Swimmers and Triathletes:
the 2012 season's very last newsletter from
Coach Ken. It has been a VERY good year in
swimming. Team USA did its job in London,
and new time standards are dropping in every
age group in every event. Some people must
be doing it right! Congratulations to each
of you and continued success in 2013...
My focus for
this last newsletter is
What better way to approach water than to
work WITH it and participate in fluidity.
A fluid stroke has a rhythm to it. I see many
students of the water working over-mechanically
as they learn to swim both longer and faster.
When we drill, it is recommended to slow it
down ( NO CLOCK !) and think through it. This
often causes a lack of flow (fluidity), but
a quicker learning curve for the swimmer.
However, once we turn it all loose and begin
to swim, there needs to be a natural, fluid
rhythm to your stroke. I often ask you to
FEEL the water. It is by FEELING water that
you can read feedback from your actions. This
is not as hard as it sounds.... If you FEEL
your hips sinking...RESPOND!
have harped on all of you to "NEVER GIVE
UP THE FRONT", there is no actual stop
point in the stroke - neither in the front
or the back. Your arms should be in a continuous
loop. The secret wrinkle? The arm speed is
rarely equal, although continuous. The speed
of your arm moving through the air will be
faster than the one holding water below. Why?
Air has less resistance, so as power is applied,
it will naturally move faster. Moving faster
through the air also helps the in water hand
to not have to wait forever!! It is rarely
the fault of the lead hand when you cannot
perform a decent "catch up" stroke,
it is the fault of a slow motion hand moving
through the air.
All of this
adds directly up to FLUIDITY of the stroke.
Sometimes, you just have to let it happen........!!
swimmers, you can apply this theory of hydrodynamics
to all 4 strokes. The better you can swim
butterfly, back and breast, the better will
your freestyle will become.
For you triathletes,
if you are ready to take your swimming to
the next level, pick a new stroke this winter
and FEEL the water. Find fluidity in a new
place. When you come back to your old friend,
freestyle, it will be so much improved you
may be shocked.
Stay fluid in the water. Remember to stretch
between the warm up and the main set(s).
Stop fighting the water. Let it support you
(Balance). Be narrow in it (Streamline). Work
with gravity (Weight Shift). Get a good hold
of it (Traction). Amazing, huh? We just went
right back to the O2 SWIMMING 4 LAWS of swimming
again. They work!
Where did your SPL go this year?
I am a solid 13 SPL in a yard pool, but this
month I did an entire 500 at 12!! This means
I CAN do 12, it is just a matter of being
able to stay fluid longer.....
Just a quick
reminder that we do have various super discounts
posted on the www.o2swimming.net website for
you. The only things I use or are interested
in are on my website.... Feel free to take
full advantage during this holiday season
AND save yourself some money, it is just one
of the benefits of being on the O2 SWIMMING
team - my way of saying thank you!
We also provide
very attractive GIFT CERTIFICATES if you need
one for that special person.
to both my son, Matthew and daughter, Summer
who stepped up this year and helped coach
many of the younger kids when I was busiest.
I hope we did everyone justice, by the results
of our athletes, it sure looks amazing!!
to show this one more time to end the year....
Men's 4 X100 free relay - Best Swimming in
O2 SWIMMING !!!!
Every January, we offer those related to O2
SWIMMING a nice discount at O2 NUTRITION to
get them onto a better life plan regarding
both health and nutrition. In 2012, I did
more consulting with patients by Doctor referral
than ever - one hour at a time. The mainstay
program at O2 NUTRITION is working over a
6 month time frame with individuals or families
on health related issues ranging from weight
gain, low energy, diabetes, CFS, and others.
Check out my website (www.o2nutrition.net)
and let me know if I can help you. ****FYI,
the discounts only apply to those of you coming
over from O2 SWIMMING!!
Ken Holland BCHHC
Swimmers and Triathletes:
could not wait to reach out for you this month,
hot off the 2012 Olympic Swim Coaches Conference!
I am a bit late only because of Miss Sandy
and the election.
What did I learn?
theme for this month is EASY SPEED!
How would you like some of that? Whenever
I watch the Olympians, I continue to be amazed
at both their power and grace in the water.
I am making a pitch right here and now for
all of you to find a swim camp next year and
sign up. Look for one that has a current or
former Olympian - it is inspiring and enlightening
to see these kids swim.
We watched a video of Misty Hyman when she
was 13 in an outdoor pool in California -
before the 15m rule. This little kid was swimming
the 100 fly. Gun goes off. Length one, she
does underwater dolphin 90% of the pool, surfaces
to take ONE stroke and goes back down. Lengths
2,3,4 she takes 4 strokes per length to finish
in 52.5 seconds and swam only 13 strokes for
the whole race!!! The point of this video
was to showcase her underwater dolphin and
inform us that SHE was the reason the 15m
rule went into effect. ***The 15m rule says
that a swimmer must surface within 15 m of
the wall. She was.......13 !
