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Thread: Ande's Swimming Tips: Swimming Faster Faster

  1. #81
    Very Active Member Blue Horn's Avatar
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    keep them comming. I really enjoy them.

    Hook'em
    Blue

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    Swimming Faster Faster: Tip 12 R.F.A.

    Swimming Faster Faster: Tip 12 Correct Splitting

    We must correctly split our races to swim the very best times we are capable of. One of the things that makes Michael Phelps such a great swimmer is he splits his races very well. He can swim the second half of his best events faster than anyone ever.
    He once split a 100 LCM FL 25.1 26.3
    It's amazing how close his first and second 50 were
    only 1.2 sec diff, flyers tend to split 100 fly 2.0 - 3.5 seconds apart when you subtract the first 50 from the last.

    The bulk of this comes being in great condition from training long hard and smart. The other critical factor, is making wise choices on each race you swim. It's about the effort you exert over the race and breathing you do.

    There's 3 categories onhow to split races

    1) Correct splitting, which means taking our races out at just the right effort level to maximize your time in the event. Take it out right and finish tough.

    2) going out too hard and dying

    3) going out too easy and not swimming the best possible time


    Correct splitting begins with the 50 and goes on out to the 1,650 and beyond for you open water swimmers.

    One way to measure splitting is calculate the split difference.
    to subtract the time from the last half of the race from the first half.

    Last half time - first half time = split difference

    After studying elite swimmers splits for many years here are some guidelines on how to split races when you compare the first half to the second half.

    50's Fr and Back 0.5 - 1.0, Breast and Fly 1.0 - 2.0
    Effort: you want to swim fast and relaxed with a super strong kick
    99% effort

    100's Fr and Back 1.0 - 2.0, Breast and Fly 2.0 - 4.0
    Effort: you want to swim fast and relaxed with a strong kick
    98% effort
    typical 100 freestylers take out their 100 free about a second slower than their best 50, so if you go 20.0 in the 50
    you should be around 21.00 taking out your 100.


    200's Fr and Back 0.0 - 5.0, Breast and Fly 2.0 - 6.0
    200's are controlled sprints. When we compare the last 3 50's
    the better swimmers will keep them very close together

    Effort: Warning if you take your 200 out too hard,
    it's going to hurt and
    you're not going to do the best time you're capable of.

    As an example Michael Phelps split 48.8 in the Olympics on the 4 x 100 free relay, at olympic trials he was out in 52.0
    so you should swim a 200 at around 95% effort,
    The first 100 of a 200 should be about 2 to 4 seconds slower than your best 100 time.

    500's
    It's similar to the 200, but you need to relax more and hold back more. The first 100 should be comfortable, the next 4 100's should be close together. Ideally descended. Save your legs for a strong finish.


    Let's look at an actual 200 Free example because in the same heat it shows what to do and what not to do.

    In the 2004 men's 200 free at the usa olympic trial finals,
    compare Michael Phelps and Klete Keller's splits with Nate Dusings

    1 Phelps, Michael 19 North Baltimore 1:46.27M
    25.29 52.01 (26.72) 1:19.39 (27.38) 1:46.27 (26.88)

    2 Keller, Klete 22 Club Wolverine 1:46.87M
    25.79 52.58 (26.79) 1:19.78 (27.20) 1:46.87 (27.09)

    3 Vanderkaay, Peter 20 Univ. Of Michigan 1:48.52
    25.44 53.01 (27.57) 1:20.58 (27.57) 1:48.52 (27.94)

    4 Lochte, Ryan 19 Daytona Beach Sw 1:48.65
    25.21 52.69 (27.48) 1:20.51 (27.82) 1:48.65 (28.14)

    5 Ketchum, Daniel 22 Univ. Of Michigan 1:48.67
    26.03 53.41 (27.38) 1:21.15 (27.74) 1:48.67 (27.52)

    6 Goldblatt, Scott 24 Berkeley Aquatic 1:48.76
    25.78 53.69 (27.91) 1:21.13 (27.44) 1:48.76 (27.63)

    7 Carvin, Chad 30 Mission Viejo 1:48.93
    25.38 53.01 (27.63) 1:20.94 (27.93) 1:48.93 (27.99)

    8 Dusing, Nate 25 Longhorn Aquatic 1:49.83
    24.51 51.59 (27.08) 1:19.86 (28.27) 1:49.83 (29.97)

    Nate took his race out too hard. Michael and Klete kept their last 3 50 times very close to each other. Keep in mind the top 2 got to swim the 200 free at the olympics and to top 6 earned a Gold medal for the 4 x 200 Free.
    How much faster would Nate have gone if he had correctly split his race?
    He would have had a very good chance at top 6.

