cycling teams setting up their sprinters and I’m the lead out guy (probably not the position you want to be in when you are only 15min into a 4.5+ hour race). As we get closer to the turn I start looking around and doing some math. Those suckers to the right never see it coming. Since they are slightly behind me, and off to my right and there is a group of people from a slower wave in front which I should catch just before the turn and they will be between me and the other guys, a good idea pops into my head. An idea of pure, evil genius. I start angling into the turn and herd the wave before towards the apex of the turn. The slower swimmers, the guys from my wave and the buoy all converge in one spot and all those bodies and buoy just won’t fit. Either they have to stop swimming or the buoy has to start swimming. The guy on my feet, who I hope appreciates my move of pure genius, treachery and superior swimming skills, and I slide right on by. My little maneuver got us about a :20 gap on those guys. So lets see, I can swim harder or swim smarter? Hmmmm? Give me smarter every time.

The guy on my feet pulls on through, I push the pace a bit to make sure he keeps it honest then slip onto his feet. Damn right he should be paying me back! We exit the water, get to the bikes, I hop on my more or less reliable Specialized and roll out of transition. About 2 minutes into the race I realize I’ve got about 50psi in my front tire. Hallelujah! Day done, no flat kit and I’m out of the race! Best freaking news I heard all weekend.

Walked back to transition packed up and that was that. End of race, beginning of the beer drinking, after a side trip to Templeton to take someone to the hospital of course.

Lifeguard, save me

Posted in Triathlon with tags , , , , , , on March 4, 2010 by brianestover

I’m drowning. Well not actually, much to at least one person’s dismay. But damn, I’m slow in the pool. Every year I say I’m not going to take much time out of the water. Every year I take time away from the pool. This year I swam 800 yards in 5 months. Now I can’t even hold for 200’s what I used to do repeats on. Tonight’s ended up being all around 2:50 leaving on the 3:00. Last August I was leaving on the 2:40. I guess I better get in lots of swim in the next 17 days. Yikes, 17 days until the first tri of the year.

Part of the reason I stay out of the water is they play country music at the pool (or at least that’s what I tell myself). Not that there is anything wrong with country music. But there really isn’t anything right about country music. Sure I can listen to it in small doses. Very, very small doses. But no, where I swim, it’s country song after country song. That’s just wrong.