Tuesday, July 31, 2007

Epic sprint at the Antartic!

This photo is from a Time Magazine photo feature based on a Book funded by the National Science Foundation Office of Polar Affairs and photographed by Norbert Wu called, Life Beneath Antartic Ice. [Link]

This photo captures Orcas sprinting "... along a channel which has opened in the ice. They are headed deep into McMurdo Sound, where they hope to find food. They must hurry, however, for wind conditions can cause the channel to freeze again, cutting off the whales' access to air. ..."

Imagine watching killer whales digging deep and swimming for their lives like this? This is the real deal; they are sprinting for their lives. (I would be the third whale in the back, "Okay, Lindsay, you lead and I'll draft.")

The photos in this essay are breathtakingly sublime. Imagine what the book must look like? [Link]

This story was submitted to Digg.com by Digg member FameMoney

Erik Vendt turned and burned and went hydro-ballistic in the 1500m

Erik Vendt stormed the 1500m breaking the 15-minute barrier in a time of 14:57.o1. (Did you know that when you break the 15 minute barrier in the 1500m free a very large bubble pops in your wake and nothing but super-heated, hydrogen steam busts out as the oxygen atoms separate from the H2? It's true! I kid you not! Go ask Erik, Larsen or Grant Hackett.

Erik's splits were SICK! his first 50m was a 27+ and he held 30 seconds for each 50 the whole way. The splits were tighter and more precise than Kate Ziegler's. Here is a link to them: [Link]

This swim was a personal best for Erik, thus violating his last personal best set 7 years ago. (For a swimmer, that is like waiting in dog-years!)

Anyway, Larsen Jensen placed second just two seconds later breaking 15 minutes as well.

I think Grant Hackett is potentially in trouble here.

Here is a detailed writeup at Lane 9 News: [Link]

Welcome to the Digital Water Pavilion - A building made of water!

All the doors, windows and walls are made out of water. To enter the pavilion , a wave of water is halted in a specific area so you can pass through or exit.

This pavilion will house public spaces, exhibitions, and a cafe. It will allow messages or even images to appear in the walls of water with enigmatic results. Here is an article about this pavilion which will go on display at the 2008 World Expo in Zaragoza, Spain. [Link]

I originally found this bit of architecture at Digg.com

"Last Blast before Lock-down!" - Is that a headline or what?

This "Last Blast..." headline comes from Swim News regarding Michael Phelps' Beijing rendezvous. Craig Lord goes hyperbolic over Phelps' schedule of 10 events in five days at Nationals this week and what could possibly be in store in Beijing 2008. Of course Michael Phelps throws some sugar on the hyperbole with a little Mark-Spitz-like rhetorical flare: "...If I can do that, who knows what else I can do?" [Link]

Then Bowman jumps in with the Gladiator stuff: "...This is just kind of to establish our starting point for next year," Bowman told AP. "For Michael, it's not just the pressure of the training and the racing - it's the scrutiny of 24-7 living in a fishbowl for a whole year. I wanted to give him a little bit of time where he had a little bit of flexibility before he gets into ... the lock-down. After this, it's pretty much into the lock-down." (Subsequent reaction of the AP reporter after he heard the word lock-down [Link])

This photo comes from CoachCashMoney's photo stream at Flickr.com

Another rendering of Beijing's "Water Cube"

I found this rendering at Yatzer.com.

Local girl, Rebecca Soni, off to a great start

Rebecca Soni is a quasi local girl here in L.A.. She started in New Jersey and now lives here in Los Angeles as a USC junior. She is on the front page of the Daily News today with a subsequent profile on page 3 of the sports page.

Last year she developed an irregular heartbeat and in July went with cardiac ablation surgery to fix it. It has an amazing success rate, it's minimally invasive too but certainly not pleasant. So, with last Summer shot for training, look at her now! Faster than any time Amanda Beard has posted this year. :-P

Lane 9 News: "... Rebecca Soni paced the field in the morning heats with a time of 2:28.37, while Caitlin Leverenz finished second in 2:29.24. Keri Hehn closed out the sub-2:30 efforts with a third-place 2:29.80. ..." [Link]

Here is a link to her USC profile: [Link]

Monday, July 30, 2007

'Lane 9 News' now allows comments on articles

Lane 9 News will now allow you to comment on each article after a painless registration. I commented on the 200 breaststroke prelim' whereas all the lights blew on the last 50m. That has got to suck! If it were butterfly imagine how sensory depriving that would have been. [Link]

I don't know why I didn't figure this out before.

I guess it was to obvious. If you go to flickr.com/search, type in your favorite swimmers, you will see photos taken of these individuals from different perspectives. Here is are link to just a few swimmers:

Kate Ziegler
Laure Manaudou
Michael Phelps
Ian Crocker
Filippo Magnini
Natalie Coughlin - Check out her start dives

The above photo is of our patron saint, Natalie Coughlin, who isn't afraid to race in a bikini! (Loving that floral print.) This photo uploaded to Flickr by guyomedw who as an amazing set worth looking at.

Sunday, July 29, 2007

High altitude is becoming trendy with swimmers.

From Lane 9 News: "... To look at what can happen shortly after altitude training, one just has to look at Kate Ziegler's world record in the 1500 free set just days after coming down from Colorado. ..."

