on all you have done in 2018 and all you are
about to do in 2019. I think it is safe to
say, this has been a banner year for all of
us… Staying in the game… Just
show up… Make ‘em earn it….
All the training, the friendships, the travel,
the upgrades, the increase in skills and overall
health ~ WOW, YOU are amazing! Thank you for
allowing me to play some small part in each
of your lives, I am truly enriched by your
December's edition has a special announcement
and lots of info, so please continue reading:
O2 Asked for a topic of discussion for this
month’s edition and received a very
legitimate request from one of our tough guys
- Scott Franks, IronMan. Scott wants to know
“How to get faster”… It
is a beautiful question, as it is the essence
of WHY we work as hard at what we do and reminds
us all to keep GOALS in mind.
answer: “ Every detail we study and
work toward is directly engaged in answering
this question. We get faster by focused technique
and hard work.”
Maybe a few additional ideas?
This is one of my personal favorites (and
I relearn it at least once a year) - you have
to put out more effort to go faster !
** Have nothing less than perfection in mind
while doing your warm up and DO NOT time it….
*** Use pool tools and KNOW HOW/WHY…
eg. the right swim fins make you swim faster.
This connects new neural pathways that unlock
untapped speed. Read that again…
**** Do “descend” sets. Learn
to go negative….
***** Ever hear of the FINIS Tempo Trainer?
We have a love/hate relationship - if that
tells you anything !
****** Do ONE race every week. Time it. Write
it down somewhere. What is your 100 time now?
500 time? 800 time? What does history teach
******* Have days that are SPEED only workouts….
They should be shorter due to the intensity
- If they are not shorter, you will “save”
some and it will be less effective….
******** Identify one skill you are weak on
and work to develop it - with a specific goal
in mind….ie, slow flip turns. Research
some on line resources and ask for help with
someone who has a great turn! #1a = One of our HS juniors
went 4:45.51 in the 500 free last week, maybe
we should ask him !
Our O2 SWIMMING Endless Pool Studio was just
upgraded one more time ??. Next time you enter
the pool area, you will immediately notice
the brand new High Intensity LED lights I
installed over the weekend = WOW !!!!!
Happy to report the O2 SWIMMING rates will
remain the same in 2019. NB. The rates have
only been increased by necessity and we did
that only 3 times in almost 20 years….. #3.5 = Summer Holland will
be home from college for over a month (before
she heads to New Zealand for a semester) and
has been both an O2 SWIMMING coach and Fanny
Chapman instructor for years. She charges
50% of my rate.
O2 SWIMMING gift certificates are now available
for purchase… Please shoot me an email
if you are interested.
The really big one……..
to announce that our PPT Coaching Winter Triathlon
Training Camp in Clermont, Florida is coming
along quite well.
When the winter weather is at it's worst -
we are offering four days of focused training
in warm and sunny Florida for all abilities.
link here for details.
Ken Holland, Owner of O2 Swimming will be
joining us as a swim coach! Ken has an impressive
resume of swim coaching that will we are all
excited about as the theme of the camp will
focus on ensuring campers take back home with
them knowledge, and tools that they can put
to immediate use in furthering their training.
As a triathlon coach I learned early on the
value of partnering with specialists like
Ken. He truly is one of the best swim coaches,
if not the best, in our area and we are excited
to have him join us. Ken will be leading athletes
through swim-specific presentations as well
as in-water instruction.
2. Information Session. Some have asked questions
about the best way to ship bikes and we are
looking into a bike shuttle service to transport
bikes down. More to come on this but please
email me if this is of interest to you. If
so, we will schedule an information session
for those interested.
Also, a few have expressed interest in staying
a day or two longer and that is also ok. Please
reach out to me if you want more details on
Bet you never saw that one
Coach Brett Jenner and I have enjoyed working
with each other over the last year or two
and he has not only added me to his list of
weapons in season, but asked that we bring
the O2 Brand of knowledge to Florida this
winter. I am very excited to be working with
PPT Coaching. This is going to be a fantastic
tri camp and the price is very reasonable,
$600 if you pay in 2018 and $699 if you pay
in 2019. We are at capacity with 20 athletes
and Brett has a decent number of spots filled,
Probably best to reach out to Brett directly,
but please let me know if you have questions
and certainly when you sign up !!
a great holiday season.
