County qualifiers

Qualifying for County is the first serious step any competitive swimmer can take. The Counties are the first stage to competition.

We are practically having to work well ahead of age. The counties age-band works that you have to be swimming at the age that you would be at the end of the year that the competition is in. Plus you need to gain those qualifying times in the year prior to the competition.

If you are born in the first six month of any year, you are having to work way ahead of schedule. Madison is born in June and now 13 years old. But next years County competition she has to swim as if she was 14, the competition is held in January 2017 when Madison is still 13.

Madison by now in 2017 has gained 2 automatic and 7 consideration times for next year. There are still a few qualifiers coming up this autumn. The qualification times have to be set in the 12 months prior to the competition in January / February next year.

Madison go the consideration time for the 400 IM last year and now strives to up-date this.

Yesterday Madison swum 2 races and improved one county time in the 100 fly and is now within 1 second of the automatic time and gained the consideration time for the 200 back-stroke.

It’s great to be an all-round good swimmer and gain County times in as many strokes and distances as possible.

Getting ready for the meet

On Sunday, Madison will swim for her first and last meet with Newham & UEL club.

Preparations centre around

  • how to get the home work done over that weekend
  • how many hours are needed for the meet
  • which foods are needed and how to nourish
  • travel time and arrangements
  • packing the bag for the meet
  • mental preparation
  • which races are swam
  • promoter’s conditions
  • study the accepted entries list

Luckily the BWF early county qualifier level 3 meet is in the London Aquatic Centre, which is one of our local pools. We can just take a local bus there and arrive within 20 minutes, we do not need to worry about parking either.

We see that entry in the LAC is now security screened, visitors are not allowed to bring drink or food in but swimmers are.

Swimmers always have their favourite snacks to use as pick-me-ups and preps before or between races. Most of the time in swimming meets, there is also not enough time between sessions to have a proper lunch. There are delays and if a meet goes on from 8AM till 5pm, swimmers need to find time to get useful nourishment.

This Sunday we’ll only have half a day, usually we stay the whole day. But if Madison swims longer distances we do less races altogether.

This Sunday it’s going to be 100 fly and 200 back.

The social aspect is also important beyond the just racing. Swimmers get to know each other over time and meet up at race meets. Swimmers who change clubs still see their friends at meets too. That is very enjoyable for the swimmers.

With the arrival of the LAC, local swimmers’ lives were quite affected. Before we had our local pool and suddenly that opportunity with the LAC arose.

New swimming arrangements were introduced and swimmers often commuted between their old club and the LAC Beacon schemes.

Luckily most local clubs are very sympathetic to swimmers and often allow seemless transitions between clubs, so that swimmers do not lose out on training times. Rules were changed that swimmers could be members in more than one club and have dual registrations, which is all very helpful.

From next week Madison will become a member at Hackney Aquatics. We already preparing for the week after this Sunday’s meet to train fully with the new club.

Swim England have this brilliant online system whereby swimmers best times get recorded on the data regardless of which club they swim for and that is very good. These days people move more often because of job or housing needs and also because the swimming club scene can change and have an impact on training needs too.

BWFSC, first meet of the season

Since Madison was now signed up for the LAC ACS, she will be competing under the colours of Newham & UEL swimming club at competitions. Our first meet of the season will be the Gators meet at the LAC on 1st October 2017, second session.

Madison will try to improve on some weaker strokes because she already has gained qualifying times for counties in other disciplines.

We are looking forward to see you there.

Freestyle and fly records are tumbling

This is a very competitive phase in the world of swimming. The old 50 free world record stood for almost a decade and now a lot of freestyle sprint world records have been broken by Sarah Sjostrom, the Swedish swimmer. As a bonus, she is also very good at fly.

50 freestyle LCM – 23.67
100 freestyle LCM – 51.71
50 fly LCM – 24.43
100 fly LCM – 55.48

100 freestyle SCM – 50.58
200 freestyle SCM – 1:50.78
100 butterfly SCM – 54.61*

You find that sometimes there are long phases without change and then, when there are a few swimmers who train very hard and want to change, they all encourage each other and that is how new world records are achieved.

Of course that means that for the young swimmers of today, new world records get harder to achieve. So there is no time for complacency and too much rest swimmers.

*Source: swim swam