JULY 2017 Newsletter

Welcome Swimmers and Triathletes:

Hope you all had a great Independence Day Weekend! Many consider this the downside of the summer season, but it serves more as a wake-up call for me to stop working so much and start PLANNING some fun. Anyone catch the Phillips 66 National Championships over the weekend? We now have our National Team ready to compete against the world in Budapest, Hungary. It is awesome to see so many young faces at our highest level. It also feels a little different now that many races are wide open since The GOAT has retired!
Highlights for me:

1) Matt Greaves stealing the 100 back from Murphy with his 6’9”, but 32 year old body !! WOO HOO, once again proving “old” people aren’t dead until they say so :)
2) Caleb Dresel is quietly coming into his own and swimming NOT TO LOSE.
3) Nathan Adrian is long from out of it - nice job.
4) I guess it is official, World Record holder Missy Franklin is no more……..

Even Rowdy Gaines commented several times on the DEPTH of our USA Swimming. It is good to see. One race, we had 5 swimmers cluster within 0.25; several others we had 5 of the worlds top 10 times this year all swimming in the same pool !!

If you feel compelled, consider sending a small donation to USA Swimming or the USA Olympic Team - every bit helps.

And now, onto business at home:


This month, we have STEELMAN and Lake Placid IronMan - perennial favorites. Best of luck to all athletes who continue to work hard and train for sporting events well into there…40s…..50s…60s….and beyond :-)


And, the focus point for July is: SR vs SL…….all just a math issue !!

SR = Stroke rate
SL = Stroke length

It is human nature to default to SR about 99% of the time. This is wrong… SR and SL are a carefully balanced equation in all the best swimmers. It was very obvious when they interviewed Simone Manuel after she won the 50m free last weekend. Just how do you create separation in a ONE length race? There is no strategy - it is pure GO TIME. Simone has a Stanford pedigree and is a smart young lady. Simone won 2 golds in Rio: 100 free and anchoring the medley relay. She won the 50 last weekend in a field that had 7/8 ladies under 25 seconds !!!! When asked what her “strategy” was by the reporter, she responded that she was just trying to HOLD her SL while keeping her SR high. Words to live by… If you think it matters in a race less than 25 seconds long - how much more does it matter when swimming for 30-60 MINUTES?

YES, my point has always been that SL matters. Only humans solve all their issues with SR…. How about some thought this month to your SL? What has your SPL done lately? As I prepare for my 9th Steelman OWR, I am swimming reasonably well for an old guy. Every warm up for the last 6 weeks has me at 12 SPL, sliding into 13 as I get hot and ready later in the practice. This is good for me. Since the age groups are 10 years in swimming (ARGH!), I only strive to improve each year on my PRs. So far, so good. There are many variables in open water, but preparing in the controlled environment of a pool with a black line really sets you up for streamline swimming and solid buoy tracking. How far will you swim in your next mile or 1.2? Doesn’t really matter how fast you are - if you swim 1.6 miles to exit a 1.2 swim… Streamline and detail matters.

Good luck to each of you.
See you in the water !!


Last, we got a nice thank you from SWIM OUTLET, as you have made O2 SWIMMING a top team in the country for using their web page - they are hoping to lower prices even further for the bigger teams that use them !!

INFINITE nutrition has been and will continue to offer good products and great pricing for us - just be sure to use your “o2” code to keep you on our discount program !!

SwimStrong. SwimSilent.

Ken Holland
Head Coach
O2 SWIMMING
Doylestown, PA
267-994-0568

www.o2swimming.net and www.o2nutrition.net

 

JUNE 2017 Newsletter

Welcome Swimmers and Triathletes:

Holy smokes, it is June..Summertime is pretty much here !!! My mind is clearing after a great weekend of working, cycling, and generally enjoying the area we live in - we are so lucky. The location, the weather, the people, what more could one ask for - than living in Bucks County, PA?

We have a bunch of intel to cover today, so let’s get started….
Our topic for this month, in honor of Escape the Cape (today) , and all the races coming soon…

RACE DAY !!!