The old girl was there this year.....still
beautiful and amazing. She demonstrated both
dolphin kick and fish kick. Fish kick is the
big American secret and I will only share
it with people that show up at O2 SWIMMING
and the Endless Pool Studio.... Jyeah baby!
exactly is "easy speed" and how
do you get some?
Easy speed is being loose in the water and
getting into a rhythm. Focus on your recovery
arm coming without tension through the air
and back to the front. Stay relaxed throughout
the process. FEEL the water and try not to
muscle through it. Stay on the front and just
relax into a rhythm. Hold a tempo, don't back
up on this... Steady as she goes. Swim only
as long as you can hold this feeling.
Once you CAN swim with easy speed, you will
drop SPL and increase speed - - - like magic.
This is your focus during November, work on
it. Our Olympians have it and use it all the
time. It is both a resting place during hard
practice sessions and a platform to jump on
As the weather turns on us, so do the pools
on many occasions. This is my annual "old
pharmacist" and new Holistic Health Coach
advice section on my simple formula to stay
1) Aquaphor - use a cotton swab lightly inside
your nose the night before your swim. This
will coat and protect your delicate nasal
membranes so you do not get sinus infections
2) Nasal saline spray - keep in the car or
gym bag. Use PLENTY immediately after swimming...not
2 hours later. ASAP. This will flush out lots
of garbage you took in and keep you clean.
3) Probiotics. Chlorine is a toxin. Swimmers
ingest (willingly or unwillingly) lots of
chlorine. A probiotic is money in the bank
to enhance your overall immune system. I STRONGLY
believe that EVERY real swimmer needs daily
probiotics. If you jump to my web page www.o2swimming.net,
you will find a link to Emerson Ecologics
where you can buy RX grade probiotics, vitamins,
etc and get my discount!!!
Stay well. Contact me if I can help special
in time for swim season and the holidays,
you are getting a follow-up note from me with
a 40% discount from Pure Sport through the
month of November. Pure Sport is the sports
drink company developed around our USOC and
Michael Phelps -it is awesome. I have been
using it for 3 years now and do very well
on it. O2 SWIMMING is one of the largest "teams"
in the country, so as a thank you, they agreed
to take your discount to MAX...40% off this
please keep in mind that O2 NUTRITION works
with athletes of all abilities; as well as
parents. etc. to get back on track with weight
and health issues. I have been a Board Certified
Holistic Health Coach for 2+years now and
really enjoy working on challenges of the
individual - in a personal and holistic way.
If you fill out a health assessment questionnaire
on the www.o2nutrition.net page, I will get
back to you with a follow up.
the pool. No outdoor weather can preclude
you from swimming!!!
Triathletes - this means you. Don't want to
be "behind" again in the new year?
Get wet now!
Dear Swimmers and Triathletes:
a very good, strong swim today. I did the
math wrong and ended up at 4,500 in under
90 minutes, so it was all good. Special thanks
to my friends at the Y who let me swim on
a guest pass for 2 weeks while LA Fitness
got some rehab work done. It did feel good
this morning to get back to my own lane, though....
we wind down TRI season, all but for Florida
IM, Kona IM and Bassman Half; and enter the
traditional fall swim season, my thoughts
have landed on Streamline as it relates
This is something that I have noticed - be
it from my lack of work or real work being
done. The faster I go, the more my body naturally
lengthens into a sharper streamline. I believe
this can be useful information for both of
There are some of you that have real trouble
distinguishing between practice pace and race
pace. This is in part due to being ignored
by certain coaches and general overwork turning
to lack of focus. It matters less how fast
you can do 10 X 100 repeats than how fast
you can swim 1 X 100 in a meet !!!! Yes, they
are related; but there is also a significant
difference. Last month, we discussed going
INTO and OUT OF the wall. Speed and streamline
dovetail into this well. Are you sloppy and
not in perfect streamline at the wall? Is
it because you let up going in? Are you really
putting it all out there in a race?
This month, I will go to the 2012 Olympic
Swim Coaches Clinic. One of the salient points
I picked up a few years back was from Dara
Torres.... She swims only about 1% of her
week's yardage "fast". Dara is and
always has been (only) a sprinter. Is this
odd? Not really. When she says 1% is "fast",
she means WORLD RECORD BREAKING speed. She
has continually pushed herself to new levels
by digging deep. I would say that she is not
as good at doing 10 X 100 as some of you.
Yet, she has pushed the razor's edge often
enough to FEEL the calibration of real speed
and what happens to her streamline under this
type of stress.
My point here is this: RAMP UP once and a
while this season. GO ALL OUT. If you have
ann 8,000 yard day, put out for a couple of
100s and 1 or 2 of the 50's. REALLY GO HARD.
Feel the streamline snap in and your body's
changes. Don't wait for your first meet to
play with REAL speed !!
- Stop teaching yourself how to swim slow.
