Diana Smith's Web Dispatches
Backstrokers Then & Now
While it's widely recognized that comparing athletic achievements over time is a dicey affair involving too many variables, backstroker Jesse Stipek in Swimming World does a decent job of outlining how recent changes to dryland workouts, technique, nutrition, and recovery have all helped propel swimmers to better times. Compare today's regimens to those of the 1970s when John Naber swam with no cap, no goggles, and sported a moustache!
Thanks to coach Wade James of the Halifax Chronos Masters for the link.
Save Your Muscles
The old adage, “use it or lose it” just got a boost from Dr. Vonda Wright's research on muscle preservation for The Physician and Sports Medicine. Her study with 40 Masters recreational athletes not only confirmed that, in her words, “...we control 70% of how we age” but, combined with motor neuron research done by Dr. Charles Rice, also sheds new light on preventing motor unit decline. Bottom line: the more muscles we engage, the better we age :). Good news for swimmers I'd say.
Read all about it in Alex Hutchinson's piece for the Globe & Mail.
Science Behind the Flip
Are you gaining or losing ground on something that could impact up to 1/3 of your race time?
Open Your Shoulders
Some shoulder-opening yoga poses designed to counter the repetitive actions of swimming which can lead to muscle tightness. From Barbara Won, avid swimmer and yoga instructor in Santa Barbara California.
Pushing Past Pain
Meet season is upon us and one thing's for certain - racing hurts! How do you push past the pain and take it to the next level? Mary Wittenberg, president and chief executive of the New York Road Runners, is convinced that mental tenacity is the key factor separating elite competitors from mere mortals. Read on for some key performance tricks that champions use to maximize their mental efforts, before your next race.
Often aspired to, rarely achieved...some thoughtful words from Dave Samuelsohn, coach and founder of the Westchester Masters in Larchmont, New York.
50 Swim Workouts
Just came across this cool little website authored by Ruth Talman Kazez, artist, triathlete, swimmer - some interesting and helpful resources geared towards the novice adult athlete.
Here is her main "swimming" page: http://ruthkazez.com/swimming.html
Be sure to check out some of her aquatic art as well!
Check it out...new online magazine that describes itself as, "a cutting edge outlook on water sports and human achievements." Beautifully designed, relevant content, and international in focus (but you'll see Canadian content, and a few familiar faces!). Glad to see my favourite fins profiled in Swim Equipment Review. Enjoy.
AQUA PULSE MAGAZINE is a new
cutting edge outlook on water
sports and human achievements. It is a celebration of sports
culture, active people and healthy lifestyle in the aquatic world
Open Water 101
Great tips courtesy of swimmers Bonnie Adair and Clay Evans from Southern California Aquatic Masters.
As the article first appeared in Competitor magazine, here's a link to that as well - loads of good online resources for triathletes.
Swimming the Hellespont, 200 Years Later
"It is 200 years since the poet Lord Byron swam the Hellespont, commemorating the feat in a poem and setting off a mania for swimming throughout Europe. He said it was his proudest moment...Swimming gave Byron, lame as he was, some of the most exhilarating moments of his life. Only in swimming was he able to experience complete freedom of movement and freedom was a state he aspired to in all things..." http://www.bbc.co.uk/programmes/b00s8f1x
Unfortunately the above BBC radio broadcast is no longer available online. However, here is Becky Horsbrugh's account of how she attempts to cross this famous stretch of water during a commemorative swim held on the bicentennial of Byron's accomplishment.
Which of course brings me to my favourite swimming book, "Haunts of the Black Masseur: The Swimmer as Hero", written by Hellespont swimmer Charles Sprawson.
Train Your Brain
"Success in life is a matter not so much of talent as of concentration and perseverance." (C.W. Wendte)
Two excellent collections of sports psychology articles, for swimmers:
Do Swimmers Live Longer?
Exercise and fitness researcher Steven Blair looks at what swimming can do for us...and tries to explain all the variables.
*Note: This article is in PDF and you need Adobe Reader to open it. If you don't have this program, click on the following link to download a free copy: http://get.adobe.com/reader/
Work Those Turns
Check out the following drills to improve lung capacity on your turns. Because..."The easiest way to drop time during your race is to correct the
technique and improve efficiency at the wall." (Susan Ingraham, Masters of South Texas).
Exercise, Weight Loss & Appetite
If swimming makes you hungry, read on...
Swimming the Amazon
Slovenian distance swimmer Martin Strel takes on the Amazon and his own
demons in a new documentary that won the cinematography award at
Sundance this year.