Saturday, June 30, 2007

XL Santa Clara International Invitational: Natalie storms the 100m free in 54.52 seconds

Natalie Coughlin posted a strong time in the 100m free swimming just .82 seconds slower than the world record.

Michael Phelps won the 100m fly by 2-seconds-plus in a time of 1:56.05 beating Australian swimmer, Nick D'Arcy, but 7 seconds off his world record.

Results can be seen here: [Link]

Friday, June 29, 2007

Rowdy Gaines has a website with a swim tips section.

Here is a link to some serious flipturn tips by Rowdy Gaines. My biggest transgression is tip number 1:

Tip #1 - Accelerate
Never slow down going into the wall. One of the big mistakes young (and old) swimmer make is, when they approach the wall, they begin to "measure" and their speed begins to decelerate. The more speed you have going into the turn the more momentum you will have coming off it. [Link]

Michael Phelps to swim six events this weekend the 'Santa Clara at International Invitational'

He will swim both the 100m and 400m free, the 100m and 200m back, the 200m breaststroke, and 200m medley. [Link]

Thursday, June 28, 2007

James Burke's 'Connections'

James Burke has a heck of a resume: BBC reporter, science writer for Scientific American, technology historian, Knowledge Web founder, has hosted numerous documentaries such as The Day the Universe Changed, Connections, Connections 2 & 3 as well as some stuff on global warming and more.

I was going through a chapter in his book Connections, whereas James Burke was playing the part of a historical detective tracing how a contest in France to help Napoleon solve how he could feed his armies on long campaigns led to the invention of canning foods, which subsequently led to the invention of refrigeration, then onto the thermos, and finally a rocket fuel tank which brought three Americans to the moon. All of which traced to a problem that needed immediate attention.

Each link in the aforementioned chain represented many different people in many different nations playing an important role in moving mankind forward. These nations include: France, England, Australia, Germany, and America. (Ironically the best swimming nations on earth), Ultimately, by sharing information with each other, life became better for all of the above and more.

I wish swimming were more like this, I wish Michael Phelps', Janet Evans', Michael Gross, Laure Manaudou's, and Ian Thorpe's workouts were all public domain and shared form one coach to the other. That any athlete could train in any country they wanted without Nationalistic rhetoric denouncing that behavior such as what was witnessed between France and Italy over Laure Manaudou or when an foreign athlete from Turkey or Brazil trains at USC or Auburn.

UPDATE: As of this morning the technical director of French Swimming has decided that French swimmer Laure Manaudou may not take part in a training camp in China with the rest of her teammates which was to take place two weeks before the Paris Open. She will remain training in Italy [Link]

Mercenaries for hire! "In Ur Pool, Training UR Dooodz"

This site is called USA-Swimmer-Dot-Com and I found a page therein with a list of some of the most accomplished swimmers and coaches in our sport who will do a 2-3 hour clinic with your club for the right price... [Link]

Big meet this weekend: The Santa Clara International Invitational

This event has been going on since 1967, names like Mark Spitz, Pablo Morales, Don Scholander put in some time there but that was then and this is now. Expect to see: Michael Phelps, Natalie Coughlin, Aaron Piersol, Ian Crocker, Leisel Jones, Tara Kirk, Brent Hayden, Hayley Peirsol, Megan Jendrick, Brendan Hansen, Ryan Lochte, Kim Vandenberg from UCLA, and more.

If the Olympics are the Oscars, and the FINA World Championships of Swimming are the Emmy's, This meet is the Sundance Film Festival.

Here is a link to the home page which has links to the 'psyche sheet', a list of swimmers, and real time results. [Link]

Wednesday, June 27, 2007

Talk about an industrious work ethic...

"... I'm going to do what I've always done, work hard and keep raising the bar. I hope I can put something out there at Nationals, then we get a little break. After that, we work toward Beijing. I was talking with Eddie [Reese] the other day and told him I wanted to train so hard that if I have a bad race, I'm still going to win. He said he's never heard anyone say that before."

A profile of Brendan Hansen over at Lane 9 News: [Link]

I swam long course tonight at Santa Monica College.

Since I have been swimming open water on Sunday mornings in between the Manhattan/Hermosa piers, long course meters now feels as small as a motel pool. Of course that is hyperbole but I do feel more comfortable swimming long course than I do swimming short course yards. My stroke is longer, I can focus more on technique and I maintain my momentum.

On prima facie this is an obvious indication that my turns need work but that open water swimming has been good cross training mentally and aerobically.

Manaudou's fitness, speed and spirit have not degraded one bit since moving to Italy.

Laure Manaudou proved she is still a world class, French, champion and she has proved that her move to Italy has been a positive change.

She has produced some very strong swims despite recovering from a fracture in her foot that causes her pain on flip-turns, and overall, her times were either just off various records or good enough to win at the international level. Swim News recap: [Link] 20 [Link]

Here are a couple of her swim times:

400m Freestyle - 4:03.38
200m Freestyle - 1:57.48

"Duel in the Pool" - Hello Europe, Goodbye Australia.

From the Sydney Morning Herald: "A proposed swimming competition between the United States and Europe is set to sound the death knell on the Australia-USA Duel in the Pool meets. ..." [Link]

What is really cool is that they would use the London 2012 pool.