Yes, you swim L-O-N-G races. Your shortest
race at the sprint level is the 2nd longest
race in Olympic swimming. But, do not show
up 3 days a week and just swim your typical
distance. Shorten up early in the session
when you have energy in the tank to GO FAST
~~ FEEL the effects of streamline as you motor
up and down the pool.
QUICK STORY: A few of us cycle a bit and for
years thursdays have been "pick ups on
the river". Five years ago when we started
(we were all 5 years younger!) these "pick-ups"
were a blistering 20-21mph for a minute or
three. Fast forward 5 years, our "pick-ups"
are now 26mph (ave.) and "normal"
speed of our rides is up to 20-21mph. We did
not do this by riding lots of LSD (long, slow
IS a place for LSD, but there is also a place
to push your limits and snap the human body
into a fish-like state (streamline). No fish
swims with thier arms and legs hanging out!!!
I challenge BOTH groups of athletes that I
coach to examine your dynamic of Streamline
as it relates to speed.
for it NOW.
as we launch thousands of area swimmers into
the local cement ponds, please keep in mind
that O2 SWIMMING has several really good discounts
negotiated for you on our website. They are
yours for the taking - no involvement on my
part needed, just get the discount code and
order.... I got water polo suits last month
from our sponsor FINIS for $10 each - we bought
10 of them!!!!
Reach out for me if you get stuck.
also had a nice year working with parents
of athletes looking to get back in the game
through O2 NUTRITION - call me if I can help
you. My website is posted below.
Swimmers and Triathletes:
I found myself
back indoors today, but quickly got over being
"bummed out" and got on with the
business at hand ! One of the things that
I realized about 10 years ago was that although
I do love to swim, I was burning out with
my workouts - they were stale. I was in a
multi year rut that had my full repertoire
of swim workouts focusing only on about 4-8
different things. I was also not getting any
faster and often.....slower:(
NOT HAPPENING! I have coached too many of
you and seen too much that I had to take action.
looking at my individual workout, I looked
more closely at my year. 95% of my workouts
for the last 25 years have been between 3,000
- 4,000 yards/meters. How many different things
can you come up with???? Not enough.... My
year has followed a new schedule ever since:
Sept - March
: This is the traditional swim season, so
I do "swimmer" sets. Plenty of stroke,
plenty of short yardage (100s, 200s) and keep
it moving. Trying to get my speed back and
if I feel overly comfortable, I do more fly
or IM sets to remind me of my real age :)
Yardage totals = 3,000 - 4,000
April - May
: Just show up and swim. Less agenda, more
fun. Will do anything to make my mileage less
challenging now.... Still getting 3,000 -
4,000 in, just dialed way down in intensity.....
Outdoor season and true long course stuff.
I do ALL long swims trying to get my pace
right for long haul swims - mile plus. Not
a lot of 500s here, mostly 800s, 1000s, 1500s,
2000s. If I do a sprint set once and a while
it is very short and very fast. Working only
on freestyle now and low SPL - will maintain
a diligent 13 SPL all summer, now hitting
12 most days in the beginning. Yardage still
3,000 - 4,000 and it goes quickly due to the
few breaks. I also do more with a pool buoy
here, but less other stuff (finger paddles,
agility paddles, fins) due to cycling mileage
up to 120-150+ miles per week.
If you are
a swimmer - CROSS TRAIN. Believe me, Mr Phelps,
Mr Lochte and company are getting older and
have less tricks in the pool. They still kick
butt due to cross training. Missy Franklin
is still a kid and just plain tough.....!
If you are
a triathlete - USE THE WINTER, it IS swim
season. It is always warm and comfortable
inside where you swim. Take a fresh look at
your workout. I see far too many of you teaching
yourselves how to swim slow..... long sets
that just make you slow down till they finally
finish. This is bad.
my posts on O2 SWIMMING Facebook for workout
suggestions. A brand new and welcome addition
will be 2 other local superstars posting their
workout for you too. This is America, YOU
HAVE A CHOICE!!!
- 6 time IronMan and Kona qualifier/finisher
has agreed to post his workouts for you.
- long time swimmer and coach! Susan is a
founding member of the "SWIM CHICKS"
and let me tell you - they rock. So, no excuses,
girls.... Susan offers another perspective
and we are lucky to have her posts too.
FOR SEPT: THE WALL
The wall is
an opportunity, NOT A PLACE TO REST.
he wall is a huge key. USE the beginning of
the season to really dial in your wall skills.
Get in. Get out. You watched the Olympics?
The strength and stamina of the underwater
dolphin now separates most racers. Do not
let this development slip by as the first
few practices start. If you have ANY doubt
about how much the wall is there for you,
check out the FINA world records for the same
events in a short course pool (more walls)
versus a long course pool. WOW !!! Spend time
early and get it right, the yardage will come
regardless, as will your fitness.
