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  1. Fish Oil and Exercise in Older Women

    Fish Oil and Exercise in Older Women

    A recent study published on PLOSOne found that fish oil has many beneficial effects for older women who exercise. This small study recruited 24 females between 65 and 67 years old who were in good health. Half were given 3 g worth of fish oil supplements (2 g EPA and 1 g DHA)per day, while the other half were given the same amount in organic olive oil. A side note here is that olive oil has many benefits for the cardiovascular system, so it may not always be the best placebo. Extensive measurements were taken preceding the experimental phase, as well as at the conclusion. The experimental phase was 12 weeks, during which the women ate and exercised as usual. The group who supplemented with fish oil showed a significant increase in resting metabolic rate (14%), energy expenditure during exercise (10%), a 19% increase in the rate of fat oxidation during rest and a 27% increase during exercise. Fish oil consumption lowered triglyceride levels by 29% and increased lean mass by 4% and functional capacity by 7%. No changes were noted in the olive oil group.

    The study is available here in full text.
  2. 5|4|16 LCM

    Greenville LCM meet next month - approaching fast. My 50 fr will be 2nd event of the day on June 18 early afternoon. Also considering the 100 fr, 50 bk, 50 br, 50 fl, and not sure if we will have enough attendants for relays. Pushing the legs now, they are the first to go in LC, so I can taper them properly.

    500 warmup with fins and snorkel

    - 100 kick on 3:00 as 50 flutter fast / 50 frog easy
    • 49 on first flutter, slower after

    - 50 flutter kick on 2:00
    • easy kick first then build each to all-out last 18 M (60's + - 2)
    • noticed kicking from hip more pronounced gave me 2 extra seconds to rest

    1 x 50 fly with fins and snorkel relaxed, loose and flat (34)

    I don't keep tabs on my distance, but that was about 1200 LCM - plenty for me

    Drylands: stretching and yoga poses for about 90 min

    Nationals was such an experience. Was also the greatest learning curve I've had at a meet. I watched how the stars accomplish races. I took it all in. Everyone seems to have their own process, but when they are on the block, they are confident and ready.

    Did an interesting plyometric exercise yesterday: hop forward ten times each leg X 10 while holding arms forward (classic Frankenstein arms). Worked those muscles not worked often

    Need to fix one of our cars. I believe it could be a fuel pump. Hope I can swap it without dropping the tank.

    Updated May 4th, 2016 at 09:23 PM by __steve__

  3. Sarasota Y Sharks Masters 5:30 AM Workout 05/05/2016

    by , May 4th, 2016 at 11:50 AM (Sarasota Y Sharks Masters GOLD Workout)
    WARM UP:
    6 X 100 1:50
    4 X 150 2:40

    1 X 100 kick 2:30
    8 X 50 kick 1:20
    1 X 100 swim

    4 X 50 strong 1:20
    1 X 100 @ 100% 3:00
    Three rounds--choice

    6 X 200 pull 3:20
    Negative split all 6

    WARM DOWN: 4 X 50 easy

    Swim Workouts
  4. Greensboro Recap

    Once again, we had a great time in Greensboro. I absolutely love that facility and being within a three hour drive from my house is a major plus. My training has been quite sporadic the last few years so I was curious to see what I could do.

    Thursday- Arrived around 3 and made it through the check in process quickly. Jumped in the pool and got in about 1000 yards. Mixed in a few starts and tried out the backstroke "wedge". I liked them but you need to be a little coordinated to use them.

    Friday- My only event was the mixed FR and went a 27.16 which I was very happy about. My fastest 50 fr is a 27.52 back in 2012. Since then I have been stuck in the mid 28's. Successful start to my meet.

    Sat- 200 IM seed time 2:39.66, went 2:36.22 (-3.34)
    Very pleased and the fastest I have been in awhile. The clear difference in this race was me having a much better front half. It took me forever to get my heart rate back down.

    Mixed MR, Swam backstroke and opted not to use the wedge. I slipped to the left off the start and tried my best to recover. Went 34.46. Not a good swim at all and I felt like I let my team down. They still talk to me though.

    Sun- 400 IM seed time 5:44.72, went 5:44.37 (-.40) Happy but was expecting more. I shouldn't complain because it is still faster than I have been in some time. The goal was to relax through the fly and then build each hundred. Once again my front have was great and I had an average back half. I hit the wall at the 200 mark and told myself "You're half way done". After my breaststroke breakout I realized my legs were shot. I then told myself "You're ONLY half way done" OUCH!!

    200 Back seed time 2:37.27, went 2:37.27 (-.16) Well, I was really pumped for this one but I think I was just tired. Even with a slow start and no legs the first 150 went really well and then my mind, body and soul suffered through the last 50. No complaints.

