Tips for Fog-Free Goggles
Ted Hammond from Sierra Vista has the answer...and its on page 11 of USMS Swimmer magazine.
Simple, safe, inexpensive, and effective...great tip!
Ryan Lochte Backstroke
Now you know why he is so good at the backstroke.
A New Year, A New You: Al’s Big Goals
In high school Al weighed in at 170 lbs. In college Al ‘s weight jumped to 200 pounds, and 10 years past college Al had gained another 60 to 80 pounds. "Something had to change," said Al, who began to think, "If I train for triathlons, at least I'll be healthy."
So, with no prior experience, Al laid out a plan to accomplish his goal. "A wise person once said, ‘Plan your work, then work your plan,' so that's what I did." Al looked at the calendar and decided that it would take five years to accomplish his Ironman goal. His goals for each year, beginning in 2000 and ending with an Ironman in 2005, looked like this:
2000 - learn to swim well
2001 - complete an Olympic-distance triathlon
2002 - run a half marathon
2003 - complete a half Ironman
2004 - run a marathon
2005 - complete an Ironman
"My theory was, if each step looks manageable, then I should be able to proceed to the end. Of course, invariably any plan changes when reality strikes. I had one foot surgery and one knee surgery, but ultimately I completed the Iron distance race in 2007. Not bad," said Al.
After completing the Ironman race in 2007, Al has continued to train in the pool and compete at swimming competitions across the country. "It's funny, when I started, I was a triathlete who really liked swimming, but somewhere along the way I became a swimmer who liked doing triathlons." So why has swimming been so easy for Al to stick with throughout his quest for a healthy lifestyle? "I got really lucky and found a Masters group that just totally rocks. We all just love hanging out with each other and that makes it really easy to train," Al shared about his workout group, Minuteman Masters.
Though Al is happily maintaining a fit and healthy weight and lifestyle now, it wasn't always his intuition to remain positive. Al shared his struggle: "For years I made excuses about my weight, even early on in my five-year plan, I said things like, ‘Well, its hereditary, lots of folks in my family are overweight. Maybe I have a thyroid problem.' I'd go on and on."
From 2000 to early 2002 Al still weighed roughly 280 pounds despite his increased exercise. "I was in denial," said Al, and he continued, "I even joked about the fact that my cholesterol was off the chart at over 300." It wasn't until Al suffered serious health issues that he got serious about his goals of being fit, living healthy and becoming an Ironman. "Finally, my triglycerides went up, and my uric acid got so high that I started having gout attacks. One attack was so bad it landed me in the hospital emergency room. My doctor finally said, ‘Look, we can put you on all the drugs in the world, but why don't you just lose weight," Al remembered of his emergency room experience.
In May of 2002, Al made a dual commitment to his exercise plan and decision to change his diet. "I started tracking everything," said Al, and went on to explain how he evaluated his caloric intake with the amount of exercise he was doing and eventually found a perfect balance between exercise and diet.
It has been five years since Al has committed himself to, well, himself. With 2008 wrapped up and 2009 well under way, Al will begin to set new goals and lay out a new plan. Al, who was once known as "Big Al," is yet another example of the thousands of U.S. Masters Swimming members who commit to living healthy and living well.
InfoArmor and USMS
InfoArmor, an innovative leader in identity theft protection and privacy management services is now offering its flagship products IdentityArmor and PrivacyArmor to combat escalating identity theft crimes and allow customers to protect their personal information to prevent such crimes from occurring. In an effort to educate U.S. Masters Swimming members about America's fastest growing crime problem and the most cost effective solution to protect personal information, InfoArmor will be visible at national events and year-long advertiser in the member magazine.
Rob Butcher, U.S. Masters Swimming executive director commented on the new partnership stating, "Our membership is committed to their health and wellness goals. InfoArmor is equally committed to identity theft protection and privacy management. We all read how big a concern identity theft is and we just hope it doesn't happen to us. With the InfoArmor service, you don't have to feel that helplessness wondering if someone will steal your identity. Their proactive privacy management and identity monitoring service provides peace of mind. We are pleased as well to strengthen the value of membership by providing the service exclusively to USMS members for less than $10 a month, which is a nearly 25% savings from the normal subscription price."
