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  1. Week 198 - Wednesday

    by , July 13th, 2016 at 07:29 PM (After a long rest)
    I had a not so good travel first upon arrival in Bethesda; I booked my hotel room for next Tuesday instead of yesterday. To compound my mistake I was traveling with a female colleague so no shacking up in her room and the hotel was overbooked. Luckily I got on and found a room at an Even hotel in Rockville which turned out a great choice. The hotel was a health themed hotel and I was given a new water bottle at checkin and my room had weights, a yoga mat and stretch cords. Unfortunately I did not get to use these but it was a great idea and a great room. Honestly it could have nearly anything at the moment I realized I messed up the reservation. with all the drama I had a hard time turning the world off and relaxing which meant a late night followed by an early start(4am eastern when my body clock was still on central). I managed to find American University and after finding the pool and catching the coaches attention to let me in through the window I had a good and welcome workout. I did not even feel too bad. I am still not back to my normal aerobic capacity and my elbow still hurts.

    The pool was scy.

    Warm up
    200 swim
    100 kick
    100 pull

    Main sets
    2x(2x75 fly,back,breast on 1:15, 3x50 descend to fast effort on :50)
    6x75 pull on 1min
    6x25 odds fast stroke choice on :30, evens fast free on :30
    4x(2x100 free at 85% effort on 1:25, 2x100 free at 90% effort on 1:20, 2x50 kick on 1min easy, fast by 25, 50 easy on 1min)
    20x25 on :30 odds fly fast, evens free easy

    Warm down
    200 easy

    Nothing very special today as I was holding 1:03s on the 85% efforts and :59/1:00s on the 90% efforts 100s.

    I also had a message from my doctor saying that nothing showed up on my MRI. She wants me to continue PT and if the pain does not go away to get a cortisone shot. She said she thinks the numbness is swelling related. Unfortunately why is there swelling if there is nothing on the MRI?

    Updated July 13th, 2016 at 08:25 PM by StewartACarroll

    Swim Workouts
  2. Sarasota Y Sharks Masters 5:30 AM Workout 07/14/2016

    by , July 13th, 2016 at 12:47 PM (Sarasota Y Sharks Masters GOLD Workout)
    WARM UP:
    3 X 100 2:00
    1 X 150 2:45
    3 X 100 1:45
    1 X 250 --

    4 X 150 2:40
    Build final 50 to fast

    1 X 400 kick + 100 swim

    4 X 50 strong--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 strong--85/90%-- 2:30
    Three rounds

    WARM DOWN: 4 X 50 easy

    Swim Workouts
  3. Masters program information at my aquatics facility

    by , July 13th, 2016 at 11:00 AM (Questions from Coaches)
    Q: What information about my Masters program should I have available at my aquatic facility?

    A: Frequently, I visit aquatic facilities searching for Masters swimming or any form of adult aquatic programming of a horizontal nature. At each location, I picture myself as a swimmer with little or no knowledge of Masters swimming walking into a facility to swim laps or begin an aquatic exercise routine. I ask myself, “What information is available that would identify this location as one hosting a USMS program?” Furthermore, I assess the ease of finding and assimilating this information.

    In many cases, I know the facility has a USMS program and when the practices are scheduled based on the information I receive from the coach or the USMS Places to Swim database. But the availability of accurate information at the facility can vary widely.

    At most pools, my first stop is the front desk. As I approach the receptionist, I scan the area for any printed information about the programs and services of the facility, looking for clues that will assist my search. I introduce myself, present my USMS business card, and ask, “Do you have a Masters swimming program at your facility?” The replies, often accompanied by looks of bewilderment, vary as much as the accuracy of the responses and are too numerous to list here. Let’s just say I’m astonished that so many gatekeepers of our Masters programs don’t have a clue what the program is or whether the facility has one.

    As I pass the gatekeeper, I continue to scan for Masters swimming information looking to see if the information is prominently displayed. And if not, where and how would I advertise the program.

    Entering the pool area, I look to see what activity is taking place. If a Masters program is practicing, I envision a new or prospective swimmer’s first impression. In many cases, the first question to pop in their mind will be, “Will I fit in?”

