Splits tell the story of a race. It’s perhaps even truer in open-water swimming than in the pool, because the races are more “spread out” over space and time. Splits are rarely kept for O.W. races, though, due to obvious logistical obstacles.
Powerhouse Timing has been working to change this - at least at the elite level. At this past weekend’s Pan Pacific 10K Championship, they captured splits at each 2K for the entire field, both men and women. And what an interesting story they tell. Here are the 2K splits, which I converted to pace-per-100m:
- The women - led as usual by Eva Fabian - took it out fast, and were almost 20 seconds ahead of the men at 2K.
- Half of the women’s field was able to maintain this pace (1:11+) through 6K, but they slowed on the final two splits to 1:13’s. Was this actually fatigue?
- While the top 5 women stayed bunched together through the entire race, those who fell off the peloton really fell off. Three of them were splitting above 1:20’s on the final 2K.
- The men took the opposite approach, taking it out with “easy” 1:12’s, allowing the entire field to stay within 12 seconds of each other at 2K.
- Between 2K and 4K, six guys put their heads down and separated from the field: 1:09-1:10’s at 4K, then 1:08-1:09’s thereafter.
- Two of these six (Frayler and Enderica) fell off the pace in the final 2K, splitting 1:15’s and 1:21’s, respectively. That’s what bonking looks like, folks.
- Unlike at the U.S. Nationals, there was no big push at the end from the top men. Probably they didn’t have much left in the tank after pushing the pace to 1:09’s so early in the race.