Sun Devil Invitational - 03/15/2009
This event will be two weeks before the Arizona Short Course Yards State Championship at Brophy, so it will be a great event to gauge your training. Get ready for a fun and fast meet!
Go here to enter online.
See you there!
Masters Swimming Video
A New Year, A New You: Tinjin’s Transformation
Tinjin Chang swam throughout his childhood, through high school and during the first two years of college until "it just wasn't fun anymore," according to Tinjin. After a 15-year absence from the sport of swimming, Tinjin returned in the summer of 2004 and trained with the Plano Wetcats. Since moving to Omaha, Neb., Tinjin has trained by himself at a local fitness organization. Though there are many Masters programs in the area, Tinjin has found it difficult to balance a busy work schedule with the practice schedules of local programs. Tinjin explaines, "I get most of my training ideas from the USMS discussion forums and from other Masters swimmers."
Tinjin's passion for health and fitness are inspiring, but his dedication to himself and his well-being were not always as evident. One year ago, Tinjin was a self-proclaimed "walking heart attack." Tinjin explains, "I came back to swimming in the summer of 2004 but once work got busy later that year I missed more and more workouts until I stopped altogether. Between fall 2004 and summer 2007 I gained 40 pounds, topping the scale at 198 pounds! I knew that I needed to act or my family history of diabetes, heart disease and cancer would soon have another ugly chapter. I started swimming slowly again and by Christmas I had lost 20 pounds."
What sounded like a fantastic success story quickly darkened when Tinjin was given the news of his increasing cholesterol, triglycerides and fasting glucose levels. Tinjin explains his fears: "I was petrified because my father is a diabetic and my fasting glucose put me in the severely prediabetic zone." Though his family doctor suggested prescription drugs to cure his ailments, Tinjin's endocrinologists recommended a commitment to a healthy diet and a serious dedication to exercise. "[The doctors] were right. I kept up with my weekly swimming (12-15 miles) and ate only healthy meals. By March 2008, my cholesterol and fasting glucose had fallen to 176 and 98, respectively. This Christmas, Santa brought me incredible news on my lipids and fasting glucose. My overall cholesterol was 130 with a healthy breakdown of vLDL (12), LDL (74) and HDL (44). My triglycerides fell to 61 and my fasting glucose was 77. My body fat percentage has gone from 30 percent in February 2008 to 16 percent today. I am seeing stomach and back muscles that I haven't seen in decades," shares Tinjin.
Tinjin's commitment to a total health makeover goes far beyond his work in the pool. "My wife and I grow our own veggies and herbs between spring and fall. I eat two large fresh, colorful salads every day. My breakfast is a smoothie of wild blueberries, strawberries, carrots, celery, hemp protein with acai, sprouted flaxseed and a splash of pomegranate juice. We may even grow an acai tree indoors this year," says Tinjin.
The best part of Tinjin's transformation? "I can think clearly, act decisively and have plenty of energy to meet life's challenges," exclaims Tinjin.
With a challenging economy and most of it beyond our control, 2009 has offered each of us the opportunity to take a step back, evaluate our own lives, our own health, and an area in which we can have impact is the power to transform ourselves. Many of us stayed up late, socialized with friends, counted down the last few seconds of 2008 and wondered, "What will this year bring?" Rather than perhaps worrying what is in store for you in 2009, it might be more appropriate to ask, "What am I going to do for myself in 2009?" Tinjin, when faced with a chance to start fresh, resolved to be healthy, improve his fitness and live a better life. "I resolved to beat prediabetes because I've seen what diabetes has done to my dad. For years I wished to be healthy and fit again but I never wanted it bad enough until I was served with a prediabetes ‘margin call.' What's your margin call?"
What is Tinjin's New Year's Resolution? "I'd like to earn a Top 10 spot in the USMS annual rankings someday but staying fit and injury free are my primary goals." Tinjin enters 2009 with a continued commitment to a healthy lifestyle and pride from his fitness strides in 2008. "I may never catch Roque Santos in the breaststroke, and I've been trying ever since we were kids, but at least I will live long enough to keep trying."
