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  1. Back to the Basics - The Forward Start

    by , November 27th, 2016 at 11:06 AM (Rules Committee Blog)
    This month, we are going to continue our review of the rules for strokes, starts, turns, and relays. This should provide some information for new members as well as a refresher for us "experienced" competitors. This month focuses on the forward start, which is used in freestyle, breaststroke, and butterfly.

    The starting sequence actually begins well before swimmers even step up onto the starting platform. By rule, the referee uses a series of short whistles to signal to swimmers to "remove all clothing except for swimwear". This is the signal to prepare for your event. Depending on the size and the pace of the meet, the referee may decide when to give the short whistles while the previous race is still finishing. Or, the referee may wait until all swimmers from the preceding heat are finished. In practice, the short whistles are normally followed by an announcement of the event number or heat number to remind swimmers, timers, and other officials of the upcoming race.

    Once the race is ready to proceed, the referee uses one long whistle to signal to swimmers to step up onto the starting platform, up to the edge of the pool deck, or to enter the water. A forward start may be taken from the starting platform, the pool deck, or in the water using a push from the wall. It is the swimmer's choice. If you are starting from the starting platform, at least one foot must be towards the front surface of the platform. (That doesn't mean the foot must be right at the edge of the block, but generally must be in the front part of the platform.)

    If you are starting the water, make sure to enter feet first. When starting in the water using a forward start, swimmers may face any direction. (USA Swimming rules would require swimmers to face the pool, so this is a key difference.) Also, under USMS rules, a backstroke start is permitted in a freestyle event. (However, if you are swimming backstroke - or any other stroke - in a freestyle event, your time may only be recorded as a freestyle time.)

    Once all swimmers are ready, the starter will give the familiar "take your mark" command. This is the signal to assume your starting position. Swimmers may assume any starting position that maintains at least one foot towards the front of the starting platform or the pool deck; or, if starting in the water, swimmers may assume any position that does not remove at least one foot from contact with the all and at least one hand from contact with the wall or the starting platform.

    The rule then says that when are swimmers are "stationary", the starter shall give the starting signal. Note the term "stationary". That doesn't mean swimmers must be completely motionless, but swimmers must remain on their marks and cannot leave this position prior to the starting signal. While there is no rule that requires swimmers to "come down together", all swimmers must respond promptly to the "take your mark" command. If one or more swimmers do not respond quickly, or if everyone is not set, or the starter feels that everyone is not ready, the starter may release swimmers by saying "stand" or "stand up". At this point, swimmers may leave their marks, relax, and even step off of the starting platform. Usually, the starter will simply try again with another "take your mark" command, but may sometimes provide additional instructions to one or more swimmers. If everything goes well, however, the "take your mark" command is followed the starting signal, which must be both audial and visual.

    What happens if you enter the water or start before the starting signal is given? The starter will usually release swimmers with the "stand" command. By rule, a swimmer who commits a false start is disqualified, but the disqualification must be confirmed by both the referee and starter. Sometimes, one of these officials will decide that the start was not fair or there was some other factor that caused the swimmer to start before the signal. In that case, the swimmer might not be charged with a false start and we can try again to start the race.

    If a swimmer leaves their mark before the starting signal, but the signal is given anyway, the race is allowed to proceed and the swimmer could be disqualified for a false start after the race is over. The starter will not "recall" a race in the event of a false start, but could still recall a race if the start was not fair. While recalls should be rare, if you hear the starting signal repeated (likely several times), that is the recall signal.