    Overall, I had a nice meet and a even better time with my teammates. I was able to see some old friends and meet some new ones. Bravo to everyone that took part in putting this thing together. This is by far one my favorite meet venue that I have been to. Time to train for the next one. Hopefully I can make it back to the USA Masters Games in July.
  5. Week 188 - Tuesday

    by , May 3rd, 2016 at 02:17 PM (After a long rest)
    So when it rains it pours. I went to bed as soon as I got home from my workout last night and slept solid the entire night. When I woke up I noticed that the hallway light was on. I crept around the bedroom like I normally do to get ready and as I went out the door I caught myself thinking that DeAnna was very quiet. As I left the bedroom I realized she was not in bed and was instead in the living room. When I got to the living room she had a bucket and mop in hand. Apparently our refrigerator/freezer decided to dump water into the kitchen last night. Unfortunately this had been going on a while and the water had run into several other rooms and ruined carpet. DeAnna said she had everything in hand and we could talk after I swam. She assured me I needed to go and swim. I guess I must have looked pretty wound up. When I returned from practice I saw that apparently the refrigerator must have been slowly leaking for a while because we had mood behind the unit and several of the base boards in adjoining rooms had warped. We pulled out all the attending carpets and base boards and started crying things out with our dehumidifier. I don't know the extent of the damage but it's probably not going to be cheap.

    Anyhow, today's workout was tough and a hard welcome back to drylands.

    15 minutes on stationary bike
    2x(shoulder band exercises)
    3x(5x:45 second ab exercises with :15 second transition) and 1mjn between rounds


    400 free with snorkel
    6x50 catchup on :50
    8x50 kick
    300 easy

    i still felt hideous in the water and my stomach hurt from abs.

    When I got back to the house DeAnna had a plan for taking care of the water and some thoughts about insurance vs out of pocket. Either way this will be taken care of ASAP since we don't want mold. Just one other thing to deal with I guess.
    Swim Workouts
  6. Week 188 - Monday

    by , May 3rd, 2016 at 02:04 PM (After a long rest)
    So everything was going great on my return from Nationals and then I arrived in Atlanta on my lay over to discover that most of the flights out of Atlanta had been delayed by bad weather. My flight ended up being delayed about 2.5 hrs and I ended up not landing until just before 2am Monday morning. To make matters worse there was no empty gate for the plane in Dallas which delayed us even further. How can they not have an open gate at 2am. Come on,it's not that f**king complicated. Needless to say I was tired yesterday and decided to swim in the evening after I had finished coaching my kids group.

    Warm up
    400 free with snorkel
    6x50 catchup on :50

    main sets
    5x200 with snorkel on 2:30
    8x50 kick on 1min
    4x100 IM on 1:30

    warm down
    300 easy

    i felt absolutely hideous in the water and could not wait for this workout to be done.
    Swim Workouts
  7. Sarasota Y Sharks Masters 5:30 AM Workout 05/04/2016

    by , May 3rd, 2016 at 12:11 PM (Sarasota Y Sharks Masters GOLD Workout)
    WARM UP:
    4 X 100 2:00 1:45
    2 X 200 3:30 3:30
    Two rounds. Round 1 intervals left, 2 right.

    5 X 100 kick 2:30
    Second 50: build to fast

    5 x 100 choice 2:30
    First 50: long and strong
    Second 50: build to fast

    1 X 200 IM 4:00
    1 X 100 stroke(no free) 2:30
    Four rounds

    WARM DOWN: 4 x 50 easy

    Swim Workouts
  8. Recovery day

    400 mix up
    2 x 125 (75 free/25stroke/25drill)
    200 social kick
    8 x 25 @ 60 went IMO
    -odds EZ, evens strong

    4 x 75 @ 1:20 cruise
    50 easy
    3 x 100 @ 1:35 a little stronger
    100 easy
    2 x 150 @ 2:15 a little stronger
    100 double arm backstroke

    300 with snorkel and bouy + hot tub


    Just what my body needed. I need to blog my splits and thoughts from Greensboro. Maybe later on today.
  9. Workout 05/02/16: evening

    by , May 2nd, 2016 at 08:13 PM (Maple Syrup with a Side of Chlorine)
    I enjoyed checking in on results and catching the video from Nationals this weekend - congrats to all of the forumites that swam and especially my teammate Matt, who despite being under the weather was able to swim his events yesterday. It was neat seeing our team cap on the national stage!

    Yesterday after a busy day at work I went to the nursing home, where we have finished looking at the miracles that Jesus preformed and now have turned our attention to the Ten Commandments. Should be a good study.