Australia would like to be invited but it is coyly suggested that Europe is not so keen on English speaking countries handing them their bum in each event.

I would love to see Laure Manaudou and Kate Ziegler have an excuse to race each other; or Natalie Coughlin against Laure Manaudou in the 200 back. Then there is Filippo Magnini, Cullen Jones, Brent Hayden*, and Alain Bernard in the 100 free. (Phelps can go race the fishes in the Mariana Trench)

(*We secretly let Canada come too.)

'Janet Evans Total Swimming': Sixty Workouts, Stroke Technique and 12 Swim Programs!

Forgive me but I am copy/pasting this from the Swimming World store, my comments are below:

"..Improve your fitness level, achieve your swimming goals, and maximize your workouts with the help of four-time Olympic gold medalist Janet Evans!
A total of 60 workouts and 12 progressive programs allow you to tailor your swim sessions by distance, intensity, and goal. The gold-medal information also details proper stroke technique, advantages of various gear, concepts such as interval sets and training phases, and making each workout more productive by stretching, building core strength, warming up, and cooling down.
... "

My comments: I have always wanted to know what one her workouts were like or the angle in which she approached swimming. Nonetheless, Janet Evans is arguably the greatest swimmer ever and any knowledge she imparts will certainly add equity to the sport. I just hope that this book isn't a ghost written book with rhetoric culled from various USA Swimming resources but rather a swim training manual from her point of view. I am going to purchase this book and blog what I think about it here.

Swimming World
store page [Link] or at Amazon: [Link]

Tuesday, June 26, 2007

Look at this outdoor shower by 'Viteo-Outdoors'

You attach a water source; (In my back yard it would be a hose), and when you stand on it, the water sprays upwards. I think this idea is an effective use of space and water management for the plumbing is minimal and the water on/off switch is gravity driven.

I found this 'gizmo' at

Here is the designer's site: [Link]

And that must be Amanda Beard demonstrating how to use it.

This is not a lava stream on Kona, Hawaii but rather a "fresh water" river in industrialized China!

This photo is entitled: Nickel Tailings #34, photographed by Edward Burtynsky, who is the subject of a documentary called Manufactured Landscapes.

(Update: the word 'tailings' refers specifically to fine waste suspended in water.)

MANOHLA DARGIS wrote a piece for the The New York Times about a documentary called Manufactured Landscapes; a film about Canadian photographer Edward Burtynsky and his photo compositions of industrialized China. It bewilders me that such a valuable resource such as a river or stream as featured above can be laid to waste in exchange for paper money. (I know that sounds rather existential or pompous but a continuous source of water just seems more valuable; or more real for that matter, than gold or paper to me.)

Though the above photo is strikingly beautiful, the aesthetics of it undermines the gravity or consequences of the industrial, toilet-hole, China has become. When the cameras roll at the Beijing Olympics in 2008, this is what the place really looks like behind those cameras. [Link] [DVD Link]

Laure Manaudou swims a 4:03.13 for the 400m Free

WOW! A mere second-and-a-half off her world record. Kate Ziegler's best is a 4:05.75 which she swam last summer at Nationals.

So, Italy has been good to Laure Manaudou. [Link]

(During Kate Ziegler's world record 1500m race at the TYR Swim Meet of Champions, Ziegler held 31s during her 1500m swim. Can she hold 30.5s if she swims the 400 against Manaudou?)

Santa Clara International Invitational this weekend

Ben-Wildman featured above will be there! Isn't that a fitting name for a world class sprinter?

Swimming World has a page devoted to it setting up story-lines and drama to make it more fun. This snippet struck me as the most dramatic of the races for I think any race that has Phelps, Wildman, Schoeman and Eamon Sullivan in it is potential history:

"... The men's 100 freestyle might feature the most-loaded field of the meet, as it includes the likes of Roland Schoeman, Phelps and Eamon Sullivan. Schoeman is well-established as one of the world's elite sprinters while Phelps had the fastest 100 free time at the World Champs, as the leadoff leg of the American 400 freestyle relay. Then there's Sullivan, a rising star from Australia who will be a sprint-free medal contender in Beijing.

The two-lap freestyle is also expected to include South Africa's Ryk Neethling and Lyndon Ferns, who joined Schoeman on the gold-medal winning 400 free relay in Athens. The fourth member of that squad, Darian Townsend, will also be in action. Other big-time names in the race will be Great Britain's Simon Burnett and American Ben Wildman-Tobriner, the reigning world champ in the 50 free. ..." [Link]

Another loaded race on my radar is Leisel Jones, Megan Jendrick and Tara Kirk swimming the 100 breast. Three of the fastest swimmers in this event will go toe-to-toe with Jones as the favorite. (So, where's Amanda?)

Remember the baby swimming after the dollar bill on Nirvana's 'Nevermind' album? He is 17 now.

Monday, June 25, 2007

Laure Manaudou to face friend, Esther Baron in 50m Back

Esther Baron, will face her friend Laure Manaudou in the 50m back final. If Baron wins it, I reiterate that Laure has some swimming to do.

The mens division is looking pretty impressive, Camille La court clocked a French record in the 50m back in a time of 25.66. He is coached both Manaudou's former coach, Philippe Lucas. As abusive as Manaudou has accused him of being, he is producing fast swimmers. Of course do not forget Alain Bernard's 'time dilating, 50m time of 21.76. (See above photo) [Link] [French Eurosport Link] Results [Link]

The French mens divison are looking pretty good though I wonder if any of their distance swimmers can beat Kate Ziegler? The Pan Pacific invitational swimmers couldn't.

