Wednesday, February 28, 2007

Micheal Phelps interview over at Lane 9 news

On Cullen Jones 4 x 100 realy: "Cullen has really come out. He has had a great past year. He is a talented swimmer. I remember last year at Nationals, I said we need you on the 400 free relay. He was able to step up last year and put together a good 100. We need four guys that can go 48 flat start and add a relay start in there. He has impacted our relay. Being able to put together a solid race as one meant a lot going into the year.Interview can be read here: [Link]

Tuesday, February 27, 2007

I found a cool site for both swim rankings and world records.

It 's called Swim-Rankings-dot-net. Bookmark it! Not only does it have the latest swim news but it has a reference section to world records for both men and women. Click here to see: [Link].

I believe the site is out of the UK despite the "dot-net" domain for the swim rankings therein are just for European swimmers and the language is in English.

That gentleman to the right is Alexander Popov, world record holder in the 50 free LCM.

Monday, February 26, 2007

I got hammered at VNSO tonight. Dimitriy coached.

I "bonked" so bad that afterwards I am not really sure I can remember what happened. So here is a dreamy hallucination of what I think occurred.

Let it be known that anything over 100 yards for me is distance and tonight the main set was 9 x 200s.

200 Warm-up (I only swam 50 because I was screwing around underwater.)

9 x 100s in this fashion:
3 x 100s descending 1:40, 1:35, 1:30
3 x 100s descending 1:35, 1:30, 1:25
3 x 100s descending 1:30, 1:25, 1:20

9 x 200s in this this fashion:
3 x 200s descending pace/ascending interval: 3:00, 3:10, 3:20
Your expected descending times are: 3:00, 2:50, 2;40
Easy 50
3 x 200s descending pace/ascending interval: 3:00, 3:10, 3:20
Your expected descending times are:: 3:00, 2:50, 2;40
Easy 50
3 x 200s descending pace/ascending interval: 3:00, 3:10, 3:20
Your expected descending times are: 3:00, 2:50, 2;40

The only redeeming concept for me was that I swam a 2:36 for the last 200

100 warm down

Sunday, February 25, 2007

VNSO - (Van Nuys Sherman Oaks Pool) - Workout 2-25-07

Above is a photo of the pool at night. I swam in the day. Mark gave me a pretty fun workout for establishing and maintaining a pace. I made all my intervals for a total of 3300 yards.

12 x 100s: 1:45
100 easy
8 x 100s : 1:35
100 easy
6 x 100s: 1:30
One-minute-and-a-half rest
4 x 100: 1:25
100 easy

USA 4 x 100 freestyle relay WR at Pan Pacific Championships - Cullen Jones just storms it!

The cleanest video yet illustrating Cullen Jones' powerful stroke and flawless technique. Those swimming, Michael Phelps, Neil Walker, Cullen Jones, Jason Lezak.

Evian Water commercial with babies doing synchro-swimming.

This commercial is over the top, bizarre, ridiculous and almost exploitive but these babies are trained professional so don't attempt this at home with your own infant. Do you hear me, Britney? Do you? huh? huh?

The Hearst Castle indoor swimming pool.

Saturday, February 24, 2007

More proof that Katie Hoff is not a land dwelling animal. When she does her fly look how high her hips ride in the water.
If you are having shoulder pain, here is an snippet on a quick shoulder fix by Clay Evans. My comments are at the bottom.

If your shoulder is sore after a workout, try lots of ice - every two hours for 20 minutes. This is what most trainers have told me. The problem is in the pool. Shoulder issues are because of bad technique (unless of course you banged it snowboarding). When you first come back after having a sore shoulder: start slow, warm up long and do easy stretching before and during workout. It is simple; when you are at the wall between swims: stretch, slow and easy.

Now about technique: First of all breathe to the bad shoulder. Most bad shoulders are the shoulder you breathe away from. This is because swimmers use that arm to support the turn of the head to breathe on the opposite side. They tend to do this with a straight-arm catch instead of a correct reaching over the barrel catch.

If the shoulder problem is worse than "bad" and you have tried technically to fix it you can just not swim with that arm. You do NOT have to quit swimming. Three extremities only can be done. Skip one arm and you will still get a great workout. I did it many times with a shoulder that dislocated often in my college water polo career. That is much better than nothing.

