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marysweat
June 14th, 2007, 09:40 PM
Hi Folks & GTD Fans,

The USMS Fitness Committee has asked me if the USMS fitness event "Go the Distance" should be offered next year (2008) ... Hmmmm? I promptly responded with I'll try and find out!

I'm interested in what aspects of the event you like and don't like if you are currently participating. If you aren't a GTD participant - it would also be extremely beneficial to hear why not- or better yet - what could be done differently so that you would want to participate!

If you would like this fitness challenge to be offered in 2008 - what would you keep the same? What would you like to do differently? Would you add/change the distance milestones? I'm interested in any and all ideas you have to offer. Now I can't promise that all of your ideas will be implemented - but let's see what you think!

I will compile all of your recommendations and offer them to the USMS Fitness Committee in September at the annual convention. This is when the committee will decide on the future of GTD.

Your help with this is greatly appreciated!

Your GTD pal,
Mary

thewookiee
June 15th, 2007, 08:21 AM
Mary,

Will you please explain what "Go The Distance" is for those of us that don't know?

Rob Copeland
June 15th, 2007, 08:34 AM
You can find information on Go the Distance at
www.usms.org/fitness/content/gothedistance

Mary, I think it is a wonderful program!

SwimStud
June 15th, 2007, 08:46 AM
Mary I think it is a great way to keep some of us solo trainers going regularly to the pool, and to eke out maybe a little more distance here and there.
Can't think of a way to improve the event...but maybe there could be some sort of designation of awards to show distance completed in OW and pool. Maybe some of the swimmers that do both would like a way to record, or display their multiple aqua-talents! ;)

Rich

waves101
June 15th, 2007, 09:45 AM
Mary, I think it's a great event. I also think the MAD suggestion is a good idea. I set my goal of a mile a day earlier in the year and thus far I'm still on track. The event helps to get me to the pool on those days I may otherwise skip. Also, I can have cross-country competitions with those I know or are in my age group. Hope to see it extended in '08.

knelson
June 15th, 2007, 09:49 AM
I think it's great. I've always logged my workouts, but up until this event never kept track of my cumulative mileage. I think I've ended up swimming more because of the event. It's also nice to see how you stack up against the other swimmers out there.

I'd definitely like to see the event continue. The only improvement I can think of would be to automate the submission process on the USMS website rather than emailing you every month. Not that this is a big imposition on us, but I imagine it's a lot of work for you, Mary.

smontanaro
June 15th, 2007, 09:57 AM
I think it's great as well (I'm somewhere between a fitness swimmer
and a competitive swimmer). Mary sent the same request to the current
GTD participants. Here's my reply:



I say keep it. I'm training for the postal series which offers five
goals through the year, but they are generally pretty far apart and
making time for swimming with family committments and what not is more
difficult than I'd like. It's easy to rationalize like so:

Eh, it's only mid-June. I'm not swimming the 10k until late
August. What's the harm in missing today's practice?

OTOH, In GTD every day is a mini-goal. So it goes like so:

OMG! If I don't put in at least a few yards today I'll have lost
that mileage forever!

This week is bike-to-work week in Chicago (maybe across the country?).
I rode in to work every day (13+ miles one way). I added the extra
challenge of trying to get in some swim yardage all five days as well.
Not full workouts, more like 1500-2000 yards, fairly easy either as a
warmup before a ride or as a way to limber up afterwards. Without GTD
as a motivation I might well have taken the whole week off from
swimming. GTD to the rescue!

So, I think it's a great program. Assuming USMS keeps it for 2008 I'm
going to try to get more of my teammates to participate.

Along the lines of things you might use to embellish the event...
Maybe offer a monthly relay challenge. Each LMSC could put together
one or more relays much the same way relays are created for the postal
swims. I don't know how complex you'd want to get with it. The
postal series offers men's, women's and mixed relays. The age group
is determined by the age of the youngest relay team member.



Skip Montanaro

meldyck
June 15th, 2007, 12:42 PM
Mary,

here is a copy of my email response to you earlier in the day:



we think the GTD event should be offered again next year. We are enjoying
the program and will plan to do it again next year, using the spreadsheet,
whether or not there is a coordinated USMS effort.

As far as milestones, that's not so interesting to us as just seeing where
we stand among other swimmers we run into at meets, so we don't have any
particular suggestions there.

Keep up the good work, though, because this is the ONLY one of these kinds
of programs that we have ever participated in!

-- mel & grace dyck


For those of you who are not already participating, Mary will still take input, I believe. So, if you are keeping track of your yardage, there's still time to jump in. Just fill in the Excel spreadsheet template available from the USMS web site.

CreamPuff
June 15th, 2007, 02:04 PM
Mary,

I LOVE GTD. Gives me some purpose in my workouts.

For the first time ever, I know what kind of yardage I'm putting in.

Keeps me swimming and in the pool.

I tend to have the best attendance possible (unless sick or injured).

Even if I have a terrible workout (like today), at least I can
come home, log the distance, and still feel like I accomplished something.

I hope we keep this event for 2008. Like everything about it. I need to get more of my local swimmer friends into this. Distance milestones look good to me.

Hoosier
June 15th, 2007, 02:05 PM
Why is it that I never know about cool stuff like this until it is to late? (Probably because in January I was driving by the new pool (and only one) being built in my area daily to see when it would be done. ) I read thru your info just now including your updates, I hope you do it again, cause me and my measly 12-16 miles a month plan on signing up. Heck might take it up to 18-20 miles :) Go For It!

