open water

USMS National Coaches Clinic: 5 Key Takeaways from a Triathlete’s Perspective

 

Contributed by Stacy Sweetser, GSP & Coach of SWS Originally published on her blog, Simply Faster

 Presenters: Jack Mcafee, Bo Hickey, Dr. Gary Hall Sr., Dr. Joel Stager, Coach Bruce Gemmell

Presenters: Jack Mcafee, Bo Hickey, Dr. Gary Hall Sr., Dr. Joel Stager, Coach Bruce Gemmell

After an intense two-day clinic filled with captivating speakers, a few Olympians, and a roaring crowd of USMS coaches with impressive backgrounds, my head was spinning with delight on my way home. How could I share what I learned? How can swimmers get faster right now with this information? 

I distilled the hours of lecture, demonstration and pool time down to “Five Key Takeaways.” Ultimately these take aways are real training habits swimmers and triathletes can implement THIS WEEK to become healthier, stronger and faster at any age.  


1) Dryland Warmup  

 Shoulder Flexibility Testing

Shoulder Flexibility Testing

Bo Hickey, a Certified Strength & Conditioning Specialist, detailed the importance of a dynamic warm up before hitting the water. This aids in injury prevention and prepares the body before it is loaded in the water. Many runners have a standard pre-run warm up routine and swimming should be no different. Bo details a pre-swim dryland warmup via article and video here

Takeaway: Don’t skip the dryland warmup pre-swim.


2) Reduce Frontal Drag 

 Plantar Flexion Exercise

Plantar Flexion Exercise

Olympian Dr. Gary Hall Sr. of The Race Club reminded us we are always moving forward in the water, which happens to be 800x more dense than air! Frontal drag is significant and we have to find ways to work through the water effectively. A very common yet fixable area of drag for many triathletes is toes pointed down or out to the side when swimming. Swimmers with biking and running backgrounds can have limited plantar flexion which can increase frontal drag up to 30%. Working ankle flexibility out of the water can save valuable time in the water. Dryland training can include sitting on ankles with toes pointed inward for :20 - 2:00 at a time daily. For more on ankle flexibility and dryland work from The Race Club, click here. 

Takeaway: Plantar flexibility is a critical piece to reducing frontal drag.


3) Interval Train 

Coach Bruce Gemmell shared great insight into his time coaching Katie Ledecky. In addition to working hard, setting goals and prioritizing self-care, swimmers must know their training zones/paces. Similar to training on the bike using Functional Threshold Power and running using VDOT values, swimmers should be aware of their various working paces (easy, aerobic, aerobic endurance, and anaerobic). Coach Gemmell uses the Jon Urbanchek color system with his swimmers. Each swimmer has detailed charts of their various paces in various work zones. There is an app for that! 

Takeaway: Interval train with specific paces. Perform a threshold test. 


4) Perform Tri Specific Skills in the Pool

 Open Water Drafting and Buoy Turn Skills in the Pool

Open Water Drafting and Buoy Turn Skills in the Pool

Jack Mcafee, IMFL Male Winner 2016 and Helen Naylor, USMS National Coaches Committee Volunteer, reviewed opportunities to work open water skills in both the open water and pool throughout the season. These skills can easily be practiced in a pool if open water is not available. Pack swimming, drafting skills, treading water starts, sighting, etc. can be creatively practiced in pools. This video details various ways to draft in open water, and can be adapted for the pool with 2+ people in a lane. Various sighting skills shown here can be perfected in the pool before hitting the open water.  

Takeaway: Open water skills can be practiced in a pool. 


5) Refuel 

 Recovery Drink or Quality Whole Foods 30-45min Post Workout

Recovery Drink or Quality Whole Foods 30-45min Post Workout

Joel Stager PhD., Indiana University, spoke of his recovery fuel study. After a pre season build, his swimmers were tired, sick and not improving despite solid training. He instituted a recovery fueling plan using chocolate milk within 45min post practice. The team bounced back into the season healthier and stronger than before. Read the formal study from IU on Chocolate Milk as a Post Exercise Recovery Aid. The body must be refueled shortly after working out to recover well. More information on nutrition secrets to improving fitness here.