Another option is you can also try to cut the stroke short at the front end. This takes quite a bit of pressure off and you can still get 75% of the arm exercise. You can cut short your stroke at the point of hand entering the water as dramatically as coming in at the shoulder level and not extending any farther forward in front of your head. You get a great push from the shoulder level down and follow through like normal. That is 75% of your pull anyway. It is only at the front first 6-12 inches that shoulders are really hurt by swimming.

All these options will get you burning calories off as much as regular swimming. You might look a little strange and be swimming in slower lanes but who cares about appearances?

The secret is technique, it is not that hard, you just have to be vigilant every single stroke, every single swim, every single workout. Please come to any of my workouts if you have any shoulder issue.

[Note: A sore shoulder is a different animal than an injured shoulder. A sore shoulder could be as benign as strained muscles or fatigue or more a more serious condition that needs attention. If it is the former, a strained muscles or fatigue, I completely endorse the above article. However, a persistent or worsening pain in one's shoulder is certainly a red flag so use common sense. If the pain persists or gets worse; obviously you may be injured so get it checked out by a doctor.

I do believe that in most cases swimming incorrectly, such as crossing over to the front of your head compounded with a bad pull, WILL cause a shoulder injury so technique is vital. VITAL!]

Friday, February 23, 2007

"I have a secret, I see slow Australians and they don't even know they are slow..."

Meet Kate Ziegler; the new Janet Evans. Sure Laure Manaudou has been swimming faster than Janet Evans did but so has Kate Ziegler.

From Wikipedia:
  • Her most recent records were set at the 2006 Tom Dolan Invitational, there she broke both of Janet Evans' distance records (SCY). With her time of 15:37.17, she broke Janet Evans’ former record of 15:39.14, set on March 17, 1990 in Austin, Texas. Her time of 9:21.57 in the 1000y free shattered the previous mark of 9:24.80, which Ziegler set last year at this same meet. Her times was also a U.S. open records and the 17-18 age group records. Ziegler now owns all three of the distance records (SCY)previously held by Evans.
  • In February 2005, at the FINA World Cup stop in New York, Ziegler won the 800m in 8:16.32, breaking Sippy Woodhead's 25-year-old American Record in that event, which at the time was the oldest American record on the books. (Sippy Woodhead swam with SCAQ)

At the American Short Course Yards Championships she clocked a 4.39:54 for a 500-yard-free and a a 1:46 flat in the 200-yard-free so this girl is doing her hydro-ballistic ballet to astonishing results. Kate is going to formidable against the Australians.

I am trying a new video "thingy" from swimstars and I don't like it. They write my headline for me which prevents me from writing "snarky" remarks. At least the clarity is better. Oh well, back to You Tube.
There is a new swimmer on my radar: Esther baron!

French swimmer and European champion in the 200m backstroke, Esther Baron, is currently training for World Championships while nursing a groin injury. She says her workouts are so painful that she ends most of them in tears. Swim News article on her: [Link]

Thursday, February 22, 2007

Three important questions for the weekend:

1. Who would win in a fight, Natalie or Britney?
2. Who would you rather hang out with, Natalie or Britney?
3. Besides her health, talent, brains, good looks and her sanity, what does Natalie have that Britney doesn't?

My Answers: Natalie, Natalie, and Natalie has a career.

Tuesday, February 20, 2007

Here is a video of LMU swimmer,
Lauren Mathewson, beating Nan Liu; a nationally ranked swimmer from the Liao Ning Province in China, in the 100 backstroke at the PCSC Championship Meet at the Belmont Plaza.

Note how Lauren uses her turns and underwater work as a lethal weapon. She only broke surface after her competitors were taking their second or third stroke. Just amazing and she never suffered any degradation to her momentum.

To illustrate the gravity of this win, take a look at this snippet from Nan liu's bio: "...represented her province in the National Game and Chinese Championships, where she was a top three finisher in the 50 and 100 butterfly events... Earned the Outstanding Junior Swimmer award by the Chinese Swimming Association and the Most Outstanding Athlete by the Liao Ning Province... ."