    Today I was off due to a meeting my boss needs to attend tomorrow at the main office, so I was able to get in for a swim after supper.

    200 free/200 back/200 im drill
    100 FR with FF
    100 kick/200 pull/200 with AP (all snorkel)
    4 x 50 as 25 DPS, 25 IMO Fast
    100 BK with FF
    100 kick
    100 loosen and out
    (Solo/Rec/1700 yds/30 min)
    Swim Workouts
  10. Disqualifications and Protests

    by , May 2nd, 2016 at 07:48 PM (Rules Committee Blog)
    A natural outcome of competition is that sometimes coaches and swimmers may disagree with decisions of officials. What provisions are in place to appeal or protest a disqualification or other decisions?

    Can I protest my disqualification?
    By rule, protests of judgements made by stroke, turn, and relay take-off judges may only be considered by the referee and those decisions are final (102.14.3). The rationale for this rule is that it is not very practical to overturn a call made on deck by the officials. Our system relies on human observation on deck by officials with review and approval by chief judges (for larger meets) and deck referees. This process is designed to ensure that swimmers are afforded the benefit of the doubt and lead officials can confirm that a good observation has been made by an official in the proper jurisdiction and we have a rule basis for the infraction. It would be impossible to second-guess these judgements after the fact.

    Protests concerning interpretations of the rules in part one shall be submitted in writing to the Rules Committee Chair within 10 days. (102.14.4) This is not a question about the observation, but rather asks if we got the rule correct. Before considering this route, make sure to get an explanation from the officials at the meet, preferably in writing. Most officials are glad to offer an explanation of the decision and the rule basis. If you have received an explanation, reviewed the rules (the rule book is available online), and still feel that there was an incorrect interpretation of the rules, consider asking a coach, club representative, or an LMSC representative for help in submitting a protest. A little homework will make for a more productive discussion!

    Any other protest arising from the competition itself shall be made within 30 minutes after the race in which the alleged infraction took place. If the protest is not resolved, the protester shall at that time file a written protest with the chair of the LMSC or the chair's representative having jurisdiction over the event. (102.14.4)

    My friend has a video on his or her cell phone. Can I send that to someone for review?

    Unfortunately, we do not look at video replays of races. We do get asked this question often, but understand that we cannot be assured that any video would at the same perspective of the officials on deck. What might look clear to someone standing at another position on deck or in the stands may look completely different to an official in the proper jurisdiction. Referees take great care to define positions and jurisdictions to ensure that each official has the correct viewpoint for specific infractions. This process necessarily relies on human observation and judgement.

    The rules do have a provision for video replay, but this provision was only recently inserted following advances within FINA and USA Swimming. Our sport has only recently begun to implement video review for elite meets, such as the Olympics, World Championships, and USA Swimming Senior Nationals. These video systems require underwater and on-deck cameras at several different angles and perspectives in order to be complete and to provide appropriate procedures for review. To date, we have not approved any such use in USMS. Technology may perhaps move us in that direction someday, but most likely we would only use official video cameras operated and reviewed by meet officials, not videos provided by swimmers, coaches, or spectators.

    It is understandable that, as athletes, we might disappointed in decisions by officials and outcomes from competitive events. We rely on experienced and dedicated officials who are committed to a fair and equitable application of rules. They are trained to spot legitimate infractions and scrutinize potential calls for compliance with the rules. Many calls are overturned by referees because there was a question about the observation, jurisdiction, or rules basis without swimmers ever knowing about it.

    If you have a question about a disqualification, the best advice is to ask the officials for an explanation, be informed about the rules, and work with your club or LMSC representatives if you still have questions. Our goal is to make completion fair, equitable, and enjoyable for everyone who participates.
  11. 5|2|16 SCM and meet

    Fun is over, back to work. Was a great experience at Nationals. My team was very supportive and awesome, and many of us had personal and age group bests

    All of my frees had terrible turns to varying degrees. One even had a locked knee push-off using just the calves LOL. I blame that on the locations I choose to train. I also navigate solely on the bottom markings, perhaps I should've peaked forward. I noted the turn markings at GAC were about 5'10 from the wall.

    Other than freestyle turn issues, I managed a PB in 50 Br and 50 Fl. And as a bonus, little old me was placed on a relay team of studs to anchor us a 6th place finish in the 25+ Medley Relay! I got my first medal

    I also drank wine again just a few times.

