Hamlet

Tragedies of Shakespeare are an important educational stepping stone of any English 14-year old. Fulfilling the requirements of the English Curriculum, we went to see Hamlet at the Globe theatre today. We try to see at l east 1 Shakespeare play per year and so far we saw Romeo and Juliet and now Hamlet.

We always admire those ‘professional’ swimmers who write about nothing but their training and winning medals, and I hope I’ll get to this stage eventually, but at the moment life is a mix of school and sport.

st.paulsWe went along the picturesque London city, past St. Paul’s Cathedral, over the bridge, near the Tate Modern gallery and towards the Globe theatre. Admiring the sky-line, whilst waiting for the doors to open we had a nice lunch.

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We just can’t believe how lucky we are to be living in London, a town full of opportunities and superb facilities.

We are never far from my favourite element water here in London. Just reminds me that my first open water swim will be next weekend.

 

just training

Having no competition for 2 weeks feels just like a holiday. Currently just training, the usual 7 times per week and it gets easier, the longer its done.

Just remember the posts made when we started the regular AM training with constant moaning about having to get up.

Now its all routine and such a toddle.

Busy raising money for the annual fund-raiser “Swim the Thames”. We have generous neighbours and the fund-raising form fills. But there are some who pay immediately and there are some who pledge.

Rather than keeping all the cash collected we just pay it via the club’s GoFundMe page and leave the rest of the donations for later, until the pledgers paid up.

Feeling fresh and relaxed, it’s always good to help and be positive, our club is such a great place to be and the team is fabulous.

The up-coming competitions feel easy and not bothered about having 2 800 m freestyle competitions on 2 consecutive days.

Swimming is fun!!!

Breaststroke ahoi

Madison is not ashamed to laboriously pick up her breaststroke skills to build up the full set of strokes to be proud of.

Of course there are a quite a few swimmers in the club who already found their special fast strokes and qualified for this year’s English and British nationals but Madison will continue to build skills across the range.

Today, at the very nice Hackney Development meet, Madison swam the breaststroke and took the 50m breast by storm with a new Personal Best of 42:79 improved from 45:79.

But then, came the amazingly generous lunch that Hackney Aquatics provided for Young volunteers and that 3/4 pizza made Madison look like she swallowed a stone when she participated in the 100 breast straight after lunch with a new Personal Best of 1:36:84. yet it is an improvement from 1:37:19.

There is a very good feeling for not resting on the laurels and continuing to graft on all skills.

Being Young Volunteers is an incredibly rewarding experience for Hackney Swimmers, the club is very friendly and has skill building for the swimmers at its heart.

 

Just swim

The London Region Open Water Championship details have just been announced and Madison will be in the last event of the day, the 3km age-group female champs. The 3km waves start at 14:45 and there is a maximum swimming time of 1 hour and 15 minutes allowed.

It must be total freedom to be able to just swim, with no turns or pool restrictions to cope with, just swim from your own strength and develop a rhythm that doesn’t stop at turns.

A swimmer doesn’t even know what strength they can develop during unrestricted Open Water swimming until they did it.

It’s worth a try. Qualifying within the first 3 of an age-group qualifies for the National Open Water Age-group championships in Rother Valley Country Park. Though the distance there is only 2km for age-groups. It is also possible to qualify with appropriate 800/1500 m times.

We are just interested in trying this out, to see what happens with this type of swimming.

Interestingly though it is going to be a very tough day because Madison will swim the 3km of the London Open Water champs at 14:45 and then head straightaway to the London Fields Lido to take part in the Hackney Aquatics sponsored Swim the Thames event and is attempting to swim another 3.5km in the 50m pool there, e.g. 70 lengths.

 

 

74:30:16 energy distribution

This morning’s 90 minute training session in the 50m pool consisted of 74 length. That makes a total of 3.700 m. Just short of 4km.

A 800 m swim comprises of 16 length, a 1.500 m swim comprises of 30 length of the 50m pool.

Whenever I am confronted with fear, I am trying to rationalise and approach ‘problems’ mathematically. The fear I am most frequently confronted with is the 800 and 1500 m freestyle competition. Well that is equalled by the 200 butterfly and followed by the 400 IM.

Freestyle, I can work out that swimming 3.700 m in 90 minutes equals just over ~41m per minute. Madison’s PB for 800m freestyle is around 11 minutes. Equals ~73m per minute.

For the 1.500 freestyle 15 minutes is an excellent Olympic time, that makes 100m per minute.

For the 800 freestyle 8 minutes is an excellent Olympic time, that makes 100m per minute.

There is going to be also an evening training session today, which is over 2 hours, e.g. 120 minutes with even more length than in the morning session; most likely 5.000 meters.

So do swimmers really prefer to spend an evening swimming between 3.700 m  and 5.000 meters per session, a total of 8.700m per day instead of just swimming 800 or 1.500 m per session?

Perhaps this is just a case of learning energy distribution. Obviously a swimmer will spend all their energy by swimming fast for 8 – 15 minutes instead of swimming medium fast for 120 minutes.

Butterfly, when small Butterfly was Madison’s favourite stroke but at the first time-trial Madison ever attended, most other swimmers told her not to do the butterfly time-trial as it is too hard.

Equal fears are spread about the 400 IM.

Looking at how many length a swimmer swims casually in training without fears, why do they mount up as soon as a competition is announced?

 

 

Going Nationals?