    Other things that you can do to ensure a good start:

    • Keep track of the meet! Events can run ahead of or behind a projected timeline and officials are under no obligation to wait if the meet is running faster than projected. If you miss an event, officials are not obligated to seed you into another heat and will not conduct a re-swim.
    • Check with the timers in your lane before your race to verify that you are in the correct heat and lane. Let one of the officials know if there is a discrepancy.
    • If you need a little more time or need assistance to step up or enter the water, let the officials know ahead of time. Sometimes, it may be possible to allow swimmers to use a ladder to enter the water from the side of pool, but make sure the officials know your intent and have provided their approval.
    • Step up (or in) promptly at the long whistle signal. If you delay, or stand back behind the blocks where you are not visible, the referee and starter may assume that you have withdrawn from the race.
    • Deaf or hearing-impaired swimmers should inform the starter. Make sure you can see the starter (who will use hand signals in addition to the whistle commands) and the visual starting signal (normally a light on top of the starting system).
  2. Workout 11/26/16: morning

    by , November 26th, 2016 at 02:34 PM (Maple Syrup with a Side of Chlorine)
    While my time has been sporadic in the pool of late, I am happy to report that the new job is going well and the kiddos both made it home safely for a fun Thanksgiving holiday. Today we revived the main course from the Turducken Set from Swimsuit addict:

    200 Swim/100 kick/200 pull [did an extra 200]
    4 x 25 build

    Turducken set: A turducken is a turkey that is stuffed with a duck, which in turn has been stuffed with a chicken. Iíve never tasted one, but I feel like Iíve been reading about them as a novelty food item for at least a decade. The latest article I saw about turducken was not about food at all, but about privacy law, and ever since I read it, the word has been rolling around in my head. So I decided I would assemble stroke turduckens by stuffing a 50 of one stroke into the middle of a 100 of another stroke, then sticking the whole thing into a 200 of yet another stroke. I did four rounds of these; on the first, turkey=fly, duck=back, and chicken=breast; the strokes rotate through the IM thereafter. The set looked like this:

    4 x 350 @ :30-:40 rest interval
    1st 350=100 FL/50 BK/50 BR/50 BK/100 FL
    2nd 350=100 BK/50 BR/50 FR/50 BR/100 BK
    3rd 350=100 BR/50 FR/50 FL/50 FR/100 BR
    4th 350=100 FR/50 FL/50 BK/50 FL/100 FR

    On each round I aimed to do the middle 50 at 200 IM pace; the 50 before it as build and the 50 after it as recovery, and the turkey 100s at the front and back at basic aerobic pace.
    Quick 200 and out
    [Masters/Rec/2400 yds/50 min]

    Since breaststroke has not been my friend of late, I just kicked that portion of the set. Greg missed out on the fun, but Rebecca, Kevin, Meg, Jim, Mary and Magnus all took part, although only Meg and Rebecca attemped to swim fly. This was my sixth time swimming this set and I really do look forward to getting it in each year.

    Updated November 27th, 2016 at 06:43 PM by rxleakem

    Tags: turducken
    Swim Workouts
  3. Sarasota Y Sharks Masters 5:30 AM Workout 11/28/2016

    by , November 25th, 2016 at 11:31 AM (Sarasota Y Sharks Masters GOLD Workout)
    WARM UP:
    1 X 250 4:00 3:45
    3 X 50 descend 1:00 1:00
    Three rounds. Round 1 intervals left, 2 and 3 right.

    1 X 300 kick

    12 X 50--choice-- 1:05
    odd: easy
    evn: fast

    1 x 100 free 1:30
    1 X 100 IM 1:45
    1 X 100--best stroke-- 2:15
    Three rounds

    17 X 100 pull
    5 on 1:30
    5 on 1:20
    5 on 1:15
    2 warm down on 2:00

    Swim Workouts
  4. Sarasota Y Sharks Masters 5:30 AM Workout 11/25/2016

    by , November 23rd, 2016 at 12:07 PM (Sarasota Y Sharks Masters GOLD Workout)
    WARM UP:
    1 X 250 4:00 3:45
    4 X 100 1:40 1:30
    4 X 50 kick 1:10 1:10
    Two rounds. Round 1 intervals left, 2 right.