Takeaway: Consume a recovery drink (and/or quality whole foods) within 30-45min of your workout.  

Summer Meet & Open Water Result Links

Kingdom Swim Recap

Contributed by Charlotte Brynn, NE-LMSC Open Water Chair

NEWPORT, VT --  The 10th Annual Kingdom Swim was held on July 28th in Lake Memphremagog in Newport, Vermont. The 125 swimmers competed under sunny skies in 72-74F water temperatures. Swimmers raced in the 1 mile, 5 km, 10 km, 10 mile, or 25 km Border Buster event into Canada and back. Masters swimmers from New England represented well in all courses and posted many top finishes.

Winners of the beautifully hand-carved Vermont walking sticks in the 25 km Border Buster race were 25-year-old Anthony Szmul of Queensbury, NY in 8 hours 13 minutes 56 seconds and 50-year-old Charlotte Brynn of Stowe, VT in 8 hours 31 minutes 44 seconds. 

In the 10-mile race, 29-year-old Morgan Grozier of East Orleans, MA and 57-year-old George Boerger of Kingston, MA each won a walking stick, a pound of Brault's Beef Jerky, a quart of Couture's Maple Syrup, and a six-pack of Burke Mountain ski tickets.

 Alana Aubin post-10km victory

Alana Aubin post-10km victory

In the 10km race Eric Nilsson stormed away from the field -- to no one's surprise -- finishing first in a time of 2 hours 10 minutes 49 seconds. Alana Aubin completed another strong Kingdom Swim to win the overall female division in a time of 2 hours 38 minutes 48 seconds.

Registration for the 2019 Kingdom Swim opened September 1. With only 30 spots in each event, register early to secure your spot and chance to enjoy a weekend of friendly open-water competition in the scenic Northeast Kingdom!


Top 5 Finishers

25 km Border Buster

Female
1. Charlotte Brynn 8:31:44 
2. Martha Wood 8:45:43 
3. Daniela Klaz 9:05:25 
4. Melodee Nugent 9:19:14 
5. Emily Boerger 9:51:43

 Male
1. Anthony Szmul 8:13:56 
2. Bill Shipp 9:00:36 
3. Michael Pollanen 10:14:39 
4. John Batchelder 10:22:06 
5. Andrew Wallace 10:25:55 


10-Mile

Female
1. Morgan Grozier 4:46:19 
2. Molly Lunn Owen 5:13:02 
3. Keone Weigl 5:15:24 
4. Britt Hulbert 5:21:22 
5. Puranjot Khalsa 5:24:36 

Wetsuit

1. Carol Shuford 6:13:14 
2. Joanne Navilliat 7:37:50 

Male
1. George Boerger 5:51:15 
2. Leopoldo Gomez 6:37:51 
3. John Gale 8:06:15

Wetsuit

1. Andrew Westbrook 6:06:38 
2. Damase Olsson 7:01:35 


10 km

Male
1. Eric Nilsson 2:10:49 
2. Sheldon Katz 2:54:29 
3. Peter November 3:01:58 
4. John Hughes 3:12:39 
5. Kevin Joubert 3:12:51 

 

Female
1. Alana Aubin 2:38:48 
2. Melissa Andrews 2:40:33 
3. Joan Hudak 2:43:19 
4. Vera Rivard 3:01:13 
5. Holly Donnelly 3:14:42 

Wetsuit
1. Lee Ann Banks 3:17:29
2. Patricia Lambert 3:28:07 
3. Robyn Shiely 3:49:15 
4. Cheryl Coletti-Lawson 3:52:28 
5. Sally Kidd 4:37:07 