    Men 50-54 50
    Yard Freestyle Finals 25.47

    Men 50-54 50
    Yard Freestyle from Split Requests NT

    Men 50-54
    100 Yard Freestyle Finals 57.90

    27.48 58.79 (31.31)

    Men 50-54 50
    Yard Breaststroke Finals 35.66


    Men 50-54 50
    Yard Butterfly Finals 31.41

    Men 50-54 100
    Yard Individual Medley Finals 1:20.00

    Men 25+ 200
    Yard Medley Relay

    6 GSMS
    'A' M25+ GSMS 1:43.00
    1:38.75 10.00
    1) Costa, Leonardo (M38) 2) Silva, Fabio M (M38)
    3) Fachin, Andre A (M26) 4) Dalpiaz, Steve R (M50)
    24.11 (24.11) 40.28 (16.17) 1:13.86 (33.58) 1:38.75 (24.89)

    Mixed 45+ 200
    Yard Freestyle Relay

    29 GSMS 'A' X45+ GSMS 2:25.00
    1) Dalpiaz, Steve R (M50) 2) Chappell, Melinda E (F55)
    3) Hilton, Patti K (F63) 4) Alderson, Pat (M64)
    25.67(25.67) 59.11(33.44) 1:32.54(33.43) 1:58.11(25.57)

    Also did a fly in a 3rd relay, swam a 29.64. But I looked 24 yrs older

    Coach suggested I should work on my fly. I've been improving this stroke each consecutive meet with just the event as the only time I actually swam it. I plan to proceed with caution however, using fins, moderation, extra rest, and one length at a time.


    500 warmup with fins and snorkel

    7 x 50 on 2:00 as 25 AFAP / 25 easy fr with fins

    • AFAP's: Fr, Fl, Bk, FK, back FK, UWDK, back UWDK

    8 x 13m on 1:00 AFAP kick on 1:00 as belly or back FK

    30 seconds 6 mph (run) / 3 min 2 mph (walk)
    30 seconds 7 mph / 3 min 2 mph
    30 seconds 8 mph / 3 min 2 mph
    30 seconds 9 mph / 3 min 2 mph
    30 seconds 10 mph / 3 min 2 mph
    30 seconds 11 mph

    Hack squats machine heavy - 5 reps
    Pushups on blocks with added band resistance - 10 reps
    Negative pullups - 5 reps
    Dips / knee lifts
    Leg presses
    Leg curls
    explosive leg extensions
    Standing calf raises
    side plank shoulder raises with DB
    pushup position on DBs alt rows
    negative leg raises
    negative adductors

    The pushup position while holding DBs and raising one to shoulder I found, is an excellent core exercise. I used the #15's and alternated L and R each set for 4 sets of 5 reps each arm . It was actually more difficult keeping both feet on the ground.

    Updated May 3rd, 2016 at 08:51 AM by __steve__

  12. Nationals & Monday workout

    by , May 2nd, 2016 at 04:17 PM (The FAF AFAP Digest)
    We made it home from nationals safe and sound -- after a bit of a harrowing drive in the midst of hail and a tornado watch. The best part of nationals for me was hanging out with great swim friends and my RAM team. And I love the spectating at nationals -- got to see so many great races and was really happy for my friends and fellow bloggers that kicked ass. My coach and friend Bill White, who hadn't competed in SCY since 2002, swam out of his mind. Hopefully, we can persuade him to come to more USMS meets! And my Jimby was very happy to grab a well paced win in the 500 free. Of course, it was great hanging out with Stewart and Mark and I finally got to meet Mr. Unruh (who also swam out of his mind).

    For various reasons, this was an extremely challenging meet for me. I had felt pretty good a couple days before leaving. But whatever was blooming in NC did not agree with me and I had a bad allergy/asthma flare starting Friday afternoon. Lot of hacking and not enough oxygen to power the SDKs. Hindsight is 20/20 of course. But I was probably pushing the envelope to have competed in the meet. And so it was a mixed bag.


    50 back, 1st, 27.7

    I did two starts with the backstroke ledge in warm up, and they seemed fine. But at race time, I fumbled around with the ledge and couldn't seem to get it in the right place. It ended up being a little lower than I would have liked. Then the starter held us for a long time and my arms were shaking. I was a little deep on the start, but it was solid. But then I had a glide into the turn. I was just happy to get the win. And anytime you beat the speedy Susan Williams that is saying something.

    Mixed 200 free relay (can't remember our time), 24.7 split

    I didn't execute this very well either. I jammed the turn and went off the wall way too deep. I had trouble breathing after the race and it seemed to precipitate a 5-6 hour coughing spree.


    Started off the day by tearing a hole in a new tech suit that I had only worn once at the Albatross meet ... Grr!