Thank you for your continued support and interest
in SWIMMING (and now triathlon).
Swimmers and Triathletes:
Another month closer to the
end of 2018, and as I swam in the predawn
light today at LA Fitness, it occurred to
me just HOW LONG I have gotten my ragged old
butt up and drenched myself in the water through
every sort of weather and season imaginable.
I sure am one lucky hombre ??. My own practices
are back on track after a bit of an SI issue
that always seems to come around through a
little more swimming, a little less cycling,
and a few visits to Advanced Sports Chiropractic…
Not always easy keeping the “over 30”
athletes in motion!
Now that we are really into
the Fall swim season, I would like to speak
about something I am becoming more aware of
and diagnosing more often (cause or affect….not
I don’t remember this
really ever being discussed, but my first
conceptual thinking occurred the year Ryan
Murphy came into the spotlight as our lead
backstroker. We had a good session at the
Olympic Coach’s Conference the spent
time discussing the latest advances in backstroke
that were under development and being seriously
measured with both times and science. If you
remember, I wrote a bit about GOGGLES a few
months back in a newsletter because I noticed
the some/many goggles that are popular now
actually LIMIT the swimmers vision, critically
bad in backstroke.
Where else does the consideration
of VISION take us now:
1) It all starts with AWARENESS.
The next time you swim, check to see where
you are actually looking - throughout the
stroke cycle (and in each stroke).
2) The biggest concept here
is to observe our O2 SWIMMING LAW #1 = Balance.
Be sure whatever you do, that you RETURN to
an eyes down position in every stroke upon
completion of your breathing.
***I can tell you now - this is the single
biggest reason I am writing about VISION this
month…most of you are never in a downward
vision look and as such, you are not in BALANCE.
3) When you swim faster, does
your head (eyes are contained in the head,
for reference) return as quickly as it should…
Again, most of you = no!
4) As you rotate to breath,
does your head turn? It should not be initiated
by the neck. Breathing and subsequently, your
vision, should be rotated by major muscle
groups: hips and core. Again, what are your
eyes doing? Do you close them at any time….
5) As you rotate to breath,
is your recovery hand in sight? It should
be. If not, it is usually ABOVE your sight
line, indicative of a high wrist / low elbow.
No one wants to see that…. There are
triathlon pictures all over the internet and
most magazines showing this technique failure.
A high elbow (low wrist) allows you to visually
see your recovery hand. What I can tell you
is that if you have a high elbow on top of
the water, you have a high elbow under the
water - where the CATCH happens !!!!!
Bottom line for all 4 strokes
is that your body follows a vision line. Examine
your vision line and see if there can be improvements
which will lead to more flow and more flow
= more speed.
YE Housekeeping ~
I hate to tell you, but the
PIAA swim season sates this week and we are
al only a bit over a month until Christmas
and New Years ??. My calendar blew up over
less than a week and there are very few spots
left this year. Booking a few spots in mid
December and I usually leave a few spots open
between the holidays for college swimmers
who are home and need a little tune up…
O2 SWIMMING will not be booking
Jan 2019 until closer to Thanksgiving, as
I am unsure of any work related commitments
right now. Rest assured, no one is getting
ahead of you there, and I will announce when
the 2019 book opens…
All unused sessions that have
not been booked go off the books, as we start
a clean slate every year - policy for almost
20 years now. If you are currently swimming
with me - NO NEED TO CALL or WORRY, your spots
are secure. Any athlete that has/had a tri
pack from earlier this year - you need to
call ASAP !!
As ’Tis the season approaches
= Keep in mind all our Team Discounts available
direct to you on the www.o2swimming.net web
page… Everyone likes a new pair of goggles:
Arena and MP are very popular now….
A new suit… Some of the awesome FINIS
Also, we have really risen through the ranks
at INFINIT Nutrition, looks like a very large
group of us are staying with the full custom
It matters !
