After the meet yesterday we went for a team lunch I had arranged at a local Italian restaurant with a few of our out of town visitors. It was a lot of fun! After lunch I had a nice relaxing afternoon and evening with my wife and went to bed pretty early. I woke up a little later than I had hoped this morning and seemed to be running 15minutes late all the way upto the meet, however it all worked out just fine. I was a little sore this morning but nothing bad. I usually feel a little stiffness on a multi day meet and today was no better or worse than usual.
Once again I did my normal meet warmup and felt good in the pool.
8x50 catchup on 1min
4x50 open,close, easy,fast
2x50 at 400 pace
First up today was the 400 free and my goal was to beat my good friend Mr Unruh's #1 time of 4:28.91. I felt strong the whole way and other than a bad turn at 250 felt great. I finished really strong and was happy with my 4:28.05. looking at my splits, my 2nd 100 was too slow but my second 200 was great. I credit a lot of my consistency to the race pace work we have been doing and will definitely continue to work on this. I may add one more aerobic workout this fall on either Tuesday or Thursday morning but I will speak with Tom.
Next up up was supposed to be the 100 breast but at the last minute I decided to skip it. My legs, and my right one in particular was very sore and stiff and I took the extra time to stretch ahead of the 50 fly. The challenge when you have a meet with low numbers(we had 85 swimmers) the meet goes really fast.
The 50 fly is another off event for me and my real reason for entering this one was to push one of my team mates in the lane next to me, Scott Carpenter. we had a great race and he got me on the finish, going 28.5 vs my 28.6. I had a lot of fun on this one despite my time being a few tenths slower than I went a couple months ago.
Last up up we had the 400 free relay and once again I was the anchor. Step Stone did the 200 back in a new best time the event before the relay so we were able to delay the relay start 5 minutes but it was always going to be a tough record. we needed our first two swimmers to be out in 58.5 and 1:04.0 but unfortunately they were both off. Our young ringer had a great swim but there was too much left for me to do to get the record but my 54.9 split was the best I have done as a master and I felt awesome the whole way. It was disappointing to not get close to the record but it was still a lot of fun and our team did awesome.
I really enjoyed our meet and my team mates had a great time. One of our team held a short after meet party which was a nice conclusion to a great weekend. I am already looking forward to doing the meet again next year.
Updated August 17th, 2015 at 02:22 PM by StewartACarroll
I had no where else to post this. Cruiscritic.com shut me out for some reason, and tripadvisor was surprisingly not very good about a dedicated Viking thread. So i'll add some swimming stuff and post it all here:
Viking Longships do NOT have pools! FYI there is a very close pool where you might be docked, Piscine Keller (google it for info. there is a good blurb that tells you exactly where to go and how to get from the front through the lockers to the pool). It is about 7 minute walk from the dock and open to the public, 3 Euros.
Viking River Cruise, Paris to Paris & Normandy (P2PN) 07/19-07/26/2015
My review is tailored for the Paris to Paris and Normandy (P2PN) on Viking, the same principles apply to any of the inclusive river cruises of this category (Viking, Uniworld, Tauck, AMA Waterways, Grand Circle, A-Rosa etc). I will stay away from boat specific comments, because the Viking Pride (along with Neptune, Spirit, and Legend) will be retired after this year. Welcome to the age of the Viking Longships (more on that later)!
Do you whisper to friends, ďI hear itís all really old people. Like 70!Ē, and that is one of the only limiting factors (not price, or time)? The answer is, ďYes, pretty old!Ē But, you can still have a ton of fun!!!!
Before the specific stuff and helpful hints, this entry will focus on general stuff you need to know about river cruising:
River vs. Ocean cruising: Ocean cruises have 700-5,000 people on board. They are usually a destination in themselves, with multiple restaurants, activities, spa, pools, theatres, etc. A river cruise is essentially a floating hotel (150-200 on European rivers). Itís not intended to have a lot of entertainment on board, just to get you from one place to the next. Iím paraphrasing from other sites, but here are two examples: You go on an ocean cruise to drink yourself silly. You go on a river cruise to enrich your mind with the culture of the locale. You can workout on a cruise ship in the gym, pool, or deck space. On a river cruise, there are limited amenities on board, but all of Europe is your gym. Viking in particular has refrained from adding bikes, pool, gym, spas to their Longships. They do a have a walking track on the deck.
