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Barb Lindquist
RE: USA Triathlon is recruiting collegiate runners who can swim and is here to answer your questions (sponsored)

Wolf's Bane wrote:

What kind of swimming times would a sub 14 man need to be picked for this program? What are the incentives and why should a college runner choose this over a sub elite running group?

Thanks for the questions. I'm going to split these into two separate answers. The answer to the swimming times is … it depends! We look at how much the runner has been swimming (hasn't touched water in 5 years of college OR swimming 2 days a week for an hour), video to see if there is glaring low hanging fruit regarding technique (easy fixes can skew potential), what phase of life is the athlete in (still NCAA eligibility or graduated), and then see how light swim training for a month affects swim times. We use a 100/500 swim test to assess potential. This test is a 100 all out, 1 minute rest, 500 all out, both from a push, showing us both natural speed and also endurance/efficiency. An interested athlete can do this fairly quickly in the process depending on how much he is swimming now. It could be somewhat cold turkey with a few weeks of swimming under the belt, or right away if he has been swimming. From there I'll look at swim video to give technique feedback, the athlete receives swimming workouts based on the amount of time he has to swim, and then he retests in a month. So there are lots of variables at the different stages for times. To give you a general idea, I'd split it into:
* first cold turkey test-- 1:04/6:15 males, 1:10/6:40 females. These times would peak my interest, especially if video shows "feel" for the water and fixable inefficiencies.
* 1-2 months training (if still eligibility, this could be longer phase or in the summer. If not within NCAA season, 3-4x1 hr/wk)-- 58/5:45 males, 1:06/6:25 females
* Scholarship entry (to become a funded full-time triathlete)-- 56/5:25 males, 1:03/6:00 females

Keep the swim questions coming! I'll answer the other 2 questions regarding incentive and why an athlete would want to chose this route vs joining a sub elite run squad.

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