Life’s good

On, what is going to be the hottest day of the year so far, we are settling back into the normal routine.

  • Back to school
  • Early morning before school
  • Early evening after school training.

 

stoke newingtonThere is no such thing as a morning or an evening person. It all depends on the up-bringing and routines we are getting used to from child hood.

I wasn’t raised as a morning person and getting used to AM training on a regular basis was a bit of a chore. But now, early mornings are getting better and better.

 

ClaptonEven the journey back after the training sessions help me  prepare for a busy school day.

The hazy sunshine on a hot morning is very calming and relaxing and I learned to appreciate the sensations I get when looking into the morning sky and I appreciate the changing nature of the trees and shrubs that make a significant part of the skyline.

 

Cambridge HeathThe more trees, the more bird song and the chirping and singing makes a great backdrop on the views. Well really, I just have my earphones in and listen to my favourite songs. Perhaps some birds manage to enhance the tunes I am listening to.

The bus chuckles along and I ponder whether I missed the Newham National qualifier at the LAC last week or whether looking back to the under-water sensation and the fantastic week of Spanish training was stimulating enough for me to smash those national times during the Regional competitions in May.

My year has been set up and I look forward to reaping the better times I am going to achieve this year.

 

Even kicking is better in the sun

Swimming must be the Best sport, looking at those pics, the week in Spain is at the half-way mark and swimmers are having a wonderful time training in the sunny pool of Torremolinos Sports Abroad.

The first Olympic swimming took place in 1896 in the Bay of Zea but was only available for women since 1912 in Stockholm Sweden.

Now we do start to recognise that swimming has a beneficial effect on health for all ages and school children learn better when swimming.

There are now many swimming competitions held all year round and our next big event will be the London Regional Championships held at the London Aquatics Centre and Crystal Palace.

wed-sun

The swim camp in Torremolinos is an extra special Easter break treat and prepares nicely for the competitions ahead, culminating in the British Summer champs, European Champs.

the ultimate drag race

How many of the swimmers wear drag shorts Finis Ultimate Drag Suitto do 50m sprints in training? It is quite hard in the beginning. You slow yourself down by wearing extra ballast and in a normal 25 or 50 training pool, you can be assured that you get a break after a little while.

But now London Swimming is holding the annual Regional Open Water event and the FINA conditions on open water swimming demand that swimmers wear a Wetsuit that covers the knee and the shoulders if the water temperature falls below 17.9 degrees. I suppose in June, in London, open water temperatures won’t go above that.

Open water events last for around 3km or more. I think it must be harder to swim for 3km with that whole body suit rather than without it. It definitely toughens you up if you take part. Though in pool events it is now against the rule to wear a full body suit but I suppose the material of those would be very thin and paper-like and improve performance.

full-body-suitOlympians used  to wear them for a while; but the open-water suits would not be of that same effect and drag on the body to keep you from catching hypothermia.

Image from Saukvalley.com 

We can see how thin those indoor pool whole-body suits are. Open water wetsuits are at least 3 times as thick. They insulate against the cold but also create more drag through the extra weight the body has to carry.

vitruvian-man-laLeonardo Da Vinci the Vitruvian Man comes to mind when I look at Michael Phelps’ position. Equally perfect in proportion, that is what swimming does for you.

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.

The Training and the Performance

It’s an anagram of the chicken and egg question.

What came first? The chicken or the egg?

What comes first? The performance or the training?

To explain. To get promoted into a higher performance group in a swimming club you need the speed but to get the speed you need the training.

Whilst we get ready for our stint in the Regional Qualifier in Basildon tomorrow, it seems that it is very hard to make that step onto the regional ladder.

It’s achievable fairly easily to get County times by just popping into training about 7 times per week, on some days twice but the regional times are much faster. A few seconds are very hard to achieve.

The athletic ability needs to be much further developed to gain a few seconds on speed.

 

Swimmers’ development

Just through my previous post on changes to stroke achievements, I started to look at other swimmers’ profiles and realised that each swimmer is very much an individual and each swimmer developes in different stages.