Kingdom Swim 10 mile start.jpg

5 km

Female
1. Katharine Dunn 1:10:21 
2. Laura Kenny 1:21:41 
3. Madeline Craig 1:24:11 
4. Tori Lamphere 1:24:35 
5. Julie Bosak 1:24:11 

 Wetsuit
1. Jody Goodrich 1:33:50 
2. Melissa McEvoy 1:35:09 
3. Katherine Ruffin 1:37:00 
4. Cindy Rodd 1:41:46 
5. Katie Hudon 2:00:36 

Male
1. Lawton Harper 1:25:27 
2. Jesse Marshall 1:29:37 
3. Jimmy Wu 1:42:27

Wetsuit

1. George Randall 1:52:15 
2. Victor Yanessa 1:52:22 


1-Mile swim

Male
1. Robert Hrabchak 26.03 
2. Josep Garrison 28.39 
3. Hermes Cabellero 28.48 
4. Will Golec 29.02 
5. Denis Beaudry 30.58 

Female
1. Louise Davies 29.04 
2. Judith Ebsary 29.12 
3. Rachel Gagnon 30.43
4. Quinn Manion 31.26 
5. Anne Hrabchak 35.05 

Event Spotlight: Peaks to Portland Swim to Benefit Kids

Contributed by Charlotte Brynn, NE LMSC Open Water Sanctions Chair

Event: Peaks to Portland Swim to Benefit Kids

Date: July 28, 2018

Distance 2.4 miles

Location: Casco Bay, Maine

Maine is right up there on my list of favorite places to swim. It has a lot to do with the vastness of the ocean, the variety of rugged coastline and sandy beaches, and the vibrant, friendly open water swimming community. Traveling to an open water swim event is a great way to experience another area, meet new people and discover new places to swim.

I was impressed to learn that the long running Peaks to Portland swim had a swimmer who has participated for 30 years! I wanted to learn more about the draw of this long running event and what keeps people coming back. Sarah Leighton, from the YMCA of Southern Maine, filled me in on all the things that make this swim so special and a must for your open water calendar!

Charlotte Brynn: Peaks to Portland is a 2.4 mile swim that has a wealth of history dating back to before WWII. Tell us about some of the early swims.

Sarah Leighton: Peaks to Portland started in the 1920s. At that time, there were no wetsuits so swimmers would grease their bodies in an effort to keep warm. Back then, the fastest swimmers finished the swim in one hour and fifteen minutes. Today swimmers finish in as little as 40 minutes. The swim was suspended at the start of World War II due to the fear of mines in the water. It wasn’t until 1981 that it was revived by the YMCA of Southern Maine, and we’ve hosted the event ever since.

CB: The Maine coastline is famous for its rugged good looks, and Maine swimmers are some of the most welcoming swimmers I’ve encountered around the world. What are some of the highlights of the swim that help make it an OW event not to miss? 

SL: There’s no better way to experience Maine than the Peaks to Portland Swim.  Swimmers take the Casco Bay Ferry in the early morning to picturesque Peaks Island where they begin their journey. Together with 500 other swimmers, they swim with the tide across Casco Bay. They pass the historic Fort Gorges, built in the 1850s. And at East End Beach, thousands of cheering spectators and volunteers welcome them across the finish line.

CB: You provide terrific support to swimmers before, during and after the swim, from training support, to what to bring and wear to park. What tips can you share for a swimmer new to Peaks to Portland?

p2pswim.jpg

SL: When it’s cold, swimmers are forced to train in a pool, but it’s important that they transition their training to the ocean at least a couple weeks prior to the event. This helps swimmers acclimate to the cold water and reduces their chance of developing hypothermia on race day. Veteran swimmers also encourage new participants to practice in their wetsuits and with their kayaker (even if it’s in fresh water). That way, you’re used to the extra buoyancy provided by your suit and you and your kayaker have a chance to develop a good communication system. If you’re looking for additional support, consider signing up for one of the YMCA of Southern Maine’s Peaks to Portland training classes!