If you read various reviews and the bad ones, you should realize that what they are complaining about are things (1) you would have known if you bothered to read any of these reviews; (2)not Vikings fault, and/or (3) haters gonna hate.
What happens if your cruise is interrupted or cancelled??!!! Why does this happen??? River cruising IMO has very little margin for error. If the river levels are too low/too high, then you simply canít sail in certain areas. You must be bussed, housed in a hotel, or do the river cruise Chinese fire drill (switch ships!) The ship will either be lightened enough without passengers and baggage to sail and meet you, or you will literally switch ships on the other side of the bridge/lock/low water level. The Viking Longships are identical, so they will literally take one ship and swap with the other, you get your same room number, and everyone goes on their merry way! (ie, your boat canít fit under a bridge due to high water. the cruise going the opposite direction also has this problem. So you switch ships, since theirs is on the other side of the bridge in the direction you want to go, and vice versa!) You also get to meet an entirely new crew!!!
River levels and conditions change on a dime, so that is why they donít cancel them with much notice. If the river conditions are not conducive to sailing, then yes, itís a real challenge to all 150 of you plus Uniworld, Tauck, and AMA Wís passengers a nice hotel room in a quaint little village, not to mention the complains about hotel quality.
One of the benefits of river cruising is you literally dock by the small towns. All you do is step of the ship and you are there. In Andeley, it took about 50 steps from the ship to the center of town. But on the flip side, you will have other ships dock right alongside you and your window may be 6 inches from the other ship, or that quaint pub you saw from your window Ė yep, they are drinking and singing in your ears at nighttime. (And I heard other passengers complaining to Viking staff about this Ė but I think the passengers should have known this happens Ė and brought earplugs!)
I would not get a verandah room on Viking Longships. I hear you get a bit more space inside with the french balconcy rooms. Always go for the bigger room at the cheaper price (ie, 2nd floor vs. 3rd floor, go with 2nd floor cheaper room). Itís a crap shoot whether youíll get a good view from your room or not. My girls almost never got a good view. They were docked along the pier or had another ship next to them the entire time. If you are traveling with others, get rooms on opposite sides so someone may have a view! The top deck is the very best place to watch, anyway!
People complain a lot about other ships docking by yours and having to go either over the top deck or through your lobby to get to their ship (and vice versa). River cruising 101 Ė you should have known about this! I thought this was fun and part of the comraderie of river cruising! Waving like an idiot to other ships, especially another Viking ship, where they will toot their horns, wow, that was fun!!! Plus you get a sneak peak at other cruise line ship!
Trip interruptions happen periodically, not rarely- this is why itís so important to read up on your exact itinerary before you go. I would go so far as to map out and identify hotels in the areas you would be going, and see if there are rail service or other means of transportation. This is the apocalypse scenario where you get to the cruise only to find out itís cancelled.
Our room was 170 square feet, 2nd floor. On the Longships, the comparable priced room is 150 square feet. The room size met my expectations Ė we asked for 2 twin configuration. I still had just enough space to have my yoga mat fully placed, albeit at an angle towards the doorway. I was too shy to do yoga on the top deck. I was able to do yoga everyday if I wanted, but I did a routine about every other day. In the future, I would have no qualms about taking my mat and going to the top deck Ė I donít think it would fit in a 150 square foot room.
I didnít see the lowest level rooms, but from what another passenger told me (and snarky reviews), those rooms are tight. But I donít have any sympathy for those that write bad comments Ė you were too cheap to upgrade, and werenít able to transition to a positive attitude of just enjoying the outside space. Next time, pony up for a better room size! Itís right there on the website for you to see the deck plan and room size! That all said, Iím actually interested in staying in one of the lowest class rooms to find out if the price differential is worth it. I think it would be fun! Iíd just be mentally calculating how many more souveniers I could buy with the room savings. Maybe that cockoo clock on the Rhine Getaway!
There were ample free toiletries; shampoo, conditioner, lotion, soap, shower cap. You could steal a bunch and they'd just bring you another set. It got tedious after the first three days of stealing 2 sets a day, so I gave up after that. Plus it was getting too heavy for my luggage.
