Wednesday, November 29, 2006

Comeback? So insinuates Eurosport for Ian Thorpe won't take his name off of the official drug-testing register.

Eurosport is playing it up as a possibility for a comeback in the near future but I see it as nothing short of a personal investment/insurance in case things go untoward in retirement.

(to wit: If he feels regret, a feeling of loss or his country's Olympic team needs him due to a lack of talent come Bejing 2008; (And I personally believe the men's Australian team is lacking at this point in time for just look at the Pan Pacific results as proof), he can always just jump back in the water, make the team and assist his country.

Then there is always the endorsements.
The result of throwing a bowl of liquid nitrogen into a swimming pool.

I think a 55-gallon-drum would have been way cooler! (er, no pun intended.)

Tuesday, November 28, 2006

Here is a movie of my high elbow from an underwater point of view. Did I say my high elbow? My bad, I meant Ian Thorpe's.

I forgot to mention, Thorpe's hands come into the water with his thumbs down.

Saturday, November 25, 2006

Though he is the best male swimmer produced in 4.5 million years of human evolution, Michael Phelps is not a snappy dresser.

Dude, button the top button on the jacket or at least lengthen the tie a bit. The hand in the pocket is good and so is the belt. Pink and purple are not your colors. I think a black, silk tee-shirt; say a Hugo Boss, or a Ralph Lauren turtleneck is more your style, and, oh, Congratulations on winning two Golden Goggles.

Friday, November 24, 2006

Eurosport Online Videos

Online videos of Ian Thorpe's press conference, Britta Steffen trumping Libby Lenton's 100m Free World Record, Laure Manaudou's symmetrical two-beat kick in the 800m and more. [Clay says, look how big her hands are. I personally can't get past the face.]

I am impressed with the Europeans.

Our friends over at Eurosport have some amazing footage
1976 Silver Medalist, Clay Evans, sent this to me. It offers advice to triathletes and a free offer from Southern California Aquatics or SCAQ

So now its fall and you want to take a break and skip the pool. You swam hard, ran hard, and biked hard, in the summer so now lets take some time off and out of the pool. WRONG! Now is the time to take advantage of the base you built, the feel of the water and the technique you were working on over summer. You only need a couple of swims a week, three would be ideal.

Swimming is exceedingly complex in technique. This is due to a number of things. Obviously, it has a lot to do with the fact that it has been a long time since we crawled out of the primordial soup. We have to get back to our roots. You can take a break from running and biking because we do those far more naturally than we swim. After all, you walk on your legs every single day, but what about all those other muscles?

You were working muscles you never knew you had over the summer. Now is not the time to let them atrophy. They are developing physiologically and you are developing the motor skills to handle this new movement. There is a great feeling, a cathartic feeling when you hang in there and swim. Swimming uses all your muscles and stretches them in unique ways that is important to your overall fitness and training.
You [can]lose the “feel” of the water and reduce your ability to “catch” the water, faster than almost any other sport [if you don't keep swimming.]. SCAQ is willing to give you an incredible deal to motivate you to hang in there through the fall and winter months.

Here’s the deal: You will receive one FREE month of swimming and a set of technique or novice clinics for the price of only two months membership. A $140 value! Sign up now. Call the SCAQ office at 310-390-5700 for more information.

SCAQ also invites you to attend a special introductory swimming FALL workout and stroke evaluation this Sunday and every Sunday for the next four weekends. Starting October 8th from 8-9 am at Loyola Marymount University.

Now many of you tri-athletes will be talked into doing drills and watching video tapes over the winter. This just won’t be enough to make you a top finisher next season. You must keep up the vigorous base of aerobic and anaerobic training. Our program is the most successful adult swim program in the USA. Check out SCAQ at the web page.

However if you can’t get one of our eight huge beautiful pools then get to a coached masters workout near you. Lap swimming will never get you to your swim goals or burn the calories that an organized, coached workout will. Remember that 60% of the swimmers in our program are people that had us as their first swimming coach.

Our pools, and any public pools, are heated to 80 to 82 degrees all winter long. That is perfect! So, if you have taken a couple weeks off, that is enough. Get back in there. You will be stunned at how great it feels to swim in warm water when the air is cold. It’s exhilarating. I guarantee you will be miles, and laps, ahead of your competitors next year.

Don’t give up the swim!

Tuesday, November 21, 2006

Big news over at Timed Finals, Jenny Thompson back in the water again.

Olympian Jenny thompson: Participated in four Olympics with twelve medals total, eight gold, three silver and one bronze. She was ranked the 62nd greatest athlete of all time in a 1999 poll conducted by Sports Illustrated. Jenny has a medical degree from Columbia and is interning now at New York City's Memorial Sloan-Kettering Cancer Center and it appears she is back in the water competing again.

Timed Finals has a link to an Italian article regarding the meet she swam in, the 8th International Meeting of Mondovi, whereas she swam the 50 fly and placed 2nd with time of 27.44. the story is here. What I find so exceptional is that not only was she just a little more than a 1/2 second off of Natalie Coughlin's winning time of 26.85 at the AIS International Meet in Australia last week, but that she has been in retirement, gone through med-school and doing a 16-hour-a-day internship at a very worthy hospital. I would love it if Speedo or Tyr picked up the tab on her student loans if she agreed to wear one of their super-hero outfits.

