Apr 092014

taper-timeYahoo! Swimmers are practically doing back flips because we have reached Taper Time. Beginning Sunday, April 13th, we start the 3-week taper for the Nationals held May 1-4 in Santa Clara.

A taper can be anywhere from 2-3 weeks long. I start our taper 3 weeks out in concept more than in design. For those on the team, you will have received our Swymnut Taper Guide by email (if not, drop me an email). The Taper workouts are constructed to work for both those actually tapering and the rest of the team not heading to the meet. As we progress through the taper weeks, you’ll notice those on taper exiting the pool earlier than the rest of you. Dang, don’t you wish you were going to the meet now? Either way, our non meet goers will not be forgotten. We’ll take good care of all ya all!

The first week of taper keeps our yardage totals pretty close to our normal 1-hour practices where we usually see total yardage (including warm up and warm down) in the 2800-3200 range. In fact, the whole idea of a taper is to cut volume incrementally to about 60% of pre-taper values just before the big meet. The first week of taper is about sharpening our focus on race strategy and stroke technique. We have some longer rest periods in that week, but need to maintain our aerobic base. We begin to bring down yardage week two and reach that 60% mark in the third and final week.

We need to maintain intensity of training, which is why you see a lot of sprint work or speed work indicated. The good news is that we allow much more rest in our sprint sets. Intensity also comes in the form of focus, so there is a lot of emphasis on good push offs, quality stroke technique, race finishes, and lots of time to work starts and turns.

It is important to swim frequently the weeks before and during taper. While we do want you to listen to your body and rest it as needed, we also need you to maintain your feel for the water. Come to practice and we will work together to analyze what you need that day. Just stay in the water to maintain your connection to it!

Distance swimmers (doing 500 or more) can add a little more yardage to the taper workouts. Remember, the key is “what is your 60%” yardage value?

And don’t forget, this whole Masters Swimming is all about having fun and staying fit. Don’t take yourself too seriously! Don’t analyze things to death. Don’t worry. Go, enjoy, and swim the very best you can that day, that event. Relish in what you are able to do not in what you didn’t do. Your well being and happiness are not dependent on the outcome of your race, so don’t beat the crap out of yourself when you stumble in an event or even at an entire meet. Pick yourself up, dust yourself off, learn from your experience, and know that there will be many more swim meets down the road. It took me years to realize this and it is one of the most important lessons I’ve had to learn. Meets are now much more enjoyable than ever before and I hope they are for you as well!

Soreness often comes into play during taper. To understand why, check out this article from the Swim Sci folks:

Why am I Sore During Taper?

Mar 312014

Latest results listed here are from our Pacific Masters Champs this past weekend in Pleasanton. We took 14 swimmers who did 69 individual events and 6 relays. We ended up with 39 National Qualifying Times and 36 Team Records. We ranked 12th overall in a turnout of 69 teams. And, our women were super strong, ranking 10th of the 51 women’s teams. Bring on Nationals – we are ready!!

2014 All Meet Results

Mar 242014

We had quite a few Swymnuts do the One Hour Swim in January 2014 as part of the USMS National Postal Event. What this means is that a swimmer swims non stop for one hour, getting in as many laps (or yards) as they can. No fins, snorkel or  paddles allowed – just cap, goggles and a swim suit. Some elected to formally enter the event, others did not. No matter, all Swymnut participants received a medal from their coach for their participation!

The ladies scored 4th in the nation out of 144 teams in the small team category (1-9 swimmers) with 9 swimmers sending in their results. For the guys, only 2 of our guys entered, so in the same small team category with just 2 guys, they ended up 61st out of 105 teams. Awesome Swymnuts!

2014 USMS One Hour Postal

OHP Medal

Mar 242014

In 2013 the Swymnuts competed in two USMS Postal Events. What’s a postal event you might be asking? That is simply an event that you get to swim in your own team’s pool. No travel, nothing fancy, just you and a friend with a stopwatch. Check out how our team did in the “Brute Squad” in November and in the 400 Kick For Time in December.

Each participant received a medal purchased by the coach. She figures if you put yourself through this kind of pain, the least we can do is acknowledge with something special!

2013 KFT & Brute Squad


Feb 102014

Swymnuts showed up in force for the USF Short Course Yards meet held in the beautiful indoor Koret Hall on the campus of the University of San Francisco. We had 24 swimmers in 68 individual events and 5 relays. In those 68 swims, we had 19 swims qualify for the Short Course Yards Nationals (May 1-4 in Santa Clara). We also had 52 new team records set and a slew of personal bests or USMS lifetime best swims.

Race videos are up on our Swymnuts YouTube channel (you’ll need an invite to get in) and below are the meet results for just our team.

For the entire USF meet results, click here.

Upcoming meet opportunities that enable you to try for qualifying times for the USMS Nationals (May 1-4).

Entries for Nationals close on March 27th. Get your qualifying times at these meets:

  • Salinas Splash n’ Dash in Salinas, Saturday, Feb 22nd. Meet info here.
  • Cal Aquatic Meet at UC Berkeley on Sunday, March 9th. Meet info here.
  • Rinconada Meet (Palo Alto) on Saturday, March 15th. Meet info here.
  • A meet in Southern California (Simi Valley) on Sunday, March 23rd. Meet info here.

Pacific Masters Championships are held in Pleasanton this year and run March 28-29-30. Meet info here. Entries for Champs close March 19th at 11:59 p.m.