Some swimmers are extremely good in all the strokes and Katinka Hosszu is a gleaming example of that, she was/is the lady with the most world records to her name, in both long and short-course pools.

Then again there is Adam Peaty, who shines through his tremendous breaststroke achievements mainly in the 50 and 100 meter long-course pools.

Adam, being good at one stroke peaked at an early age, around 21-23 and is still going strong onto the next Olympics, Commonwealth and other international competitions and Katinka Hosszu is now aged 28 and still going very strong and improving.

It is definitely worth to look at the careers of various swimmers to see just how different they all developed.

There is no strict uniformed pattern on how to grow up in the swimming world. There is a lot of personal freedom to develop in different strokes and that freedom is vital to have to get the time to enjoy the sport.

It would be terrible to have those professional pressures on a swimmer who can develop on a very individual basis through the sport and take as much time as needed to excel in any particular discipline of the sport as long as it stays on an Amateur basis.

For most younger swimmers like Madison it is advised to learn all strokes to a very good standard.

The main point is to stick to the sport and continue doing it because one just can’t lose when swimming, the overall benefits are just to great; to give up just because a season’s regional competition wasn’t so great is not a good decision.

Keep calm and carry on swimming.

 

London Region Summer champs 2018

Qualification times were published now and they are fast. We have till 11. April 2018 to get a time.

Well, I think that if Madison continues to train at the pace and volume she does now she will be meeting the Regional and national qualifying times in the years to come.

parent helpers

As a licensed swimming official I decided to officiate at the London Region Swimming Champs at the LAC, even though my swimmer didn’t qualify to compete.

Normally, whenever my swimmer doesn’t qualify we just sit at home and let time go by, but by my involvement in the meet, Madison gotten an interest in this and wants to be involved as swimmer in the future.

Parents helping at meets always helps swimmers and the sport of swimming. All our swimmers need the sport to evolve and continue to be organised and meets to happen and parents helping will enable swimmers to take part in competitions.

Not all parents can help, many have to work but if at all possible I think parents should consider helping even if their children do not swim at an occasion. Swimming is a great hobby and even ‘just’ officiating a superb fitness exercise.

Qualify for London region?

We are getting ready for this year’s level 1, Basildon Spring long-course meet, this weekend. Dates coincide with London region age group champs.

Madison favourite stroke is the 50 back at the moment.

The official consideration time London Age Group champs for boys is 36:7 and for girls 36, both aged 13.

A male friend of Madison got accepted for regionals with an entry time of 36:20 that equals 241 Fina points. (Converted short-course time).

Madison’s time is 36:34 (long-course). That’s 412 Fina points.

I just don’t know why London region accepts 241 Fina points but doesn’t allow 412 Fina points to apply.

We are very glad to get the opportunity of participating on the level 1 Basildon and Phoenix meet that runs concurrently on the same dates as London Region Age Group champs and all the hard work at least led to 8 qualifying times for the Basildon meet.

London Age-group champs 2017

It is this time of year again, where our young and promising swimmers compete in the London Region Age-group championships. The times are fast and furious.

london-age-2017

Madison meets the times for her actual age, at the date of the competition but the rules require to state the age for the competition at 1 year older than she actually is and so Madison is always slightly slow each year. At the time of the competition Madison is 12 but needs to swim the 13-year-old times. I suppose she’ll have to wait until she is 17 before she can get the regional time and then progress from there.

I’ll have to check how different swimmers develop to see if there is a chance that some swimmers get fast later and some earlier than others.

Lets see if the swimming lasts that long. Madison is very determined right now. In British Swimming open aging starts for females born 1999 or earlier. So that Madison needs to be 17/18 to get a level-playing field.

Obviously swimmers need to compete at the age that they are on 31 December 2017. If a swimmer is born in January 2017, they have a huge age advantage. Madison is born in June and has 6 month to make up.

It remains to be seen if Madison can close that gap eventually. Madison surely loves swimming and will try her hardest.