Note that at the PCSC Championship Nan Liu also won the two butterfly events setting new meet records and was named along with, Lauren Mathewson, PCSC Swimmer of the Year. I can personally tell you that Head Coach Bonnie Adair and the coaching staff of LMU were euphoric about this meet and Lauren's PCSC Conference record-setting swim.

Chuck Tansuwan shot this video and I thank him for letting me post it.

Monday, February 19, 2007

Natalie Coughlin looks confident in black whereas Katie Hoff looks as if she prefers something a little less formal.

Natalie sets a U.S. Open record in the 200 free with a time of 1.58.00. Natalie broke the old record of 1:58.02 shared by Katie Hoff and Claudia Poll. Coughlin asserted her dominance by finishing just ahead of Katie, pulling away in the final 50 meters to win by an arm length.

The five-time Olympic medalist also stormed the 50 free in a time of 25.22. (The world record is a 24.13. The winning time at the 2006 Athens Olympics was a 24.98. Ipso facto, Natalie is definitely a contender.) Read the details here: [Link].

Sunday, February 18, 2007

Timed Finals has a comment about how graceful Cullen Jones' stroke is. Here is a You Tube video of a race where Cullen goes a 19.07 in the finals at the ACC Championships at the University of Maryland

Saturday, February 17, 2007

Michael Phelps breaks his own world record in the 200 LCM butterfly at the Missouri Grand Prix

The world record now stands at 1:53.71. The previous world record he set, a 1:53.80, was at the Pan Pacific Championship on August 17th.

Hopefully he shaves that mustache for World Championships in March because right now he looks like a refugee from a really bad episode of COPS.
Besides wearing Speedo FS Pro gear, being the planet's best swimmers, and belonging to the human species, what do these super-heroes and super-sheroes have in common?

Answer: Freakishly large feet and hands.
The Playa Del Run races are coming up where you can either swim, run or do both.

I use the Play Del Run races a s a tune-up for Alcatraz. They are a lot of fun and make a great practice race for triathlons or swim events. Details here at Playa Del Run. Oh, and that handsome hunk on the front page is ME but I have no affiliation with the race!

Here is the race schedule:

Race #1 Mission Bay April 29, 2007
Race #2 Santa Monica May 20, 2007
Race #3 Huntington Beach June 3, 2007
Race #4 Playa del Rey July 22, 2007
Race #5 Solana Beach August 19, 2007
Race #6 Malibu September 8, 2007

Thursday, February 15, 2007

Injured dolphin gets a monfin from Bridgestone so she can swim again!

Finally I scooped Timed Finals: A dolphin by the name of Fuji had her tail-fin attacked by a mystery disease and four years ago two thirds of her tail fin had to be amputated. Well, a couple vets and the Bridgestone tire company totally hooked her up with a new monofin. You can read the story and even see a video of her swimming with it: [Link]

Wednesday, February 14, 2007

There is a new Speedo in town and half the Australians racing this March will be wearing it. Introducing the Fastskin FS Pro

Of course Timed Finals beat me by 8 hours with this news and they even have a photo of it before anybody else; that is why I have a news feed to them in the right-hand-navigation of this blog. Click to read about it here: Link

The Fastskin FS-Pro, launched last night, weighs less than half the previous Fastskin II but is 15 per cent stronger to provide greater muscle compression.

The comments posted at Timed Finals are almost better than the article itself.

Sunday, February 11, 2007

The LMU Lions can swim faster than you and 12 other college programs as well

Loyola Marymount swimming posted its best finish ever at the PCSC Championship placing second out of 14 teams with 1049.5 points.

In the conference championship's 17 swimming events, the Lions set new school records in 10 of them and new PCSC records in two events.

200 Medley Relay: Mathewson, Finley, Samuels, Wike 1:44.24*
800 Freestyle Relay Magura, Brophy, Plume, Witter 7:39.24

500 Freestyle: Maggie Brophy 5:05.53
200 Freestyle Relay: Cook, Mathewson, Magura, Wike 1:36.42

400 Individual Medley: Trinity O'Neill 4:34.82
100 Backstroke: Lauren Mathewson 54.94*

1650 Freestyle: Julia Hall 18:01.78
200 Backstroke: Lauren Mathewson 2:03.78
200 Breaststroke: Morgan Finley 2:23.50
200 Butterfly: Trinity O'Neill 2:05.72

(* denotes record)

Details Here. [Link]
Sunday workout at Santa Mo.

