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Tuesday, November 29, 2016

The Week (and a Half) in Swimming

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Alabama Crimson Tide swimmer at the 2016 Georgia Tech Invitational
Due to the Thanksgiving holiday, this feature took last week off.

Katie Ledecky broke two more NCAA records! (Baltimore Sun)

Should a Special Olympics swimmer be disqualified for being “too fast”? (Belfast Live)

Cold-water swimming gets its due in this profile of ICows, the Iowa City Open Water Swimmers (Gazette, with slideshow)

In Victoria, mandatory swimming lessons are on the horizon for school kids, and that “will throw our financial planning into turmoil,” worries one principal. (The Age)

It’s still almost 4 years away, but Tokyo 2020 organizers vow that the swimming pool won’t be green and smelly like Rio’s. (Reuters)

3D-printed arms helped scientists determine the best finger position for the fastest freestyle swim stroke. (Live Science)

Swimming participation in the UK has been undergoing a surprisingly steep decline. (BBC, with infographic)

The Estate of tobacco heiress Doris Duke caused controversy with a plan to dismantle a dangerous swimming hole. (Civil Beat)

A photo posted by Nathan Adrian (@nathangadrian) on

A photo posted by Indiana University Swim & Dive (@iu_swim_and_dive) on

A photo posted by Stanford W. Swimming (@stanfordwswim) on

Friday, November 18, 2016

The Week in Swimming

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Olympic gold medalist Anthony Ervin
Ben Hooper began his 2,000-mile transatlantic swim, leaving the coast of Senegal on Sunday. (ITV)

Oceans Seven swimmer Kim Chambers led a group of 28 swimmers in the first-ever marathon swim across the salty Dead Sea. (CNN, with video)

Read this new profile on how Anthony Ervin overcame his many demons to score his second gold medal in Rio, 16 years after his first. (Red Bulletin)

Swimming World named Katie Ledecky their female Swimmer of the Year for three years in a row; will she make it four? If her practice times are any indication, then yes (Swim Swam).

After winning three gold medals in Rio, swimming phenom Katinka Hosszu is taking on the Hungarian Swimming Federation. (AP)

Get inspired by the swimmer who survived breast cancer this year as she trains for the World Masters Games this spring. (Stuff)

How do Apple Watch Series 2 and Fitbit Flex 2 compare for swim tracking? They underwent side-by-side tests at Wareable and CIO.

As other programs get cut, the University of Sioux Falls launched a women’s Cougars swimming program. (Swim Swam)

Watch this rare video of the endangered proboscis monkey swimming, a rare behavior among monkeys. (National Geographic)

Coming soon: Villa Clessidra, a three-story home where the entire second floor is a glass-walled pool. (The Spaces)



Wednesday, November 16, 2016

"Truly Astonishing": Endless Pools at the USMS Summer Nationals

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U.S. Masters Swimmer, Coach Laura Hamel
For more than a decade, Endless Pools has been a proud national sponsor of U.S. Masters Swimming. At their 2016 Summer Nationals, Laura Hamel, a seven-time USMS All-American, took her first swim in an Endless Pool. Her review, reprinted below, appears in the current issue of SWIMMER Magazine.

As is the case with many swimmers who haven’t tried swimming in an Endless Pool®, I was skeptical. Would it really work? Is there enough moving water to swim against? What if there’s too much moving water to swim smoothly? Will it be weird to see myself swimming in the mirrors both above and below me—sort of a never-ending swimming selfie?

But mostly, wouldn’t it be boring?

Every single piece of home exercise equipment I’ve ever purchased has gathered dust because no matter how beneficial the exercise, I wasn’t motivated to do it alone. No coach, no teammates, no catching up between sets or in the locker room, no mojo. The social component of exercise is critical for many. … Even for a swimmer who prefers long open water swims to pool workouts (guilty!), it’s easy to get the social fix when swimming with a group of like-minded adventurers who enjoy both the long swim and après-swim conviviality.

Butterfly stroke in the Performance Endless Pool at the U.S. Masters Swimming Summer Nationals, Gresham, OR, August 2016
Despite her reservations, Masters swimmer Laura Hamel calls her first Endless Pools swim "truly astonishing." The pool's swim mirrors "made my stroke feel more relaxed and natural almost immediately," she writes in the new SWIMMER Magazine. Her review also quotes SwimLabs Founder Michael Mann: “The best swimming I’ve ever had, my record-breaking swims, have been after training regularly in an Endless Pool.”

While I was in Oregon for Summer Nationals, I had the opportunity to try an Endless Pool, and the experience surprised me. The Performance model that Endless Pools set up on deck had a steady flow of interested swimmers through it during the meet, and many of them had some of the same questions I did. Here’s what we learned.

Friday, November 11, 2016

The Week in Swimming

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NC State swimmer Ryan Held
Check out the 7 can’t-miss races of this weekend’s USA College Challenge. (Swimming World)

For rehab from serious injuries, young women are turning to mermaid swimming classes. (PJ Star)

Get inspired by this 13-year-old girl who just returned to competitive swimming after losing both legs in an auto accident. (KTUU, with video)

At Brigham Young University, 3,700 people signed a petition in protest of a downsizing pool renovation. (Daily Universe)

Check out the insane view from this 42nd-story, glass-bottom pool in Houston! (SA Express-News)

A swimmer/surfer/diver gave a glowing review of these waterproof headphones. (Boing Boing)

A 15-year-old Canadian shocked the Barbados Open Water Festival by winning the 10K swim. (Swim Swam)

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Friday, November 4, 2016

The Week in Swimming

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Pelham High School swimmer and NAG record holder Kate Douglass
As Dara Torres received her much-deserved International Swimming Hall of Fame induction, 14-year-old New York swimmer Kate Douglass broke Torres’ last remaining National Age Group record. (Swimming World)

The USA Swimming Foundation gave a total of $10,000 to five Make A Splash Local Partners to help transition children from learn-to-swim programs to competitive swim teams. (Swim Swam)

Besides being physically healthful, swimming delivers these 4 brain benefits. (Medical Daily)

Ryan Lochte announced that he intends to compete at Tokyo 2020, when he’ll be 36! (Washington Post, with video)

In her life after Rio, two-time Olympic medalist Elizabeth Beisel is now coaching NCAA swimmers. (NBC10)

A planned tourist attraction – swimming with Bluefin tuna in Australia’s Victor Harbor – must first overcome a slew of environmental protests. (Smithsonian)

A synchronized swimming sitcom is coming soon to Fox, courtesy of Academy Award-winning screenwriter Diablo Cody and American Idol producer Simon Cowell. (Hollywood Reporter)

British swimmer Ben Hooper plans to leave Senegal tomorrow for his planned 140-day transatlantic swim to Brazil! (Daily Mail)

A photo posted by Ferry Weertman (@veryferryfast) on


Tuesday, November 1, 2016

Case Study: Coach Carol Brings Her Training Home

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This Lancashire conservatory houses Carol's Endless Pool
A UK swimming coach and soon-to-be-certified lifeguard, Carol decided that it was time to bring her swim training home. She turned to her nearest authorized Endless Pools® distributor. Some time after completing the project, our team visited Carol’s Lancashire home to check in on her and her conservatory installation.

So, what made you think about getting an Endless Pool installed?

I initially got the Endless Pool when I was training to be a lifeguard. I was swimming a mile a day and it was so nice to have it at home rather than the inconvenience of trying to find a quiet space in a public pool at a time to suit me. There’s a major lack of facilities in this area despite the interest that the Olympics generated.

Would it not have been better to build a full-sized pool rather than an Endless Pool?

I suppose it was the cost, which put me off a full-sized pool. Not necessarily the build cost, I mean the ongoing water and heating costs. Plus with the weather in this country, it’s not ideal to have an outdoor pool. The Endless Pool fits in the conservatory, and it’s ideal to have it available whenever I want it.

So how does it compare with a full-sized pool for swimming?

It gives you that feeling of a real pool, there’s no doubt about it. I actually did some backstroke in there today, and I use these little fins, which really help.

I find from getting out of the Endless Pool and in to a full-sized pool, I certainly have the power, and it’s great for sprinting.

I usually do front crawl, which is the easiest. I have done back-crawl which is harder, but it’s about getting your technique right. Breaststroke is okay, and the mirror under the water helps.

The Endless Pool installed in a Lancashire conservatory
A stunning conservatory Endless Pool on a sunny day in Lancashire: this model is used for daily swim training by its owner, Carol, a coach and Olympic lifeguard. For its stellar current, at-home convenience, training tools, and ease of maintenance, Carol says, "I love it, and I really wouldn’t be without it."

What speed do you swim at?

I have the digital display, which I set at 2:02 (2 minutes 2 seconds per 100 metres), but my daughter is a stronger swimmer and goes faster than that.

You adjust yourself to it, and it doesn’t take long to learn how to get really good results.
 
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