Aug 112014

SwimClinicU.S. Masters Swimming is presenting a 3-hour stroke clinic at Rolling Hills Club in Novato on Sunday, October 5th. This clinic is open to USMS registered swimmers. Cost is $40 and will cover all 4-strokes. Swimmers are welcome to bring fins, snorkels and paddles (although they are not required). Come have a fun day learning some new things about each stroke. All levels of Masters swimmers are welcome!

Jan 132014

The first clinic of the year for Pacific Masters Swimming takes place in Albany on Saturday, February 15, 2014. At $25, this is such a bargain for a quality clinic. Come join me that day as I lead this clinic with Coach Stu Kahn (Davis Aquatic Masters). You’ll love it and you’ll really tune up your freestyle and backstroke! The flyer below has all the information. If you plan on attending let me know. You will need to register through Coach Carol Nip to attend the clinic.


Albany Masters Swim Clinic

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!


Mar 252013

Flyer Urban EscapeCome join me at Indian Valley College in Novato on Sunday, April 7th for a Freestyle / Open Water Clinic. The first hour will be dedicated to tuning up your freestyle stroke with some innovative drills. The second hour will be on open water skills such as drafting; pack swimming; breathing; rounding buoys; swimming straight, swimming in choppy water, etc. The clinic runs from 12:30-2:30. Cost is $25 for members of Urban Escape Fitness and $35 to non members. We have the entire 50m pool available to us and it is going to be fun!

Click the image to download the clinic flyer which has all the information you’ll need about the clinic and how to register. Hope you can join me!

Mar 232013

Available early April, cost $10 !

Congratulations to Swymnut Jane Mothersill for a great performance today. It was her first swim as a Swymnut Master! Jane swam with me in the USF March Madness Meet at Koret Hall in San Francisco. She swam four events in a row and looked very good (100 free 1:17.24, 6th; 50 fly 40.28, 3rd;, 100 breast 1:34.72, 2nd; and in 50 back 42.97, 1st!!). She had some very good times and her backstroke is beautiful!

I was happy with my five swims too (all done in a 3-hour swim meet format). Muffed one turn on my first event, the 100 Free, but the rest of the meet went very well for me. I even achieved a lifetime best in 100 backstroke after a dream start (a pretty rare occurrence for me).

It was wonderful to be competing again and back with friends. A big shout out to Erica Sutherland (UNAT), Kate Thorp (Marin Pirate),  Margaret de Somma (North Bay Aquatics) and Loleta Velosa (San Diego) who were strong and beautiful in the water. Another shout out to Alan Bernard (TAM) looking especially great in his 100 free and 100 fly and to some pretty speedy Mud Shark friends as well.

Also had the opportunity to connect up with coaches and swimmers that have been in some of our recent Pac Masters swim clinics and hearing about – and seeing – their progress today. Way to go to all the swimmers and their coaches!

Here is the link to the USF Meet results:

Next up is the Pac Masters Short Course Yards Champs April 5-6-7. Entries are due by Weds, March 27th at 11:59 p.m. Registration information here: I’ll be there Saturday swimming 5 events and possibly Friday for the 1650 free (schedule allowing). Can’t make it Sunday!

Mar 012013

Hey all you masters swimmers out there, come check out the brochure for the 2013 USMS High Performance Camp to be held August 24-29, 2013 in Greensboro, NC. Applications are being accepted now and closing date is May 24th. I’ll be coaching again there this year and am so excited to be doing this. We had an amazing time last year with our 20 campers and four coaches. We witnessed all kinds of stroke transformations take place last year. If you want to significantly improve your technique, you will most definitely benefit from this camp which is worth every penny!

The 2012 Campers & Coaches

The 2012 Campers & Coaches


Here is the 2013-HPC-Brochure.

Jul 162012

You don’t have to compete in swim meets and officially sanctioned open water swims to call yourself a masters swimmer. While I love competition, not everyone does. Did you know that it is fitness swimmers that make up the bulk of the near 60,000 members of U.S. Masters Swimming? Well Fitness Swimmers, stand up and take a bow!

With that in mind, this post is dedicated to the fitness swimmer. Give a big round of applause for those who come out to the pool (or open body of water) and swim on a regular basis to stay fit. It is one of the best forms of exercise and these fitness swimmers are impressive with their dedication.

If you don’t like competition, or just simply can’t fit it into your schedule, there are abundant opportunities to challenge yourself in a wide variety of ways. U.S. Masters Swimming has steadily grown their web segment on Fitness  Swimming throughout the years and they list a few of the postal swims/fitness challenges on their site. You can catch it here.

Many of the fitness challenges allow you to sign up online (generally a very nominal fee) and give you something for attempting or completing the challenge – sometimes a pin, a hat, a t-shirt, etc. Other fitness challenges are sometimes reserved for a club or specific to a region.

