Saturday, March 31, 2007

Chloe Early is an artist whose new oil paintings include a springboard diver super imposed into urban landscapes

Painted on aluminum, presumed British artist, Chloe Early, mixes aquatics with urban landscape. Here is a link to her latest work: [Link]

FINA Videos : WCSN YouTube page

Here is a link to a You Tube page with all of the FINA videos from WSCN. Click on this link and see dozens of clips from the 2007 Fina World Championship of Swimming: [Link]

Phelps versus Crocker

Michael Phelps in the 100 meter fly with Ian Crocker. Watch their touch at the finish; they both complained about their finishes.

Mark called: USA 400 Medley Relay DQed - Doesn't that blow?

The video replay appears to some that the DQ was incorrect for his toes were still on the pad.
Here is the Lane 9 News bulletin: [Link] - [More]

Ziegler 2, Manaudou 1

In the 800 free, Kate Ziegler beat Laure Manaudou on the last lap with a sprint and a subsequent close finish. Kate Ziegler's time: 8:18:52 defeated Laure Manaudou's time of 8:18.80 by a little more than a quarter-second. Throughout the whole race the two were side-by-side going into the last lap but Ziegler out-kicked Manaudou at the end. Both very very gracious about it. [Link]

Zeigler on Manaudou:
  • "If she had not been there no way would I have gone that fast," said Ziegler, whose win completed the 800 and 1500 double at Rod Laver Arena.
Manaudou on Ziegler:
  • "We had been swimming side by side for 400 metres but she was better in the end," said Manaudou after winning her second silver of the meet.
Kate Ziegler has now defeated Manaudou in both the 1500 and the 800 free whereas Laure Manaudou beat Ziegler in the 400 free. The Olympics will be an exciting rematch. Laure has to decide if she wants a quantity of medals by competing in 7 or so events or by skipping an event or two so as to be more competitive in events like the 800 or the 1500.

"I lost $2 on a horse and I spent 2 million trying to get it back" - Mickey Rooney

Thank gosh I am not a betting man. Wildman Tobriner wins the 50 free, Phelps beats Crocker and Phelps ties Ian Thorpe's record of 6 gold medals at Fina World Championships. So, let's begin with the 50 free. This quote says it all:
  • "There was zero pressure on me," Wildman-Tobriner said. "Honestly, it's not a surprise to me. Hitting the start well, which I have been struggling to do, I knew I would definitely have a good chance. When I hit the water, I felt it was right. It gets you fired up for rest of the lap." [Link]
About my 100 fly match-up pick between Crockett and Phelps.
  • "Honestly I thought I'd botched the finish, I didnt think the finish was very good, but it ended up being good enough," said Phelps, whose win meant he equalled Ian Thorpe's event record of six golds set in Fukuoka, Japan in 2001. [Link]

Friday, March 30, 2007

50 meter trifecta bet: Cesar Cielo, Cullen Jones, Roland Schoeman

I should have put Roland first but I am putting down who I want to win not who I think will win. Cielo is amazingly strong and he has no pressure to do well which leads me to think he will medal. Plus it would be so cool for Brazil to go gold. I believe Cielo trains with Coach Marsh at Auburn and look at his face in the photograph to the right. Sort of reminds me of Natalie Coughlin.

Cullen Jones seemed off his game in the 4 x 100 relay but he got a gold and he has international experience. Roland is hungry; he is always hungry, and he has a gold too in the 50 fly beating Ian Crocker as well. So, ipso facto, my "trifecta" is probably backwards so place you imaginary bets accordingly.

"April Pools" Day and it's FREE!

My club is having a swim promotion for "new" or "pre-owned" swimmers who want to start swimming. Here is what Clay sent me:

It starts Sunday with two great clinics/101 Workouts and tons of our regular workouts. So, if you are not swimming regularly by now then replace March Madness with April Pool's!!!! With a month of swimming with us then May can be "May" in the "BAY"!!!! You hear that triathletes?

We have so many workouts to offer you, check out our schedule link at Check out my recent articles on technique as well on the articles page. So call us or go on line and start swimming.

For all you potential new swimmers scared of starting a coached workout come to one of my workouts 101 for beginners. That is where I will lead you through a beginner's workout with tons of technique. I will also will show you what are the most effective ways to workout such that you maximize your times in the water away from your busy schedule.

Here are two FREE Swim 101 Workouts, this Sunday, April 1st:

LMU 8:00 AM - Directions: [Link] (Park in the first parking lot on the right)
Van Nuys Sherman Oaks pool: 11:00am - Directions: [Link]

RSVP before you show by calling (310) 390-5700

2007 FINA World Swimming Championship announcers

The announcers for the swim portion of the 2007 FINA World Swimming Championship are quite good; especially the female. The male voice has nicknamed Michael Phelps "Superman" which she summarily ignores and usually shifts the conversation to talking about what Phelps is doing well. (Though I write in a language called "extreme hyperbole," I prefer my announcers to speak informatively. Superman and Wonder Woman expletives; sheesh, that's my job. )

She would make a heck of a coach but WCSN never mentions who these people are in their web snippets. Does anybody know?

I would like to see Rowdy Gaines and her do the NBC Olympics together and then you would hear some terrific insights.