Get wet :-)
Swimmers and Triathletes:
to probably my 900th Newsletter, but after
several/many years of guiding O2 SWIMMING;
I am still fired up and enjoying what we have
come to represent: A world class environment
that is accessible to all who desire to take
their swimming to the next level, whatever
that may be !! Thank you for all the support
and continued success to each of you as we
tackle the next challenge.
is another transitional month as the triathletes
are winding down (for the most part, we still
have the Half in Lake Placid, Kona and several
other exotic destinations to swim, bike and
run to…) and swim season has just begun
; whether it be water polo or club programs.
wanted to talk about CROSS
TRAINING this month. I think this topic
is inspiring me for several reasons ~ one
of them is another of my “over 30”
boys showed up at the pool today limping and
obviously in some pain. When I asked him how
he was, he told me he was hit (head on) by
an SUV while on his bike…. Bucks County
has become an extremely dangerous place to
do business, as basically no one stops at
stop signs, uses turn signals, etc. We are
apparently in a class all by ourselves. During
one of my 33 mile training rides tuesday,
a school bus going 60mph in a 25 zone in Lumberville
passed us while crossing a double yellow line
on a curve - so they could stop 100’
ahead and pick up 3 small children. It is
frightening out there. Back to my topic: CROSS
has “saved my life” many times
as I have been injured several times and the
water has always been therapeutic. I was so
happy that our athlete above who was hit by
an SUV chose the water for some much needed
therapy: easy swimming, stretching, loosening
injury is not the only reason to swim. PRE
injury might be even better !! Swimming keeps
you flexible, strong, and in good cardio shape;
while adding very little stress to the hard
parts of the anatomy.
#3 here = cross training AS A SWIMMER. Swimming
does nothing for bone strength. My wife and
I always laugh ~ I love swimming and she has
been doing yoga for decades now - we both
probably have spaghetti bones ??. What can
a swimmer do to both ADD strength and encourage
faster times in the pool?
training - I come from the era where swimmers
were NOT allowed in the weight room. NOT anymore
! Kettle bells are my preferred weight, as
I have a total of 1 and with the simple handle,
it is very easy!
land animal sport - basically any sport that
works muscles in a different way than swimming
- is healthy cross training. Cycling, running,
tennis, alligator wrestling (just seeing who
actually reads this newsletter)….
of the biggest advances in sports has come
about due to cross training and most recently
“muscle confusion”. Forcing muscles
to adapt keeps them fluid and strong.
I am posting today on Facebook’s O2
SWIMMING page - a challenge list of cross
training ideas for us to share. I believe
this is the wonderful benefit of Facebook
~ community information !
See you in the water !!
BUSINESS STUFF ~ Sept has
arrived like a lion, O2 SWIMMING is booked
into Oct already. So, not to make you (or
me) crazy, but please reach out for me soon
if I OWE YOU any time in 2018. As has been
my policy since 2003, all sessions paid for
are due to be redeemed within that calendar
year only (exception being tri packs booked
in mid/late Nov forward).
The good and bad news is that in my 16th year
of officially being “O2”, we are
very busy. I am happy to report we have had
swimmers at Jr Nationals, Sr Nationals, and
other larger venues. Please be patient and
remember; the best way to reach me for scheduling
time is to TEXT or CALL between 10-3pm during
the work week.
We are doing a great job with our affiliates
(vendor discounts) and all contracts have
been extended into 2019.
bouncing through our hyperlink guarantees
us the lowest team pricing INFINIT
is rocking with our athletes - EVERYONE has
given me positive feedback and I am in year
4 and performing very well - even in this
extreme heat and 98% humidity. Emerson Ecologics
is doing a great job for us with pharmaceutical
grade supplements for everything from multi
vitamins to my perennial favorite for swimmers
= probiotics. ***Chlorine is a serious toxin
and we are all pickled in it!