Nineteen Japanese swimmers were in Flagstaff, Ariz., training for the Japan International Grand Prix meet in August. Two of the top swimmers in attendance were Tomomi Morita, who won a pair of bronze medals at the 2004 Athens Olympics, and Hanae Ito, who won the women's 100 back at the 2006 Pan Pacific Championships. ..." [Link]

If you click on the link there is an interview with the coach of the Japanese team as well. Here is where they will be training I believe: [Link]

The above photo was taken by Erik_found. His image is hosted by Flickr. Ibelieve the Japaanese willl be swimming there.

The results are mixed that high altitude training works yet the Japanese team, the French team and even Kate Ziegler who broke the great grandmother of all swimming records had just finished training at high altitude before setting the new world record in the 1500m.

All right, so how do I know the results are mixed? In the 1993 Scandinavian Journal of Medicine & Science in Sports; (Volume 3 - Issue 4 Page 256-262 - December 1993), found that High-altitude training does not increase maximal oxygen uptake or work capacity at sea level in rowers. An abstract of the article with numbers and figures is here: [Link]

In 1998 A.Baker & W.G. Hopkins, Altitude training for sea-level competition In: Sportscience Training & Technology. did a study stating it was best to live up high but train down low. Here is a snippet:

"...Training near sea level while living at an altitude of 2500m (8000 ft) for a month enhances subsequent endurance performance, probably by increasing the oxygen-carrying capacity of the blood through an increase in production of red blood cells. A small proportion of athletes shows no improvement or even reduced performance with this "live-high train-low" strategy, but the enhancement for the average athlete is 2-3%."

The difference between the live high, train low versus the live high and train high goes as follows:

"...The difference in performance between these two groups after altitude training averaged 2.5%. But it's important to note that the altitude group showed only a marginal improvement in performance, and only at three weeks after the return from altitude. In contrast, the control group performed worse and had not recovered fully by the end of the study. ..." [Link]

I think it's high altitude training is questionable. The increase in ability appears to be barely barely measurable unless you live at 7,500 feet and train at sea level

Swam Pier-to-Pier with Anthony - Lots of fast swimmers today!

I have never been passed up by so many open water swimmers in a race or otherwise ever in my life. Since the Pier-to-Pier race is next weekend, serious training was going on. I got passed by one guy who must have been holding 1:05s per hundred. Summarily humbling.

Next week 9oo swimmers will take to the water in a free for all swim; (Well, actually not free. It cost us $25 each), and swim 2 miles plus in 70 degree water. My goal is to finish in the top 50%. A fellow SCAQ member who is aiming for the top 50 thinks I will be in top 200. I was flattered when he said that but I don't think so for Pier-to-Pier swimmers are not "suvivorletes". I am aiming low since I won't be allowed to wear a wetsuit but rather the 24/7 suit as Dave Horning calls it that nature gave me.

Saturday, July 28, 2007

PWS stands for Public Water Supply

Aquafina and Disani are bottled water products from both Pepsi and the Coca-Cola company. Each put the obligatory 'mountain spring' or 'artesian well' to make it more 'swanky' but that 'swank' is nothing more than fiction. Subsequently a pressure group got Aquafina to paste P.W.S. on the bottles to; you know, tell the truth. Now Aquafina will have to play up it's 7-step process in purifying the water rather than location, location, location.

Environmental groups oppose bottled water due to the petrochemicals needed to create the plastic and to ship it out to Kwiki-Marts and grocery stores. Plastic bottles have a poor percentage of being recycled and end up in places that they shouldn't. Such as, oceans, rivers, gutters and all over the rest of creation. These plastic bottles will live as long as a radioactive isotope or nuclear waste hence the bad feelings towards plastics. Consequently, get your water locally from a glass or keep reusing the plastic bottle.

Now, if you really wanted to make some mad bank, screw the the "mountain spring" or P.W.S. bologna. Just bottle the water in glass vessel like a 'prissy' bottle of expensive perfume. Next have a priest bless it and sell it as "Holy Water."

People will drink it by the gallons, they will splash their enemies with it, douse all sorts of products with it such as wooden stakes and babies to silver bullets and mother-in-laws but just remember to hire me to design the labeling.

Here is the link to the Seattle Times about PWS and Aquafina issues: [Link]

Thursday, July 26, 2007

'Oryx', The bike of the Fuuuuuu-tureeeee!

This concept bicycle from Harald Cramer. (If you click on his name you can go to his personal site and see more of his industrial designs.)

These two sentences really grabbed me: "...Each bike is custom-made which guaranties the perfect fit for every rider and simplifies manufacturing; handle bars, stem and fork are made from one piece. The ergonomically shaped seat post and saddle are integrated into the frame with a hole to cool your bum even!

I found this at NotCot.org who attributed it to the Yanko Design site: [Link]

Wednesday, July 25, 2007

In Breastroke, you must lunge, grasshopper.

Gator Swim provides a complete and thorough writeup on the breaststroke. Illustrations are included from the front and side. [Link]

Wear Sunscreen!

This poor cow; I think it is a cow? Do cows have horns? Well "it" only put the sunscreen on his face and look what happened to "it". Wear sunscreen.

The photo is entitled: "Cowliday", uploaded by belgianchocolate within his Flickr account

Cesar Cielo in the 100m free at the 2007 Pan American Games

Fast turnover, nice turn, breathes to the side in a unique way with sort of a lope. Here he is swimming a sub :5o 100m free. Congratulations, Cesar Cielo! See you in Beijing.