It is incredibly fun to try some of these challenges, some of which are zany, and some are more serious. Check some of these challenges out!

The February Fitness Challenge

In this challenge, you are rewarded for swimming at least 5 days each week in the month of February. There are special awards for those who amass 100,000 yards of swimming. Whoa, that is a lotta yards!

The S.W.I.M. Fitness Challenge

This swim “Streamlining Weigh Loss In Masters” was hosted by Illinois Masters. It was a 10-week weight loss challenge that started on Super Bowl Sunday.

The Independence Day Challenge

This was a challenge to swim an 800 I.M., time yourself in each 200, and send your results in on the USMS Discussion Forum.

The Brute Squad Swim

Ah, this is a toughie. Swim a 1650 free (or 1500m if long course), a 400 IM and a 200 Fly. Events can be swum in any order with as much rest between as desired. All three events must be swum in the same 24 hour day.

Davis Brute Squad

Now these guys really put the challenge on the Brute Squad Swim. (And, Davis, after all, was the originators of the Brute Squad.) In their version, you swim the 1650 Free, 400 IM and 200 Fly in any order and back-to-back. You submit your total time to complete the three events (rest time is included). The challenge is to try to keep the rest at minimum. If you are really a brute, you don’t take any rest at all!

The 12,000 Yards of Christmas

Trying to get ride of those holiday calories? Look no further than this 12,000 yard challenge! The goal is to swim 12,000 yards in one week, the week between December 24th and Jan 1st. Sweet! Eat the sweets, do the sets, and perhaps you can meet your quest to burn those calories off.  Of course, better yet, don’t eat the sweets and still do the 12,000 yards and you come out ahead. 🙂

The TAM 1650 Postal Challenge

Swim 1650 yards in the month of January or February, have someone catch your splits each 50, and that’s all ya gotta do for this Fitness Challenge which is hosted each year by the Tamalpais Masters in San Rafael, CA.

The Turducken Workout

A turducken is a turkey that is stuffed with a duck, which in turn has been stuffed with a chicken. Uhm…Yuck? It helps to enjoy IM if you are going to do this set which involves

4 x 350 @ :30-:40 rest interval

1st 350=100 FL/50 BK/50 BR/50 BK/100 FL

2nd 350=100 BK/50 BR/50 FR/50 BR/100 BK

3rd 350=100 BR/50 FR/50 FL/50 FR/100 BR

4th 350=100 FR/50 FL/50 BK/50 FL/100 FR

On each round do the middle 50 at 200 IM pace; the 50 before it as build and the 50 after it as recovery, and the turkey 100s at the front and back at basic aerobic pace.

 The Butternuts

Now, these guys are nuts. This is a club for anyone who can swim 500 yards of butterfly without stopping. Yikes!

The Check Off Challenge

Our Swymnuts will recognize this as we did this one here in our first year. Basically, you swim every event in a short course yards meet + an open water swim. You can do this in practice or by attending meets and “checking off” the events you swim. For the ultimate challenge do it all in one workout. For the ultra challenge, do it straight, with no rest between sets.

July Swim For Distance Month

Hosted by the Dallas Aquatic Masters, this one involves swimming as much yardage as you can in the month of July. Walnut Creek also has a version of this that they do in March and they title theirs, March Madness. I know a few swimmers who have gone over 300,000 yards. O-M-G!

Those are just a few of the challenges I found while poking around the USMS Discussion Forums. If you know of more, let me know! If you’ve got an idea for a challenge we might undertake as Sywmnuts, let’s hear it. After all, we are NUTS, right?

Apr 022012

If you know of open water competitions that you would like posted here, please let us know and we will be happy to add this to our listing. It helps if you can provide the link to the event. Unless otherwise noted, the majority of the swims listed here are in the Pac Masters region of Northern California, with a few others in Arizona.

