Tag: swimming

Inspirational Member Of The Month: Aditya Pande



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!



Pilates Exercise of the Month: SWIMMING


Benefit: Swimming stretches and strengthens the muscles along your spine.
Starting Position: Lie on your stomach, arms extend overhead, palms down. Squeeze the backs of legs together, slightly turn feet outward (Pilates stance, laterally rotated).
1. Inhale, pull navel up into your spine, lift your head; then your right arm and left leg off the mat.
2. Switch arms and legs by lifting your left arm and right leg. Without shifting your body weight; flutter the arms and legs in a swimming motion.
3. Inhale for 5 counts and exhale for 5 counts. Feel that you are stretching in opposition, fingers and toes reaching for opposite ends of the room.
4. Complete 3-5 sets of 5 inhalations/exhalations each. To end and stretch your lower back, sit back on your heels in child’s pose.
Head to Toe Checklist
1. Work the arms directly in front of you and in line with your shoulders.
2. The legs should flutter close to each other and in line with your torso.
3. Swim briskly; avoid rocking from side to side.
4. Keep arms and legs as straight as possible without letting them touch the mat.
Move rapidly and keep your head up as though you were actually in water.

Stay hydrated While Swimming.

When you swim, believe it or not, you sweat. It is important, as with any sport, to drink plenty of water; before during and after your workout. Don’t make the mistake of thinking just because I am in the water I am getting plenty of fluids. The water washes away the feeling of sweat thus the old thought of “I’m not sweating”. There are a lot of different types of hydration drinks. Avoid caffeine whileas its dehydrating affects will inhibit your performance, cause headaches and the ability to think clearly.


When you sweat your body loses important electrolytes and inhibits your performance. Remember to always bring hydration in a non-breakable container onto the pool deck!

Start Enjoying Your Swim: Focus on Your Exhale

Learning to swim, as an adult can be a terrifying proposition. After years of avoiding the water, all sorts of fears can settle into our psyches. And when we finally work up the courage to take the plunge, pent-up anxieties often manifest in a range of stress responses, including restricted breathing.


Recently, a client I had been working with for several months was beginning to steadily gain her confidence in the water as her skills were improving at a consistent pace. Then, as is of the case, some of the old anxieties suddenly started to creep back into her workouts, disrupting her breathing and causing her stroke to fall apart. She was losing confidence and nearly in tears!


Up to this point I had been coaching her, and several of my other beginning students, to only inhale enough air to get to the next breath. Many swimmers inhale too deeply, as if each gulp of air has to be big enough to get them to the end of the pool. I had been coaching my students to only take in enough air to get them to the next breath.


As I continued to work with my client, I saw that, although she was swimming better when she inhaled less, she was still showing signs of stress. Taking smaller, quicker breaths was helpful, but didn’t address the underlying problem.  I suddenly realized that her focus was in the wrong place: it was out of the water instead of in the water. She was still taking in too much air, which exacerbated her underlying anxiety. But the reason she was inhaling too much air was because that’s where her focus was: on the inhale, not the exhale. So I suggested she start focusing on getting to the next exhale and not worrying about the inhale at all. And it worked! Her breathing became smoother and more relaxed therefore her entire stroke lengthened out and became efficient again.


The point is not to worry about the inhale at all. Breathing in is an autonomic response that happens naturally. While swimming we physically set our head and mouth into position to take the breath; however, we don’t try or force the inhale: we simply allow it to happen. So the emphasis should not be on getting to the next inhale, but to the next exhale.


As a trainer and coach, I see too many swimmers just trying to get to the other end of the pool. They give the impression that they are just trying to be done instead of trying to get a challenging — and enjoyable — workout! This is sad and it is, more often than not, due to forced or labored breathing.  Try it out for yourself! In your next few workouts shift your breathing focus to your exhale; the inhale will take care of itself.


By Fitness Intern Andrea Aronsen, Seattle Athletic Club Downtown

Mastering the flip turn can be an intimidating task to take on. However, developing this skill will give you the uninterrupted swim time you need to improve and build endurance in the pool.
Flip Turn Image 1 Starting the Turn

The first part of the flip turn to discuss is coming into the wall. Along the bottom of the lane is a black line with a T at the end near the wall. This T marks that you are about 2 feet away from the wall and should begin prepping your flip turn. Generally speaking, the last stroke will be taken over the T (you may need to test this to see if this works for you). After your last stroke you should be horizontal at the surface of the water, arms at your sides, looking straight down at the bottom of the pool.

Flip Turn Image 2 middle of  the Turn

Next comes the flip! The most important part of the flip is to continue to breath out your nose they entire time! If you forget to do this you will end up choking on some pool water which is never a good thing. So continue to breathe out your nose while you flip to keep water out! One description that has stuck with me after all my years of swimming is that you are “chasing your legs.” Once you are in the horizontal position tuck your chin to your chest to initiate the rotation, and then fold at the waist as if you were going to chase your legs as you whip them over above you. The smaller you get when you fold over the faster you will flip. Many swimmers who are new to flip turns will try to use their arms to “spin” them around faster. In reality however, using your arms actually slows you down! Your hands should stay pointing towards the opposite end of the pool at all times so that when you complete the flip they are up by your ears ready for streamline position.

Once you have completed the flip you should be on your back, arms next to your ears, feet planted on the wall shoulder width apart (slightly skewed from pointing straight up, in the direction that you will roll to get back on to your stomach), and knees bent at about 90 degrees. Press your arms into a streamline, squeezing your ears as tightly as possible, making an arrow to cut through the water. Explosively press of the wall with your legs, rotating your body back over to your stomach as you dolphin kick back to the surface.