Swimmers and Triathletes:
Not sure about you, but I
am going through heavy withdrawal after toggling
back and forth between the Phillips 66 National
Swim Championships and the Tour de France
over the last few days of July… WOW
!! 2018 has been an awesome year here at O2
SWIMMING, as we had swimmers at Jr Nationals,
Sr Nationals, and I counted quite a few local
kids at the Phillips 66 meet in California.
I continue to witness what an exceptionally
high level of swimming we have around this
area that we call home. Lots of inspiration….
Just a little plug for all
of us who work hard and try everyday to improve
our standards: At the Phillips 66 meet, a
St Petersburg Aquatics swimmer in lane 1 was
swimming the 800 free and his left hand returned
to the surface on EVERY STROKE! It was hard
to watch someone swim for 8 minutes with an
error that should have been corrected at the
latest by his 12 and under years…. I
believe he finished last, as you might predict
when you take approximately 32 SPL for 16
lengths and HALF of you strokes are not efficient
( approximately 256 times his hand went up
at entry and could not hold any water). We
all live and learn.
Also, worth mentioning: I
have asked ALL of my breaststrokers to go
back and watch Chase Kalisz in his RIO 400
IM and then again a few months later in Budapest.
His transformation was astonishing as he worked
his 3rd leg from “decent” to the
most explosive in the pool. Last week at the
National Championships he really made all
7 swimmers in the pool look slow as he flipped
form back to breast. If you swim breaststroke
or the IM, you need to study this….
***And yet the footnote is that he is still
not quite approaching the time standards only
Phelps and Lochte set in both IM races….
All in all, each of us have
things to learn. The more tricks I have up
my sleeve, the better !!
This month’s focus will
be: The Kick ~
There are so many aspects
to the “perfect” stroke; and of
course, the kick is part of the puzzle. The
following are some pearls of wisdom I have
accumulated over the past few decades of both
swimming and coaching:
1) Fast twitch muscle development
peaks (and then starts declining) around age
11-12. In other words, the harder a youngster
works in his VERY early years, the more effective
his kick rate will be. Once the swimmer is
older, it is purely workload and not firing
speed that is gained. The morale: WORK your
kick sets all you 8 and under, 10 and under
and 12 and unders!!! The rest of us will work
2-5X harder just to keep up !!
2) The kick rate is generally
a 6 beat cycle in swim races (6 kicks to 1+
1 arm cycles).
3) The kick rate is 1:1 in triathlon or long
4) The differences between
#2 and #3 are astronomically draining on your
cardio system ! Watch the interviews from
top level swimmers as they exist the pool
after racing for under a minute - they can
still barely breath or talk…. The amount
of effort and oxygen debt is legendary. This
is the whole aerobic versus anaerobic conversation
and much of it leads directly to the kick
To simplify the true results
SWIMMERS = you need to kick
more and it will never be enough!
TRIATHLETES = you need to
kick less, the end. Kicking for you needs
to be an integration of you full body length
all doing the same thing at the same time.
***Before I hear mass hysteria….
triathletes are generally runners, as the
race is heavily skewed towards running ( it
takes about an hour to swim an IM distance,
while a solid marathon takes 4 hours…
Simple math here kids). As such, they have
powerful legs. As human land animals, they
solve most problems with their legs. This
does not work well in the heavier water. Fish
have no legs and even a tiny goldfish is faster
than Caleb Dresel. Work what you have as your
biggest asset and you will go faster than
fighting you true nature !
What constitutes your best
kick? In a word, FLUIDITY. A powerful kick
is generated from the hips; the knee and ankle
joints must remain flexible to whip the directionality
of the exit forces you are pushing. Stiff
legs and knee kicks do not belong in the water.
An appropriate set of fins can be very helpful
as you begin to FEEL the proper forces at
work. My 2 ALL TIME GO TO fins are very different:
FINIS Zoomer = for the swimmer
and the speed work. These are short and massively
powerful. The Zoomers respond instantly to
FINIS ZII’s = for triathletes
and distance swimmers. These are close to
perfect in length, flexibility, venting, etc
to keep you going LONG and streamline. ***I
did a 500 with them today in anticipation
of my thursday ride being rained out tomorrow.
