Tuesday, April 28, 2009

Mixing up your workouts for the Summer

Many swimmers have club teams that they can train with over the summer. While I do have the option of swimming with a club team this summer, I want to pursue other methods of working out. Some people like swimming year round, but some of us like to spice up our training by doing exercises out of the pool. This is crucial in keeping the love of the sport, by taking a break and hanging up the suit. Here are some activities you should look into if you want other options besides tedious swim practices:

1. Bicycling- This summer try taking your bicycle instead of your vehicle everywhere you go. This will keep you endurance will giving you some fresh air.

2. Boxing- I looked online and found various boxing clubs around my area. There are many more places than you would expect. Boxing sounds like fun, and it is going to keep me on the edge!

3. Gym Membership- This summer I am also joining a local gym by my house. I would like to focus on muscle strength. Initially, if you have the extra dough, I highly recommend investing in a personal trainer. They will show you the ropes of the gym, as well as advise your diet.

Hope this helps! Switching it up can be very refreshing and I urge you to try it.

Friday, April 17, 2009

Keeping in Swim-Shape on Vacation

We all need a break from our busy lives at some point. A trip to the beach or ski resort may be great for recovery; mentally and physically. Beware however, that getting out of shape is a common downside of taking vacations. Here are some steps to keeping your figure (and six pack) while on vacation:

  1. Drink Water- plenty of it! When you're not visiting the happy hour lounge you should be consuming H20 instead of high calorie beverages. Water doesn't have the added carbs and is great at keeping your metabolism boosted. It its chilled your body will burn an additional 60-70 calories that day in order to keep your body temperature where it needs to be. Drink water and your midsection will thank you later.

  2. Do sit ups, push ups, and body squats- if you are staying in a hotel or a guest bedroom, these exercises are excellent in keeping your muscles strong. Sit ups, push ups, and body squats are convenient because all you need is some clear space. They can be done anywhere, the beach or even in the depths of the amazon in a hut.

  3. Don't Super size it- Just because it is vacation time doesn't mean you should be overindulging every-single-meal. While going back for seconds is alright every now and them, stock to one portion of an evenly balanced meal.

Have fun on your vacation, remember to bring sunscreen and don't come home with fat as your souvenir.

Latex Caps vs. Silicon Caps

Many swimmers are faced with the dilemma of having to choose between wearing a latex cap or a silicon cap. Both have their downsides and benefits. Which is better?

Latex Caps

  • Cheap- $2

  • Many Variations- more designs, brands, and logos. (you can also customize your latex caps online.)

  • Average Life- 3-6 months
Silicon Caps

  • More Costly- $7-12

  • More convenient- Easier to put on because it is more flexible

  • Average life- 1-2 years
I prefer sill icon caps over latex. I have found that latex caps give me headaches and often pull out a few of my hairs. In the end it all just depends which kind you prefer.

Wednesday, April 8, 2009

the Art of Long Distance Swimming

Being able to swim long distance requires you to be in top-notch shape. At high school states, I came in second place in the 500 yard freestyle. This event is considered a long race (it is 20 lengths of the pool).

Yes, long distance swimming is painful and may seem boring. There were practices where I thought my goggles had a leak in them because they were full of water. But I later found out that my goggles were filled with my tears! (Yes swimming can be brutal). But in fact, it is extremely beneficial to your overall health and there are many life concepts long distance swimming can teach you.

Here are some pointers to get started on your path to swimming great lengths as well as a few of the benefits:

1. Gradually increase your yardage: Long distance races can be categorized as anything above 400 yards/meter races. If you are new to the swimming realm, up your practices by 300-500 yards a day. Once you are up to 5,000 yard practices you should be well on your way towards excellence.

2. Cross train: Want to build your endurance in a short amount of time? Hop on your bicycle and get wherever you need to go. This year for Christmas training, I rode my bicycle from my house to the pool for swim practice twice a day. I noticed a substantial increase in my leg strength in about 3 weeks.

3. Get plenty of Rest: In order for your body to make the changes you demand, it must get the proper rest. Aim for at least 8 hours of sleep every night (During season I would sleep about 10), you're going to need it!

Benefits: the benefits of pushing yourself to swim long distance are countless. You will gain a determination to succeed that can be carried with you for life. You will learn that your body can be pushed much farther than you ever thought possible. You will also be able to eat whatever, whenever and have zero repercussions.

Good luck, pound out those yards!

Tuesday, April 7, 2009

Swimmer of the Day- Amanda Beard

Name: Amanda Beard

Height: 5'8"

Born: October 29, 1981

Education: University of Arizona

Amanda Beard's achievements are numerous. Having gone to the Olympics four times, and winning seven medals, she certainly has caught the media's attention. Her swimming opened the doors for modeling and in 2007, Amanda Beard posed nude for Playboy. She has also modeled for various other magazines including Sports Illustrated and Maxim. When she is not seducing every man in the World by her piercing eyes she is a spokeswoman for 'Defenders of Wildlife'. Amanda also takes an active role in 'PETA' which is an anti-fur organization. In 2008 she joined the cast to become a correspondent for The Best Damn Sports Show Period. Talented, beautiful, and smart, she is the creme de la creme of female swimmers.

Monday, April 6, 2009

Swimming- the most demanding sport?

It can easily be argued that swimming is the hardest sport. Some of these reasons reveal why it is so demanding: the lack of oxygen the athlete has because his/her face is constantly in the water, how every part of the body is used during an event, and the energy needed to perform well (let alone a minimal 4 hours of swim training a day). While I believe swimming is indeed a demanding sport, I also know that other sports can be equally or possibly even more demanding. Wrestling, Cross Country, and Cliff Diving are among few of the sports that come to mind. What sport do you think is the most demanding?

Swimmer of the Day- Gary Hall Jr.

Name: Gary Hall Jr.

Height: 6',6"

Weight: 218

Born: September 26, 1974

Gary Hall Jr. has won four Olympic medals in 2000, and was at one point the worlds fastest 50 meter freestyler. He is definitely one of the most talented American swimmers. Not only did he do what most people could never even dream of, but he did it after being diagnosed with type 1 diabetes. During his training season he would need 10-12 insulin injections while closely monitoring everything he ate. He truly is a hero to the swimming community.