    50 breast, 32.8 DQ

    More bad execution here. My start was not very good and my heels broke the surface on my breakout. Off the turn on my pulldown, I could feel my feet move. I knew I was at risk for a DQ and sure enough it was enough undulation to draw the call. Obviously, I need to be hyper vigilant about this (and I was in my 100 breast).

    50 free, 4th, 25.4

    I can't say that I was too excited to swim this race and was worried about air/breathing. This time, I had a great start but instead of jamming the turn, I only got my toes on the wall. So my Lochte turn, which is usually an asset, was a liability. This is a pretty mediocre time for me; I went faster at the Sprint Classic. No idea why I had such trouble with my freestyle turns this meet.


    50 fly, scratch

    I didn't feel like I had the lungs to SDK well, so opted to scratch and rest on my 26.0 from a month ago. Was happy for Susan who crushed the field in my absence.

    100 breast, 1st, 1:13.7

    I really wanted to end nationals on a positive note and, hey, at least you get to breathe in breaststroke. I felt like I had very good walls and a good 4th 25. It was a dogfight to the finish. It is a very rare occasion indeed when this drop dead sprinter comes from behind to win a 100. So I was happy with the result, which is only .3 off my PR from a few years ago.


    So this was definitely not the meet I had hoped for. But so goes life. Hopefully, my lungs/ears/sinuses will be happier heading into Canadian Nationals. I was in the mood for a workout today and so headed to Sewy and did the following:

    Swim/SCY/Solo @ Sewy

    Warm up:

    600 various
    100 scull
    8 x 25 shooters
    100 EZ

    Main sets:

    20 x 25 @ 100 pace @ :45
    -- done as 5 x 4 x 25 IM order
    250 EZ

    2 rounds:
    10 x 25 fly w/fins @ 100 pace @ :45
    150 EZ

    20 x 25 breast @ 100 pace @ :45
    250 EZ

    10 x 25 dolphin kick @ 100 pace @ :45
    150 EZ

    Total: 3700

    Updated May 2nd, 2016 at 05:53 PM by The Fortress

    Swim Workouts , Masters Swim Meets / Events
  13. Sarasota Y Sharks Masters 5:30 AM Workout 05/03/2016

    by , May 2nd, 2016 at 01:16 PM (Sarasota Y Sharks Masters GOLD Workout)
    WARM UP:
    3 X 100 2:00
    2 X 150 2:40
    1 X 200 KICK 5:00
    8 X 50 KICK 1:20
    3 X 100 1:40
    2 X 150 2:30

    6 X 100--choice-- 2:30
    ALL 6 strong--85/90%

    10 X 50 1:20
    25 sprint/25 easy

    3 X 400 pull 6:40
    Negative split all 3

    WARM DOWN: 4 X 50 easy

    Swim Workouts
  14. 2016 USMS Spring Nationals Recap

    by , May 1st, 2016 at 05:02 PM (After a long rest)
    Well I had every intention of blogging each day but just never got an opportunity during the meet to write. This is sort of a catchup blog I guess. I had some really good swims and some not so good swims. Despite wishing I swam faster I was happy with my performances and had an absolute blast with my team mates. Just like last year the relays were a bunch of fun and we did great winning both the men's 45+ free and medley relays.

    As I described in my last post the 1000 was a good swim and my splits were great with a slight negative split.

    The 500 must have been a fun race to watch with a line of us turning at 450. I tried going up a gear at about 350 and for about a 25 felt like it was there before my body decided that it was not. My time of 4:55 was not what I was hoping for but was better than last year so no complaints. My splits were also really consistent like the 1000.

    The 100 free was one of those swims I wish I had just not done. I actually felt good before I swam this one so it was weird that I died with about 30 yards to go. I don't know if I just need to swim this a little differently. Currently I just go all out. This was reminiscent of my swim at our zone meet where I also died in the last 25. My 49.8 was .8 slower than last year.

    The 100 back was actually a good swim but it had lots of technical problems. I have struggled with raw speed this meet and this 100 was particularly tough to get going. My back starts and under waters have been off the whole meet. I went way deep and stayed under way too long as a result. One of my team mates showed me the video after the race and I was at least 3/4 of a body length down at the first turn. I turned too far from the wall and got next to no push off. I really tried hard to get some speed and came home really well. I lost my heat by .01 and could feel myself pulling the guy in the lane next to me the whole second 50. My time was slightly slower than last year and a second slower than I thought I would go. Despite this I was happy with the back half of the race and unlike the 100 free did not die.

    The 200 free was a really good swim and probably my best swim of the meet. I did not die and my splits were terrific. 25,27,27,27. My 1:47 was faster than last year and I felt strong the whole way. The only thing with this one was that I tried going up another gear on the last 50 and for about 10yards felt like it was there but alas like the 500 my body said no. Still very happy with this swim.