High Altitude Training Video
Guess these guys spent too much time at sea level.
Northern Arizona University Center for High Altitude Training Closed
2008 Reflection in the Pool: Records Fell
Julie Heather, registrar of Southern Pacific Masters Association, attended the SPMA short course meters championships in Long Beach, California two weeks ago, and was swamped with record forms because of the number of short course meters world records that were broken. "We had a large meet with 560 athletes and it seemed like there was a record broken in each event," remarked Julie. "I filled out 65 individual records and 11 relay records from the weekend!" What does a meet with 76 records being broken feel like? "Thrilling," said Julie. "Most of the time records were broken in the last heats, but every once and a while we'd see a record being broken in an early heat," explained Julie.
Watching a record being broken can be very inspirational. When a swimmer is on pace to break a record the volume within the facility tends to rise, the announcer stands up out of his or her chair, and everyone watches in anticipation... "Did he do it?"
New England Masters also recently held its short course meters championship meet and saw its fair share of broken records, including that of Mike Ross. "Mike is a joy to watch," Tracy Grilli, New England Masters member and U.S. Masters Swimming staff member, commented on Mike's record-breaking swims. "I just stopped and watched him. He makes swimming look effortless," Tracy continued.
Karlyn Pipes-Neilsen, of San Diego Swim Masters, also attended and broke records at the meet held at Boston University. Karlyn, a long-time Masters member has broken over 200 Masters world records. "Every record I break is just as exciting and satisfying as the first record I broke in 1993," Karlyn shared. Karlyn says that she enjoys the process of swimming and getting faster even more so than the records themselves. "Many people focus too much on the outcome. If you focus on and enjoy the process the end results will be there," she offers as advice to other swimmers. So what is in store for this world record breaker? "I've lined up quite a few championship meets in 2009, including French Nationals, YMCA Nationals, and Canadian Nationals, so there will be a lot of fine tuning and building strength. It will be important for me, as it is for all Masters swimmers, to include recovery time into my training schedule." Any more world records in sight? "It's fun because every five years when I age up I get to restart the stopwatch and I have new times and records to beat. There is always a new challenge in Masters swimming."
Though swimming fast and breaking records never gets old, Karlyn finds most joy in teaching others how to break records, whether they are personal records, national records, or world records.
Without doubt, like 2008, 2009 will be an exciting year full of shattered records, close races, and split second results. According to Karlyn, "At the pool we can put aside other aspects of life, like what we do for a living, what clothes we wear, and what kind of car we drive, and just focus on ourselves and the races we swim. Results are between you and the clock and nothing else matters."
World-class Swimming and Nutrition Event
His fiancee, Jennifer Van Assen, has coached off and on for the last several years with Sun Devil Masters as well.
They are good friends with a guy named Erik Vendt. Yes, the gold medal-winning Erik Vendt who is one of top distance and IM swimmers in the world.
All three of them are conducting a clinic at ASU on swimming and nutrition on Sunday February 15th. The event form will be on the website shortly but if you have any questions you can email Nick. You will need to sign up before the 8th and space is limited. Learn from the best right here in Arizona!
Check Off Challenge
Olympic Champion to Head Legal Defense Network for College Swimming
As many of you know, college swimming (men's AND women's) has been on the endangered species list for almost two decades now as athletic directors cut programs. We saw this most recently when ASU Men's Swimming was cut earlier this year. But creating Attorneys for the Promotion and Defense of Swimming (APDS) shows that collegiate swimming is not going to go away without a fight. What better fighter than ex-Olympian Steve Clark!
The fight to preserve collegiate swimming is going to be a long a hard-fought battle. During difficult times like these, athletic directors will look to cut "non-revenue" sports like swimming for a variety of reasons. But they will now have to content with competent, energized advocates who are going to ensure swimming remains on college campuses.
