At every swim meet I go to I'm always impressed by the "older" swimmers. Those men and women above 60 who swim the 400 IM or the 1500 Freestyle and even those who swim the 50 anything. Hell I hope I'm still swimming at age 60.
In today's LA Times in the "Health" Section the paper profiles 62 year old USMS swimmer
Robert Strand. Read the full article HERE.
Be ready to be impressed and inspired. The best part of the article is his answer to how does he train:
I usually do four pretty heavy workouts a week in the pool. I
discovered that instead of an aerobic workout, which would be grinding
out 4,000 or 5,000 meters, I'm better off doing a much faster workout
-- what they call "anaerobic" work. This is really a race-pace type
workout, where you're doing maybe 10 [50-yard swims], swimming as hard
as you can, on a set time on the clock. Also, I lift weights a couple
of days a week. I use about four different upper-body machines and try
to lift to failure. I'll do maybe three or four sets on a machine and
with each set I'll increase the weight. I try to go to absolute failure
on that fourth set of that particular machine. I'm in and out of the
weight room in 20 minutes.
As for diet, I eat whatever I want. I'm a meat eater; I eat cheese; I
love baked potatoes; I drink wine. Some take it too seriously.
I think him and I are on the same diet. Although some late nights the wine and cheese become the main course of my meal.
With US Olympic Swim Trails going on this week it will be impossible to keep up with all the news stories and to be honest I have no intention to just toss up links and stories. Hell if you are reading my blog you are already following swimming. So I'm going to attempt to show some restraint and post things that interest me
as I stumble over stories.
For example coverage over the Speedo LZR is sure to be widespread and most of the stories will be redundant like this story from gearlog.com. The only interesting thing from the gearlog.com story was this photo to the right of this post. I don't know exactly what the various colors of the image represent but it looked cool enough for me. A quick snippet of the article is nothing new but will help explain the image, at least I think it does:
They also ran tests in a liquid environment using a high precision
flume, performed a body analysis of hundreds of world class athletes
and even crunched the numbers with a computation fluid dynamics
analysis to see where on a swimmer's body drag was at its worst.
The first award of 'haven't i heard that before?" goes to AP for the story entitled "Swimsuit Battle Calls An Uneasy Truce in Omaha" for quoting Ryan Lochte as saying "I feel like an action hero,". The article goes on to explain the suit between TYR and Speedo and various swimmers. Read the full article HERE.
USA Today seems to really be into swimming. I don't normally read the newspaper but while in DC it was free in the lobby so I grabbed a copy in the morning. One day they had a drawing of the Speedo LZR on from what I think was Michael Phelps on an article about tech doping. Well today they have yet another article on tech doping entitled "Sink or Swim? Not with this suit." The article once again like so many others adds nothing new to a million other articles about the suit. Read the full article HERE. The one interesting thing in the article is a link to a fun page of graphs and charts entitled "Ever Wonder?.." that includes a flash video of various swimmers talking about the different suits.
Just because I like the graphic which will be to the right somewhere in the post I'll send a link to the NYPOST with an article entitled "Phelps Back In Fast Lane. The article is pretty standard right off the wire services. Oh and Happy Birthday to Michael Phelps today, Monday! Read the full article HERE.
In other swimmer news... Yes, USA Swimming has more than just Michael Phleps. The Miami Herald has a fun profile on Gay Hall, Jr. Read the full article HERE.
Boston.com has an article called "For swimmers, new suit a stroke of genius" that once again picks up quotes and facts from the wires for the most part. I did read two interesting tidbits;
1. But it's already helped transform above-average swimmers into
world-beaters. Australian sprinter Eamon Sullivan, who was fifth in the
50-meter freestyle at last year's global meet, broke the world record
three times in less than six weeks in a Speedo. French sprinter Alain
Bernard, who didn't make the 100-meter freestyle final, broke that
record twice in two days.
That seems like a back hand compliment to Eamon Sullivan. Low blow if you ask me.
2. Both of those marks had endured since
2000, when swimmers wearing Speedo's Fastskin suit won 28 of 33 gold
medals in Sydney. The Fastskin, modeled after a shark's drag-resistant
covering, sparked a similar controversy, with critics claiming that it
favored technology over ability.
"With every change, from silk to
wool and cotton to nylon and lycra, there was controversy," said Bruce
Wigo, chief executive officer of the International Swimming Hall of
Fame. "This is nothing new."
As Bart once said to Lisa "way to set precedent." It is interesting to go back and read how the Fastskin suit had a bit of controversy back in the day. It just seems that swimming has picked up more press this year than any previous year in my memory. The suit just added to the Phelps press madness. You can read the full article HERE.
Another retread of the story is at the Miami Herald. Read the full article HERE. One quick snippet that I missed before is:
Whitten and Craig Lord, a reporter at The Times in London, conducted a
statistical study of times by swimmers wearing the LZR, and found that
the drag-reducing suit lowered times by 1.9 to 2.2 percent, the
equivalent of about one second over 100 meters in a freestyle race, a
huge chunk in a sport measured to hundredths of a second. They also
concluded that none of the records would have been set without the suit.