CB: Finally, please tell us about some of the inspirational swimmers that swim Peaks to Portland. 

SL: The Peaks to Portland Swim attracts a diverse group of swimmers. Last year, our oldest swimmer was 74 years old, and our youngest was 16. We welcome swimmers of all types as long as they’re able to swim one mile in 40 minutes or less. Last year, swimmer Merry Farnum completed her 30th Peaks to Portland Swim!  In fact, she completed all 30 swims without a wet suit – now that’s tough! As an advocate for the YMCA of Southern Maine, she also raised over $3,000 to benefit youth. Fundraising is an important part of this race – last year we raised over $180,000 all of which went to supporting kids in our youth development programs.

CB: Thanks Sarah, all the best another successful event this year!

Tenth Charles River One Mile Swim (Sanctioned)

Contributed by Kate Radville, CRSC

BOSTON, MA -- The Tenth Charles River One Mile Swim will take place on June 2, 2018. The USMS sanctioned swim will feature chip timing, fabulous t-shirts, fun prizes, gorgeous scenery and a convenient location in the heart of downtown Boston. Wetsuits are optional, making this the ideal early season tune-up for your open water swimming.  Please visit our website for registration information or email us with questions. Join us to either swim or volunteer and help us make our tenth swim our best swim yet!

charles_river_2017.jpeg

NE LMSC Presents 2018 Service Awards at Championship Meet

Contributed by Tara Mack, GBM & Awards & Recognition Chair

BOSTON, MA -- The New England LMSC proudly presented several awards to outstanding members during the 2018 NE LMSC SCY Championship Meet.


Coach of the Year:  Dan Rogacki

 Dan Rogacki with NE LMSC Chair Douglas Sayles

Dan Rogacki with NE LMSC Chair Douglas Sayles

Welcoming, Enthusiastic, Big Heart, Record Keeper, Funny, Remarkable

Dan’s team all commented on his record keeping as well as making each of them a handmade birthday card, and they shared how Dan has built a loving, supportive team that feels more like a family of which they are all grateful to be a part. 

 

 


Distinguished Service Award:  Rick Osterberg

Outstanding Service to Masters Swimming & NE LMSC SCY Championship Meet Director

Rick has been the SCY Championship Meet Director for over 15 years and has repeatedly demonstrated outstanding service to Masters Swimming on many levels and is consistently promotes Masters Swimming at the Club, NE LMSC, and National levels.

Nominators and supporters repeatedly discussed Rick as demonstrating excellence with respect to his role as the NE LMSC SCY Championship Meet Director in addition to the following: best meet director, supportive, encouraging, thoughtful, quality, dedicated, caring, supportive, running the best meet, great music, great announcer, above and beyond, kind, friendly, fun! 


Appreciation Award: David Graham

 David Graham with NE LMSC Chair Douglas Sayles

David Graham with NE LMSC Chair Douglas Sayles

Encouragement, Support, Volunteerism, Humor, and an All-Inclusive Spirit

David’s supporters all recognized the tireless efforts he engages in to promote all kinds of swimming events, from pool to open water. He was thanked for a variety of reasons, including for being a personal kayaker in the Kingdom swim, and received accolades for his outreach in all avenues of swimming. A true supporter of the sport!

 


Appreciation Award: Joel Feldmann

Enthusiasm, Encouragement, Kindness, Love of the Sport and Others

Joel’s nominators mentioned repeatedly that Joel not only encourages everyone on the team, she calls them if they miss a practice to see if they are okay. She is nurturing and strong, and that has proven to be quite an amazing combination.


Lifetime Appreciation Award:  Priscilla Davis

 A few of our officials at the SCY Championship meet

A few of our officials at the SCY Championship meet

Over 40 years of Service, Laughter, Encouragement, Kindness, and Commitment

Priscilla Davis's team of 13 active officials does a masterful job of tirelessly running our Masters swim meets throughout the year. Each championship meet (WPI and Harvard), they spend 20-25 hours on their feet officiating. They also officiate at all our mini meets throughout the year. Not only that, they are professional, good humored and obviously love what they do. New England is blessed to have such an experienced and friendly group of officials running our meets.