Behind the Blocks
The first issue just came out a few days ago and has articles on hydration, open water swimming, new features on the USMS website, trivia, upcoming events, featured website, and a posting by Executive Director Rob Butcher.
Wow, lots of good content in there!
If you did not get it, you need to renew your USMS membership...
2008 Reflection in the Pool: Big Projects, Big Goals
The Jordan Y was built in 1960 and is located on 9 acres of land. The large YMCA has over 13,000 members. The facility is roughly 67,000 square feet and has been added to, renovated and improved upon four times.
According to the Jordan Y's master plan, in 2007 phase one and two of fundraising and building was complete and the staff and volunteers were tired, but YMCA Indy SwimFit, led by Coach Kris Houchens, had just gotten warmed up.
Chris Butler, executive director of the Arthur Jordan YMCA, commented, "YMCA Indy SwimFit didn't need a break. They were ready to do more, raise more and build our splash pad." Kris and others from Indy SwimFit rallied volunteers, gathered information and presented a fundraising plan to the Board of Managers. "YMCA Indy SwimFit's vision was directly in line with ours."
So when you ask, "What have Masters swimmers done this year?" we answer, "Taken on big projects and set big goals."
YMCA Indy SwimFit, with the support of the Board of Managers, the leadership and the staff at the Jordan Y, developed a fundraising campaign and set a goal of the cost to build the outdoor splash pad: $160,000. Though this number seems monumental and almost impossible to some, to YMCA Indy SwimFit it was merely another team goal.
Through the proceeds of a silent auction, which raised $17,000 alone, brick sales and private donations, YMCA Indy SwimFit has raised $52,000 to date: one-third of its goal. YMCA Indy SwimFit, host of the 2009 U.S. Masters Swimming Long Course Championships, will also donate the net profit from the meet to the cause in hopes of reaching its goal.
"What does YMCA Indy SwimFit get out of the splash pad?" one might ask. "Kris and the YMCA Indy SwimFit members are passionate about their sport, about helping children and about the Jordan Y, which has been the home of YMCA Indy SwimFit since it inception," said Chris Butler. In difficult economic times, when children would rather play video games or watch TV than run outside, and when families are often too busy to play, the splash pad will "offer a place for families of all shapes and sizes to recreate together. It will allow children to feel safe and enjoy the water," said Chris.
We've read about a program out of Kentucky that so graciously collected toys for Toys for Tots, and we thought that that project was manageable, but as you read this story I can hear you mumbling, "Our program could never take on a project this big." Chris disagrees: "Any Masters program can give back. Ask the leadership at the facility at which you swim what their needs are and develop a plan. Masters swimmers already work as a team; if a Masters program can rally around a good cause, there is nothing that a Masters program can't accomplish."
Whether you commit to collecting a single toy or building a multi-thousand dollar splash pad, know that as a member of U.S. Masters Swimming you can make a difference.
Go the Distance
USMS is going the distance again this year. For the last few years, this fitness event has been available to swimmers so they can track the cumulative distance they have swum during the course of the year. You can get all of the details by reading the event announcement and by going to the event page.
After you are done, you can order customized apparel to show how far you went.
Coaches, this is a great fitness event for all of your swimmers. You can help participants by letting your swimmers know how far they swam after a workout.
Good luck to all participants in 2009!
Getting FAST in Oro Valley
2008 Reflection in the Pool: U.S. Masters Swimmers Give Back
Each year Lakeside Masters Swim Team hosts the Lakeside Mile, a swim meet held the first Sunday in December. The meet attracts between 30 and 60 swimmers each year, but this event is more than a swim meet. The Lakeside Mile serves as a toy drive to benefit Toys for Tots. The Lakeside Masters Swim Team began collecting toys during the holidays over a decade ago and is confident that the tradition will continue for years to come.
Mary Graves, a member of Lakeside Masters, organizes the annual toy drive. "I believe that swimmers like to give to Toys for Tots as a way of showing support for our community. Many swimmers do not have young children to shop for, therefore, they enjoy buying toys for needy children," says Mary. Lakeside Masters has already collected over 100 toys this year for the cause.
