Chair - Debbie Morrin-NordlundHappy Laps, - Debbie
Time Saving Tips for the
by Doug Landau
Short of learning how to actually swim well and putting in the necessary training yardage, people frequently ask me for tips that will save them time at their next multi-sport event. It is not because I swim well. I do not. I am "aquadynamically challenged;" my legs sink like stones and I would wear "water wings" at my next race if allowed. However, I do race in a number of sprint triathlon and short duathlon events all over the country each year. Over the last 20 years, I have seen some terrific (and terrible) strategies at over 250 events, including the USAT Sprint Nationals. What follows is a list of some tips that may help save you time and have more fun at your next multisport event. I will leave swim technique advice to those for whom the lane dividers are not accelerants. If each of these half dozen sections saves you 30 seconds or more, you will have saved enough time to cook an egg and you will be much further along when you get on your bike, start your run or finish your open water swim.
1. "PUT A LID ON IT"
I have never being able to understand how the Olympic swimmers keep their goggles on when they dive in. At nearly every Sprint Triathlon Championship race, someone ADvertently kicks me in the face, hits me in the head and elbows me in the nose. These things are not fun. They do however help me wake up, focus and get Lance Armstrong-like "crash-denalin." But they smart. I do not think this is what the experienced swim coaches mean when they say to "swim smart." What's worse, is when your goggles get dislodged or knocked off altogether.
To avoid this, I now put my goggles on FIRST, under my swim cap. This way, even if I get "knocked upside the head," during the rotisserie start, I can recover, put my goggles back in place, and still see where I am going. If your goggles get knocked off, you may lose your way, your investment (especially those with the wonderful prescription lens goggles), and your "Time Window."
While we are on the topic of goggles, Time Window is an excellent little goggle accessory (who says swimmers can't "accessorize" ???) It helps me immensely in open water events as well as in the Masters swim practice. It is a small chronograph, the size of a pinky thimble, that attaches to your goggle lens, and it's on a leash in case you get whacked. You simply push it to start/stop and squeeze it to clear. In the pool, you can finish right on the interval without having to take your head out of the water, look up or struggle to see the wall clock. In open water events, if I know that I want to swim the mile in 30 minutes, and it's an out and back course, I know to start looking for the run at about 14 minutes. It also lets me know if I am on schedule or not without having to roll up the arm of my wetsuit, or worse, putting my watch on the outside of my arm such that I cannot take off the &@(#)$*&!~^* thing quickly ! The battery lasts about 6 months, and Harry Linden of Linden Systems (LindenSys@aol.com), the developer, is an accomplished West Coast masters swimmer.
2. "LEAKY WETSUITS SUCK"
Having shredded more wetsuits than I care to remember, know that the aquadynamics of even the best Quintana Roo, Orca or Blue Seventy are negated when your suit looks like swiss cheese ! Tears in the leg can be avoided by wearing socks when putting on your long legged wetsuit. This prevents catches from toenails and your race timing chip. Likewise, be careful with fingernails when hurredly pulling on neoprene arms and legs. To avoid upper extremity rips, take off watches, jewelry and heart rate wrist monitors, put on your wet suit, roll up the sleeves, and then put on your electronics. Be careful not to stretch without pulling the wet suit's legs all the way up. Holes in the area where the 4 seams meet in the crotch can be very embarrassing, let alone shocking in very cold water events.
If you do get a hole right before an event, you can try duct tape can work (on the inside and outside), rubber bands (the wide kind for small tears), and athletic tape. Be forewarned that temporary fixes can void some warranties the wetsuit manufacturers may have, though tears not along seam lines may not be covered. On the other hand, if you have traveled far, spent a bundle and have a lot riding on the outcome, the warranty may be the least of your worries. Patch the hole, swim as fast as you can and get the suit fixed after the event (and the suit has dried).
3. "YOU CAN'T SET A PR OR HAVE FUN IF YOU'RE HYPERVENTILATING OR HAVING A PANIC ATTACK"
One of the worst experiences I have had in a race was when I got into the cold water of the Long Island Sound without any warm up. The gun went off, my face hit the frigid waves, and suddenly I could not breathe. I was gasping and gagging, and then went wide and rolled over onto my back. I did not care about my time, I only wanted to not drown. My wife asked me, after the race, "Did you see that idiot getting in everyone's way, swimming the backstroke ?" I replied, "Yes. In fact, you're married to him !"