Pieter Van Den Hoogenband: Humble in victory, gracious in defeat

Pieter's take on Michael Phelps' world record in the 200 is amazingly gracious and revealing. He comments about how Phelps has evolved as a swimmer, what it means for Beijing, and it spoken with amazing clarity and honestly with no PR or spin whatsoever. Two quotes from the article:
  • "I was racing against him at Olympics and World Cups and I never lost a race. I was one of the few people on this planet who had never lost a race to Michael Phelps.
  • "I was next to him, I know how fast it was. I was with Ian Thorpe twice when he swam 1.44, but Michael has gone from 1.45 straight to 1.43.
  • "It's fantastic to see what Michael is doing. The sky is the limit."
His comments at [Link]
Here is a link to Pieter's english blog [Link]

Thursday, March 29, 2007

100 Fly: Bet Crocker to win, Phelps to place!

Crocker says: "It's an interesting challenge and one that I've never had before of this magnitude," Crocker said.

Phelps says: "He's always brought out the best in me so that's what I want to think about."

Guardian Unlimited: [Link]
The Ledger Independent: [Link]

Hey Australia! Your kids ROCK!

You know all these kids are on the same swim team and they wore Australian silicon caps as a show of support. YOU KIDS ROCK!

OK, kids, at the top, do 10 x 100s on the 1:15. GO!

FINA World Championship Day 13 - What I should have been talking about today

Bad day at work and no pool to jump into that was less than 10 minutes away. I am still rattled over what a bad day it was but I am OK now. Day 13 was a very seminal day for planetary swimming for ten world records have been broken so far and lots of lessons learned about the dark arts of American swimming.

Summary of Day 13: We had Magnini and Hayden tie in the 100 free. Phelps got his his fourth gold in the 200 IM in a time of 1.54.86. Katie Hoff proved beyond a shadow of a doubt that she is not a land dwelling animal by dominating her leg in the 4 x 200 free relay assisting in taking 0.73 off Germany's world record mark. Jessicah Schipper gold a gold medal in the 200m butterfly giving the host country, Australia, the same amount of gold medals that, er, Michael Phelps has? Australia better throw a party for those girls post World Championships as a way of saying thank you.

Here is a nice recap from Generation Q: [Link]

Pieter Van den Hoogenband would have beaten Phelps in the 200 if the pool were two hundred meters long

So say says Clay Evans, co-founder of my swim club, Southern California Aquatics (SCAQ), and Olympic silver medalist. Here is what he had to say in an email to me:

  • First of all here are the splits. Michael: 24.47 - 26.43 - 26.73 - 26.13. Pieter's: 24.57 - 26.40 - 27.03 - 28.1. Since it is YouTube video the clarity is a bit degraded but let me say that it seems that Michael's incredible dolphin kick got him about 45% of a body length over Peter off the start. Then Pieter is nearly even at the wall but Michael gains nearly 50% of a body length over Peter after the first turn. Again Pieter narrows that gap but Michael gains at least 55% off the 100 wall and an incredible 65% of a body lead off the final 150 meter wall. You add those up and you are talking about 215% of a body length or over two body lengths. Without turns Pieter wins out in an imaginary 200-meter long pool.
My take is that the Europeans are going to be doing butterfly sets and IM workouts. This World Championship has been a clinic for the whole world. HE went on to say about breathing:

  • Other notes from this YouTube: every single swimmer in that 200 free breathes every two strokes. I do not know where all these triathletes are getting stroke instruction to breathe every 3rd but it is obvious that every two is the way to go. Males do not breathe every 3rd stroke in the 200, 400 or 1500 because it is 50% less air. I can not imagine racing like that for a long distance. OK, sure in the 100 they breathe less and the 50 they don't breathe at all but in long races you want the air.
The next part was for me since I stall when I breathe during a 200. He explains why using Thorpe as the "alpha swimmer" to emulate:

  • Ian Thorpe has a classical, totally symmetrical style and was able to do this with a low deep breath. His mouth is getting air via a nice wave that creates a trough that allows him a slighter turn of the head. More of a turn and he might not have had such perfection.
  • Many swimmers turn their heads too far for a breath and thus "stall" or slow up their arm stroke rhythm. One way to over come this is with a lope or learn to breathe Ian style. Now, I am not sure that I would encourage swimmers should to go out of their way with an intention of loping. However if it develops, so be it, it is not that bad, but remember to keep both arms long, streamline and catch like you should and push back like you should. As I said in one of my previous articles Michael did not have a lope in the 200
  • Also notice that every swimmer at these World Championships are swimming with their head looking forward at least 55 degrees or more from the straight down to the bottom. Again, you hear over and over, head down looking at the bottom; sorry, this does not happen in real life. Michael does occasionally because of his lope which seems to go from a 20% look forward for a slight fraction of time but then corrects himself to a 75% look forward. Remember Ian Thorpe, he was always so 75% look forward. (SCAQ's best swimmers all have a 75% look forward from straight down).

2007 FINA World Swimming Championship wallpapers

Libby Lenton knows how to pose. Her posture is as true as a ballet dancer and look at those hands; ("The better to crush you with, Natalie. Muwahahahaha."), but what graceful stature she has.

There is a wallpaper in there called "Chris Sacchin in flight." It is summarily epic. If you download it, open it in Photoshop and do:

1.) "Cmd L" if you are on a Mac, "Ctrl L for a PC"
2.) This will open up a "Levels" dialog box
3.) There you will see three "Input Levels" boxes. In the second box type in 1.51 and hit OK.