Renee coached and my spies tell me she is a formidable open water swimmer. The exact adjective-and-noun used used to describe her was, "Amazingly fast". So, triathletes of the world, schedule a clinic with her.

Today, we finished faster than we started:

Warm up:
2 x 200s @ 3:15
2 x 200s @ 3:00

More warm up:
4 x 100s stroke drill/kick by 50s @ 2:30?

Main set part A:
1 x 100 - Sprint first 25, easy last 75 @ 2:00
1 x 100 - Sprint first 50, easy last 50 @ 2:00
1 x 100 - Sprint first 75, easy last 25 @ 2:00
1 x 100 - Sprint @ 2:00
1 x 100 - Easy @ 2:00

Main set part B:
1 x 75 - Sprint first 25, easy last 50 @ 1:30
1 x 75 - Sprint first 1/2, easy last 1/2 @ 1:30
1 x 75 - Sprint first 50, easy last 25 @ 1:30
1 x 75 - Sprint all out @ 1:30
1 x 75 - Easy @ 1:30

Main set part C:
1 x 50 - Sprint @ 1:00
1 x 25 - Easy @ :50

Repeat six times through.

The video clinic I had with Bonnie has really helped my swimming. I find that when I am fatigued and completely wiped out, I use less effort to maintain momentum. Let me tell you, it's all about the elbows leveraging a strong catch.

Wednesday, February 07, 2007

Grant Hackett is the best but he trains like he's the worst.

There is nobody out there that can't beat Grant Hackett in the 1500. I wish it were our very own Larsen Jensen, Klete Keller or Eric Vendt but currently Hackett owns the 1500. Since the press down under loves to salt their swimming news with lots of drama. News out of Oz tells us that Grant Hackett is switching coaches after a 21 year run with Coach Denis Cotterell and switching over to Coach Ian Pope.

The deciding factors were as follows: Grant has a new wife that he wants to be closer to and Coach Pope convinced Hackett that he could add equity to his stroke. I suspect that added equity could be the correction of the wobble he has in his rotation

Ian Thorpe was always able to beat him in the 400 because unlike the mild wobble you see in Grant's stroke above, Ian Thorpe's stroke was as true as arrow. Check out the video.

Tuesday, February 06, 2007

The underwater photography of Howard Schatz

The underwater photography of Howard Schatz is summarily blissful and sublime so go to his site and see for yourself.

What do you get when you cross a swimmer with a dancer? Fine art by Howard Schatz!

I can barely contain myself over the enthusiasm I have for his art. Not only are his photographs hanging in galleries, museums, and private collections world over, but he has done work for such clients as Nike, Sony, MGM, Cirque du Soleil "O", Sports Illustrated, Vanity Fair, on ad infinitum and then farther than that.

His underwater work can be seen here at and if that doesn't inspire you to go out and swim two or three thousand yards, check out his cinema-photography work here.

Now, if you are not through with being a land-dwelling animal after all that, be sure to view more of his water photography of the Cirque du Soleil show "O" for the final coup de grĂ¢ce.

Monday, February 05, 2007

I am posting some underwater photography in the next couple of days. This leafy sea dragon was spotted on the site.

If you go to this Flickr page; [link], you will see tons of Leafy Sea Dragons in all their splender. I got this idea from Spy's Spice, a blog I like from a guy in the UK. [link]

Sunday, February 04, 2007

Amanda Weir signs with my favorite swim company, TYR

I wear mostly TYR suits and equipment. I do have Speedo Fastskin II leggings which I am impressed with and raced in during Masters SCM Championships but I am more impressed with the quality of TYR products over Speedo. Consequently when you see me training you will see that most of my swim gear is TYR related. I am not paid or provided any material goods to make this statement. This is a blog not a "flog". (A flog is a phony blog set up for the sole purpose of covertly endorsing products or to create false buzz about a product or service.) I endorse TYR.

