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  1. Fostering a Culture of Learning Through Team Training

    by , July 16th, 2015 at 09:47 PM (From the Executive Director: U.S. Masters Swimming's Journey)
    Each July, the USMS Board of Directors meets face-to-face for our summer meeting. The week leading into the board meeting, our National Office staff meets for its annual retreat. The retreat is an opportunity for our contractors, remote staff, and Sarasota staff to come together in one location, review the past year, plan for the next year, and continue preparations for our annual meeting.

    Within retreat week, we set aside a day when all the staff goes offsite for team learning. Last year, we visited IMG Academy in Bradenton and learned from a renowned sports psychologist how great athletes overcome adversity. We also participated in an improv roleplaying exercise that pushed our comfort zones and required us to show vulnerability and trust in each other.

    This year, a communications expert educated us on the concept of “emotional hijacking” and how we can help to prevent it. Emotional hijacking occurs as a result of an event, such as another driver cutting us off in traffic, and our perception of it. The perception we have or story we tell ourselves about the event can create an emotional hijack situation when our reaction—positive, negative, or neutral—may result in an undesirable consequence.

    Learning is a promoted value in the USMS Strategic Plan. Our employees are encouraged to seek out professional learning opportunities. For example, CFO Susan Kuhlman is a member of the Sarasota CFO Network and participated this year in a 15-week Leadership Sarasota program. Marketing Director Kyle Deery has attended Sports Business Journal Marketing and TEAMS Conferences. Our IT team of Jeff Perout, Jim Kryka, Nancy Kryka and IT Director Jim Matysek last fall attended a PHP technology conference in Washington, D.C., where they were able to network with like-minded IT professionals and learn about industry trends. Communications and Publications Director Laura Hamel has attended workshops and developed meaningful relationships with the faculty of the Poynter Institute, the global leader in journalism education. At our annual meeting, our staff members are encouraged to seek out their peers from the other aquatic disciplines so relationships and opportunities for collaboration can be developed.

    Our values are meaningless if we don’t support them. Providing opportunities for learning fosters a positive culture where employees want to work and are appreciated. We budget for professional learning activities, and I encourage our staffers to participate in them because they're valuable and necessary for individual and professional growth. Employees return from these learning experiences with an appreciative attitude and have enjoyed sharing these experiences with their colleagues.

    One of the biggest rewards of having a staff that is learning and positive is better service to and relationships with our constituency of 63,000+ members, hundreds of engaged volunteers, and numerous other partners and supporters.

    Updated August 13th, 2015 at 05:06 PM by Editor

    Categories
    Staff Blogs
  2. Week 146 - Thursday

    by , July 16th, 2015 at 09:10 PM (After a long rest)
    I had a decent night of sleep but was unbelievably tired this morning. I am continuing to take Allegra and wonder if it is behind my tiredness. I also was pretty sore today in the upper body. My back and shoulders in particular. I have not taken a day off for a couple weeks and likely need a rest day.

    Weights
    5x(vasa swim trainer done as 1:30 on the machine, :30 rest)
    2xshoulder bands and light weights focused on rotator cuff on left shoulder joint.
    4x(flutter kick with arms extended(like back kick), oblique v sits, leg lift, one leg knee to nose planks, 90/45/15 leg lifts done as :45 seconds of exercise, :15 seconds rest). And 1min rest between rounds

    Swimming LCM
    400 free with snorkel
    6x50 catchup on :50
    2x(6x50 open,close, easy, fast, kick, kick, on 1min with fins)
    200 easy

    i was on my own again this morning and it was hard being tired doing all of these abs. Somehow I got through it and by the end was soaking wet as usual.

    My parents have been visiting for just over a month now but unfortunately they head home next week. We have had a lot of fun and the older I get the more I appreciate what my parents have done for me. They are two of my best friends and I love them dearly. It's awesome to see my kids and wife having fun with there grandparents and in-law's. I am a very lucky guy to have such a great family.
    Categories
    Swim Workouts
  3. Taper day 2

    Shared a lane with Katy, David, and Mariah, next to Larry on one side and Ben on the other. Whitney coached. Lately there has been more of an emphasis on speed work on Thursdays. I believe that I am the only one tapering right now, but today's workout was perfect.