This will brighten up the middle tones and make the water look richer and more yummy.

Here is the link for 2007 FINA World Swimming Championship wallpapers: [Link]

Wednesday, March 28, 2007

I predict this trifecta in the 100 meter free: Filippo Magnini, Jason Lezak, Roland Schoeman

UPDATE: Oh Man! I should have went with Magnini for the win, place, and show bet and you all would have had to bookmark me by now. ;-) Also I forgot about Hayden, duh!. From Eurosport: "... Italy's Filippo Magnini and Canada's Brent Hayden dead-heated for first place in the men's 100 metres freestyle final at the world championships. ... Australia's Eamon Sullivan grabbed the bronze medal in 48.47..." They awarded NO silver medal. How cheap is that? [Link]

Italy's, Flippo Magnini, swam the fastest 100 in the 4x100 relay and Jason Lezak looks inspired. These are my top three picks for tomorrow: Filippo Magnini, Jason Lezak, Roland Schoeman. If I am right, then you have to bookmark this page. ;-)

Michael Phelps should have been disqualified in the 200 meter free?

UPDATE: After reading the rules it appears the black markers are most likely placed at the 13 meter mark.

RULE: "... The color of the floats extending from the walls the distance of 5 meters for long course and 15 feet for short course shall be distinct from the rest of the floats. Distinctive colored floats, or markers extending around the full circumference of the floats, shall be placed at 15-meters (49' 21/2") from each end wall in both short course and long course pools. Additionally, in long course pools, a distinctive warning line or lane markers may be placed at a distance of 13 meters from each end wall.

It appears that on the third turn of the 200 free, Michael Phelps', head inadvertently emerges well past the 15 meter marker. A swimmer is not allowed to swim underwater on a turn for more than 15 meters or 16.4 yards. In the photo above Phelps' head and arms are well past the 15 meter mark and he hasn't even emerged.

I want to stress that this is seemingly inadvertent and not intentional. Nonetheless, he should have been DQed and the gold given to Pieter Van Den Hoogenband.

You Tube Video of the 200 meter free: [Link]

USMS Rules with FINA reference: [Link]
USA Swimming - Officiating Championship Swimming PDF: [Link]

Laure Manaudou's 400 free gold

The length and breadth of swimming at this point in time is of epic proportions. We have Manaudou, Phelps, Lenton, Perisol, Couglin, Magnini, Jones, the Russians, the Chinese and numerous other aquatics super heroes from all over the globe doing things never seen at this level. Here is Manaudou owning the field.

Michael Phelps 200 free world record swim this week.

Watch his turns, he completely devours the field. Van Den Hoogenband takes 2-and-a-half strokes before Phelps emerges.

Phelps, Manaudou set world records

Michael Phelps lowered his own WR in the 200 fly by more than a second. His previous WR was 1:53.71 but last night he swam a 1:52.09

Laure Manaudou set a world record in the 200 free with a time of 1:55.52 down from 1:56.47. In my opinion she was smart to capitulate in the 1500 against Kate Ziegler yesterday. If she would have contested Ziegler, who swam an extremely fast race, it could have degraded her subsequent races.

Tuesday, March 27, 2007

The New York Times compares Manaudou, Lenton to Phelps

There is also a great snippet about Natalie who also should be included in that aforementioned list.

"... Natalie Coughlin had just won a bronze medal in the 100-meter butterfly, but savoring the moment was out of the question.

“I’ll talk to you guys after the 100 back,” she shouted Monday night, still dripping, at a group of reporters as she moved from the main pool to the warm-down pool.

It might as well have been called the warm-up pool considering that she was soon marching back out for the semifinals of the 100 backstroke, her favorite event. ..." NY Times: [Link]

Liesel Jones can bend light!

Liesel Jones and Libby Lenton are the Australian "corsage" of the 2007 Fina World Championship of Swimming. They are the only two swimmers from Australia to win gold medals; three so far. I predicted the men would get bruised but they are suffering a slow motion mugging.

Enter Liesel Jones who won a gold medal in the 100 meter breaststroke against a talented Tara Kirk.

From the article: "...It is the Queenslander's fourth consecutive world championship medal in the event. As well as gold in Montreal in 2005, she won bronze in Barcelona in 2003 and silver in Fukuoka in 2001. .."

The Age: [Link]

Libby Lenton is movitaved

So far Libby Lenton has won two gold medals: One in the 100 butterfly and another in the 4x100 relay. She has a silver and bronze too. She is the favorite in three individual events coming up and then swims another two events after that. Here are the remaining events: The 100m freestyle, 50m freestyle, 50m butterfly and two relays.

Though Libby is motivated, really motivated, she still has obstacles. One of those obstacles is the Australian press who is suggesting that she could win 7 gold medals and the Australian press is no fun if you lose even if they use the word "could" because the word "could" in Australian means "She will win or else we will write what a lazy bones she was in training."

Now, add Natalie Coughlin who has actually trained in Australia and swam an Australian meet last year to prepare. Natalie is hungry and she wants to win as bad as Lenton and with Natalie setting a World Record in the 100 backstroke that can be pretty inspiring if you are going to swim against Libby Lenton.

If Lenton can win 3 golds out of the 5 to me that will be a Michael-Phelps-like accomplishment, an accomplishment the Australians need due to the disarray the men's team seems to be suffering. A feat as amazing as Michael Phelps or Ian Thorpe and she should be recognized if she pulls it off.