Tuesday, July 24, 2007

Always, Always, Always credit your source. If you don't, then you stole it.

UPDATE: I got a report that Lane 9 News posted 30-45 minutes before Timed Finals.

I was plagiarize once and it hurt. The guy actually got my rhetoric about Ian Crocker's butterfly linked to by an Arizona newspaper as well. I nearly spit at my monitor when I saw it! Well, I am seeing it happen to someone else now.

Here is a writeup about a sectional in Oxford, Ohio

This quote from
Lane 9 News: "...Colleen Schweitzer of Ohio State knocked off Sheila Carson of Club Wolverine ..." [Link]

This quote from Timed Finals: "...Colleen Schweitzer of Ohio State knocked off Sheila Carson of Club Wolverine ..." [Link]

Coincidence? Well, I think not!

The meet was held in Oxford, Ohio, not Dayton, Ohio, but both publications called it the Dayton Sections thereby making the same error on the same day. Timed Finals making the error in the headline and Lane 9 News in the body. (I think I know who published first.)

Something is rotten in the state of Denmark -- William Shakespeare's, Hamlet: [Link]

Something is fishy in Denmark -- Inspector Clouseau -- Some Pink Panther movie: [Link]

Amazing blog entry by Gary Hall regarding Jenny Thompson

Thomas Edison once said, "I failed my way to success." In other words he learned from each of his failures continuously streamlining his process till he had blasted through his problem. However, when human beings are involved as part of the problem, then the concept of failure is really only a personal concept rather than a factual one.

This blog entry by Gary Hall is about a presumed failure. A failure that never existed save for in the mind of 12-time, gold medalist, Jenny Thompson. She may have "failed" herself in her dream to grab an individual gold medal, but that failure was a self imposed sentence beyond her control and made her no less of a person or athlete otherwise. I guess in the Olympic moment, ego both trumps and punishes the self.

She is a doctor now, a far higher calling, and she still swims. :-)

I found this link at Lane 9 News: [Link]
The Gary Hall Blog: [Link]

Monday, July 23, 2007

Why all the knitting posts?

I had this really weird dream that these tie-dyed looking octopuses arrived in a space ships looking for a new planet to live since their planet was broken. Even though they busted every rule of physics to get here, their technology was not as advanced as ours but thy could predict what we were going to do before we did it. (After I woke up I think their only problem was that they didn't have thumbs)

These creatures would fly in the sky like an octopus does underwater and we earthlings started getting really pissed off about it. You can't have tie-dye octopus 'thingys' flaying all around in the sky.

They sensed this so they moved their operations into the ocean where they found an abundant food source which happened to be salt. This also benefited several regions of the earth because after they ingested large volumes of salt, they would sh*t gold and it would wash up on beaches to be harvested by poor children.

The octopuses knew what countries needed it the most so they would usually hang out around Africa and India. The kids of earth were so stoked that they started wearing knitted tie-dye octopuses as hats and such. People were getting tattoos of them, and the standard of living raised everywhere. Imagine finding an octopus's golden turd on the beach?

So when I woke up, I wanted to know if anyone has ever made an octopus hat for the snow but nobody has! If someone out there would make me an Octopus hat, I will pay them $200.

These pictures from Craftzine: [Link]

Knitted aquatic animals

Here is a Flickr stream by gooseflesh, a talented artist who knits and crochets sea creatures: [Link]

Sunday, July 22, 2007

Anthony, Eddie, Dave and I qualified for the Pier-to-ier Race - Marcy has a fundraiser coming up!

I met Anthony, Eddie, Dave and Marcy for a fun Pier-to-Pier swim this morning. After the swim we decided to qualify for the Pier-to-Pier race coming up on August 5th. What we found out is that we had to swim 500 meters and be judged by life guard as either worthy or unworthy. So, after filling out the race application and paying $25, we joined a pod of 15 potential entrants and began our qualifying swim. Of course I wanted to humiliate everybody but it appears my friends did too. So, after a moderately fast swim, I came in fourth or fifth behind Anthony, Dave and one or two other hotshots. Needless to say we are all included in the upcoming race but three inexperienced swimmers won't be.

Let's talk abut Marcy!

Marcy, a good swimmer with an exuberant personality and a big heart, founded a charity called Madison's Foundation. A foundation dedicated to. "...improving the quality and quantity of information available to parents of children with rare, life-threatening diseases, and to facilitating effective communication amongst parents, physicians and medical experts." They have a fund raiser coming up on August 8th at the Geffen Playhouse and the play looks pretty swanky! Go check it out: [Link]

If you go, you might win a new car. Do you need a new car? If not, then go to the play directed by Joel Zwick and have fun at the silent auction. You just might win and so will those families that could use a little support.

Friday, July 20, 2007

Bob Glockenmeier died last month - We will miss him

I use to swim SCAQ workouts with Bob G. at Santa Monica College. He would 'own' me throughout the workout because he always worked harder and wouldn't give up. If I beat him during a series of sprints he would dig down deep and beat me on the last few sets.

Before and after the workout he would acknowledge me with a hello and a knowing smile and I was always happy when I saw him because I knew he would pick the next lane over from me and we would quietly and politely "duke it out." In other words, he inspired me to swim faster.

He was a handsome man, very accessible, charitable, and well liked. We will all miss him.

Laure Manaudou, Kate Zeigler side by side

My first art teacher told me that when you go to a art museum, go there with a particular premise in mind or a particular problem you need to solve. For instance, if you are having problems with line, study how each artist delivered his line. If it is color, note the artists' color palette. Same with tone, composition, or meaning.