  • Open Water Swim April 7th at Tempe Lake in Tempe, AZ. They offer a 1000, 2000 or 4000 meter option. See the AZ LMSC website for details.
  • Open Water Swim May 19th at Spring Lake in Santa Rosa, CA. A 1-mile swim. Event info here.
  • Open Water 101 Clinic put on my Pac Masters on May 20th. This will be held at the Shadow Cliffs Regional Park in Pleasanton, CA. Event info here.
  • Open Water Swim June 2nd at Lake Berryessa. This is a BIG open water swim, attracting hundreds of masters swimmers. The water can be cold and rough and this swim is not recommend for first time open water swimmers unless they are strong. They offer a 1-mile and 2-mile and USA swimmers also have a division. Event info here. This swim is hosted by Davis Aquatic Masters. You can also keep an eye on their website for information on this swim.
  • Open Water 5K & 10K Swims June 9th at Lake Del Valle. The first Pac Masters regional offering of both a 5K and 10K swim in a lake with very comfortable water temps. Event info here.
  • Open Water .75K and 2.5K Swim June 10th also at Lake Del Valle. Event info here.
  • Open Water Swim June 30th at Russian River, a 1-mile swim. Not yet linked on the Pac Masters website.
  • Open Water TransTahoe Relay on July 21st at beautiful Lake Tahoe. Event info here.
  • The 39th annual Cruz Roughwater OW in Santa Cruz on July 28th. This is a 1-mile swim around the Santa Cruz wharf. Not yet linked on the Pac Masters website.
  • The Cruz Cruise OW swim in Santa Cruz on July 29th. This is a 2-mile held at the cove in front of Cowell beach. Not yet linked on the Pac Masters website.
  • Donner Lake OW swim on August 4th, a 2.7 mile swim. Not yet linked on the Pac Masters website. Keep an eye out on the website of the sponsor, Sierra Nevada Masters.
  • Hot August Chill OW swim also at Donner Lake, on August 19th. Not yet linked on the Pac Masters website.
  • Open Water Swim August 25th at Lake Pleasant (near Coach Cokie’s house!). They offer a 1000, 2000, 4000 meter options (or they say you can combine them all and swim a whopping 7000 meter day). See the AZ LMSC website for details.
  • Open Water Swim September 9th at Whiskeytown Lake (1 and 2-mile offerings along with USA Division). Gorgeous venue and well run event. Not yet linked on the Pac Masters website.
  • Open Water 2×1 Relay September 15th hosted by Manatee Masters. To be held at Lake del Valle in Livermore. Not yet linked on the Pac Masters website, but info is available on the host team’s website, Manatee Masters. In this event, two people each swim 1-mile in a relay format.
  • Open Water Swim on September 23rd off of Pt. Richmond, the Keller Cove Swim. Not yet linked on the Pac Masters website.
  • The Swim Across America foundation has their annual SF Bay swim on September 29th. This is about a 1.5 mile swim from Alcatraz (a boat drop start into the Bay) to Crissy Field. See the Swim Across America site for details.
  • Final Open Water Swim of the season for the Arizona crowd. This is held at Saguaro Lake on October 13th. They offer a 1000, 2000, 4000 meter options (or they say you can combine them all and swim a whopping 7000 meter day). See the AZ LMSC website for details. Saguaro Lake is in the Tonto National Forest, 20 minutes from Mesa, AZ.
Apr 022012

The 2012 Short Course Yards (SCY) season runs Jan thru May. The Long Course Meters (LCM) season runs May-August. The Short Course Meters (SCM) season runs August through December. The Open Water season runs roughly April through October. (See the separate link for the 2012 OWS Competition Schedule.)

  • January 2012. One Hour Postal (can be done at any 25 yard pool), must complete by the end of January 2012.
  • Jan 21, 2012. The Olympic Club 1500 SCM Swim Meet. Consists of the 1500 SCM only. Indoors. 
  • Jan 22, 2012. Fog City Quadrathon at St Ignatius High in SF. Indoors. Consists of the 50, 100, 200, 500 Free. 
  • February 11, 2012. USF Valentine’s Affair SCY Meet (50s, 100s and a 200 Mixed Medley Relay). Great meet – indoors! 
  • March 4, 2012. Strawberry Canyon Invitational at UC Berkeley meet. Some 50s, 100s and 200s along with 500 free. Outdoor meet, often chilly! 
  • March 10, 2012. The Bay Area Senior Games at Stanford. Open to swimmers 50+. 
  • March 30 through April 1st, Pac Masters SCY Champs. 
  • April 26-29, 2012 USMS Spring National Champs (SCY) in Greensboro, NC.
  • USMS 2012 Check Off Challenge:   This is a “postal” event or meet event. Swimmers are challenged to swim all 18 events offered in a SCY meet throughout the year at swim meets or at workouts. Two variations of how to tackle that can be found in Cokie’s Dropbox of Swymnut Workouts.
  • FINA World Masters Championships (LCM) held June 10th-17th in Riccione, Italy. The Masters World Champs are held every other year. The 2014 offering will be Montreal, Canada.
  • July 5-8, USMS National LCM Champs in Omaha, NB. With Olympic Trials occurring the week before, it is expected that this will be a large Nationals.
  • SCM Meet September 23rd in Mountain View. Not yet linked on the Pac Masters website.
  • SCM Meet Oct 7th at UC Davis – a pentathlon (50s each stroke, 100 IM and a relay opportunity). Not yet linked on the Pac Masters website.
  • Pac Masters SCM Championships, Oct 12-14 in Walnut Creek. Not yet linked on the Pac Masters website.
  • SCY Meet Dec 1st in Reno. Tiny meet with low attendance. Not yet linked on the Pac Masters website.
  • Southern Pacific Masters Swimming SCM Championships in Long Beach. A very large and popular meet (sometimes as high as 900 masters swimmers). Generallly held the first weekend in December at the Belmont Plaza. Not yet linked on the Southern Pacific Masters Swimming website: