Wednesday, January 4, 2012

Phelps in the early stages of respectable fitness.

Phelps & Bowman: The Last Push - by Craig Lord. Oct 24, 2011

The smile broadened on Bob Bowman's face as the question drew to a close: where are we in terms of Michael Phelps and his last Olympic campaign? The laughter followed the answer: "We are in the very early stages of regaining a respectable fitness level."

Respectable was a good word, apt and apt to make mortals groan ever so slightly. Bowman was talking the morning after watching Phelps win two races on day 1 of the world cup in Berlin last Saturday, including a 400m medley in a career best that challenged the 4min mark despite the obvious high count of mistimed turns (some too approaches short, some too long). That afternoon, Phelps would cruise to two more victories, over 200m medley and 200 backstroke, each hardly faultless but each confident and controlled reflections of a man who had reconnected with the will to do what it takes to be at his best. 

Back home two weeks ago, Phelps heard Bowman tell the squad in Baltimore that a 5km test set was the order of the day. 'You can do a 'fly set,' Bowman said to Phelps, who replied "I'll do the 5000'.

"He didn't get anywhere near his best effort but it was solid and he worked it really hard, did a good job, he got a lot out of it and it was the first time he took on a challenge like that since Beijing," Bowman told SwimNews. "We will just start adding things like that in. The better shape he's in the better he'll do that sort of thing." And the fitter and faster he will be come the moment of need.

In two of the three years since those eight gold medals rocketed Phelps to a uniquely lofty plinth in the sporting pantheon, it has been May before he has shown in any kind of international racing of note. Post-major and pre-Christmas season, Phelps was missing sessions, promoting his foundation, swim school, sponsors, and spending time doing some of the stuff he hadn't had a chance to do before.

Very different on the eve of Olympic year. "He's here actually competing in October which is good because that gets the mental switch turned," said Bowman. "He can train a lot better when he's doing meets. He's done a good job in training since Shanghai (he took a week out after world championships, in the main because US nationals stood in the way of a normal return home for any in China with domestic programmes to run) and he's having some good meets here so I'm hoping he can carry that through into another good training camp in Colorado."

Straight from Berlin? "Yes. Right now." That'll teach him. Through laughter and hold his hands in a fake grip, Bowman says: "While I've got him I wanna hold on to him."

So his commitment level, compared to 2009-10 - is there a distinct difference? "Oh, distinct, very distinct … being there but being invested in what's going on, being engaged in it, being willing to do what it takes to get back to where he can be competitive."

The next 18 days will be spent at altitude in Colorado before Phelps races in Minnesota. "He always comes out of it better," says Bowman. "Our goal when we go to altitude is to improve their aerobic fitness though we do other types of training. I think the other part of Colorado for us is just a complete focus on swimming - and there's nowhere to go and nothing to do, it's eat, sleep and swim. So I think that's probably the biggest benefit if you can just kinda clear your mind. I know it is for me. I love going there. My staff at home knows when I'm up there I call home maybe every other day and they leave me alone, so I don't have to be distracted."

When asked if he enjoyed being in Colorado, Phelps smiles and resets the question: "Do I enjoy it or do I think it benefits me? I definitely get benefits from going there. Being able to spend pretty much 24 hours a day just focussed on swimming. It's good. It fees a lot longer than 18 days sometimes but I know in the long run it'll be good for me. Hopefully I will only have two or three more trips in my career out there [to Colorado], so I'm counting."

He's a man ready to move on but his mission is solid and sound, his commitment beyond what he had been able to give of late. Said Phelps: "My training's going really well. A lot better than when you last saw me. Being able to come out with the times, there's a lot of positives." The times were "a lot better than what I've done in the past", the record confirming that October and what Phelps did in Berlin have not been seen in the same sentence for quite some time. 

"I'm just excited to be able to be taking steps in the right direction, being able to come back and race the IM last night, then  back up in the medley and back today," said Phelps on Sunday. " It's fun. This is the kind of stuff I like, being able to get out, race, be satisfied, be happy with what's going on. It's been a while since I felt like this." 

Was he look looking forward to his last Olympic campaign? "I'm excited. Taking the steps I have leading up to Moscow and then here [Berlin], it's probably as excited as I've been for the sport of swimming since leading up to Beijing. I'm just happy I'm able to get that feeling again and find that hunger. It took a while for me to find it but I'm glad its back and I'm looking forward to next year."

You can read much more about Bowman and Phelps, their journey and what one journey's end may mean for a new beginning in the next edition of the SwimNews Magazine.

New year, new post.

Okay guys 1st workout up here in a while and its a doozy of a set. Do it in three parts.

Part 1 - two days out. Warm up, then hit a 400 free as fast as possible. Go for a best time.

Part 2 - work out the average 200 pace for you swim. Then relax.

2days later
Warm up
1x300 with drill
8x50 dec pairs
2x150 drill/kick/swim x50
8x25 sprinting for 15m
1x200 easy
Main set
6x200 as
#1 - ave 200 from test +30 sec
#2 - at ave 200 from test
#3 - ave 200 from test +20 sec
#4 - at ave 200 from test
#5 - ave 200 from test +10 sec
#6 - at ave 200 from test

All done with under 60 sec rest
1x300 easy with drill

3x400 using the previous 6x200 as guides to neg split
1st 400 neg split as 200's #1 combined together
2nd 400 neg split as 200's #3&4 combined
3rd 400 neg split as 200's #5&6 combined
All done with under 60 sec rest

1x300 easy with drill

part 3 - forgive me

Thursday, February 17, 2011

Justin Bieber likes to swim - new wiki answers post

A new post on Wiki Answers, answers the long wondered question.