    1 x 50 swim

    1 X 300 IM 5:15
    3 x 100 IM 1:45
    4 X 25 stroke/choice :40 #4 on 1:00
    Two rounds--25 swims are up tempo

    6 x 200 pull 3:00
    1/2: long and strong
    3/4: negative split
    5/6: best effort

    WARM DOWN: 4 X 50 easy

    Swim Workouts
  5. Sarasota Y Sharks Masters 5:30 AM Workout 11/23/2016

    by , November 22nd, 2016 at 12:44 PM (Sarasota Y Sharks Masters GOLD Workout)
    WARM UP:
    1 X 250 4:00 3:45
    3 X 100 1:40 1:30
    4 X 50 1:00 :50
    Two rounds. Round 1 interval left, 2 right.

    1 X 400 kick

    12 X 50 1:05--choice
    #3-6-9-12 are fast

    1 X 300 4:30 4:00
    3 x 100--descend-- 1:30 1:20
    4 X 50--descend-- 1:00 1:00
    Two rounds, swim or pull. Round 1 intervals left, 2 right.
    50's: start strong and descend

    WARM DOWN: 4 X 50 easy

    Swim Workouts
  6. Sarasota Y Sharks Masters 5:30 AM Workout 11/22/2016

    by , November 21st, 2016 at 11:54 AM (Sarasota Y Sharks Masters GOLD Workout)
    1 X 250 4:00 3:45
    4 X 100 1:40 1:30
    Two rounds. Round 1 intervals left, 2 right

    6 x 75 kick 1:40
    Last 25 fast
    1 X 100 swim

    1 X 200 IM 3:30
    1 X 100 stroke 2:00
    1 X 50 stroke--fast-- 1:30
    Three rounds. Round 1 fly, 2 back, 3 breast

    8 x 150 pull 2:15
    100 cruise/50 fast

    WARM DOWN: 4 X 50 easy

    Swim Workouts
  7. Week 215 - this maybe it for a while

    by , November 21st, 2016 at 08:50 AM (After a long rest)
    My right elbow has been a problem since spring Nationals and unfortunately despite some good days, this week has been pretty bad and on Saturday I had to withdraw from the DAM meet after the 50 free. Despite a crazy week of work I managed to swim every day last week, and was looking forward to swimming in a meet. Despite my first event, the 2 back being slow it did not hurt. The 50 free on the other hand was painful from the get go and after battling through to finish my forearm was again numb and the elbow joint hurt considerably. Yesterday I lived on ibuprofen but this is not sustainable and the elbow is not getting better. I am going to phone the surgeon this morning and see if we can arrange surgery. When I met with him previously he said that the recovery time was 3-6 months but then said he was concerned I would not be happy with the restriction in range of motion. I don't know what's going to happen but being pain free will be nice!

    I am hoping I can arrange surgery for after the NE champs so I can at least do one more meet but I will also take the first available opening so who knows. This does suck but I will come through it and no matter what, swimming is a big part of my future either in the pool or on deck!

    Updated November 21st, 2016 at 10:14 AM by StewartACarroll

    Swim Workouts
  8. Surgery It Is

    by , November 20th, 2016 at 11:33 AM (The FAF AFAP Digest)
    I went to Johns Hopkins last Thursday for some testing and to see Dr. Lum. 9 days earlier, I finally had my chest CT with contrast and it was negative for blood clots. But by the time I got to Hopkins, a duplex ultrasound showed an extensive blood clot from mid chest to mid arm and confirmed a diagnosis of venous thoracic outlet syndrome. So it is a worst case scenario. VTOS is an extremely rare condition, but healthy athletes like swimmers are somewhat more at risk, and I am genetically pre-disposed. I am on blood thinners now and will have to have surgery in a couple weeks. There is no other solution, you have to de-compress the subclavian vein in the thoracic outlet. For the surgery, the resect your first rib and take out the attached scalene muscle. No swimming for 3 months after the surgery. Since I haven't swum much in a month, it is going to be a long time out of the water. And I can't exercise at all right now. My left side is somewhat compressed as well, but Dr Lum thinks the likelihood of VTOS on that side is still low. I worry, though, because my sister had to have bilateral surgeries.