APPRECIATION AWARD 2018: NE LMSC OFFICIALS

The following officials were also recognized for their outstanding and tireless commitment to provide us all with the best meet experiences while maintaining the professionalism of the sport:

Priscilla Davis

Mary Anne Lustgraaf

Bob Fredette

Jack Kurkul

Ed GardnerBob Menck

Ken Galica

Lisa Black Shouldko

Betsy Russell

Sue Hoey

Cam Townsend

Steve Davidson

Steve McAlarney


Frank Wuest Open Water Swimming Award: Maura Twomey and Paul Goudreau

 Paul Goudreau and Lyn Duncan

Paul Goudreau and Lyn Duncan

 Lyn Dyncan and Maura Twomey

Lyn Dyncan and Maura Twomey

Frank Wuest invited us to live our best lives. He invited us to embrace the sport of swimming as a vehicle to get involved, to participate, to shine, and to be a part of an incredibly special community as well as to stay fit and active in the pursuit of the negative split! Frank’s passion for the sport was contagious. He was a fast swimmer and he was a committed cheerleader for us all as a collective as well as for all of us individually. With a glint in his eye, and a pace clock in his head, he encouraged us all to go for it! Frank truly represented all that the word community stands for and he did it with grace, ease, humor, love, camaraderie, and at times a little cajoling.

In conjunction with his wife Lyn Duncan, and on behalf of the NELMSC, as the Awards and Recognition Chair, I am honored to announce the 2018 recipients of the Frank Wuest Open Water Swimming Awards: Maura Twomey and Paul Goudreau

Thank you, Frank for continuing to remind us what the most important thing is and always will be: Each other.

12th Annual Swim & Fin Race for Salem Sound Goes Swimmingly

Contributed by Megan Podeszwa, Salem Sound Coastwatch

SALEM, MA -- The 12th Annual Swim & Fin Race for Salem Sound went off without a hitch on August 20. We couldn’t have asked for a more beautiful morning to send nearly 150 swimmers into the clean, swimmable waters of Salem Sound!

Swimmers ranged in age from 11-74 and competed 500 meter, 1 mile and 5K races. We had so much great talent join us and swimmers of all abilities. It was a great race to watch!

On land, spectators had great views of the course as well as a DJ, raffle, kids coloring table, and touch tank! Swimmers received their choice of clam chowder or meatballs after the race and others had the option to purchase food. There was also plenty of coffee and baked goods to go around!

The energy of the crowd was great as swimmers went in and came out of the water. Swimmers received ocean-themed awards by age group as well as wetsuit and non-wetsuits. First place was a scallop shell, second was a surf clam shell, and third was a quahog shell. The fastest male and female in each race received large scallop shells. 

Robert Kysela (Portland, ME) of Maine Masters (MESC) won the men's 5k race, followed by Christopher Borgatti (Byfield, MA, Unattached) and Chris Waldman (Portland, ME). Emily Dobrindt (Milton, MA) was the women's 5k champion with Rachel Saks Aronis (Natick, MA) taking second and Tsveta Stanilova (Portland, ME, MESC) finishing third. At the 1-mile distance, Benjamin Czech (Providence, RI), Joe Wang (Framingham, MA), and Richy Puopolo (East Boston, MA) were the top three men. Lyndsay Martin (New York, NY), Kaelyn Patch (Brentwood, NH), and Fiona Price (Northborough, MA) took podium spots in the women's race.

A great day was had by all and for a great cause. It was amazing to see so many people caring about our local environment and what better way to show how much you care about clean water.  Thank you to everyone who came out to support Salem Sound Coastwatch!