    Races are won and lost on the last 50,
    best times are done or not done because of the last 50.

    I've had races in my life that I split very well and others that I split poorly.

    One of my best splits was a 100 scy free in 1984
    44.77 21.5 23.2 23.2 - 21.5 = 1.7 sec diff

    Perhaps my worst EVER was a 200 LCM fly at TAGS in 1981
    when I was 18
    2:17 1:00 1:17 77 - 60 = 17 second difference


    To correctly split your races:

    1) begin by being in great condition from training hard, smart, and long and being propertly rested for your race.

    2) CORRECTLY SPLIT YOUR SWIMS IN PRACTICE
    work on correct splitting, even splitting and negative splitting each day when you train. Learn what the effort feels like. It's all about the effort you exert and how hard you kick.
    Know what you're capable of and how the effort feels.

    3) swim smart in races,
    Pay close attention to the effort you exert,
    especially your legs,
    you can't swim your best time in a 200 free if you start out at 100%. You'll go fast for a while then shut down.

    If you correctly split your races you will Swim Faster Faster.
    If you don't you won't.
    Last edited by ande; March 24th, 2005 at 02:06 PM.

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    Swimming Faster Faster: Tip 13 Action Cues

    Swimming Faster Faster: Tip 13 Unconscious Mastery

    The path to mastering swimming skills

    1. Unconscious Incompetence
    2. Conscious Incompetence
    3. Conscious Competence
    4. Unconscious Competence
    5. Unconscious Mastery


    1. Unconscious Incompetence
    When we being swimming we're unskilled and we don't know what we need to do to become skilled. We're unaware that we're unskilled.

    2. Conscious Incompetence
    Next we're still unskilled, but at least now we're aware that we are and making efforts to improve.

    3. Conscious Competence
    We're improving our skills and we do them correctly when we concentrate on it.

    4. Unconscious Competence
    We've practiced our correct skills so much the've become a habit and we can do it with out thinking about it.

    5. Unconscious Mastery
    The athlete's skills are developed to the highest level, perfection.
    He does it with out even thinking about it.

    I encourage you to strive towards Unconscious Mastery of your swimming skills, and as you get closer, you will swim faster faster.

  4. #84
    Very Active Member laineybug's Avatar
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    In educational and psychological terms it is called automaticity. The ability to develop or utalize skills in a speedy manner so that the skill (phonetic decoding for example) becomes routine and does not require effortful processing. Speed in this definition does not necessarily mean speed in the way swimmers think about it. Speed means the time it takes for a person to process the information and output a correct response. But, I could also see speed in this sense being applied to swimming. The faster, more automatically and more correctly our brains tell our bodies what to do, the faster we will swim. This concludes your ed psych lesson for the day.

  5. #85
    Very Active Member SwiminONandON's Avatar
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    I think this is well summed up by Ian Thorpe (I'm paraphrasing) "When I swim I don't know what I think about ... I just try to let my body do what it knows how to do." It's muscle memory. Gymnasts and dancers just know the next move in their routines if they practice them enough. They don't think okay turn, okay leap ... there bodies just know what to do.

    This also goes back to the importance of practing the way you want to race. No breathes off of turns, good technique and so forth.

    Thanks for the tips, I love them!

  6. #86
    Very Active Member kristilynn's Avatar
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    Ande,

    Thanks for the tips. I found the one on splitting especially helpful. For me, the 200 free is the hardest distance to swim correctly, and seeing the splits broken down for it is a great visual for me.