Reports coming in all day today from Escape the Cape Tri in Cape May, NJ indicted that our local crew really kicked tail :-) I stayed home and was lazy; rode 53 with the boys of “Just Show Up” fame out of Camp Dean… It got me thinking - I have never really addressed the actual race day - in a Newsletter. Hope this helps:

1) Cardinal Rule = NEVER do anything on race day, you haven’t done before. You would think it goes without saying, but every year, I hear the stories… Last year, some “kind man” (in my age group) offered me some sort of poison that was “guaranteed” to keep me from cramping at Steelman. NO! He went around and gave it to a dozen unsuspecting athletes - God only knows how they did….

2) Go Biblically OLD SCHOOL ! I may be a dinosaur, but I have always done the distance BEFORE race day. One of the best athletes in this (or any other part of the world) famously did his first IronMan and had never rode even a 100, or done a full marathon… OMG ! Ken Holland is no where near the athlete this boy is, but I ALWAYS do the distance. I highly recommend that you follow my protocol here.
In swimming, you will have no walls to “catch a break” or “stretch out” at, so 4,000 in a pool is a long way to swim. 4,000 in open water is NO LESS challenging. Do the work !

3) Warm up AND stretch out. This rule matters more if you are in my “over 30” age group. O2 has only 2 age groups - you are either “over 30” or you aren’t… As a much more experienced “over 30” athlete, it takes me much longer to get right than it used to. ACCOUNT FOR THAT. Ever see the top pros in cycling on a trainer for AN HOUR prior to doing a 20 minute Time Trial? No one can hide from the “race of truth”. Not many can hide from a solid warm up on race day - accompanied by a decent stretch out.

***Pay heed, my pure swimmers… I see you an hour after the only warm up you get in a swim meet approach the starting block with your goggles dangling from the corner of your mouth looking all calm. Regardless of who you are - when your heart rate is 50 a moment before you get on the block and you ask it to reach 150 in the 1st few seconds of your 54 second race - it won’t end well. Be ready !

4) Get your mind QUIET. You can stand and look around at all the studs and stud-ettes in any race and possibly have doubts about your training. The fact is, you DESERVE to be there. You are only racing your age group (for the most part). Focus on what you need to think about - visualize the start. Sequence what happens early on…. Regardless of “them”, what is YOUR GAME PLAN? I’ll bet it will be the best one for you - stick to it.
Notice what the GOAT does? Michael Phelps doesn’t give a darn who is in the pool - HE HAS A GOAL. “You” don’t matter to him. If it isn’t you, it is just someone else who looks like you… He was always supremely focused. Guess what? He won - A LOT !!!
Understand?
NEVER underestimate the importance of this….

5) NUTRITION. It is said the 4th discipline of triathlon is nutrition. I believe this and have seen it either champion or ruin races…. What works for you is best. A few years back, a “new” formula was presented to me by 2 athletes who are superior to me. I tried it. It was TERRIBLE for me. My body did not perform well on this; despite the claims and even personal recommendations from people I respect.

I have become a huge fan of INFINIT Nutrition and brought all O2 SWIMMERS a team discount on it. The company is in Ohio and custom blends the perfect formula FOR YOU. They have both in house Doctors of Nutrition and extremely well educated sales people. They will help you - for free if you go the sales guy route, or for $30 for a 30 minute consult. If you are a seasoned athlete, I suspect you will only need the sales consult. If you are a “newbie” or have had some real issues, buck up and spend the couple bucks and get the best help you can.

Here is our hyper link to our discount and the site itself:

INFINIT Nutrition - No gels, no bars, no road capsules, NOTHING. You get your own custom blended powder to mix with water that will have all the nutrition you need to go as far as you can handle - all day for you IronMen!!!!
www.infinitnutrition.us 10% off with us (Plus earn- $5 INFINIT Bucks when you post a race day picture of yourself on their INFINIT Facebook page)
Promo Code: o2

The end.


New Business Section - June 2017

1) Summer will get real busy, real quick. If I owe you time - call SOON! Although I always have time, it might not coincide with your schedule as easily in the summertime…

2) My daughter, Summer Holland, has been back from her first year at Northeastern University for a month now and has already been very busy coaching little ones in the Endless Pool Studio. She charges HALF my price and has a more flexible schedule. She has returned to Fanny Chapman again as the pool manager, so reach out for me to gain her contact info if you need her for your younger swimmers. She has been swimming competitively since age 7 and has been coaching for 3 years here, as well as group lessons at FC.

3) If you have read to here, I have a BIG IDEA and want some feedback….