    As I get closer to the practice, I start to zero in on the coach and how he or she is interacting with the athletes. I try to make eye contact with the coach to gauge their interest in a potential new swimmer to their program. Nothing is more welcoming than eye contact that produces a smile projecting an invitation to get closer to say hello. Coaches that initiate this welcoming approach make even the seasoned Masters swimmer feel at ease.

    In the event no Masters practice is taking place, I look to have a conversation with the aquatic director, head lifeguard, or any other aquatic employee with information about the adult programming at the pool. In most cases, the accuracy of the information is an improvement from what I found at the front desk. If lap swimmers are present, I look at their caps for clues about their swimming involvement. Amazingly, it’s easy to approach a lap swimmer, strike up a conversation, and gain valuable information when you can identify something about them. I look to see whether these swimmers are wearing a USMS cap, a cap with a Masters or age group swimming team logo, or a cap signifying their participation in a pool, open water, or triathlon event.

    I walk the pool deck looking for anything that gives me information about a Masters program at the pool. Many Masters coaches write the daily workout on a board and leave it out for swimmers who missed practice and may swim later in the day. If I see this, I read it and make sure I understand the workout. As with other foreign languages, swim workouts come in a rainbow of local dialects.

    If I’m lucky, I’ll locate a USMS banner or a bulletin board with Masters swimming information. Remember, if a new or potential swimmer passively wants to learn more about the Masters program, information on a bulletin board may pique their interest. The best bulletin boards I’ve seen include:

    • Welcome brochure
    • Program mission statement
    • Inclusiveness of the program, i.e.: "We welcome new swimmers of all ability levels,” or “try us for free.”
    • Coach’s picture and profile, pictures of swimmers, and pictures from events such as meets, open water swims, clinics, and socials
    • Practice schedule including the days best suited for beginners, triathletes, and stroke technique refinement
    • Website address
    • Team logo
    • Practice terminology
    • Practice and lane etiquette standards
    • Upcoming events
    • USMS mission statement and membership information
    • Sponsors
    • Contact information

    If you have a bulletin board, make sure all the information is current. Keep the appearance looking fresh by replacing faded pictures and printed materials.

    Take the time to keep the aquatic staff well versed in your program and the benefits it provides. Show the staff the USMS promotional videos. These videos provide an overview of what Masters swimming is and how important it can be to adults who’ve chosen aquatics as a form of exercise. Go out of your way to make the gatekeepers at your facility your program’s strongest advocates.

    And lastly, the next time you see someone new walk onto your pool deck, make eye contact and give your best “come on over and say hello” smile. I know I’ll certainly appreciate it.

    Updated July 15th, 2016 at 02:51 PM by Bill Brenner

  4. Week 198 - Tuesday

    by , July 12th, 2016 at 10:44 PM (After a long rest)
    My son and I went to the gym at 4am this morning. He was unable to sleep and when I got up he suggested we went early; so we did! Despite it being early it was great to spend time with him and he was surprisingly chatty. He even did some of the ab exercises with me this morning.

    15mins on stationary bike
    5x(5 X abs for :45 seconds, with :15 second transition) 1 minute between rounds. I went up to the 12lb medicine ball today
    2x(3 X shoulder band exercises)
    elbow exercises with bands

    swimming was again scy
    400 free with snorkel
    6x50 catchup on :45
    20x50 free on :50 at 1000 pace to my feet
    200 easy
    6x100 IM on 1:30
    200 easy

    i was a consistent :29/:30 today on the race pace 50s. I think I need to shorten the interval but I know it hurts so much more off even a 5 second quicker interval.

