We are now in 2018 and British Swimming just announced that the Qualifying window for 2020 will be shorter to help lessen the cross-over with school examination periods. Great to know that as many parents plan their children’s lives well ahead of their GCSE periods.
2020 qualifying window is going to be:
Friday 13th March – Sunday 10th May 2020 inclusive.
In Madison’s case we need to think further ahead as the fitness situation is probably not going to get her fit by the 2019 Summer champs where the qualifying window will be
Friday 22nd March – Sunday 27th May 2019 inclusive.
The difference amounts to 59 days in 2020 – 67 days in 2019 = 8 days less to qualify. Of course the qualifying period also starts earlier in 2020.
Just trying to organise a fan-trip to Sheffield next week to support some of our Hackney swimmers.
When I first looked up the printable start-list the swimmers all appeared and I believed that two of our swimmers Ryan and Jude swim on the Thursday morning.
Got on to purchase tickets for the Ponds Forge Venue and then the train tickets. But then, just before I purchased the train tickets, I thought, I check the start lists again to make sure I got the correct day.
By then the printable start lists had disappeared. So what now? I think our club could at least publish the dates our swimmers are performing so that we fans can get tickets to watch them.
Because if I want to purchase tickets from the British Swimming website, there is no direct link to printed start lists.
How can fans be expected to travel to support certain swimmers if one doesn’t know when they swim?
Pleased to discover that Madison already has achieved 6 automatic qualifying times for next year’s County Championships.
Even though she does not participate in any national competition this year, the qualifying window for counties gets better each year, indicating an over-all improvement of performance. Meaning Madison qualifies for more difficult target times earlier than before.
In previous years Madison had to struggle to get the County qualifying times in time for registration but this year we are well ahead. The 2018 season has not yet finished and we already qualify for 2019.
There is an enormous feel-good factor in Britain since England won the entry into the quarter finals in the FIFA world cup.
It just couldn’t be better. We had a wonderful Community day with Hackney Aquatics, a very exciting finish to the season when some of our swimmers take part in the nationals and, hugely exciting, a new training schedule and competition schedule for next season.
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.
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.
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.
The final list of national qualifiers to be published on the 8. June 2018 for the national swimmers on the Swimmingorg website.
Madison did not qualify for England or British events and Hackney does not have a relay team.
The best course of action is to drive forward training and get as much strength conditioning as possible.
We need to think about qualifying for next year’s counties and regionals. With the long summer break, Madison does not want to drop down in the performance levels over that 5 weeks rest period. Madison will go to a week-long swim camp.
Some clubs offer sponsored swims, which help train for distance, there are also several 800 and 1500 meter events. Then of course there are Open water swims, which span from 2km to 5km normally. Madison’s distance would be 3km. We entered an Open Water event, details to follow.
Any type of training is good training as long as it helps the progress of the swimmer. All activities like walking, running, climbing or other sports will help to preserve and enhance conditioning.
We purely choose our events and activities according to the benefit for training progress. The more we pay and the more we want to gain from the activity.
Of course all swimmers want to go and swim and win but gains have to be earned through training and better skills.
Madison also finally achieved a 30 second swim for the 50 freestyle, which earned a 21st place.
In the backstroke it’s good to have gotten a 3 second PB in the 200 backstroke. The Best times as published by Swimmingresults now show more and more level 1 meets from 50 m pools.
Qualifying with a fast 25m time that was converted is not easily matched in a 50m pool. We’re trying to set manageable goals, like matching a converted 25m time with an equally fast 50m time.
At present Madison is faster at the 50m freestyle in the 50m pool than in the 25m pool. The latest times will be published within the next couple of days.
It was amazing to see swimmers we normally only see on the streaming of the British Champs. Swimming amongst those great swimmers was an absolute privilege and even being put into ones place, was a great lesson. We witnessed 50 breast swum in 29 seconds and 1500 free in 16 minutes respectively.
Just hate it when my club shuts down for the whole of the summer holidays, so I do not get 5 weeks worth of training.
Whilst I complete the consent form for the Melanie Marshall Swim Inspiration’s camp for the second time, I have one question which simply says: “Why do you swim?”
This year I am attending the summer camp, (early August), last year I attended the Easter camp. Apparently Repton was an invasion point for the Vikings around 865 AD, how amazing.
The swim camp is going to be at Repton school in the wonderful Derbyshire countryside. I know I am not going to make it for the English or the British Nationals this year and so opt for some concentrated training with Grant Turner instead. Last year I gotten a lot of swim inspirations there.
So why do I swim? I suppose now I am doing it for fitness and stress relief. I think I’ll also want to be a coach later on. I am going to study sport science, triple science, maths and continue to do the intensive training. My brain works best with lots of swimming.
Hopefully next year I’ll get better still and will make the nationals.
Incidentally the polite attentiveness of both Grant Turner and Melanie Marshall is characteristic of fast and happy swimmers.