doing the fly

Feeling very patriotic today. We reside underneath the flight path of aircraft onto the  Buckingham Palace and today the RAF jets flew over us in formation.

butterflyDoesn’t it just remind you of the Butterfly stroke when you see the swimmer and underneath the flight formation.

Fighter aircraft in formation are just as smart as our swimmer.

raf100
Aircraft part of the RAF 100 flypast on 10. July 2018

Butterfly was first introduced in 1933 as competition swimming stroke, whilst the RAF celebrated the 100. Birthday today.

Just writing this little article as Butterfly was Madison’s first favourite stroke when she was smaller and she won her first gold medal with this stroke.

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?

 

 

touches at the end and turns

I am noticing lots of swimmers do over-dramatic touches at turns and at the finish to ensure they can show they touch with both hands. That is especially important for breaststroke and butterfly.

The touch should always be the natural conclusion of the stroke and not slow it down in any way.

A fast touch is very important.

In the breststroke a double-touch can happen above or below the water or on the water-line, as long as the hands are on the same horizontal plane and do not stack completely on top of each other and touch at the same time.

I see many swimmers touching and dramatising the simultaneous touch with both hands at the same level. I am under the impression they do that to avoid disqualification. But this slows down the swim.

Hesitation to touch or to emphasize the dramatic double touch slows down the swim and it is not in the best interest of the sport for this to happen.

I think swimmers should concentrate to perfect the stroke and touch as fast as possible and not worry too much about the swimming judge seeing the touch correctly.

If it happens that a disqualification occurs but the swimmer is certain that the double touch happened correctly, I think that the disqualification should be protested rather than slowing down the swim to get an over-emphasized clear touch.

If there are many protests the sport will have to move to instal cameras above each lane so that in case of query a judging team can monitor the camera footage to get an objective look at the swim. #swimfast #swimskilful

Other sports already introduced camera monitoring I think that swimming should invest in this technology.

Please note the picture is just to show breaststroke.

 

A mix of strokes

Madison is very lucky to have been given the opportunity to swim in two long-course meets at the London Aquatics Centre, concentrating on sprint events and then also getting to grips with an ability to try out some more strength events in a short-course meet.

Up-coming are the London Open Summer meet at the end of July, the London Borough of Waltham Forest Swimming club meet and to round off the season, we’ll get into gear to work on some hard graft long-distance events hopefully at the Barking and Dagenham meet.

I think strength conditioning comes from long-distance like 800 free and events like 400 IM; since we didn’t get any national times and are not likely to get them this season, it is best to work on variety. I am looking at trying out the 200 fly again, I tried it once and gave up on it, better try again at some point.

But just to mention distance, we are going to have a sponsored swim and that gives plenty of scope to do a lot of length for charitable purposes.

Ethos + pressure = results

I heard somebody say yesterday that swimmers should not be put under pressure. Wow, what a statement. Looking at the London region age-groups medal table, there is

  1. Barnet Copthall with 21 Gold, 13 Silver, 6 Bronze

    ……………………….28. Hackney Aquatics 2 Bronze

that is the standing after the first half of the competition.

Who put up the rule for swimmers not to compare results or performance?

Looking that the Barnet Copthall head coach Rhys Gormley’s favourite saying is “Death before dishonour”, I think he just about puts pressure to win as his utmost priority.

That is what you would expect as a result, that swimmers actually bring home the medals for the amount of training they are putting in each day, that is exceptional value for investment.

Since I do not live anywhere near Barnet Copthall, again I am finding myself in the position of having to make the best of what we’ve got. But having great leadership and swimmers all being a positive influence onto each other will achieve exceptionally good results. Mark Foster is probably their best known swimmer for the younger generation.

I do not think that not being a swimmer for Barnet Copthall is an excuse not to do well, but it makes it much harder indeed.

The whole different ethos of clubs like Barnet Copthall sees many swimmers taking part in gruelling events like 1500, 800 free, 200 fly, 400 IM. I could not see many of Hackney’s swimmers take part.

I shall aim to participate more in those character building events in the future.

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.