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Tip of the Month - 1999

The following "Tip of the Month" columns were written by Dr. Paul Hutinger and published in the Maverick Lane Lines newsletter. Our first edition of "Tip of the Month" was in 1997.

1. Flexibility

There are many areas the Master swimmer can use to improve performance, which can help your overall fitness and health. Flexibility is frequently overlooked. Surgery on my left shoulder, made rehab part of my daily training. The arm must be restored to full range of movement (ROM) before adding strength and swimming to workouts. To maximize your flexibility needed for streamlining and proper stroke mechanics, you need to extend your arms straight overhead, behind your head, elbows straight, hands overlapped. I can now do this. The other arm
flexibility, is upper arms up at 90 degrees, with forearms and hands extended forward. The legs and knees, especially for breaststroke, need to be rotated to an 80 degree angle. President, Robert MacDonald, has one of the best ROM for breaststroke. Lie flat on your back, with both
knees and feet rotated outward. Start by sitting between your knees, very slowly and carefully, and gradually progress unto your back. This position is difficult, and not all of you will be able to achieve the MacDonald position.

2. Broken Swims

Prepare for meets and your events with BROKEN SWIMS. The following is an example for the 200 free: Estimate your goal time for the next meet-- 3:00, or :45 per 50. Do 4 x 50 on 1:00 and pace your 50's for :45. This gives you :15 rest after each 50. To be more specific for your race,
dive on the first 50, giving you :40. A more involved set would be as follows: 1. 4 x 50 with 10sec. rest/50; 2. 4 x 50 with 20 sec. rest/50; 3. 4 x 50 with 30 sec. rest/50.

Try to hold your pace on all sets, taking several minutes between sets. You will have more rest as you do each set, to enable you to keep your pace. This works for all strokes, distances, and the IM's. If your times are faster, keep the same intervals, but decrease your pace; if you are slower, increase your pace. Once a week, you should do a set of repeats that increases your
performance by stimulating the three energy systems. This maximizes your training and prepares you for meets, with your best strokes. Check your heart rate or time to increase effort for each set.

Warm up--400 yds.
1. 3 x 100 (30 sec rest after each 100)-best time + 20 sec (1:30 + 20 =1:50)--rest 2 min.
2. 3 x 100 (45 sec rest after each 100)-best time + 15 sec (1:30 + 15 =1:45)--rest 2 min.
3. 3 x 100 (60 sec rest after each 100)-best time + 10 sec (1:30 + 10 =1:40)--rest 2 min.
4. 1 x 100--all out--1:30 +5 sec=1:35.

Swim this workout each week, write down your average times for each set and compare times. Try to improve your times each week by 1 or 2 seconds for each set, until you reach your goal time. This also teaches you pace for your events.

3. Finishing Your Race

The technique of finishing your race is crucial, and can be the difference in out touching your opponent. In free and fly, put your head down and don't breathe from the flags to the wall. At LCM Nationals in 1998, Gladys Olsen was slightly behind her opponent at the flags. She remembered coach's advice, and WON the 200 m fly. In fly and breast, you need to adjust the number of strokes to the wall, by the time you reach the flags, so you are not too short or too long for the finish. In back, COUNT, COUNT, COUNT your strokes when your head goes under the flags. I won a 50 m back at Nationals by knowing where the wall was, even though my opponent was also ahead of me at the flags. These techniques will give you an advantage, as you will gain an extra stretch. In free, rotate your shoulders by rolling unto your side; on back, drop your head back: on breast and fly, drop your head and stretch with your fingers underwater. Keep your kick going strong untill you finish. An additional skill at the wall, is to always touchout underwater, especially where a timing pad is used (most meets). Do not grab the top of the pad or wall. This could be a whole second slower than a finger tip touch under water. In your workouts, eliminate bad habits of sloppy and careless finishes, and be specific with each of your strokes. When you warm up at a meet, be sure to practice your finishes on the pad, with your body stretched out.

4. Plan Ahead for the Competitive Season

On the calendar, page two, you will see the list of SCM meets for the rest of the year. Set up a folder with these meets listed on the front cover. When you first get your registration card, make several copies to keep in your folder. Always add meet entries when they arrive in the FL newsletter, whether or not you think you will compete in that meet. A small calendar is helpful when checking dates. Use the same procedure for the SCY and LCM seasons. Write down the order of events for each meet, so you can select the best combination of events, especially if
you want quality performances. Several weeks before a meet, do special work for each of your events, like broken swims. For the 3000/6000 in Sept. or Oct. (sponsored by the Mavericks) and the Hour Swim, do extra distance work. This will give you the aerobic base needed on which to build for your individual events. The years I trained for the Hour Swim, even if I didn't swim it, I had my best performances. Setting goals are important for everyone, to enhance performance and meet the challenges ahead in 2000. This year, I aged up to 75, and my goal is to compete in as many SCM meets as possible, in order to achieve my best times. The Orlando Meet is our target meet this fall, and our goal is for the team to finish in the top 3. They have included the men's and women's 400 free and medley relays, and we will enter as many as possible. If you would like an excellent opportunity to place in the Top 10, this is your best bet. We will be glad to enter you in a relay.

Workouts getting boring? Looking for new ideas? Needing suggestions on training for meets, tapering, open water swimming or stroke improvement? Tell me how many yards you swim, how often, your 50 yd. times on each stroke and daily workout yardage per week. -Coach Paul Hutinger

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