Viking Air/Viking Transfers:
If you buy air through Viking, the transfer is free. We booked independently, and bought the Viking transfer. The transfer was more expensive than other options, but totally worth it. They were very reliable, a price we pay a premium for in a foreign country. I may try booking with Viking air at some point, but will probably try to use miles and get biz class seats. That still costs plenty for a family of 4 in the required taxes, etc. I just priced DFW Ė AMS return on BSL Ė DFW (Rhine Getaway) for 4 and the taxes/fees are about $2,000 USD even with miles. The bad reviews using Viking are that they wonít tell you until very close to the flight what your exact flights are, and the connections are too tight. I worry about short connections so that is why I would chose to book air early and on my own for a family of 4. If I were a solo traveler or just with one other adult, and/or having a few days pre-cruse in the departure city, I may try booking through Viking air.
We all know there isnít such thing as full price. Itís always Ĺ price of the brochure. The specials are when there is free air (or a surcharge based on departure city). However, the fine print also says you canít get frequent flyer miles. I suppose you can always ask, but who knows. For free airfare, it may be worth it, but also depends on what fees/taxes/charges you still have to pay, even with ďfree airfareĒ. Your transfers are free when you book with Viking air. We paid 120/PP
Big Box, travel agent, or through Viking directly? In the future, I may try the big box or a travel agent. But for now, the trips and confidence in the booking is too important, so I would book directly through Viking. The finer point is that if you book anywhere else, you arenít really booking with Viking. You are paying someone who hopefully is going to turn around and buy it from Viking on your behalf. Your contract is with them, not with Viking. God forbid that person, business, or big box goes out of business. And it does happen. Iíd rather pass on the onboard credit and gift card extra to make sure my next several trips are booked directly with Viking and to have that peace of mind.
If possible, I would book pre and post extensions, and on my own. We simply didnít have the time. But the P2PN trip was a good one for getting flights right when the cruise started, because you were in port the first night, and sailed at midday the next day, so worst case is you could probably still catch the boat in Paris before it started sailing. For any other cruise in the future, I would always book a pre-cruise extension. The ones through Viking are really expensive and so Iíd do that part on my own.
I'll post more on the details of the excursion, probably something on food, and day-by-day commentary, particularly how to fit in exercise/swimming if possible.
Vacation is slowing coming to an end much too quickly. Yesterday I officiated the marriage of my sister-in-law to her fiance in a beautifully small ceremony at a friend's church. A great day that was made a bit longer due to clean up afterwards.
200 swim/100 kick/100 pull
4 x 25 Burst and Cruise
8 x 50 pull on :10sr (breathe 3/5 by 25)
8 x 50 kick on :10sr (25 fast, 25 easy)
200 on 3:30 neg split (did 250)
100 on 2:00 (drill/swim by 25)
400 (breathe 3/5/3/5 by 25)
100 as 50 easy, 50 timed (went :28)
100 easy and out
(Masters/Rec/2200 yds/70 min)
Masters practice this morning, with Greg swimming with me and Matt on his own. My last practice with the team before the Rec shuts down for a two week cleaning. I will be preparing an open water list to offer folks which the pool is dry. Two of our swimmers are competing in the IM Mont-Tremblant tomorrow so we'll be cheering on Melissa and Rachel!
I had another good night of sleep and my chest infection is a distant memory. I think my day off on Thursday was a big help. I woke feeling pretty good. I reshaved last night, so pretty much got up, ate, and headed to the pool.
I helped Tom print and post heat sheets and generally helped with the pool and meet setup. I did my normal meet warmup:
4x50 open, close, easy, fast
On my program today was the 50 free, 50 breast and the anchor leg of the 800 mixed free relay. I was hopeful of going under 25 on the 50m free today and was also confident I could swim faster then my time at the Frisco meet on the 50 breast. The real goal however, was to beat the National Record on the Mixed 160-199 800 Free Relay.
First up up was the 50 free and I went 25.39 which is a good time but not as fast as I had hoped. I somehow got into breathing like it was a 100 instead of a 50 and took 4 breaths including one inside the final 10 meters. I had a good start and felt smooth but my tempo is so not a 50 swimmer. If only I could get my tempo up a little I would have a great 50. This was slightly faster than I went in the individual 50 at worlds last summer so I can't be upset. However, this feels like a race where I made so many basic mistakes and any one would have got me my goal time. This one is so frustrating. Oh well!!
I made the decision earlier this year to swim some off events this long course season and the 50 breast was most certainly one of these. I felt really good the whole way and never died but somehow I just spin on breaststroke. I went 34.40 which is a pretty decent time and likely will be a top 10 time. Tomorrow I do the 100 breast and think I will have a good one based on how good I felt on the 50 breast.