    The 200 back was a race too far. I had very heavy arms and legs before I even got in. I had a better start than the 100 but just had no tempo and struggled the whole way. My 2:03 was slower than my zone swim 3 weeks ago. Despite this being a bad swim I don't think it's indicative of anything other than I was really tired.

    Considering I was contemplating not coming to this meet a few weeks ago I swam well. The highlight of my meet was the two relays with Steve Unruh, Bill White and Mark Cox. We won both relays and had a lot of fun swimming them.

    I was also very fortunate to swim with Leslie who as always was terrific to cheer on and watch. We had two team dinners and these were awesome. When you get on so well time flys! We had a blast and I can't wait for next time.
    Swim Workouts
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  15. Heeding the Chlorine Call (May-June 2016)

    by , May 1st, 2016 at 12:00 AM (SWIMMER Editorials)
    USMSís new CEO offers perspectives on challenges and opportunities

    Swimming has a way of sticking with you. Whether you learned to swim early or later in life, its impact is significant, and the lessons learned and skills acquired are numerous. For anyone who swam as a child, the chlorine call back to the pool is strong.

    Fortunately for USMS, our new CEO, Dawson Hughes, a sports marketing professional with a strong background in leadership and nonprofit management, also happens to be a former swimmer. Dawson joined the National Office in March, after a nationwide search overseen by a special task force appointed by the Board of Directors.

    Dawson most recently served as vice president of business development for the Orange Bowl Committee, a South Florida nonprofit sports organization that features a year-round schedule of events culminating with the Capital One Orange Bowl, a top-tier college football postseason bowl game. Heís also worked for both the San Diego Padres and Kansas City Royals Major League Baseball franchises.

    However, as much as heís accomplished in the greater sports world, Dawsonís heart is with swimming, the sport he started at age 5 and the one that eclipsed his other childhood sports interests.

    SWIMMER asked him about his swimming background and his ideas for USMS moving forward.

    SWIMMER: Whatís first on deck for you?

    Dawson Hughes: Iím currently getting to know USMSís history, the team at the National Office, and our volunteers, including members of the Board, LMSC officers, and sponsors. Most important, Iím focused on getting to know our members.
    Weíll be updating our strategic plan over the next several months and we want to continue to provide great benefits and opportunities, motivation, and support for adults who want to take advantage of all that swimming has to offer. Whether itís learning to swim for the first time, getting in shape and staying fit, or competing, we want to ensure weíre able to meet the needs of all our members and potential members.

    S: Whatís your swimming background?

    DH: Learning to swim started shortly after learning to walk. I grew up in Southern California and we had a backyard pool, so it was looked upon as a life skill in my family. The Balboa Island Yacht Club (which was more summer camp than yacht club) had programs that included paddle boarding, swimming, diving, rowing, and sailing competitions in Newport Harbor every summer for kids aged 4 to 16, so I was in the water constantly from age 5.

    At the same time, I was swimming in summer league meets in the pool. After a couple of years competing at BIYC, I decided I didnít like coming in second to the same kid every week and I wanted to start training all year so I could beat him the following summer. Around that time my parents realized that swimming was a good way to keep me tired and out of trouble, so I joined a year-round age-group team. The plan worked on both accounts, and I went on to swim competitively through high school and two years in college.

    S: How have your early swimming experiences affected your life?

    DH: While considering the opportunity to take the helm at USMS, I spent time reflecting upon my swimming background and realized that, although Iíve been away from the pool for 19 years, swimming has continued to have an influence on many aspects of my life. The teamwork, goal setting, work ethic, self-motivation, and competitiveness I learned as an age-group and college swimmer are characteristics Iíve carried into my career.

    On the personal side, lifelong friendships were fostered during those years. And a fitness base was built that has helped me recover from stretches of inactivity a bit more quickly. My wife and I had our kids in water safety and swim lessons as early as possible, just as our parents had done for us. I could never have predicted that my career path would bring me back to my swimming roots, and Iím excited to be in a position to provide opportunities for adults to discoveróor rediscoveró all the benefits of swimming.

    S: What are some of USMSís opportunities and challenges?

    DH: USMS has a strong tradition of competitive swimming and that will continue; for our members who love to compete, weíll continue to provide great events.
    And I believe there are opportunities to include many more adults of all ages and backgrounds.

    There are thousands of former swimmers who find it challenging to balance their careers and family lives, let alone find time for a fitness routine. I put myself in this category. Throughout my 20s and 30s, building a career and starting a family has been my focus, and carving out time to exercise is a constant struggle.