Imagine this lineup in the 50m free at Beijing: Ben Wildman Tobriner; Gary Hall or Cullen Jones, Alain Bernard, Roland Schoeman, Filippo Magnini, Ceasar Cielo.

How Beyonce swims an easy 50

I actually found this picture while looking for photos of French Nationals. This photo brought to you by a news site in Croatia called Javno: [Link]

Here is a 'YouTube' of Alain Bernard's stroke.

Though he has posted the best 50m meter time in many years, here is Bernard swimming a 100m free. Note that his kick seems almost completely submerged.

Alain Bernard clocked a blazing 21.76 in the 50m free at French Nationals

At French Nationals, Alain Bernard, posted a 21.76 for the 50m free which is faster than any American right now. That time is faster than Wildman, Jones, but equal to Gary Hall's best. Is this an anomaly or is he the new sheriff in town? [Link]

Manaudou swam a 8:31.26 for the 800m free but contrast this to Kate Zeigler who according to Wikipedia, "... 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."

Update: I wonder if Laure Manaudou is going through her "Tiger Woods period" who after falling in love and having a child, Tiger seems more focused on endeavors outside his sport?

Manudou has some swimming to do!

All the men in the 1500m "Pan Pacific Invitational" race posted times slower than Kate Ziegler

From Lane 9 News:

Men's 1500 freestyle
The United States broke through in the men's distance event as Joe Kinderwater (15:44.37) and Robert Looney (15:56.39) went 1-2 for the Americans. Meanwhile, Japan's Masatoshi Aso, 17, placed third in 15:58.32. More results there as well. [Link]

Friday, June 22, 2007

I lost 18 seconds on the Swim-Fast plan - Swim t-shirt slogans has a list of around 75 slogans for t-shirts and bumper stickers. I found this t-shirt with a Cafe Express link.

Submissions include:

If my body is 70% water, then only 30% of me has to swim!

There is no “I” in Team, but there is in Swimmer

In my alphabet there is no D,N or F

The best things in life are free. Back, breast and fly aren't bad either.

Sort of fun to go through. [Link]

It's like asking a mail-carrier if they would like to go for a walk after dinner!

Kristy Kowal was a Silver medalist in the 2000 Sydney games medaling in the 200m breaststroke. The photo to the right is what Kristy Kowal would look like with a white beard, if she were a Norse God, or a member of ZZ Top. (I love breaststroke photos, everybody looks so undignified.)

I was over at USA Swimming and they have a 20 questions article with Kristy about her life, hobbies and accomplishments post swimming retirement. (She is a land dwelling animal now.)

It seems that once a swimmer wins a medal or medals they seem to try and get as far away from a pool as possible. I am seeing this with Popov, Kowal, Evans, maybe Thorpe, and numerous other heroes. I guess after all those miles it is like asking a mail carrier if they would like to go for a or hike or a walk after they retired. [Link]

Over at Sports Illustrated, Simon Bruty, posts his favorite images.

Simon Bruty is a sports photographer for Sport Illustrated. Three of his favorite images out of the 20 are aquatics related. [Link]

Thursday, June 21, 2007

Check out this 7 story Michael Phelps in New York!

Swimming World is so on it. This picture is brought to you by Lane 9 News. Read the details there: [Link]

I have been asked by Clay Evans to come up with an idea to entice former club swimmers to start swimming with us again.

Any ideas? I 'm thinking of some sort of incentive; say like a discount for a couple of months. Perhaps some free swim technique clinics or maybe a free suit, Zoomers and goggles?

There there is always the proverbial contest: Bring us the most new members in between now a the autumn and you win a TYR super hero outfit of your choice?

A list of 975 'swimming holes' accross the United States and Canada

Not only does this site have names and maps but GPS coordinates as well. They welcome submissions too. I am surprised that Malibu Creek State Park is not on the list. The picture to the right is a swimming hole in Utah. [Link]

Here is a snippet from a sample description. On this page is directions, reviews, links to maps and more.

"... At the heart of the wild and remote Big Sur is the deservedly-popular Pfeiffer-Big Sur State Park, through which courses the Big Sur River just before it empties into the Pacific. Of course, you can swim in the Pacific nearby (at Andrew Molera State Beach) but there are also several fresh water swimming holes in the Big Sur River in Pfeiffer-Big Sur S.P.. South of here, along the coast, is Eslen hot springs and other swimming holes. For details see DIRECTIONS below. [Link]

Wednesday, June 20, 2007

Manaudou reveals her swim program for French Nationals

That's not Laure Manaudou to the right but rather Jack Klugman in a pork pie hat! More on that later but now, regarding Manaudou's swim program for French Nationals:

"...The swimmer confirmed that she will race 200, 400, 800 and 1,500m free, 50 and 100m back, 200m medley and 200m butterfly at the French nationals at Saint-Raphaƫl from Sunday to Thursday next week. The 200m backstroke clashes with the 400m freestyle and will therefore not be part of Manaudou's marathon, one which includes the fascinating chemistry of relays for her French club Canet...."