    Today will be a long day. I am off to DC Until late tomorrow night. I am up in the Bethesda area but will likely swim at American University at 5am which will make for an equally long day tomorrow.
    Swim Workouts
  5. Sarasota Y Sharks Masters 5:30 AM Workout 07/13/2016

    by , July 12th, 2016 at 12:20 PM (Sarasota Y Sharks Masters GOLD Workout)
    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
    Even kicks fast

    8 x 50 1:30
    odd: sprint--100%
    even: easy

    1 X 150 cruise 2:30
    1 X 100 strong 2:00
    Four rounds--swim or pull

    WARM DOWN: 4 X 50 easy

    Swim Workouts
  6. Monday 7/11/16

    200 w/bouy and snorkel
    4 x 100 @ 1:55 (50 stroke dr/50 fr swim)
    4 x 50 free @ 55 build
    100 IM

    5 x 100 descend @ 1:30
    100 free focus on fast turns @ 1:40
    4 x 25 br @ 25,30,35,40
    2 x 50 br descend @ 60
    100 IM cruise @ 2:00
    50 bk focus on SDK @ 60
    4 x 25 fly @ 25,30,35,40
    2 x 50 fly descend @ 60

    200 easy

    2 x 200 build @ 3:10
    100 free same as above
    4 x 25 br @ 30
    2 x 50 br @ 60 hold pace of #2 above
    100 IM cruise @ 2:00
    50 bk same as above
    4 x 25 fly @ 30
    2 x 50 fly @ 60 hold pace of #2 above
    4 x 25 free w/fins sprint @ 30
    4 x 25 back w/fins sprint @ 30

    200 w/d

    Felt much better today and I was glad that we didn't have any long swims. This was the first day in awhile that it wasn't in the mid 90's with a heat index around 108. That thick SC air tends to drain you quickly. It's better than being cold though
  7. Week 198 - Monday

    by , July 11th, 2016 at 08:54 PM (After a long rest)
    It's been a crazy few weeks. My elbows have been really giving me a lot of pain and the last week I went to Florida as a coach for my senior groups training camp. Despite a lot of discomfort I have been able to swim but my performance has been way off. I was supposed to have an MRI before I headed to Florida but it got rescheduled for today. I will hopefully hear back in the next two days. Unfortunately I have numbness in my forearm on the right side which is likely from the swelling. This is the first real injury I have had since I got back in and it's been no fun.

    The training camp was a lot of fun and went off with no issues or drama. We swam at the University of Miami which is a really nice outdoor pool. Our biggest challenge was getting the kids used to the water temperature. Our pool is a very cool 81 while the pool in Miami was a very warm 85. We also did very well with sunscreen and had no burnt kids or coaches. I trained at the Gulliver Academy which was an awesome prep school 50m pool.

    This morning was a tough morning back in the pool but it was great to be back home. The pool was setup scy.

    warm up
    400 free with snorkel
    6x50 catchup on :45

    main sets
    6x100 kick on 1:45
    9x300 descend 1-3,4-6,7-9 on 3:30
    8x50 on :50 as 25 kick with snorkel, 25 overkick

    warm down
    200 easy

    i was holding 3:17-3:18 and descended to 3:12s. I felt out of shape and my elbows were very sore at the end of practice. I also decided that I am not going to summer nationals and will also be skipping the one day I had originally thought I would swim at our zone meet. I put together our meet order for our summer meet in rockwall on 3rd and 4th September and will be getting it sanctioned and posted on the usms event calendar early next week.
    Swim Workouts
  8. Birthday WRs

    by , July 11th, 2016 at 01:00 PM (The FAF AFAP Digest)
    I did a couple all easy swims at the end of last week, which I didn't blog. Then I packed up to drive down to the U of Md for the Terrapin's Colonies Zones meet on Sunday. I did not have particularly high expectations. I haven't been training as much, have done virtually no drylands or yoga, and have been feeling unmotivated. I also haven't done a long course meet in years and had very little long course training in the tank. But I wanted to give the 50 fly and 50 back a whirl in the hopes that I could pack it in for the summer and forget about meets for while. And, happily, I succeeded, setting two WRs in my new age group! In both races, as expected, I tightened up and died somewhat the last 10 meters (this always seems to happen no matter my training). But I am still quite pleased with the results.