    Kristi

  7. #87
    Very Active Member Leonard Jansen's Avatar
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    Re: Swimming Faster Faster: Tip 13 Action Cues

    Originally posted by ande
    Swimming Faster Faster: Tip 13 Unconscious Mastery

    The path to mastering swimming skills

    1. Unconscious Incompetence
    2. Conscious Incompetence
    3. Conscious Competence
    4. Unconscious Competence
    5. Unconscious Mastery
    This parallels the origin of the "belt" system in martial arts: When you started, you were given a white belt. Over the years, through repeated use, it would get dirtier and darker. Finally, it would start to wear through, becoming white again, symbolizing mastery but with a return to innocence.

    -LBJ

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    Swimming Faster Faster: Tips 14 - 18

    First thank you to everyone who reads and comments on this thread, I appreciate it. I'm going to slow down a little and maybe only post once or twice or three times a week.



    Swimming Faster Faster: Tip 14 Have the right Equipment and Back ups Ready and Nearby

    Have the right Equipment and Back ups ready and nearby
    simply means when you show up for competition or practice things can go wrong, your googles might break, your caps could rupture, your swim suit could rip. So have back up equipment nearby incase you need it, there's no need to miss an event or practice.

    If you're flying to a competition pack your swimming equipment and back ups in your carry on bag.

    Take steps to protect your equipment from being stolen or accidentally taken. Write your name on the tags. Keep them on you or in your swim bag or locked up. I tend to keep my equipment on the deck rather than in the locker room.


    Swimming Faster Faster: Tip 15 Fast Skin Type Suits really are faster.

    Fast Skin Type Suits really are faster, get one borrow one and try it out. I think they could make as much as a second difference per 100. Get used to swimming in yours. I prefer to swim my most important events when the suit is dry.

    Wear a fast skin and you will swim faster faster.



    Swimming Faster Faster: Tip 16 Short Hair Weighs less than long hair

    Some people enjoy having long hair, the plain fact is when hair gets wet it weighs more. The swimmer carries this additional weight the entire race. Carrying that unnecessary weight over a 400, 800, or 1500 takes a toll and adds time.



    Swimming Faster Faster: Tip 17 Long Fake Nails

    I can't believe long fake nails aren't banned in swimming.

    If you look at the 2000 Olympic footage you'll see Inge de Bruijn from the Netherlands wearing long fake nails. She won 3 golds. She currently holds the world record in the 50 free and 100 fly.

    Kristina Egerszegi from Hungary still holds the world record in the 200 BACK at 2:06.62 that she swam on Aug. 25, 1991. She wore long fake nails.

    Michael Klim who lead off the Australians 4 x 100 Free relay in the 2000 Olympics wore long fake nails when he set the world record. The record didn't last long. Pieter van den Hoogenband beat it a few days later.

    Long Fake nails add more surface area to a swimmers hand which allows the swimmer to generate more force.

    Try swimming with your fists closed. What does it feel like?
    Try swimming with your fist opened fingers bent?

    I think long fake nails are like mini hand paddles, I've never tried it but I'm convinced they help swimmers swim faster faster.
    Thanks to my buddy Pete Nunan for mentioning this to me.



    Swimming Faster Faster: Tip 18 Get a Grip / Hold Water / Clean Off the Air Bubbles

    Get a GRIP is about holding water, which is one of the most important swimming skills there is. The better you hold water, the more pressure you apply to each stroke, the further and faster you go. We hold water by sculling. You want to learn how to apply pressure the entire length of each stroke.

    When you increase your distance per stroke you decrease the number of strokes you take per length.

    Typically most people think of holding water with their fingers hands and arms. Learn how to hold water with your legs. Learn to get more distance per kick. It's essential in breastroke and fly kick.

    Practice holding water by sculling, doing count your stroke swims, and easy speed / distance per stroke sprinting.

    Beginning swimmers are inefficient, they don't have a clue about how to hold water. They take too many strokes per length. In freestyle they pop their hands in the water and immediately start pulling.

    Great swimmers clean off the air bubbles then begin their pull, so there's a slight pause on the front end of their strokes.