    On the upside, a blood clot did not break off and go to my lung or brain. And I've been told that it's possible some of my shoulder and elbow problems on my right side may have been to do maladaptive compensations from inadequate venous return. I have felt like my breath holding capacity has declined somewhat the last couple years. This could be why, and may also be fixed by surgery. Hopefully, there is not too much damage to the vein.

    Dr Lum thinks that the culprit may be all my streamline dolphin kicking bc you are in an extremely compressed position when doing that. I did even more kicking that usual this year bc of my elbow and shoulder tendonitis issues. I may have to consider doing less SDK work upon returning.

    So I'm signing off for awhile. It will seem odd ... I've been blogging for many years now ... since the creation of the USMS blogs. And I haven't had any real break from swimming in 11 years. The timing is very disappointing, in my age up year. But masters swimming seems to be defined by comebacks. Hopefully, that will be my case.
  9. Sarasota Y Sharks Masters 5:30 AM Workout 11/21/2016

    by , November 18th, 2016 at 12:37 PM (Sarasota Y Sharks Masters GOLD Workout)
    WARM UP:
    1 X 200 3:20
    4 X 100 1:40
    1 X 300 4:30
    4 X 100 1:30

    1 X 300 kick + 100 swim

    4 X (3 X 100
    Rounds 1/3: IM or stroke on 2:00
    Rounds 2/4: free
    Swim #1: moderate, 2-build, 3-fast
    All choice

    3 X 50 1:10
    1 X 100 kick 2:30
    50's: 1-moderate, 2 25 fast/25 easy, 3-fast

    WARM DOWN: 4 X 50 easy

    Swim Workouts
  10. Sarasota Y Sharks Masters 5:30 AM Workout 11/18/2016

    by , November 17th, 2016 at 11:01 AM (Sarasota Y Sharks Masters GOLD Workout)
    WARM UP:
    1 X 200 3:00 3:00
    5 X 100 1:40 1:30
    Two rounds. Round 1 intervals left, 2 right.

    1 X 200 kick 4:30
    12 X 25 sprint kick :454
    1 X 10 swim

    4 X 50 1:15 1:00
    4 X 75 1:45 1:30
    4 x 100 2:15 2:00
    Two rounds--descend each group 1-4/ #4 is fast
    Round 1: stroke or IM/intervals left
    Round 2: free/intervals right

    WARM DOWN: 4 X 50 easy

    Swim Workouts
  11. Sarasota Y Sharks Masters 5:30 AM Workout 11/17/2016

    by , November 16th, 2016 at 11:13 AM (Sarasota Y Sharks Masters GOLD Workout)
    2 X 150 2:30 2:15
    3 X 100 1:40 1:30
    3 X 100 KICK 2:15 2:15
    Two rounds. Round 1 intervals left, 2 right.

    1 X 75 1:20
    1 X 50 1:00
    4 X 25--up tempo- :40 #4 on 1:20
    Four rounds.
    Round 1 is fly, 2 back, 3 breast, 4 free

    15 X 100 pull
    5 on 1:25
    5 on 1:20
    5 on 1:15

    WARM DOWN: 4 X 50 easy

    Swim Workouts
  12. My SCY Meet Plan

    Maybe writing this down will help me get focused. I understand that work and life disrupts our routines however there have been times when I just haven't felt like swimming.

    Luckily, this SCY season there are some great meets close to home.

    Dec 2-4 SCM state meet in Columbia
    -- I probably will only be able to go on that Sunday due to prior obligations

    Feb 10-12 SCY state meet here in North Myrtle.
    -- Less than ten min from the house. Gotta love it.

    March 4th fun meet in Wilmington NC
    -- Maybe I'll swim some "off" events here and have some fun

    April 8-9th Dixie Zone Championships in Cary NC
    -- This will be the big one for me and it will take that long to get myself back into shape.

    Maybe I'll pick a different event to focus on this SCY season. I usually concentrate on the 2IM. I haven't had a descent 200 or 500 in years. Maybe I'll consider a completely different event and have some fun.
  13. 11/14/16

    I'm struggling to get back into it. I felt pretty good in the beginning but quickly fell into sloppy mode.