    50 fly:

    former WR: 30.97
    my swim: 30.52

    I made a couple mistakes in this swim. I should have taken 1-2 more kicks on the start (was trying to be cautious of 15m m mark). And I lifted my head up too high to breathe, especially on the last breathe where I was actively looking for the wall. I found it somewhat hard to judge the finish. I have no doubt I could improve a few tenths if I really trained for this event. But I am honestly quite happy with this time. I wasn't even sure that I could go a 30.97. And this time is only .3 off my time from 4 years ago when I was much more focused on long course. Here is the video Fort21 took where you can see me racing the speedy 50-54 world record holder and my buddy Susan Williams:

    50 back:

    former WR: 33.75
    my swim: 33.08

    Though I got off the blocks fast, I was a bit flat on my start. But my SDKs and breakout were really solid, and probably gave me the lead/win (barely) in this race. I had a good stroke rate, but I felt like the race went on forever. Where was the wall?! I took more than twice as many strokes as I do in my SCY 50 back (46). I would have liked to be a couple tenths faster, but I am still so happy to come away with a world record. Here is the video that my daughter -- who showed up at the meet to surprise me for my birthday -- took:

    I'm going to keep working out and swimming, but not at my usual hard core pace. I want to be fresh for the fall racing season. Very happy that I can now just goof off at my upcoming beach week with friends!

    Updated July 12th, 2016 at 04:28 PM by The Fortress

    Masters Swim Meets / Events
  9. Sarasota Y Sharks Masters 5:30 AM Workout 07/12/2016

    by , July 11th, 2016 at 12:43 PM (Sarasota Y Sharks Masters GOLD Workout)
    WARM UP:
    2 X 250 4:30
    5 X 100 1:50
    4 X 50 -faster- 1:00

    1 X 200 kick 5:00
    6 X 50 kick 1:20
    Build each 50

    7 X 100 --choice-- 2:15
    #1&7: easy
    #2--6: strong 85/90%

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

    12 X 100 pull
    #1-5 on 1:30
    #6-10 on 1:25
    #11/12: swim down on 2:00

    Swim Workouts
  10. Remedial lane please

    After basically taking the past month off, this brief swim was very painful. Work has kept me busier than normal and sometimes there isn't enough hours in the day. I think I have work back under control and hopefully life is back to "normal"

    400 mix up
    4 x 100 w/fins @ 1:30 (75 fr/25 bk)
    500 SKIPS
    4 x 50 @ 60 build

    2 x 200 @ 3:20 just stay long
    75 build to sprint r/5 25 easy @ 1:30
    50 sprint

    3 x 50 @ 1:15
    1. Moderate
    2. PB + 5
    3. PB + 3 , failed
    2 x 250 @ 4:00 just stay long

    4 x 25 @ 30 descend
    50 @ 55 negative split
    3 x 50 @ 50 descend with over kick

    3 x 200 @ 3:45 neg split choice
    --went backstroke

    200 warm down

    3800 SCY
  11. Dual-Sanctioned Meets with USA Swimming

    by , July 10th, 2016 at 11:52 AM (Rules Committee Blog)
    Several questions have been asked recently about dual-sanctioned meets with USA-Swimming. The dual-sanction option is a great tool to provide additional opportunities for masters swimming to compete, while sharing pool space, expenses, officials, and other volunteers.

    Appendix B in the USMS describes the possible formats that may be used for dual-sanctioned meets. The agreement between USMS and USA-Swimming describes three types of formats that may be used.

    • Parallel meets describe a format where two meets are essentially swum in parallel at the same time. In each event offered, the meet host might designate some lanes for USA-Swimming athletes and some for USMS athletes and the swimmers would compete together in the same heats. However, each organization's rules would apply to their members, so separate stroke and turn officials are recommended. The makeup of USMS heats may be adjusted so the seed times are approximately the same at the USA-Swimming athletes in each heat.

    • Interwoven meets describe a format where USA-Swimming and USMS athletes compete in separate heats. The meet host might decide to run separate sessions for each organization's athletes, alternate events, or alternate heats. Each organization's rules apply to their members, so stroke and turn officials would judge each heat according the rules of the sanctioning organization.

    • Combined meets mean that all swimmers swim together in the same heats without any specific designation of lanes. In this case, all athletes would compete under USA Swimming rules.