The Herald Sun: [Link]
Sky News Australia: [Link]
The Australian: [Link]

Here is a great recap of yesterday's, or our today's, action from SI

I promise tonight I will talk up the heroic efforts of the Australian women, especially Jones; Lenton; and even France's, Laure Manaudou. For now this article by Sports Illustrated which has comments from Phelps' coach, Bob Bowman; Natalie's reaction; Perisol's; and Hansen which can all be viewed on page 2. [Link]

I just watched the Phelps 200 meter world record race and his turns were lethal

Michael Phelps' world record for the 200 was greatly assisted by his turns. He was easily getting 10 meters underwater before emerging to the surface with absolutely no loss of momentum whatsoever. His turns were so devastating to his competitors that Van den Hoogenband; (silver Medal), would take up to two-and-a-half strokes before Phelps' took his first.

To a master swimmer who competes or even a triathlete who duck dives when entering or exiting to or from an open water event, this accomplishment stresses the importance of doing butterfly regularly.

Herald Sun: [Link]
Sports Australia: [Link]
The Guardian Limited: [Link]
Chicago Tribune: [Link]
This is London: [Link]

Work up this morning to several swim news flashes

1) Michael Phelps breaks Ian Thorpe's 200 free record with a 1:43.86 he beat Van den Hoogenband and Park who came in with a 1:46.28 and a 1:46.73 in that order.

2) Natalie Coughlin lowers her world record in the backstroke to 59.44. She beat Laure Manaudou who came in at a 59.87

3) Aaron Perisol sets a new backstroke record with a 52.98

4) Federica Pellegrini sets women's 200 free record with a 1:56.64

Monday, March 26, 2007

VNSO Swim Workout

Well, it was distance night tonight. The sky was overcast but the water was inviting. Dimitriy coached and the regular crew was all there.

I bought a digital camera tonight, here is my first photo of the VNSO pool. Of course I was hoping for a San fernando Valley sunset but alas, overcast will have to do.

Warm up: 200 yards

Transitional set:
3 x 100s swim/build/drill by 100s
3 x 100s swim/build/drill by 100s

Main set:
3 x 500s - 1:40 base

Pull set:
3 times through
3 x 75s descend 1-3

A new swimmer named Chad sent me this You Tube video of his last swim meet to critique

Chad sent me this and he asked me to give him some constructive criticisms. Well, the first thirty seconds are just iMovie fluff but then it gets down to business. I think his start needs work and his turns are a bit anemic.

FINA World Swimming Championship: Back half of of the 4x100 Relay featuring Cullen Jones and Jason Lezak

I found a YouTube video of the 4x100 relay. Unfortunately it only shows the swims of, Cullen Jones, and a blazing fast, Jason Lezak. We missed the two great swims from Michael Phelps and Neil Walker. (Jason Lezak had the fastest American time of the four.)

Amanda Weir's kick viewed from above

I was at watching the heart wrenching silver the US got in the women's 4x100 relay and they showed the race briefly from overhead. Amanda Weir's kick is so symmetrical that the wake behind her looked like a DNA helix.

Natalie Coughlin on a mission

"I was really strong," Coughlin said. [Understatement, she was 8 tenths off her world record in the 100 back.]

"I did exactly what I needed to do for tonight. I have a final and semi tonight so hopefully I can get through those and look forward to the final tomorrow." [Read as, consider yourselves "pwned" tomorrow night because I really want this.]

Read it over at [Link]

Sunday, March 25, 2007

SCAQ Workout - Santa Monica swimming today

My swim club, SCAQ, caters to both Masters swimmers and triathletes. If you are a triathlete in need of swim skills it is a great club to learn and develop aquatic skill sets. Today SCAQ had what is called a Ironman set at VNSO for triathletes; (VNSO: Van Nuys Sherman Oaks pool), but I headed over to Santa Mo for one of Dimitriy's mid distance workouts instead.

I don't remember the intervals but I remember the yardage. Oh, and blogger trevr was there. He has a play coming up on April 13. Go to his website and check it out.

200 warmup
6x50s kick/swim
6 x 75s descending 1-3 and descend 4-6 with a more agressive interval
3x300 with a descending interval.
3x300 with a faster descending interval
6x50s warm down

Total: 3050

Open water races have issues that FINA needs to resolve in regards to World Championships and Olympic events

Though German athlete, Britta Kamrau-Corestein, won a gold medal in the 25k open water race. She was a bit testy with officials after the race.

12.5 Kilometers into the open water event, the race was suspended due to wind and swell. When Britta Kamrau-Corestein exited the water, she claimed that officials told her the gold would be hers. Apparently this may be a FINA rule during an open water event. However after a long "pow wow", officials said something along the lines of, "our bad, you are going to swim the rest of the 12.5 kilometers tomorrow."

Britta Kamrau-Corestein admits the split race probably helped her in the long run but feels rules must be consistent.