Strategies I have used when confronted by cold water include making sure I get a long warm up so my body will not be shocked. If the open water event does not permit any swimming between waves, simply kneel down and put your face in the water like you did when learning how to turn your head to breathe and blow bubbles as a child. I have also brought a first aid soft cold pack or bucket of ice water to put my face in so that I am not in hypothermic shock. In fact, there have been times when the water has felt comparatively "warm" compared to my frigid pre-race regimen. I also double cap to keep my head warm and body heat inside when the conditions call for it. It also enable me to accessorize by combining different color caps. Just make sure to wear the correct cap for your heat on the outside so that you do not find your name or number on the "DQ" list. If you have relay orr other teammates, or people watching the swim leg, the double capping along with decorating the outer cap, can give them a "heads up" as to when you are coming in to finish your swim, as you will be easier to spot amongst al the other bobbing unicolored swim caps. Waving or calling to your teammates will definitely slow down your time. Keep it simple: polka dots, stripes or patterns work best. If you get assigned to the black cap heat, use a white paint or stickers.
4. "THE FASTEST OPEN WATER SWIM TIMES ARE NOT ALWAYS TO THE FASTEST SWIMMER, BUT TO THE ONES WHO SWIM THE STRAIGHEST"
First, if you can see, you cannot swim straight, unless the race director paints lane lines on the bottom of the lake for you. So let's get this straight, work out your fogging "issues" before race day. Whether you use and anti-fog product, spit or some other remedy, make sure it works BEFORE THE DAY OF THE EVENT. Do not try new stuff on race day. It's a recipe for disaster. Also, bring an extra set of goggles, in case yours get broken or a friend forgets his pair. Be a hero. It does wonder for you self-esteem, which is an important component of swimming for those of us who lack technique, long distance aerobic fitness and kinesthetic sense.
As one who has gotten lost in lakes, oceans and on dry land, sighting to the finish line is no small concern. Just recently, I took most of the field with me on a wild goose chase by the Potomac River. Because it is sometimes hard to see the end point in an open water swim, because of the lack of signage, the sun being in your eyes or multiple, similar landmarks, you sometimes have to take matters into your own hands (or eyes). I have a florescent rain suit that is always in the back of my car for random tsunamis. I have hung it to the side of the swim finish that I want to "aim for" and it has helped me end with a strong, direct kick and on a "bee-line" to my bike. If you have friends, family or teammates watching, a large, brightly colored golf umbrella strategically placed near the swim finish can be a lifesaver. It sure beats trying to echo locate, which does not work, even if you are wearing an Orca wetsuit. Even if the race director had a bull horn or megaphone and a voice that's our nation's second line of defense communications.
Don't just stop at the shoreline. Decorate your bike rack. I have seen mylar balloons, teddy bears and coat hanger flags at championship and international races. There are few things worse for a triathlete than having a great swim only to get lost amongst hundreds or thousands of bikes. A great swim followed by a lousy T-1 can really put a hurt on your day. If you are not on and end or in an obvious location, do something to make your bike transition area stand out. A brightly colored towel, pinwheel taped to the rack or clothes hanging on the spectator partition nearby may all help you "sight" to your stuff. Take out the guess work and use some pre-race time to trace the steps you will take from the shoreline to your bicycle (or shoes, in an aquathon). It will save you lots of time and stress during the race.
5. "THE WRONG GOO CAN RUIN THE SHOE"
Putting wet feet into dry running or biking shoes presents all sorts of problems. Do you "towel off" and lose precious time ? Do you wrestle with shoes only to get your feet in over the tongue and at a blister producing angle ? Do you have time for a shoe horn and personal valet ? Velcro and single pull lacing systems help with issues of closure, but getting in in the first place is no easy feat. (Sorry, could not resist the pun !). While lubricants can help, petroleum jelly or other similar products are not a good idea for running shoes. (See, Landau, D., "The right goo for the shoe," Physician in Sports Medicine) The petroleum breaks down rubber and other similar shoe materials. Unless you have a limitless budget, you should keep Vaseline away from wetsuits, running shoes, etc. Surgeons found this out long ago, and use "surgi -lube." I have used K-Y jelly and liquid (as I have a problem with heat blisters) with good results. And, in addition to easing the feet into my shoes, reducing blistering and not adding significantly to the weight on my soles, it feels so good going in ! Other racers use corn starch, talc, Johnsons Baby Powder and other anti moisture and blistering products. Again, experiment BEFORE the day of the event. Even practice your transitions on an "off" day.
