2017 One Hour Swim 2

What is the One-Hour Swim?  This event resolves the basic question of how far can you swim in one hour.  It’s the first USMS postal swim each year, done only during the months of January & February.  It’s the largest stand-alone participation event on the USMS calendar, as more than 2500 swimmers across the nation swim it every year.  It’s the oldest of the USMS postal swims, started in 1977.  It’s not only a spirited competition, but also an excellent post-holiday, early-in-the-year fitness event suitable for EVERYONE.  I repeat: EVERYONE!  Did everyone hear me say EVERYONE?

Two changes in the One-Hour Swim for this year:

The time frame for swimming the event has doubled!  For 40 years, the swim had to be completed in January; now we have January and February to get this done.  Enjoy!

The USMS birthday rule for postals (and open water swims too) now lists your age on December 31 as your age for the year, just like the rules governing pool meets held in metric pools.  As a result, many of you will jump into a new age group for this swim.  Enjoy!

How have Oregon swimmers and the Oregon Club fared in the past?  Oregon Club swimmers have done very well recently, winning several individual titles and many relays.  But this is one of the few Overall (Extra-Large Team) club championships that we have never won before!  But our club history shows good involvement and placement in previous years, including a second place in the Large Team category last year.

Is a championship run feasible?  We’ve won loads of national postal championships in recent years, but never the One-Hour Swim.  What about it?  We have the pools.  We have the swimmers.  We have the experience.  Do we have the will?  Can we do it?  Of course…if we want!  We rallied to crush the rest of the nation when we hosted the Summer Pool Championships in 2008 and 2016, and we have dominated the other postal championships in the past ten years.  But I estimate that it will take 400 swims to win this thing.  That’s right, 400!  Sure, that’s way more than we’ve ever had before, but think big—that’s less than half of our club membership.  Together, we can do it…if we choose to do it!

Bonus thought:  The best build-up for a successful spring and summer season is to develop your aerobic swimming capacity early next year so that you can then do your race training on a solid base.  The One-Hour Swim is one of the best tools to develop and measure your aerobic capacity.  Use it that way!

Oregon Club Participation:  As OMS Long Distance Chair, I plan to send information packets to each team before Christmas.  These packets will include…

An information letter to Coaches, Team Reps, and One-Hour Swim Captains;

A copy of the event information;

Instructions on how to run a successful group postal swim;

Our current OMS One-Hour Swim Top Twelve; and

A large-print copy of the “Top Ten Reasons to Do the One-Hour Swim”, suitable for posting.

Ideally, I would like to see a swimmer from each local team with four swimmers or more to step forward to be Team Captain for this event and help your coach coordinate this effort and rally the troops.  Coaches, get on board—this is a great team building opportunity!  After all, the most powerful motivation and group effort is local.  Please work it out within your team structure, then tell me who you are (contact me at coachbob@bendbroadband.com).  This would be an enormous help!

But a one hour swim is so long…:  Balderdash!  No whining or flimsy excuses!  Your typical practice lasts for one hour, if not longer.  Just consider that single continuous swim lasting one hour as your practice for that day.

Note to swimmers from other clubs in Oregon:  If swimmers representing these clubs—the other clubs in our Oregon LMSC—are feeling a bit left out in this effort, please don’t be!  Commit to the strategies listed above, and go for it this year!

Good luck and good swimming in your One-Hour Swim!

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