“Building the Perfect Prerace Warm-up”

We just had our first meet of the year in Connecticut and questions came up: “What is the point of warm up?”, “How long should my warm up be?” and “What should I do in warm up?”.  Scott Bay sums it up nicely in this article written to USMS coaches.  While this article was written for coaches, there are many swimmers in Connecticut that swim coachless and this may help you think about how you are going to put together your warm-up for meets.  I have added my thoughts or clarifications in parenthesis.

Building the Perfect Prerace Warm-Up: Things to think about in your quest for the Goldilocks warm-up, Scott Bay, December 19/2013
Coaches are often asked what athletes should do for warm-up before they race at a meet.  The best warm-up should challenge and prepare your swimmers not too much, not too little, but just right.  And ultimately, the best warm-up is the one that works.  Sure, that’s a vague answer, but if we were all the same, someone would have come up with “the perfect warm-up” already.  Instead, here are some things to consider when building a prerace warm-up routine for your swimmers.
1. The athlete. There are lots of variable here, such as fitness level, age, health, and any preexisting conditions that affect performance. (I would also add health- in general and day of the meet, and also ability to recover, and how the swimmer swims best: relaxed, pumped, etc.)
2. The event. Naturally, there should be different warm-ups for different events. (Generally, shorter races need longer warms-ups as the swimmer needs to be ready from the start. Longer races can use shorter warm-ups as the swimmer can use the beginning of the race to build into a peak speed and won’t want to have done so much as to be tired before the end of the race.)
3. Fatigue. Is this the first race or the last race? What other factors can influence the energy level of the athlete? (Was the last event 2 hours ago or 15 minutes ago?)
4. Nutrition. When was the last time the athlete ate? What was it? Is the swimmer well hydrated?
5. Physical environment. Think about the air and water temperatures at the racing venue. Water space is also a consideration. If it’s cold or overly crowded, maybe a dryland warm-up is a better idea. (It is is a new pool it is a good idea to practice turns, especially if doing backstroke. Starts are also good to add in your warm up if you haven’t used the starting blocks before.)
6. Psychology. Is your athlete “in the moment” and focused on the race? This can be tricky to man
The following suggestions can also help guide you in building a good warm-up:
1. Have the swimmer complete a long, slow swim thinking about perfect stroke.
2. Incorporate kicking into the warm-up. It is amazing what it does for swim speed when done right.
3. Add in some pace work.
4. Complete some faster-than-race pace short effort swims. (Example could be to do a perfect push off and sprint a few pulls or swim a 25 build finishing in a sprint.)
5. Take the necessary time to focus on every aspect of the race that produces peak performance.
How much you put into each of the items above will vary from athlete to athlete. You might need to change it up a bit from time to time until you get it just right. (As with all aspects of swimming there is no right answer for every swimmer and finding the right answer for you will take time, practice, and patience.)

Meet Results, Registrations, and News

The preliminary results for the meet this weekend:  Wilton Wahoos Results 1-12-14 have been added to the website and to the USMS database.  The registration link for the Ground Hog meet in Westport is now up and running.  Greenwich will again be running a 1650 meet in March which will be a USMS recognized meet.  You can find the registration links for the Ground Hog Meet and the 1650 in Greenwich in Meet Results.

YMCA Nationals, April 10-14,  have also been posted.  Jeff Sargent would like to send one team from Connecticut.  Regardless of what YMCA you belong to or even if you don’t belong to a YMCA, please contact Jeff Sargent if you would like to swim at Y Nationals.  USMS Spring Nationals are to be held in Santa Clara, CA on May 1-4th.  There has already been some interest from CONN Masters.  Please contact Ally Sega if you are planning on going to SCY Nationals so that we can enter relays.  

 

Wilton meet is full- There will no deck entries accepted.

The meet has reach full capacity at 92 swimmers.  They are hoping the meet will not run over 12:00 noon.

Westport Groundhog Meet Announced.

The annual Westport Groundhog Meet Announcement is now posted:  28th Annual Ground Hog Meet2014.  There are some technical difficulties with the links but please use this form to reference the date, time, order of events, etc.  It will be announced when the link to Club Assistant is up and running or when there is an alternative pre race day registration method.  

A Message from the Wilton Wahoos regarding this weekends meet.

A couple of FYIs for the meet this Sunday.
1.Warmup is 8:00 with a 9:00 start. We are at entry capacity (92 swimmers) so if you are entered in the 400 free, please come to the computer table in the pool and “positive check in”. Current timeline puts the session at just around 3 hours. The meet should be over at or around noon.
2. Any team(s) interested in relays, please get me your relay entries asap. I’d like to pre-enter as many as possible and avoid the rush morning of the meet.
3. The pool will be measured pre and post meet. Times will be submitted for consideration for USMS and FINA Top 10.
4. Forecast is for temps in the mid 40s. The bubble is heated, but the air temp may be a little brisk after these past few days of single digit temps. Bring your fleece, warmups parka, etc.
5. The Y has ample parking but the lot closest to the door is reserved for Y members. This does not include members that will be swimming in the meet.
6. The Wilton Y Wahoos are running a Winter Coat drive which will end this Sunday. We will be accepting new and gently used Coats and also hats and gloves. Any donations will be greatly appreciated and will directly impact someone’s life. All donations will go to benefit the Salvation Army and the AIDS project in Greater Danbury. If you have any questions please contact Dana Dolan at jdolan@charter.net. Bins are in the lobby of the Y. Thank you for your generosity!

 

Results from the NEM SCM Champs have been added.

CONN Masters had an excellent showing at the New England Master’s Short Course Meters Championships, which was also the SCM Championships for the Colonies Zone.  5 Swimmers scored 488 points to put CONN Master’s 4th in the Small Team Division (4-9 swimmers).  Ann Louise Onton swam impressively being the Women’s High Point Winner with 183 points.  Peter Berghaus was tied for 17th and Steven Skolnick was tied for 112th out of 245 men.  Jennifer Madonia was tied for 51st and Pam Henry Moss was tied for 89th out of 201 women.  All represented Connecticut very well.  Thank you.

Wilton Wahoos Meet Postponed Until January

The meet will now be held on January 12th, warm up at 8:00 am and meet starting at 9:00 am.  Deck entries will be allowed but must be in by 8:00 am.  Online registration will be allowed at Wilton Wahoos Meet Registration until January 7th.

Results for the John Merrill Memorial Meet

Results from the John Merrill Memorial Meet have been posted or can be viewed at John_Merrill_Memorial_Masters_Meet_111713.  Congratulations to all the excellent times.  The next upcoming meet in CONN is the Wilton Wahoo SCM Meet on December 8, 2013.

Y Master’s Nationals Registration Posted

Y Master’s Nationals will be held in Sarasota, Florida April 10-13.  You do have to be a member of a YMCA between the registration period and the meet itself and you must be part of a YMCA team that is insured.  Jeff has said that you might be able to be part of the Wilton Y Master’s team if you would like to participate in this event and do not belong to a YMCA that will be sending a team.  More information to follow on how this can be done.  Click 2014 Masters Packet for the registration information.

Cold Water Challenge Results

November 2, 40 swimmers challenged themselves by swimming 2.6 miles in the cold Long Island Sound off of Fairfield.  While CONN Masters were well represented, swimmers came from all over the east coast from Maine down to Delaware.  Here are the results:  Cold Water Challenge Results.