Due to the SPEED of many of my current swimmers, I am thinking of upgrading our Lane One motor in the Endless Pool. When I put in the EP, almost 20 years ago, they had 2 motors, but the “bigger” one did not go any faster than the current motor you swim in = .59 pace. Now, I can get you a motor blowing .52 all day long !!! Worth it?
Bounce me back with your feedback ;-)


4) I appreciate your continued support of the O2 SWIMMING program; thank you! If I have helped you and you feel compelled to write up a little recommendation for O2, please either post it on Facebook or send it to me directly - I will put it on the web page. My web admin is asking again if we have any “happy customers”….


Thank you.
See you in the water.

WOO HOO, outside season is finally here !!!!

SwimStrong. SwimSilent.

Ken Holland
Head Coach
O2 SWIMMING
Doylestown, PA
267-994-0568

www.o2swimming.net and www.o2nutrition.net

 

 

MAY 2017 Newsletter

Welcome Swimmers and Triathletes:

May really begins to open the door to open water swimming and cold early season practice, but we love it !! If you are a swimmer, its time to just have some fun, stay in half way decent shape and perhaps work on some stroke mechanics. If you are a triathlete, it is pure race ready workouts all the way now.

Each month, I try to choose a topic that is not only relevant, but current with things I am seeing (good or bad) at that time. Sometimes, I have general information, but often it is chosen from more controversial topics. Lots of us have opinions - no one has stronger opinions than ME, but I am going to make this simple : YOUR SPL IS THE ONE METRIC THAT WILL NEVER LIE TO YOU :-) This pairs nicely with my theory that you can ALWAYS make a good stroke go faster, but you cannot make a “bad” stroke faster no matter how much power you add.

Recently, I have begun to feel more strongly than ever about the FINIS Axis buoy. My main set today was brutal:
300 pull axis buoy
100 free slightly above 1500 race pace
2 X 50 fastER
4 X 25 fastEST
Repeat four times through for a 2400 main set.

When I wrote this set, I felt the 300 Axis buoy pull would be a solid swim, but also somewhat of a recovery portion ~ it didn’t feel that way to me…. Why? The Axis buoy can be far more challenging than a regular pool buoy. EVERYONE loves a pool buoy and it has some nice skills to teach with good work on the upper body. The Axis buoy, however, is much more difficult and the gains are much more complex. We all want to do more with less, so this is my focal point for May 2017.

Video: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=GROntsgx6wM

My thoughts as I suffered through the set today:

1) Axis buoy will help you feel left vs right side imbalances
2) Axis buoy will help you feel any lack of tightness in your core - you may feel the lower back dip
3) Axis buoy will force you to extend into your full reach or you will wiggle
4) Axis buoy creates MORE drag than a standard pool buoy
5) Axis buoy promotes an elevated body position - will help you notice if you are swimming UPHILL or downhill…. BIG DIFFERENCE ***
6)Axis buoy improves ROTATION - no matter who you are, it can always be better

As you can see, this is way more than a pool buoy. Finis has some terrific engineers that swim !

All O2 SWIMMERS have both the SwimOutlet and the FINIS direct team discount options now - no excuses. All relevant codes are on my web page ~ left side.

Take this opportunity to up your game, I know you will be happy with the improvements.


More Good News today ~

Miss Summer Holland is now home from her freshman year at Northeastern University and is ready to work her magic at Summer’s Swim School once again. She will be a full time manager this year at Fanny Chapman in Doylestown, but will also be coaching out of the Endless Pool Studio. She is super fantastic with younger kids and spends a quality hour IN THE WATER with them. Fanny will occupy her about 40 hours/week and I have my time slots carved in the stone wall, but her schedule is actually flexible…. The best time to get on her book is NOW, as Fanny has not opened yet and school is still in session for most kids. Please reach out for me directly and I will pass her contact info directly to you. She charges half my rate, but offers no tri pack discounts….

Have a great month.
Stay inspired.
Race hard this summer !

SwimStrong. SwimSilent.