    500 mix up done mostly with a snorkel
    4 x 50 @ 60 200P

    2 times through
    150 @ 2:40 cruise
    2 x 200 fast @ 3:30

    2 times through
    150 @ 2:40 cruise
    3 x 100 fast @ 1:45

    2 times through
    150 @ 2:40 cruise
    4 x 50 @ 60 descend to 200P

    6 x 50 @ 1:15
    --odds free,evens back
    2 x 100
    --snorkel swim then social kick

    I need a plan
  14. Sarasota Y Sharks Masters 5:30 AM Workout 11/16/2016

    by , November 15th, 2016 at 02:39 PM (Sarasota Y Sharks Masters GOLD Workout)
    WARM UP:
    1 X 200 3:00
    3 X 100 1:40
    1 X 50 fast 1:00
    Two rounds

    10 X 50 kick 1:10
    #6-10: 25 sprint/25 moderate
    1 X 100 swim

    1 X 50 easy 1:00
    1 X 50 build 1:05
    1 X 100 fast 2:10
    Four rounds--choice

    1 X 200 3:00
    3 X 100 1:30
    Three rounds--pull
    Descend 200's 1-3 by round
    100's: each round faster

    WARM DOWN: 4 X 50 easy

    Swim Workouts
  15. Week 215 - Monday

    by , November 14th, 2016 at 09:45 PM (After a long rest)
    We had the two day kids LPA meet this weekend and I was on deck all weekend. My daughter once again had a terrific meet doing best times in every event. She finally broke a minute on the 100 free going 58.6 and her best swim was probably her 2 back where she went 2:13. It's great to see her having fun and swimming fast.

    I had a really good night of sleep last night and woke up feeling good this morning.

    I felt about as good as I have felt in practice in at least a year today. I also had no elbow pain again. Today's workout was tough but the no elbow pain was awesome! I seem to have ups and downs but more ups recently.

    Warm up
    400 free with snorkel
    6x50 catch up on :50
    100 easy

    Main sets
    5x(200 free on 2:20, 100 on 1:15 odds back, evens free)
    100 easy
    6x125 kick on 2mins best average
    100 easy
    10x50 doggy paddle down, free back on :50
    8x100 on 1:15 as 75 free, 25 back

    Warm down
    200 easy

    I went 2:03 on the first 200 and then slid to 2:05/2:06s. The back I was going 1:08s and the free 1:05s. On the kick I was 1:50s. I struggled keeping high elbows on the doggy paddle. The 8x100s I was coming in on 1:05s and felt like I could have gone faster. I felt good throughout.
    Swim Workouts
  16. Sarasota Y Sharks Masters 5:30 AM Workout 11/15/2016

    by , November 14th, 2016 at 12:04 PM (Sarasota Y Sharks Masters GOLD Workout)
    WARM UP:
    4 ON 1:50
    4 ON 1:45
    4 ON 1:40

    4 X (8 X 50
    Round 1: kick on 1:15
    Round 2: free on :50
    Round 3: stroke(choice) on 1:15
    Round 4: 25 sprint/25 easy (choice) on 1:15

    6 X 250 pull 4:00
    1-3: 200 cruise/50 fast
    4-6: 150 cruise/100 fast

    WARM DOWN: 4 X 50 easy

    Swim Workouts
  17. another week

    by , November 14th, 2016 at 10:23 AM (The FAF AFAP Digest)
    I swam about 2500 on Sunday Nov 6 and then didn't get in the water again until this weekend, where I did 2300 both Sat and Sun with a lot of kicking with my arms at the side. I did 4-5 miles on the treadmill on the other days. It's been almost a month now. I feel like I've rested the area. I haven't swum much. I've been going to PT. But the arm still swells and turns red when I exercise. My PT thinks it's a thoracic outlet issue as well. My scalenes are very tight and possibly hypertrophied and may have pulled up my first rib, which is more prominent on the right side. I am a tad worried that there is some redness in my left bicep area when I swim (no swelling tho).