6. "RUNNING OUT OF WATER"
Multisport athletes talk all the time about "bonking," and not being abele to run efficiently right off the bike. Just as disconcerting is running immediately after swimming a mile or more. Some races have lengthy distances between the swim finish and the transition area. The recent qualifier for the GeezerJock (no, I am not making this up, I raced and qualified !) National Championships in Orlando even promised a separate split time for the run from the water's edge to the bike area ! In those cases, you may want a separate pair of light weight running shoes or aqua shoes to protect the feet from cuts, bone bruises, etc. You want to sight and run straight as soon as you get your goggles off. You may want to throw in some breast stroke as you near the end so that you can see better and stretch out your Achilles tendons by dorsiflexing your feet at the same time. Once out of the water with the goggles off, use the "trick" that many sprinters use. Since the arms are shorter than the legs, and can move back and forth faster, think "arms-arms-arms" as you begin your dash to the bike rack. Try to move your arms very fast - your legs will catch up, just as sprinters have found. Likewise, as you lose your "sea legs," lean forward slightly, not at the waist, but with the whole body, so that your body will naturally want to move forward. Just like many swimmers want to feel like they are swimming "downhill," many efficient runners want to feel like they are running "downhill," without excessive bounce, vertical displacement or deceleration. Also, since many events have beach areas after the swim, light, quick footsteps will keep you from "sinking" on dry land and enable you to get a fast, efficient transition time. With these half-dozen tips, you are sure to have a fast overall time, more fun and less aggravation at your next event. Good luck and see you at the races !
Doug Landau, the "Trial Lawyer Triathlete," (www.LandauLawShop.com) is a USAT Sprint and Olympic Distance Age Group All American, a three time winner of the Sport & Health Clubs Super Sprint Triathlon and the United States' only gold medalist at the 2005 quadrennial Maccabiah Games in Israel. While he does not coach (he finishes his swim with other racers' Bubbes !), he has successfully represented athletes who have been injured in accidents up and down the East Coast.
Douglas K. W. Landau
ABRAMS & LANDAU, Ltd.
797 Center Street,
at the corner of Station Street,
Herndon, Virginia 20190
(703-796-9555, fax: 703-796-9210)
A member of the bars of Florida, Connecticut, Virginia, New Jersey and the District of Columbia, and the Federal Circuit Courts, Doug Landau teaches and spends an awful lot of his time in the areas of: catastrophic personal injury, state workers compensation, Social Security Disability, occupational disease, product, airport and premises liability claims.
The Lazy Man's Guide to Changing a Tire
by Cheryl Wagner
T hanks to the numerous potholes, sharp objects, and piles of broken glass (otherwise known as "urban recycling") encountered on my daily bicycle commute, I have considerable experience changing tires. Like most people, I'm reluctant to interrupt my ride for such a boring task. So I've developed some shortcuts to save time and money. Essential items for my shortcut include a bike pump, patch kit and tire lever.
As soon as you realize you have a flat, observe where you think you got it for clues about what punctured the tire. Then inspect the outer edge of the tire looking for the offending sharp object (such as a shard of glass or tack). If you can locate it, remove it and note the location on the tire. Next without disengaging the brake or removing the wheel from the bike, attempt to pull out just the part of the innertube that has the puncture. Of course you will need to pull the tire away from the steel wheel "lip" at the place where you're patching the innertube, in order to get the innertube out. Pump some air into the innertube and listen closely for where air is escaping to confirm your guess about the puncture location. Once you know the site of the puncture, roughen the rubber innertube (with the patch kit sandpaper), apply some glue, and hold a patch over the puncture for 5 minutes. The glue needs 5 minutes to set. Then carefully place the section of innertube back inside the tire, place the tire bead inside the wheel "lip" and pump up the tire.
Voila - you are ready to roll and have avoided the greasy "chain" hands and blackened legs that often result from the traditional tire changing routine involving disengaging the brake (and wheel gear teeth for rear wheels) and removing the tire and innertube. And don't forget to wear a helmet when riding. It saved my life in a recent car crash.
PV 2005-2006 Relay All-Americans|
Potomac Valley 2007 USMS Short Course Championships
A wealthy man was having an affair. One night, his mistress confided that she was expecting a baby. Not wanting to ruin his marriage, he said he would pay her a large sum of money if she would go to Italy to secretly have the child. He would also provide child support until the child turned 18. She agreed, but asked how he would know when the baby was born. He told her to mail him a post card and write "Spaghetti" on the back. He would then arrange for child support payments to begin.|
One day, about 8 months later, he came home to his confused wife, who said, "Honey, you received a very strange post card today." The wife handed him the card and watched as her husband read the card, turned white and collapsed.
On the card was written: "Spaghetti, Spaghetti, Spaghetti. Two with meatballs, one without........Request bread."