- the wall is your friend. Learn to use the
wall like a swimmer - this does NOT require
a flip turn. My point is that the wall is
your opportunity every 25 y/m to get back
in perfect streamline and balance with a little
solid help. Do not hang on the wall. You are
not doing a 500 if you stop every length and
rest for 10 seconds....you are doing lots
of 25's. This is OK - if that was your intention.
NOT OK, if you are racing open water where
there will be no walls to rest at. Build your
strength and stamina by keeping in motion
- not rushed, just constant.
O2 SWIMMERS! The Olympics are over, tri season
is winding down, and swim season is starting
267-994-0568 www.o2swimming.net www.o2nutrition.net
Swimmers and Triathletes:
are now just past the 4th of July and rocketing
on toward the London Olympics, summer champ
meets, and a host of local triathlons - including
Lake Placid IronMan!!! Oh baby, rode 36 this
morning and my clothes felt more like I had
been swimming...IT'S HOT !!!
theme of this newsletter will be :Hand
on the Wall !!!!!!
This is like a public service announcement
brought to you by our Olympic team fresh off
the selection in Omaha. Every 4 years, we
put together yet another "dream team".
Amazing. It also amazes me that guys like
Phelps and Lochte keep winning. There is plenty
of young, fresh talent and guess what? NOT
ONE SWIMMER IN THE WORLD LETS THEM WIN ANY
RACE. That's right, they earn every last victory.
Part of what I see when these races come down
to less time than slamming down a single key
stroke on this computer board, is HAND ON
does this impact YOU?
Most of your races are less than 60 seconds.
Just how do you consistently WIN? Let Phelps
show you - HAND ON THE WALL. Watch Michael
drive better than anyone in the business the
last few meters and throw his hand out-of-control
fast onto the wall. Remember him winning in
Bejing by 0.01 in the 100 fly? He just beat
Lochte by 0.02 last week. The end of all your
races matters. I see so many swimmers ease
up as they go under the final flags. Not good.
You practice as hard and as much as the next
guy - blow 'em up at the wall. Reach like
you want it. Put your head down and stop breathing
- FINISH the race.
Best of luck to each of you this season.
****If you can't watch a night of swimming
from London - tape it, tivo it !!
You have no wall - in theory. You also swim
longer, as each of you are distance swimmers.
As I have often said, even the sprint triathlon
is the 2nd or 3rd longest race in Olympic
swimming!! Hand on the wall for you translates
to swallowing swimmers in front of you ONE
by ONE. Kids have caps that say "eat
my bubbles!". My daughter has a cap that
says, "I see slow people!". Get
the picture? The swim portion is about control
and swimming your race, catching other competitors
one by one and getting your hand on the beach
Have a fabulous finish to your summer racing
season. Use every technique and trick I have
taught you. Race well.
my final message before the magic of the 2012
Olympics in London, I am thrilled to share
this video with each of you. Be Inspired:
Men's 4 X100 free relay - Best Swimming in
the way, Jason Lezak made the team again at
the age of 37. Dara Torres isn't the only
phenom out there!!!
****HUGE SHOUT OUT to all our kids that made
it to Olympic Trials: David Speese, Allie
Szekley, and Bryan Dragonosky were all home
grown and represented the area well!!
Got a great APP yesterday called: MEET MOBILE
This is free and can give you the "live"
times of your kids - if your league is signed
up with this service. AND, you can keep up
with the Olympic trials or London times with
the touch of a key!!! How cool would it be
if you can't make a swim meet, but can get
your kids times BEFORE they even arrive home?
Would you like to know how fast our swimmers
are in Omaha? TV only shows the final 8 or
16, if our kids finish below that..... This
APP will show you exactly where they finished.
O2 SWIMMING hopes you enjoy this as much as
our family does!
2012 Newsletter (part 2)
Swimmers and Triathletes:
this today and wanted to share it with you,
as many of you still have questions in your
the three types:
technique: Hip-driven freestyle
is used by Ian Thorpe, Grant Hackett, Larsen
Jensen and Libby Trickett and is a slower-stroke-rate
freestyle. It is typically swam at 60 to
70 strokes a minute.The hand holds the water
in front after the entry before beginning
the propulsive motion backward. The slower
time of the arm pull cycle allows the swimmer
to get a bigger hip turn and generate a
larger counter force to pull against. This
increases the distance from each stroke.
It’s better swum in distances over
200 meters and a strong six beat is needed
to swim it fast.
Shoulder-driven freestyle is used by Peter
Van den Hoogenband, Janet Evans and Alexander
Popov and is a higher-stroke-rate technique.