Oh, and while you are at Timed Finals, read how Jenny Thompson turned down a swanky honor called the Pettee Medal by the University of New Hampshire to protest the university’s decision to terminate the men’s swim team along with other sports.

I wish Americans took swimming as seriously as the Australians. Look at how yummy this pool is!

The 12th FINA WORLD CHAMPIONSHIPS will be held in this arena in Melbourne, Australia on the 17th of March - 1st April 2007.

The shedule of events can be seen here.

Monday, November 20, 2006

And the answer is...

Ian Thorpe, in a press conference today in Sydney, told reporters: "As of 2:53 on Sunday afternoon I decided that I would not be swimming the world championships (next year)."

Then it got worse: "I also made another very difficult decision — I decided that I was actually going to discontinue my professional swimming career."

Sunday, November 19, 2006

Tony Wins the 50 freestyle in his age-group but loses a big, fat turkey at the 2006 Turkey Shoot SCM Swim Meet in Woodland Hills, CA

Opted out of the 50 Butterfly because I suck, I then opted into the 50 free with the hopes of accurately predicting my finishing time. You see, at the Turkey Shoot Swim Meet, which is held every year at Pierce College, if you can accurately predict your final time, you win a turkey.

I will cut to the swim: I was seeded in lane-one of the final heat where I logged a time of 29.72. Yes, I have work to do and that work will get done before both short-course-yards or long-course-meters seasons begin!

Saturday, November 18, 2006

Thorpe May Not Swim Australian Nationals

It is being reported all throughout the Australian press that Ian Thorpe will make an announcement this Tuesday; or our Monday, as to whether he will swim at Australian Nationals. The story can be read here.

What concerns me most were these comments:

The 24-year-old is understood to have missed training sessions since returning to Australia in October from a three-month sojourn in Los Angeles.

National head coach Alan Thompson arrived at a session last Thursday to check on the progress of the Olympic champion but Thorpe didn't attend.

Hopefully Ian Thorpe will swim but the four articles I read suggest pretty boldly that he won't. Whatever Thorpe decides hopefully he is content with his decision and we will see him in Beijing.

Wednesday, November 15, 2006

Don't look down!

David Marsh in the DVD Swimming Faster Freestyle says you should look down when doing freestyle. Richard Quick too tells swimmers to look down at the line. Eddie Reese on the other hand says that if the bottom of the pool were 6:00 PM and the top of the ceiling were high noon, look to about 7:30. (Out of the aforementioned three coaches I wonder who has produced more Olympians?)

Natalie Coughlin in the photo above thinks 8:15 feels just about right and who can argue with two gold medals, a couple of silvers and a Bronze. (And she is swimming faster now compared to Athens circa 2004.) She has also co-written a straight-forward book about her swimming experiences called Golden Girl which can be purchased at Amazon.

Note where the swimmers are looking and then see if it works. What I have found is that when I sprint looking up does work for me and apparently for Natalie. Does it work for you?

Tuesday, November 14, 2006

Thorpe to swim just the 100m free at Australian Nationals in December.

Last February during the Telstra Commonwealth trials he pulled off a 48.86 in a semi-final; (as seen above), and then a 49.28 in the final finishing first in both events. In this semi-final he had a slow start, and a shallow flip-turn but even with those two mistakes his sheer strength and composed form delivered a very fast time.

Thorpe's stroke is so clean and powerful that he even makes Phelps, Hackett and Gary Hall look inefficient in comparison. Note the underwater view.

With that in mind, if you compared his best time to those logged in the 100m free final at the Pan Pacific Swimming Championships in Victoria, BC last August, he would have placed 3rd behind Canadian Brent Hayden's 48.59, and Jason Leezak's 48.76.

I'm hoping that Thorpe's has a great swim; (47.83 has a nice ring to it), that inspires the American team to do even better.

Source article can be found here.

Hey Boss, it worked twice

Swimming World Magazine: "NBC Morning Finals Decision Damages Olympic Games; IOC Breaks Its Code of Ethics... anti-American fallout continues to build and simmer across Europe and beyond."

Cry babies! Where is this stone tablet or burning bush that decries that an athlete can only race in the afternoon or later? I will summise this debate into a single sentence: NBC wants drama, the athletes and coaches want records.

This hyperbolic Swimming World article, or actually a de facto rant, tries to sell that the Olympic Games will produce no great performances or world records if finals are held in the morning. Nonsense, I say but Phelps said it best last July at Nationals: "If you make the Olympic team and you can't come and be ready to swim in the morning, if you can't get excited to do that, give your spot to someone else."

Monday, November 13, 2006

Laure Manaudou, owns the women's 400

Last May Janet Evans' world record of 4:03.85 fell during the final of the French championship in Tours when 20-year-old, Laure Manaudou, broke the 18-year-old world record with the time of 4:03.03.

On Sunday, at the European Championships, Laure won her event easily clocking 4:07.49 in the 400m freestyle. What astonished me the most was this quote: "It was very hard over the second 200, I think it is my lack of race practice that made me finish badly," she said.