I went fairly easily under 1:30 pace at 6:48
while taking a lot of pressure and workload
off my shoulders as I “over”worked
my tail end a bit. It was a double win for
O2 SWIMMING is NOT a fan of
most fins due to the highly flexible (read:
SLOW) nature of fins on the market today.
FINIS is very careful to get the durometer
just right. If you need a pair, you can pick
up our team discount directly from FINIS or
through our team hyperlink to SWIMOUTLET on
our web page. I have both, as at my age, I
am not sure what I really am when I wake up
in the morning, other than an “over
30” athlete who still can show up for
the dance !!
Congrats on a solid year so
far, the best is yet to come !!
Swimmers and Triathletes:
you all had a great INDEPENDENCE DAY, it sure
flew by on this end?. I got some swimming
in Lake Erie and I must say, it was a crystal
clear and as clean as I have ever seen it
! O2 SWIMMING has been busy as always this
summer and it looks like all of you are staying
in the game - thank you! Fun how much athletics
tells you about yourself. There are a million
reasons WHY we all do what we do…. I
am also happy to report that a whole new group
of teenagers are now lifeguarding and teaching
in this area ~ nothing makes me happier ??.
I began to put this month’s Newsletter
together in my head, it made me realize how
important BALANCE is. Yes, I am speaking of
the O2 SWIMMING LAW #1, BALANCE; but I was
thinking more about our LIFE BALANCE. It is
very difficult to stay at a higher level,
be it the athlete at their peak, the parents
time during the season (transport vehicles
run from 4:45 am around here!), or just the
mental balance of staying fresh and engaged
for so long. Take time off if you need it.
I’m not talking months, but a day or
a week won’t hurt anyone - it will help
you. Your body has both mental and physical
peaks - it is only when BOTH peak that you
are actually at your best…. How often
can you make that happen?
theme for July is: RACE
reason we do what we do, is generally vetted
on RACE DAY. Here are some tips that I’ve
learned along the way and most are carved
NEVER do anything on race day that you haven’t
done before. NO NEW: drinks, carbo loads,
sleep patterns, goggles, etc
Plan the day before as much as you plan the
RACE DAY. If you are doing an IronMan or have
a 3-4 day meet - meticulously plan a week
Clear your head. An aligned mind and body
are your best asset !
No level of self doubt - focus on your outcome.
Visualize !! *****This has become more and
more prevalent as the sports psychologists
work their way into our fun activities
Surround yourself with positive people - quite
frankly, dump the negative ones… Sorry,
so with swimming is so with life….
Double check ALL race details 48 hours in
advance. Are you comfortable getting there,
All your equipment in order and in place,
NUTRITION - stick to the plan. You got here
for a reason, just do what you do….
Breath. My research clearly shows that BREATHING
has been around for thousands of years - focus
on it and many other distractions go away
Smile. Race day is your chance to show yourself
and your tribe just how much work you have
done to get here. Smile & Enjoy your day.
last, but not least - develop and stick to
YOUR warm up plan. There is a reason that
every athlete warms up everyday, don’t
blow it off on RACE DAY ~ it is never more
Small housekeeping stuff ~
is my least busy month of the year, but I
still fill all available slots - it’s
just easier since when you call I often do
have that spot next week…. Once we get
into the first few weeks of September, all
bets are off and my schedule will bounce out
to 4-6 weeks usually.
I owe you time, PLEASE reach out for me ASAP
and let’s get this done for you. I always
have time, but certain times are better for
both of us ??.
have a BRAND NEW wetsuit for sale at O2 SWIMMING.
The suit is an O’Neill Superlite Farmer
John (sleeveless) in XL. New with tags $100,
your’s for $50. This is a nice suit
for a budding triathlete to test the waters
for about the price of a good Speedo, or someone
looking to play at the Shore: surfing, boading,
snorkeling…. First comer gets it !!
Swimmers and Triathletes:
its about motivation. Sometimes its about
knowledge. Sometimes its just plain luck !
I like a combination of focused training and
longevity….staying in the game long
enough to matter. The reason I coach is to
increase the knowledge base in swimming and
provide a world class venue to discover just
how far we can all go ~ pretty cool, huh?