    Warm up:

    3 x (3:00 swim/2:00 swim/1:00 swim); we swam 200s/100s/50s

    Main set, twice through:

    1 x 50, 200 race pace, @ 1:00/1 x 50 easy @ 2:00
    2 x 50, 200 race pace, @ 1:00/1 x 50 easy @ 2:00
    3 x 50, 200 race pace, @ 1:00/1 x 50 easy @ 2:00
    4 x 50, 200 race pace, @ 1:00/1 x 50 easy @ 2:00
    1 x 400 recovery a@ 8:00

    Averaged :35-:36 on these; on the last four I went :34/:35/:35/:34 (2:18)

    3000 meters
    Categories
    Uncategorized
  4. Wed-Thur, July 15-16

    by , July 16th, 2015 at 04:43 PM (The FAF AFAP Digest)
    Wednesday:

    Went to heated power yoga for 75 minutes and did a 3 mile jog. Yoga was a bit of a struggle. I'm used to much colder weather now.


    Thursday: Swim/SCY/Solo @ Pitt

    Warm up:

    500 various
    100 scull
    3 x w/fins
    4 x 25 shooters @ :45
    1 x 50 EZ @ 1:00

    Main sets:

    3 x
    4 x 25 burst SDK + cruise @ 1:00
    1 x 50 EZ @ 1:00
    extra 50 EZ at end of set

    Then I modified (to make much easier) a set that I gave my team last night:

    4 x 25 smooth fly w/fins @ :30
    :30 rest
    4 x 50 dolphin kick, descend to 200 pace @ 1:10
    1 x 50 EZ @ 1:30
    4 x 25 smooth back
    :30 rest
    4 x 50 back kick, descend 1-4 to 200 pace @ 1:10
    1 x 50 EZ @ 1:30
    4 x 25 breast @ :35
    :30 rest
    4 x 50 dolphin kick on back, descend 1-4 @ 1:10 (didn't feel like doing breast kick)
    1 x 50 EZ @ 1:30
    4 x 25 smooth free
    :30 rest
    4 x 50 flutter kick @ 1:10, descend 1-4 to 200 pace
    1 x 100 EZ

    5 x 50 smooth free w/paddles @ 1:00
    50 EZ

    Total: 3300


    ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

    Yikes, I am really suffering from jet lag. I have little trouble flying east, but really struggle flying west. I know that is the opposite of most people, but so it is. Between jet lag and being very out of shape, even my easy workout was a bit of a challenge. I've heard/read that as you get older, it takes longer to get back in shape after a layoff. So I am prepared to be patient. I wasn't exactly lazy on vacation though. According to my iPhone app, I was walking between 7-14 miles per day. I actually lost a few pounds, which typically happens when I stop my regular training. Now I need to get back to the gym!

    Updated July 17th, 2015 at 10:35 AM by The Fortress

    Categories
    Swim Workouts , Running , Yoga
  5. Sarasota Y Sharks Masters 5:30 AM Workout 07/17/2015

    by , July 16th, 2015 at 12:21 PM (Sarasota Y Sharks Masters GOLD Workout)
    We begin our taper for Summer Nationals today!

    LCM
    WARM UP:
    3 X 100 2:00 1:45
    1 X 200 3:30 --
    Two rounds. Round 1 interval left, 2 right.

    8 x 50 kick 1:20
    Build #5-8 to fast

    8 X 100 2:30
    odd: easy
    even: @ 85/90%--strong
    Choice

    10 X 50 1:15
    #3-6-9 @ 100%--choice

    NATIONALS SWIMMERS WARM DOWN

    3 X 200 3:00
    4 X 100 1:30
    6 X 50 1:00
    Pull. 50's: descend 1-3/4-6

    WARM DOWN: 4 X 50 easy
    Categories
    Swim Workouts
  6. Week 146 - Wednesday

    by , July 15th, 2015 at 09:04 PM (After a long rest)
    I have meaning to blog this mornings workout all day but had a busy work day and lunch with my wife, kids and parents and then got side tracked.

    I had had a good night of sleep last night and felt good today. The pool was setup LCM. Stephanie Stone who normally trains in Plano, swam with us this morning and it's always fun when she is there. We did our 50s at 200 race pace today and as usual it hurt really bad but I felt better and performed better than I have in a few weeks.