Weir's signing quote with TYR went as followed: "It didn't take me long to know TYR was the right fit for me," Weir said. "Their technology, fashion, and family atmosphere made my decision clear. With TYR's support, I will be able to achieve my swimming goals for the 2008 Olympic Games. I look forward to contributing to the innovation of the next great Olympic technology. I am thrilled!" [link]

Well, at Nationals last year, Amanda Weir, was wearing Speedo Fasatskin II gear and that is what she paid $400 bucks to win her races in. (See inset photo.) Has she seen the light regarding TYR's products or did George Washington give her a couple of hundred thousand reason to change her mind? Hopefully, like me, she now feels that Tyr is a better product but more likely, Jesse M. Unruh, said it best: "Everyman has a price and can be bought. For some it's wine, women, or money but in those rare individuals that can't be bought; they can be leased."

One of Dimitriy's Gulag workouts today at Santa Monica College!

225 yard warm-up because the last 25 yards put us at the opposite side of the pool so the sun wouldn't be in Dimitriy's eyes. The damage that followed:

8 x 75s conducted in this manner:
1 x 50 Backstroke 1 x 25 Breaststroke @ 1:20 interval
1 x 75 Freestyle @ 1:20 interval
Repeat six times.

1 x 300 Freestyle @ 4:30 interval
1 x 100 Freestyle all out sprint @ 2:30 interval
1 x 100 Freestyle easy @ 2:00 interval
Repeat four times through

200 Free warm down.

On paper this looks like cake but in practice when you are holding a 1:20 pace on the 300's the all out sprint thereafter feels like water-boarding torture!

Friday, February 02, 2007

Why I support college swimming!

I gave $530 to the LMU pool last summer to help support their team. Soon, a brick will be dedicated at the pool with my eldest son's name carved on it. When you donate money to college swimming you are supporting programs that will elevate both swimming and the community at large in several different ways.

Three reasons why we should aggressively support college swimming:

1.) College swim teams provide outstanding pools for masters swimmers and those that want to be swimmers such as triathletes and kids.

At the time of this writing there are about 10 pools open in the city of L.A. available for club or masters swimming. (This excludes the Los Angeles Unified School District pools since they have their own schedules and priorities such as PE, water polo and school swim teams.)

L.A. has a population of nearly 4 million people and with 10 pools total to represent 400,000 citizens each, this is obviously not a big enough aquatics infrastructure to support quality club swimming. College pools, on the other hand, are more interested in both swim clubs and masters programs so more college pools means more quality pools for triathletes and clubs.

2.) College scholarship opportunities for like-minded athletes.

Cullen Jones; (pictured above), is tied with Gary Hall as my favorite sprinter. Cullen goes to North Carolina State University and is majoring in English with a minor in Psychology. Hailing out of Irvington, New Jersey, a town that has a 17.4% population which is below the poverty line, Cullen attends NCSU as a result of a swim scholarship.

It is looking pretty good that Cullen will be a member of the US Olympic Team come the 2008 Beijing Olympics and it wouldn't be a stretch to say that he may break Popov's 50 meter long course record between now and then. He would be the first American of African heritage to hold that record.

Swim teams are yet another sporting opportunity to get bright individuals into a cool university. Let's not allow these opportunities to fade.

3.) The sport itself, which includes future Olympians, master swimmers, swim clubs, triathletes and even sprint triathlons will evaporate if college teams fade away and pool construction halts. This is a variation of reason number one with the added threat of non-competing pools being converted for other real estate functions. If there are no teams, why own a pool?

What you can do? Donate to college swimming programs or withhold donations to schools that plan on dropping swim programs. Write or call the NCAA and demand that they defend all Olympic related sports especially swimming.

Thursday, February 01, 2007

Adam Savage of Mythbusters does an unconventional breath control set.

If it is aquatics related I post it. According to the Auto Club of America, 11,000 cars a year go into the water and 300 people die as a result. They say you are suppose to wait for the car to fill up with water, then calmly open the door and escape. What they don't tell you is that you will have to hold your breath for a couple of minutes and God knows how deep the water is. In this case it was only 13-feet-deep and he didn't fair well.