From the article:
  • American Kalyn Keller took silver and Russia's Ksenia Popova bronze, with that pair prevailing in a sprint finish over German Angela Maurer (fourth) and Russian Natalya Pankina (fifth). [Link]

Australian women beat the USA and Germans in the 4x100 relay

From Eurosport: "...Libby Lenton - formerly the 100m freestyle world record holder - got the race off to a flying start swimming the second fastest 100m in history to put Australia in front of the United States' Natalie Coughlin after the first leg ..." [Link]

Gold - AUS 3:35.48 Course Record
1.)LENTON (53.42), SCHLANGER (53.95), REESE (54.90), HENRY (53.21)

2.) Silver - USA 3:35.68 COUGHLIN (54.13), NYMEYER (53.50), WEIR (54.02), JOYCE (54.03)

3.) Bronze - NED 3:36.81 DEKKER (54.57), KROMOWIDJOJO (54.82), HEEMSKERK (54.13), VELDHUIS (53.29)

STEFFEN (52.65) Fastest time

Gold in the 4x100 relay

The USA stormed it but look at Magnini's time for Italia. Also the race featured two swimmers of African ethnicity: Sicot and Jones. From Eurosport: [Link]

1.) USA 3:12.72 Course Record
PHELPS (48.42), WALKER (48.31), JONES (48.67), LEZAK (47.32)

2.) 2. Silver - ITA 3:14.04
ROSOLINO (49.35), CALVI (49.06), GALENDA (48.45), MAGNINI (47.18) Fastest time

3. Bronze - FRA
3:14.68 GILOT (49.18), BOUSQUET (48.48), SICOT (48.84), BERNARD (48.18)

Manaudou, Park: Gold in the 400 at the FINA World Championship of Swimming

The biggest news here is that Grant Hackett lost in the 400 to Park Tae-hwan. I am really surprised about this.

Manaudou, Eurosport:
"I am really relieved," Manaudou said.

"I had to keep my title. On the distance [events] there is more competition, everybody swims faster. It's easier for me to get a very fast start. It makes things psychologically much harder for my rivals. [Link]

Manadou, WCSN: Manaudou showed her rivals a clean pair of heels from the start, opening up a body length's lead on the first lap and racing through the first 300 meters under world record pace before fading on the last 100 meters. [Link]

Park, Eurosport:
I wasn't going to go at the pace of Hackett," Park said through a translator.

"Then after 200m I started to push and went even harder in the last 50m. I am mentally really tired but confident after I've got the gold medal." [Link]

Saturday, March 24, 2007

Kitajima's beautiful pull and glide breaststroke as seen underwater

Did you know that it has taken me almost three years to forgive Kitajima for doing a dolphin kick during a breaststroke turn against Brendan Hanson in Athens 2006? Now I feel he actually elevated the stroke by getting his interpretation of the breaststroke turn into the FINA handbook.

I forgot to mention...

At the Southwest Masters meet at Pierce college I was beaten by a guy in the 70-74 age group by nearly 2 seconds. He swam a 58 in the lane next to me and I swam a 1:00.33. I didn't feel bad about it because his name was Jeff Farrell, a fellow who won two gold medals at the 1960 Rome Olympics in the 4 x 100 medley relay and the 4 x 200 free relay. (How he got onto the Olympic team after having his appendix removed two weeks before trials is an even more amazing story.)

When Jeff was in the 60-64 age group he swam an American record of 23.28 and was named swimmer of the year in 1997. There is a bio over at the USMS website where you can read all about his great accomplishments. [Link]

Friday, March 23, 2007

Cullen Jones, the new Tiger Woods!

Maybe I am talking about Cullen Jones too much but this photo is so kinetic and to seducing not to link to it. Here is an article at that outlines Cullen Jones' values in regards to the sport. Tiger Woods is mentioned: [Link]

French presidential candidate, Francois Bayrou, calls for Beijing boycott

That would so suck for Laure Manaudou and the whole French team. You would think that the world would have learned from former President, Jimmy Carter's, blunder when he had the U.S. boycott the 1980 Moscow Olympics due to the Soviet Union's involvement in Afghanistan. Consequently athletes from all over the United States were summarily denied a legacy and/or an accomplishment due to that foreign policy fiasco.

Enter French politician, Francois Bayrou, who feels France should boycott the 2008 Beijing Olympics, "if China does not alter its stance on the Darfur crisis in Sudan. ..." Here is a link to the story over at WCSN: [link]

I did a little research and found out that China has
$10 billion reasons to look the other way in the Sudan and those reasons are all invested inside of Sudan's oil fields. [Link]

Yet another reason to get the hell out of an oil based economy. I don't care if hydrogen costs more to produce and is inefficient to move around. This bloody stuff called oil pollutes the ocean, the air, our lungs and our politics. Per Popular Mechanics it would take 800 million dollars to go to a hydrogen method of energy production yet we have spent $400 billion in Iraq.

Wiki link regarding Popular Mechanics figures: [Link]

So, if you are French, don't vote for this guy.

Thursday, March 22, 2007

Cullen Jones will possibly become one of seven swimmers of Black ethnicity to make it to the Olympic podium

Just how significant is Cullen Jones to swimming? From Swim

"... Just six black swimmers have made it to the Olympic podium throughout the sport's history: Enith Brigitha (2), Anthony Nesty, Neisser Bent, Anthony Ervin, Malia Metella and Maritza Correia - seven medals for black swimmers out of almost 400 possibilities during the 108 years from Athens to Athens. That's fewer than Michael Phelps on his own. USA Swimming says that less than 1 per cent of America's 232,000 competitors are African-Americans. [Link]

I did a search on some of these names, Anthony Nesty is a coach for the Florida Gators Women's swim team and he beat Matt Biondi to win a gold medal. [Link]

Enith Brigitha pictured to the right was the first female black swimmer to win 2 medals in 1976. [Link]

My subscription is going smoothly. I watched all the open water events without any hassle.

