MARCH 2018 Newsletter

Welcome Swimmers and Triathletes:

Sorry his month’s newsletter is so late, but PECO has been saving me money - lot of it… O2 has been on generator power for 8 of the last 10 days, but we never close ~ WOO HOO !!

March is a very exciting month for us, as the swimmers are all at Champ meets and proving what they are capable of, and my triathletes are beginning to emerge from their dens. Mr Phelps has finally retired, but along comes Caleb Dressel - WOW ! Locally, our own kids are smashing records too - both PRs and league times are all dropping as if it was meant to be! Just last night, one of our swimmers reported a 6 second drop in his 200 Breast; earning him a sectional cut. When was the last time we heard of a 15 year old dropping 6 seconds? My hat is off to ALL the kids that pulled of special performances in the last few weeks - nothing was given to them, they EARNED IT !

My topic for this month is ENERGY MANAGEMENT (special thanks to PECO for the enlightening idea…)

The best swimmers use their core to swim - as does a fish, arguably the fastest swimmers we know. Fish are simply a tube with a tail to drive the tube forward - no arms, no legs, no, nothing hanging off the tube. Streamline? ABSOLUTELY. If a fish expends more energy to eat than it has, it dies - mother nature is like that. How can we be more fishlike? How can we manage our limited power to the maximum efficiency?

1) Do enough work to be strong enough to swim the distance you need to… You cannot swim a strong hour in open water if you struggle for barely an hour with walls…

2) Learn to use your core to swim. Focused power that emanates bilaterally off the central spinal line is pure magic; compared to flapping arms

3) Energy driving FORWARD is worth more than energy pulling backwards…. STOP. Think about this… ***

4) Open water has no “rest area”, we must learn to manage HR and it all starts AT THE BEGINNING of every race (or practice). Does your practice reflects this?

5) Nutrition is ALWAYS a key - in life. Whether you are doing a sprint (you might be in “sprint shape”) or a full IronMan, your body needs fuel and must judiciously meter it back out to you engine. How have your trained you engine to accept gas? What “gas” do you use? Does it perform optimally for you?

I have been a big proponent of INFINIT NUTRITION for about 3-4 years now - at all distances. INFINIT does it right and does it simply. They make stock formulas, but you can dial in a CUSTOM formula with a little feedback - for about the same price. I use nothing else ~ for swim workouts, or century rides. If you have not tried INFINIT, I really think you are missing a huge step in your success plan.
**We get a team discount though my web page - it is worth it !

Think spring.
Set your clocks ahead saturday night.
Get out of you winter brain…eat more micro greens NOW… GO OUTSIDE !

NB. If anyone had a particularly good season or champ swim, maybe you want to post it up on Facebook and inspire us all….? Hopefully someone might have a had a good experience at O2 SWIMMING to write up a quick recommendation under that heading…?

Rock on, gang !!

SwimStrong. SwimSilent.

Ken Holland
Head Coach
Doylestown, PA
267-994-0568 and


FEB 2018 Newsletter

Welcome Swimmers and Triathletes:

It has been quite a week here in Philadelphia… GO E-A-G-L-E-S !!

It just goes to show that faith in oneself and ones team means more than talent. Doug Pederson’s “Next Man Up” approach carried the Eagles to victory all season - a season that did not end until the last second of Super Bowl LII.

Morale: the athletes that go the farthest, believe in themselves :-)

February is a cusp month for O2 SWIMMING every year ~ swimmers heading into CHAMP season, and triathletes crawling out of the cave and returning to the water. Due to this huge division, I always split my Feb Newsletter so that each may benefit.

SWIMMERS ~ This is what you have all worked for since last fall - the traditional final championships of the swim season. Here are a few pointers to help you get through AND to the next level:

1) Be INVOLVED in your taper - don’t just “let it happen” or think everyone tapers exactly the same.

2) Recovery rest and nutrition are key - this is no time to alter the best habits that got you this far !

3) NEVER do anything different on race day that you haven’t proven in your past !!

4) ALL warm ups matter - use them to the fullest and don’t leave your fastest swim in the warm up pool…you got this :-)

5) Get your HR up a little before you step up on the blocks. Too many swimmers stand behind the block with their google strap hanging out of their mouth and their hands folded while their pulse is barely breathing. How do you expect your HR to go from 0 to 100 in the first 2 seconds of the race? Stretch a little, bounce a little, BE ALIVE !

6) As you get up on the block, focus on the black line - nothing else. You know what you have to do and how to do it. Focus on the black line and GO !

Good luck to each of you. Reach out for me if yo have any last minutes questions.
Update your tech suit using the SwimOutlet team pricing link on our website.
Inspire us all with a post on Facebook or text/email me…. I love that part - it’s why I still do what I do.

TRIATHLETES ~ Good to see you again, kids ! It has been a long winter and plenty cold enough - luckily, of the 3 sports we do, SWIMMING is the sweetest thing to do on a 12F morning ! Here are my observations to help get you into the rhythm of 2018:

1) Get wet. Do it now. You are already behind…. We good?

2) ALL levels of workouts have the same structure:
- warm up
- stretch
- drill/swim sets
- main set
- cool down

3) Competition IS inspiration…join a club or get a friend. I am so thankful to have a nice little group where I have been swimming the last 4-5 years : LA Fitness, Warrington.

4) Catch up will ALWAYS be the most foundational drill in all of swimming…. Do it EVERYDAY.