Despite my advanced age, I got my doctor's permission to join a master swim club. I bent, twisted, gyrated, jumped up and down, and perspired for an hour. But, by the time I got my bathing suit on, the workout was over.
Germantown Masters Win Albatross Open |
by Tom Denes
Jim McDonnell Lake Swim May 28, 2007
by Gordon Gerson
The annual Jim McDonnell Lake Swims were held, as usual, on the Sunday of Memorial Day weekend in Lake Audubon in Reston, VA. This year, in addition to the usual 1-mile and 2-mile open events there was the USMS 1-Mile Open Water National Championship. This was the 20th year in which the swims have been held. They have grown in popularity every year with the 1-mile and 2-mile open events (Competitors may wear wetsuits or swim without them) filling to their capacity of 300 per event before the May 9th closeout date. This year 773 competitors participated in the three events, some in more than one, several in all three.
It was a beautiful day with the water a near-perfect 76 degrees. The first event, the one-mile open, went off at 7:30 AM. It was followed by the two-mile open and then the one-mile National Championship at 11 AM. Age group winners can be found via the Reston Masters Website at www.restonmasters.org/lakeswimresults07.html.
Medals were awarded to the first ten places in each age group in the Championship event. So many entrants went home with hardware.
The Jim McDonnell Lake Swims are named after a former teammate and one of the founders of the Reston Masters Swim Team. He died of non-Hodgkin's Lymphoma several years ago. The name of the event (formerly the Reston Two-Mile Lake Swim) was changed to honor him. At that time also, a portion of the proceeds of the event began being donated to the Lymphoma Foundation. Over $16,000 has been donated in just the past three years.
Among many others, PVMSC sponsors this event by returning $1000 of the OEVT funds which are donated to the Lymphoma Foundation.
Potomac River 7.5 Mile Swim
by Cheryl Wagner
Perfect weather greeted 28 swimmers as they began swimming 7.5 miles across the Potomac River. High winds and large swells appeared around 2PM causing 7 swimmers to be pulled for safety reasons. 21 swimmers completed the swim with Grant Johnston of Washington DC taking 1st place in 3 hr 23 min (no wetsuit). Sue Wilkinson-Megaw nearly completed a double crossing (15 miles) before being pulled for weather/safety reasons, after 9 hr 1 min. Swimmer, Thomas, Zak, completed a "virtual" Potomac Swim in his hometown pool in Shorewood, WI, since he was unable to attend for last minute personal reasons. Other local swimmers included: Jenny Spencer, Philip Schmidt, Anslie Stokes, Fife Hubbard, Katherine Lemos, John Stuhldreher, Tripp Bradd, Joe Stewart (founder of the swim), and Paul Contino. Maryland Senator Roy Dyson attended the post-swim celebration. Results
Chesapeake Bay Swim 6/10/07
by Cheryl Wagner
Swim for Life 6/16/07
by Cheryl Wagner
Terrapin Cup 7/1/07
by Cheryl Wagner
UM Masters 800/1500 LCM Meet 7/7/07
by Dave Diehl
The University of Maryland Masters annual 800/1500 meet was again held at the outdoor pool at the Martin Luther King (formerly White Oak) swim complex. The swimmers like that outdoor venue and the weather cooperated with sunny skies and mild temperatures. Our numbers were down a little from last year and we were able to finish early and get people home to enjoy the beautiful day. We had our usual group of Potomac Valley teams represented along with the Maryland and Virginia Masters clubs (plus a swimmer from New Jersey).
We had three meet records broken as follows:
25-29, Mollie Grover (TERR)
25-29, Jeff Strahota (TERR)
55-59, James Ryan (GSM)
A special thanks to Mary Lathram (DCM) who continues to compete at our meets. Mary is incredible (at 92) and the favorite of everyone.
Thanks to all of you who have supported this meet, not only this year but for many years. There were many familiar names and faces and we really appreciate the continued support. You are the reason we keep running this meet every year.
Ocean City 1 mile Captain Craig Swim 7/14
by Cheryl Wagner
Senior Olympics 7/20/07
DCRP LCM Meet 7/22
by Cheryl Wagner
Pennock Island 8.2 Mile Swim in Ketchikan, Alaska 8/12/07
by Cheryl Wagner
Five Orca whales greeted us at the finish of the 8.2 mile Pennock Island swim. Kirsten O'Loughlin and I (our two-person relay) breathed a sigh of relief that we were already out of the water. Then we looked in wonder at the diving and spraying family of whales. Promising a warm-up sauna, our boater took us to her home on Gravina Island (better known as the "bridge to nowhere" site) where we spotted a black bear cub in her front yard. That caused a scramble getting the dogs inside, who thought it would be great fun to play with the bear.