Olympian, Erik Hochstein, said my hips and legs sink when I get tired so I am looking at other swimmers whose legs don't sink when they get tired for inspiration. Enter, Laure Manaudou, and Kate Ziegler. There are no better distance models to look at than Laure Manaudou or Kate Ziegler. (Okay, there is Grant Hackett, Ian Thorpe, Larsen Jensen, Erik Vendt, but Ziegler and Manaudou are easier to look at.)

Note how high Kate Ziegler's hips ride in the water on the last 100m a scompared to Manaudou. She dominates the last 100m with better technique and a strong kick, a kick she only used on her flip turns to retain momentum and to add momentum during the last 100m to beat Manaudou, the only swimmer who has at that level.

Thursday, July 19, 2007

Insert your own Flickr photo-stream within your blog or website

I am experimenting so to speak. Here are some photos of both the 2006 & 2007 Alcatraz Sharkfest Swim.

There is this Flickr 'gizmo' out there where if you have a blog or a website you can copy/paste code from this 'gizmo' called "Picto Browser" and subsequently insert your personal Flickr photo-set within your site or blog.

I quickly threw this Alcatraz set together to see how it works. (I plan on using this tool when I blog swim meets and open water swims.)

If you have a Flickr account, click the info tab below on the Picto Browser above to learn how you can do it.

UPDATE: I spent 20, err, 27 minutes of my lunch hour getting this to work. Bleeech! For it to work in Blogger if you have to go into the HTML code and type in these numbers in two different places in the code for the height and width to scale correctly. Here they are: height="350" width="406". (I am an artist, not an engineer, Capt'n.

Wednesday, July 18, 2007

Sigh! The invasion has begun

What am I to do? 0.o

I found this at: Not Cot
Who found it at: Wooster Collective
Who found the original photos at artist, Florentijn Hofman's site. Unfortunately the ducks must have found out since his account has been suspended. There were more pictures there too.

Catalina Island to the mainland is 20.4 miles. This guy swam it!

Randy A., a SCAQ swimmer and a writer for a large metropolitan newspaper. (No really, this newspaper is huge! It's a planet-wide brand name), sent all of us this You Tube link this afternoon. This documentry is so cool. This is what it is like to swim from Catalina Island to the coast of mainland America. That's right! 20.4 miles, baby! It makes all those San Francisco swimmers who blow my mind look like wussies. Marc Lewis, the swimmer, is indeed a God.

I am not done watching this yet but I think only a few dozen people on record have done this swim.

If the Simpsons were swimmers, this would be their couch!

This is a designer couch by water designer Piscine Castiglione. The table that comes with it is pretty cool too. If I could make a recommendation to the designer regarding said table, I would put a plexiglass top on it and fish on the inside.

I found this at: Not Cot
Who found it at: Eternally Cool
Who found the original design at: Piscine Castiglione

Swimming World has entered the building!

Swimming World is my most linked to news source, hence, I have decided to add a news feed in the left-hand-side of this blog underneath the swim videos. They truly are the 'center of infinity' for all things swimming. They also have a swim shop there too.

(I get no gifts or compensation for saying this.)

Tuesday, July 17, 2007

A paralympian swam an amazing 1500!

From Swim News: "... The most heartening victory came from Natalie du Toit, who set a Games record of 17:09.05 over 1,500m freestyle. That makes the paralympian faster than the abled-bodied world record that stood before the advent of a young Australian called Shane Gould. An amazing effort. Silver went to Maroua Mathlouthi, of Tunisia and sibling of the men's medley winner, in 17:22.83, and bronze to South Africa's Dominique Dryding in 17:31.51. ..." [Link]

I may swim a 1500m free in Mission Viejo quite soon and I am hoping my time is in the low 20's. From her website:

"...Having competed at the Kuala Lumpur Games in 1998 as an able bodied athlete at the age of 14, she lost her leg in a motorcycle accident in 2001. Despite this setback, she was determined to compete at the Manchester Games both as an able bodied and disabled competitor just to prove it could be done. She achieved her goal, swimming into a creditable eighth place in the able bodied 800m Freestyle, and winning gold in the 50 and 100m Elite Athletes with a Disability (EAD) events." [Link]

You know what? I love motor cycles, I use to race them at Indian Dunes and I want to get a Ducati someday to race at Riverside but off the track or off the raceway motorcycles are nothing short of being "donor cycles."

I learned that word from a nurse who, while working in an ER, shouted, "where are his legs, I need his legs."

Then came the reply, "they are in the bucket!" The room went quiet,

"A bucket of legs? Where is the bucket of legs?"

"They are on their way; they are in the back of the truck that hit him."

Something in the water at Mission Viejo? Yeah, distance swimmers!

Let's see, they have that saying: "birds of a feather flock together" but that phrase doesn't work when describing aquatics. How about: Fish of a flipper pod with a good skipper?

Okay, It's official, I am no poet!

Chloe Sutton, an open water swimmer who swam well at worlds is moving down south to the Natadores so as to train with the likes of Larsen Jensen, Sachiko Yamada, Fran Crippen and other aquatic-comic-book-hero-types under the guidance of Coach Bill Rose.