O2 SWIMMING started back in 2002 officially
and I basically have not had a day off since
- thank you for your trust and passion for
month, I would like to step a wee bit outside
of the water and talk about 2 things directly
Work and Nutrition:
~ Much of the “yet to be optimized”
swimming I see can be attributed to weak core
and non integration of those larger muscle
groups. Simply put, you cannot move forward
without you BODY moving forward and the body
is large, requiring core muscles to move it…
If you throw your hands/arms forward, the
body is too big to follow it - the core must
actively seek momentum. Strong swimmers have
a strong core, but we no longer rely solely
on the water to develop these muscles. Here
are some fresh ideas to help you work on a
strong set of core muscles (which will no
doubt help you in EVERYTHING you do in life):
The O2 Favorite = lots of underwater dolphin
with ZII fins on. Of course, I am known as
more of an aquatic animal than a land animal,
so I even like to do core work underwater.
Put on a long, narrow set of fins (Finis ZII
are my long time favorite here) and try to
go end to end with as little swimming as possible
- use the hips and abs to drive you forward
Burpees = many variations, find some good
ones on You Tube
Opposite arm leg raises
Some kettle bell work: swings, stretches with
the weight, etc)
work is always a good answer, improve here
and see RESULTS !!
~ I founded O2 NUTRITION after my passion
in the pharmacy intertwined with Integrated
Nutrition out of SUNY in the early 2000’s.
Your peak operating power comes from BOTH
quality exercise AND good nutrition. Is anyone
as amazed as I am at the number of people
who eat fast food every week of their lives?
What constitutes GOOD NUTRITION?
It is not that big of a mystery: eat the bulk
of ALL your food form single source ingredients:
chicken, peas, nuts, eggs, spinach, quinoa,
fish, carrots, …… You get the
idea. Packaged ingredients that have many
things you can’t even identify are obviously
less healthy - regardless of the package saying
“GLUTEN FREE”. “Gluten free”
has become somewhat of a code word in the
industry for “this is good for you”
when in fact, it is often total garbage….
I can help you, but just simplify your life.
Walk the outside of the grocery store more
than the middle aisles. Buy local foods -
most of you that have been to O2 have dropped
into None Such Farms a time or two; talk about
awesome quality local grown fruits, vegetables
and even beef !! Simplify.
Plan ahead = cook once, eat 2-3 times.
an athlete - careful not to “diet”
in the form of carbohydrate restrictions.
Carbs are a quick energy source that is EASILY
broken down and converted to energy. Go liquid
as much as possible - no breakdown time! Many
of you are now using INFINIT NUTRITION and
getting our team discount offered through
my web page. Does it really get any better
than custom formula, designed for YOU alone
and shipped in 2 days? A minor tweak to your
first formula is usually all it takes to get
complete satisfaction. I use nothing else
all the way through 4-5 hour bike rides. Your
nutritional needs are pretty simple in events
lasting under 2 hours, but it changes drastically
after the 2 hour window, as your body NEEDS
to dig deeper….
After 2 hours - you need some protein in your
How does caffeine affect you? Caffeine is
both performance enhancing and a great dehydrator
- what is your optimal balance? This is one
item I dole out separately and judiciously
(and not that often).
can field any questions on the O2 SWIMMING
Facebook page if you think your query is relevant
to the whole group, or individually if you
have very specific needs.
Miss Summer Holland will be home from 18 June
to 11 July 2018. My little swimmer will then
be heading to University of Auckland, New
Zealand to further her education ~ or at least
that is what I am being told…. Please
call her directly to schedule (267-994-0816),
As always, we charge 50% when my swimmers
coach - no other discounts apply…. Her
only scheduling restriction is that she cannot
be in the pool during my regular coaching
hours Mon - Thursday from 5-7pm. She does
both in the water and on deck sessions depending
on the age and ability. Summer has been coaching
at O2 SWIMMING for 4 years and coached/taught
at Fanny Chapman for 2-3 years.
