FlowSwimmer Threw Down the Ironman Gauntlet

2020 has been unlike any other, especially for us swimmers locked out of pools. Early on, back in May, Mark Johnston of lovely Polson, Montana and founder of FlowSwimmers came up with the fantastic idea of the Open Water Virtual Grand Slam ... a four distance, four month long global event designed perfectly for the pandemic times in which we live ... Many swimmers were coming off months of pool closures, but starting to see their nearby lakes, seas and oceans warm up to the point where they were swimmable ... but what to do once we got there?? Due to physicial/social distancing requirements, many of us adult swimmers who were used to training with others had to learn to swim by ourselves ..

Training Table: Zippity-doo-dah Friday

I know that I need to build up both my speed and my 'endurance speed,' so I went over to LA Fitness this morning and did my Zipfizz 200s test set, which I last attempted in November of 2019. I was pretty much the same as then, so not unhappy with this. Warmup sets (1,750 yards) 1 x 400: IM, kick-drill by 25s 4 x 100: on 1:25, freestyle swim w/snorkel aiming to descend 4 x 100:on 1:50, IM kick, no board, descend 6 x 50: on 1:00, #1 and #6 are easy scull, #2 to #5 are strong IM order (was 0:35 fly, 0:37 back, 0:42 breast, 0:34 free) 8 x 25: odds fast IM order, evens easy 1 x 50: easy scull Main set - ZipFizz 200s (2,400 set) 5 x 200: on 2:30, make them My best ever performance was on a 2:20 i

Sunrise & seagulls

As the days get shorter, the sunrise here in the Great White North has reached an optimal point for a sunrise swim. I awoke at 5am, got myself (and my wife) sufficiently caffeinated, my dog fed and done with her "business," so that I could be standing on Centennial Beach on gorgeous Kempenfelt Bay a bit before 6am ... My intention was simple - swim about 3KM while enjoying the view, stopping to take photos (thanks to my Lifeproof case around an old iPhone) and making sure to capture the sunrise. I think I was highly successful ... ... especially with this particular seagull, who never budged from his/her perch and always seemed to be watching me whenever I passed him/her (which happened abo

Training Table: Testing, testing, 1, 2, 3

Over this past week, by availability (pools are open), by choice and by weather (thunderstorms), I spent more time swimming indoors in a pool than outdoors in a lake. As the COVID lockdowns has made it such a long time since I've trained frequently in a pool, I decided to update three of my favorite test sets: 3 x 300 - from Dave Salo for setting my base pace A special 400 IM test set that I developed years ago when I was the online "High Volume" coach for US Masters Swimming Dave Salo's 8 x 100 'pulse plot' test set On each day, I did a variant of my standard warmup routine, the longest of which is this 1,750 yard/meter set: 1 x 400: IM kick-drill by 25s 4 x 100: free w/snorkel, descend 4

Reality Returns: Racing and Raptors

It's been about 5 months, but this past Saturday night, August 1st, was the closest experience to the 'old reality' I've had since the COVID-19 pandemic and ensuing lockdowns began in earnest back in mid-March. Along with my family, I got to experience two events that brought me joy, engaged me with a community outside of the 'bubble' of our household, and reminded me of what life has the possibility of being - Swimming in a race Cheering on the Toronto Raptors Facebook gets a bad rap, but, when used as I do - as "Swim Book" - it's a great venue for keeping in touch with the global swimming community and getting tipped off to and connected with the local swimming scene. When I first arrived

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