Lane 9 News, our most linked to swim news source has the details about who is there and some quotes from the coach regarding such talent: [Link]

Mission Viejo is becoming both a distance and open-water Mecca, err... Atlantis, for potential distance oriented Olympians. (I can't mix metaphors if I want to be a good writer. You know "fish of a Flipper", Atlantis, Olympics; it all blends now.)

More on Chloe at the Washington Post: [Link]

Sunday, July 15, 2007

Scott gave us the heads up!!!

He did it! Lewis Gordon Pugh is alive and accomplished his task. The first man to swim a kilometer at the north pole. I still think he is a moron but he deserves any recognition he gets. Scott from Canuck Swimmer was the first to report:

Snippet: The London lawyer, nicknamed the Polar Bear, was clad only in trunks, cap and goggles as he covered 1km (0.6miles) in 18 min 50 sec. [Link]

Swimming Pier-to-Pier this morning with Anthony

There is going to be a Pier-to-Pier race on August 5th I believe. Anthony wants to do it and I probably will too just to see where I am located on the food chain of experienced open water swimmers but for now on to the business at hand.

Here is how these Sunday swims go: Some SCAQ members like Steve J. and others meet at the lifeguard tower south of Manhattan Pier at 8:00 AM. At 8:15 AM they all run down en masse to the Hermosa Pier and begin the swim.

It's unofficial so anybody can go.

Friday, July 13, 2007

Open Water Clinics and Open Water advice

[Here is some open water advice and a clinic offer for open water swimming. After I did my first SCAQ Open Water Clinic, I moved up 40 places in the Alcatraz Sharkfest standings. That Anthony and I in the photo.)

SCAQ OCEAN CLINICS are all summer long. Whether you are a new or seasoned triathlete you should be spending 80% of your time in the pool and 20% in the ocean. A few things that we cover in the clinics and that are very important are: how to get in and get out of the water, how to sight, use a wet suit and get used to chop and waves. A few important race day tips: An essential "must do" for that morning is testing the bottom and checking waves and currents/ The most important thing is to get in that good warm up. Try warming up your core first with a short run, then do at least 500 yards minimum in the water.

Great time saving strategy: stay in a straight line. This is called sighting. Sight the far horizon (mountain, building, tree) not the buoy. Go out in your warm up and see where they line up. You will save tons of time and energy not having to lift your head up as high to spot a buoy. Try to not make too many directional errors.

If you are in a pack of swimmers, you can rely on them for a lot of your sighting. Less time lifting your head saves energy. Keep on eye on any pack, because they generally drift with the leader. If a pack drifts too far out stay with them, but on the inside. And if the pack drifts inside stay on the outside.

Our ocean clinics are almost every Saturday in the summer months. See SWIM.net/SCAQ for details or call us at 310.390.5700 to sign up.

Even Michael Phelps makes pace mistakes!

(Clay Evans on how pacing can determine a world record)

EVEN MICHAEL PHELPS GETS IN TROUBLE WITH HIS PACING! Yes, even swimmers at the Olympic Gold medalist level make pacing mistakes. It becomes very difficult, especially when you are at that level and going for a world record. Even after breaking Ian Thorpe's world record in the 200 free this year Phelps doesn't get it right for his 400 last weekend and admits it. See the LA Times article [Link]

Phelps went out too fast with a 1:50.2+ in the first 200 and then came back too tired. He ended up doing a 1:57+ in the second half. That is a seven second difference. Still he was an incredible 4:47, one of the fastest 400 swims ever in history. That is only three seconds off the American Record. His coach knew that if he had gone out 2 seconds slower he probably would have been able to come back 5 seconds faster and have an overall time that might have set a new American Record. That is the give and take of pacing.

Every swim coach knows that they have to teach their swimmers how to pace. That is the only way you will achieve the maximum result in a race. The good news is, even if you only want to burn off calories, you will do it with far better results if you also pace your workouts.

Pacing does mean doing repetitive sets in your workouts. Not all the time, but certainly half. As adults past our prime we can all have different goals as to the content of a workout.

However, at SCAQ we have swimmers with goals that include competitive ocean swimming, faster pool swimming and Triathletes. All swimmers can get their goals accomplished. Remember, it is okay not to do the exact distance and stroke a coach dictates. Just stay on the Coach's interval and do the essence of the set without disrupting the lane.

'Pacing' by Clay Evans

[Pacing is apparently the paradigm for spectacular swimming. We are seeing it with Michael Phelps and Kate Zeigler as well. Clay Evans wrote an article for SCAQ members regarding pacing.]

PACE PACE PACE! For those of you who are ocean swimmers and don't think pacing is important, take a look at Kate Ziegler who just broke Janet Evan's 19-year-old World Record in the 1500, the oldest record on the books. She broke the World Record by 11 seconds holding nearly precision timing pacing. See her splits below for her world record:

29.23 31.26
31.60 31.37
31.71 31.57
31.60 31.53
31.54 31.60
31.79 31.68
31.59 31.56
31.43 31.51
31.34 31.51
31.65 31.67
31.44 31.51
31.72 31.75
31.38 31.99
31.59 31.72
31.42 29.27

You can bet she did this over and over in workout until it felt second nature to her. She was definitely in a groove. This applies in the ocean as well. If you know your pace and are in a groove when you swim you will finish stronger and without dying at the end of the race. Everyone has an optimal pacing speed. You need to spend some time in the pool going back and forth and working with the clock, to know what that pace is for you personally. This comes from clockwork, during warm-up, main
sets, kick sets and warm down.