    Warm up
    400 free with snorkel
    6x50 catchup on 1min

    main sets
    2x(100 kick on 1:45, 100 kick on 1:55, 100 kick on 2:05, 100 kick on 2:15 with goal being to hold the same time throughout)
    4x100 free with snorkel build on 1:30
    16x50 at 200 race pace on 1min
    200 easy
    4x50 DPS free on 1min

    warm down
    100 easy

    on the kick I started out at 1:35 but managed to hold 1:40s consistently throughout the rest. This was a great kick set for me. I have not been close to this previously. The free my held 1:15s and tried recovering my legs ahead of the race pace set. On the 16x50s I held :31s until the last one where I dropped to :29/30. I was whooped but I was also pleased with holding my goal time. I start tapering tomorrow. I believe I have one more trip before Nationals and hopefully I will have an uneventful taper.
    Categories
    Swim Workouts
  7. Summer 2015 Taper, Day 1

    Shared a lane in the main pool at the Texas Swim Center with Katy, Mariah, Taylor, Stacy, and Sharon. Yes, I was the only guy in that lane, but we all have to make sacrifices at times; there have been days when we have had to walk around the UT women's team stretching on deck. Whitney coached.

    Warm up:

    200 fingertip drag
    100 fly kick/drill/swim
    200 fist drill
    100 back kick/drill/swim
    200 catch up
    100 breast kick/drill/swim

    Main set:

    4 x 50 fly, swim/drill, @ 1:05; the swim repeats were supposed to be strong
    3 x 50 back, swim/drill
    2 x 50 breast, swim/drill
    1 x 50 free, swim/drill
    1 x 800 with fins as 200 IM/200 kick
    4 x 100 free, swim/drill, @ 2:00; I swam these as 50 @ 400 race pace/50 drill and held :37 feet to feet
    3 x 100 breast, swim/drill
    2 x 100 back, swim/drill
    1 x 100 fly, swim/drill
    1 x 800 pull, negative split; I used a buoy and pulled a 400 moderate, splitting it 2:45/2:44 (5:29). Felt strong and smooth.
    100 easy

    3500 meters
    Categories
    Uncategorized
  8. Sarasota Y Sharks Masters 5:30 AM Workout 07/16/2015

    by , July 15th, 2015 at 12:48 PM (Sarasota Y Sharks Masters GOLD Workout)
    LCM
    WARM UP:
    3 X 100 2:00
    1 X 150 2:45
    3 X 100 1:45
    1 X 250 --

    4 X 150 2:45
    Build last 50

    1 X 400 kick
    1 X 50 easy swim

    4 X 50 @ 85/90% 1:15
    4 X 50 easy 1:00 #4 on 1:30
    Two rounds--choice

    4 X 50 build 1:00 #4 on 1:30
    1 X 100 @ 85/90% 2:30
    Three rounds--choice

    WARM DOWN: 4 x 50 easy

    3950M
    Categories
    Swim Workouts
  9. Still managing the distance

    by , July 15th, 2015 at 07:26 AM (Mixing it up this year)
    Still managing to do a lot of distance work. Tomorrow may be a long swim again but I'll play it by ear.

    300 free
    6x50@1 free
    3x100@1:45 free w/paddles & bouy
    12x25@:30 free

    500 free w/paddles & bouy
    5x100@1:45 free w/paddles & bouy
    10x50@1 free

    4x50@1 free 11 strokes fast then easy
    4x100@1:45 free w/paddles & bouy
    200 free EZ

    Total 3500 meters
    Categories
    Swim Workouts
  10. Charging a fee to swim in your Masters program

    by , July 15th, 2015 at 12:00 AM (Questions from Coaches)
    Q: I help organize a swim practice for a group of adult swimmers during lap swim at our pool. I recently registered our group as a club with USMS so we could swim on relays together in a local swim meet. As we grow and become more organized, I foresee the need to begin charging a monthly program fee. How do I transition our group to paying a fee when lap swimming is free?