On Kate Ziegler's 1500m WR:

"...One time she knew she would not do right now was Kate Ziegler's new world record of 15:42.54 over 1,500m. But the time would "encourage me to work harder"...."

I suspect Manaudou will have nothing to do with 1500m free till after Beijing. She may swim it but her comment to me seems like a capitulation at least for this year. [Link]

Tangent sidenote: There is this Twilight Zone episode called "A Game of Pool" where actor Jack Klugman portrays a pool shark who wishes he could prove he was the greatest pool player of them all if only he could play the late, Fats Brown, who is played by Jonathan Winters.

Suddenly, out of nowhere, he gets that chance and the ensuing 20 minutes is more about philosophy than it is about playing pool. Winters is the philosopher here as he chides his challenger to go outside more, care about real things, don't take the game so seriously.

I feel that Janet Evans has become that character. Though she adores swimming, has something to do with WADA and philanthropic swim programs, I suspect she feels somewhat emancipated now that her 18-year reign over the 1500m free has ended.

Tuesday, June 19, 2007

2007 Alcatraz Sharkfest photos

This freighter actually played chicken with the rescue kayakers traveling at around 20 knots in between Alcatraz and Aquatic park. Never try to cross in front of a freighter of any kind; today, these kyakers had no choice. A second group is behind the ship along with a Sheriff on a jet-ski wrangling them out of the way.

I am the wuss on the left in the wetsuit, Anthony is on the right wearing what race founder, Dave Horning, calls the 24/7 suit. ("2tonys" for short.) This group of people we are with are fast! (You all know who you are and we know where you line up. See ya' next year.)

Those two splashes in the middle of the frame are Anthony and I. Note that I am beating him by a body length. ;-) Also note that we are taking the "road less traveled and it made all the difference." Anthony placed 2nd in his division and I placed 14th in mine.

My best friend, Scott Belland took these pictures and I wish he had a Flickr page since he is a brilliant photographer. Alcatraz results page is here: [Link]


I endorse this clinic. I think it is vital if you are a triathlete or have never swam in an open water race that you take this clinic. I believe Clay Evans is conducting it and he is a guy who was once a lifeguard, has won the La Jolla Rough Water Swim and has a silver medal from the 1976 Olympics as well. Ergo, he has "skillz"

An open water clinic will take place this Saturday, 6/23 at 10am, at Venice Beach Pier. To get rate information and register for the clinic all swimmers must call the SCAQ Office at 310 390-5700.

During clinics, you will be learn methods to enter and exit the surf, learn how to read the currents, and learn how to properly sight. Swimmers interested in enrolling for a clinic must feel comfortable in the water, and be able to swim 4x100's on the 2:00. If you are unsure about your swimming ability, it is highly recommended that you enroll in a Swim 101 Clinic prior to the Ocean Clinic or come by a SCAQ workout.

Photo by musengs

Meanwhile across the pond in Turin, Italy...

Laure Manaudou; (the girl on the left), holds the world record in the 400m free in a time of 4:02.13 which she set in Budapest, Hungary in 2006. Just this weekend Kate Ziegler swam a 4:05.44 at the TYR Swim Meet of Champions and granted it is still 3-seconds-and-change slower than Manaudou's world record but please consider that Ziegler is the only person to have beaten Manaudou in both the 800m and 1500m freestyle events and her times are descending. Swim News has called her swim a "shot across the bow." [Link]

Here is what Kate Ziegler said about Laure Manaudou on April 5th of this year at the WCSN blogs: [Link]

Mark just sent me this to illustrate the gravity of Ziegler's swim

The men's world record in the 1500m free circa September 4, 1972 was 15:52.58. It was set on that day by, Mike Burton. Kate Ziegler topped it by nearly 10 seconds.
Ziegler Was on the Mark Before Meet Washington Post
Ziegler Riding High After World-Record Swim
Ziegler Breaks Long-Standing Distance Record Arlington Catholic Herald

Monday, June 18, 2007

A possible key to Ziegler's explosive results!

From Lane 9 News: "... From May 20 through June 12, Ziegler worked at high altitude at the Olympic Training Center in Colorado Springs. Putting in about 8,000 meters during morning workouts and 5,000-5,500 meters at night, Ziegler not only logged considerable yardage, the workouts were of the high-intensity variety. ...

From Colorado Springs, Ziegler traveled to Mission Viejo and had a couple of days to prepare for the [TYR] Meet of Champions, ...
Ziegler won the 200 free in 1:58.80, took the 400 free in 4:05.44 and prevailed in the 800 free in 8:24.40. For good measure, Ziegler placed fifth in the 100 free, clocking 56.76. ..."

There's more to read. [Link]

Here it is: Kate Ziegler's 1500m world record.

Note the two-beat kick and how effective her pull is.

Swim 'gadgets from 'Gizmodo'

Gizmodo is a trendy, gadget, website that presents the latest word in chrome and plastic. Sometimes some swimming stuff sneaks in so so I post it here: [Link]

'TRY Swim Meet of Champions' overview and results

Forget Rome, Canet, and the the Monte Carlo! The real action took place in So Cal: [Link]

Lot of hyperbole surrounding Ziegler's swim including from me. After sleeping on it, I just don't see how anyone is going to step up to the blocks in Beijing with any sort of confidence that they can beat her. I foresee a triple gold medalist here.

