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The Mucky Duck

We're consistently told that our best bet for more and better years as our lives move along is to exercise regularly and usefully. Some say swimming is the obvious best choice. The Mucky Duck has been created as a device for motivation and measurement.

Long ago swim training was based on "putting in the miles". Nowadays emphasis is being placed by many coaches on training at race pace. The Mucky Duck does his best to help make "training at race pace" work. If you are committed to improvement you might say every time you get in the pool you should be going for a personal best. The Mucky Duck has two parts.

  1. The "swim log" keeps track of all or at least the most important swims. It is fed by USMS meet results and whatever the swimmer wished to add from workouts. See Carl's swim log for an average swimmer. See George's swim log for a top swimmer. Whereever you see "PB" in the left hand column that denotes a Personal Best that is still standing. "pb" denotes a personal best that was later replaced with a better time.
  2. Mucky Duck calculations select current personal bests, indexes them to the standard, and estimates how much they can be improved and what times the swimmer might make for events he/she hasn't swum. See Carl's analysis for an average swimmer. See George's analysis for a top swimmer. Wherever the "CanDo" and "Hope" fields are filled in in the swim log that is the result of a Mucky Duck analysis.

We've done Mucky Duck analyses on about 110 swimmers with two or more age groups for most of them. The following directories will help you browse among them. When Google gets our website indexed you'll be able to search on whatever swimmer name you want to find. (189 line items ; 38 swimmers) (updated 7/29/16 12:27)

We're consistently told that our best bet for more and better years as our lives move along is to exercise regularly and usefully. Some say swimming is the obvious best choice. The Mucky Duck has been created as a device for motivation and measurement.

The Mucky Duck has two aspects important to a swimmer. First, it is a way to maintain a swim log enhanced with data on the standards selected by the swimmer. Second, it has a calculating engine that continually updates personal bests for each event, predictions about which can be improved, and measure called "hope" that shows which events the swimmer can most easily get an improved time or a new personal best.

Personal bests seem very important to me because they help for motivation and measuring progress. "PB" is a current personal best in these reports and "pb" (lower case) was a personal best but has since been replaced by a faster swim (in this age group). I like seeing the old ones on a report because they are all progress. I include data from workouts in my Mucky Duck reports and I actually get personal bests during workouts. duckydo/gwg03-swims-70-74.htm. Note the long list of "PB" and "pb" on the left side of that page. I try for a PB in every workout thanks to the coaching I got from George Schmidt and Scott Guthrie. While we don't have an interactive website yet where you can post your times, I am thinking about how you can post workout times to a spreadsheet in Google and The Mucky Duck can download that to add to whatever USMS data is available. That would mean anybody can use the Mucky Duck for workout motivation.

Look at lots of swimmers including some of the best in USMSSee what the Duck will do for one new swimmer, Dave Lisan (shown together with "Carl workouts") 
The reports below (especially the first one) enable one to compare rankings of swimmers and to see how their performances have trended in recent age groups.
  1. The Mcky Duck  (local) 32 swimmers including Laura Val & Danielle Ogier
  2. Addy's Ducks  (local) 6 swimmers
  3. The Mucky Duck  (local) 5 swimmers
  4. Garp  (local) (Carl only)
  5. DuckyDo  (local) (Carl & Dave Lisan only)
  6. Mucky Duck 2002  (local) 20 swimmers for whom analysis was done in 2002
  1. Dave is a track athlete who sometimes swims. He reports his typical time as being 28 minutes for a mile. We enrolled Dave in the Mucky Duck database assuming Mike Aubrey's profile and giving Dave the swimmer id "GWG04". Here is a swim target worksheet for Dave in the 53 USMS competition events: duckydo/dave_lisan.htm
  2. The Duck maintains a log of his swims (even though he only has one swim in it at this time) : gwg04-swims-50-54
  3. And it posts him to a roster for his team ("DuckyDo"): swimlogs & recaps by swimmer
  4. It maintains a list of all the swim logs for this "DuckyDo" team: duckdata by swimmer
  5. It keeps a recap of all swims for his "DuckyDo" team: recap by swimmer
    Here are the equivalent links for Michael Aubrey and his "team".
  1. Michael Aubrey's analysis
  2. Michael Aubrey's swim log
  3. swimlogs & recaps by swimmer
  4. duckdata by swimmer
  5. recap by swimmer
To: Anita (June 2, 2014), The Mucky Duck is a project I started ten or more years ago and might now resume. For the Awards Banquet I made my personal report reasonably good, and I had 100 or more reports on other people that were not as good as mine. While talking with you and thinking about it afterwards I see a way to do it for lots of people with reasonable ease and I've decided you are my first demo (or victim). USMS keeps a database of "Individual Meet Results" and your swims are at Note that all your USMS data is accessed using your SwimmerID which is "028DC". I now have a program to download from that page your swims into The Mucky Duck database so The Mucky Duck now has four pages for you.
These 2 pages have your raw data from the USMS database.
These 2 pages have the Mucky Duck analysis providing for evaluation and goal setting.
As you can guess this work is very labor intensive and it is easy for me to lose perspective while I am lost in cyberspace. Perhaps this will be helpful for you and you might help with proofreading and a general overview from a human perspective. If you and a few other folks find this helpful and it survives your scrutiny, I'll continue to make it easier to do more reports and to upate them. I update mine just about every time I compete or do a workout (I always try to do personal bests in my workouts since George Schmidt, Scott Guthrie and Nadine Day have told me that a workout at race pace is what we should go for as mileage has dubious value). At this time I am the only person who can operate The Mucky Duck. If you and a few others think it is useful I might try to create a user interface so anyone can use it from the internet.

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