The Pennock Island swim was a wonderful experience both for its open water challenge and for the hospitality shown by the organizers and local people in Ketchikan, Alaska. The water was a chilly 58-60 degrees but the weather was perfect - sunny and in the high 60s. All 38 participants finished and winner, Bruckner Chase (a former Potomac Swim participant), completed the swim without a wetsuit, in 3 hr 1 min. There were a number of relay teams but also many solo swimmers who did impressive times. Proceeds benefit the American Diabetes Association. For more information see: www.alaskateamada.com
Colonies Zone LCM Meet, Aug 18-19, 07
by Cheryl Wagner
UM Masters 1000/1650 & 1500/800 meets cancelled
2007 New England LMSC Short Course Meters Championship and New England Masters Workout Group Challenge;
December 14-16, 2007 at Boston University Fitness and Recreation Center
Welcome to the New England LMSC Short Course Meters Championship E-News.
Meet information is published:
MEET RETURNS TO BOSTON UNIVERSITY FITREC CENTER
Beautiful state of the art facility on Commonwealth Avenue in Boston. The competition pool features ten racing lanes with additional area for continuous warm up and warm down, electronic timing and scoreboard. Water depth is 7 to 13.5 feet. There were 519 entrants in the 2006 meet, we hope for another well attended, fun and exciting event this year.
WHAT'S NEW THIS YEAR:
- Last year the 800 free on Friday evening filled up. This year the warm-up time for the 800 free has been moved to 4:30 p.m. to accommodate more swimmers.
- New event order
- Postmark deadline is earlier: Wednesday November 21. Late Entries may be posted after 11/21 with a $15 late fee. Receipt deadline for Late Entries is 12/8.
- Team awards: Awards will be given to the top ten scoring USMS clubs and to New England Masters workout groups by size divisions (more on this in subsequent Enews).
- Meet Entry Cap policy has been revised, please see meet web page
!!SOCIAL EVENT IN THE WORKS!!
Take your Warm Down out of the pool and join us for a Social Gathering (there will be Food! Drink!) following the Saturday events at the BU meet. Mark your calendars, Feel the Burn and Save the Date - immediately following events Saturday, December 15
Clay Britt Swim Clinics
Unofficial Minutes - PV LMSC Meeting - 7/1/07
Ray Novitske Alexandria Masters Swimming
Nancy Kirkendall DC Masters
Julie Oplinger Fairfax County Masters
Jeff Roddin Montgomery Ancient Mariners
Tim Timmons Patriot Masters Swim Team
Cheryl Wagner Terrapin Masters
Debbie Morrin-Nordlund Terrapin Masters
Eric Nordlund Terrapin Masters
Michael Lee Terrapin Masters
Next PVLMSC Meeting: after the Sprint Classic Meet on Oct 28.
Note from the Registrar - Save Some Trees!
USMS History & Archives
My Maryland USMS License Plate
2007 Open Water Events
Cancellation of 1000/1650 Meet
FBST Masters Swim Program |
BEST VALUE IN NORTHERN VIRGINIA!
8426 Old Mt. Vernon Road, Alexandria, VA 22309
Masters 1 - $25/month for once a week
Masters 2 - $50/month for more than once a week
We collect dues monthly so you are never over committed financially. www.fbswim.org
Deborah Brudvig Swim Art
Maryland Masters Swim Team Coach at UMBC
Team in Training Teams & Coaches Wanted
all photos - by Cheryl Wagner except:|
Doug Landau - Doug Landau
Jim McDonnell Swim - Gordon Gerson
Dottie Buchhagen - Dottie Buchhagen
Captain Craig Swim - David Lynch
Dave Diehl - Bill Fisher
Pennock Island - Bob Poor
Dave Parcell - Marcia Cleveland
2007 / 2008 Pool Event Calendar
Oct 13, 2007
Oct 28, 2007
Nov 10, 2007
Dec 1, 2007
Dec 7-9, 2007
Dec 14-16, 2007
Dec 31, 2007
Jan 12 or 19, 2008
Jan 27, 2008
Feb 9, 2008
Mar 29, 2008
Jun 18-22, 2008
Oct 21, 2007
Oct 21, 2007
Nov 3, 2007
Nov 3, 2007
Nov 10, 2007
Oct 19, 2008
May 31, 2008
June 8, 2008
Oct 6, 2007