    The phrase “competing according to USA-Swimming rules” is interpreted to mean that USMS articles 101, 102, 103, 107, and 108 are replaced by the corresponding articles of the current USA Swimming Rules and Regulations, except that the following USMS articles shall apply in all circumstances: 102.1 (eligibility), 102.2 (age determining date), 102.3 (age groups), 102.5 (events), 102.6 (event limit), 102.7 (entries), 102.9 (relays), 102.11 (change of program and postponement), and 102.14 (protests).

    During combined meets, the application of USMS rule 102.4, which requires a continuous warm-up area at USMS sanctioned meets, can be adjusted depending on the availability of warm-space at the venue by agreement between the host clubs. If a continuous warm-up/warm-down lane or area is not available, the entry information must clearly state the availability of warm-up for USMS athletes. Once the entry information is published, changes which further restrict the availability of continuous warm-up/warm-down space are not permitted.

    The requirements for USMS records and Top 10 times in 105.1 and requirements for USMS record applications in 105.3.8 must be followed at dual-sanctioned meets per the agreement. A liability release (204.1) is also required for all USMS members in USMS sanctioned events, including dual-sanctioned meets.

    For dual-sanctioned meets that follow a parallel (specific lanes allocated to each organization) or an interwoven (separate heats for each organization) format, the agreement specifies that each organization’s rules must apply to their members. In these cases, all articles of USMS part one apply to the USMS competition without exception. So, continuous warm-up space is required for USMS athletes in these meets in pools of five lanes or more.

    In a dual-sanctioned meet, swimmers must compete as a member of one organization or the other for the entire meet. While there are many athletes who are members of both organizations, this arrangement does not permit swimmers to represent both in a single meet. If a USMS member competes as a USA-Swimming athlete, automatic recognition of the USA-Swimming portion of the meet still applies, and USMS members may submit times that they swim in USA-Swimming meets for USMS records and top 10 recognition.

    Please note that the 2016 USA-Swimming rule book contains an older version of the guidelines! We have made that correction, but not all LSC Officials may have the correct version. Appendix B of the USMS rule book is the most up-to-date version of the guidelines. Under the current guidelines, there is no need to provide separate warm-up space for USMS and USA-Swimming athletes, but host organizations may still do so as local option.
  12. Sarasota Y Sharks Masters 5:30 AM Workout 07/11/2016

    by , July 8th, 2016 at 12:20 PM (Sarasota Y Sharks Masters GOLD Workout)
    WARM UP:
    2 X 150 3:00
    2 X 250 4:30
    4 X 50--faster-- 1:00

    5 X 200 4:20
    100 kick/100 swim

    2 X 200 broken @ race pace 7:00
    Broken :10 @ 100
    1 x 100 easy

    2 x 300 5:00
    3 X 200 3:20
    4 x 100 1:40

    WARM DOWN: 4 X 50 easy

    Swim Workouts
  13. Wed July 6

    by , July 7th, 2016 at 01:20 PM (The FAF AFAP Digest)
    Swim/SCY/Solo @ BP

    500 various
    100 scull
    4 x 50 single arm fly
    4 x 25 shooters
    100 EZ
    3 x 30 burst SDK + cruise from the blocks
    150 EZ
    16 x 25
    odds = 100 pace @ :30
    evens = EZ @ :45
    200 EZ

    Total: 1850


    Just a short pre-meet workout. Going to try to find a place to get in an easy swim today. Lil Fort's part time summer job is sort of getting in the way of pool time. She has XC practice and is then working as a messenger at Mr. Fort's law firm. But that means I have to drive her downtown and then sometimes go back and pick her up at 5. Pretty much prevents me from going to adult swim at Lebo. I am also still feeling pretty unmotivated and meet-ed out. I may just swim this weekend, and depending how it goes, call it a summer. The only downside of this meet is that it is very early, way too early for me. The meet starts at 8:30 am and 50 fly is the first event unless they are some 800 free relays. Trying to figure out how not to be half asleep when racing ...
    Swim Workouts
  14. Sarasota Y Sharks Masters 5:30 AM Workout 07/08/2016

    by , July 7th, 2016 at 12:18 PM (Sarasota Y Sharks Masters GOLD Workout)
    WARM UP:
    1 X 200 3:30 3:30
    2 X 100 2:00 1:45
    4 X 50 descend 1:15 1:00
    Two rounds. Round 1 intervals left, 2 right.