    When you get a grip, hold water and clean off the air bubbles you will swim faster faster.
    Last edited by ande; March 31st, 2005 at 04:46 PM.

  9. #89
    Very Active Member LindsayNB's Avatar
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    Michael Klim who lead off the 100 Free in the 2000 Olympics wore long fake nails when he set the world record.
    Seriously?!? I've seen Inge's nails, although I never thought about them being a potential advantage... Klim I can't quite imagine with long fake nails, are you perhaps having a little fun with us?

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    hi lindsay,

    I'm not kidding, watch the footage and decide for yourself.
    I believe he was wearing them on that relay.

    I don't think it would be a good idea to wear long fake nails in a meet with out trying them and getting used to them in training.

    Egerszegi's nails used to be pretty long like 1/2 of an inch to 3/4's of an inch or longer beyond the tips of her fingers.
    Done under the guise of fashion

    ande

    btw my former coach Paul Bergen coaches Inky de Bruijn and Ron Karnaugh, Bergen also coached Tracy Caulkins in Nashville.

    This also reminds me, of another thought,

    DON'T rile your competition.
    Don't provide them with more reasons and emotions to want to beat you.
    Remember when Gary Hall said
    "we're going to smash them (the australians) like guitars."
    That gave the Aussies a huge incentive to win that relay.

    Originally posted by LindsayNB
    Seriously?!? I've seen Inge's nails, although I never thought about them being a potential advantage... Klim I can't quite imagine with long fake nails, are you perhaps having a little fun with us?

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    Swimming Faster Faster: Tip 19 Train for a Couple Compatible Events

    Swimming Faster Faster: Tip 19 Train for a Couple Compatible Events

    When you are beginning a new season, decide
    which events you're going to train for and
    which competitions you're going to compete in.

    As an example I don't think it's a good idea to train for the
    50 Free and the 1,500, They aren't compatible.
    The 50 is a sprint and the 1,500 is distance race.

    The 50 Free and 100 free are compatible, they are both sprints.
    The 100 free and 200 free are compatible.
    The 200 IM and 400 IM are compatible.
    The 500 Fr and 1,000 are compatible.

    Even though you're training for a Couple Compatible events,
    When you improve in them, you're likely to improve your other events as well. Even though you don't focus on them or train for them.

    This season I've been focusing on the 200 IM. I focused on the 200 IM for my summer 2004 season as well.
    This season I zeroed in on my biggest weakness in the IM which is the Breastroke leg, I've changed my stroke technique and worked on my kick. I've also improved my general fitness level.

    Some swimmers stick with their focus events season after season and others change them up. I used to only focus on sprints.
    In the summer of 2002 I focused on the 1,650.

    When you focus on a particular event, establish a time at the beginning of the season then work to see how much you can improve it at the end of the season. That season my 1,650 time went from 19:11 in May to 17:55 in August.

    Let's say you're a 50 / 100 swimmer but the 100 is your focus event. It can often great help your 100 if you train for the 200 as well. You'll find yourself in much better shape to swim the 100.

    When you train for a Train for a Couple Compatible Events
    you're likely to swim faster faster.
    Last edited by ande; March 28th, 2005 at 02:34 PM.

  12. #92
    Very Active Member SwiminONandON's Avatar
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    I had to laugh when I read that last tip ... the list of events I am swimming at state makes no sense at all. There's a little of everything. It's going to be an interesting meet ...

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    I'm swimming kind of a funny list at zones.
    My focus event is the 200 IM
    I also hope to do well in the 100 IM and the 100 bk.

    It's not so much what you compete in at a meet, but it's where you place your training priorities and make a good effort to hit your focus event feeling fresh.

    I believe if you spread yourself too thin, over too many events, you might not perform as well, though it doesn't seem to be a problem for Michael Phelps.

    When I look back on my college career,
    I felt like I hopped around too many events
    50 and 100 free, 100 back, 100 fly, and 200 IM

    good luck let us know how it goes

    Ande

    Originally posted by SwiminONandON
    I had to laugh when I read that last tip ... the list of events I am swimming at state makes no sense at all. There's a little of everything. It's going to be an interesting meet ...