Madison qualified for various events in the Welsh Nationals 2018 but we have decided not to enter.

Reason, we need to pay for fares to get there, need to book into a hotel and that for several days because the events are spaced apart over several days.

We need to consider whether spending so much time and money actually furthers the swimming skills. Especially as the qualifying times are not higher than the London Region, which is just on our doorstep, it is not so exciting to go all out.

I can spend the same amount of money for a week’s works of training at the Melanie Marshall swimming camp the following week and get a lot of skills training for the money.

However had Madison qualified for the English or British Nationals, we wouldn’t mind spending money on going there because the qualifying times are faster and the demand on skills is higher.

Instead we will concentrate on getting faster for next season. It is never too late to get faster.

It is very important not to get demoralised when reading those publications whereby some swimmers win county and regional champs and go to British champs aged 14 and then thinking well I’m 14, and if I haven’t made it yet I never will. That is simply not so, everybody is different and as long as times improve there is a lot of hope.

Real progress being made


“Looking ahead to the 2020 Qualification Window, following feedback from the competitive swimming community, meet organisers should note that there is the desire to close the Window earlier to both limit the cross over with the school examination period and allow a for a longer run in (and training block) post the close of the Window to the end of season domestic meets.”

As Madison is one of those swimmers who genuinely also very much enjoy school and education, the news are more than welcome.

I suppose it also takes a lot of strain of many parents who are constantly worried how their children can mix GCSE and A-level exams with preparation for the British Nationals.

Currently the qualifying window opens on 22nd March but hey, why not start the qualifying window during Counties, which are also held in 50m pools.

When British Swimming funds  currently 2, national swim centres. Swim England wants to fund 4 performance centres from this year, July onward, there will be better access all around for those studying swimmers.

“At the moment many talented swimmers are unable to continue their swimming because of the lack of opportunities through further education. This programme was a key element of our swimming talent programme funding bid to Sport England as it will provide a vital link between the Swim England and British Swimming pathway….”

British Swimming is a superb organisation that has progress at its heart.

Obviously both British Swimming and Swim England are working together to further academic brilliance and brilliant swimming, as they know it belongs together.

I do hope that there will be one Performance Centre here in London and the LAC is such an inviting venue.

Our lives would be wonderfully sorted if all our educational and swimming needs get perfectly streamlined.

 

 

Invite to swim the Thames

Our readers are cordially invited to participate in the Community Day of Hackney Aquatics that will be held at the London Fields Lido.

From 3pm till late on Saturday 30. June 2018

Roll up, roll up and come along and swim if you want. Anyone can swim for a £5 donation. It would be great if we could altogether beat the 7.000 length required to equal the Thames.

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Hackney Community Day on 30 June 2018, at the Hackney Lido from 3pm

There will be

  • Barbeque
  • Ice cream
  • Food stalls
  • Pilates in the Park
  • Outdoor Yoga
  • Football
  • Extreme Frisbee

Hackney Aquatics want to split the proceeds of the day between the North London Hospice and the Club Access Fund. The Club Access Fund helps swimmers who are keen to swim but have problems finding the cost.

A huge thanks to all my neighbours who already generously donated for Madison to swim 5km at the Lido but she will also in the morning swim 3km at the London Open Swimming Championships* at the Surrey Quays. A mammoth undertaking for the good of the club.

All sponsors are most welcome to check with Hackney Aquatics whether their generous donations actually arrived at the club after the 30. June. If you do not meet me before and want to help but cannot come on the day please try to donate online.

*Your donation will not fund this competition but only the sponsored swim at the Lido.

Qualifying window for 2019

Next year’s qualifying window for British and home nation nationals will run from

22nd March – 27th May 2019 (inclusive).

Will be trying now to get the qualifying times for next year’s county champs prior to breaking up for the summer.

Yet we need to consider that there are plans to close the qualifying window even earlier in 2020 to avoid the examination period in schools.

As age-group swimmers have to swim as the age they would be at the end of the calendar year, most swimmers must swim ahead of their age.

Only people who are born in January of the year can swim their actual age for counties (that is where counties are held in January.

This principle of age as at the end of the calendar year, applies to all nationally regulated competitions throughout the year; most regional are in March/May (here in London). The summer champs are in July.

Madison will need to put her mind onto next year’s nationals.

One way to increase stamina and general strength will be to swim more long-distance competitions. Open water doesn’t have any turns and requires constant swimming. Other long-distance meets are held for us in July.

person on elliptical trainer
Photo by Pixabay on Pexels.com

The dilemma for younger swimmers is the fact that they are not allowed into gyms and the apparatuses within.

Madison will swim 2x 800m competitions on two consecutive days. Gone are the days were anything over 200m is greeted with shrieks of horror. We need to embrace long-distance.

hard summer

Toughen up is the motto of this year.

There are 2 open 3km swimming meets, 2 long-distance meets.

In an interesting new development Chelsea & Westminster and Hackney Aquatics combine a new long-distance time trial on 12. July and on 13. July is the long distance part of the Barking and Dagenham meet.

But what about 800 m freestyle?

We swim in each training session several km and swimming 800 should just feel like a bit of training at the end of the day.

I just can’t understand why some people build up such a big wall of fear between themselves and the 800 freestyle.

Next week Madison is going to sharpen up the breaststroke, a stroke long neglected. We are going to work hard on developing all styles and then the IM will be easier.

 

Need to get away from the easy 50s and 100s as the main goal.