Shame to miss the London Region

Is it not doubly annoying when you qualify for a regional championships but then can’t take your place in the lanes?

Worked so hard to get to the Regional Winter champs but unfortunately my shoulders have suffered the worst wear ever.

Well, can hope that all the County times for 2019 will at least come in handy. It will take a while to get back to peak fitness after this long break but never give up.

Nan will be an official and Madison can watch live results here.

Swim England nat. county champs

It’s next week on 7. October 2018 in Sheffield, Ponds Forge. And Hackney Aquatics has an entrant. Jude Costley is going to swim in the National County Champs team for Middlesex in the relay.

Madison won’t be going and I won’t be officiating there either. I’m going to do something much closer to home, I am going to help in the London Regional Disability Championships held at the London Aquatics Centre next Saturday, 6th. October 2018.

Nice and close to home and with little travel involved getting there and it is for a very good cause.

Had a lot of opportunity to speak to others about shoulder problems in swimmers and been given a lot of very hopeful feedback from other parents and swimmers.

So whilst Madison can’t compete at the moment, we help others where we can, whether its disability swimmers or at Arena League or our Club Championships soon to come.

Training still goes on  with a vengeance and kicking is what keeps the fitness alive at the moment.

 

 

The Cambridge Common

Whilst Madison had to miss out on the Cambridge Grand Prix, I made a parental contribution to the racing action going on in Cambridge over the weekend by acting as official.

Swimming competitions, which are licensed at a certain level, need a set number of qualified officials to meet the criteria.

The level of a nationalmeet is level 1 and Cambridge Grand Prix was licensed as level 2.

cambridge cows
Cows in Cambridge living in a public park

I stayed the night in a local bed and breakfast and whilst I walked from my hotel to the pool in the morning, walked through a park and could not believe my eyes seeing a herd of cows grazing on the Common.

It is almost unthinkable for a Londoner that cows should live so freely in a public park, that is used by joggers, cyclist and walkers as a through route in the city. Apparently the animals are docile and keep the grass short, no clue who picks up their cow pads, as I didn’t see any, apart from the residue on the cow I pictured.

An ingenious system of fencing, which doesn’t look particularly high or dense, keeps the cows within the common.

cambridge pool
Parkside Pools, Gonville Place, Cambridge, CB1 1LY

When I arrived at the pool on the second day of my stay, I looked forward to helping swimmers reach their dream of making qualifying times for the National Short Course championships.

The pool is nice and airy, fully surrounded by windows, it is light and appears spacey. The air quality in the pool area is also pretty good, so that working around the pool for a couple of days doesn’t make one feel too tired.

living with this injury

Obviously the shoulder injury will get better, one day, when that will be is uncertain and equally certain, as a determined young sports person one doesn’t want to drop out of the performance pathway.

Starting with the Performance Youth Squad this month with this injured shoulder. Not the best of starts, but nobody is perfect at all times.

Not certain whether people show more sympathy for cars breaking down rather than injured young athletes.

The Cambridge Grand Prix is not far away and it is cheering me up that it is in an iconic location. Who hasn’t heard of Cambridge, the world-famous university?

Will have to drop out of the 400 free. Cannot do long distance free style at the moment. Backstroke is easier. Must have injured some part of my shoulder muscle that is used by freestyle mainly.

Winter champs 2018 (London)

Qualifying times for the London regional winter champs are out and at least Madison qualifies for 3 events so far, that is the 50, 100, 200 back. It’s short-course this year.

I am wondering will they actually swim in the 25 m pool? Last year they swam in the 50 m pool.

The ages are distinguished as 16 and under or 17 and over. Considering Madison is only 14, to qualify for 3 events, is good.,

MCASA 2019 qualifying times

the big change this year is that there are no more consideration times. And all times for all ages are in 25m times and they are all on the same page. I upload MCASA 2019 qualifying standard as normally, if I link to the MCASA website the document disappears when the season is over.

Great about this is that 50m times can be converted to 25m times. Though I suspect much of the competition – for the older swimmers – will take place in 50m pools.

Competition dates 26. – 27. January 2019, venue to be announced.

Pulled muscle

The Summer at Dagenham meet worked well as far as the 800 freestyle went on Friday evening. From then on things just went down-hill. #lastopenmeetoftheseason #swimfast

A muscle pull during the 400 IM put a firm stop to Madison’s racing weekend. the life guard said Madison should have ice packs every 20 minutes but only supplied one ice pack and refused to give more.

I was working as official and could not get away easily. Maybe it wasn’t such a good idea after all that I put Madison into races, she didn’t really enjoy doing. Perhaps swimmers need to be happy with their races to perform well.  Others say swimmers sometimes need to be taken out of their comfort zone.

Perhaps I should discuss this with the coaches about race selection. That is always a subject that can cause friction. Do you do the races that the swimmer likes, the races that the coach wants or the races that the parents want. They are not necessarily the same.

 

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.

water in a bottle at Swimathon

Volunteered at the Swimathon this weekend and to my amazement some swimmers did 200 length of the 25m pool, that makes 5000 meters or 5km and had not a drop of water with them, no snacks or any type of refreshment.

As a parent, I would not be able to swim 5000 m without any water drink.

Apparently competitions have as longest distance 1500 m or 1.5 k, that is at most 60 length in a 25m pool. I think that swimmers already get very hot when competing at a 1500 meter race and often the pool water is kept at a lower temperature to accommodate that extra body heat.

I understand that Swimathon long-distance swimmers do not swim at their highest speed for 200 length of the pool but the strain on the body is severe I imagine.

Swimmers to perspire just as runners do and we would not put on running events without the supply of water to the runners, at least not any more.

Yes you can say that it is the responsibility of the swimmer to bring their own supplies, but people do forget. They find themselves having started the event and suddenly get thirsty. I don’t think it is much to ask an organiser to make some water available or emphasis to swimmers that they need to bring at least a bottle that can be filled up at a water fountain. And if all that fails have some spare bottles available.

At youth events, e.g. the London Youth Games, organisers give one free plastic bottle and water tanks to fill up those bottles to all participants.

I do think that organisers have a duty of care, even if the participants are adults.

Life’s good

On, what is going to be the hottest day of the year so far, we are settling back into the normal routine.

  • Back to school
  • Early morning before school
  • Early evening after school training.

 

stoke newingtonThere is no such thing as a morning or an evening person. It all depends on the up-bringing and routines we are getting used to from child hood.

I wasn’t raised as a morning person and getting used to AM training on a regular basis was a bit of a chore. But now, early mornings are getting better and better.

 

ClaptonEven the journey back after the training sessions help me  prepare for a busy school day.

The hazy sunshine on a hot morning is very calming and relaxing and I learned to appreciate the sensations I get when looking into the morning sky and I appreciate the changing nature of the trees and shrubs that make a significant part of the skyline.

 

Cambridge HeathThe more trees, the more bird song and the chirping and singing makes a great backdrop on the views. Well really, I just have my earphones in and listen to my favourite songs. Perhaps some birds manage to enhance the tunes I am listening to.

The bus chuckles along and I ponder whether I missed the Newham National qualifier at the LAC last week or whether looking back to the under-water sensation and the fantastic week of Spanish training was stimulating enough for me to smash those national times during the Regional competitions in May.

My year has been set up and I look forward to reaping the better times I am going to achieve this year.