You can be sure that in the open rough water you will need to return to your pace. Something will interrupt you or throw you off pace and you need to be able to find your pace again and return to it. Pacing not only means finding your racing speed and sticking to it, but also means holding back a little. If you go out, or begin, a race too fast you will struggle with fatigue at some point in the race. Fatigue will result in poor technique, which will in turn slow you down. If Kate Ziegler had started her race too fast she could never have held another 14 100's at that pace. She knew what she was doing. She had practiced it over and over.

Wednesday, July 11, 2007

Swim Noir: Ecstasy, murder, doping, and kids!

This was set to me by Wendy, a stream of consciousness post she made at her blog about a particular coach in Canada who should have never been trusted with anything sharper than a marshmallow! Read it here: [Link]

Wendy is a masters swimmer who blogs about her life, shinny things and swim related stuff at Of(f) the deep end.

Tuesday, July 10, 2007

Southern California Aquatics (SCAQ) Storms the Newport Beach Pier to Pier swim this past weekend

SCAQ swimmers dominated the Newport 2-mile Pier to Pier swim with led by Craig Nadel, age 46, who was the overall winner in in 43:06, 15 seconds ahead of a 21 year-old UCI collegiate swimmer. Six other SCAQ swimmers placed in the top 25 of a very competitive field. Scott Hubbard was third place overall (and 1st place in his 35-39 age group) about a minute behind Craig. Also making the top 25 were: Grant Levy (12th overall and 1st in the 40-45 age group), Tracy Edwards (13th overall and 1st in the 50-54 age group), Eric Erenstoft (16th overall), Chris Armstrong (23rd overall), Jon Irwin (24th overall) and Dan Leonard (9th in the 50-54 age group) Complete results can be found here: [Link]

Now hear this! These results are why I endorse SCAQ and the SCAQ open water swim clinics! Do one now if you want get fast: [Link]

Santa's little swimmer!

Lewis Gordon Pugh is about to attempt both an extraordinarily vain and a very silly stunt at the top of the world. He is going to swim a 1000 meters at the north pole to draw attention to the fact that our earth is heating up so much that vast pockets of water exist among the ice sheets at true magnetic north. He left London today and he will do his swim on the 15th of this month. [Link]

Imagine what sort of carbon resources it takes to get to the north pole? There is the flight itself, the snow vehicles, or helicopter rides, and a vast support team to revive him if things go untoward but skip all that

Adventurers tell us that the ice sheets at the North Pole are in a constant kinetic state. Imagine clouds in the sky; but in this case it is ice upon water, slowly moving and merging into one another accompanied with an audible roar of crunching and tumbling ice. So, not only does he have to get to the North Pole, he has to find a suitable pool. A pool that may or may not be there hours later.

Now let's assume it all goes well. He finds a pool, they find a nice place to land, he suits up, the support staff is ready, he puts on some sun screen and is ready to swim. The water he will be jumping into will be roughly 28-29 degrees Fahrenheit; a temperature that will kill a vast majority of land dwelling animals or freeze anything solid within your refrigerator. What does this prove?

Physics tells us that he will either die or barely survive this swim and while his support crew is using all sorts of expensive equipment to monitor his health and warm his core temp to the point of a life sustaining temperature once he exits, the only point he will truly make is that he has a personality disorder and that it to f-ing cold to swim at the North Pole.

Nothing new will be contributed to our knowledge about global warming. Anything he sees or experiences has been seen, cataloged or experience within other scientific disciplines. This swim will probably have skeptics or the uneducated laughing in delight as they watch a middle age man attempt to prove that he alone can do a 15 minute swim at the North Pole in ridiculously extreme conditions.

So, does global warming exist? Yes, Is there a preponderance of evidence that there are pockets of water at the north pole? Yes! Is it so warm there that a human being can swim there? NO!

This article from thePoles.com explains life at the poles: [Link]
There are also satellite photos of the north pole as well at earthobservatory.nasa.gov: [Link]

A statute of limitations on doping?

So, if you took steroids or EPO or whatever 'Frankenstein pharmaceutical' there is/was to win a race and you are not caught within 8 years, you get to keep your medals. From Swimming World article:

"... IOC President, Jacque Rogge, citing the Olympic Charter Law of the Statute of Limitations of eight years, during a media conference call, stated that it would be legally difficult to take the medals away from the cyclists after eight years. And that it may also complicate matters with the 1976 Olympics as the German media reported, that possibly the Olympic medals given to the East German swimmers in 1976 would not be taken away from them. ..."

But what happens to the athletes that actually won but were the summarily forgotten?

"...The precedent is firmly established and legally sound, that, no IOC law would prevent [IOC President Jacques Rogge] from awarding Olympic medals to Shirley Babashoff from the U.S., Gabrielle Askamp of West Germany, Enith Brigitha of The Netherlands, Anneliee Maas of The Netherlands, Shannon Smith of Canada, Rebecca Perrott of New Zealand, and other swimmers as co-Olympic champions as the IOC has in the past in other cases. That is the right thing to do. There are no obstacles or objections to having the medal ceremony that men and women of goodwill cannot overcome. ..." [Link]

Imagine getting your medals ten, twenty, or thirty years later in some conference room, or worse, by mail? This is the true damage that cheaters do. They usurp the moment, the glory, and the financial rewards. Shirley Babashoff would have been a millionaire if allowed to win her 7 gold medals circa '72.