    1 x 300 kick + 100 swim

    2 X 50 build 1:20
    1 X 50 @ 100% 1:20
    1 x 50 easy 1:20
    3 X 50 build 1:20
    1 X 50 easy 1:20
    1 X 100 @ 100% 4:00
    Two rounds--choice

    8 X 150--pull or swim-- 2:15
    1-4: cruise
    5-8: 100 cruise/50 fast

    WARM DOWN: 4 X 50 easy

    Swim Workouts
  15. Sarasota Y Sharks Masters 5:30 AM Workout 07/07/2016

    by , July 6th, 2016 at 11:04 AM (Sarasota Y Sharks Masters GOLD Workout)
    WARM UP:
    3 X 100 2:00
    2 X 200 3:30
    3 X 100 1:45
    1 X 300 --

    1 X 300 kick + 100 swim

    4 X 50--25 sprint/25 easy 1:15
    1 X 100 strong 3:00
    Three rounds--choice

    1 X 300 5:00
    3 X 100-descend- 1:40
    Two rounds--pull

    WARM DOWN: 4 X 50 easy

    Swim Workouts
  16. Tues July 5

    by , July 5th, 2016 at 02:44 PM (The FAF AFAP Digest)
    Swim/LCM/Solo @ Lebo

    500 various
    4 x (25 scull + 25 free w/paddles)
    4 x 50 burst + cruise @ 1:10
    50 EZ
    3 x (50 AFAP + 150 EZ)
    2 x (50 @ 100 pace + 100 EZ)
    4 x 50 DPS
    150 EZ

    Total: 2200 m


    I had intended to swim yesterday, but didn't. Our 18 year cat died in his sleep and I found him in the am. He had kidney disease, but it was still very upsetting for the family. Our other cat has been hiding and acting rather strange.

    I really wanted to do a long course workout with some AFAP 50s this am after all the SCM last week. The clouds were threatening but, luckily, the thunder held off.

    I am feeling pretty beat from the travel and hotel sleeping for a week, plus the trauma of losing our kitty. I am hoping that a few nights of sleep will perk me up. I'd like to rest a few days and go to the Terrapin meet on Sunday. Jim and Bill are signed up and it would be nice to see my PV buddies. I haven't made travel arrangements for the Texas meet at the end of July yet. I am supposed to be in the Outer Banks with friends the week before the meet. So it could be really awkward and expensive to get from Norfolk VA to College Station TX. Need to check on that.
    Swim Workouts
  17. Sarasota Y Sharks Masters 5:30 AM Workout 07/06/2016

    by , July 5th, 2016 at 10:25 AM (Sarasota Y Sharks Masters GOLD Workout)
    WARM UP:
    3 X 100 2:00 1:40
    2 X 200 3:30 3:20
    Two rounds. Round 1 intervals left, 2 right

    3 X 100 kick 2:30
    1 X 100 swim 2:00
    3 X 100 kick 2:30

    9 x 100--choice-- 2:30
    #3-6-9 are fast

    4 X 250 pull 4:00
    200 cruise/50 fast

    WARM DOWN: 4 X 50 easy

    Swim Workouts
  18. 7|4|16 drylands

    3:05 on treadmill @ 9.5 mph
    weights - whole body
    mowed grass

    Have ear infections in both ears from swimming in base pool. On ciprodex, plan to stay out of water hoping ears are good for Aruba.
  19. Fri-Sat, July 1-2