    A: Many Masters programs have evolved over the years from a small group of lap swimmers enjoying each other's company to an officially registered USMS program. Often, the most skilled or dynamic swimmer gets elected the quasi-coach and leader. As more swimmers join the group, more lane space is needed. For the aquatic or facility director, this can be both a positive and challenging metamorphosis. Those swimmers who are participating with the group are happy--which means increased membership and retention rates at the facility--but more often than not, the remaining lap swimmers who may not feel included in the structured workouts can become disgruntled about diminished lane space at critical and convenient workout times.

    At this point, establishing a defined USMS registered Masters program gives validity and direction for your adult swim program and the aquatic facility. The key to success will be how open and welcoming your program is to swimmers of all abilities who come to the pool with a variety of goals and motivations. The aquatic facility management likely will not view exclusion practices kindly.

    Program fees are a usual and customary expense of participating in an organized Masters practice. The fee you charge should be determined by the expenses the program incurs and the benefits the program provides to its members. While lap swimming is a benefit provided by your facility, is it really free? Countless times I've visited aquatic facilities when lap swimmers are in the pool while many are waiting on the pool deck for a lane to clear. Rarely, if at all, do lap swimmers share a lane with more than one other swimmer. Clearly this waiting for a lane is a waste of time. More importantly, if this wasted time happens too often, it becomes a deterrent for the swimmer returning to the pool.

    Sharing a lane with another lap swimmer can have its costs as well. It may not be a monetary cost, but a mental or even physical cost. Sharing a lane with a lap "swimmer" who has no concept of lane etiquette can be extremely frustrating and even dangerous. I generously use the term "swimmer" when referring to the lap lane occupants. On several occasions, I've witnessed more people positioned vertically than horizontally while inhabiting space in the lap lanes. Although many lap swimmers welcome the opportunity to make the lane they share safer and more enjoyable, some may not be willing to take the suggestions offered to practice basic lane etiquette. Swimmers participating in an organized Masters practice with a coach on deck are less likely to incur these lap-swimming costs.

    If your adult swimmers have been swimming as a group during lap swim and are now being asked to pay a program fee, make sure they understand the benefits of your program. You may need to increase the benefits the swimmers currently enjoy to justify the program fee. Most adults are willing to pay a fee equal to the benefits they receive. Knowing what's important to your customer/swimmer will help you determine which benefits to provide. These benefits may include:

    • Paid professional Masters coach on deck
    • Preferential workout times at the aquatic facility
    • Increased lane space
    • Lane space in the competition pool (80 degrees F) verses the recreation pool (much hotter!)
    • Additional practice times and facilities
    • Access to open water venues
    • Additional or upgraded pool and workout equipment
    • Digital pace clock
    • Dryland training program
    • Yoga instruction
    • Seminars with professional nutritionists, physical therapists, and sports medicine physicians
    • Swim clinics
    • Videotaped stroke analysis
    • Organized team travel to swim meets, open water events, and other team identified outings
    • Team website
    • Team e-newsletter
    • Team logo and merchandise
    • Sponsor discounts
    • Organized cross training opportunities with local triathlon, cycling, and running clubs
    • Volunteer opportunities
    • Recognition and awards

    Once you've established your fee, give your current swimmers a reasonable amount of time before the fee goes into effect. I recommend at least 30 days. You may choose to offer new swimmers a free trial period. After the 30 days or trial period is over and a swimmer decides against paying the program fee, politely point them in the direction of the lap swimmers.
  11. Birthday During A Swim Meet—What Age Group?

    by , July 15th, 2015 at 12:00 AM (Rules Committee Blog)
    The Coach Asks: At a four-day meet, if a swimmer is 34 the first two days of the meet but turns 35 on the third day, in what age group does that swimmer compete at the meet?

    Answer: The 35-39 age group for the entire meet; "For short course yards, the eligibility of a participant for a particular age group shall be determined by the age as of the last day of the meet." (USMS 102.2.1). That is the opposite of USA Swimming, whose rule for age group competition is the swimmer's age as of the first day of the meet (USA-S 205.2.2).

    Kathy Casey
  12. Workout 07/14/15: OW

    by , July 14th, 2015 at 09:41 PM (Maple Syrup with a Side of Chlorine)
    The rain held off so I was able to get my double in. I rode over to Wilmington with Melissa and Tim, meeting Greg there. The sky was a mix of overcast clouds interspersed with bright blue patches and the sun trying to shine through. We did a one mile loop in about 40 minutes, and after finishing enjoyed some raspberries that I picked from my backyard. Another delightful evening for a mid summer swim!