Last up was the big relay. We have been planning this one for quite a while and I was confident we would beat the National Record and we did. The record was 8:54.37 and is a suite era record, and our team went 8:50.2 which is a great time and a new National Record!!!
Yesterday I had false started 50% of the time in practice so decided to play it very safe. Despite a very safe takeover I had a good swim and my split was 2:04.x my wife said I was 2:03 but maybe she got it wrong. Either way I am pretty stoked and this is my first National Record. We have another shot tomorrow with the 400m free record although it will be much harder.
I am off for a long nap and an easy evening. Tomorrow I have the 400 free, 100 breast and 50 fly before doing the anchor leg on the 400m free relay. Should be a lot of fun again!
Updated August 15th, 2015 at 04:44 PM by StewartACarroll
I so enjoyed watching the Worlds swimming and reading the discussions of the Mastered Mastererís threads of the events on USMS.
But did anyone see the replay the 2013 Worlds Freestyle Kayaking. Check it out at www.FreestyleKayaking2013.com . If it werenít for swim team training from the age of 5 to 20ish mixed in with summers bodysurfing six foot wave in the Atlantic Ocean I might not have become a kayaker. It was my love of water that made me fearless in my 30ís to stick with learning how to kayak. I wasnít afraid to come out of my boat and the boats were big, long boats in the early 90ís. I finally got a bomb proof roll that would allow me to kayak rivers from Canada to Ecuador and Maine to Utah. This is basically how I spent every week-end in my 30ís, 40ís and even now I would go. But my favorite thing to do is to ride a stationary wave in the river. What they do on the water today in short boats is amazing.
I remember seeing a man with his 7 year old son paddling down the New River, West Virginia. They werelike a momma duck with her baby chick waddling behind her. The big duck was EJ Jackson, builder of Jackson kayaks and the little boy was his son Dane. Now as a young man Dane Jackson took home the Gold in 2013 for Freestyle kayaking!
I truly believe it was my early swimming experience that allows me to enjoy such a wonderful outdoor sport even today. Gosh so many great times on the river. So go try it if you love water and looking for some excitement and adventure no matter what your age!
Oh yes, back to this weekís training. Two days I rode 15-20 miles and swam approximately a mile in the Gulf. Today was perfect day weather wise. Cooler days are cominí to Florida! Iím still trying figure out if I can do the postal 3 miles challenge. If I do, it wonít be for speed but for distance. Thatís just were I am right now. I gotta accept that.
Went on a 6 mile walk with the dog during the day. She usually runs with Mr. Fort, but he's been cycling instead of running bc of a hamstring strain. The I went to the Sewy practice at night:
Swim/SCY @ Sewy
7 x 50 @ :50
-- I alternated swim & kick with fins
8 x 25 1/2 SDK + 1/2 EZ @ :45
4 x 25 1/2 sprint + 1/2 EZ
5 x 50 done @ 1:30 as:
1 x 50 +3 from fastest sprint time
1 x 50 +2
1 x 50 +1
1 x 50 EZ
1 x 50 AFAP
16 x 25 w/fins
odds = UW to flags
evens = sprint @ 100 pace
8 x 50, sprint 35 y @ 1:30
-- NO! I can't go all out that far on that rest
-- I went at the back of the line and did 25 backstroke kick fast + 25 EZ pull w/paddles, skipped one of them altogether
I took Thursday off. I was just blasted and extremely sore from weights. I had shifted some of my weights to high intensity/low volume. That change plus staying in the gym longer than usual did me in. I should never stay longer than 60 minutes; it always backfires. I was still feeling a bit rough at practice last night. I am not at all used to swimming with 4-5 people in a lane -- so wavy! I'm going to go to yoga later today, a 90 minute session with music.
Q: I'm an avid Masters swimmer who has an interest in coaching. Is the Masters coach certification class something I should consider or is it only for professional coaches?
A: The USMS Masters coach certification program was developed by Masters coaches to provide an educational product for enhancing the Masters coaching experience. Over time, the program has grown to meet the needs of not only professional Masters coaches, but also volunteer and part-time Masters coaches, age-group swim coaches, aquatic instructors, triathlon coaches, club leaders, and individual swimmers.