UPDATE: WCSN is "klunky" on a Macintosh running OS X version 10.4.9. I am having annoying problems with pixel depth and an occasional flicker.

The men's 10k race was dramatic. The finish was so close it had to be measured in 100s of seconds. The drama in the men's event was that they swam in a very tight pod, say like a foot away from each other. On turns around the buoys, if you slowed down, the pod swam over you. None of the men ever compromised tempo.

The Russians and the Germans; (Vladimir Dyatchin, Larisa Ilchenko and Thomas), have proven they are brave and strong in open water events. From USA Swimming:
  • Vladimir Dyatchin edged out Germany’s Thomas Lurz by six-hundredths for the world title. Dyatchin finished with a time of 1:55:32.52, while Lurz crossed in 1:55:32.58. Dyatchin’s Russian teammate, Evgeny Drattsev, won the bronze medal in 1:55:47.31. [Link]
The article has some inside stories and quotes from the competitors as well.

Cullen Jones has an astro-turf blog

WCSN network is having Cullen Jones speak about his experiences at FINA World Championships. The first entry describes the plane ride. Here is a link to his blog: [link]

Tuesday, March 20, 2007

A photo of a FINA open water confrontation.

This is not a Photoshop composite image but rather a sample of the wrestling that took place in the open water events. So, if you were an official at any of the FINA open water events which swimmer would you say is at fault.

Here is an article that details Kate Brookes-Peterson strategy regarding how she overcame jellyfish stings, and her second bronze medal in the open water events.
  • Brookes-Peterson had led the pack for the first 2.5 kilometres, and, having been overrun in Sunday's race after leading the pack, she opted to drop behind during the middle part of the race as Patten led the field around. [Link]

How the open water events are timed at swimming world championships

Look how cool the timing is done at at the FINA World Championship of Swimming open water event. It appears you swim back to your starting block and push it. At the Alcatraz Sharfest we wore chips around our ankles and we had run a short distance to the "hot point" for our times to be read. This is so much better.

In the picture to the right: the brave, the strong, and the fast, Larisa Ilchenko tells the world she is number one. Those blotches on her face and arms are probably jellyfish stings.

NCAA 50 yards Freestyle Record by Cesar Cielo 2007

His second 25 looks amazing.

More fallout from the women's 10k open water race

There appears to be a preponderance of evidence, which includes quotes from the winner herself, that the officiating of the open water races was pretty much nonexistent. Apparently the Germans got hammered the most. From the article at
  • [Britta] Kamrau-Corestein; [pictured above], said that she had wanted to stop swimming. "I just wanted to get out of the water. I just wanted to leave. Nothing went well. I didn't find anything positive about the race. I couldn't focus on the swimming because I was always pulled back and hit by other swimmers.
  • "Everyone was just beating each other up. I have never experienced such a race before. It was horrible," said [Angela] Maurer. [Link]
I talked to Nancy at workout last night and she told me at the La Jolla open water swim last year she put Vaseline on her legs in case someone tried to grab her. Well, she said a couple of girls tried and their hands luckily just slipped away. If I do the Pier to Pier swim this year, I may try it.

Larisa Ilchenko of Russia wins again, this time in the 10k open water

Ilchenko is one tough swimmer. She overcame jelly fish stings including one to the face while swimming in 66 degree water. She completed the course in a time of two hours, three minutes, and change. How about this quote from Eurosport:
  • "In the 5km nothing worried me, the conditions were perfect," Ilchenko said after her win. "Today, I could hear the girls behind me screaming in the first lap. I expected it to be the same as the 5km, instead we're all walking around with spotty red faces."
I think open water venues should have alternate swim locations when an act of God strikes such as jellyfish invasions, small craft advisories, et cetera.

Eurosport covreage: [Link]
Spokesman Review which details the race better: [Link]

Monday, March 19, 2007

Resources regarding swimmer's shoulder

Swimmers shoulder, flexibility and related shoulder resources from "About. com" which is the most advertisement laden site on the web. Here is a link to the main page of articles: [link]

They actually tried to link to an article that Bonnie wrote which I posted here. An article they had no permission to stick ads all over. Alas, they didn't get away with it for they had a broken link. Here are some sample pages from the link above.

About Overview of Swimmer's Shoulder
About Appropriate Flexibility for Swimmers Shoulder
About Causes of Swimmers Shoulder
About Exercises to Establish Muscle Balance
About Prevention of Swimmer's Shoulder
Swimmers Shoulder Injury Prevention from USA Swimming
About Signs and Symptoms of Swimmers Shoulder
About Swimming Technique Modifications for Swimmers Shoulder
Preventing Shoulder Injury - An In-water Program
Swimmer's Shoulder - 3 possible causes

What happens under the water, stays under the water.