Monday, July 09, 2007

Look how high Brendan Hansen's hips are when doing breststroke.

It's as if he is doing a butterfly undulation

Doping article at Swimming World

A through explanation of doping and the consequences. Personally I stopped watching cycling after the Floyd Landis national embarrassment after last year's Tour de France. He is a despicable cheater who who refuses to "cowboy up" and tell the truth. Here is a snippet:

After a brief telephone conversation with Team Milram's press contact, Stefan Schwenke, Schwenke confirmed Zabel made the 1996 German Olympic Team. Zabel failed to mention during the press conference, that the EPO he took in July at the first week of the 1996 Tour de France benefited him for the 1996 Atlanta Olympic Games. Neither, Zabel nor Altag stood up and volunteered to apply the rules governing the sport to themselves, disqualifying themselves and erasing their accomplishments during the time of their confessed infractions. [Link]

Sidenote, I think EPOGEN cost $100 per shot.

The Pan American Games start in a few days...

I am rooting for Gary Hall in the 50 free. The last time he raced he beat Cullen Jones but that Cesar Cielo of Brazil beat them both. My post regarding the race and the results can be seen here: [Link]

I suspect Cesar Cielo will once again be a favorite at the Pan Am games due to the home pool advantage.

Here is a link to the official Pan American Games site: [Link]

Sunday, July 08, 2007

The Beijing Water Cube Is Almost Done!

I still don't like it. I think the architects overreached creating a structure that will not age gracefully. It's my opinion that form was placed well before function with this project and consequently this aquatics center may be very hard to maintain. The Water Cube has lots of nooks and crannies that could collect dirt or mold, the facility has a flat roof with bubble protrusions which to me does not seem conducive to proper rain runoff. It could suffer from ventilation issues since it does not seemingly appear to have large wholesale vents. An open or ventilated roof is the best way to ventilate an aquatics arena.

Here is a gallery of photos from Wired Magazine: [Link]

Saturday, July 07, 2007

Do speed suits make you swim faster? Park thinks so!

This from Swim News:

"...After donning the suit, Park [Tae-hwan] endured a 2,000m test set, the result a time of 21mins 14.49, some 22sec faster than his previous test best. "I am satisfied with this bodysuit. It feels a good fit to my body and I feel as if I'm floating higher on the water," Park told local reporters. "I plan to wear the suit for next year's Olympic Games. I want to make my best records there, while adjusting myself to the suit during the pre-Olympic period. ..." [Link]

It is a Speedo FS II specifically tailored for Park which leads me to believe that Speedo sewed some Benjamin Franklins' in the fabric of his wallet so as to make it go so faster as well.

Link to a movie which I can't get to work on my Mac: [Link]

Clay handed me my bum today at workout at the SMC Pool!

Clay does this to me every time and I fall for it.

"Hey Tony, for the main set how does a 1:30 base interval sound?

I am thinking no problem. Even when I am tired I come in at 1:25 so no big deal. Consequently I swim 6 x 50's @ 45-seconds, Then 3 x 100s @ 1:30, a hard 300, 6 x50's again at 45-seconds a sprint 100, a sprint 50 and a sprint 25.

I was pronounced dead on the last 6 x 50s. I did a "zombie" swim of the 100 sprint but rose from the dead on the 50 and 25 sprints. It seemed like I never had more than 5-10 seconds rest the whole workout.

If you are 10-years-old or younger, and your friend's house has one of these, which is more dangerous to your health?

I read a book called Freakonomics; a quirky yet accessible book about truth and perception in both the market place and our social environment. The truth deduced therein was generally proved by math analysis whereas conflicting conventional wisdom was proven to come from the mouth of 'experts'; (with vested interests), to the ears of a journalist and consequently to the minds of the reader. About 13% of all doctors, lawyers, real estate agents, car salesmen, and people like you and I are guilty of cheating in some way.

Did you know that teachers cheat as much as their students? (The number two pencil is easy to erase.) That sumo wrestlers throw matches, that street gangs have the same organizational charts as huge 'conglomos' such as McDonalds or Wallmart and that their front line drug dealers; (or burger flippers), make very little money while the generals or CEOs make mad bank.

Ironic how both employees need to live at home with their moms or collect welfare to support themselves.

So, what do guns and pools have in common? Fact: there are 2-million guns for every kid under 10 in this country. The number is HUGE and it is true! There are more guns in the US than there are people. Second fact: though guns are a fast curtain to bad second act* there are 11-thousand backyard pools per child in the US which is 20-times or so less than the amount of guns per child. With this stat in mind, note that both kill about the same amount of children.

Conclusion, fence your pool, teach everyone who lives in the house how to swim and lock your backyard gate and if anyone comes over, watch them swim. [Link]

*The quote came from Raymond Chandler's book Playback

Friday, July 06, 2007

The Ultimate Open Water, Surfer, Lifeguard, Beach-Goer, Watch

Wow, this watch not only tells you the tidal information of about 200 beaches around the world for the next 15 years, it does times zones, times your swim, has an alarm and it is only $90 dollars. (35% off if you live in Europe for your currency is actually worth something.)

The company is called: Nixon; (No, seriously, it really is.), and the watch is called the Lowdown. [Link]

I found this jewel among the slime at NotCot.org, who found it at Technabob.com

Tara Kirk, 200 Breast Final, Santa Clara Invitational 2007

You Tube
has a slew of videos from the Santa Clara Invitational. Here is one of Tara Kirk with what I think is a very elegant breaststroke. I am looking forward to watching her at trials next year.

