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Tip of the Month - 2001

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. Train for Y Nats

Swimmers competing at the National Y Meet, in Sarasota, should begin preparing for your events. Practice meets include Sr or St Pete meets. Work specifically on each event in your training. The best way to improve your events is with broken swims and repeat swims at race speed, once a week. An example of repeat swims would be a set of 5 x 100 @ intervals of 5-10 min, with an easy 50 or 100 cool down after each repeat. The swims should be within several seconds of your best time. Broken swims are done in sets of 4 x 25 (100 yds), 4 x 50 (200 yds) or 5 x 100 (500 yds). If you are swimming 50's use sets of 15 yds and 25 yds at faster than race speed. Starts and turns are very important for the sprints. Once a week, do 5-10 of each stroke, for all your meet events. Sprint kicking will help improve your timing and neuromuscular enhancement. Do sets of kicks, such as 5 x 100, 10 x 50 and 20 x 25 at high speed, with sufficient rest. This will time in with your swimming for speed, rather than an easy 500 yds kick. Time your kick repeats, and work towards improvement. Use your swim log to include your training times and workouts. Write out each day's workout and plan ahead to include some of these ideas each week. If you can, come to a workout at North Shore Pool, St Pete, on Sundays
at 9:30 AM. I will help you with your strokes and specific training. In summary, plan ahead for the Y Nats with specific training for each of your events. Rehearse each of your events in your mind, to prepare mentally, as well as physically in the pool.

2. Video your strokes

Ever since we started our team, Nov. '96, one of my goals has been to video our swimmers' strokes, so they can see how they swim. Margie and I have been shopping for a camcorder with a 3 1/2 inch viewing screen. This would give us the capability to video any swimmer, so desiring it, and view their strokes immediately, to improve their stroke technique and performance.
We've all seen talented swimmers, but how many of us know what we look like when we swim? I plan to have a tape of correct techniques for all four strokes. You can then compare your strokes with theirs, to give you a visual concept of your swims, including your strengths and
weaknesses. I will give you stroke drills to work on for improvement in your weak areas. You can view your tape on your VCR. How will we accomplish this? Details are limited and I am considering several possibilities. We have access to the North Shore Pool on Sun from 9:30-12:30. I can work with about four swimmers most Sundays. Meets are another option. I'm working on a clinic for Sun City Center, in the fall. I would like feedback from you, if you are interested in pursuing any of these options. The cost of the camcorder is approximately $600-800. We have donations of $156 to offset the purchase. If you would like to contribute to this worthy cause, please send your check to the Hutingers, payable to the Florida Maverick Masters, Inc. We hope to make our purchase this summer. The Hutingers will purchase a digital camera. This enhances our ability to include team pictures not only in our newsletter, but the FL
LMSC newsletter and SWIM Magazine. We can also e-mail pictures to those having the capability to receive them.

3. Goals

This part of the season is an excellent time to do aerobic training (sets of 200's, 500's and 1000's) for the upcoming postal events and as a base for your regular events. September and October are the months to swim the 3000 and 6000 Yards Postal events. Bond and Zint have already swum theirs. You don't have to send us your entry, as in the past, BUT, we do need to know your exact time, so we can enter as many relays as possible. Good opportunity for a top ten time. Either schedule your swim at your favorite pool (you will need a reliable counter), or check with me when we will have a time set aside for a group swim at St Pete. You will need a reliable counter to write down your 50 splits. Entries were in SWIM Magazine, July/Aug issue.
January is the month for the One Hour Postal (friendly reminder.....sponsored by the Mavericks; more on page 5). All these events are National Championships. Set long term and short term swimming goals for the coming season. This is equally important for the competitive as well as the
non-competitive swimmers. Fitness and a healthy lifestyle are valuable goals for all of us.
Better organization for the competitors. In your FOLDER:

1. List dates of meets, indicating which are team meets (like Orlando).
2. Meet entries from LMSC newsletter and SWIM, just in case you decide to enter.
3. Extra copies of your registration card. One less last minute chore to find a copy machine.
4. Maps or directions to pools.
5. Favorite motels.

4. Challenge Yourself

Elite swimmers often do amazing things in practice. Although you may not be an elite swimmer, you can all think of a challenge, at your level of performance to use as a motivator.

John McCall, 50 set a world record in the 100 m fly, 1:01.95 at Orlando. On his 50th birthday, his workout was 50 x 100's. If that's too ambitious, how about 50's or 25's to match your age?

David Berkoff, Olympic backstroker, perfected the underwater kick on his starts and turns. So well, the 15 yd or m limit rule is now in effect. I watched a pre-Olympic training session at Clearwater, 1992, where he did 10 x 50 m underwater dolphin kicks, w/fins @ 45 sec, ave 35. How about a set of 10 x 25's, w/fins, on front or back, @ 1:00?

After a serious car accident, Margie Hutinger wasn't able to swim continuously for one hour. She worked on a set of 20 x 100's @ 3:00. She exceeded her goal and was able to swim over 2000 yds in one hour. The third year after her accident, she worked on a continuous swim, and succeeded, swimming 2345 yards.

A new Maverick, Tim Bodner, 38, has limited time to train, but wants to get back in shape for local meets. Although not a "distance swimmer," he is challenged by the Hour Swim, and is working on sets of 20 x 100's to build his aerobic base. Bob MacDonald, after seeing his video-tape at Coral Springs, knows that he needs to drop his head sooner and 'dive' his head and hands for a better streamline.

Jean Troy, is training for the Worlds in New Zealand, next March. Besides her 20 x 100's, she's also building her fly with 10 x 25's on 1:00, the last two being no breathers.

Neila Eliason and other fitness swimmers, set their sights on a "I Swam to Key West" t-shirt for completing 200 miles in the comfort of their own pool.

In summary, challenge yourself with performances in practice that seem difficult, but realistic. The end result is being satisfied with your unbelievable accomplishment, not only with your enhanced swim performance, but with an improved mental outlook. Many serendipities are possible with
your challenge.

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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