Ken Holland
Head Coach
O2 SWIMMING
Doylestown, PA
267-994-0568

www.o2swimming.net and www.o2nutrition.net

APRIL 2017 Newsletter

Welcome Swimmers and Triathletes:

April Pools…yes, I am a little late this month… The March winds blew a change through the O2 pool and I now have more triathletes in the water than swim team athletes. The adjustment in both directions is always fun for me; kind of amazing how different it becomes on my end when I go from 4 strokes + to mostly freestyle and sighting skills. The good news is that after close to 20 years of coaching, I am more convinced than ever that EVERYONE can improve !! Each month, I try to find a relevant topic pertaining to just HOW TO improve - at your level.

Our topic of the month is: WEAKNESS !!!

OK, now I have your attention, right? Specifically, what is YOUR weakness? How do we improve that?

April 2017 Hints on overcoming a Top Ten of swimmers weaknesses:

1) I can’t drop time….. As Einstein reminded us: “Insanity is doing the same thing every day and expecting a different result”

2) I can’t breath on one side… Your hips are locked. The key to breathing is HIP ROTATION.

3) I get tired swimming long distances… The theme of our little group of triathletes is “JUST SHOW UP”. Funny how everything gets easier the more you do it.

4) I am not as fast as I should be compared to xyz…. Don’t focus on the clock, focus on your SPL, speed always follows efficiency.

5) My workouts are boring, so I don’t swim much… Variety is the spice of life ! I post my workouts 3 days a week on Facebook - they are all over the map. Feel free to do all or parts :)

6) My legs sink…. Your front end is too high - think teeter totter here. You can’t swim if your hands aren’t IN the water.

7) I swim better with a pool buoy…. You can get addicted to pool tools - start buoy drop swims and break the cycle. Example: 200 pull becomes 150 pull, last 50 is just swim (no break, still a 200).

8) I am a runner, so I don’t need or use fins… YOU need them the most !! Runners have less flexibility in the ankles, fins help stretch out the joints AND build strength.

9) I would swim more, but I can’t breath after a few minutes…. The issue isn’t your breathing, it is your swimming and lack of BALANCE. If your body is balanced, you can easily roll to air and therefore swim longer.

10) I don’t use the walls because open water doesn’t have walls… While that is a factual statement, I disagree. All walls are free gifts that help you get into streamline. The more you streamline off walls, the less likely you will be in open water to be OUT OF streamline. Streamline is my LAW #2 - that is how important excess drag is in the water. Ever hear of aerodynamic effects? Hydrodynamic effects mean much more due to density, friction, etc.


Any of these apply to you? As with ALL problems, everything is solvable.


Special Thank you ~

I think Swim Outlet already understands just how large O2 SWIMMING has become. In less than our first month, our collection of swimmers and triathletes has ordered more than any other team they have under the BEST PRICE GUARANTEE contract !! So thank you all for helping us get better pricing by USING this affiliate program. If you launch from my hyperlink (on www.o2swimming.net), you will always get the best price.

On the NUTRITION front, now that my longer distance athletes are coming on strong - I HIGHLY RECOMMEND Infinit Nutrition. We get a straight line 10% discount on anything in their catalogue. The custom blended formula is ALL YOU, designed by you, adjusted by you. I have used nothing else for the last 3 years. So simple. It only took me ONE adjustment to dial in…. They are located in Ohio, so you can get a custom made formula in 2 days !!! If you for some strange reason don’t feel like going custom, they offer various drinks specific for swimming, cycling, running, distance, speed, etc. Bounce me back if you have any questions - they are awesome :-) We are fortunate to have an affiliate program with them too.


The weather is getting much better - GO OUT AND PLAY !

See you soon…


Albert Einstein

SwimStrong. SwimSilent.

Ken Holland
Head Coach
O2 SWIMMING
Doylestown, PA
267-994-0568

www.o2swimming.net and www.o2nutrition.net

 

MARCH 2017 Newsletter

Welcome Swimmers and Triathletes:

March is a transitional month here at O2 SWIMMING; the month when swimmers dial down after a long season and triathletes wind up in anticipation of the summer racing season!

First a BIG shout out to all our swimmers who competed at PIAA Districts and Junior Olympics last weekend. Our very youngest swimmers were ON FIRE this year and had a great finish. Sometimes, it is the youth who inspire! As always, we will be sending swimmers to States and Zones and eventually, even Nationals. Our sport takes plenty of time, effort, and dedication and I would like to recognize that again here. Cross Country runners practice 2-5 miles to race a 5km. Swimmers practice 6,000 - 8,000 yards to race 100 or 200. Being in the water is both a mental and a physical training balance and not much comes easy. Clearly, the dedication of parents plays a huge part of a swimmers success and they don’t get recognized nearly often enough, so THANK YOU !