    Categories
    Swim Workouts , Open Water
  13. Back from Vaca

    by , July 14th, 2015 at 07:11 PM (The FAF AFAP Digest)
    Finally got back from our long vacation. I'm feeling fairy dazed and jet lagged. Had a lot to do today, but managed to get to LA Fitness for 2200 easy. After almost three weeks, I'm seriously out of swimming shape (though my shoulders feel great!). But I have 3 months until my next meet to reverse that situation. And I've done it before. Next year, I told Mr. For that I'm opting out of a long summer vacation since it's my age up year. But, happily, I will go to the Olympic Trials for a week with Teen (Now 20) Fort. Very excited about that!

    The vacation got off to an abdominal start -- delayed flights, missed connection to Copenhagen, torrential rain, iPhone breakage, distraught teen etc. But it was worth the horrendous start. Norway is just stunningly beautiful (fjords, mountains, lakes) and we had great weather there. Iceland was fabulous to visit, but I wouldn't want to live there. It is simultaneously a frigid craggy moonscape and a lupine-covered green mountain landscape. It reminded me of both Mordor and the Shire. It was light until 11:00 pm most nights in northern Europe, and Mr. Fort and his buddy went on a few late night runs. The Orkney Islands in northern Scotland were also lovely. We ended with a few days in London, which was packed with tourists. We were in a great location on Park Lane, having pricelined rooms. The morning before we left Mr. Fort and Lil Fort ran in the London 10K with 28,000 other people. I think Lil Fort liked being in such a big race in a foreign country. And today she went to her first high school cross country practice.

    Onward!
    Categories
    Swim Workouts
  14. Workout 07/14/15: noon

    by , July 14th, 2015 at 03:52 PM (Maple Syrup with a Side of Chlorine)
    Plans for an open water swim fell apart last night, but we will try for this evening. Humid weather and pop-up storms make for an interesting yet frustrating summer.

    Was able to sneak in a quick swim before taking my son to a dentist appointment.

    200 free/ 200 back/ 200 im drill
    8 x 50 on 1:00 free with snorkel, even split
    50 easy on 1:30
    6 x 50 on 1:00 free, descend
    50 easy
    4 x 50 on 1:10 back, descend
    50 easy
    2 x 50 on 1:00 free fast
    50 easy
    100 warmdown
    (Solo/SM pool/1900 lcm/45 min)

    Borrowed the idea from Water Rat, basically trying to find some easy speed with pace work. I'll need that for the 800 at Nats.
    Categories
    Swim Workouts
  15. Sarasota Y Sharks Masters 5:30 AM Workout 07/15/2015

    by , July 14th, 2015 at 12:26 PM (Sarasota Y Sharks Masters GOLD Workout)
    LCM
    WARM UP:
    4 X 150 2:45
    8 x 50 1:00
    50's: 1-4 long and smooth
    5-8 descend to fast

    4 X 200 free 3:30
    Negative split

    8 x 50 kick 1:20
    #5-8: 25 fast/25 easy

    8 X 50 choice 1:30
    odd: @ 100%
    even: easy

    1 x 150 cruise 2:30
    1 X 100@ 85/90% 2:00
    Four rounds--swim or pull

    WARM DOWN: 4 x 50 easy

    3900M
    Categories
    Swim Workouts
  16. Week 146 - Tuesday

    by , July 14th, 2015 at 10:18 AM (After a long rest)
    I was congested yesterday buthad an ok night. I took an allergy pill this moning and hopefully I can get on top of my allergies before they affect me too bad. I was on my own this morning and it was hard to stick with it(but I did).