Here is a link to 32 videos posted by SwimStars so you have to go look. [Link]

Hey, Craig Lord, of Swim News! You're in the dog house!

Craig Lord is a writer over at Swim News and he has an article over there called Manaudou off to Mexico but he only spends two sentences on that particular topic. (Hey, Laure, Denver, Colorado is better. Go ask Kate Ziegler.)

The majority of the article is about an 18 day vacation she will take on 'fancy-schmancy' yacht with her new Italian coach and friends where 'dubious' and 'mysterious' things could happen... You know, such as...doping? (Dramatic look here: [Link] )

However, in his own words, he claims he isn't insinuating anything untoward but suggests FINA, WADA, France, and her boyfriend would just like to know where she is 24/7 in case they would like to surprise her with a drug test. You, know, all for "peace of mind" of course.

Here is a snippet:

"... Second, if Manaudou is out at sea for 18 days on a yacht, how will she record her movements on the anti-doping control form? How, precisely, would testers be able to spring a surprise? Before this is misunderstood, I am not suggesting anything untoward, simply that the issue of where a swimmer is at any particular moment surely becomes a far more complex affair when the athlete is not at a set point on dry land. ..." [Link]

He suggests that FINA anti-doping ninjas; (Who I actually admire), have access to charts, mooring locations, perhaps ship manifests etc. He does not include that Manaudou did very well at French Nationals, that she will definitely test clean and misses that if a swimmer is going to dope, they would dope before a race, not after.

So, Craig, you are in the dog house! Bad dog, bad dog!

IOC creates Youth Olympics

Been busy on personal art projects this weekend. I promise to resume blogging full blast. For Now, the IOC approves a Youth Olympiad! here are a couple of articles about it.

Lane 9 News: [Link] Swim News' pithy criticism [Link] This Washington Post article is the best: [Link]

Tuesday, July 03, 2007

If you have no kick and no hope of ever getting one then this is how you want to swim

The rotation of her turnover is amazingly symmetrical and maintains momentum so well. If you look at Ziegler or Manaudou you will see a similar stroke.

Monday, July 02, 2007

'Janet Evans' Total Swimming' mini review

I got Janet Evans' book today and I skipped the first chapter which was primarily a swim environment and swim gear section and went right to a burning question I have had, the stroke count.

Finally someone sticks a stake into the heart of the 'low stroke count equals faster swimmer theory' with Janet Evans eloquently stating the following:

"The focus on swim training is often on lowering stroke count to increase speed, and that tactic is solid as long as efficiency is not lost. My stroke count was quite high--about 40 strokes per 50 meters compared with 25 for the larger swimmers--but my strong pull and push underwater and rapid tempo combined to create an efficient stroke that earned me a gold medal against larger swimmers in that 400-meter freestyle race." -- Janet Evans

The book is divided into three sections, Swim Essentials, Workouts and Programs

I attempted to skim through it but I got impetuous and went right to workouts in the back and they kick ass. She divides the level of difficulty into 7 categories, newer swimmers and triathletes are level 1 and fast lane guys are level 6b.

The programs section is very "project management" oriented which is great for someone swimming on their own for a triathlon or as a supplement to a coached workout.

I will review it as I read it and post comments here. Here is a link to buy. (Note: I am not compensated in any way, shape or form by linking to this page.) [Link] Here is a link to a Janet Evans article from Sports Illustrated date 7-22-96 or four days into her last Olympiad [Link]

Phelps is working on reverse splitting

I was looking at Michael Phelps' 100-meter free time, a 49.10, and then looked at his splits. He went out in a 24.40 and came back in a 24.70. A Michael Phelps dive is at least a two second boost yet his second 50 was only .3 slower than his first 50. Astonishing. Link to Swim News who has a n article about it: [Link]

What do you do when you have no 'Plan B'? - An amazing profile on Olympian, Allison Wagner, who raced at the Santa Clara Meet

UPDATE: Scott, I forgot to include the link Ogged sent me. I will get this blogging thing down someday : [Link]

Ogged sent me this last night, a New York Times article about 1996 silver medalist, Allison Wagner, who swam in the Santa Clara meet over the weekend. Denied a gold medal in 1996 by a competitor Michelle Smith; (Ireland), who was later suspended for fudging a urine sample, what followed for Allison was the process of trying to get a life and doing so.

Allison swam in two events this past weekend, the 100m fly posting a time of 1:04.01 and placing 39th overall, then swimming the 100m free swimming in a time of 57.99 placing 32. Her split split times were quite symmetrical a swell, she went out in a 28:00 and came back in a 29.99. (I can't do that! I start of slow and finish slower.)

This profile is essentially about a 30-year-old woman coming back to swimming after an eventful life full of both disharmony and accomplishment. Disharmony includes, an eating disorder, racing athletes who cheated, having no career to go post Olympics which is something I have seen myself in two other Olympic athletes I have met. Now, since I have provided a negative, her is a positive: She got a degree in Buddhist psychology, she has traveled the world and she is back to swimming once again feeling the joy that she had once felt when she was 8-years-old.

So often you hear about people like Popov, Evans, Thorpe and others who just walk away from the pool in a sigh of relief. In this case it is the opposite.

Now, I love breaststroke pictures so I include one of Allison from 1996. Here is what Allison would look like with an Amish beard. :-)