Donna
June 15th, 2007, 05:47 PM
Mary,

I have been keeping track of my workouts and yardage since 2006 and the spreadsheet is a fantastic tool. Keeps me on track with a goal of making 750 for the year.

I would love to see this back next year too.

Donna:applaud:

dorothyrde
June 15th, 2007, 06:11 PM
Why is it that I never know about cool stuff like this until it is to late? (Probably because in January I was driving by the new pool (and only one) being built in my area daily to see when it would be done. ) I read thru your info just now including your updates, I hope you do it again, cause me and my measly 12-16 miles a month plan on signing up. Heck might take it up to 18-20 miles :) Go For It!


You can still do it.

marysweat
June 15th, 2007, 06:44 PM
Why is it that I never know about cool stuff like this until it is to late? (Probably because in January I was driving by the new pool (and only one) being built in my area daily to see when it would be done. ) I read thru your info just now including your updates, I hope you do it again, cause me and my measly 12-16 miles a month plan on signing up. Heck might take it up to 18-20 miles :) Go For It!


You can join the fun at any time! Just send me an email with your name, age as of 12/31/07, usms id number and the distance you swim in June! It's that easy! If you have a good guess as to how far you swam in the earlier months this year I will be happy to enter those for you too!
Mary
gothedistance@swimoregon.org

poolraat
June 15th, 2007, 06:48 PM
Mary, I think this GTD program is awesome, as is the spreadsheet you designed to keep track of our mileage. I would look forward to doing it again next year. And most definitely, add the 365 award. That is about where I'll end up this year at the current pace.

Rebecca
June 16th, 2007, 06:09 AM
I agree that GTD is great motivation and I love the way the spreadsheet gives us instant feedback by graphing our distance by the month and automatically updating each time we make an entry. The group spreadsheets are also fun to check out at the end of each month. And as if that weren't enough, Mary regularly gives us individual attention and encouragement!

My only suggestion is a different color (other than light gray) for the t-shirt. Something more eye-catching that would still show the logo. Maybe it could change each year (e.g. bright green or yellow, light blue, etc). The other thing on the t shirt that would be fun would be check boxes on the back to show your mileage (like the check-off challenge). The boxes could be pre-printed on the shirt and we could check them off as we do them. It would be satisfying to check a box for every 25 miles we accomplish:woot:

Thanks again, Mary, for doing this, and I hope we can keep it up for many years to come.

swimshark
June 16th, 2007, 06:25 AM
Mary, I too love the GTD. I think the idea is great. It has made me get more motivated in the water. I think my age group coach loves it since I complain to him when I don't think we've done enough yardage. The age group kids don't like that hee-hee.

I love the 365 idea. I would do that one!!

Alison

mermaid
June 16th, 2007, 09:16 PM
Fantastic Idea! Keep up the great work!

This is a wonderful motivation for all my swimmers!

michaelmoore
June 17th, 2007, 01:14 AM
If you aren't a GTD participant - it would also be extremely beneficial to hear why not- or better yet - what could be done differently so that you would want to participate!



I am not a participant. Most likely the requirment of writing down the distance of the workout would keep me from participating, however, that is not the reason that I did not join in. (of course, those who know me when I lead the lane know that I have a difficult time counting above three, let alone total up the daily yardage. Well, I have been known to over estimate the yardage done in one day). I dont recall hearing any thing about about the Go the Distance fitness program. It certainly did not rise above the noise of the other USMS programs that I hear about.

If I had, I would have promoted it in Pacific. If you are still taking new entries, it might be a good thing to do for the second half of the year.


michael
chairman, Pacific Masters

mantagirl
June 17th, 2007, 01:25 AM
Hi Mary,

I already emailed you my suggestions. Just like to add that I think everyone would enjoy it. The spread sheet is sooooo easy to use and you really do feel like you're accomplishing something even when you have a less than stellar day in the pool. I don't want to miss my swims 'cause I want to hit the 50 mile mark by early July. I REALLY hope you'll keep GTD for 2008. It's just an awesome event!!!!:cheerleader:

marysweat
June 17th, 2007, 02:36 PM
I am not a participant. Most likely the requirment of writing down the distance of the workout would keep me from participating, however, that is not the reason that I did not join in. (of course, those who know me when I lead the lane know that I have a difficult time counting above three, let alone total up the daily yardage. Well, I have been known to over estimate the yardage done in one day). I dont recall hearing any thing about about the Go the Distance fitness program. It certainly did not rise above the noise of the other USMS programs that I hear about.

If I had, I would have promoted it in Pacific. If you are still taking new entries, it might be a good thing to do for the second half of the year.


michael
chairman, Pacific Masters

Hi Michael,

YES - I am most definitely taking new entries at any time someone wishes to join the fun! It's pretty simple and easy to participate in - folks just need to send me an email with their name, age as of 12/31/07, usms id and the distance they swim each month. That's it and it's free!

Your comment begs the question though ... how do I (we) promote this event and let folks know 1) that it exists, 2) how to play with us, 3) what the goals are and 4) that they (you!) can join us at any time?

Originally an Tracy sent out announcement (12/30/06) for us to the LMSC chairs, Fitness Chairs, Webmasters and Editors. Bill Volckening put a blurb in USMS Swimmer. It's probably word of mouth that has extended the participation since the initial flurry of activity.

Would a follow-up announcement at the midyear point be worthwhile?

Any suggestions you might have as to how to advertise GTD at this point would be greatly appreciated!

Mary
gothedistance@swimoregon.org