Kate Ziegler's split times for her 1500m world record

Lane 9 News has more on Kate Ziegler's amazing swim: [Link]
Sports Illustrated on Kate Ziegler's world record: [Link]
Timed Finals 'Who can Stop Kate Ziegler': [Link]

1. Ziegler, Kate 18 Previous Record: 15:53.05 - New World Record 15:42.54

29.23 1:00.49 - (31.26)
1:32.09 (31.60) - 2:03.46 (31.37)
2:35.17 (31.71) - 3:06.74 (31.57)
3:38.34 (31.60) - 4:09.87 (31.53)
4:41.41 (31.54) - 5:13.01 (31.60)
5:44.80 (31.79) - 6:16.48 (31.68)
6:48.07 (31.59) - 7:19.63 (31.56)
7:51.06 (31.43) - 8:22.57 (31.51)
8:53.91 (31.34) - 9:25.42 (31.51)
9:57.07 (31.65) - 10:28.74 (31.67)
11:00.19 (31.45) - 11:31.70 (31.51)
12:03.42 (31.72) - 12:35.17 (31.75)
13:06.55 (31.38) - 13:38.54 (31.99)
14:10.13 (31.59) - 14:41.85 (31.72)
15:13.27 (31.42) - 15:42.54 (29.27)

Sunday, June 17, 2007

WHOA! It happened. Did you feel the earthquake when Kate Ziegler broke Janet Evans' 1500m record?

She blazed, she raged, she stormed it at the TYR Swim Meet of Champions. She didn't violate the record by a measly 9-hundreds-of-a-second nor did she break it by 9-tenths-of-a-second. She beat Janet Evans record of 15:52.10, a record that has stood since Kate Ziegler was a three-month-old baby, by 9-seconds-plus! Tonight the new record is 15:42.54.

This is overwhelmingly decisive. She is not just the best in the world but the best who ever was. This American girl will be unstoppable in Beijing. There is so much enthusiasm, technique and strength in this girl that I wonder how can a swimmer get more motivated than Kate Ziegler? I don't see how Laure Manaudou with all her media distractions and the sniping between France and Italy can.

Lane 9 news used phrases like: "finest performance in history", "vengenance","she attacked", and of course, "made history." Ultimately, this is a huge event. [Link]

Pier-to-Pier with Anthony this morning!

Surf was head high, water gained five degrees in just one week. Wetsuits were superfluous and hot. Guess what? I was stupid enough to wear a wetsuit.

I met three gentlemen from WH2O; a swim team in "we ho" or West Hollywood, who ran the two miles to the pier and then swam the same two miles back. (I see these guys at meets a lot.) Speaking of swimming, it was like swimming in a endless pool. There must have been a northernly current for the swim took forever and was demoralizing the whole way. If we do it next week which looks pretty likely, no wetsuit instead I will wear the 24/7 suit.

Anthony got me by 2 minutes this time. I thought it would have been 20 by the time I got out but he had the same issues I had.

Saturday, June 16, 2007

Tony searches, Tony scores: Kitajima at the Mare Nostrum Meet doing a 2:12.98 for the 200 breast

Mare Nostrum tour Monte Carlo: 40-year-old Dara Torres wins the 50 free in 25 flat

Dara Torres: The four-time Olympian who wants to make it five scored heavy in Monte Carlo!

Erik Hochstein once told Bill and I; (Erik and Bill can be seen swimming in the UCLA Bruins Masters Swim Meet movie), that if Dara Torres makes it to the finals at Olympic trials, and she gets up on those blocks, and she hears the crowd, and she knows it could be her last 50... And then he started cracking up! Well, she swam faster last week but today she swam like it was her last 50 and beat two notable simmers.

In the Mare Nostrum at Monte Carlo, Dara handed everybody their bum in the 50 free in a time of 25:00 flat! Victims include Jodie Henry and Alice Mills. Can she get even faster?

Peter Vanderkaay felled Hackett in the 400 free in a time of 3:48.02

Natalie Coughlin was there too. grabbed a third in the 100 fly. Swimming World Link: [Link]

Kate Ziegler bust a 19-year-old Janet Evans record - Jason Lezak swims a 49:74 in the 100 free

UDATE: More detailed results here: [Link]

At the TYR Swim Meet of Champions in Mission Viejo, California, Kate Ziegler swam a 4:05.44 to break Janet Evans' pool record of 4:09.44. Snippet from Swim News:

The world champion over 800 and 1500m and the only women to defeat Manaudou on freestyle at Melbourne 2007, took an axe to the pool record that had stood for 19 years to legend Janet Evans at 4:09.46. ...

The men's sprint went to Jason Lezak in 49.74 in a race that saw Roland Schoeman, of the Arizona Tucson Ford squad, finish sixth in 51.25. [Link]

Friday, June 15, 2007

Hackett versus Vendt in the 1500m at Mare Nostrum: This went completely under my radar!

Grant Hackett and Erik Vendt went toe-to-toe in the 1500m at the Mare Nostrum meet yesterday with both of them nearly swimming under the 15:00 barrier. When all was said and done, less than a second separated Grant Hackett's victory over Vendt.