It’s swam at 80-110 strokes per minute.The
entry hander catches quicker and the release
is done sooner which results in a faster
stroke rate but less hip rotation. Not as
much power is generated from the pull but
because there is more strokes it makes up
for the power difference. The shoulders
typically rotate more than the hips in this
technique. Two beat and six beat kick are
both acceptable, though only a six beat
kick should be used when sprinting
Hybrid technique: In recent
years a number of swimmers are drawing on
elements of both techniques. It is becoming
increasingly popular for middle distance
swimmers (100, 200 and 400 meters) who draw
on the advantages of both techniques and
opt for a hybrid freestyle.They use one
arm with shoulder-driven technique and the
other arm uses a hip- driven technique.
It has become popularised by Michael Phelps.
It requires a very strong kick and breathing
to one side and can be used in open water
swims if you have a strong kick
As all of you know, I prefer option A for
triathletes, as you are ALL distance swimmers.
Keep in mind the shortest swim in triathlon
(sprint tri) in the second longest event
in Olympic swimming!!! That is correct.
Olympic swimming (freestyle) races look
like this: 50 - 100 - 200 - 400 - 8800 (sprint
tri) - 1500 (olympic tri). Hence, ALL of
you are distance swimmers.
My "under 30" group of swimmers
are mostly SWIMMERS and do race short. O2
SWIMMING works you with a version of Option
3, but with more fluidity. Until you get
to the world stage, we will continue to
work on speed through technique. I still
have a few tricks....
note - best of luck to 2 of our swimmers
heading to Olympic Trials soon. Go and rock
the world, you have full bragging rights
(shoulder drive technique!). SwimSilent.
(hip drive technique!).
throw any/all comments back to me up on
O2 SWIMMING's facebook page so we can all
2) As of
today, O2 SWIMMING will be at Fanny Chapman
at lunchtime on fridays for a full Lake
Placid IronMan workout session. Bring fluids
and get ready - there is a strong 4,000
set in your future. If you are not a member,
the fee to the Boro is $10 and you are allowed
in. See you there.
****The first session was today and the
water is perfect!!
2012 Newsletter (part 1)
Swimmers and Triathletes:
off the official start of summer with a
plethora of races (podiums and PR's already
!!) and all the outdoor pools opening -
First, I must apologize for this being a
bit late, but I had to undergo some hardware
and software upgrades - good news, I am
now swimming as fast as ever in cyberspace:)
for this month is momentum
spent lots of time on technique and the
mental aspects of swimming well. Today,
it is time to rip off the gloves, toss the
buoy, and SWIM like a fish. ***Fish, BTW,
are fast. As many of you already have heard,
here are the tops speeds of some things
Phelps = 5 mph
O2 SWIMMING's African Ciclids = 12 mph
O2 SWIMMING's sailfish = 40 mph
need help. So, wherever you are in your
lifelong swimming process, you need to get
a wiggle on and GO FASTER. I have encouraged
many of you to put some sprints into practice
- not only at the end of your sessions...
Pick up the tempo while you still can.
my favorite sets to increase speed over
set: Do as long as you normally
do (at least 500 yards - 4000 straight)
and pick any single digit to HAMMER on.
Example, Coach Ken swam an 800 on sunday
and picked number 4. I swam as hard as I
could (not just a little "pick up")
on lengths: 4, 14, 24. It does many things
for you, including:
1) forces you out of your perpetual comfort
zone - with regularity
2) teaches you how to respond to stress
while covering longer distance
3) forestays the boredom of a longer swim
set: Do as many as you like or
can, but make it uncomfortable at some point....
25y/m ALL OUT - hold nothing back
rest interval is not on the clock....take
3 "bobbing breaths" before you
return. ****If you rush these bobbing breaths,
you get almost zero rest......hint....
25y/m for perfect SPL - this forces you
to get your act together after only ONE
sprint... Tough to begin swimming like an
injured baboon when you get this "active
recovery" SPL length
another point of note for ALL of you. Get
off the wall. I see more children swimmers
that will hang on the wall anytime they
think coach isn't watching than you might
imagine.... Triathletes: I do not need you
to do a flip turn, but stopping at every
wall to "check on something" just
helps you swim slow and lose precious MOMENTUM.
The idea is to keep moving. Keep your pace.
If you are over 30 or in shape, the pace
should INCREASE as you loosen up and swim
longer. Yes, you can/should check in on
your SPL, but still only 3 X all day. Keep
it between 0 and +1, but do not count in
any type of real sprints......
So, we had
one gal who nocked off 12 minutes at Eagleman
this weekend.... Think she ever gets "uncomfortable"?
Darn right she does - that is why she is
tough and is getting older, but keeps turning
back the hands of time. Do you think Michael
Phelps still wants it? Think Ryan Lochte
wakes up and still has it in him? London
will tell the story, but if you have seen
either of these boys lately, here are my
1) They are both older than they were in
2008 - Bejing
2) They look meaner
3) They are getting quieter as the big days
4) They have both cross trained harder than
any swimmer ever has.....
I hope you
take some of this and spark an improvement
in your swimming life!
GO FOR IT.
GET OUT OF YOUR COMFORT ZONE.
will get extremely busy by tomorrow - phones
are ringing already. Call me if you need
help. I am not always at a computer.....
O2 SWIMMING adds hours in the summer - for
you. We also have 2 assistant coaches now
that charge 50% of my rate and love to help
kids generally in the 11 and under age groups.
Keep that option open. Matthew and Summer
have some flexibility in hours as well.
has taken our discount to the highest level
they offer - because of the size of O2 SWIMMING!
You will now get a full 30% all FINIS products
forever! Suits, goggles, swim tools, bags,
etc. The codes are embedded on my website.
Help support the #1 force in swimming and
get yourself a 30% break!
*****If you need help with
anything there, call me of Zach at FINIS.
Also, don't miss there awesome new AGILITY
PADDLES..... I love them!!! When I posted
them on our O2 SWIMMING Facebook page, we
got hits and fans from as far away as France,
Italy and China!!!
O2 NUTRITION specializes
in helping athletes dial in nutrition and
middle age athletes and weekend warriors
get back on track. O2 NUTRITION articles
have been appearing in the weekly Herald
Newspaper for one year now - very exciting!!
Call me for a free one hour consultation.
Dear Swimmers and Triathletes:
to be into May! April was rough on me, but
we made progress in spite of it all... Before
I get into the good stuff, just a little head's
up about scheduling. Now that May is here,
many of my summer swim team kids will be calling
in the next few weeks to get time in the Endless
Pool before summer leagues start. My problem
this month is that I had more last minute
cancellations in April (10 !) than I had all
last year (4). This is Ok with me, but affects
you tremendously. I now owe a large number
of you time from your current lesson package,
but as the time has dragged on for many months
now, it is running into the next cycle of
swimmers. All I ask is that you are somewhat
patient with me and reasonably flexible this
month. I am actively coaching 10 hours per
week and both my son (Matthew 17) and my daughter
(Summer 15) are coaching after school, but
before I get home... My kids are half my rate
and do a nice job with younger kids either
learning to swim, or experiencing the other
3 strokes for the first time.... Nuff said!!
And now for
some really GOOD NEWS - Finis has just upgraded
Team O2 SWIMMING to the biggest discount offered
to anyone- - - We now get a full 30% off at
www.finisinc.com with our discount code of:
They have some really cool new hand paddles
that I just ordered to try - cant wait!!!
Check out the AGILITY PADDLES while you are
on their site. I will give you feedback next
month,once I have them in hand!
Two special things I would draw your attention
to as well right now:
1) For swimmers - I want everyone to use only
the FINIS Alignment Kickboard. This is not
new, it is the only one I have ever recommended
and the only one that works!! All swim team
members need one - with our discount, it is
the best $10 or so that you will spend.
2) For triathletes - they just put the "tempo
trainer" on sale for $20 !!! This is
a very handy little devise that can be set
to beep either on each hand entry OR per lap
or half lap so you can keep pace. This is
the little devil that will let you know just
how well you are pacing in your longer swims.
You might see your 100 pace look like this
in a 500 set: 1:30, 1:34, 1:39, 1:50 ,1:48.
NOT GOOD. With the tempo trainer, you will
pace perfectly at your prescribed pace....
You want a 500 at 1:35 pace? Set the ticker
and it will look EXACTLY like this: 1:35,
1:35, 1:35, 1:35, 1:35 !!! I wonder how that
will feel to some of you?????
our technique thoughts for the month....
As many of you know, I started posting some
of my workouts on our FACEBOOK link just to
try to connect our group a bit and give some
of my TRI gang an idea of someone else's swim
workouts. I try to do a full IronMan workout
every time I swim, so my base is 4,000. You
can pick and choose to get more or less than
that as you require. I would love for some
of you to step up and post a workout too!
While doing my 4,200 on monday, I came off
a wall during my 5 X 600 set and was just
plain crooked and bad. It bothered me enough
that I immediately stepped up my focus and
everything smoothed right out. I was right
at an SPL of 13 when I counted and I began
to follow the black line on the bottom religiously.
I followed it right off the wall and continued
to track it as I swam. It forced me to think
LONG AXIS freestyle and extend fully into
forward stroke. It gave me back more height
on my left (weak :( ) side and increased my
speed - substantially. Apparently, I was getting
lulled into slow by the fact that no one at
LA Fitness was worth chasing on monday....
My point here is to try to keep your head
in the game. Show up at the pool with some
plan. Any plan. By simply monitoring your
SPL three times in a whole workout, you get
a check-in. In my case, I had a bad wall and
that was my impetus for change.
Do you have a training partner? Need one?
Post up on the O2 SWIMMING page of Facebook!
Need better workouts? Look at mine.... Post
Stay in the game.
handshake for May is "JUST SHOW UP"
You may just see/hear this again soon.....!!!
It is an Olympic
year, my friends. If that does not inspire
you, try something different. This season
is going to be HOT !!
