Why You Should Give an ePostal a Try

Those of you who don’t participate in the USMS ePostal National Championships are missing out on excellent training opportunities, great annual conditioning benchmarks, and fun team-building events.  Here is a little background information for those of you who may not know much about these events.

There are 5 USMS ePostal National Championships each year.  They are:

  • USMS 1-Hour ePostal National Championship, swum in a pool 25-yards or longer
  • USMS 5K & 10K ePostal National Championships, swum in a 50-meter pool
  • USMS 3000 & 6000 ePostal National Championships, swum in a 25-yard or 25-meter pool

The 1-Hour ePostal National Championship runs from January 1st through February 28th.  The 5K and the 10K ePostal National Championships run simultaneously and must be swum between May 15th and September 15th. The 3000 and the 6000 ePostal National Championships also run simultaneously and must be swum between September 15th and November 15th.

The Oregon Club has a long history of performing well on the national level in these events but we have been sliding in the rankings the last few years.  We need you to come out and swim these events!!  Not only will you help continue the success of OregonMasters Swimming on the national level, but you will also reap the great training benefits of these events.  As someone who does all 5 of these events annually, I can personally speak to the benefits of using these events as training swims when strategically placed in your training schedule.

The 3000 and 6000 ePostal National Championships are open for entries right now!  Information and rules about the swim can be found here, along with registration once you have completed the swim:

BIG NEWS AND BIG MOTIVATION –a very generous donor on the Oregon Masters Swimming Board has agreed to pay 2020 USMS & Oregon club membership dues (a $64 value) to any Oregon Club swimmer who completes 3 or more ePostal National Championship swims in 2019.  Wow!  That’s great motivation to start planning now, which 3 ePostal swims you will be participating in.  The 1-hour, 3000 and 6000 can likely be done in your local training pool and possibly even during team practice if you can sort out a date with your coach.  Some teams take turns counting for each other in consecutive practices and that works well.

By far the hardest ePostal swims to complete, largely due to limited access to a 50-meter pool for most people, are the 5K and 10K ePostal.  But there is even more good news!!  The Oregon LMSC is aware of this issue of LCM pool availability and, the last few years, has provided opportunity for participation for all membership by renting the Amazon Pool in Eugene for 4 hours on a Saturday or Sunday afternoon at the end of May and charging a nominal fee (usually $20) for swimmers to participate.  This event has proven to be extremely successful.  As such, the Oregon Board agreed to fully subsidize rental of the Amazon Pool next year (2019) so there will be no cost for swimmers to swim their 5K or 10K ePostal!  The date will likely be May 25th or 26th, so be sure to keep that weekend free and get your name on the list early to reserve your spot.  An announcement will go out sometime after the rental agreement is finalized in late winter or early spring,and reservation preference is first-come-first-served, but priority will be given to those swimming a 10K over those attempting a 5K.

Lastly, I’d like to mention another unique and fun ePostal opportunity: the ePostal Two-Mile Relay.  I’ll echo what Long Distance Chair Bob Bruce wrote about it last month.  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 ePostal National Championships & cable swim 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.

This Two-Mile ePostal event is a great opportunity for a very fun practice for a sprint day and for working on starts.  Depending on the number of swimmers on a team (2, 3 or 4), the swim to rest time ratio will be about 1:1, 1:2, or 1:3; all excellent for sprint training.  Practice will almost certainly be more focused and intense than usual that day!  These relay swims will help our speedwork as we prepare for the short course meters meets later this fall.  And best of all, we get to have a lot of fun swimming with and cheering on our teammates!

So get signed up now and start planning for a great time, I think you’ll really enjoy the ePostals!

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