This month’s theme is a bit of a look back and a look forward. Below, I will break out the most notable FOCAL POINTS for both swimmers and triathletes - taken directly from the hundreds of pages of notes I send to athletes every year:

SWIMMERS: Overall, a fantastic season, but I am warning you now to watch out for the group directly below you - the youngest kids are SO FAST this year !! Here is your short list:

1) The number 1 ignored, misrepresented, and just plain unrecognized ailment in this group is: CATCH DYNAMICS. We have such an enormous emphasis on WORK LOAD in this area due to the extremely high level, that sometimes the most basic principles are sloppy. This is clearly my #1 enemy in many hours of coaching.
The hand needs to be open, relaxed, and pointing slightly down. No flat hands. No cupped hands.
A soft hand will always catch more water AND a soft hand will travel up the arm into a more relaxed and faster system. Stiff is slow. Loose is fast.
Work on your catch post season, it will do wonders for your speed in ALL 4 STROKES come next year.

2) Collapsing your front end as you roll to breath is my 2nd most marked area in notes to swimmers. So many have a solid/long stroke with a low SPL, but totally collapse every time they breath. I can only imagine how this gets much worse at race pace. Be vigilant about keeping the lead arm extended as you roll to breath - you will have no loss of length and therefore be faster.

3) Underwater dolphins that exceed your ability at the time….. I see this in every meet I go to. Kids are drilled by coaches that THEY MUST do xyz number of dolphins off every wall, but 90% of these kids can’t and therefore SLOW DOWN due to following the guidelines of a coach. To be fair, coaches want/need to develop your core strength and aerobic capacity by training hard underwaters. But, there is an EXACT number of underwater dolphins that keep you ACCELERATING - that is the number you need to race at. Every coach wants you to race your fastest, so figure this number out !!! No 10 or 12 year old can do 6 underwear dolphins and accelerate - it makes them slow down off the wall. This is wrong in a meet. Develop all you can in practice, but RACE YOUR FASTEST!

TRIATHLETES: I know you guys are ready and thank you for your patience while we did all we could in the last few weeks with our swimmers - they needed the time and appreciated your patience :-) Now, you are all entering the pool and want some guidance. Here are 3 things specific to your needs as open water, long distance swimmers:

1) My number 1 issue with triathletes is the huge cross over in the front end. It is slow. Every adult triathlete I know is a FIT individual with a superior attitude; but you cannot beat water to mover though it - nothing in nature does…. Think about that one. The biggest reason many of you cross over is that you only breath on one side and have precious little awareness of the other side; so, one side “takes over” and gets stronger causing a big imbalance…i.e. cross over. You CAN correct this. The easiest way is to begin following the black line on the bottom of the pool. It is straight and put there for a reason. The mirrors in the Endless Pool Studio show it all, don’t they?

2) Poor wall skills…. I do not feel that any triathlete needs to do a flip turn, but sloppy walls result directly in sloppy strokes. The wall comes as often as every 13 strokes for some of us - unlike open water. What you do and what you learn to do at the wall has a direct effect on your streamline AND your cadence.
How many of you are so sloppy it takes you 3-4 strokes off the wall just to feel “right” again? NO EXCUSE, the wall is a free gift that ANYONE can push off in a straight line from…it would then be up to you and your swim stroke to screw that up !
How many of you rest in your turn? How do you expect to swim for 20 minutes? 40 minutes? An hour in open water with no wall, no rest? If you are swimming any set distance, you need to get off the wall quicker and straighter - ’nuff said?

3) Over use of pool tools…… ALL warm up and all first sets need to be done “naked”, no tools. I see triathletes all the time show up at the pool and strap on every tool in the bag and then go all out…:( No feel is ever developed. No feedback ever recognized. No real means to improvement. Start easy… Just you… FEEL the water.
I love pool tools (as you will see below), but you need to develop the same FEEL of the water you will have in a race and use the tools to enhance that during the middle part of the workout.

Questions?