"...Hackett came out on top in 15:00.58 with Vendt not far behind in 15:01.54. ..." [Link]

Erik has to be stoked since he not only held the Olympic champion to less than a second but that he could be swimming faster than Larsen Jensen; (Larsen Jensen swam an 8:12 for an 800m yesterday at the TYR Swim Meet of Champions in Mission Viejo. Vendt swam nearly twice as far at a faster pace.)

Totally sick core strength drill at 'Go Swim'

Go Swim has a boat load of dry-land exercise that look formidable.

A video is included with this one too. Of course one has to be pretty flexible as well to do this one and if you try, watch out if you feel pressure on your lower back.

I bet squeezing a pull buoy between your ankles would firm the outside of your quads as well.

Thursday, June 14, 2007

"USA Swimming" is linking to online coaching presentations!

Look at the coaches in this selection "talking story" about super-hero hydrodynamics. Personally I have my eye on the open water stuff and anything by Dave Salo. These are $15 per session and if you live in Europe they are probably closer to eleven Euros so just do it and you too can learn those dark arts of American coaching by clicking here: [Link]:
  • The first two years of Competitive Swimming. Coach John Leonard.

  • Foundation for Success: Kicking. Coach Frank Busch

  • Training for Open Water. Coach Catherine Vogt

  • Age Group Coaching Philosophy. Coach Mike Lewellyn

  • KING Aquatic Club-Developing World Class Stroke Characteristics. Coach Sean Hutchison

  • The Age Group Development of Michael Phelps. Coach Bob Bowman

  • Fun & Productive Training Sets That Keep Kids Interested. Coach David Salo, Ph.D.

"MTV Jackass" - High dive board tricks

This is why I am a swimmer and not a diver. The guy who dives in naked must have some sort of a personality disorder. I am surprised he didn't lose his "$1.50"

'Swimming Australia' may test swimmers for illegal street drugs!

UPDATE: I deleted the first paragraph!

Subsequently, this is a really bad idea. To reduce this concept to the absurd so as to prove the obvious; (redutio ad absurdum), let's say a talented swimmer tests positive for THC, Vicodin or that he/she was stupid enough to take some rave drug like 'X'. (Keep in mind that alcohol does not count since it is a legal "street drug" and dwarfs the rest of the above contraband in both misery and mayhem but it is allowable.)

Swimming officials now have swimmer on their hands who has broken the Australian Swimming bylaws and most likely federal, state and local laws, or however they segment the "law, law" down under.

In this country it is against the law to withhold information about a crime to the police and I assume it is that way in Australia too. Consequently they have to report this violation to the swimmer; the police; his swim team; then FINA, who alerts the media via a press release; and finally any and all sponsors get to hear about it as well.

Instead of getting the swimmer help, the swimmer gets a 'scarlet letter' to wear on his forehead, a career in shambles, monetary loss and media humiliation.

So much for due process and rehab [Link]

Wednesday, June 13, 2007

The 'International Triathlon Union' has to approve the Beijing 'tri' course and they want it live-tested first

Anyone want to do a relay? Pay my way and I will be your mercenary for the swim.

There is a lot of politics around this Chinese triathlon route. The IOC said that the 2004 Athens course was the best ever and they want Beijing to top it. (I suppose the last thing you want when trying to sell how beautiful your country is is for athletes to race around iPod factory parking lots or alleyways in between the Nokia cell phone plant and the WallMart distribution center.)

So far they have a reservoir in mind but that does not have the gravitas that the azure blue seas of the Mediterranean have. They should have the course be wherever those Chinese artists ` did those foggy, sumi-e paintings with the islands and the mountains, maybe a tiger looking sinister or a panda bear eating bamboo. A swim in those conditions would look awesome. (As long as it is water you are swimming in and not polyvinyl-chloride waste from a Batman action hero factory.)

However, if they want to go modern then do Hong Kong. Picture lots of neon signs, saturated pastels, local parks full of groups of people doing Tai Chi while racers hum along at 30 mph on titanium bikes while local merchants cheer. Yes, that would look beautiful too. Snippet from the article:
    The triathlon competition route for the Beijing Olympic Games, which has not been ratified by the International Triathlon Union (ITU), needs to be tested in the inaugural Beijing International Triathlon in September, ITU President Les McDonald said Monday in Beijing.

    Les McDonald told Xinhua that he inspected the route around the Shisanling Reservoir, 50 kilometers northwest to Beijing, which will be tried in the Beijing International Triathlon slated for September 12.

    "However," he said, "we have to wait after the Beijing International to listen to participants' opinion before the final decision is made." [Link]

Diary of an open water champion at ''

John Kenny is a five-time Us Open Water Champ who swims 10k-25k races. He has his eye on the Olympics in Beijing next year and had him blog some entries about his training and experiences leading up to the 2007 U.S.A Swimming Open Water Championships in Fort Myers Beach, Fla. What I like about the entries is that they are training, nutrition and process related rather than internalized feelings. He is a happy guy as well. Here is a snippet:

    On Saturday, I woke up at 6 a.m., had a quick breakfast, did a final gear check and left for the start, which was scheduled for 8 a.m. Upon arrival, I had my race number applied, along with sunscreen and lubricant. I put on my suit and did an easy 20-minute warmup about a half-hour before the start. With 10 minutes to go, we did the final check-in and entered the water.