That percentage is a lot less than what some swimmers, coaches and PR people have been tossing out into the media. Looking at the back cover of the latest USMS Swimmer Magazine has an ad from TYR for the Tracer claiming a 4% improvement in ones times. Check out TYR online.
The Dallas News has an article with a nice summarization of this weeks time trials with a chart of local Texas swimmers competing. Check out the Texans HERE. One quick snippet from the article that made me go hmmmm...
has come a long way since the 1956 Melbourne Olympics, when the
Australians made the seemingly radical decision to shave their bodies.
Old but since the Baltimore Sun doesn't let one embed stuff you can read an article of the birthday boy Phelps and view some slideshows online HERE. Okay so that is a lot of various links. I tried to weed out the redundant and just link to things that struck my fancy. For the bare facts and swim updates don't bother looking here. I'm just going to post stories that interest me and hopefully you. Maybe some nice pictures from time to time and some videos if NBC Sports allows embeds. Damn you NBC.
One last thing over the weekend NBC Nightly News had a piece on the Swim Suit Tech Battle. It's the the first or last from NBC as they add fuel to the fire hoping to light up the ratings this summer. Oh that was one bad pun after another. Here is it...
With the days of June almost at an end I figured I'd better get in another swim cold or no cold. My goal this week is to swim today, Tuesday and Wednesday before I head up to Ojai on Friday for a Wedding. This week will hopefully be my first week back at the gym in a few weeks. Time to get back into dry land training and work on some muscle building.
On Friday one of my coaches pointed out to me that my catch in my freestyle is really good but I really needed to work on my long axis. Since I started to use paddles in my workout I've noticed that my catch is a lot better as using paddles has allowed me to work on my hand position and pull. Now if I can only get some rotation and kick into it I'd be flying. Or is that freestyling? With that in mind my warm up today I did a 300 swim, 200 pull with paddles and a 100 drill. The 100 drill was swordfish drill. Swordfish drill is when you are on your side kicking with one arm in front while you are looking down. You kick an x amount of kicks then pull switching to the other side. It's a common drill called various other things. It's goal is to get you to rotate. As I swim pretty flat and don't kick it's one drill I need to work on.
After that it seemed our coach was reading my mind. Our warmup set was a 125 kick with at least a 75 swordfish drill. Then a 50 drill and then a 50 swim. Somehow the lanes got a bit confused but we managed it. Out of the 125 I did the first 75 swordfish followed by 50 kick with board which was the opposite of the other swimmers. I found it amusing how many people gave up on swordfish and was pretty much swimming the portion of that drill.
300 Pulling w/Paddles. First 200 distance per stroke. I took the whole 300 as an easy pull while working on hand entry and pull. Pulling with paddles is such a joy for me. When I first started pulling months ago with paddles I found it a bit difficult then I started to focus on hand entry and the catch and over time it got easier and easier. Somehow without thinking about the catch and pull it carried over to my swimming. Now if only I could get that swordfish drill to carry over.
Then we went on to some pace work. 6x100's Freestyle swim on 1:15. I was holding 1:08's.
500 SCY for time pushing off in the water. I finished up with a 5:42. At each one hundred I did my flip turn, stopped a moment and looked at the clock. I am still working on the whole idea of pacing a swim. Last week's swim meet was the first time the concept became a reality for me so I just gotta keep remembering to think about my swimming. To know my pace and keep on it. Before it was all a mad scramble to get from one wall to the other. I will admit battling a cold and trying to hold a pace isn't easy. My breathing was a bit labored and in the end. I think if I had been feeling better my time would have been better. But at least I was far ahead of anyone else. Then again it was 6am and the uber "fasties" didn't show up. Well one of them did but he hasn't been swimming much so that doesn't count.
After a 100 easy we did some stroke work kick/drill/swim. After that we did a few 25's spring. I think we did 6. I did 4 fly, 1 back and 1 free. I hate 25's. I just get warmed up and it's time to stop. The intervals were way to easy so my pattern of warming up and getting faster by each 25 wasn't happening. I slacked off and then did a 100 warm down.
All in all not too bad considering I'm still hacking up lung. I'm at the point of a cold that it's pretty much gone but still a little remains are lingering.
While Amanda is in Omaha this week competing for her place in China her real estate folks back in sunny Southern California will be trying to sell her Venice home. theRealEstalker claims that Ms. Beard is asking : $1,045,000 for her Venice home. Read the full post HERE I love the commentary from theRealEstalker on the interior design elements as that exactly what I was thinking after viewing the pictures but before reading the text. Ms. Beard isn't much on design I guess.
After swimming on Friday morning all I've been doing is sleeping. This little cold really knocked me down. After sleeping for 48 hours or so I'm feeling much better but taking today as an extra recovery day just to be on the safe side.