Long Distance Swimming – January 2020 2


The One-Hour Swim

What is the One-Hour Swim?  This event answers the basic question: 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?  Only if EVERYONE swims.  Simple.

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; the One-Hour Swim is one of the best tools to develop and measure your aerobic capacity.  Use the One-Hour Swim to jump-start your training!

Another Bonus Benefit:  Even if you simply swim for your own fitness and never compete in pool, open water races, or triathlons, this is still a wonderful fitness challenge for YOU (frankly, a better fitness challenge than the 1/2-hour fitness swim).  Join your teammates, test your fitness, and have some fun!

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!  The results are well worth the effort of setting up some group swims.

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 that can include 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 do a one-hour continuous swim as your practice for that day.  You can do it; 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 and go for it!  You reap the same great benefits!

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


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