The objective of the certification program is to provide education centered on seven pillars:
Technical competence. The construction and correction of the four competitive strokes, starts, and turns.Experience. Making the most of what you experience.Performance. Metrics for effectiveness and efficiency.Community involvement. Program partnerships and volunteerism.Business management. The business of adult aquatics.Risk management. Safety and insurance.Leadership. Mentoring and contributing.
There are four levels of the USMS Masters Coach Certification Program.
Level 1 instruction includes:
History and institutional organization of U.S. Masters SwimmingBenefits and resources of USMS membershipDeveloping a coaching philosophyUnderstanding the adult learnerWorking with the open water and multisport athleteWriting workoutsMarketing your Masters program
Level 2 instruction includes:
Understanding the universal truths of swimmingThe development of all four competitive strokes, turns, and startsAnalysis of all four competitive strokes, turns, and starts
Level 3 instruction is for the individual who is a full-time coach or someone interested in exploring the opportunity for a career in adult aquatic sports. Instruction includes:
Leadership skills developmentClub developmentSeasonal planning and workout deliveryMarketingBudgetingClub administration and event planningSafety and risk managementNutritionInjury prevention
Level 4 is a certification awarded to Masters coaches who have:
Demonstrated excellence in contributing Masters Swimming in the following categories:ContributionAchievementGrowth & RetentionLeadershipEducationSuccessfully completed Levels 1, 2, and 3 of the USMS Masters Coach Certification programApplied for Level 4 statusSubmitted the necessary documentation to satisfy the requirements of Level 4 certification
Levels 1 through 3 are taught in a classroom setting, maximizing the opportunity for students to interact and network with the instructors and the other students in the class. Questions and the sharing of ideas are encouraged during the classes. Level 4 requires no classroom participation; rather, candidates submit documentation supporting their application for Level 4 certification.
So what kinds of coaches and athletes take USMS coach certification classes?
Experienced coaches. One of the strengths of the certification program is the diversity of students in each class. Seasoned Masters coaches share valuable insight, institutional knowledge, and years of experience with less-experienced coaches. Although many seasoned coaches enter class thinking they won't learn anything new from the course, they're often surprised at the varied and creative way adults are being coached and recruited to Masters programs, namely from open water and triathlon. Many of the more experienced coaches say they leave class with a renewed enthusiasm for coaching Masters.
New coaches. Many part-time and volunteer Masters coaches have no coaching background other than how a Masters coach has coached them or how they were coached as an age-group swimmer. The certification course gives each participant the skills and confidence needed to become a better coach, thereby providing an enhanced experience for themselves and the athletes they train.
Age-group coaches. More and more age-group swimming programs are adding a Masters component to their programming for a variety of reasons, incudling additional revenue, increased on-deck hours and pay for coaches, retention of age-group swimmers, and an increased volunteer base. Age-group coaches with no previous knowledge or experience working with adults find the Masters coach certification course helpful in understanding the differences in teaching and coaching an adult verses a child.
Triathletes and triathlon coaches. It's not uncommon to have professional triathlete coaches account for 25 to 35 percent of the students in a Level 1 and 2 class. Most triathlete coaches come from a triathlon background, meaning they participate or have participated in triathlons. Very few are experienced track or cross-country coaches. Very few are experienced track or road cycling coaches. Even fewer are experienced swim coaches. Although swimming might be the shortest distance in a triathlon, it might be the most difficult discipline to learn, perfect technique, train, and compete in. Triathlon coaches who take USMS certification courses continue to offer positive feedback as to the overall value the course provides to their professional development.
Club leaders. Does your Masters program have a good coach? Many club leaders attend the certification course to learn what the traits are of a successful coach and program. In Level 1, club leaders gain knowledge of how they can evaluate and provide support to their coaches for the betterment of the program and its members. Although many Masters coaches manage all facets of their program, many rely on others to provide leadership and support in areas of administration, marketing, volunteerism, and social functions. The sharing of responsibilities provides a sense of ownership to more members and strengthens the club.
Swimmers. Many Masters swimmers are self-coached and don't swim with a club or workout group. For these swimmers, attending the Masters coach certification gives them the tools and resources to become better swimmers and feel connected to the Masters Swimming community. Many seasoned athletes attend the class to learn modern stroke technique, drills, workouts, rule changes, and the use of training devices such as the snorkel.
Attending the Masters coach certification class might help you decide if you want to consider coaching Masters swimming. As an avid swimmer, the class will enhance your swimming knowledge and help make you a better athlete.