Does Justin Bieber like to swim. 

the answer is Yes, apparently

thanks for the info Wiki answers.

Wednesday, February 2, 2011

Thorpeedos off the starboard bow.

Interesting news from Austrailia can be found on

Ian Thorpe has confirmed he will come out of retirement and return to international swimming in a bid to compete at the 2012 London Olympics.
Thorpe, who walked away from elite swimming four years ago, made the announcement at a packed media conference in Sydney on Wednesday.
The 28-year-old revealed he reached his decision in September and has been training in eight different Sydney pools in a bid to keep his comeback a secret.
He says good friend Geoff Huegill's successful return to the pool at the Delhi Commonwealth Games and a visit to the Olympic venue in London reignited his passion for the sport.
"It hasn't been something that I have taken lightly in making a decision to return to competitive swimming but I actually made a decision in September," Thorpe said.
"When I made that decision I was flying over the Atlantic and I then went on to not being able to say anything because I was actually commentating for the BBC so it was sitting in my gut for a while."
"I was then taken to see the swimming venue for the London Olympics, it's an extraordinary venue and I could actually taste it ... and I haven't felt this way about swimming for a very long time."
"I didn't at any stage get back into the pool to get fit, I didn't get back in the pool for any other reason than to be back at the stage of being able to compete at an elite level."
"So when I initiated the training I promised myself first to train for three days without pulling the pin on it, then I said if I got through that I would give myself three weeks, and if I got through three weeks I'll go for three months then make a decision about this."
Thorpe, who collected nine Olympic medals including five gold, 11 World Championship gold medals and 10 Commonwealth golds before walking away from the sport, will be based in Abu Dhabi in a bid to avoid the glaring media spotlight in Australia.
Australian head coach Leigh Nugent, who has been coaching Thorpe via text message since September, will continue to oversee his training from Australia in conjunction with other unnamed international coaches.
Thorpe plans to target the 100m and 200m freestyle relays but would not rule out contesting the 100m and 200m individual events should he successfully qualify at the Olympic trials next March.
He also indicated he may continue swimming beyond the London Olympics.
"I never thought this would happen," Thorpe said.
"I never thought that I'd be swimming in a competitive way."
"I'm very glad that I am. I've spent four years away from the pool and I needed those four years."
"I'm back in and I am happy with what I am doing."
Australia's most successful Olympian dabbled in television presenting, fashion design and a wide range of business ventures over the last four years.
He now has 19 months to prepare for his third Olympic Games but must wait nine months before he can return to international competition.
Under FINA regulations, competitors must be registered for drug testing for at least nine months before returning to competitive swimming, meaning the Sydney sider must apply by May in order to contest the Olympic trials next March.

Ian Thorpe was one of my favorite all time swimmers, and it will be interesting to see what (if anything) he came come up with.

Thursday, January 20, 2011

US Masters swimmer breaks Six Masters World Records in One Race

Hey Guys, I just read this piece on Swimming World web site  for this and other stories on swimming chech out

Laura Val Breaks Six Masters World Records in One Race -- January 18, 2011

SAN FRANCISCO, California, January 18. LAURA Val wasted no time in setting new Masters world records in the 60-64 age group, bettering the marks in all the short course meters freestyle events in one race at the 1500 Meter Swim event at The Olympic Club.

Val, a regular on the Swimming World Magazine list of the top Masters swimmers of the year, is now 60 years old according to FINA rules that determine an athlete's age as of December 31. She ushered in the new age group with a 1500-meter freestyle race, setting world records with each intermediate split. She started with a 29.89 at the 50-meter mark, erasing the six-week-old 50 freestyle record of 30.01 set by Charlotte Davis.

At the 100-meter mark, another record fell, this time Davis' 1:06.58 from last December with a 1:05.16. At 200 meters, Val took down Conny Boer-Buys' 2:31.69 with a 2:24.19.

At the 400-meter mark, Val began crushing the records, this time erasing Barbara Dunbar's world record of 5:22.47 with a 5:02.65. The 800 freestyle record didn't stand a chance when Val reached that point in the race, with Val touching in 10:21.68, ahead of Dunbar's 10:58.58.

To top off the day, Val finished her 1500-meter swim with a blazing time of 19:38.63, taking down Dunbar's record of 20:46.82.

Val now owns the short course world records in all the freestyle events for the 55-59 and 60-64 age groups, as well as all the long course freestyle records in the 55-59 age group.

Women 60-64 1500 SC Meter Freestyle
Name Age Team Seed Finals
1 Val, Laura B 60 Tamalpais Aquati-38 20:00.00 19:38.63
29.89 1:05.16 (35.27) 1:44.35 (39.19) 2:24.19 (39.84)
3:04.03 (39.84) 3:43.74 (39.71) 4:23.40 (39.66) 5:02.65 (39.25)
5:42.50 (39.85) 6:22.34 (39.84) 7:01.92 (39.58) 7:41.50 (39.58)
8:21.75 (40.25) 9:01.62 (39.87) 9:41.84 (40.22) 10:21.68 (39.84)
11:01.81 (40.13) 11:42.02 (40.21) 12:21.83 (39.81) 13:01.82 (39.99)
13:42.09 (40.27) 14:21.93 (39.84) 15:02.32 (40.39) 15:42.12 (39.80)
16:22.05 (39.93) 17:02.12 (40.07) 17:41.88 (39.76) 18:21.22 (39.34)
19:00.23 (39.01) 19:38.63 (38.40)

So it looks like the challenge has been made. now its your turn