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.

Height is not everything

As I computed in my previous post Size matters, in most pure sprint swimming disciplines the tallest usually win, e.g. freestyle (front crawl) and backstroke.

But today, it has been proven, that in swims, using a lot of muscle power height is not the most essential quality.

WOMEN’S 100m backstroke final at the Goldcoast 2018

 

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from left to right Taylor Ruck, Masse, Seebohm

1. Kylie Masse (CAN): 58.63 (GR) (1,73m)

2. Emily Seebohm (AUS): 58.66 (1.80m)

3. Taylor Ruck (CAN): 58.97 (1.80m)

Basildon Easter meet

What a wonderful relaxing walk on the way to the Basildon Sporting Village, through picturesque parkland and arriving at the Sporting Village at noon.

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Madison had the privilege to swim on the Saturday 31. March 2018 and the great organisation of the meet enabled her to get some very good result. Considering it was a level 1 meet, with national swimmers in attendance, it is superb that Madison achieved a bronze medal in the 50 Butterfly and achieved top 10 status within her age group in all events swam. All event result in the 13 year old girls.

There was a

  • 5th place  for 50 backstroke with a new PB of 35:29 LC
  • 7th place for 200 freestyle with a new PB of 2:29:43 LC
  • 3rd place for 50 butterfly with a new PB of 34:88 LC (bronze medal)
  • 6th place for 100 freestyle with a new PB of 1:07:54
  • 4th place for 200 backstroke missing the PB by 2 seconds.

But considering that the 200 backstroke came shortly after the 100 freestyle with no rest in between it is not surprising that a PB wasn’t achieved. 200 backstroke is hard.

This is the first level 1 meet that Madison has won a medal. Well done.

Summer champs interim rankings

There are several categories and for England Madison has gotten the time but she is not listed.

For 50 back there are swimmers listed with as slow as 34:73 for 50 back.

Madison’s time is 33:16 LC converted from a 32:55 SC. Of course the ranking system only seems to take times from the speed achieved in long-course races, where Madison’s last PB was 35:38. Perhaps British Swimming can adapt the Team Unify system that automatically converts times to suit both disciplines.

In all other events they accept converted times, of course I think Madison will up-date her long-course time achieved in long course in the next competition but I’ll also have to contact the coach about this one.

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.

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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.

Eyeing up the Nationals

Somehow Madison made a great leap into the Regionals and now wants to get into the Nationals. There is not such a big margin. The Regionals are quite fast and it is just a matter of sheer determination to succeed. Of course by sheer determination, I mean training and more training and even more training.

But that is all so much fun. Enjoy the swims, enjoy the exercise. Think BIG.

British Swimming publishes Nationals performance lists of swimmers who are eligible. This is now the first preliminary version for this season. Up-dated rankings will be available every Wednesday, till the qualifying window closes on 28th. May 2018. This of course gives all those who take part in Regionals to get those qualifying times.

But just to clarify, of course the qualifying times can be obtained in any licensed meet.

For the 50 back for example, a time of 32:70 LC would still enable a listing. That is all within achievable reach now and we’ll surely try.

Once in Performance the Hunger for top competitions just comes automatically. It is very easy to be a performance swimmer because the vast majority of swimmers are very nice people with a lot of determination and very fair at the same time.