    The start line was about 200 yards from the shoreline, so on the way I swam a few fast, short bursts to get my heart rate up. We lined up, the gun sounded and the race was underway. Despite the high level of competition, the pace during the first lap was a little slower than expected. [Link]

Nancy gave me an amazing sprint tip.

Nancy is a faster swimmer than I am in anything over a hundred yards. Nancy gave me a tip today which I am really excited about. When Nancy sprints she counts to herself really fast and then tries to keep up with her count.

I plan on doing the same but I am going to count my strokes and make sure they maintain the momentum. Isn't that an amazing tip! Here is a link to her blog. She likes to surf: [Link]

Therese Alshammar sets a world record in the 50m fly at the Mare Nostrum meet in Canet, France

Let's see what can I say about Therese Alshammar? She is Swedish, she is fast, she stands at 5'11" tall and at the Mare Nostrum meet in Canet, France she set a world record in the 50m fly in a time of 24.46 versus the former world record of 24.57. (Can I say she is not hard to look at as well?)

Then, after taking 15 minutes or so to warm down she then placed first in the 50m free. All this brought to you by a Swimming World email update. [Link]

Swimming evolution in the last 70 years or so - Click on it to make it larger.

Here is a series of illustrations denoting proper swim technique throughout the past century or so. I found the first three illustrations on a swim blog from Spain called NotiNat which is a great blog too so go there and look when you are done reading. [Link]

The year is 1838: A French swimmer is swimming on his side using a on one-legged breaststroke kick as the primary means of propulsion.

The year is 1875: See how low the swimmers legs go when he takes a breath. It's almost like sighting when swimming in open water. There is very little kick if any.

The year is 1893: Modern technique is becoming more recognizable but the kick and the breathing need work not to mention that there is no rotation.

Circa 2000: The last picture is the from the Total Immersion school. The kick is coming from the hip flexors instead of the knees, there is rotation in the stroke and side breathing plus women are allowed equal access to pools, competitive events, and hydro dynamic swimsuits. You can feel the athleticism as well. The swimmers ankle flexibility is so superior to average that she looks like a ballerina en pointe )

What is ironic is that my swim technique is a bit sketchy and here I am pretending I know something. Let that be a caveat ;-)

Since I am on the subject of Brendan Hansen

Look at his timing and glide phase. He is also really flat in the water when he contracts his legs. Did you know that blogger trevr knows Brendan Hansen and even swam with him? You do now.

Tuesday, June 12, 2007

Brendan Hansen has his own Leukema Research Foundation page - How impressive is that?

As most know, Brendan Hansen swims breaststroke and he holds two world records in both the 200m and the 100m events. Add to that portfolio an American record and a NCAA record in the 200 SCY, another three medals total in all three flavors from the Athens Games in 2004 and you have a athlete with world class talent.

I just found out today that he is also quite charitable in that he has his own Leukemia Research Foundation pledge page here: [Link]

Lane 9 News has a report that he will be participating in a fund-raising walk to help raise research funds  with leukemia on June 21st in Chicago. He will be walking at the 3K Walk and Survivors Strut portion of the 13th Annual ABC7 Jim Gibbons Run/Walk. [Link] - [Carbuyer Article Link]

Beijing 2008 Olympic Games gets a new website

Here is a link to the swimming page for that is all we really care about right? [Link] [Homepage]

The icons at the bottom have a slide bar so you can scroll through which events you would like to check out. At first I just waited "patiently" for them to roll by on their own till the appropriate icon appeared. (Okay, it's official, I am not so bright.)

'LifeStraw' can't turn your water into wine but it can turn your 'slime' into drinkable water!

This is water related so I am posting it. One billion people, or three times the population of the United States have no access to consistently safe drinking water. Newsweek is running an article about a product called the LifeStraw, a product that can be used to purify water as you sip through it. The product lasts a year or can filter 185 gallons worth of water and best of all it only costs $3.00!

Snippet from the Newsweek article:
  • Each LifeStraw contains layers of increasingly fine mesh filters that block bacteria. Iodine beads kill remaining bacteria, along with viruses and many parasites. Active carbon neutralizes the taste of the iodine and knocks out remaining parasites. The LifeStraw currently does not filter out Giardia lamblia, a common parasite (making it a bad choice for U.S. backpackers looking for a way around boiling their camp water), but Vestergaard Frandsen says the company is working on solving that problem. The nine-inch-long straw filters up to 185 gallons of water—about a year's worth of use—after which it needs to be replaced. [Link] LifeStraw Website: [Link] Directions on how to use: [Link]

Katie Hoff swims and wins the 1500

Loving those "antenna ears" in that picture! Anyway, I don't think I have ever seen or heard of Katie Hoff swimming the metric mile but on Monday night at the North Baltimore Aquatic Club Long Course Championships she swam a sizzling 16:18.43. What does that work out to be; a 1:05.50 per 100? (I did the math in my head so beware.) She swam the 200, and the 400 as well. [Link]

Monday, June 11, 2007

'You Tube' snippet of the 'Alctraz Sharkfest Swim' yesterday.

This is the first of two boats to arrive and these are the first group of swimmers to jump in. Anthony and I were in the second boat and jumped in soon after. It looks a lot higher when it is your turn to jump and it is a blast of cold water if you didn't do a morning swim to acclimate to the 55 degree water beforehand.* (Listen to the people verbally react to the water.)

