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Athletes are always looking for ways to gain a legitimate competitive advantage. PowerLung, an easy to use, hand-held, mechanical device proven by independent clinical studies to increase lung capacity may do just that. Regular use of the device, which essentially strengthens your respiratory muscles by having youinhale and exhale against resistance, has been shown to improve breathing so you can race faster, perform longer, exercise easier, and, overall, breathe better. At least one former Seaholm swimmer has used the device with great success. The choice to use the device – which is a little pricey – is completely up to you and in no way is a required piece of training equipment. Because you may hear of other swimmers using it, however, I thought I should make you aware of it. For more information on the PowerLung, feel free to visit their website at www.powerlung.com.
Out of Town Workouts
- Go on a 3-5 mile jog everyday
- Lift weights every other day – do the same exercises we do in our weight room
- Do your own version of Paradise Island every other day – you can buy a stretch cord at Dunham’s
- Do 100 pushups, 100 crunches, 100 pull-ups, & 100 time machines everyday
- Do the following swim workout everyday – if you have access to a pool
- 400 swim, 200 kick, 200 pull, 4 x 50 on 60 IMO
- 16 x 25’s @ 40 odd ones=back, even ones=free 15 meters underwater off walls
- 4×50 @ 60, 4×50 @ 45, 4×50 @ 40, 4×50 @ 45, 200 choice easy
- 20×25’s @ 25 (repeat 3 times, 60 seconds rest between sets)
- 1000 yard swim
- 500 yards kick odd lengths fast, even lengths medium
Lane Etiquette 101
Because we expect a large number of swimmers this year, lanes at practice are going to be more crowded than usual. In order to maintain safety and ensure each swimmer gets the opportunity to perform to the best of his abilities, there are a few general ‘rules of the road’ that swimmers will need to abide by:
- Swim in a counterclock wise direction.
- Leave 10 seconds behind the person in front of you (unless otherwise instructed by your coaches).
- Faster swimmers in front, slower swimmers in back. This will vary from set-to-set, so for each set make sure to arrange yourselves appropriately.
- If you catch up to someone, GENTLY tap their feet to let them know you are there then stay behind them until the next wall. At the next wall, the slower swimmer (the one whose feet were tapped) must let the faster swimmer pass. The slower swimmer is to then proceed with his swim. Attempting to pass a slower swimmer in the middle of the lane can result in a head on collision with another swimmer resulting in serious injury.
- If you notice that a swimmer behind you is quickly gaining on you, there is no need to wait for him to tap your feet. Once he is relatively close to you, let him pass you at the next wall.
- Once you have finished a swim, MOVE OUT OF THE WAY so the swimmers behind you get the same opportunity to perform a good finish as you did. That usually means moving to the right side of the lane (when your back is toward the wall). It DOES NOT mean dunking underwater to let the swimmer behind you swim over top of you.
By following these simple rules, the chances of having a safe, productive practice will be grealty enhanced.
Label Your Gear
To keep track of your equipment, it’s a good idea to label it, especially your snorkel. A Sharpie works great. Inadvertently sharing your snorkel with a teammate could result in illness. With H1N1 lurking around and the seasonal flu too, accidentally sharing snorkels with a teammate isn’t something you really want to do.
After most every meet, the team conducts a SWOT analysis of our performance. We examine the Strengths and Weaknesses we displayed and explore potential Opportunities and Threats that may improve or impede our progress. A constant threat – which in the past has affected us some years more than others – is the threat of illness. To mitigate that threat, it is important for our swimmers and divers to follow some simple guidelines to reduce the chance they will get sick during the season:
- Swimmers/divers should wash their hands – throughout the day – with plenty of soap & water (see CDC guidelines).
- Swimmers should place their names on their snorkels so they don’t inadvertently use the wrong one.
- Swimmers/divers should not share towels, goggles, water bottles, shammies, or similar items.
- Swimmers/divers should keep their hands away from their mouths since hand-to-mouth contact is one of the most common ways to spread germs.
- Swimmers/divers should stay home from school/practice if they are legitimately sick to keep from infecting their team/school mates.
- Swimmers/divers should make sure to eat well, stay hydrated, and get plenty of sleep – 8-9 hrs/night (see National Sleep Foundation).
It’s True: You are What you Eat!
Success in swimming (or any athletic endeavor for that matter) is determined not only by what you do with your body, by also by what you put in it. Click on the following link to some valuable information on sports nutrition.
A Nose Plug Might be Smart
Because our swimmers will be spending a lot of time on their backs – under water – they may want to consider investing in a nose plug. Nose plugs can be purchased at Rite Aid or CVS or similar store. You’re be in good company if you use a nose plug since Albert Subirats, one of the best backstrokers in the world, uses one. Check out this picture.
Use a Lock/Leave Your Valuables at Home
It is not wise to place your things in an unlocked locker in the locker room. If possible, leave your valuables at home or lock them in a locker with a sturdy lock. Unfortunately, last year there were a number of items stolen from the locker room and I have heard reports of thefts that have taken place again this fall. If you would like, you can place your things in a back pack and bring them on to the pool deck so long as they don’t clutter the deck. Though this may provide some measure of safety, unfortunately it still isn’t foolproof.
Hydration, Hydration, Hydration!
Proper hydration is extremely important for successful athletic performance. Based on the amount ofcalories burned in a typical Seaholm workout (pool + dryland exercises), our swimmers will lose a signficant amount of fluid and stored fuel (muscle glycogen). To maintain proper fluid balance and fuel stores, they need to re-hydrate before, during, and after practice. Because a 50% glucose solution is most readily absorbed by the body, we strongly encourage our swimmers to bring with them – to every practice – a 1 to 2 liter water bottle 1/2 filled with water and 1/2 filled with Gatorade.