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.

Size matters

It does make a physical difference how tall a swimmer is.

Taking a 50 m pool and assuming that a 150cm tall swimmer achieves propelling forward by half the body length and assuming that in the 3 strokes of freestyle, backstroke or butterfly a swimmer reaches the water surface after 10 m during the start it takes the 150cm tall swimmer 17.78 strokes to reach the end of the pool.

Assuming that a 180cm tall swimmers swims in a 50m pool and assuming that this taller swimmer comes up at 15m after the starting jump it takes the 180 cm tall swimmer 12.97 strokes to reach the end of the pool.

That is assuming that both swimmers have the same stroke efficiency. Hence we see that in most sprint events at the major international competitions the taller swimmers seem to dominate at the short distances.

Katinka Hosszu

I did not include breaststroke into the calculation because there is no rule that a swimmer has to surface after 15m neither at the start or after a turn, meaning that efficient kicking during the under-water phase can propel a swimmer half-way across the pool.

Yet it is quite interesting that in disciplines like the Individual Medley, we see it time and time again that those swimmers who are most proficient at the breaststroke also win the whole race that consists of a combination of all four strokes.

MCASA Development silver

The medals are getting prettier, this MCASA silver medal is one of the nicest in appearance, tucked into a smart case with wonderful decorations.

MCASA silver medal

Won at the Middlesex Winter Development meet on 15. October 2017.

It is Madison’s first medal won whilst swimming for Hackney Aquatics.

@gllsf, @HackneyAquatics

Madison was very brave to attend this competition because she sprained her wrist 3 days before and had lots of ice packs. Of course she was slower than her PB and could not improve her speed but still maintained the competitive spirit.

400 IM Mireia Belmonte SC record

Mireia managed to overturn Katinka Hosszu’s 400 IM short-course record recently. As shown in the video

Mareia’ great breaststroke term manged to achieve this new world record. But looking at the preceding fly and backstroke legs, if a swimmer would be perfect in all 4 strokes the 400IM world record could still be faster.

Quite often in IM the breaststroke is the deciding leg.

Katinka Hosszu was considerably ahead in the fly and then especially the backstroke and could not even overturn Mareia’s breaststroke lead in the final front crawl leg.

Belmonte set a new 400 IM WR of 4:18.94 at the SC Worldcup in Eindhoven. That eclipses the previous record held by Hungary’s Katinka Hosszu of 4:19.46 set at the 2015 European Short Course Championships.

Usually I think swimmers are either good in the stretchy strokes or the breaststroke but Mareia’s freestyle was equally as good as her breaststroke and so her breaststroke advances could not be overturned by Katinka in the final leg.