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    Swimming Faster Faster: Tip 20 & 21

    Swimming Faster Faster: Tip 20 Swim Straight

    If you train with a group and there's usually 2 or more people in your lane, you probably circle swim.

    When you swim a meet you need to swim straight up and down the middle of the lane. If you circle swim in competition you're covering extra unnecessary distance and you're adding unnecessary time.

    When you're getting ready to compete,
    practice swimming straight.
    Remind yourself to swim straight in your race
    especially if you're a distance swimmer.

    I've seen coaches go crazy when their swimmers circle swim in meets.

    Swim straight and you will swim faster faster.



    Swimming Faster Faster: Tip 21 Stay Away From the Lane Lines

    Every now and then my body will accidentally bump into the lane line in practice. When it happens I lose my momentum and have to rebuild my speed. My time on that swim won't be as good as it could have been.

    If you bump into a lane line in competition it will only slow you down.

    If you hit the lane line with your hand in fly or free recovery you might bruise or cut it.

    If you pull on the lane line in backstroke and get caught by a judge you'll get DQed.

    Stay away from the lane lines to Swim Faster Faster.
    Last edited by ande; March 29th, 2005 at 06:35 AM.

  15. #95
    Very Active Member kristilynn's Avatar
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    Ande,

    Since you seem to be a wealth of knowledge, I'd like to ask you about Fastskin suits. In a different thread someone mentioned that he had heard that ankle-length competition suits could actually be detrimental in distances longer than 200. Do you have any input on this comment? I am a distance swimmer (I'll be doing both the 1000 and the 1650 at Nationals), and I was planning on wearing my full length TYR Aquapel. Should I change my plans?

    Thanks!

    Kristi

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    hi kristi,

    i've never swum more than 500 in a meet wearing a fastskin hi neck body suit. My buddy Larry Wood who swims the 1,000 and 1,650 swears by the full length bodysuit. He told me the additional fabric down to his ankle makes such a difference.
    He's competed in the to the knee type fast skins.

    Personally I think you should test it for yourself

    arrange your training so that
    one day in practice you do 1,000 for time in a regular meet swim suit then
    swim another 1,000 for time on another day wearing the body suit
    then figure out which you prefer and
    which suit helps you swim the fastest time.

    I'll ask around for more feedback about full length body suits and distance events. What kind of suits did the women wear in the 800 and the men wear in the 1,500 at the olympics

    I've heard mark shubert has his team train at least once each week wearing fast skin swim suits so they are very used to it for competition.

    Ande

    Originally posted by kristilynn
    Ande,

    Since you seem to be a wealth of knowledge, I'd like to ask you about Fastskin suits. In a different thread someone mentioned that he had heard that ankle-length competition suits could actually be detrimental in distances longer than 200. Do you have any input on this comment? I am a distance swimmer (I'll be doing both the 1000 and the 1650 at Nationals), and I was planning on wearing my full length TYR Aquapel. Should I change my plans?

    Thanks!

    Kristi

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    Swimming Faster Faster: Tip 22 Balls

    Swimming Faster Faster: Tip 22 Balls

    Today my dad goes in for hernia surgery, please wish him well.

    We all have various aspects to our lives that we are constantly trying to juggle.

    Family, Faith, Finances, Friends, Fitness and Health, Careers, Fun, and Swimming are a few.

    Imagine each one is a ball. Some of these balls are made of glass and others are made of rubber. If we drop the glass balls they'll shatter. If we drop a rubber ball it will bounce back up.

    Swimming is a priority but it's a rubber ball, sometimes we may be juggling so many glass balls that we might have to drop the rubber balls for a while. They will bounce back up.


    Swimming Faster Faster: Tip 23 Water is Heavy

    Water is heavy, it weighs 8 pounds per gallon. Your ability to slip through the water depends upon
    your body profile,
    your technique,
    your strength, and
    your endurance.
    Most of us can make big improvements in each of these areas, which means there's plenty of room for improvement.
    Last edited by ande; March 29th, 2005 at 10:05 AM.

