Author: Teresa Nelson

USAT Level II Triathlon Coach, Seattle Athletic Club Downtown

Inspirational Member Of The Month: Aditya Pande

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Aditya Pande came to Teresa Nelson and TN Multisports in December of 2015 being inspired by a local co-worker who we had helped complete Ironman Chattanooga. He wanted to do the same and quickly joined Seattle Athletic Club to work on his swimming.

At Aditya’s first lesson he was unable to make it from the wall to the flags (5 yards).  We called upon our super patient and technique driven instructor Nathan Palmer to help him out.  Aditya and Nathan met two to three times a week covering breathing techniques, floating, and eventually the full swim stroke. With learning anything new, he had good days and not so good days, but he stuck with it believing in his plan.

Aditya, also, was new to biking, having ridden a bike before, but still needed to learn clipping in and out, bike handling, and basic skills associated with riding on the road. He participated in our Lake Chelan bike camp in April, and several group rides throughout the year to conquer these skills. He learned to love riding!

Several months passed and although Aditya could swim we still had to conquer the swim in the lake and with a wetsuit.  Aditya began doing lessons in the open water, meeting with triathlon coaches Mark Webb and Dustin Gilbert, both avid SAC go-ers as well.  Although hesitant, he and Coach Teresa decided it was time to pull the plug and signed up for his first super-sprint triathlon at Lake Meridian.

Race day came and the gun went off for his 400-yard swim and panic set in.  He hung onto a kayak as several minutes passed. Nathan went to the race and with a little help from kayakers, they were able to encourage Aditya put his head down and get the swim done. He completed the three disciples of swim, bike and run in a little over 2 hours!

Three weeks later we decided to try another triathlon after a few more open water swims. His event was at Lake Stevens. This time, he finished the swim portion in half the time of his previous race and dropped 30 minutes off his previous race time. (Click here for the video)

Aditya refused to give up, showed up and made things happen day after day and week after week, for nearly a year!!!  You can learn a lot from this guy. You will continue to find Aditya in the pool perfecting his stroke, running to qualify for the Boston Marathon, and biking as he trains for his third major triathlon in California, the  Oceanside 70.3 in April 2017 which is quickly approaching!!!

Dustin, Mark, Nathan, Teresa and a team full of athletes were so excited to see Aditya achieve his goals. His commitment to the process is undeniably the reason for his success.  We are very proud of all Aditya has accomplished and wished him the best of luck as he continues to accomplish more and more!

 

 

Inspirational Member of the Month: Dustin Gilbert

Dustin Gilbert has been a member of the SAC and the TNM team for several years now. He started the sport doing Ironman events (1.2 mile swim/112 mile bike/26.2 mile run). After a few years of racing, including the Kona Ironman World Championships twice, he decided to take it one step further and do the Ultraman in Penticton, landing himself a 3rd place finish after the 3 day event, which consisted of the following:

  • Day 1- 6.2 mile swim and 93 mile bike
  • Day 2-171 mile bike
  • Day 3- 52.4 mile run (double marathon)

Dustin’s favorite part was the swim, which he exited the water in a time of 2:51.35 and in second place.  “The water was super clear, perfect temperature and glassy the whole way”.

His typical training week looked similar to this:

  • Monday – 45 min run
  • Tues. – Swim at SAC and weights
  • Wed – 2 hour bike and 1 hour run
  • Thurs. –  Swim at SAC and weights then a 30 min run
  • Fri. – 4 hour bike
  • Sat. – 2 hour run and long swim at the SAC or in the lake.
  • Sun – Off

The most challenging part of the 3 day event for Dustin was eating, (we all have that problem right?!)   “It was really hard to eat enough, before and after, especially on day two when you were left feeling really awful after two hard days of racing” stated Dustin.

Post-race Dustin had no trouble eating his favorite pizza!  He is excited to tackle this event next year and improve on his overall time and place.  For those looking to do an Ultraman some day, Dustin suggests “Like most things-if you really want to do it- YOU CAN!”.

Why train with the snorkel?

You may be seeing a lot of swimmers in the pool with a snorkel lately. The benefits are tremendous! Everyone should be training with one.

