Swimmers and Triathletes:
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 -
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
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
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
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 !!
Swimmers and Triathletes:
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
have a bunch of intel to cover today, so let’s
Our topic for this month, in honor of Escape
the Cape (today) , and all the races
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
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….
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
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 !
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
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 !
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 !!!
NEVER underestimate the importance of this….
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.
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.
is our hyper link to our discount and the
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!!!!
10% off with us (Plus earn-
INFINIT Bucks when you post a race day picture
of yourself on their INFINIT
Promo Code: o2
New Business Section
- June 2017
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…
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.
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
See you in the water.
HOO, outside season is finally here !!!!
Swimmers and Triathletes:
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.
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
I have begun to feel more strongly than ever
about the FINIS Axis buoy. My main set today
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
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.
thoughts as I suffered through the set today:
Axis buoy will help you feel left vs right
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
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
you can see, this is way more than a pool
buoy. Finis has some terrific engineers that
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.
this opportunity to up your game, I know you
will be happy with the improvements.
More Good News today ~
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
a great month.
Race hard this summer !
Swimmers and Triathletes:
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.
topic of the month is: WEAKNESS
now I have your attention, right? Specifically,
what is YOUR weakness? How do we improve that?
2017 Hints on overcoming a Top
Ten of swimmers weaknesses:
I can’t drop time….. As Einstein
reminded us: “Insanity is doing the
same thing every day and expecting a different
I can’t breath on one side… Your
hips are locked. The key to breathing is HIP
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.
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.
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 :)
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.
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).
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.
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
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,
Any of these apply to you? As with ALL problems,
everything is solvable.
Special Thank you ~
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.
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 !
Swimmers and Triathletes:
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!
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 !
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:
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:
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
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
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
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
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?
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
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?
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.
now, for my BIG NEWS ~
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
is still our biggest program and you can order
direct from FINIS forever with our code: o2swimming.
This still gets you 20% everything, including
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 !!
a great week!
267-994-0568 | www.o2swimming.net | www.o2nutrition.net
Swimmers and Triathletes:
let the outside temps lull you into a sense
that nothing is happening in the world of
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…….
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
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
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 !!):
Jensen from Upper Dublin 200 Free State Record
Video on Vimeo.
Poetry in motion….. The kind of speed
that makes you wonder both IF and HOW it is
How does your CATCH look?
Anything you think can be improved?
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
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?
267-994-0568 | www.o2swimming.net | www.o2nutrition.net
Swimmers and Triathletes:
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 !
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.
first, a little milk and cookies story from
a quickie dive vacation I took with my family
just before Christmas….
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….
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:
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”?
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….
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.
on your breathing in 2017. Are you extending
into the breath? Can you do it on both sides?
Goggles & equipment choice in general:
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
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
Optimizing YOUR workout:
have 2 camps here, so you must be divided
= 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
How hard you work. Garbage in = garbage out.
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.
= The two biggest things I see wrong almost
every time I get into the pool with an adult
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.
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
Beat of luck in 2017 and a HAPPY and HEALTHY
New Year to all of you!
in mind we have awesome team discounts on
my web page. www.o2wimming.net
hook up and PARTICIPATE in our O2 SWIMMING
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.
267-994-0568 | www.o2swimming.net | www.o2nutrition.net
Kenneth W. Holland
A unique, exciting innovation in health and
SWIMMING designed the SWIMMITT to help
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By "hiding" the swimmers hands,
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a matter of fact MOST of the workouts
are NOT whole stroke swimming !!
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