And now, for my BIG NEWS ~

As members of O2 SWIMMING, you now have 2 ways to get your team discounts on your swim products. We have just struck a deal with SWIM OUTLET ! From today on, you can bounce from my web page into Swim Outlet and be guaranteed our lowest price on every item they have. *****You must bounce from my web page link and then open your own account once. They have even created some custom products with the O2 SWIMMING logo on them for us…very cool ! Many of you have used Swim Outlet in the past, now you just need to go through our team to get you discounts, lowest price, and free shipping.

FINIS is still our biggest program and you can order direct from FINIS forever with our code: o2swimming. This still gets you 20% everything, including sale items.

Due to the low minimum on free shipping at Swim Outlet, I placed my first order already - LOVE IT :-)


So, in my commitment to bring you the best service and products at the lowest prices, we will NOT be raising our prices again this year (I think we have had 3 price increases in almost 20 years) and we have expanded our team discount program FOR YOU !


This is our 3rd year with INFINIT NUTRITION and we are growing very fast here. I love the simplicity of using ONE product that was custom made for me… Check them out, our discounts on the web page apply !!

Have a great week!

SwimStrong. SwimSilent.

Ken Holland
Head Coach
O2 SWIMMING
Doylestown, PA
267-994-0568 | www.o2swimming.net | www.o2nutrition.net

 

FEBRUARY 2017 Newsletter

Welcome Swimmers and Triathletes:

Don’t let the outside temps lull you into a sense that nothing is happening in the world of swimming !

Highlights of just the last couple weeks:

1) One of our freshman (high school, NOT college) went under the 5.00 minute mark in the 500 free …JYEAH !!!

2) One of our swim dads just happened to bring his son’s swim cap to a National Golf outing with the slim hope that Michael Phelps would be there and sign it……. YUP !!!

3) One of our favorite people (and local chiropractor) got back in the water after God only knows how many years of water phobia

4) I think at least 2 of our kids have EVERY JO cut they are eligible for…..already !

5) As this old man ramps up his speed work this time of year, I have confirmation that I can still earn points (not come in last) in a swim meet :)

Not a bad “Top 5” list, eh?

Our topic this month is : Efficient Catch

This always seems elusive for many swimmers and triathletes. I would like to talk about pure physics and WHY the following explanation should make sense to you.

As an overview, humans are grossly inefficient in the water(sorry) - compared to any/all manner of fish and aquatic life. By design, we are land animals. By brain, we are more UNlimited. If we look at the friction of water as a huge factor governing progress; we need to start in the horizontal position to remain both balanced and streamline - minimizing drag. The ONLY place we get an efficient catch is when the arm is exactly perpendicular to the horizontal body as shown below.



As our swimmer entered the water, he was purely a compromise getting into this position, correct?

As he exits the water, same effect….

This is the ONE LOCATION where everything is maximized.

Don’t give up hope !!!!

If you think about a canoe paddle and HOW we maximize efficiency with the short stroke; one can clearly see that overreaching the rigid paddle will only cause an initial lift of the vessel and not a forward propulsion. Thank goodness, humans have not one, but two ARTICULATED JOINTS (wrist and elbow) to help “soften” the catch. However, if the system is stiff (arm and hand), this will not happen well, resulting in a slower swimmer……

A soft hand is an enormous key to allowing the flexibility to travel up the forearm into the upper arm and shoulder to ALLOW (not force) this to happen.

The crooks of the matter is that I witness swimmers with flat/stiffer hands making noise on the surface (very un-fishlike) and pushing water down. I see better swimmers sliding into the water with a soft hand that is: open, relaxed and pointing slightly down. As this process develops, the faster swimmer CAN get into a bend earlier in the process - resulting in more speed on EVERY STROKE. Keep in mind that speed and efficiency go hand in hand.

Here is a race video from PIAA States showing one of our boys doing an 11 SPL and missing the National Record in the 200 free by hundredths of a second, as he goes 1:33.9 (Yeah, for 200 yards !!):

Michael Jensen from Upper Dublin 200 Free State Record from GMG Video on Vimeo.

 



Poetry in motion….. The kind of speed that makes you wonder both IF and HOW it is possible.

How does your CATCH look?
Anything you think can be improved?

The end…:)

Housekeeping ~

I must apologize for a rough January at O2 SWIMMING. Apparently, Yahoo had over a million accounts blow up on/about 03 Jan 2017. I lost a lot of you, as i did not fully recover my on-line presence for almost 3 more weeks. Thank you for your patience as I worked through the cyber world. If I have not contacted you back - it was unintentional, I ask for another chance !