Thrown elbows, dunking, wrestling, and punching. Gosh the fans went to an open water race and a hockey game broke out! An unbelievable article about the "rugby" politics under the water at the Fina World Championship 5k open water event:
  • "The only rule is you're not supposed to impede somebody's progress," Kaufman said. "Who really knows what that means? The people on the boats can only see a certain amount of the physical stuff. They probably can't see anything underwater."
  • Larisa Ilchenko of Russia, who won her fourth consecutive 5K world title Sunday, accused American Leah Gingrich of hitting her in the eye when Gingrich allegedly used a breaststroke kick.
  • "I actually got dragged underwater by someone as well at one stage, but that sort of stuff just happens," said Gingrich, who is 17 and competing in her first major senior-level international meet.
2 years ago at the Alcatraz Sharkfest Swim two swimmers kept bumping into me at the same time as if they were trying to swim in a DNA helix pattern and I happen to be in the way. I am not going to to say what I did because what happens under the water, stays under the water.

Read all about it here: [Link]

Swim homework assignment for the next few weeks

1) Go to Erik Hochstein's sprint workout on Sundays at LMU. (Erik is a former Olympian from Germany who won the bronze medal in the 4x200m Freestyle Relay at the 1988 Summer Olympics. I was once swimming with him at a workout at Santa Monica where we did a 200 as part of the main set; Erik was swimming in the fastest lane and I was like 4 lanes down from him, he swam a 1:46 and I did a 2:24. He lapped everybody in the whole pool.)

2) Swim at Santa Monica on Wednesdays with fins to loosen up and improve my ankle flexibility.

3) Push-ups and crunches on workout-free days and stretching every day to gain more shoulder and hamstring flexibility.

4) Do a freestyle technique clinic with Bonnie or Jamie to check out my stroke. (When I sprint I have a tendency to be choppy.)

5) Swim more 100s for time and focus on pacing.

6) Start swimming 5 days a week rather than 3-5

Sunday, March 18, 2007

Southwest Masters SCY Swim Meet at Pierce College

Well, though I didn't meet expectations it was still a really fun meet and I got a first and second place ribbon.

World record holder, Mike Freshly, gave me some pointers on my fly. He can go a 27 for a 50 fly and I can't. He's also the guy quoted in TIME magazine who said: "Show me a swimmer who is 70 and he looks like 50, show me a runner who is 70 and he looks like 90." He's awesome. Oh, and he calls Bonnie Adair, Bon Bon!

Doug K. from SCAQ stormed both the 100 and 200 backstroke, and I met a swimmer named Dr. Mark Silverberg from Santa Barbara doing his first meet and I gave him some pointers on the breaststroke turn and fly. The guy was totally exuberant and smiled about 95% of the time. He won all his heats as an unattached swimmer and had a blast. Even when he jumped into the water twice thinking the whistle to take to the blocks was the starting bell. Hilarious and charming at the same time.

I also raced an Olympian from 1960 in my heat who beat me by a body length. I thought he was in his late 50's early 60's but he was in the 70-74 age group.

As for my times: 26.71 for the 50 Free and a 1:00:33 for the 100 free. I have three more SCY meets left to break a minute so I better do my homework.

Germany's top swimmers volunteer to undergo added doping tests

Germany is taking hyper responsibility for the former East German Republic's sordid history of doping its athletes; (in many cases secretly), in the 1970s and 1980's. From the Eurosport article:
  • "... Germany's head coach, Orjan Madsen, said the swimmers had even agreed to freeze blood samples that could be tested in the future as part of a drastic measure to prove they were clean. ..."
Germany wants the world to know that hard work, altitude training, and really good masking agents, do the trick. (I am so bad but I do stink of good, huh?)

Seriously, I do trust the German team and I do endorse their example of good "sportswomanship." All the Germans and the Chinese Olympic teams should follow this example. To read more, follow this link: [Link]

Saturday, March 17, 2007

Is there a new super-hero or two in town?

Mark called me on the phone today telling me about this kid at Auburn who stormed the NCAA Championships. He referred me to a Lane 9 news story from Swim World that stated the following: "... In one day of competition, Auburn's Cesar Cielo posted four of the fastest 50 free times ever. ..." [Link]

Then it got even better:

"... In an incredibly fast heat, Auburn's Cesar Cielo swept the sprint freestyle events with an NCAA and U.S. Open record of 41.17 in the 100 free. That time surpassed the 41.49 previously held by Duje Draganja of California since 2005. ..."

Then it got even more existential with this swim and comment:

"... Albert Subirats posted the fastest 100 butterfly time ever with a clocking of 44.57 to crush the NCAA and U.S. Open record of 44.72 set by Ian Crocker in 2004. ..." [Link]

The gravity of these swims will rock the swimming world in the months to come and may even end career dynasties. Cielo's hometown is originally Brazil, Subirats is from Venezuela, but are they Americans now? These two swimmers mentioned above are as fast, or most likely faster, than Ian Crocker, Michael Phelps and Cullen Jones. Also, what will this do to the careers of Jason Lezak, Gary Hall and Neil Walker if they are?

Come Olympic trials Ian Crocker may not make it to the Olympics in the 100 free, or the 100 fly. Michael Phelps may be beaten by Ian Crocker and Albert Subirats in the 100 fly thus making him unable to compete in all the events he wants. Next year at Olympic trials, those trials will be more amazing than the Olympics themselves.

Online video of the 2007 FINA World Swimming Championship is streaming video, "Live and On-Demand," of the 2007 World Swimming Championship for a small fee of just $4.95 for the month. How cool is that! So, I am signing up and you should too so as to make swimming a profit center for those that televise it.