Benefits of training with a snorkel:

  • Allows the swimmer the ability to focus solely on stroke technique
  • Eliminates interruptions of turning head to breathe
  • Increases V02 max
  • Increase arm turnover
  • Swimmer is able to relax in the water not having to worry about “getting air” or gulping water.
  • Helps swimmer aim for perfect technique while remaining horizontal (Allowing for great body balance, head position, rotation, hand entry, catch, etc.).
  • Sometimes a nose clip is needed when beginning with a snorkel to prevent water from entering the nose
  • Eliminates having to worry about getting oxygen
  • Able to practice repeated movements correctly over and over, leading to a properly learned and executed stroke

For more information, or if you have questions about swimming or multisport training, please contact Teresa Nelson

SAC swimmers conquer 11 miles of open water swimming!

On June 22nd, 2012 at 7:00am, 36 swimmers jumped into Portland’s 70 degree Willamette River to conquer 11 miles of open water swimming. Two of those swimmers consisted of member Oscar Mraz and swim instructor Lindsey Highstrom-Millard.

Oscar first came up with the idea to do the endurance event after being compelled by Seattle Athletic Club (SAC) swim staff the previous year to do some open water swims. After a 1 mile race and a 3.1 mile event Oscar decided to over triple the distance. He signed up early to ensure that there was “no turning back”, quickly urging Lindsey to do the same.

Lindsey and Oscar spent the next the next 6-8 weeks getting serious about being in the water. They swam on average 6 days a week, and most of those consisted of double-days in the water (with a min of 2-3 days in the open water). They met often at 5:15am to get in mileage before heading off to their full-time jobs and spent many hours in the swim conditioning classes at SAC. Biggest mileage training weeks were in the range of 22-24 miles of pure swimming bliss with the longest training session being 6.5 miles.

Going into the race both Oscar and Lindsey had separate game plans. Lindsey coming from a collegiate swimming background at Arizona State decided a positive attitude and “pain” would be the guide to swimming her furthest distance to date. While Oscar decided to start out very conservatively, build from there, and use his kayakers as his guide to limit sighting to conserve energy.

Each fueled throughout the event with nearly 1500 calories of gels and electrolyte drinks, provided to them by their kayakers on poles, as the swimmers were not allowed to hold onto anything during the swim.

The biggest highlight, outside of this amazing feat, was the two emerged from the water at exactly the same time of 4 hours and 20 minutes, both winning their respective wetsuit categories for men and women. The two emerged together at mile 7.5 and swam the remaining 3.5 miles together. This just goes to show that the athletes that train together, place together!

And after all this, they can’t wait to do it again!

Benefits of Swimming

1. Low Impact

  • Stress on joints is decreased by 90% in water
  • Even when your feet touch bottom there is les force on the body because of buoyancy
  • Great for rehab, arthritis, pregnancy, overweight, seniors….EVERYONE
  • Your body weight is 1/10 of what it would be on land.
  • It is the most injury-free sport there is

2. Builds Respiratory Fitness

  • A 12 week study showed an increase in oxygen consumption by 10% and an increase in stroke volume (the amount of blood pumped to the heart) increased by as much as 18%

3. Builds Muscle Mass

  • Muscle mass in the triceps increased by 23.8% in a 10 week study
  • All muscle groups are used

4. Alternative when injured

  • Maintains fitness levels
  • Aqua jogging
  • Because of the resistance, which is 12 times great than in air, of the water it makes the muscles works with out strain or impact like that on land

5. Calorie Burner

  • Swimming burns anywhere from 500-650 kcals per hour
  • In comparison to running it burns 11% fewer kcals and in comparison to cycling 3% fewer
  • However, this does not account for efficiency and for intensity….so the less efficient you are the more calories you burn
  • Be aware that heart rate decreased 10 beats per minute e in water and max heart rate decreased by 10-30 beats….it is believed this is due to the lower water temperature and the lesser pull of gravity in water.

6. Increases Lung Capacity

  • The need to hold your breath while swimming trains your lung capacity
  • This increases stamina and change heart rates
  • Great for asthma

7. Increases Flexibility

  • Increases mobility
  • The body is able to do stretches more easily than on land

8. Family Affair

  • The entire family can do it!
  • Everyone enjoys a day in the water…by the pool at the beach
  • It encourages health and fitness for the entire family

9. It is a lifetime Activity

  • Due to its low impact it can be done through all stages of life.
  • USMS- masters swimming…has age groups of 100-104!