    Swimming was always in the back of my mind, but I didnít feel I was in shape enough or could commit the time that I assumed would be necessary for a Masters Swimming program. So I ended up at the gym with an inconsistent fitness routine: usually warming up on a treadmill followed by poorly executed weight training or the occasional outdoor run. Without a resource to easily obtain swim workouts, the encouragement of fellow swimmers, or a coach to provide structure, my motivation to get back to the pool waned.

    Finding ways to make fitness swimming fit into the busy lives of those with careers and families is both a challenge and an opportunity for us. The misconceptions about perceived time commitment and getting in shape before starting need to be addressed. Providing resources and programs that donít require more time than a run in the neighborhood, a visit to the local gym, or other fitness programs will be important.

    Fitness is a trend that isnít going away, and swimming is regularly acknowledged as a great way to get and stay in shape. But too often the ease of entry to other fitness activities stands in the way.

    S: How are we going to accomplish this?

    DH: USMS wants to appeal to adults regardless of their prior experience, fitness level, or competitive inclination. This includes adults who never had the opportunity to learn to swim. To do that, we must offer programs and benefits that appeal across many demographics, lifestyles, and goals.

    In starting to get to know our members these past few weeks, it has become clear that theyíre our biggest cheerleaders. Iíve been asking folks how they initially got involved with Masters Swimming. The answer is almost always that a member of a club or workout group approached them and convinced them not to be intimidated or concerned about their fitness level.

    Those tens of thousands of passionate swimming ambassadors, combined with simple options and encouragement to help people learn to swim, meet fitness goals, compete if they want to, or simply live a healthier lifestyle, will be our best avenue to introducing more adults to Masters Swimming.

    S: When can we expect to see you back in the pool?

    DH: Iíve been back in the water a few times recently and I plan to stick with it as best as I can while balancing my family life and the responsibilities of my new role. My goal is simply to stay fit enough to keep up with our 3-year-old twins.

    Updated September 1st, 2016 at 10:26 AM by Editor

    Tags: ceo, staff, usms
    Staff Blogs
  16. 2016 USMS Spring Nationals Day 1

    by , April 29th, 2016 at 07:20 AM (After a long rest)
    I had a good night of sleep but woke up with some butterflies; all good stuff. Not knowing the heats is always a little bit of a challenge with 1000/1650 so we headed over to the pool for an early warmup and the came back to the hotel when we knew our heats. One of my team mates, Bill, was in heat 17 and I offered to count so we headed back over at event 9. I jumped back in and did a slow easy warm up. I then counted for Bill before jumping back into the warmup pool again for a few pace 50s. I felt great.

    I went up to the blocks as the heat ahead of me flipped at 200 and moved the fins and generally got ready. I noticed Patrick was late to get to his block(I assumed he was doing his pace work). I was next to Dave Sims and Patrick was the other side of Dave. My game plan was to be smooth at 500 and build the second 500. I was using a counting pattern of 4,3,2,1 50s and trying to keep my stroke count at 11/12. I had a good start and felt long and smooth. At 100 I caught My first sight of Patrick and knew he was out fast. I kept my stroke long and at 150 I sensed Patrick was a long way ahead of us. At 200 Dave Sims and I were coming into the flags at the 200 turn as Patrick was coming out. I felt like I was holding a good pace and felt like Patrick was out too fast. I got into a good grove and Dave and I were stroke for stroke. At 500 I felt good and started to build again holding my 4,3,2,1 50. As we got toward the end of the next 4 X 50s Dave and I had been back and forth and I lost focus on my 50s count and more and more got into a race. At 150 to go Dave seemed to pickup his pace considerably and despite wanting to go I felt like if I held my stroke count another 50 I could sprint the last 100. As we came into 100 to go I heard the bell. My first reaction was wtf. I knew Patrick was ahead but knew he had not lapped us. It took me a few minutes to realize I had miscounted somewhere and we only had a 50 to go. I picked up my pace but by the time I got going Dave was a body length ahead. I sprinted but definitely had another fast 50 in me. I always have a counter but seldom look at the count, instead try to keep my stroke count long and head down. I guess I learnt a lesson here. I think in future I will check 200 out.