Updated August 20th, 2015 at 09:49 AM by Editor
This will be our last day of LCM...sorry to say.
4 X 100 2:00 1:45
6 X 50 1:00 1:00
Two rounds. Round 1 intervals left, 2 right.
1 X 200 kick 5:00
4 X 100 kick 2:30
100's: last 25 fast
1 X 100 moderate 2:00
3 X 50 fast 1:10 #3 on 1:30
5 x 200 pull 3:00
Negative split all 5
WARM DOWN: 4 X 50 easy
I had another good night of sleep last night and finally seem to have kicked the chest crud. Today we did a meet warm up ahead of this weekends meet in Rockwall. Greg Streppel who is in from Canada swam with us this morning. Greg is a really nice guy and it was fun talking with him.
400 free with snorkel
6x50 catchup on 1min
6x50 build on 1min
4x50 open, close, easy, fast
4 relay starts
I felt ok in the water today which is good, but I false started 2 of the relay hand offs which is a real concern. I wish I was leading off but alas one of my team mates wants a split so I will anchor. I will make sure I do a safe start!!!
I did breakfast with everyone after practice this morning which was fun.
Skipped practice yesterday morning because I had an early case at work, but I was feeling sore from lifting Monday evening anywas. This morning I swam at Austin Aquatics again, sharing a lane with Mark, Rachel, Todd, and one other swimmer. Brendan Hansen coached.
3 x 200, a mix of swim, kick, and drill
3 x 150 @ :15 rest, 3 x 100 @ :10 rest, 3 x 50 @ :05 rest, pull; I used a buoy only as usual and led my lane, averaging 2:05, 1:21, :39
8 x 50 @ 1:10, odds fast, evens easy; went :35, :35, :34, :33 ("Swimming 101--no breathing inside the flags!" Oops--I think he was talking to me.)
3 x 150, 3 x 100, 3 x 50 as before, with fins; I averaged 1:55, 1:14, and :35
8 x 50 @ 1:10, odds fast no free, evens easy; I swam the fast ones fly and held :38, a strong set of fly for me
There was another kick set I believe, but I left a bit early to avoid the traffic around downtown.
300 choice (snorkel and buoy)
10 x 25 (kick/swim build by 25) r/10
10 x 25 (scull/pull by 25) r/5
16 x 25 kick with fins on side @ 30
6 x 50 kick with fins descend @ 40
5 x 50 @ 55 cruise
50 sprint @ 60
4 x 50 @ 60 cruise
2 x 50 sprint @ 1:05
3 x 50 @ 60 cruise
3 x 50 sprint @ 1:10
2 x 50 @ 60 cruise
4 x 50 sprint @ 1:15
50 @ 60 cruise
5 x 50 sprint @ 1:20
200 warm down
A quick 3200
This one was kind of fun although I would have liked to mix in some stroke instead of it all being freestyle.
I have a meet next weekend in The Charleston area that I have been looking forward to since last summer. Outside and SCY's! The even have "fun" relays where the winning team wins a growler of beer.
Swimming some off events
Sat-> 100IM, 50FR, 100BK, 2FR and 100BR
Sun-> 500, 2BK, 2IM, 2BR and 100FR
This a low key meet and I'll use it as a training meet. Plus, I just want to get away from work for a bit.
Tuesday, August 4, was a busy and important day for us. Many of our staffers and volunteers were traveling to Cleveland for the 2015 USMS Summer National Championship to support the 963 Masters swimmers who would be competing.
Nationals week is both fun and stressful for our staff. On the fun ledger, we get to spend time with our volunteers and sponsor partners, cheer for the first-timers, and share inspiring stories and images via social media. Of course our Spring and Summer Nationals come with stress: Livestreaming is an all-day, manually operated job that can have unexpected delivery challenges, and most of the physical set up and breakdown starts daily before dawn and goes well into the nighttime hours.
Something else happened on August 4. I got the first glimpse of its impact when my phone buzzed at 5:15 a.m., with an image of the front page of the Wall Street Journal Health & Wellness section headline ďThe Joy of Masters Swimming.Ē With a 2,400,000 circulation, WSJ is the largest printed newspaper. Throughout the day, as I was driving to Cleveland for the Summer Nationals, I received a steady stream of texts and phone calls. Coaches, partners, and members who saw the story offered congratulations and praise for the articleís message.