Flip Turn Image 3 Completing the Turn

Begin by practicing and mastering each part of the flip turn before combining them together. Soon you will be looking like a seasoned pro as you swim your continuous laps with your newly mastered flip turn. If you feel like you need more help contact one of the swim instructors on the staff or that aquatics director Teresa Nelson.

The beauty of a crystal clear swimming pool

All swimming pools have pretty much the same rules. One rule in particular will be at any swimming pool you go to, that is “Please shower before you enter the pool”. This rule is there for a very specific reason. And no it’s not to annoy you. Pool chemistry can be a tricky thing. If you get in without showering your perfume, sweat, make-up and what the day has proceeded to leave on you can throw off the chemicals of the pool. You might think I haven’t been anywhere I haven’t done anything to cause the pool chemistry to go off balance. If everyone has that thought then the pool will never be clean.

In order to help keep the pool chemistry in balance is that everyone showers prior to getting in. So, keeping that in mind on your next visit to the pool please remember to shower before you get in.

Tips for sharing lanes in the pool

From the time we are babies we are taught to share. With this simple teaching the hope is as adults we continue to use this practice. This goes with so many different things in life.

You think “I need to get my laps in, I will go swimming today”. You head to the club. In the locker room you put on your swim suit and cap with goggles in hand you head to the pool after you have showered. You’re all ready to jump in and swim as you walk onto the pool deck you think to yourself “what’s this? All the lanes have someone in them!” There is a swim lesson in one lane, someone jogging in another lane and the other lanes have one person swimming. What do you do? Do you wait for a lane to open up? Do you get mad and leave?

There is a simple answer to those questions and leaving is not it. This is where the life long lesson of sharing comes into play. Watch the swimmers see who fits in with your level or speed of swimming. You can wait for them to stop and see you standing on the deck to ask them if they will share with you. You may think I don’t want to disturb someone’s pace; you can climb in making sure not to get in the way. Stand off to the side when they stop ask if they would like to swim circles or split the lane in half.

If you are the person swimming and see someone looking for a place to swim you can offer to share your lane with them. It is also possible to ask the jogger and lesson if they wouldn’t mind sharing a lane so you can swim laps.

Lap lanes can hold many people in them. If you leave :05 – :10 seconds between you and the person in front of you there will be plenty of room for a lot of people. If you were on swim team growing up you always shared lanes with possibly 10 or more people. It’s nice to have the pool or lane to yourself. Sometimes we get so used to it that the first thought is “What? My lane has someone in it.”

All in all there is plenty of room for everyone. All we need to do is SHARE.

Celebrate Your Right to Bare Arms This Summer

Tank tops, swim suits, strappy sundresses – warmer weather is just around the corner and that can send even the fittest women into a frenzy! Not only do you want to get your body in top, toned shape, but you also want to be ready for anything the season might toss your way.

Here’s a Pilates move that will give you shapelier arms, sexier shoulders, stronger back, and of course, strengthen your core. Perform this exercise at least 2-3 times a week and include it your regular total-body Pilates program and/or current fitness regime.

In no time, you’ll be able to “bare” it all; looking strong and sculpted in any sleeveless style the warm weather demands!

Pilates Push Up

  1. Stand tall with your heels against the back edge of the mat; toes turn out to the Pilates V.
  2. Keeping hips over heels; inhale; pull your navel into your spine and roll your torso down toward the mat. Place hands on the mat slightly more than shoulder width apart. (Knees can be slightly bent.)
  3. Exhale and walk your hands out onto the mat until your palms are beneath your shoulders and your heels over your toes. Your body will be in a Plank (or Push-Up) position – a straight line from head to ankles.
  4. Perform 3 Push-Ups with the elbows into the sides of the body. To come out of the Push-Up, fold up in half, bringing your chest toward your legs; pressing your palms and heels into the mat. Pull your navel in and give yourself a gentle stretch.
  5. Inhale, walk your hands back toward your feet; trying to keep your legs straight.
  6. Exhale, roll your body back up to a standing position and repeat 2 more sets.

For an advanced challenge, perform the entire Push-Up sequence while balancing on one leg. The same steps apply for the Single Leg Push-Up; remember to keep your leg lifted throughout the entire exercise; repeat the exercise on the other leg.

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

Meet Himanshu Kale – Ironman in Training!

Himanshu Kale joined Seattle Athletic Club at the end of July 2012. His goal: to complete a half Iron Man triathlon; his obstacle: he could barely swim! When we met that week for an initial complementary swim assessment, I found he had a lot of anxiety around the water. Like many with water anxieties, Himanshu did not trust that he could put is face and head in the water. However, I soon found that Himanshu had a lot more willingness to work through his fears and anxieties in order to achieve his goals. He was ready and willing to learn the fundamentals first: to start from the most elementary and foundational place: putting his face in the water practicing blowing air out of his body. Beginning with learning to breathe properly and gradually adding one technique on at a time, Himanshu has developed a technically strong freestyle stroke.

Many people who never learned to swim develop a fear and anxieties around the water simply because they’ve never been in it, making learning more challenging. Others have experienced traumatic events, leaving them with emotional scares of swimming. For all these people, learning to swim is such an act of courage. When they commit to this skill, however, the reward is a life changing shift in their entire perspective of their place in the world. Himanshu took on this challenge.

In November he ran his first half marathon. In December he started working out in my Swim Conditioning class and soon joined TN Multi Sports! There he is able to work on his conditioning and prepare for his first triathlons.

Now, when Himanshu and I meet, we focus on continuing to improve his technique, learn the other strokes and turns, and continue to work through any lingering fears that come up as we introduce new dimensions to his swimming repertoire.

Himanshu’s success is remarkable especially in such a relatively short period of time. I am honored to work with him and look forward to watching him reach his ultimate goal of completing a half Iron Man in June 2012.

Working with Himanshu has been an honor, making me especially proud.