You will be able to watch some really innovative swimming at you work or at home. sign up here: [Link]

The lovely picture up above comes from the Sydney Morning Herald. Here is article about how well the opening ceremonies went as well as a visit from Ian Thorpe who gave the event his blessings: [link]

The open-water portion of the 2007 Fina World Championship of Swimming begins today

The open-water portion of the 2007 Fina World Championship of Swimming begins today at a place called Saint Kilda beach, Australia. The photo to right illustrates the course where both the men's and women's 5km event will take place.

The article I am linking to states that an Australian swimmer described the course as unpredictable; (What ocean swim isn't?) and here is the full article for details: [link]

Jellyfish are mentioned by an Australian swimmer probably to instill a distraction upon the visiting teams psyches' but the jellyfish they have down under are way more sinister then the ones on "normal earth". They have jellyfish down under the size of a half dollar that actually kill with a single sting. The bad news is, if it can get any worse than that, the sting takes a week to do so. Then of course their are the gentleman in the gray suits that occasionally dismember a surfer or two but I am more frightened of the Jellyfish.

Oh, if you want to know the name of a scary jellyfish that can cause a painful death, just ask my kid. It's called the Irukandji or Box jellyfish and not everybody dies from its sting. Here is a link to a Wiki page regarding the fish: [Link]

VNSO Swim Workout - We did sprints, Dimitriy coached

This is the city, Los Angeles California. A place full of sun tanned actors, swimming pools and lots of SCAQ workouts. My name is, Austin, and my job is to blog about them. The VNSO pool straddles the border of both Van Nuys and Sherman Oaks. One community is affluent and the other is not so fortunate. The park and the pool itself were created to serve both communities and it is doing a very good job. In fact while searching for a photo of VNSO pool I just read that L.A. City Beat Magazine noted VNSO pool as one of L.A.'s secret treasures. (It's photo number 6)

Warm up: 250 easy followed
3 x 75s: kick, drill, swim by 75 @ 1:40
Transitional set: 2 x 200s @ 3:30, stroke/free by 25, build the free

Main Set:
1 x 50 all out @ 1:00
1 x 100 easy @ 1:30
2 x 50s all out @ 1:00
1 x 100 easy @ 1:30
3 x 50's all out @ 1:00
1 x 100 easy @ 1:30
4 x 50's all out @ 1:00
1 x 100 easy @ 1:30

The next section may not be entirely accurate for I was way in "debt" to the "oxygen bank" and the first thing to go when I am in debt is my attention to details.

2 x 50's stroke all out @ 1:00
1 x 100 easy
1 x 50 stroke all out @ 1:00

Warm down: 150

Friday, March 16, 2007

Fantasy Swim Game at Timed Finals

Our good friends at Timed Finals built a Fantasy Swim game called Fanta Swim. It's a game where you pick the top three swimmers in each event at the FINA World Swim Championship next week in Australia and score points accordinly. Best of all, it's all free!

All the usual suspects are competing, Michael Phelps, Ian Crocker, Natalie Coughlin, Laure Manaudou, so it is all great fun seeing how "right" you can be.

In the men's 100 fly I predicted the following:
Gold: Ian Crocker USA
Silver: Michael Phelps USA
Bronze: Takeshi Yamamoto JPN

Here is a link if you want to play: [Link]

Thursday, March 15, 2007

Look how flat Phelps' body is in relation to his knees

Phelps just "owns" the water in just about any stroke he does. He planes when doing breaststroke rather than dragging his knees below his core. Consequently he gets a super, hydro, glide.

Some swimmers; (OK, I am one of them), have a tendency to drop their knees below their core when setting up the kick. I bet he also uses those Zoomers; I mean humongous feet of his, to push at the water for propulsion rather than just squeezing his legs together like I do.

I linked this picture from an Australian paper called, The Geelong Advertiser. The title of the article is: Aussie's will get hosed at the World Swimming Championship by the Americans. Kidding. It was more subdued and well mannered: "Aussies wary of Swim Team Invaders."

A swim technique page with photos and movies

Here is a site called with lots of swim theory, photos and movies. They provide technique info on all the strokes, which includes, starts, turns, legal turns for backstroke in the IM and if you look deep enough you can also find an analysis on speedsuits.

Here is a link to the 'models' page which has all of the technique theory on all the strokes: [Link]

Wednesday, March 14, 2007

My lunch with Clay - My dinner with Dimitriy

Remember that movie, My Dinner with Andre? Of course not, it was so last millennium. I spent lunch talking with Clay and the conversation was a lot like the movie. Last week he coached me and he told me that when I blogged the workout, I left out the part about the 200s. I don't remember any 200s because only my brain stem was working and rest of my brain was shut down due to oyxgen debt.

Anyway, I blogged that I did a 1:05 on the last 100 free on Sunday and Clay mentioned that he forgot to scold me on Sunday stating I went out on the first lap with out taking a breath whatsoever and consequently on the last lap I was breathing in-and-out like a whoopee cushion in reverse.

He suggested I breathe every fourth stroke when I do a 100 free and don't breathe the last lap. Tonight after a tough IM workout with Dimitriy I did and all-out 100 free at 95% effort breathing every fourth stroke. Despite a small cramp, screwing up a streamline after a turn, and partially breathing like a reverse whoopee cushion on the last lap I did 1:04 . If I was fresh I think I could have broken a minute with a dive.