    I've been frustrated trying to get appointments. But with the help of a connection, I have an appt at Johns Hopkins on Thursday with Dr. Ying Wei Lum. He's an expert in the field of venous thoracic outlet syndrome (there aren't many, it's very rare). Via email, he opined that my symptoms sound like McCleery Syndrome where you have intermittent compression of the subclavian vein. I hope he can give me a diagnosis and treatment plan. Being in limbo has been very frustrating. What's scary is that I wouldn't even have had a clue that it could be a thoracic outlet issue but for my sister having the same problem many years ago ...

    Also cross that my hotel reservation for NE Champs was non-refundable. I had no idea when I made the reservation. Between that and my plane flight, that's a very expensive meet to not swim in ...

    Updated November 14th, 2016 at 11:38 AM by The Fortress

    Swim Workouts , Running
  18. Workout 11/12/16: morning

    by , November 12th, 2016 at 07:49 PM (Maple Syrup with a Side of Chlorine)
    Back in the pool with the team today.

    2 x [200 swim, 100 kick, 100 pull]

    8 x 25 on :40 burst and cruise
    8 x 50 on :60 even pace
    100 kick
    [working flipturns with team]
    2 x Snake Swim [300 yds total]
    4 x 50 on :75 descend [did back]

    4 x 50 stroke as warmdown
    [Masters/Rec/2200 yds/60 min]
    I swam with Greg and Tim, Rebecca, Meg and Rachel split the middle, and Melissa and Mary swam together on the other end.
    Swim Workouts
  19. Week 214 - Saturday

    by , November 12th, 2016 at 11:22 AM (After a long rest)
    I decided to take some melatonin last night to try to ensure a good night of sleep. I definitely slept better but was a little groggy when I work up. This fortunately did not last long and I felt ok in the water. Today our kids program is hosting a meet and Tom decided to put the pads in and do some fast swimming. My elbow felt pretty good today and I decided no matter what I was not going to do any 200s to avoid extra stress on the joint.

    400 free with snorkel
    6x50 catchup on :50
    8x50 kick on 1min
    8x100 free on 1:20

    from the blocks

    100 free - 52.8
    50 fly - 27.1
    100 breast - 1:12.0 (hurt my left groin off the last turn)
    50 free - 24.6
    50 back 27.9

    we were getting about a 100 warm down between swims and as such I was pleased with how I did despite the times not being that fast; especially the 50 free. I feel strong in the pool but don't have easy speed and everything seems forced rather than smooth. With all my challenges this year swimming has been a god send and is my happy place(generally)

    My son has been having some pretty bad migraines and stomach issues the past 6months. We saw the neurologist thinking it was related to his concussions but after several tests the neurologist recommended us to a GI specialist. He went yesterday to see the specialist at children's yesterday and has to have a colonoscopy on Monday. We are quite worried about him. He is a strong kid but is just not well and we want to get to the bottom of his health issues so we can get him some relief.
    Swim Workouts
  20. Week 214 - Friday

    by , November 11th, 2016 at 08:54 PM (After a long rest)
    I had a good night of sleep but was quite tired this morning. Today's workout had a similar feel to yesterday's workout; it was completely by coincidence.

    Warm up
    400 free with snorkel
    6x50 catchup on :50

    main sets
    6x50 kick on :55
    16x25 free to feet on :30 - told to do no breathers
    6x50 kick on :55
    3x25 easy on :30, 1x25 on :15
    2x25 easy on :30, 2x25 on :15
    1x25 easy on :30, 3x25 on :15
    3x25 easy on :25, 1x25 on :15
    2x25 easy on :25, 2x25 on :15
    1x25 easy on :25, 3x25 on :15
    3x25 easy on :20, 1x25 on :15
    2x25 easy on :20, 2x25 on :15
    1x25 easy on :20, 3x25 on :15
    6x50 kick on :55
    8x25 no breathers from a dive on :40 fast

    warm down
    200 easy

    i made everything today but despite it just being 25s I was tired. This really should not have been that hard but it was.
    Swim Workouts