ISHOF Fran Crippen SafeSwim 2011

On the weekend from Friday May 6 to Sunday May, 9, 2011 the International Swimming Hall of Fame hosted the Centennial Celebration of Fort Lauderdale’s Famous Beach and International Swimming & Diving Heritage. As part of the effort to promote safety in open water swimming, ISHOF and the Crippen family introduced the 1st Fran Crippen SafeSwim event in celebration of the late, great swimmer who passed away in a race in Dubai last October.

I drove up to Fort Lauderale on Saturday morning to take part in the 1 Mile Race. The course was setup as a straight one mile ocean swim both starting out of the water and finishing out of the water on the beach. One would think that after the Swim Miami only about a month ago I would have known better and learned how important of a role strategy and actually having a race plan is in open water swimming.

So let me tell you about the mistakes I made that Saturday morning. The one thing that was different from Swim Miami was the beach start and finish. The running start had me get all excited and made my racer instincts go crazy. Running in the ocean behind Olympian Peter Vanderkaay made me take a chance and after the first few dolphin dives I was swimming as hard as I could to keep up with Peter and the lead pack taking a right turn at the first turn buoy swimming towards the finish. It didn’t last long and even drafting off their feet wasn’t an option anymore…they had taken off. It should be obvious to anyone that a guy who swims about the same yardage a week as someone like Peter does in a single workout shouldn’t try to out swim that other person.

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Swim Miami 2011

This entry is part 19 of 18 in the series Race Club Diaries

Swim MiamiThe annual Swim Miami was held on April 9, 2011 in a new location at the Miami Yacht Club on Watson Island and Gary Sr, Richard and I were 3 of over 800 athletes to explore the waters that morning and enjoy one of South Florida’s premier open water swims.

The original Swim Miami began in 1989 by Jimmy Woodman, founder of, in conjunction with Florida Sports Magazine and continued successfully through 1998. In 2005, Miami Sports International, a subsidiary of Swim Gym Aquatics, led by four-year University of Florida swimmer Jonathan Strauss, restarted the event.

Miami Sports International helped to develop open-water swimming as an Olympic sport and now promote many other open water events.

Originally staged at the Miami Rowing Club in Key Biscayne, 2005 was also the year I participated for the first time in the Swim Miami while training in the Florida Keys with the Race Club. Swim Miami currently consists of four swims: a ten-kilometer swim, a four-kilometer swim, the traditional Miami Mile, and an eight hundred meter sprint race. Considering our current weekly training, all three of us decided to participate in the Miami Mile.

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Stats 2010

Swiss Finswimming Championships Brig 2010Another year came to a close and as the last two years, it’s time to share some statistics about 2010. You’ll notice that I wasn’t a poster child for training in 2010 and as I announced in last year’s post, my focus was on graduating, which I’m happy to say I did.

To sum 2010 up, I swam a “grand” total of 339.5km in only 79 swimming sessions and competed in only 2 meets which adds up to about 113 hours in the water. The two meets I decided to swim in 2010 were my club’s, Lancy Natation, annual home meet and Masters Nationals to make me “feel better about myself”.

Although I decided to try to make more finswimming practices in 2010 after some good results in 2009, it just didn’t fit in the plan neither. But even without being in race shape I did also compete in two finswimming meets in 2010. A one race showing at my finswimming club’s, Dauphins Genève, annual home meet and one day at Nationals.

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Meeting de Printemps

On Saturday April 24, I competed at the traditional Meeting de Printemps in Lancy. This is my club team’s home meet and always a lot of fun. The format of the meet is starts with a prelim session of 100’s in each stroke and a 200m IM final. Although at this time I’m not awfully training a lot there’s no way I could miss out on swimming in front of the home crowd.

I didn’t expect anything from this meet other than having a good time with my team. Well, this of course isn’t the full truth as you never compete just for the fun (at least I don’t). It always makes me furious when one of the other guys in my heat puts in a higher gear and overtakes me.

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Stats 2009

It’s again time to take a quick look back at the last year and bring up some statistics about 2009. In short, you’ll know what happened last year and what I look forward to in 2010. There are some things I can’t just share yet but you’ll have a pretty good idea what my plans for this year will look like.

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Tenerife Day Fifteen

This entry is part 15 of 17 in the series Training Camp Tenerife

This completes my daily bits from Tenerife. I’m sitting at the airport Tenerife North while I start writing this last entry. Today wasn’t our lucky day. Our flight got delayed by about an hour and a half and it looks like back home the ground personnel is on strike and there’s about a two our wait at the baggage reclaim.

I did finally get the videos from both of my flume channel swims and will try to post a short sample of me swimming fly later this week. Before leaving the hotel this morning I sat down with my coach and watch all of them again. I think we might have found something that will help me to improve a lot and enhance my swimming.

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Tenerife Day Fourteen

This entry is part 14 of 17 in the series Training Camp Tenerife

“Last” day in Tenerife … it was a busy one! Not only did we have two pool and one gym session on the program but I also planned to meet up with Cassandra and her family. Today also marked the day where I didn’t have to do  an additional set or some additional stroke work at the end of workout after almost two weeks. It almost felt weird finishing up with the team and just doing the regular workout.

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Tenerife Day Thirteen

Another day off as the facility was closed for a full day on January 1st, 2010. And of course again Happy New Year! We didn’t have any plans at all for this day off. Everyone was happy to sleep in and I wanted to get some work for school done. After a “late” breakfast I …

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Tenerife Day Twelve

Although this is the entry for December 31st, as I’m sitting here on the coach writing it’s already 2010, so Happy New Year! May the lanes be plenty and all the water good and fast!

After the morning workout we had another flume channel session on the program to be able to compare our swim with last week’s tapes. But first we had to earn to swim the channel as we had a 6x800m to go through. Well, at least workout went over quick this way and with all the easy and loosen swimming between and after the flume we did a total of 9300 meters this morning.

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Tenerife Day Eleven

Wednesday’s are Spa days. But first we had to go through 2 pool and one gym session. The weather is still nice but there’s a pretty chilly breeze coming in from the Atlantic Ocean. Morning workout wasn’t that hard but we did some “warm-up” for the main set of fast 50’s in the afternoon. I’m also starting to think about changing my main stroke to something other than fly … it might just be me but there are way too many fly sets in practice lately.

Our afternoon started with a max and power weight session. Later we followed up with some fast 50’s in the pool. We were working quite a lot on DPS (distance per stroke) on the fast swimming parts lately and I’m getting to a point where I’m able to hold good splits with a low stroke count. Together with the tweaks we were able to do after the first flume channel session my fly starts to feel well again.

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