Keep the faith, we will get through this… Swim season is coming to a close for some and triathlon season is heating up all across the country. Ready?

SwimStrong. SwimSilent.

Ken Holland
Head Coach
O2 SWIMMING
Doylestown, PA
267-994-0568 | www.o2swimming.net | www.o2nutrition.net

 

JANUARY 2017 Newsletter

Welcome Swimmers and Triathletes:

I want to start 2017 with a HUGE thank you and inspiring newsletter to help us all keep connected and IN THE WATER. As some of you have figured out, O2 has been coaching in the Endless Pool Studio for what is closing in on 20 years - I have lost none of my passion for the sport :) Over the holidays, I added extra hours to accommodate my college swimmers home on break as well as any last minute Tri packs that needed to be used up inside the calendar year. We are clear to begin another fantastic year. It will certainly be a new year of challenges, victories, PR’s and growth for all who allow it to happen. I continue to be excited and inspired by all of you. Coming off the 2016 RIO Olympics, we still have a great momentum. Although it looks like Michael Phelps will be gone from Lane 4, hopefully he continues in his own way to add back to the sport he made great !

The 1st newsletter of 2017 will break from tradition a little bit by having not 1, but 3 themes/sections - hopefully covering a little more ground for each of you. Remember, the O2 SWIMMER ranges from a new addition to all 4 competitive strokes by an 8 year old ~ all the way to 70+ triathletes who will NEVER give up.

But first, a little milk and cookies story from a quickie dive vacation I took with my family just before Christmas….

We have 3 certified divers in our house, and 3 strong swimmers - but there are 4 of us, so you do the math !! We headed down to the Bahamas for a 3 day dive vacation where we dove some coral reefs, some wrecks, and “the wall”; but this story is about the 25M lap pool… Each morning, I would get up before the pool opened and get in a very moderate workout (2000 or so) and then bring coffee up to the room for everyone. On the last morning, I had company - a guy in a Sugoi tri bottom tearing it up for some 50s and 100s. I really TRY not to get “involved” everywhere I go, but you know me better than that and I feel somewhat compelled to represent Doylestown when I travel. Finally, after a 600m ladder, the guy stopped me and asked HOW I did what I did….? What? He said, “you are not breathing very hard and seem relaxed when you swim, but you are much faster than me…”. I replied that I was old and just shaking out a little of the cobwebs from my travels. Come to find out, I was in the company of the 2016 reigning World Duathlon Champion and most frequent “podium finisher” in triathlons. I was humbled, as we were in the same age group. He persisted as to : 1) how old I was and 2) who I was. The disappointment on his face was interesting when I admitted to being both older than him, and truly a nobody….

Being pressed for family time, but still having my instincts in tact, I began to work with him and developed one of my themes for this newsletter - EXTENDING INTO THE BREATH.


1) EXTENDING INTO THE BREATH:

My friend above was VERY fit and had a good stroke, but each time he took a breath his system became “human” and he totally collapsed into an unrecoverable puddle of soup. Streamline is really a 360 degree phenomenon. Streamline is NOT a right to left thing, it is your ability to swim through you smallest hole in the water. Think about that. Streamline is also important enough for it to be my O2 SWIMMING LAW #2 - behind only BALANCE. And how does this directly relate to our topic, “extending into the breath”?

You can be the best streamline swimmer in the pool. but you must breath at some point. If you have system failure and collapse every time you breath, you will be slow and work harder. BTW, being slow and working harder are one and the same. The hardest working swimmer in the pool is usually the slowest one, not the fastest one….. HHHmmmm….

Get your lead arm fully extended and do not pull at all as you rotate the HIPS to breath. This engages a long body line and perfect streamline DURING the breathing cycle. Our world class athlete above never understood this - until I pointed it out and demonstrated it to him. A picture can be worth 1,000 words. He professed to have read “everything” on his weakness. He studied swimming. But, he never had someone with a trained eye and some experience actually look at him - just him. I believe we share the success at O2 SWIMMING. YOU are all very intelligent and want to get better. I have placed you in a controlled environment with mirrors where we can monitor and control everything. It works.

Work on your breathing in 2017. Are you extending into the breath? Can you do it on both sides?