USMS Nationals Meet Information here. Entries for Nationals close at 11:59 p.m. March 27th.

2014 USF 020914 by Cokie Lepinski

Jan 262014

Swymnuts were outstanding at the Fog City Meet in San Francisco. At this meet they have just four events: 500 Free, 50, 100, 200 Free. But, what is cool about freestyle is that you can swim any event you want in a freestyle race. Many of us did that at this meet to prepare for the short course yard season. The absolute star of the meet had to be Marlon Woolf who took first in all three of his events – the 50, 100 and 200 free, setting lifetime bests and team records. Check out his times along with all the other Swymnuts. Congratulations to Kate Eby and Mimi Willard for their first swim meet as a Swymnut. It was great to cheer you on and watch you both race and swim so well. I took some videos and will see which ones I can upload to our team Facebook page.

2014 Fog City 012614

Jan 262014

Kate Eby traveled to San Francisco to swim in the meet hosted by the Olympic Club on 1-25-14. This meet consists of just one event, the grueling 1500m swim (short course meter pool). Kate did fantastic, holding very steady splits and coming out with a lifetime best Masters time, and team record, in her swim. While 29, in FINA rules for SCM and LCM meets, your age for those meets is how old you are at the end of the year (Dec 31st). So Kate bumped up into the 30-34 age group at this meet. Nice job Kate!

2014 TOC 1500 012514

Jan 202014

Beginning in February, we expand our workout opportunities! We will have workouts Tuesday through Friday both at 5:30-6:30 a.m. and 8:30-9:30 a.m., along with our usual Saturday workout of 7:00-8:30 a.m. Please note, there is no Weds workout on February 19th as I have a prior commitment with USMS.

I have created a new Calendar tab which you will find on the right hand side of the upper menu. I’ll keep this updated with any workout changes. Occasionally we won’t have a practice either because of a pool issue, a kids swim meet, or a Masters meet/event that Swymnuts are attending.

The team calendar also receives a feed from Pacific Masters swimming showing the various events (meets, open water swims, meetings) that take place in our region.


Jan 122014

Ok, you could just do these scuba drills, or you could join us a meet. Come on, you can do it!

I am so excited! The Short Course Yards Season is here! What’s that mean? It means the meets running from January through May are races held in 25 yard pools, the same that we practice in. And this year, we are blessed to have the Short Course Yards Nationals “in our own backyard” as they will be held in Santa Clara. I’m hoping to rally you Swymnuts to join me in some of these upcoming meets. It isn’t quite the same when you aren’t there!

The best place to find meet information is on the Pacific Masters website here. To get the meet information you see below, you can click on the Pac Masters link or on the highlighted link in each listing below. What you see below is just the short course yards meets from now through the Nationals. I will be at most, if not all of these meets.

January Meets

  • 25th, Saturday. Olympic Club (indoor) hosts a 1-event meet which consists of a 1500m free (short course meters pool)
  • 26th, Sunday. Fog City Meet at St. Ignatius High (indoor), a 4-event meet which consists of 500, 100, 200 and 50 free. Note, you can swim any event in freestyle events. For example, I plan to swim the 50 breast, 100 back and 200 IM.

February Meets

  • 9th, Sunday. USF Valentine’s Meet (indoor) consisting of 50s, 100s and a 200 Mixed Medley Relay! Held at USF’s Koret Hall.  A great meet.
  • 22nd, Saturday. Salinas Valley Meet (indoor) consisting of a mix of 50s, 100s and some 200s. In Salinas.
  • 23rd, Sunday. The City Mile (indoor) consisting of one event, the 1650 free. Held at the City College of San Francisco.

March Meets

  • 9th, Sunday. Cal Meet (UC Berkeley, outdoor), 50s, 100s, 200 Free, 200 IM & 500 Free along with two relays: 200 Medley Relay, 200 Free Relay. This would be a great tune up for Nationals!
  • 15th, Saturday. Rinconada Meet (Palo Alto, outdoor), a mix of 50s, 100s, 200s, a 400 IM and the only 1650 fly event in our region (nuts, pure nuts).
  • 15th & 16th, Sat & Sun, Clovis Meet “Swim For Change” a charity swim meet. Saturday’s event is a 1-hour swim (individual or combine in a relay) and Sunday’s events are more traditional competitive swim meet events.
  • 28th-30th, Fri-Sun, Pacific Masters Short Course Champs in Moraga (outdoor). Meet information not yet out. This meet consists of every event available at a short course yards meet: 50s, 100s and 200s in each stroke, the 100, 200 and 400 IM, the 500, 1000 and 1650 free, and all kinds of relays. You don’t have to come every day, but we’d love to have you come one day, even if just to help us out on relays!

April Meets

  • 5th, Saturday. Hawk Relays, Pleasanton. I think this is a first time meet consisting of relays only. Let’s do this! Meet information not yet out.

May Meets

  • 1-4, Thursday-Sunday, USMS Short Course Yards National Championships in Santa Clara (outdoor). A big meet with probably 1700-2100 swimmers. Lots and lots of fun no matter what level of swimmer you are. All swimmers may enter up to 3 events with or without making the qualifying times. If you can make qualifying times, you can enter up to 6 events total (and at least 3 would have to have qualifying times). For a list of qualifying times, click here. For the order of events over this 4-day meet, click here. For hotel information, click here.

Come on out and join us at these meets. You will have lots of laughs and a ton of fun with your teammates, guaranteed!