When a loud, prolonged, foghorn blows, that is the signal to start the race.

On a different note, Anthony got bumped up to second place after it was discovered that the first place finisher was wearing a wet suit. This was probably a clerical error and it was rectified.

*Note, it's best to be one of the first people off the boat so you can acclimate to the water before the race. If you are a slower swimmer it is best to be last. The flailing bodies at the Alcatraz start is very formidable and aggressive.

An article on open water swimming by Gary Emich

What I picked up from the article is that bi-lateral breathing in an open water swim will give you two points of reference to help orient yourself in an ocean or lake. Here is a link to a PDF: [Link]

Gary Emich also has a DVD that Sylvia from the "Just Add Water" blog recommends. Gary Emich DVD, Lane Lines to Shorelines: [Link]

Mare Nostrum Swim Tour: Dara Torres is swimming fast, Super Fast!

Dara Torres is 40-years-old and this weekend she swam a 100m free at the Mare Nostum tour in Canet, France in a time of 54.61 which is is .19 off her Olympic Bronze in Sydney at age 33.

Contrast this to Amanda Weir's 100m free winning time of 56.13 at the Charlotte Ultra Swim; (results), and the fact that Amanda Weir is little more than half-her-age makes the accomplishment even more extraordinary. Here is a Swim News article about the Mare Nostrum event: [Link]

Here is an Yahoo/Eurosport recap on the event that spends the first couple of paragraphs discussing Grant Hackett 400m win; (He is still off his best times), above: [Link]

Sunday, June 10, 2007

FINA Marathon Swimming World Cup results

FINA Marathon Swimming World Cup was held this weekend in Sevilla, Spain. Germany and Russia apparently own open water swimming. See top ten results at Lane 9 News: [Link]


1. THOMAS LURZ - GERMANY 1:51:49,10
4. FRAN CRIPPEN - USA 1:51:54,00
5. CHARLES PETERSON - USA 1:52:03,08


2. CHLOE SUTTON USA 2:00:05,12

Huge win for Cesar Cielo - Gary Hall beats Cullen Jones to finish third!

Her are the results for the 2007 Charlotte Ultra Swim Meet. Note the the 50 meter free; I am summarily stunned. Gary Hall beats Cullen Jones and therby places third whereas Cielo beats both of them to finish first. David Marsh of Auburn is making a heck of a swimmer out of the South American. Go Brazil!

Amanda weir had a good meet too placing first in in the 100 Free. [Link]

I will check for You Tubes and post them soon.

UPATE - Alcatraz Sharkfest:Anthony placed 3rd, he beat me by 17 seconds.


The results are not posted yet but I swam a personal best time of 34:51 with an unofficial 77th, 79th, official 82nd overall and [still] 14th for my age group. Though I finished in the top 8%-10%, 11% Anthony bested me by 17 seconds and placed 3rd, 2nd in his age-group; but I am not jealous. no really! >.< Anthony gets upgraded to a 2nd place finish and will recieve an award plaque! :-)

Anthony and I swam a near perfect race: We nailed how to use the tide to our advantage, we lined up with a bunch of experienced swimmers, we went out hard for the first 200 yards separating ourselves from the pack till we had clean water around us instead of black neoprene.

At first I was startled because as fast as we were swimming the massive pod or rubber and flesh was keeping up with us. It took nearly 150 yards for pod capitulation to take place and for us to get into to a space where the focus was the finish instead keeping feet and arms out of your face.

Anthony and I would lose each other but then 500 yards later he would be at my side which only made us both swim harder. I saw him for the final time when we were 200 yards from the finish. It was there I saw him swim past two swimmers whereas I swam into them; (Or they swam into me), and a water polo game suddenly ensued. One swimmer stayed with me and beat me on the sand by three steps the other evaporated behind us.

It was a ferocious race and I learned something unique to open water swims: you know you are close to the front when you catch another swimmer and they don't like it, they swim harder and they make it a project to beat you.

Side note: a freighter nearly ran over the kayak support staff traveling about 30 knots in between Alcatraz and the Aquatic park. He wasn't suppose to do that. A cop on a Jet-Ski had to wrangle half of the kayak crew out of the way while the others had to storm across its path as quickly as possible.

The image is a shot of the bay from the restaurant we ate at. Alcatraz is the island in the foreground.

Saturday, June 09, 2007

Have you seen this man?

Wikipedia entry on one of the men who inspired the Alcatraz Sharkfest Swim:

John William Anglin (May 2, 1930 - presumed dead June 11, 1962) was an American criminal who escaped from Alcatraz along with his brother Clarence and Frank Morris on June 11, 1962 and then was never heard from again.

In the 1979 Escape from Alcatraz movie John Anglin was played by Fred Ward. Anglin was born in Donalsonville, Georgia. His FBI wanted poster states his occupation as a farmer and a laborer. He and his brother were arrested for grand larceny and bank robbery.

John and Clarence Anglin -- who were considered loud-mouthed and hot-headed -- were both excellent escape artists, and they managed to weave their way out of most prisons. They ended up at Alcatraz after Clarence was found in a bread-bin at Leavenworth.

John Anglin was the second to know about the plan; for about two years he chiseled the ventilator grill at the back of his cell. The Anglins and Morris escaped the island on the night of June 11, 1962.