Swimmers and Triathletes:
like going from 30F mornings to around 90F
in 2 days ~ spring is finally here !!
May is certainly an ENERGY month - you have
it, or you don’t… Outdoor swimming
is right around the corner ~ surely one of
my favorite times of year ??????. Fresh air,
sunshine, and a superior chlorine dispersal
system is perfect. Hope you get outdoors soon.
are coming off long course season and about
ready to ease into the FUN summer swim season
- I hope none of mine work too hard. The O2
swimmers busted tail all year, they need a
little R&R that just a few thousand easy
yards can give them.
have kicked off another racing season and
after a hard winter; it looks to me like many
are pretty far behind in their training. We
can only hope the rest of the crowd followed
suit… I’m just not seeing the
levels of intensity that I have witnessed
in the past. How are YOU doing?
Our MAY theme is: Kicking
is a question I get a lot and most are shocked
by my answer(s). In order to service all of
you, once again, we will break out into 2
video shows some of the finer points of kicking
freestyle. Most of you are superior kickers,
but refocusing on this skill has merit. My
top level swimmers can hold a high tempo kick
throughout a 200 yard race with no variability.
All swimmers going under 1:50 are such animals
All I ask is that you work your legs a little
harder this summer - all the while, I want
you dialed back a bit to get the rest you
body needs. This will allow you to enter the
traditional fall swim season with a hot new
skill set and plenty of rest to ignite your
video demonstrates what I have been teaching
for over 20 years = INTEGRATION of the long
body. The legs need to drive off the core
and fully integrate into your stroke pattern.
None of you are swimming a 1:46 second race…
You probably average over 30 minutes in the
water at even the shorter triathlon swim starts.
Learning to MANAGE your energy in each sector
(front, bottom, core) is a key to sustainability
in long open water races. Many of you are
outstanding runners, but that does not translate
into aquatic speed - the reverse is true as
well (so don’t feel bad)… most
top level swimmers can’t run fast enough
to catch a bus while it is stopped !
recommend a long fin, like the FINIS ZII for
all open water swimmers. The ZII will increase
your ankle flexibility and add length to your
stroke; all while NOT allowing you to kick
too hard. A long fin does not like to be kicked
hard, as it is too much effort and you will
FEEL the negative feedback. So, do “runners”
need fins? YES - if they are the right ones
we train in the next few weeks, keep in mind
~ KICKING is our focus this month; find a
way to improve that one skill.
the spring weather and make healthy decisions…
Life is a long time, learn how to do it best.
Swimmers and Triathletes:
case you have not heard or seen much in the
last 30 days, here is a recap of the ever
explosive world of swimming:
Pennsylvania’s North Allegheny HS set
the National Record in the 4 X 100 free relay
with a time of: 2:52.81
Local 14 year old wins NCSA 100 Breast in
Florida with a time of 57.73
Caleb Dressel busts through 2 barriers at
free = 17.63: ****I have NEVER seen anyone
over the age of 12 win a 50 by a body length
believe that all of us “over 30”
and triathlete swimmers have a goal I NEVER
thought I would be espousing: Your new goal
is to NOT GET LAPPED in a 50 !!!! So, if you
are so “slow” that you cannot
swim a 50 in under 39.9, Mr Dressel will lap
you in your 2 length race. Let that sink in,
I know that I have and it terrifies me ??.
not a bad month of swimming overall and the
sport will continue to inspire, despite the
retirement of Michael Phelps - that makes
this old coach very happy and I look forward
to the future with a renewed sense of commitment.
theme this month is : Vision
and Head Position ~
I tried to steady our ship going into Championship
season, I began to realize just how much work
we were doing on HEAD POSITION and as I swam
in my own workouts, it simultaneously occurred
to me that GOGGLE SELECTION can play a pivotal
role in head position….
off the 2016 Olympic Swim Coach’s Conference,
I was re-educated in backstroke technique
to the point it bothered me how much we were
teaching WRONG all these years. Thankfully,
Ryan Murphy & Co showed us a few things
and due to the technical nature of our computer
modeling and camera capabilities, we could
DEFINE WHY things were better and faster.
have you fully evaluated you goggles, or are
you using what “everyone else does…”?