    My final time of 10:14 was a good time for me and I believe this sets me up to have a great meet. Despite my snafu with counting my splits were very consistent and I even negative split the race. In hindsight I was probably 3 seconds too slow on the first 500. I enjoyed the race!
  17. 2016 USMS Spring Nationals Travel Day

    by , April 29th, 2016 at 06:55 AM (After a long rest)
    It's been a strange buildup to Spring Nationals for me. This spring has been filled with challenges and even 3 weeks ago I was on the fence about traveling to Greensboro. As I write this I am a day out from my 1000 and I feel as good as I have felt in a very long time. Very strange how the body and mind can be world's apart and then in a very short space of time my head is in a good spot and physically I feel strong. I am really looking forward to this meet! I don't have any specific goals for the meet which is also a strange place for me. I am really hoping I can get myself into a position to race some of the fast guys in my age group. My free has been improving since our zone meet and I hope it comes together. It's always challenging finding the right mix of endurance and speed when you swim all the frees from 100 to a 1000. My back feels great and I believe I will get close to best times in both the 100 and 200.

    I shaved down last night and registered for my longer events. I then headed to bed reasonably early. This morning I had an 8am flight to Raleigh followed by an hour drive to Greensboro. I could not find a reasonably priced direct flight so instead used southwest air miles to fly to Raleigh. Storms came through last night and unfortunately the flight was delayed about 30minutes; it could have definitely been worse.

    The drive from Raligh to Greensboro was great and was a very easy drive. Once I got to town I checked in at the hotel(Holiday Inn which was very nice) and then headed to the pool where I met up with Steve Unruh. The plan was to have an early dinner together however one of my team mates phoned and asked if I could meet him in Charlotte. I ended up driving to Charlotte to pickup my buddy and did not get back until about 9pm. I went straight to bed.
  18. Workout 04/27/16: noon

    by , April 27th, 2016 at 01:37 PM (Maple Syrup with a Side of Chlorine)
    200 free/200 back/200 im drill

    2 x (with snorkel):
    - 100 kick with AK
    - 150 swim with AP (r/l/b)
    - 50 with FF
    - 200 pull with buoy
    50 easy
    4 x 50 as 25 DPS, 25 IMO fast
    50 easy
    4 x 100 on 1:35 as 50 drill, 25 fast BK kick, 25 DPS

    100 loosen with snorkel
    (Solo/Rec/2400 yds/45 min)

    Busy few days at work, so it was nice to get in the water. This swim put me over 50 miles for the year. Over the weekend we did a lot of landscaping and spring prep around the house. I also got in a nice ride on the motorcycle. Time to finally mow the lawn this afternoon.

    Sending fast swimming vibes to everyone competing at Nationals this weekend. Matt from our workout group will be swimming with team New England.
    Swim Workouts
  19. Mon-Tues, Apr 25-26

    by , April 26th, 2016 at 03:26 PM (The FAF AFAP Digest)
    Monday @ LA Fitness:

    1600 EZ

    Tuesday @ LA Fitness

    800 various
    2 x 50 burst + cruise
    50 EZ
    10 x 25
    odds = 100 pace @ :30
    events = EZ @ :45
    250 EZ

    Total: 1450


    I am beginning to feel much better. Hacking is under control now, and ears don't hurt as much. I think I am well enough to have fun! I will do an easy swim tomorrow and then, Thursday morning, embark on our road trip with my wolfpack. The last time I road tripped to Greensboro, we started out with a flat tire and a lost cat; hopefully not this time. Looking forward to seeing my non-Pittsburgh RAM teammates. I must say a 9-10 day taper is so much easier to endure than a full 3 week taper. Ready or not!

    Updated April 26th, 2016 at 04:07 PM by The Fortress

    Swim Workouts
  20. 4|26|16 SCM

    Easy swimming yesterday mostly with fins doing drills and what-not. Did accomplish a few sprinted 12.5's, one supersonic flip turn, one 25m flutter kick blast with some degree of taper guilt, but I should be OK.

    Roughly the same today but replaced the drills with dives from sides + UW flips, about 20 easy 15.6m turn drills with varying number of strokes leading in (to be ready for anything going in wall), and midpool and static flips forward and reverse, on side, etc, until I became seasick.

    New Product review
    Click image for larger version. 

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    I like the MP snorkel so much better than the finis. It stays put, has better flow, doesn't catch, drag, or move around on the head. It fits very snugly is quite comfortable, and the strap ratchet seems well engineered and durable (unlike finis IMO). The only thing I needed to get accustomed to was the mouthpiece, which is a little bulky and made clearing water after UW's different. Was just a brief learning curve however.

    The Arena fins are very similar to the Hydro Tech II's I've been using for several years, but not as wide or long. They have less grip to walk in and not as propulsive either. But the best part is that they fit me: The Hydro's are cut to fit feet with big toes that are shorter then the adjacent toes (weird feet IMO) which required me to modify them because of cramped space, and even then my toes were still getting beat up. The Arena on the other hand, has a drain in the area so my big toe sticks out and are finally liberated.