Long Distance Swimming – November 2019

Review: We had another splendid Oregon open water swimming season this summer!

Let’s recognize our season achievements and highlights:

  • We hosted 20 USMS-sanctioned swims at 7 venues this year—with an incredible variety in courses, distances, and events.
  • We hosted one USMS National Championship event: the Portland Bridge Swim was the Ultra-Marathon distance event this year. The field filled in a day, and the swimming was great with particularly strong results from Oregon-registered athletes.
  • 248 Oregon swimmers from 17 Oregon local teams (and a bunch of unattached & one-event swimmers) took part, totaling 783 splashes. COMA again led team participation by a wide margin with 49 swimmers having 262 splashes.
  • Visitors from other states joined us for 198 splashes at our events, most attracted by the Portland Bridge Swim championship and Elk Lake.
  • 35 Oregon swimmers swam in three or more venues. These swimmers qualified for the Oregon Open Water Swim Series.  COMA again led with 19 qualifiers.
  • Pat Allender and Chris Tujo swam at 6 venues this year. Lizzie Cheney swam in 15 of the 20 swims.
  • We jump-started USA-Swimming again in Oregon with 48 entrants joining us old fuds at the Foster Lake Cable Swims.
  • We had fun!

Congratulations to…

  • Our 9 USMS Individual National Champions;
  • Our 15 OMS Individual Association Champions from the 1500-meter swim at Applegate Lake;
  • Central Oregon Masters and OPEN Narwhals, the OMS Association Large and Small Team Open Water Champions respectively;
  • Jayette Pettit and Pat Allender, our Oregon Open Water Series Grand Champions;
  • Celeste Marokus, John Spence, and Eric Steinhauff, our Mike Morehouse Award honorees;
  • Those many other Oregonians who ventured afield to find special open water challenges this year (and there were some extraordinary accomplishments).

Thanks to…

  • Our race directors, host teams, and myriad volunteers, to whom we owe a great deal;
  • Our sponsors, who made our swims financially and logistically possible;
  • Everyone who participated!

To whet your appetite for next year, looks like we’ll have swims again at all seven venues on roughly comparable dates!  The 2020 tentative schedule is now posted on the Calendar on the OMS website at https://swimoregon.org/events/ and in this newsletter.


Fall Postal Swims:  Already in season!

As a coach, I always like to plan comprehensively, looking ahead to provide long-term benefits to my swimmers.  Here are three postal swims that you can use THIS FALL to help you prepare for future events, along with ways that I plan to use them to help my team.  And you can probably do them in your home pool!

  • USMS 3000 & 6000-yard Postal National Championships:  Enough about open water for now.  Another ePostal challenge awaits as we start our new school and swim training year!  Mid-September through mid-November is the season for USMS 3000-yard & 6000-yard ePostal National Championships.  These swims must be completed before or on November 15th.  These swims provide solid early season training swims, great conditioning benchmarks, fun team-building events, and are a must for aspiring distance swimmers.  Why not use these swims to jump start your 2020 training?

As the OMS Long Distance Chair and head cheerleader, I would like to see you participate and would love to see the Oregon Club reclaim national titles in both events.  Let’s not sit on our past record of success.  Find event & entry info at https://www.clubassistant.com/club/meet_information.cfm?c=1287, get your split sheet at http://www.usms.org/longdist/1hr_3000_6000_splits.pdf, and go to it!  Remember that you can swim these events in a 25-meter pool by doing a 3000 or 6000-meter swim and converting the time to yards; I know, I know, you gotta swim a bit further, but it allows those who only have access to 25-meter pools to participate.  Just do it!

These swims provide solid training swims, great conditioning benchmarks, fun team-building events, and are a must for aspiring distance swimmers.  I always like to start our training year in the fall with some aerobic work, because everyone—hear that, sprinters?—everyone, needs an aerobic base to progress.

And, if the previous paragraphs aren’t sufficient motivation, the GO PRO challenge is still in effect.  Due to a most generous offer from an unnamed enthusiastic Masters swim booster, OMS will pay your 2020 OMS registration if you swim and enter three USMS Postal National Championship swims in 2019.  Simple.  No other strings attached.  A few of us have already qualified, having completed the three events held so far.  Many others have done one or two already, so complete your remaining swims in your local pool (for the most part) and submit your entry online for a modest fee.  Again, simple.

  • Postal Two-Mile Relay (UNIQUE & LOCALLY-RUN):  This postal relay is done as a sequential relay (you know, the kind we do in swim meets) rather than the cumulative relays that we put together for postal & cable events.  This is hosted by our own Event Director Jim Teisher & the Tualatin Hills Barracudas, and done between October 1st and November 30th.  Swimmers—who must be USMS members and follow USMS & event rules—will swim as a two, three, or four-member team in strict rotation for 3600 yards (or 3600 meters, to be converted), approximately two miles.  Timers take splits each 100 (a special split sheet is available in event info: http://barracudas.org/postal-two-mile-relay).  After the swim, a team captain enters the team in the event.  See for details and entry.

I plan to run this relay event as a sprint practice a few times.  As all good coaches know, there’s nothing like swimming fast (and practicing dives!) during practice.  Depending on the number of swimmers on a team, the swim to rest time ratio will be about 1:2, 1:3, or 1:4, excellent for sprint training.  I’m willing to bet that practice will be more focused and intense than usual that day!  I think that these relay swims will help our speedwork as we prepare for the short course meters meets later this Fall.

  • Postal 400 Kick for Time:  Here’s a different and fun postal opportunity—it’s the 400 kick for time, which must be completed during the month of December.  It’s simple—just kick 400 yards/meters as fast as you can while someone takes splits for you, then enter the event.  The event is hosted by Marcia Benjamin of Marcia’s Enthusiastic Masters team in California.  Alas, information for this year’s event has not been posted yet, but I’ll post this on the OMS Calendar as soon as it’s out.

I have found this postal to be a great challenge by itself, and a strong training tool as you prepare for it.  I’ve done it for the past four years, and preparing for it really helped me ramp up my much-needed kicking performance.  Coaches know that you’re not in shape until your legs are in shape.

As always, the best thing about postal swims is that you can do them in your local 25-yard or 25-meter pool.  So no excuses—use these postals to help spark your training!

Good luck and good swimming!

Leave a comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *