Beckenham Easter International meet

This premium meet at the LAC was the crowning glory of my competition Easter weekend.

Very pleased to say, achieved a 1.2 second Personal Best in the 100 backstroke. See live results. 

Improved from 1:16:35 – 1:15:13. Not bad to get 8th place within the national swimmers window. Madison easily won her heat  this 10-lane pool.

The older and faster a performance swimmer gets the more precious do Personal Best times become. Madison was concerned that some younger swimmer gotten incredibly fast times but it has to be said that we only can hope that these young, very fast swimmers keep up the regular training to stay that fast for years to come.

What is important for every individual swimmer, is to measure personal progression against previous achievements but not to compare against others because development is different for each individual.

 

Basildon Easter meet

What a wonderful relaxing walk on the way to the Basildon Sporting Village, through picturesque parkland and arriving at the Sporting Village at noon.

image_544269386274769

Madison had the privilege to swim on the Saturday 31. March 2018 and the great organisation of the meet enabled her to get some very good result. Considering it was a level 1 meet, with national swimmers in attendance, it is superb that Madison achieved a bronze medal in the 50 Butterfly and achieved top 10 status within her age group in all events swam. All event result in the 13 year old girls.

There was a

  • 5th place  for 50 backstroke with a new PB of 35:29 LC
  • 7th place for 200 freestyle with a new PB of 2:29:43 LC
  • 3rd place for 50 butterfly with a new PB of 34:88 LC (bronze medal)
  • 6th place for 100 freestyle with a new PB of 1:07:54
  • 4th place for 200 backstroke missing the PB by 2 seconds.

But considering that the 200 backstroke came shortly after the 100 freestyle with no rest in between it is not surprising that a PB wasn’t achieved. 200 backstroke is hard.

This is the first level 1 meet that Madison has won a medal. Well done.

BB

not Bed and Breakfast, not Brigit Bardot but Basildon and Beckenham.

The Basildon and Beckenham meets run concurrently in Basildon Sporting Village and the London Aquatics Centre, both are long-course meets on 31. March and 1. April 2018.

We are splitting ourselves between the two. Saturday at Basildon and Sunday at the LAC. All long-course times achieved at licensed meets are acceptable for the national competitions.

We’ll leave the 25m competitions to catch up on weaker strokes, e.g. 200 fly or 200 breast.

 

 

Summer champs interim rankings

There are several categories and for England Madison has gotten the time but she is not listed.

For 50 back there are swimmers listed with as slow as 34:73 for 50 back.

Madison’s time is 33:16 LC converted from a 32:55 SC. Of course the ranking system only seems to take times from the speed achieved in long-course races, where Madison’s last PB was 35:38. Perhaps British Swimming can adapt the Team Unify system that automatically converts times to suit both disciplines.

In all other events they accept converted times, of course I think Madison will up-date her long-course time achieved in long course in the next competition but I’ll also have to contact the coach about this one.

Basildon & Phoenix regional qualifier

Madison did 4 races and won Gold twice, obtained 3 regional qualifying times and achieved some very good Personal Best Times.

  • 400 freestyle – entry time 5:13:01 = result 5:05:97
  • 200 backstroke – entry time 2:46:16 = result 2:36:88
  • 50 backstroke – entry time 35:80 = result 32:55 Gold medal
  • 100 backstroke – entry time 1:15:87 = result 1:12:64* Gold medal

This time we came fully prepared. We started preparations the day before with good nourishment routines and this time didn’t get lost on the way to the Basildon Sporting Village.

There is a very easy walking route from the Basildon train station and with a little research, this time we made it without problems. We arrived early, had an early lunch at the Basildon Sporting Village cafe and then the event started.

And at last but not least, Madison finally now achieved regional qualifying times. The hard work and excellent training at Hackney Aquatics paid off. Madison has 2 guaranteed and 1 consideration time. Wow and well done.

*There was one faster swimmer on a time-trial.

Masters records

From age 25 onwards Wikipedia lists Masters world records. The oldest age-group is 100 – 104. NO, I just found somebody who holds the world record for the age-group in 50 backstroke for ages 105-109 and that is Jaring Timmerman of Canada. Apparently he also held the world record for the preceding age-group of 100-104.

Aged 100-104 Jaring swam the 50 backstroke in 1:45:59 and aged 105-109 Jaring took 3:09:55 for the same distance.

The women’s world record for age 90-94 in 50m Freestyle is 52:09, for 50 breaststroke for the same age-group its 1:14:04.

George Corones
Swimming Australia Picture

Just to update this post on 2. March 2018, the 50 m Freestyle record for 100 – 104 year olds has just been smashed by 99 year old George Corones in Queensland Australia with 56:12.

Ideally every athlete and swimmer should try to maintain their fitness and keep the age group records with rising age.

I would be pleased if I could even make it to the pool aged 100 let alone swim 50 meters. But this is what the sport and keeping fit is all about, perform as long as you can and stay fit, set a good example to others and don’t  let yourself go.