39th Annual Celebrate the Clean Harbor Swim Draws Swimmers from Near and Far

Contributed by Guy Davis, GBM, NE LMSC Vice-Chair

NE LMSC Treasurer and ANA swimmer Al Prescott

Charles River Masters swimmers David Bentley and Andrea Sonan

GLOUCESTER, MA -- Now in its 39th year, the New England Open Water Swimming Association's ever popular Celebrate the Clean Harbor Swim was held on August 19th. The swim follows a 1.2 mile rectangular course out and back from Niles Beach, a sheltered cove on the north side of Gloucester Harbor. The event now includes a 500m youth swim, an introduction for 8-12 year old swimmers to the fun and challenge of open water racing. Although more overcast than the usual perfect summer sunshine that this event typically enjoys, the conditions were perfect for racing with comfortable water temperatures and very little breeze or chop. North Shore and Boston area swimmers dominated the nearly 90 entries, including longtime former race director Richie Martin in the largest and most competitive division of Men 60-69 years. There were also participants from all over New England and from as far afield as Illinois. 

This year's non-wetsuit overall winners were Kaitlin Pratt (Wakefield, MA) and Graham Lott (Gloucester, MA). Wetsuit overall winners were Hannah Perkins (Beverly, MA) and, for the third consecutive year, Ethan Saulnier (Salem, MA). Kaitlin and Hannah are both 13 years old, and Hannah is a former winner of the youth swim. Overall winners received Megalodon teeth and division winners received shark teeth as prizes. Many thanks to race director Dave Swensen and his team, volunteers, and sponsors for the professional management, a relaxed and family-friendly atmosphere, competitive racing and the coolest prizes.

Maine Swimmers Dominate at Nubble Light Challenge Revival

Contributed by Guy Davis, GBM & NE LMSC Vice-Chair

YORK, ME -- Southern Maine's popular Nubble Light Challenge open water race made its triumphant return on August 12 after a three year hiatus. The picturesque two and a half mile course takes swimmers from York's Long Sands beach around the rocky Cape Neddick headland, through “the Gut” - the narrow passage of water that separates Nubble Island from the mainland, and on to finish at Short Sands beach. Weather conditions were very favorable, with water temperatures in the low 60s, light winds, and a moderate swell. Nevertheless, the swim's long stretches of open ocean and unpredictable tidal currents around the headland most certainly warrant the race's moniker. The warmly cheering crowds on the rocks overlooking the Gut and at the finish provided great encouragement to the swimmers.

Maine Masters swimmers dominated this year's event with wetsuit winners Cheryl Daly and Justin Burkhardt and non-wetsuit winners Susan Knight and Simon Wignall. Congratulations to all who swam and completed the Nubble Light Challenge!

The race is a fundraiser for the great work of the Maine chapter of NAMI (the National Alliance on Mental Illness) whose programs enhance the lives of any one impacted by mental illness through support, education and advocacy.

Great Bay Masters swimmers at the Nubble Light Challenge

Big thank yous go to Bob Reed, Bob Fernald, and Jen Zorn for their great work reviving and organizing this terrific event and to the many wonderful volunteers and sponsors who contributed to the fantastic atmosphere and very enjoyable event.

Race website

Fundraising page

Race Facebook page

NAMI Maine website

Photos by Tracy Phillips Photography via Nubble Light Challenge Facebook page

MAMA Swimmers Lead the Way at the Mighty Merrimack Swim

Contributed by Al Prescott (MAMA), NE LMSC Treasurer

LOWELL, MA -- The Minuteman Masters turned out in force to support the Mighty Merrimack 1- and 2-mile Swim on August 6. Next year's race is scheduled for August 5, 2018.

Pictured left to right are:

"Big" Al Prescott, 1st overall non-wetsuit, 1 mile
Mark Devlin, 1st overall non-wetsuit, 2 mile
Kathy McGovern, 1st overall female, 2 mile
Denise Veenstra, 1st place age group, 2 mile
Maria Beconi, 1st place age group, 2 mile

merrimack17.jpg