The London Region Open Water Championship details have just been announced and Madison will be in the last event of the day, the 3km age-group female champs. The 3km waves start at 14:45 and there is a maximum swimming time of 1 hour and 15 minutes allowed.
It must be total freedom to be able to just swim, with no turns or pool restrictions to cope with, just swim from your own strength and develop a rhythm that doesn’t stop at turns.
A swimmer doesn’t even know what strength they can develop during unrestricted Open Water swimming until they did it.
It’s worth a try. Qualifying within the first 3 of an age-group qualifies for the National Open Water Age-group championships in Rother Valley Country Park. Though the distance there is only 2km for age-groups. It is also possible to qualify with appropriate 800/1500 m times.
We are just interested in trying this out, to see what happens with this type of swimming.
Interestingly though it is going to be a very tough day because Madison will swim the 3km of the London Open Water champs at 14:45 and then head straightaway to the London Fields Lido to take part in the Hackney Aquatics sponsored Swim the Thames event and is attempting to swim another 3.5km in the 50m pool there, e.g. 70 lengths.
Will be trying now to get the qualifying times for next year’s county champs prior to breaking up for the summer.
Yet we need to consider that there are plans to close the qualifying window even earlier in 2020 to avoid the examination period in schools.
As age-group swimmers have to swim as the age they would be at the end of the calendar year, most swimmers must swim ahead of their age.
Only people who are born in January of the year can swim their actual age for counties (that is where counties are held in January.
This principle of age as at the end of the calendar year, applies to all nationally regulated competitions throughout the year; most regional are in March/May (here in London). The summer champs are in July.
Madison will need to put her mind onto next year’s nationals.
One way to increase stamina and general strength will be to swim more long-distance competitions. Open water doesn’t have any turns and requires constant swimming. Other long-distance meets are held for us in July.
The dilemma for younger swimmers is the fact that they are not allowed into gyms and the apparatuses within.
Madison will swim 2x 800m competitions on two consecutive days. Gone are the days were anything over 200m is greeted with shrieks of horror. We need to embrace long-distance.
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.
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.
There 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.
Even 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.
The 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.
How many of the swimmers wear drag shortsto 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.
Olympians 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.
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.
Leonardo 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.
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.
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.
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.