10. It’s Relaxing

  • Water is soothing psychologically
  • There is a meditative quality about being able to just swim…float on your back
  • There is no noise and distraction of life on land

11. Improves Posture

  • Swimming strengthens your stabilizing muscles and works rotationally…therefore, strengthening your core and postural muscles

12. Lifesaving Skill

  • Swimming is a necessary life skill that everyone should possess
  • Open water, pool swimming, etc…

13. “YOU ARE A SWIMMER”

  • the fact that you can call yourself a swimmer is a reward in itself!

Swimming Faster… Tips from the Swim Fairy

If it were as simple as swinging a magic wand, I would wish the magical dust upon everyone. However, like many things, swimming faster requires work. Here are some tips to ensuring you swim faster, consider it magic dust!

  1. Frequency in swimming is key. Collegiate and National level swimmers train the most “time” of any other sport around (or darn near close to it). Why is this? Humans are land animals and to really get efficient in the water, you need to be in the water. For triathletes here is a rule of thumb for swimming frequency (times you get in the water each week).

    1-2 times per week: Swim maintenance. This is the minimum amount of time to be able to maintain your current fitness in the pool.
    3-4 times per week: This is where an athlete will see the biggest gains occur exponentially in their swim speed and technique.
    5+ times: The athlete will continue to see more gains in the pool but at a lesser rate exponentially. For the athlete REALLY aiming to improve then 5+ days a week is the way to go.

    *Remember frequency trumps duration!

  2. Consistency on a daily/weekly basis. Swimming is about consistency. If you swim 3 times a week one week and none the next you have lost the ever-so-talked-about “feel for the water”. It takes a whole other week of 3+ times in the water to get this natural “feel” back. The feel for the water is a term used to describe feeling a strong catch and feeling your body move strongly through the water. When you lose this feel you have a feeling of “weakness” in your stroke.

    *Swim regularly week, after week, after week!

  3. Swim with a purpose. Arrive at the pool with a workout, goal paces, goal times, and a plan. A typical workout should look similar to this:
    • Warm up
    • Drills
    • Main Set (with focus on strength, pacing, speed, recovery, or endurance)
    • Cool Down

    *Identify what your goal is for each session!

  4. Document. Document your training in your plan. Record paces, rest periods, and specific workout details. Swimming blindly (or training blindly) gives you no concrete evidence to see improvements. Throughout the years you may reference previous workouts, where you are at in your training plan, in order to ensure you are making progress in the right direction.

    *Record your data!

  5. Seek consistent swim lessons. Doing one swim lesson will help. But consistent guidance is important for success. Often swimmers will “over correct” their new form. By having a lesson set up 2-3 weeks apart then the correction can be made by the instructor before the new stroke become a bad habit. Filming (above and below) water is also super beneficial in making your stroke improvements.

    *Seek advice of an experienced swim instructor for swim and video analysis!

  6. Swim with a group. Masters swim classes, or swimming with teammates is not only more fun it helps you pace your swims better when swimming alongside those of equal ability and inch out that extra bit of speed once in a while that can be difficult to find on your own.

    *Swim with friends!

Post these reminders in a place you see often and make sure you are practicing all your magical tips!

Staying Motivated in Relation to Running

  1. 5 min rule – if you don’t feel like running, but know you should, tell yourself you will just go out for 5 min. Regardless of how unmotivated you are, go outside and run. If you feel better after 5 min… keep going, if you still feel lousy, head back…you know you tried.
  2. The mental block – you are exhausted mentally and physically…or your just not sure how you are feeling… but often, it is just mentally…apply the 5 min rule!
  3. Go early… If you are finding the evening runs are challenging…rearrange your schedule and get up earlier… it will relieve that extra stress you always have on yourself by the end of the day.
  4. Find a friend… when someone is counting on you… you show up!
  5. Run a different route… switch up your routes to eliminate boredom (running the streets)
  6. Get off the treadmill
  7. Set training goals… running a certain numbers of miles each week, time goals, etc.
  8. Focus on your long term training goals… (hanging on the fridge)…think about what lies ahead (the race) think about the excitement of race day and all you have accomplished along your journey thus far.