  18. #98
    Very Active Member Scansy's Avatar
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    Re: Swimming Faster Faster: Tip 22 Balls

    Originally posted by ande
    .....

    Swimming is a priority but it's a rubber ball, sometimes we may be juggling so many glass balls that we might have to drop the rubber balls for a while. They bounce back up.

    ....
    Well said! All the best to your dad.
    Go Steelers!

  19. #99
    Very Active Member jim thornton's Avatar
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    Ande--

    First of all, my dad had hernia surgery when he was pushing 80 and came through it fine. Best of luck to your dad; I suspect he will have a similarly good experience.

    Second of all, have you ever thought of assembling your tips into a small book, perhaps seeing if Bill Volckening at the new swim mag could print it up and offer it as a premium or sorts to subscribers (with you get a decent recompense for your efforts.)

    Either that or approach a book publisher with the possibility of a "Chicken Soup for the Swimmer's Soul"?

    Seriously, I have enjoyed your tips quite a bit and find them inspiring. Thanks.

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    Hi Jim,

    Great to hear from you.

    Thanks for your well wishes for my dad he's almost 71. He just went in about an hour ago.

    Thanks for the idea about the swimming tips book, it's a really great idea I hope to pursue. I'm thinking I want to write many more tips and build an audience before assembling them into a book. Several years ago I wrote an article that was published in "Fitness Swimmer" magazine about how to swim really fast on 2000 yards a day. I also pitched the editor several other article ideas that she commisioned others to write. I'm pretty busy so I didn't mind. By the way sometimes I go back in and edit previous Swim Faster Faster posts in this thread. I've got many more things I haven't written about.

    In 1996 I wrote a little book called "Ideas that Inspire! Inspiration for Young People of All Ages" it got some really great praise blurbs from some well known people, I had a literary agent who shopped it for a year, but we didn't get a contract.

    In 2001 I proposed a book idea to a friend of mine called
    "How to Write a Love Song (and wow the one you love)"
    where we show ordinary crazy-in-love people how to write a pretty decent original love song for their lover. Recently this project has gained momentum and we are almost done with the first draft and soon plan to launch it as an ebook. I may show it to my former literary agent and see if she'd be interested in shopping it.

    Also for the last 5 years I've written an ezine / blog for songwriters called "Inspirations for Songwriters" or IFS
    Some of my readers have suggested that I go through and select and assemble a best of IFS into a book

    I've also written a few songs that could be books.

    So I'm a writer and at some point I hope to add author to my bio. I probably wouldn't go the Chicken Soup route.
    They use a slightly different formula. They gather really great true stories that appeal to a group of people, usually women. Then they cull the stories down to the strongest one hundred one stories. What's funny is, a few years ago, like maybe 1998 or so I submitted a story that happened to a friend of mine for Chicken Soup for the Entreprenuers soul and it made the final round and stands a good chance of being in the book whenever it comes out. A couple years ago I also submitted a song lyric (i didn't write it, but I thought they might like it) and it made the final round for consideration in "Chicken Soup for the teen soul."

    I don't know if chicken soup for the swimmer's soul would be broad enough for them to want to launch a book. I know there are some really great swimming stories out there that people would love.

    to find what makes a chicken soup story.
    you can go to
    www.chickensoup.com

    One day I do hope Ande's Swimming Tips / "Swim Faster Faster" will be assembled into a book.

    Thanks to y'all for reading them. I really appreciate your comments and questions. I hope you try them out and see how well they work for you.

    Take care,

    Ande

    Originally posted by jim thornton
    Ande--

    First of all, my dad had hernia surgery when he was pushing 80 and came through it fine. Best of luck to your dad; I suspect he will have a similarly good experience.

    Second of all, have you ever thought of assembling your tips into a small book, perhaps seeing if Bill Volckening at the new swim mag could print it up and offer it as a premium or sorts to subscribers (with you get a decent recompense for your efforts.)

    Either that or approach a book publisher with the possibility of a "Chicken Soup for the Swimmer's Soul"?

    Seriously, I have enjoyed your tips quite a bit and find them inspiring. Thanks.
    Last edited by ande; March 29th, 2005 at 02:02 PM.

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