I have been a big Aqua Sphere fan in general
for along time due to the soft nature of the
seal, the good vision, and the overall fit
regarding primarily the nose bridge distance.
I am currently using an amber colored lens
in a pair of Zoggs that I also love due to
the visual I enjoy from the amber tint (once
common, now rare). I have also used and given
away a beautiful pair of MP pro goggles (anything
Michael Phelps brand should make me swim faster)
and a stunning set of ROKA RX goggles - both
gave me sight soft tissue inter orbital pain
and lack of vision in backstroke (primarily).
are a highly subjective piece of equipment,
but please be willing to evaluate and explore
options IF they are not allowing you the visual
cues you need to swim your fastest…
If they cut off or highly distort you view,
you will find a spot to align your head that
will absolutely alter your head position and
streamline. Think about it… If your
perisperhal vision is cut off when you place
your eyes down, you will pick your head up
to see better - especially AT SPEED where
it matters most.
will post this up on Facebook tomorrow and
would welcome your feedback and thoughts,
as this is a highly individual issue, but
I am seeing some less than stellar results
that be may the direct result of forced vision.
I only ask that you keep your eyes open and
search for answers as you hone all your skills
in the water!
Is your backstroke slower due to bad vision
and the inability to tuck into the proper
Is your freestyle turn less than stellar because
you can’t really see the wall at high
Are you not finishing your breaststroke because
when you get the eyes lower, you can’t
see at all?
Do you have trouble finding the buoys in open
these issues due to lens color or contrast?
the goggle design blinding you in some ares?
of ?? into?
are one of THE BIGGEST teams in the country
at Swim Outlet, so be sure to go on-line if
you need goggles or anything else… **They
go from yoga pants to nutritionals !! Just
bounce through our team hyperlink on my web
page and you in !!
snow in April, so you might as well go swimming.
I think the workouts I have been posting on
our Facebook page are enough to keep you busy
all the way through the IM distance :-)
See you on deck.
Swimmers and Triathletes:
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
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 !
topic for this month is ENERGY
MANAGEMENT (special thanks
to PECO for the enlightening idea…)
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 neck..ie, 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?
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…
Learn to use your core to swim. Focused power
that emanates bilaterally off the central
spinal line is pure magic; compared to flapping
Energy driving FORWARD is worth more than
energy pulling backwards…. STOP. Think
about this… ***
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?
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
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
**We get a team discount though my web page
- it is worth it !
Set your clocks ahead saturday night.
Get out of you winter brain…eat more
micro greens NOW… GO OUTSIDE !
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…?
on, gang !!
Swimmers and Triathletes:
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.
the athletes that go the farthest, believe
in themselves :-)
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
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:
Be INVOLVED in your taper - don’t just
“let it happen” or think everyone
tapers exactly the same.
Recovery rest and nutrition are key - this
is no time to alter the best habits that got
you this far !
NEVER do anything different on race day that
you haven’t proven in your past !!
ALL warm ups matter - use them to the fullest
and don’t leave your fastest swim in
the warm up pool…you got this :-)
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 !
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 !
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.
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
Get wet. Do it now. You are already behind….
ALL levels of workouts have the same structure:
- warm up
- drill/swim sets
- main set
- cool down
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.
Catch up will ALWAYS be the most foundational
drill in all of swimming…. Do it EVERYDAY.
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
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:
Swimmers and Triathletes:
to yet another year of “THIS IS YOUR
LIFE” as seen through the water…..
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 !
began writing this newsletter to you while
in Cuba the week before Christmas:
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.
thoughts for you this month, were the following
Getting back into swim shape - aimed primarily
at my triathletes this time of year.
Racing well - aimed primarily at my swimmers.
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
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+
** Work on technique NOW. If you are out of
shape, spend about 50% of you time on technique
*** 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
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
** 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!”
and O2 NUTRITION :
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
^^^ 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
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.
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 !!
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 !!
Kenneth W. Holland
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