OK, I’m a bit behind on my reading, but given I’m about to share an after-the-fact analysis, I’m letting myself off the hook.

Read this interesting analysis of the strategies of the gold medalists at the Olympics open water swimming recently.

Had quite a bit of detail, but the main thing I found interesting was:

 1.They grabbed the early lead and held it throughout much the race.
2. They significantly increased their pace on the fifth of six laps.
3. When they decided to make a break, there was no turning back.
4. They sprinted hard on the last lap while being chased by 3-4 competitors.

Point 2 was particularly interesting given the focus we’ve been giving to pacing at training lately (or at least those not struck with the dreaded lurgy).

I did find point 1 quite surprising, too, given the advantages of drafting…those winners needed to be super strong and super good to lead from the front the whole way. Can you imagine this sort of strategy in the Tour De France? Me either. Definitely some points to ponder!

Additional

While I’m at it…..the next thing I came across was this article explaining exactly how fast Ous Mellouli, the gold medallist swam. (spoiler: really fast!) Apparently under 1:06 for each 100m for 10k in less than 1 hour, 50 minutes. Just thinking about swimming that fast makes me kind of feel like vomiting!

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