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.,

Live-streams

Currently watching the England National Champs on live-stream and from tomorrow the European Championships for Swimming will be streamed from Glasgow here.

Hackney Aquatics had some great results at the England National Champs with a bronze for Kai Ogden in 400 IM so far and today it’s Lily Girardet in the 50 backstroke. Eagerly awaiting this one.

Whilst for English national champs clubs send their own representatives and coaches for the Europeans swimmer get sponsored by British Swimming with national coaches in attendance.

What a time to nurse an injury. But swimmers never give up, missing one year, means you are doubly keen the next.

Well on schedule

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.

 

 

After the busy weekend

All pics taken in the London Aquatics Centre appear with blue tint. That’s due to the windows being covered in blue foil. Just dropped my official’s board on the floor to take a pic of Hackney’s trophy won at the Gators meet on Sunday 8th. July 2018.

HAC TROPHY
Head coach Rick Hall with coach Naomi and some of the swimmers who won medals at the Gators meet on 8th. July 2018. Madison missed this photo opportunity.

We had a long weekend. First swimming for Tower Hamlets at the London Youth Games on Saturday 7th. July and then competing at the Gators meet in the LAC on Sunday 8th. July.

It’s all important to earn the stripes necessary to progress further in a swimming career.

Madison won 4 medals at the Gators meet.

gator-medals-July18
3 x silver and 1 x bronze at the Gators meet in July 2018

I am awaiting the results and will add-on as soon as published.

But in the 50 Freestyle Madison went all out and finished well ahead in her penultimate heat, making second place, with a great Personal Best in the long-course, which is the best result a swimmer can have, great PBs.

 

London Regional Summer Champs 2018

Madison cubed the Backstroke. Meaning, Madison came tenth place 3 x in 50, 100, 200 backstroke.

Not bad indeed for a first appearance at these open championships.

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.

Full program for London Open 2018

Like looking at the program and listings of swimmers prior to the events, that gives me time to adjust and prepare mentally and physically.

If I know I’m in a later heat, I can calculate the time it gives me to get ready for the race. Knowing the time between warm-up and marching in is a valuable tool. Knowledge is always good.

This weekend is going to be very interesting with international swimmers and the good old friends from local meets.

Great it is at the LAC, loving it. I’m lucky, having 1 race per session. I’ll be able to manifest my long-course times. Very happy that I’ve been accepted for the 50 free.

On the fast trail

cptreeThe only thing Madison has in common with Michael Phelps is the fact that she is playing catch up. I seem to remember Michael saying that in his early career, he always played catch-up to the fast swimmers.

These days we are wearing his goggles.

One perk of going to swimming competitions is the fantastic landscape, that we can enjoy regularly. Crystal Palace is set in wonderful mature trees. However the performance is steadily going down-hill this time.

Madison managed to set a new long-course PB in the 50 back but both the 100 back and 200 back were slower than previously achieved times.

We’ll see whether an improvement can be achieved next weekend at the London Swimming Open Summer Champs at the London Aquatics Centre, when Madison will be swimming in four events.

When going to Regionals is a new experience for a swimmer, I suppose the routine and the priming of getting the fitness and results at the right time is something that has to be programmed into the psyche of a swimmer, to peak at the correct moments. Where there is a will there is a swim.

 

London open

Managed to get into 4 races at the London Regional summer open meet. Brilliant, need to start to focus on the race strategy and prepare to do some great swims. Apparently the accepted and rejected list has been published. I got into 50, 100, 200 back, 50 free.

Let go, lets swim, lets win.

Will power

I don’t think it works to improve an athletes performance to  provide sun and sandy holidays in expensive swim camps to get results.

So far the Regional competition didn’t bring much success.

A 21st place in the 50 back and today and even worst 24th place in the 200 back. With not much will power to be seen.

I spend quite a lot of time poolside during competitions and find the positive attitude of most competing swimmers very refreshing. The whole pep talk is edging on, showing grit and getting to the wall first.

I don’t think that softly, softly and feeling sorry for oneself is any recipe for success in any capacity. Whatever the situation everybody needs to have a “Can do” attitude. There is little point in spending a minimum of 3 hours (including pre-pool) of training per day if there is no result in racing.

Those athletes that were selected for international competitions on the strength of their performance had to do the performance first and then were invited to join sunny beach-side training groups. I just refer to Aimee Willmott’s wonderful photo shots on her website and Facebook. Aimee is a very hard-working and focussed on achieving top performance. That always has to be in the back of every athlete’s mind, even the younger ones.

I won’t spend any more money on foreign training camps unless I see some performance first. There is little point in rewarding something that hasn’t been achieved yet. We have been left with a lot of appealing photos and that is a memory I can’t quite enjoy.

Madison showed much more determination after last year’s Mel Marshall Easter Camp. Yet last year she didn’t qualify for Regionals at all. I don’t know whether there is a different atmosphere in those higher up level 1 competitions rather than the level 3 racing.

hip, hip, hip regionals

This year is the second time I am participating in London Regional Championships. The first time ever was on 19. July 2015, when I raced in the 11/12-year-old 50 butterfly event at Crystal Palace with a time of 42:74. That was my first ever long-course time in that stroke. My current PB is 34:38 and that was not good enough for this year’s accepted entries.

This year, I have been accepted for all 3 Backstroke events. Just amazing how stroke performance changes. Fly used to be my favourite stroke and now I just love backstroke. Over all my aim is to get to regional level on all strokes.

There is always next year. But also the Regional Summer Open Championships give a last chance to get a National time this year.