For younger swimmers having the Olympic Games in their horizon, stay focussed on the long-term achievements and not only on performing till the Olympic games.

 

Keeping up the performance

In performance sports constant fitness regimes and a lifestyle that is focused on performance are imperative.

There is no fast way to sporting results for most athletes, not all are fast starters and many reap the results of their training and clean living efforts later on in life. Remember you can establish a swimming record till very late in life, age-groups never stop.

Learning to deal with rejections and throwbacks is almost as important for a young swimmer as being able to win. Most swimmers probably lose more races than winning them.

It is however very important to attend competitions on a monthly basis to stay tuned.

In swimming as a sport, peaking at 18+ is probably more convenient than earlier because it fits in with the schooling regime that we all have to follow here in the UK.

What is important is that we get into healthy living habits, don’t slack on the swimming training and keep it up.

Performance swimming means being constantly on the swim, on a daily basis. You gotta love swimming a lot to be able to do it.

Once you get selected for national teams, you get a whole host of wonderful training opportunities through podium funding. Prior to that all athletes can apply for GLL funding. But as said previously there are also many practical ways to improve fitness.

MCASA weekend (2)

Junior County champs at the LAC was a two-day gala at level 1, that is the highest level possible in swimming.

Madison swam with Hackney Aquatics and the event was for 14 years upwards. All the medal winners from the club were 15 years or older. Madison is still only 13 years of age and only joined the club 4 months ago and had to do so suddenly, due to LACPP being dissolved. Madison swam for National Youth in LACPP but since joining Hackney Aquatics now swims with the second squad, the Performance Age group, which are much younger; but she did have a few  training sessions with the Performance Youth squad prior to the Counties.

Despite all the upheaval, Madison managed to get 5th place in the 200S back stroke for 14 year olds and 2 reserve finalist places in the 50 and 100 back. See full results here:

Of course every reserve finalist becomes a finalist should one of the base finalists decide to drop out, which didn’t happen in Madison’s case.

In a 10 lane pool, the fastest 10 become finalists in sprint events ranging over all the 50 and 100 meter stroke disciplines. Being a finalist could result in a 10th place. Longer distance events do not have any finals.

A fifth place in the 200 back is not a medal but good progress and an excellent stepping stone to develop the swimming skills in the future.

We need to develop skills realistically and having had the courage to swim the 100 breast for the first time in a long course meet and getting a county time is not bad at all.

For Madison this is so far the best result achieved in a county meet and that is encouraging. Madison still enjoys swimming and we are not at all upset for not getting any medals this time.

I strongly want to encourage all swimmers who do not win medals to continue with the sport because we have seen so many young and very fast swimmers drop out of the sport. Being fast when you are very young does not mean that you continue in the sport, what is important is that swimmers lead healthy lives and if it is enjoyable, continue with it.

Measuring sporting potential

medalsWe have hordes of medals and all those medals are no guarantee of future sporting success, they were gained in so-called low-level 3 meets.

What really determines sporting talent is the ability to get regional and national and international qualifying times.

But, when young, for example when a 10-year-old gets regional times, that does not mean they’ll always get regional times in the future.

When a 14-year-old doesn’t get regional times that doesn’t mean they won’t get them the following year.

I am drawing up a table now to measure improvement or decline.

A simple formula

financial reward for

Gaining regional, national times and medals. (Though medals do not pay as much as regional or national times).

financial penalty for

performing at less than a previous best time for each event.

So for example, go to a meet, do 9 events. If at worst the swimmer swims below previous Personal Best time that accrues a considerate financial penalty in terms of deduction from future earnings from medals or achieving target times.

However if the swimmer gains by getting a regional time, gains a medal but swims below PB in just one event, then there will be overall a financial gain.

How a parent does the math and what sums are involved will most likely depend on the spare cash available.

The more hopeful performance is, the greater the financial reward. If financial penalties keep mounting up then perhaps there is little point in training as intensely and it is time to concentrate on other, more rewarding activities, like trying to get all A*** in the GCSEs.

 

 

No more excuses

I was very impressed watching the @CityofDerbysc level 1 meet today. @HackneyAquatics has a small bunch of swimmers non older than 16 I believe and they did very well in this national atmosphere. Hackney came 16. at the end of day one – out of 44 clubs attending – with only a few swimmers with some very big and famous clubs attending.

At this level 15 year old swimmers had to compete in opens with no age-group to hide behind. Very tough and sobering.

Great thanks to Rick for providing the flair needed to make Hackney a club of the highest calibre with a lot of promise.

No more excuses that either the training or the facilities aren’t good enough to perform. The possibilities are endless with Hackney Aquatics and once Madison comes over her woes to do with changes in her life and we get stuck into this new routine, there is no reason to stop now.

In two weeks we have as a big milestone the MCASA Youth county swims at the LAC and to give some extra strength, will go to the gym tomorrow to fill the weekend with some muscle-workout.