    Weights
    5x(vasa swim trainer done as 1:30 on the machine, :30 rest)
    2xshoulder bands and light weights focused on rotator cuff on left shoulder joint.
    6x(flutter kick with arms extended(like back kick), oblique v sits, leg lift, one leg knee to nose planks, 90/45/15 leg lifts done as :45 seconds of exercise, :15 seconds rest). And 1min rest between rounds

    Swimming LCM
    400 free with snorkel
    6x50 catchup on :50
    12x50 open,close, easy, fast on 1min with fins
    200 easy

    We have three more tough workouts and then we start to taper. I can see the light at the end of the tunnel. Bring on the taper!
    Categories
    Swim Workouts
  17. I hate ant bites

    by , July 14th, 2015 at 07:34 AM (Mixing it up this year)
    I especially hate ant bites on my toe that cause me not to be able to use my zoomers. Shoulders were sore so tried to do an easy one today.

    500 free
    5x100@2 free w/snorkle as 15m kick/20m swim/15m kick/15m swim/20m kick/15m swim
    500 breast kick
    1000 free

    Total 2500 meters
    Categories
    Swim Workouts
  18. 7/13/15 Monday blahs

    200 free
    200 kick
    4 x 75 k/d/s
    -went IM order

    Descend everything & 50 ez's @ 1:30
    4 x 25 fly @ 40
    4 x 50 back @ 50
    200 IM @ 3:00
    50 EZ
    4 x 25 fly @ 40
    4 x 50 breast @ 1:10
    2 x 100 IM @ 1:45
    50 EZ
    4 x 25 fly @ 40
    4 x 50 free @ 45
    4 x 100 IM @ 1:45
    50 EZ
    (used my tempo trainer for the following free swims for 500 pace)
    4 x 75 @ 1:20
    2 x 200 @ 3:10
    50 EZ
    4 x 75 @ 1:20
    4 x 25 sprint @ 1:15 went IM order
    100 float and outta there to pick up one of our girls

    4000 scy

    This was definitely my kind of workout however my stroke began to fall apart too soon. I blame it on being a Monday. The free intervals were generous enough that I should have been able to swim faster than I did. Again, I blame it on being a Monday.

    Against my better judgement, I started jogging (not running) last week and my legs are still adjusting. My lungs can handle more than my lower extremities.
    Categories
    Uncategorized
  19. Monday July 13, 2015

    I plan to begin tapering later this week; I will not lift again until after I return from San Jose.

    On Saturday I shared a lane in the main pool at the Texas Swim Center with David and Ande; attendance was light because of the early start time (0530). Whitney coached.

    Warm up:

    200 free, drag fingertips/100 right arm/200 free, catch up, with a buoy out in front/100 left arm/200 10-3-10 drill/100 IM

    Main set:

    8 x 400 @ 6:00, descend 1-4 then maintain the same pace 5-8; I went 5:52, 5:47, 5:46, and 5:42 on the first four, then 5:37, 5:35, 5:35, and 5:34 on the last four

    Final set:

    8 x 50 @ 1:00 as 25 stroke fast IM order/25 easy

    4500 meters

    This morning I shared a lane with Larry, Taylor, Ben, Kristy, Sharon.

    Warm up:

    500 swim as 75 free/25 stroke
    400 pull, same as above
    300 kick with fins
    4 x 50, breath control

    Main set:

    4 x 200 @ 3:00; I led the lane on this round and held 2:53
    1 x 400 as 75 easy, DPS/25 fly fast
    4 x 150 @ 2:10; held 2:06
    1 x 400 as 75 easy, DPS/25 back fast
    4 x 100 @ 1:25; felt strong on these and held 1:19-1:21
    1 x 400 as 75 easy, DPS/25 breast fast

    Final set:

    8 x 50 @ 1:00 with fins, breath control (8/7/6/5/4/3/2/1 total breaths/50)

    4800 meters
    Categories
    Uncategorized
  20. Week 146 - Monday

    by , July 13th, 2015 at 01:59 PM (After a long rest)
    I had an early night last night and woke feeling pretty good this morning. In fact I was surprised I was not stiff and sore like yesterday, but I was not. I did a nice long warm down after my swims yesterday and I am pretty sure that helped. Today was a longer aerobic workout.

    Warm up
    400 free with snorkel
    6x50 catchup on 1min

    Main sets
    3x(400,300,200,100 on 1:20 pace)
    16x50 kick with fins on :45

    Warm down
    100 easy

    I got into the main set and was able to hold about 1:12 pace throughout. On the kick I held :34s kicking on my back and felt pretty good.
    Categories
    Swim Workouts