|Tip of the Month - 2000
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. Training for the Non-Competitive
The competitive swimmer has meets as a motivation to train regularly,
but what about the fitness swimmer? To establish the positive addiction
to training and have meaningful goals, several programs are available. The
Swim-To-Key West Challenge recognizes, rewards and encourages your regular
participation in swimming, without regard to speed, and is completely non-competitive.
A log is provided to record your swimming yards, in 1/4 mi. increments.
You will receive a cool t-shirt when you finish 200 miles, in your pool.
The February Fitness Challenge is a National event, to promote fitness by
encouraging participants to swim, regularly, and to track yards or days,
in one month. All participants receive an achievement certificate, and
2. Swim Step Test
everyone who swims every day in Feb., will receive an award. There are three
National Postal events, throughout the year. You swim these events in your
own pool, with a timer to record your splits. Think of them as a benefit
of motivation and a challenge, to evaluate your personal skills and training,
and as competition against yourself. If you wish, you could participate,
without sending in your entry. In January, it's the Hour Swim. As the name
implies, you swim for one
hour, at a pace that you use in your regular training. From May 15-Sept.
30, you can swim the 5K/10K in a 50 meter pool and in Sept. and Oct., 3000/6000
Yards in a 25 yard pool. As these names imply, you swim for time. You can
either swim the entire distance without stopping, or
you can break it up into more user friendly distances that you can handle--100's>500's.
Entry fees are required, with awards for top achievers, and t-shirts are
optional. More details are available in SWIM Magazine, with some entries.
Packets are available from me; no cost, but include a SASE.
Part of your training for good performances should include a Swim Step
Test, once a week. You must train at race pace, to achieve your best performances.
Write down the following Swim Step Test, increasing your rest intervals
for each of the three sets, for your own training speed. Put it in a plastic
bag and keep it in your swim bag. At first, use your "perceived effort"
for training effort. Doing this over several weeks will give you good information
on what you can tolerate. Count
your heart beat for six seconds and add a zero. This will give you your
heart rate (HR) for a minute, which is an accurate measure of your effort.
1. Warm up--200-400 yds
2. 10 x 100 back (or your best stroke) with fins
a. 3 x 100 @ 2:00/ time of 1:15-HR at end of set-130-EZ 100 swim
b. 3 x 100 @ 3:00/ time of 1:10-HR at end of set-150-EZ 100 swim
c. 3 x 100 @ 4:00/ time of 1:07-HR at end of set-160-EZ 100 swim
d. 1 x 100-all out/time of 1:03-HR at end-170-----EZ 200-400 yds
This type of serious training helped me set three world short course
meters backstroke records in 1995 as a 70 yr old. My 50 m back, 35.7 and
100 m back,1:21.7 record times still stand. Now, I use fins for much of
my training to take the strain off my shoulders, that have been
damaged by several crashes while bike racing. Use your new log to keep a
record of dates and times on your Swim Step Tests, and refer to them as
you progress in your training. This will add interest and motivation in
This silent disease causes your bones to become thin and weak, leading
to broken bones. What has this to do with swimming? What has this to do
with younger Masters swimmers? Exercise which puts stress on your bones
reduces the risk. There is a pervasive myth that swimming isn't recommended,
because it isn't weight bearing. This isn't true for Masters swimmers. Pushoffs
against the pressure and resistance of water is equal to one vertical jump,
especially when you push off to the flags. A 2000 yd workout could give
you 80 horizontal 5 yd jumps. The force of your arms sculling and stroking,
especially in sprints, is a positive force on the arms stimulating the body's
mechanism for keeping bones at maximum strength. Adding some type of resistance
training, such as weights, will provide extra benefits. The research on
the negative aspects of swimming and bone density, used easy recreational
swimming, with less effort and short pushoffs off the wall. Swimmers under
40 may be susceptible, as youth is no guarantee of protection. A healthy
diet, high in calcium, in the formative years builds the formation for healthy
bones. Women over 65 are at most risk, especially with a thin bony frame.
Even men, compared 1 to 4 to women, are susceptible. Doctors recommend 1000-1500
mg of calcium and 400 IU of Vitamin D, good nutrition, fruits and vegetables,
no smoking and alcohol limited to no more than two drinks per day. Any broken
bone as an adult from a minor fall is a warning of a risk of
4. Goal Setting
osteoporosis. If you are inactive, underweight, have a family history of
osteoporosis, hyperthyroid, check with your doctor about a body density
test. A simple x-ray is not adequate.
Plan for the your next season, 25 yds or 25 meters, by setting goals.
Do a critique of your past season to get ideas for this season. Can you
improve you pace for your best event? My 100 m back at the Munich World
Meet, was 44 on my 1st 50, and 46 for the 2nd 50, for a final time of
5. Check Off List
1:30. These were good splits, but I need to pick up the pace. My best time
last year was 1:26.4, and one of my goals is to break the world record,
of 1:24.2 for the SCM 100 back. Last year, a well-known Masters coach stated,
"The referee does not have to watch the over 70 age group
backstrokers for going past the 15 yd mark underwater; they aren't capable
of holding their breath that long." My challenge--to prove him wrong.
Tullman, 63, plans to work on her pace for the 400 free; as with most swimmers,
her 3rd 100 is too slow. Kurtzman, 74, ages up next
year, and plans to get in shape to set the 200 fly world record. Currently,
he holds world records in the 200 LCM fly from 1991, and the 100 m fly from
1996. Everhart, 54, the newest Maverick, swam a 31.3 for his 50 m free at
LCM Nats, and plans to drop three sec. by next year. He's also working on
dropping two more sec. on his 50 back. These examples, should help trigger
ideas for your personal goals, be it for the competitive season--faster
times, a new stroke, improving techniques, participating in a postal event,
first meet; the non-competitive season--being more consistent in workouts,
improving techniques, participating in Key West swim or Feb Fitness Challenge;
for everyone--swimming or timing for a postal swim, volunteering for a special
project. Whatever your abilities and aspirations, I hope you find a way
to expand your perspectives in life, as well as a Maverick. Let me know
how I can help you reach your goals.
Before you go to practice, think about accomplishing at least one specific
detail. The following list will help you get started. Add your own ideas
to become more creative in your workouts. Distance per stroke--Head down,
pull with long strokes, touch thigh at end of stroke. Work turns--streamline
off push offs past flags. One arm stroke drills for free and back strokes.
Concentrate on your best event: example--200 IM-do a set of 4 broken IM's
(4 x 50). Work on pace you need for each 50. Know your splits, especially
for your best events. Keep a log book and record them to work for in practice
Do extra transition turns for IM (fly to back; back to breast; etc) For
the hour swim, do a set of 20 x 100's at pace. Do this several times/week
until you do your swim in Jan. Mental preparation--think of your next meet
and events and prepare in
practice. Think positive thoughts about your key events. Think through in
your mind each stroke and turn for your favorite event. If you're a backstroker,
use the flags to count your strokes to the
wall. If your pool has no flags, make a marker with a chair, etc, 15 feet
from the wall. When you warm up at a meet, spend extra time working off
the flags for your turns and finish, so you will be on automatic and make
fewer mistakes for your race.
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
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