10 Tips to Prepare for Your First Triathlon

  1. Research! Know the distances and the course. As a newbie short distance are best to start with. The more prepared you are the less worry and anxiety you will have on race day. If you can practice on the course ahead of time then do it. Or drive the course so you know what to expect. If you are unable to do either then at the very least study the course maps, elevations, and go to your pre-race meeting with any questions.
  2. Practice swimming in the open water. Many athletes are very comfortable in the pool but the open water throws many new elements at you. Buddy up and practice ahead of time. If you are wearing a wetsuit make sure to practice in it at least 2-3 times before race day.
  3. Determine your race gear early and practice in it! This includes shoes, race kit, hat, etc. Get comfortable with your attire!
  4. Bring “extras”. Extra clothing on race day to stay warm and to change into post race, extra food to munch, and extra fluids to sip before race.
  5. Seek advice from experienced coaches/athletes. Pick 1-3 trusted sources and learn from them. Use their advice to help guide your training and racing strategies.
  6. Practice running off the bike often. This is a big shocker if you don’t practice it. Even just running for 10-15’ after each bike ride will make a difference come race day.
  7. Don’t try anything new on race day. No need to change your sports-nutrition, your breakfast, or attire, etc on game day. It is easy to get caught up in what everyone else is doing. When race day comes, everything should have been tested and dialed in. Follow your game plan.
  8. Pick a location to meet your friends/family post race. It can get busy and the worst is not being able to find your loved ones after a phenomenal race!
  9. Get your bike tuned. Make sure your bike gears, chain ring, tires, etc are cleaned and up to date. Make sure to book your tune-up appointment early to ensure the shop can get you in!
  10. Have fun!!! Race day is about celebrating!

2012 Postal Swim Recap & Results

Our Annual One-hour Postal Swim took place on January 29, 2012 at Mercerwood Shore Club. Seattle Athletic Club Downtown members took on the challenge to swim as far as they could in one hour with their friends and teammates taking splits and counting laps along the way. The results are mailed, hence the title “postal”, into USMS (United States Masters Swimming) to be ranked nationally amongst other dedicated swimmers. All results are posted in yards. Several swimmers were participating for their second or third year in a row, others for swam for their first time ever. It’s a fun, challenging, event that swimmers look forward to each year!

Congratulations to our following members!

Chad Baker – 3636
Victoria Boivin – 3510*
Tom Camp – 2991*
Addy Davis – 3325
Dustin Gilbert – 3582
Karissa Lackey – 3746
Elizabeth Martin – 3488*
Patricia Nakamura – 3336
Teresa Nelson – 4817*
Kirsten Nesholm – 2688*
Lisa Ohge – 3237*
Mike Podell – 3349
Darin Smith – 3150
John Strayer – 3321
Natalie Swistak – 3631*
Mark Webb – 3844*

The above figures are yards swam during the 2012 Postal Swim. Asterisk (*) denotes improvements in distance from previous Postal Swim results.

Swim Conditioning classes at Seattle Athletic Club Downtown are a great way to improve upon your swim fitness and technique. Contact Coach Teresa Nelson at tnelson@sacdt.com with any questions.

One Hour Postal Swim!

Hey swimmers, it’s time for another Postal Swim! Seattle Athletic Club Downtown is hosting their annual One Hour Postal Swim (OHP) on January 29th.

  1. *Swim as far as you can in one hour
  2. *No need to count laps (someone else does that for you)
  3. *Submit your laps and splits to USMS (United States Masters Swimming)

Training tips:

  • *Gradually increase overall yardage in a session. Approx 10-20% based on the amount you have been swimming.
  • *Gradually increase overall yardage in a week. Approx 5-10%
  • *Get in 1-3 sessions totaling your estimated yardage you have set out to reach in the hour.
  • *Frequency is more important over total volume in a session so swim often. 4×15-30 minute sessions are better than 1 session at 1 or 2 hours.
  • *Join in on a swim conditioning class at Seattle Athletic Club to mix up your routine and to meet fellow OHP swimmers.

Rules and Regulations here: www.usms.org

Contact Teresa Nelson at tnelson@sacdt.com to sign up.