Laure, a gold and a 4:07.49 is not a bad finish. Details here at Eurospot.

Sunday, November 12, 2006

Sunday Workout: Santa Monica City College. Home of KCRW and NPR: Dimitriy coached.

1.) 200 warm-up
2.) 4 x 100's drill/swim by 50s on the 1:50
3.) Breath Control sets: 4 x 150s (I don't remember the interval due to a lack of 02 in my brizzle.)
4.) 5 x 75s on the 1:10
5.) 5 x 75's alternating on the 1:10 -1:05
6.) 5 x 75's alternating on the 1:10 - 1:00
7.) 5 x 75's alternating on the 1:10 - 0:55
8.) Sprint 25s: 1 fast-1 slow, 2 fast -1 slow, 3 fast - 1 slow.

Great workout for establishing a base pace.
The first mention of Navy Seals or swimmers for that matter recorded above in marble circa 800 BC during a Babylonian Campaign.

Here we see a swimmer next to two other swimmers using floaties; (probably triathletes), whereas the floaties in this case are inflated animal skins. It appears that these swimmers are heading to a fortress to partake in some mischief. I found this info here.

Saturday, November 11, 2006

Ian Thorpe demonstrates his ability to bend light,
space, and time.

This photograph shot by Jordi Cotrina Fotografies captures Ian Thorpe using just one of his many super hero abilities from his vast portfolio of powers. There was no explosion, no earth-shattering "kaboom!" Just Ian Thorpe bending space and time to further suit his special relativity needs.

Friday, November 10, 2006

Libby Lenton is not a morning person and neither is anybody else on the Australian National Swim Team.

In late October the International Olympic Committee granted a request to NBC to move the swim finals of the 2008 Beijing Olympics to mornings so as to accommodate NBC's desire to broadcast them live in prime time.

Australian's were not stoked! Ian Thorpe, Grant Hackett, Kieren Perkins and other "non-Americans", as the online addition of the Herald Tribune called them, sent a carefully worded letter to the IOC stating, "We suck in the morning".

An unidentified source deep within the IOC told this blogger, "We, the IOC, have 2.2 billion reasons to hold all Olympic finals in the morning and they all contain the name George Washington."

It's almost summer in Australia and Australian Nationals are in just a few weeks. [Go Ian Thorpe.] The IOC decision to hold finals in the A.M. has Libby Lenton so concerned that she suggested Oz Nationals should have their finals in the morning as well. My gosh, is she thinking that it will take Australian swimmers a year-and-and-half to get motivated or capable enough to swim a fast race in the morning?

Michael Phelps weighed in on the IOC decision and his comments were stated like a true champion: "If you make the Olympic team and you can't come and be ready to swim in the morning, if you can't get excited to do that, give your spot to someone else." Read it here.

Memo to Libby, Grant, Kieren and Ian: Michael Phelps can hear you and he feeding on your fears.

2008 Beijing Olympic Pool

My first thought was, "WTF! who is the genius that thought this concept up?" It looks like a movie set for an antacid commercial and China is paying $100 million "large" for it. They call it the "Water Cube". ... No, really!

Australian-based architects PTW and engineering firm Ove Arup won the contract to design and build this 2008 Olympic National Swimming Centre in Beijing. To be fair, they both have numerous architectural and enginering accomplishments as you will note from their sites but in my opinion they have placed form ahead of function and ease of use. The focal point should be the water and the athletes within it, not the antacid bubbles and the Superman-like "Fortress of Solitude" pillars by the dive platforms

Here is a detailed article from the Sports-Venue Technology website. Therein the technology is explained or explained away. You decide.

Thursday, November 09, 2006

In Ur Pool Beatin' Ur Doodz!

It's official, the girls of the Loyola Marymount University Women's Swim Team are not land-dwelling animals.

Clay Evans sent SCAQ swimmers this snippet within a swim article last Monday. I post it here as evidence: "...For those of you who might of thought that what you swam in the last SCAQ workout was tough. Check out what Bonnie [Adair] and I gave the LMU Woman's team Monday morning: a combination of thirteen 500s or 400IMs. Yikes. [...]

Then the team went off and did 45 minutes of strenuous weights. And then they came back in the afternoon for workout number two for another 6,000 yards. Two and half hours in the water today and another hour of weights and stretching. Of course this is a very good swim team and Division 1 NCAA.

That is a total of 12,000 yards in one day and that will just get the week started. LMU will do that mileage about four or five times in a week. [...] These were not easy pace miles; they were hard swimming with high performances during most of the laps. ..."

Wednesday, November 08, 2006

Currently I am having a debate about flip turns with Clay Evans and Bonnie Adair. When I flip, I push off the wall onto my side and then use my downward arm, or the arm closest to the bottom of the pool to do my first pull. Clay feels it does not matter. Bonnie feels he is wrong. Here is Ian Thorpe illustrating that a monster kick makes your first pull; no matter which arm, almost irrelevant.

Setting up blogger now. My first goal is to figure out how to upload photos and link to YouTube. Most notably films of technique oriented swimming by the planet's finest.