    by , July 2nd, 2016 at 02:58 PM (The FAF AFAP Digest)
    Friday: Swim/SCM/Solo

    500 various
    5 X 25 scull + 25 free with paddles
    50 EZ

    16 x 25 burst SDK + cruise @ 1:00
    200 EZ

    10 X 25 fly @ 100 pace with fins @ :45
    -- only 1 SDK off wall
    100 EZ

    10 X 25 fly @ 100 pace with fins @ :45
    -- only 1 SDK off walls
    150 EZ

    10 X 25 back @ 100 pace
    -- only 1 SDK off walls
    200 EZ

    8 X 50 with paddles
    odds = free
    evens = back
    100 EZ

    Total: 3100 m


    1600 m EZ


    Friday was my 5th day in a row with race pace work -- super rare for me. Doing those 25s without SDKs was an entirely different kind of set. I was beat today and just did an EZ swim.

    Very excited for finals tonight. 100 fly will be a great race.
    Swim Workouts
  20. USMS Book Club (July-August 2016)

    by , July 1st, 2016 at 12:00 AM (SWIMMER Editorials)
    When I took the helm at SWIMMER in 2009, we occasionally reviewed swimming-related books or works by USMS members. As a lover of books, I was excited to have a reason to read more.

    USMS boasts an array of talented writers across many genres: everything from children’s books and memoirs to science fiction novels and cookbooks. And not only writers, but artists, poets, musicians, photographers, and video storytellers. This is not to mention all the stroke technique, nutrition, and fitness books from industry publishers such as Velo Press and Human Kinetics.

    There were so many that we couldn’t keep up with the volume of works submitted for review; the collection in my office could crush and bury me if an earthquake hits Southwest Florida.

    But I have a solution: Announcing the USMS Book Club.

    This idea isn’t newfangled. Several threads in the USMS Discussion Forums—started by other book lovers years ago—contain some great titles that we can include in our new club. For now, the club remains informal (in my brain and on this page) but stay tuned for future updates and opportunities to share reviews of your favorites.

    To get us started, here’s a “six degrees of separation” breakdown of the connections between swimmers and books in this issue of SWIMMER alone:

    The cover story, a feature profile of illustrator and author Lisa Congdon, by award-winning writer and SWIMMER’s managing editor, Elaine K. Howley, includes a review of Congdon’s latest book, “The Joy of Swimming.”The foreword to “The Joy of Swimming” was written by the legendary Lynne Cox, whose award-winning books have also been reviewed here. Several of the swimmers featured in Congdon’s book have written books, been featured in, or contributed to SWIMMER, including Karlyn Pipes, Jeff Commings, and Jane Katz.

    Sports nutritionist Sunny Blende reviews Pip Taylor’s “The Athlete’s Fix” from Velo Press as part of her feature, “Five Steps to Creating and Following a Healthy Diet.” “Volunteer Profile” writer Kristina Henry also wrote the children's book, “The Fish Tank,” which was reviewed in a 2011 issue. And Susan Dawson-Cook, who wrote the Spring Nationals wrap feature, publishes steamy romance novels under the pseudonym Sabrina Devonshire.

    Award-winning broadcast journalist Lynn Sherr of ABC’s “20/20,” whose list of accomplishments and awards—including a Peabody—is longer than many books, contributes an excellent review of the off-Broadway hit “Red Speedo” for the “Hot Tub.” A profile of Sherr appeared in our January-February 2013 issue, written by Laura S. Jones, whose collection of short stories, “Breaking and Entering," was also reviewed in these pages.

    Sherr’s book, “SWIM: Why We Love the Water,” is a must-read in the ocean of swim literature. It will be my first official USMS Book Club recommendation. (See the masthead for more recommendations by the staff.)

    Later this year, David McGlynn, whose darkly beautiful memoir “A Door in the Ocean” we reviewed in 2013, will be profiling New York Times bestselling author and swimmer, Susan Casey, who wrote the amazing nonfiction adventures “The Devil’s Teeth” and “The Wave.” McGlynn will review Casey’s latest book, “Voices in the Ocean.”

    Summer is both swimming and reading season, so with this preliminary list of suggestions, I wish you happy reading, great swimming, and much enjoyment reading about swimming and swimmers.

    Updated September 1st, 2016 at 10:25 AM by Editor

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