2) Goggles & equipment choice in general:

Same trip mentioned above… I had temporarily lost my goggles and my son lent me his Speedo Vanquishers. OOOH, the old man had “fast/modern” goggles, look out ! Well, “look out” was the right theme; because I couldn’t really see very well with them! I have only used about 3 goggles in the last 20+ years: FINIS open water polarized goggles, TYR custom goggles and Aqua Spheres. I tried others, but they never felt “right”, hurt my eye sockets, or leaked. What I realized that day by wearing my son’s Speedo’s (absolutely no knock on any brand here…) is that their must be a percentage of both my swimmers and triathletes who do not have the right goggles. Goggles are hugely important. I could not see the wall well enough in this outdoor pool that I had no history with…. Every swimmer swims in a pool for the first time - i.e., no familiarity. If your vision is suboptimal, you will struggle. MP put out an awesome goggle design, which I purchased around the time of the Olympics. The vision was spectacular, but they leaked no matter what I did… How are you goggles? Do they feel like you can wear them all day? If not, find a more comfortable pair. Do they leak a little? Find a better pair for YOUR face. Can you really see both the wall and your competition on both sides? Some goggles do all of the above, but it is an individual thing. Most swimmers own 2 things: a suit and a pair of goggles. How much do you like your goggles? Each brand has a signature and not all brands fit everyone the same… Do some research. I would start with Aqua Sphere due to their overall comfort and easy seal. Don’t get stuck on any brand, move around until you have achieved all the goals listed above. It will make you more confident in the water and a better - FASTER - swimmer.

****In closing, engineering applies to all pieces of swim gear. If you have any questions on what necessitates a better kick board, hand paddle, or fin - let me know. I am happy to help :-)

3) Optimizing YOUR workout:

We have 2 camps here, so you must be divided ~

SWIMMERS = I am known to have said, “ you all do the same workout, why are some of you faster…”? So, the whole team did 8,000 yards yesterday, but some kids are just faster? WHY? There are too many reasons to discuss here, but know this: YOU are responsible for 2 things within the same 8,000 yard workout posted above:

a) How hard you work. Garbage in = garbage out.

b) How smart you work. ****This is where I believe ALL of you shine. YOU understand that it is faster to get faster by technique than by muscle. It is YOUR responsibility to bring some thoughts to practice every day and be working on some aspect of your stroke. Maybe today is your fly kick focus day… Maybe tomorrow is reconnecting with you length through catch up and SPL work… Perhaps friday is your day to work on extending into the breath and being longer… You get the point. BE YOUR BEST FRIEND every day in practice, don’t just show up.

TRIATHLETES = The two biggest things I see wrong almost every time I get into the pool with an adult triathlete:

a) No real warm up. Go hard early and strap on all equipment right out of the gate. NO!!!!!!!! Ease into the horizontal position. FEEL the water and HOW you respond to it. Swim “naked”. Go easy. Be long right away. Low SPL right out of the gate.

b) Use the walls ! Swimmers understand the walls, most triathletes look upon the wall as a cheat…:( The wall is your golden opportunity EVERY length - to get it perfect. Pushing off with a conscious streamline is easy. Wall thrashing is the norm in this community. Please stop ! You do not ever have to do a flip turn, but do not REST on the wall and USE the opportunity to be perfectly straight. If you really swim thousands of lengths a year and use the walls to be perfect - it will be far more difficult to be out of streamline in open water. Your brain will register the wiggle and feel the drag imparted. Remember, swimming faster is easier !


Beat of luck in 2017 and a HAPPY and HEALTHY New Year to all of you!

Keep in mind we have awesome team discounts on my web page. www.o2wimming.net

Please hook up and PARTICIPATE in our O2 SWIMMING Facebook page.

And last, this is the time of year I ask if anyone out there feels compelled to add a REVIEW to the O2 Facebook page - be it good or bad, I will greatly appreciate it. As I stated above, this ride has lasted almost 20 years now and some of the “reviews” might be a little old for someone currently looking for help - maybe you can make a difference.

Thank you !

 

SwimStrong. SwimSilent.

Ken Holland
Head Coach
O2 SWIMMING
Doylestown, PA
267-994-0568 | www.o2swimming.net | www.o2nutrition.net



HEALTH COACHING
Kenneth W. Holland
A unique, exciting innovation in health and nutrition
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