Long Distance Swimming – January 2019 1

This is your year to GO PRO!

What?  I—a mere member of Oregon Masters Swimming—can get paid to swim, like Michael Phelps, Katie Ledecky, and most of the other swimmers on our National Team?  I have good news for you…YES YOU CAN!

Here’s how to GO PRO!  Due to a generous offer from an enthusiastic Masters Swimming booster, OMS will pay your 2020 USMS registration, plus your 2020 OMS registration if you swim and enter three USMS Postal National Championship events in 2019.  Simple.  No other strings attached.

How are you going to make this work for you?  There are five USMS Postal National Championships.  They are, in chronological order, the One-Hour Swim (held in January & February), the 5-km & 10-km swims (held May 15 thru September 15), and the 3000-yard & 6000-yard swims (held September 15 thru November 15).  Swim them in your local pool (for the most part) and submit your entry online for a modest fee.  Again, simple.

Planning ahead to GO PRO!  Remember, you only have to swim & enter three (of five) of these swims…

  • Your first swim is the One-Hour Swim in January & February.  This swim can be done in any 25-yard or 25-meter pool (times from metric pools are converted to yards for comparison).  I strongly recommend that you start with this one!  Get your local team together to join you.  I have listed detailed info about this event below.
  • Your second & third opportunities are the 5-km and/or 10-km swims.  You must do these in a 50-meter pool, and we will be making arrangements at local long course facilities to make them available to you during the May 15 to September 15 window for doing these swims.
  • Your fourth & fifth chances are the 3000-yard and/or 6000-yard swims.  Like the One-Hour Swim, you may do these in any 25-yard or 25-meter pool (metric swims are again converted) between September 15 and November 15.

BONUS:  OMS offers a Postal Participation Challenge Award for completing & entering three (or more) USMS National Postal Championship swims in a calendar year.  Not only can you GO PRO, but you can also win this award!

BUT WAIT…THERE’S MORE:  USMS offers a Participation Award if you swim all five of the USMS National Championship swims.  By accepting the OMS GO PRO challenge, you are well on your way to qualify for this prestigious award, which only 60 USMS swimmers earned last year.  You just have to add two more postal championship swims.

THE GREATEST BONUS OF ALL:  Doing these postal swims will be the best thing for your heart that you do on the days that you swim them.  All OMS members—pool racers, open water swimmers, triathletes, and fitness swimmers—will benefit from doing them.  Start preparing to GO PRO!

 The First Step to GOING PRO: the One-Hour Swim

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 2000 swimmers across the nation swim it most years.  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?

Is a National Championship run feasible?  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 fifteen years.  But we’ve never won the One-Hour Swim Championships (we’ve been runners-up often).  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!  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 Benefit:  The best build-up for a successful spring and summer season is to develop your aerobic swimming capacity so that you can do your race training on a solid base, and the One-Hour Swim is one of the best tools to develop and measure your aerobic capacity.

Another Bonus Benefit:  Even if simply swim for your own fitness and never compete in pool races, open water races, or triathlons, this is still a wonderful fitness challenge for YOU.  Join your teammates, test your fitness, and have some fun!

And a Final Benefit:  The GO PRO CHALLENGE!  Swim and get paid.

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.

Coaches, we cannot do this without your active support and participation.  Think of the great benefits for every one of your team members!

Organizing Locally—the Key to Success:  The most powerful motivation for a big group effort is always local, with the folks that you swim with every day.  I urge one swimmer from each local team to step forward to help your coach coordinate this effort and rally the troops.  Coaches, get on board—this is a great team building opportunity including all of your swimmers!  Please work it out within your team structure, then tell me who you are (contact me at coachbobbruce@gmail.com).

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

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 event and the strategies listed above (not to mention the GO PRO challenge), and go for it this year!  You reap the same benefits!

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

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One thought on “Long Distance Swimming – January 2019

  • Peggy Whiter

    The Go Pro challenge is great opportunity to get me training again. It is verfy helpful that the hour swim can be done in Jan or Feb. I swam 500 meters on Monday and 600 yesterday (1/9/19). If I keep increasing 1 or 200 meters 3x a week I figure I can make the 1 hour at the end of Feb. I won’t try a 10K but maybe the 5K. And then the 3000 in the fall. Or if I don’t make the 5 K I’ll have to do the 6000 yards. Go Pro is a great incentive for me when I need it the most!!