Long Distance Swimming – September 2018

Review: What a great open water swimming season we had this summer!

Let’s recognize our season achievements and highlights:

  • We hosted 19 USMS-sanctioned swims at 7 venues this year, with an incredible variety in courses, distances, and events.
  • We hosted the first-ever-in-the-nation three-swim USMS open water national championship series, called “My Oregon Swimcation”, at three different venues in one week. Very hard to do, very satisfying to have done it!
  • 236 Oregon swimmers from 17 Oregon local teams (and some unattached swimmers) took part, totaling 825 splashes. COMA again led team participation by a wide margin with 56 swimmers having 295 splashes.
  • Visitors from other states joined us for 372 splashes at our events, most attracted by the three USMS open water national championship swims that we hosted.
  • 47 Oregon swimmers swam in three or more venues. These swimmers qualified for the Oregon Open Water Swim Series.  COMA again led with 21 qualifiers.
  • 1 Oregon swimmer (Todd Lantry) swam at all 7 venues this year. Amazing!
  • We had fun!

Congratulations to…

  • Our 17 USMS Individual National Champions
  • Our 34 USMS Relay National Champions from the 2-mile cable championships at Foster Lake
  • Our 17 OMS Individual Association Champions from the 1-mile cable swim at Foster Lake
  • Central Oregon Masters and OPEN Narwhals, the OMS Association Large and Small Team Open Water Champions respectively
  • Laura Schob, Mike Oxendine, and Pat Allender, our Oregon Open Water Series Grand Champions
  • Caryl Schiavon, Jessica Kieras, and Tom Landis, our deserving Mike Morehouse Award honorees
  • Those many other Oregonians who ventured afield to find special open water challenges this year (and there were some outstanding 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, it looks like we’ll have swims again at all seven venues on comparable dates!  And the Portland Bridge Swim will again be the USMS Ultra-Marathon Open Water National Championships.

Fall Postal Swims:  Coming soon!

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—always a coach—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 between September 15th and 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 training?

As the OMS Long Distance Chair, I would like to see you participate, and would love to see the Oregon Club reclaim our titles in both events.  Let’s not get complacent with our past record of success.  Find event & entry info at https://www.clubassistant.com/club/meet_information.cfm?c=1287&smid=10720, 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?—needs an aerobic base to progress.  And, of course, why not use these swims to jump start your training for 2019?

  • 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).  After the swim, a team captain enters the team in the event.  See www.tinyurl.com/2MileRelay 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 1:1, 1:2, or 1:3, 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 three years, and preparing for it really helped me ramp up my kicking performance.  Believe me, I need all the help I can get!  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!

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