Why toys? Mary and the Lakeside Masters found a good fit with the Toys for Tots program and knew that a toy drive was a manageable service project in which each member could participate. Mary believes that every Masters program is capable of contributing in a similar manner to various causes in their communities. "The Toys for Tots drive is an easy activity for us and a good way to contribute to the purpose of our December meet," says Mary.
How does Mary manage to execute this project every year? Each year Mary contacts the U.S. Marine Corps Reserves, who organizes Toys for Tots. The U.S. Marine Corps Reserves delivers a collection box to Lakeside Masters and determines a pick-up date for the collected toys, and then it is up to Mary and the Lakeside athletes to fill the box. "They award our team a nice certificate of participation," shares Mary. The second year that the Lakeside team hosted the toy drive a uniformed Marine Reserve even attended the meet to show his appreciation for the efforts of the team. The participation in a service project not only makes us feel good heading into the holidays, but also has a way of bringing a team together.
Mary's effort and that of the Lakeside Masters Swim Team is one example of many Masters swimmers, programs, and communities giving back. Earlier this fall we learned about Masters member and Olympian Aaron Peirsol and his efforts to save the oceans and we've talked to programs that offer scholarships to young Masters members to assist in the cost of dues; there are an infinite number of ways to make a difference and U.S. Masters members are finding them. As we look back through 2008 and we chart our times in each of our favorite events, check our standings compared to other swimmers from across the country, and plan our race schedules for 2009, U.S. Masters Swimming members like Mary Graves remind us that our organization is more than times, records, rankings and medals. U.S. Masters Swimming is an organization of nearly 50,000 that has the capability of being more than a swimming program.
U.S. Masters swimmers enjoy our time together and we revel in a challenge, both in and out of the water, so here is your challenge. Change the life of someone in your community and include your teammates, coach and program in your effort. Like fitness, goodwill is contagious.
Polar Bear Meet Reminder
U.S. Masters Swimming Unveils New Brand Logo
As you can see, USMS has a new logo! This is great news and gives our parent organization a needed upgrade to its identity. Branding is very important within the marketplace and upgrading the USMS one is another great step for masters swimming.
One Hour Postal
Sign up by going here and best of luck to all of you!
TAM Pool Mile
Good luck to everybody!
Why Will You Join?
What is yours?
Emergency Rules Message to all USMS Members
The following notice bears important information for all USMS members regarding:
- Breaststroke: initiation of the first arm pull
- Backstroke: disqualification language for the turn
- Dual sanction agreement between USA Swimming and USMS: how to run such meets
USA Swimming has issued an updated interpretation of the initiation of the breaststroke arm pull to conform to the FINA interpretation. USMS Swimming Rules: Part 1 of the USMS Rule Book are based in part upon article 101, “Individual Strokes and Relays”, of the USA Swimming Technical Rules which includes the breaststroke. The updated interpretation will apply to USMS competition (USMS article 101.2.3). See the following text published by Bruce Stratton, Chair of the USA Swimming Rules & Regulations Committee, December 8, 2008:
Text from USA Swimming:
“In 2005, FINA made changes to the technical rules for breaststroke which allowed a single downward butterfly kick during or at the end of the first arm pull after the start and after each turn. As required by USA Swimming Rules, we changed our technical rules for the breaststroke to conform to the changes made by FINA.
During the time since the change, there has been much confusion about what constitutes the beginning of the first arm pull. Based upon the (USA-S) Rules & Regulations Committee understanding of FINA’s interpretation and actual practice in international competition, our guidance has been that the mere separation of the hands or arms does not necessarily constitute the beginning of the first arm pull.
However, we have been informed that FINA’s interpretation is now different from our previous understanding of what constitutes the beginning of the first arm pull. In order for our interpretation to conform to that used by FINA, the following interpretation is being made, effective immediately.
For purposes of Article 101.2.3, as it relates to what constitutes the initiation of the first arm pull and the allowed single downward butterfly kick, the following applies:
After the start and after each turn, any lateral or downward movement of the hands or arms is considered to be the initiation of the first arm pull.
Here ends the text from USA Swimming.
For any questions about the interpretation of the initiation of the first arm pull contact:
Kathy Casey, Chair
USMS Rules Committee
BACKSTROKE TURN: DISQUALIFICATION LANGUAGE
There has been NO change in the interpretation of the backstroke turn rule. Recently, USA-Swimming advised its officials that they should alter the wording typically used to report backstroke turn disqualifications. In 2005 USA Swimming deleted the following sentence from the backstroke turn rule: “Once the body has left the position on the back, any kick or arm pull must be part of the continuous turning action.” Deleting that sentence did not constitute a change in the interpretation of the turn because the previous sentence addresses initiating the turn. However, officials continued to use the statement “noncontinuous turning action” on disqualification slips. Since the USA Swimming rule no longer refers to “continuous turning action”, USA Swimming officials have been encouraged to use language such as “failure to initiate the turn after the arm pull” or “failure to initiate the turn after turning toward the breast” rather than “noncontinuous turning action”.
However, USMS did NOT delete the “continuous turning action” sentence from its backstroke turn rule (USMS article 101.4.3). The USMS Rules Committee deemed that sentence a good clarification for USMS members and retained the sentence. Therefore, any of the statements listed above for describing infractions of the turn rule, including “noncontinuous turning action”, are acceptable for USMS competition.
For any questions about backstroke turn infraction language contact:
Kathy Casey, Chair
USMS Rules Committee
Charlie Cockrell, Chair
USMS Officials Committee
DUAL SANCTION AGREEMENT BETWEEN USA SWIMMING and USMS
Combining USA Swimming and USMS meets is now an official option as a result of an agreement signed by USA Swimming and USMS July 30, 2008. A number of inquiries have been received asking how to run such combined meets. Below is “Attachment A” from the signed agreement that describes three methods for running combined meets. Note that the term “organization” refers to USA Swimming and/or USMS throughout the document.
COMBINED, PARALLEL, and INTERWOVEN MEETS
The number of inquiries as to what mechanisms are available for combining USA Swimming and USMS swimming meets has been increasing. The reasons for combining these meets are many, ranging from the limited availability of pool time and officials to the desire to promote the sport as a lifelong activity. There are several ways of accomplishing this goal within the rules and insurance policies of each organization. This document outlines these options.
It is assumed that all competitors are a member of either USA Swimming, USMS, or both. Those that are members of both must select one organization with which to compete for the entire meet. Dual membership cannot be used to exceed the daily event limits imposed by either organization. Automatic recognition of times achieved by a USMS swimmer competing in the USA-S portion is still available.
Any of the joint meets described below must have sanctions from both USA Swimming and USMS. Both sanctions must be held by the host organization. The host organization cannot be required to accept a participant from either USMS or USA Swimming that would otherwise be barred from participation by their respective organizations.
USMS Record and Top Ten submissions must comply with all USMS documentation requirements.
With the consent of all (co-)hosting teams and the LSC and LMSC, a combined meet may be sanctioned by both USA Swimming and USMS and all swimmers competing according to USA Swimming rules. This mechanism allows the meet host(s) to seed the event as they normally would, based upon times, with USA Swimming and USMS members combined in heats without specific lanes allocated to one organization or the other. There are restrictions however. A divider must separate members of each organization. A lane line is sufficient to achieve the separation. This does preclude, for example, swimming two-to-a-lane with a member of each organization in the same lane. Warm-up and warm-down should be conducted in separate lanes. Relay teams must consist of members of the same organization.
The two meets may be swum in parallel by assigning some number of lanes to USMS competitors and a different set to USA Swimming competitors. If possible, separate stroke and turn officials for each set is preferred. It is permissible to adjust, for example, the makeup of the USMS heats so that competitors in a given heat have approximately the same seed times. Each organization’s rules would apply to their members.
The two meets may be swum with complete heats of swimmers from both organizations alternating. There would be no need for separate stroke and turn officials. Each organization’s rules would apply to their members.
For any questions about combined meets contact:
Kathy Casey, Chair
USMS Rules Committee