As we prepare
to watch the world's finest in London, here
is a little teaser:
Phelps, C Jones, and Coach demonstrating technique
April 2012 Newsletter
Swimmers and Triathletes:
day today - where are YOU in your season?
Before I get deep into my thoughts for you
this month, just a note that BOTH of my
websites are fully operational at this point
- YEAH!! Technology is great - when you
can manage it and bend it to your will....:)
If you have not checked out the new www.o2swimming.net
site, please jump over for 2 seconds and
give us a hit on the FACEBOOK feed if you
have an account. Facebook will tie us together
during the month and keep it all fresh.
I post some workouts on there, although
I have heard mostly grumbling about the
yardage. Keep in mind that it does show
you a structured workout and you can dissect
it and swim any portion you choose. I just
need to make sure that YOU are not doing
the daily grind where you swim the same
workout every time you get in the pool -
this teaches you how to swim slow and YES,
I have proof of that! Your job now is to
post your workouts, ideas, victories, etc
on there to inspire our community.
onto swimming -
month's emphasis will be the same for both
swimmer and triathlete. The big Gran Prix
meets are over and London is not until August,
so the swimmers should be focusing on technique.
Triathletes ALWAYS need to be hyper focused
on technique, as most of you are in incredible
physical shape... The take-away here is that
banging out yardage does not work for anyone.
By now, each of you fully understands how
important SPL is to O2 SWIMMING. But, that
has not necessarily gotten your undivided
attention. I have been teaching ALL of my
swimmers to self coach by following the O2
SWIMMING 4 LAWS while in practice and to keep
track of progress by monitoring your SPL 3
X during every workout. Some of you have done
this very well and are on a continuous path
to improvement; others, not so much. Let it
be known far and wide that if you are not
in the 16-18 SPL range - you are missing the
boat. I have plenty of 10 year olds that can
do it. It is not about hanging on the front
until you sink. It is not about magic at the
walls - I actually have such a crummy that
I drop a stroke when I push off the wall directly!
Being efficient enough to be in the "zone
range"is about following the 4 LAWS and
sustaining momentum in a straight line while
harnessing rotational velocity.
RV is listed as LAW #3 - weight shift. However,
it cannot be directed well unless LAWS1, 2
and 4 are in place. It is a process.
If your body returns to dead flat during your
stroke cycle, you simply will not carry your
RV or momentum. Think of it in this way -
most swimmers get to an angle of 45 degrees
off the water when they take a breath. Nice.
However, many fall back to dead flat position
and become a non working barge for a split
second. Those that are in the 16-18 SPL range
go from a +45 to a -445 angle (or some variety
thereof). This simple flow of gravity is really
where the magic happens. By the way, it is
completely FREE. Gravity works in every pool
and every open water venue. My daughter was
12 the first time she raced an open water
mile and I had zero fear of her safety or
finishing. She has always had a clear understanding
you go to the pool this week. FEEL the water
in your warm up. Monitor BOTH sides of your
RV equation - the right side and the left
side. Check the plus and minus of each side.
Perhaps the mystery of swimming will clarify
and you too will be one of us in the 16-18
to O2 SWIMMING on facebook and brag a little.
I want to hear YOUR story.
has been a busy start for 2012, thank you
for your support of both O2 SWIMMING and O2
is a nice video of a swimmer that has it together.
I like the stats that are shown live in the
corner of the screen......
This The World's Smoothest Freestyle Stroke?
HollandHead CoachO2 SWIMMINGDoylestown, PA
Last, but not least, special thanks to BOTH
Matthew and Summer Holland, as they have both
been actively coaching this year for me. My
kids are long time swimmers and charge 50%
of my rate to teach swimming. They really
specialize in littler kids that want to learn
to swim or develop all 4 strokes as they reach
the swim team age. You can make initial contact
with them through me, then I step out of the
way and let you schedule directly with them!
Matthew Holland (17) Assistant Coach
Summer Holland (15) Assistant Coach
Swimmers and Triathletes:
Did you swim today? I had a GREAT
swim today! It was truly a good morning
as I did not feel like doing anything today...
I had a bonus bike ride of 30 yesterday
and just feel tired overall. I know, boo
hoo, you are getting old. Well, today, once
again, the water made me right. I hope you
swam today too.
First: As most of you know, The
Training Zone sponsored O2 SWIMMING under
their web page for many years. When David
and Susan moved onto bigger and brighter
things last year, O2 was without a technology
presence. Enter David Pajer, techno guru...
Long story short, we are back on the web
as of today!
The site is not entirely finished, but we
are alive again - thank you, Mr Pajer!
For your part, this has a FACEBOOK component
to help connect us all. If you have a spare
minute, please find O2 SWIMMING and click
some buttons for me. You are all my beta
testers!! I posted my workout from this
morning on there just for giggles. Let me
know what YOU are up to. This page will
stay fresh with upcoming races, events,
Many thanks. Keep in mind, this is for YOU:)
Theme: DYNAMIC HIP POWER
Although this is not directly one
of our 4 LAWS, it is one of my universally
preached concepts. Just as bilateral breathing
covers a multitude of sins, a focused hip
drive controls much power in the stroke.