5) Increase your yardage - whatever it is today, go up 10% ASAP. It is already the second month of the year and races start in 2 more months !!

6) Work on both the mental and physical aspects of connecting the HIPS into your full body stroke. Think of you body as split in 2 identical halves: right and left, NOT FRONT AND BACK.

And last, as we begin another Olympic season, here is a VERY inspirational video to jump start your heart and your training:

Men's 4 X100 free relay - Best Swimming in history !!!!


SwimStrong. SwimSilent.

Ken Holland
Head Coach
Doylestown, PA
267-994-0568 and


JAN 2018 Newsletter

Welcome Swimmers and Triathletes:

Welcome to yet another year of “THIS IS YOUR LIFE” as seen through the water…..

This time of year, I think we all begin to dream and take measure of our metrics in life - both historically and prophetically. As you know, I love the water and am always thinking about it ~ whether I am swimming, SCUBA diving, or looking out over the frozen Delaware this time of year. Water makes me happy and helps center me; thank goodness I can pretty much find it everywhere I go !

I began writing this newsletter to you while in Cuba the week before Christmas:

This was our hotel at the beginning and end of the trip. The infinity edge overlooked Havana and never closed - JYEAH BABY :-) On the winter solstice, I stayed in the pool till long after dark.

My thoughts for you this month, were the following 2 themes:

1) Getting back into swim shape - aimed primarily at my triathletes this time of year.

2) Racing well - aimed primarily at my swimmers.

Getting Back Into Shape ~
We have all asked our body to do this on multiple occasions, but the New Year is a biggie for the hard working triathlete. Since I am probably older than you, I have found it much more efficient to NOT GET OUT OF SHAPE ! I swim 12 months a year for many reasons; both mental and physical.
If, however, we get out of shape - we need to answer a few questions honestly.
1) How long (has it been)?
2) How bad ( are you out of shape)?
3) How soon (is the goal)?
January is a universal marker for change. I highly recommend the following routine for you re-entry:

* Commit to more days in the water. I prefer 3 days for 30-90 minutes than 1 day for 90+ minutes
** Work on technique NOW. If you are out of shape, spend about 50% of you time on technique now
*** Swim SLOWER and longer ~ learn to FEEL the water and then respond positively
**** If it’s not working, STOP and come back another day OR get help (find a friend or a coach)
***** Write down a plan that satisfies your time goals - it is the only way to commit to higher level performance

Racing Well ~
Although this is the goal, many swimmers work super hard every day in practice, but that doesn’t translate into wins on race day. Just to be clear - not everyone wins… Be realistic, in most pools there is one winner and 5 who come in behind. But, racing your best and continuous PR’s are your reward for the hard work - be smart about it !
Here are my discussion points for you to race your best on race day:

* Track your SPL 3X every day and KNOW how you are doing every day as the hard work tears you up
** Watch film. Be a pro - they look for video of THE BEST doing it perfectly
*** Race everyday. Don’t tell anyone, but this is one of my real secrets…. It was told to me by the incomparable Dara Torres. Dara won a lot of Olympic medals over a lot of years/decades. She was a true sprinter and she raced EVERY day. She convinced me that 10 X 50 all done just to break you down is productive work, but not smart. Race ONE event every day. If you are repeating 100s on the 1:15 and can already race at 0.56 pace. Do ONE 100 under .60 off the wall in practice. Learn to push past practice pace once a day in practice and YOU will be the swimmer who has raced 100 X more than other swimmers at the end of the season. Go all out. Go race pace (once). Race day will not be such a shock…. As our 25+ year head Olympic coach Mark Shubert once famously said, “A 1:02 is a 1:02 is a 1:02 and no amount of BS is going to make it a 0.59!”

2018 and O2 NUTRITION :

Just a minute here to remind you about your nutrition and some chlorine related health issues…

^ Get enough protein - you need plenty !
^^ In this cold weather, stay hydrated… Even my dogs are smart enough to drink about 6 full bowls of water a day in this extreme cold
^^^ Chlorine is a very real poison. Try AquaPhor in your nose every night to protect your mucous membranes. Use nasal saline (about $1.99 in any drug store) after every swim session to flush out the nasal passages.
^^^^ Use a high quality probiotic every day that you swim - no exceptions. I have been strong on this for over 20 years and continue to review medical literature confirming my beliefs that probiotics are a huge key to maintaining GI and overall health throughout the winter season especially. Every swimmer I have recommended this to has done better and reduced illness to zero or close to it !

Here is my professional link to get what you need:
15% off with us
Promo code: o2nutr
Zip code: 18902

You always get what you pay for….


General O2 intel :

As we head toward Champ season, remember that we get the coach’s discounts at FINIS and get Team Pricing at SwimOutlet -if you jump through the hyperlink on my web page.

Love to have more chatter on Facebook in 2018. We have over 600 athletes at O2 SWIMMING, many on Facebook, but some have never checked in past my weekly workout posts… The O2 SWIMMING Facebook page is really YOURS, not mine !!

Help !
Just to keep old O2 on track, if I have done anything to help you… Please consider posting a “recommendation” on Facebook. I really appreciate it and actually ASK this time of year…
Thank you all for all the inspiration you give me every year !!


SwimStrong. SwimSilent.

Ken Holland
Head Coach
Doylestown, PA
267-994-0568 and

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

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