Although I had spent a good deal of time on the phone with the reporter Kevin Helliker, I didnít know what he was going to write and I didnít know that the piece would be on the front page. During our conversation, Kevin observed that the USMS business model is distinctly different than other participation sports such as triathlon, Tough Mudder, and Color Runs. Those organizations have seen large participation increases due primarily to an event growth strategy.
USMS, by contrast, still offers relatively the same number of events at about the same level of participation as we did 10 years ago. In fact, the number of USMS open water sanctioned events is down from just five years ago. Yet, since 2005, USMS membership has increased from 42,490 to more than 63,000 members. Which provoked Kevin to ask this question: ďHas USMS growth been intentional or by accident?Ē
Well, the answer is intentional, but with the long view, and without compromising the experiences we are providing to our members.
With resources provided by our Board of Directors and House of Delegates, weíve made sustained and conscious investments into areas that are creating a more inclusive USMS. We rebranded in 2009 with an identity welcoming to any adult who wants to swim. Content in SWIMMER magazine and at usms.org resonates with all swimmers: those new to swimming, triathletes, those rediscovering swimming after a long break, and competitive swimmers. Nearly 1,500 coaches and instructors have attended our Masters coach certification teachings in the past four years. Our Adult Learn-to-Swim Instructor Program, launched this year, has certified 230 instructors. The past two years, our Swimming Saves Lives Foundation program partners have served nearly 5,000 adults with introductory swim lessons.
So yes, itís our intention to grow, but to do so mindfully with inclusive programs for our members, and by supporting our coaches, instructors, and aquatic directorsóthe influencers who are having a direct impact in the daily experience that our members have through our 1,500 local Masters Swimming programs across the country. By doing so, we hope to foster a welcoming culture so more adults can experience the joy of Masters Swimming, as shared by the excellent Wall Street Journal piece, and as narrated by Rowdy Gaines in ďMasters Swimming is a Journey."
Updated August 13th, 2015 at 04:31 PM by Editor
Felt slow and a bit more ragged today...
3000 SCY/59 minutes
1 x 400 fr on 7:00
4 x 100 fr on 1:45 (1:31-1:35)
4 x 50 fr on 1:00 (:43-:44)
4 x 25 fr on :30 (:20-:21)
1 x 100 EZ BK on 2:00
10 x 100 fr on 2:00 (desc. 1:31-1:27)*
10 x 50 fr on 1:00 (mostly :43)
6 x 50 EZ (BK, BR, FR, BK, BR, FR)
*These actually felt pretty smooth and not difficult, which is a good thing since that was my previous pace for 1650. I felt stronger as I went along, but during the 50s afterward, I did not have that feeling I had the other day of relative ease. My body needs a break I think.
Updated August 13th, 2015 at 10:03 PM by mcnair
I did not feel so great yesterday and was fortunate that my calendar was almost empty and with some creative rescheduling decided to take the day off work. It turned out to be a great decision since after sleeping for an hour or so I woke up feeling much better. My chest congestion just does not want to go away but after the sleep I woke up feeling much better and the tickly cough I had developed also disappeared. I also made an extra effort yesterday to drink LOTS of fluid and by yesterday afternoon was feeling a lot better. Last night I went to bed at 6:30pm and had a great night of sleep; the most solid and best I have had in a long time. According to my wife I beat the kids and her by 3 hours.
Unlike the rest of the week the pool was still setup LCM with all lane lines still in place. Today I dropped my distance again with mainly aerobic easy swimming with the exception being a few open, close, easy, fast 50s.