This is also place I see a lack of skill
repeatedly. We have all been in the pool
when a faster swimmers has slid right on
by, only to arrive at the wall with a heart
rate of only 80! Just how does this fish
swim so fast and NOT be blowing up the cardio?
Hip drive is really a core factor. Your
hips are centrally located and smaller than
your shoulders. You can control them better
and faster than any other area of the body.
Ever have a core cramp? Core ever become
exhausted and just give up? I didn't think
so.... Arms and legs can have issues because
they are smaller muscles trying to power
a larger body.
Begin to think about this as you do each
drill in your warm up. Take as much pressure
off your arms and legs as you can. FEEL
the core rotating around your central spinal
axis - with ease.
****This is directly related to a low SPL.
If you are not in the 16-18 SPL range, this
WILL help you. If you need to swim LONG,
this will help you. If your arms or legs
ever feel tired, this will help you. Have
I ever mentioned that fish have no arms
or legs, yet are much faster than even Michael
Phelps? Just in my Endless Pool Studio,
we have a Costa Rican Sailfish(40 mph) and
African Ciclids (12 mph). The best humans
in the world can go as fast as 5mph. Think
Today is the final day of PA HS districts.
Good luck to each of you. My current group
has had a great year and each of you has
worked extremely hard. I am proud of all
my kids. Many of you are now in college
and still SwimmingStrong! We are in the
later half of the championship season. For
those of you that are left - you are the
Two things this month for you:
1) Do not leave your best swim in the practice
pool, BUT, do some "faster than race
pace" bursts in the warm up pool just
to get the motor running. Focus on nothing
but kicking butt when you get on the block.
There is nothing left to do but SWIM STRONG
2) Eat right. Many of you have had the O2
NUTRITION conversations with me..... Eat
right going into the meet and the day of.
Never do something "newer and better".
Stick to what you absolutely know and eat
clean. Check in with me with any questions
GOOD LUCK !!
Some of you are getting ready and some of
you are waiting for the gold plated invitation....
I guarantee you that in a very short while,
the weather will be nice and you will be
behind. Know now that your competition is
getting in miles. Winter is traditionally
"swim season" and the perfect
time to crank up everything watery.
I have 7 of you in my "freshman"
IM class this year (so far). How ready are
you? Here are some general guidelines for
each distance that you should be approximating
Distance: you should be swimming
every week now and be capable of swimming
400 yards - uninterrupted.
Distance: this level should be
swimming 2-3 days per week EVERY week. I
would like to see you doing plenty of 500s
in practice and beginning to think about
throwing in an 800 once and a while and
sooner than later. Your yardage should be
in the 1200-2000 range per session and minimum
5,000 per week.
IM gang: depending on your history,
many of you are not knew to this sport.
Most triathletes competing at this distance
are serious and CAN swim, bike and run.
Minimum 3 days a week and 2500-3000 per
session. No less than 7500 per week now.
It is time to start throwing in a timed
mile (call it 60 lengths) about every 3-4
weeks. If the time is not dropping, call
and IronWomen: most of you are
a salty old bunch of tough kids. If you
are new to this distance, it takes even
the pros ALL DAY. It can be a fun day and
it is always a HUGE sense of inner peace
and accomplishment when you cross the line.
You should be enjoying your training or
you should take up gold because you will
jump off a bridge if you are not having
fun training at this distance. Every year,
I marvel at just how tough EVERY age group
is at this distance. I tis my opinion that
you should be swimming at least as long
as a 12 year old swimmer and just as importantly,
as long as me! I try to get 4,000 in everyday
that I land in a pool. Plan your work ahead
and do not vary. My workout today is posted
on Facebook, O2 SWIMMING. It is one of many...
I can help.
Keep in mind that I do have time in the
Endless Pool for just swimming. These hours
are made by mutual agreement, as you don't
need me to do any more than open the cover
and turn on the engines! My absolute best
athletes use this repeatedly to conquer
swimming in new ways, ways that cannot be
accomplished in a closed in static pool.
It is also a marvelous place to test out
your new wetsuit....endlessly.....
forward to hearing from ALL of my champion
swimmers soon. We even have a few qualified
to go to Olympic Trials this season. Look
out London !!
our mantra while you swim: swimstrong. swimsilent.
Now that my kids are done with swim season,
both are available for private lessons with
younger children. Matthew had his first
of this year on wednesday! O2 SWIMMING charges
half price ($25/hr) for either Matthew (age
17) or Summer (age 14). Both of my kids
can swim and are great teachers. They have
been involved in swimming since day 1...imagine
Kenneth W. Holland
A unique, exciting innovation in health and
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By "hiding" the swimmers hands,
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Without the sensitive hand and fingers
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