400 free with snorkel
6x50 catchup on 1min
4x100 free on 1:30
4x50 on 1min with fins, done as open, close, easy, fast
200 double arm backstroke
1 X 200 3:30 3:30
3 X 100 2:00 1:45
6 X 50 kick 1:20
2 X 100 2:00
6 X 50 1:15
All odd swims moderate
All even swims fast
1 X 100 fast 2:30
1 X 150 moderate 2:30
Four rounds, choice
WARM DOWN: 4 X 50 easy
flutter kicks on bosu, 4 x 50
cable twist w/yoga ball, 25 x 2 x 15 each side
extreme angle goblet squats on high boxes w/plate, 45 x 4 x 6
seated row negatives, 90 x 4 x 5
rear delt flys, 80 x 4 x 6
hip abductor, 120 x 4 x 5
supine bicep curl on cable machine, 70 x 3 x 8
saxon side bends, 10 x 3 x 15
explosive fly pulls on double cable machine, 20 x 4 x 5
knee tuck jumps, 5 x 3
kneeling ab crunches, 140 x 4 x 8
explosive leg press, 215 x 4 x 5
Swim/SCY @ Sewy
8 x 50, 25 stroke + 25 free @ :55
8 x 25, 1/2 fast SDK + 1/2 cruise @ :45
4 x 100 IM w/fins @ 1:55
-- I did 2 IM, 2 back
6 x 50 breast w/flutter kick w/fins @ 1:05
-- for me, breast flutter is exhausting and difficult on this interval
-- I switched to breast dolphin after 3
6 x 50 free w/fins, build each 25 to sprint @ :50
-- NO! I did 25 fast flutter kick + 25 EZ kick
7 x 50 @ 1:05
-- supposed to be 35 fast + 15 EZ, odds breast
-- NO! I cannot possibly go 35 fast on that interval
-- I did odds breast @ 100 pace for 35 y, evens EZ
4 x 25 AFAP kick @ 1:00
-- did back, think I was going around 13s
I am feeling gobsmacked after today. 10 days in a row of working out with quite a few doubles. I would love to swim outside tomorrow am, but I think I have to take a day off. It was nice to swim with other humans tonight. I plan to go on Friday night as well. Massage tomorrow!
On vacation this week, working on some projects around the house. This afternoon I went for a short motorcycle ride this afternoon with Lena and ended up riding in the rain. Fun time!
Quick swim this evening...
200 free/200 back/200 im drill
300 Shark Swim
4 x 50 with 25 easy into 25 FAST IMO
100 loosen and out
(Solo/Rec/1200 yds/30 min)
Tomorrow I have some tiling lined up at the College's new dorm area during the morning
3 X 100 2:00 1:45
1 X 150 2:45 2:30
1 X 200 3:30 --
Two rounds, round 1 intervals left, 2 right.
1 X 200 kick 5:00
8 X 50 kick 1:20
1 X 100 swim --
1 X 200 IM 4:00
2 X 50 1:15 #2 on 1:30
50's: round 1 fly, 2 back, 3 breast, 4 free
1 X 600 swim or pull
Descend by 200's
WARM DOWN: 4 X 50 easy
In keeping with the theme of lots of rest and focus on pace and form I decided to go with 40 x 25 on :40 for my main set... the 25s were to be on or a little faster than 1650 dream pace which would leave me just a little over :20 rest. I felt refreshed and energetic for the entire set, in fact my form felt smoother and I even incorporated flip turns in the last half of the work out. The 1:1 work:rest ratio might not be helping my distance/aerobic fitness, but it is helping me lock in form and the feel of a particular pace.
Here's the workout:
6 x 200 fr on 3:20 (evens pull w/ buoy)
6 x 100 kick w/ long fins on 2:00 (alt. by 100: front w/ board, side, back streamline)
40 x 25 fr on :40
1 x 50 fr on 1:00 (:39, felt smooth, not hard)
6 x 50 kick w/ long fins on :50 (alt. by 50s: front, side, bk)
1 x 50 fr on 1:00 (:39*)
3 x 100 relaxed fr on 1:40 (odds pull w/ buoy)
TOTAL: 3500 SCY/1:12:00
*Usually toward the end of a 3000+ workout, my 50s can be ragged unless I back off to a :43-:45, especially the day after a sprint day, but this :39 felt pretty smooth and in no way desperate of frenzied.
I slept better last night and woke uncontested for the first time in the last two weeks. This thing literally started two weeks ago today while in Orlando. That feels like a long time for a cold.
When i got to the pool once again the lane lines were removed and we spent at least 15 minutes untangling and pulling lane lines. Once everything was set I proceeded with a 2500m taper workout.
400 free with snorkel
6x50 catchup on 1min
6x100 free with just paddles on 1:30 smooth
10x50 back kick on 1min
4x50 on 1min done at 200 race pace
I felt quite heavy during the warmup today but was fine on the pace 50s holding 30/31s.
I was worried about the number of entries for our meet this weekend but we had a great last week of entires and the unofficial number is 85 swimmers. We have a guy in my age group coming in from Canada and others coming in from Arkansas, and Oklahoma. It's going to be fun with my team putting up lots of relays. I just booked a restaurant for a team lunch after Saturday's session which will be fun too.
Updated August 12th, 2015 at 11:23 AM by StewartACarroll