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Showing posts with label endless pool. Show all posts
Showing posts with label endless pool. Show all posts

Thursday, March 23, 2017

Endless Pools® Takes on the Boston Marathon

Feeling "Boston Strong"? The team at Endless Pools® is! We're thrilled to take our Performance pool to the 2017 Boston Marathon's John Hancock Sports & Fitness Expo. It's free and open to the public, and we’d love to see you there!

Whether you're just curious or seriously considering an Endless Pool, we invite you to visit us at the expo and take a swim. It’s your opportunity to experience the smoothest adjustable current available, as well as our Underwater Treadmill.

Runners love our Underwater Treadmill. It's ideal for low-impact cross-training and recovery runs. You get a spacious 20" belt and variable speeds from 0.5-5.5 mph. Use the treadmill with the swim current on to mimic faster speeds while increasing your core engagement.

A 2016 New York City Marathon participant runs on the Endless Pools Underwater Treadmill at the marathon expo.
At the 2016 NYC Marathon Expo, this runner used the Endless Pools Underwater Treadmill for a low-impact recovery run. The water's buoyancy allows her to get moving without the dry-land pounding to her hips, knees, and ankles. In-place swimming complements running well, particularly for endurance athletes seeking lower-risk cross-training.

In the buildup toward their historic London and Rio victories, Olympic medalists Alistair and Jonathan Brownlee used the Underwater Treadmill in their Endless Pool to run additional miles with minimal joint impact. When recovering from injuries, the champion triathletes could resume running sooner thanks to the non-impact Endless Pools environment.

Please join us at the 2017 Boston Marathon's John Hancock Sports & Fitness Expo:
Hynes Convention Center
Booth #2327
900 Boylston Street
Boston, MA 02115
Friday, April 14: 10 AM – 6 PM
Saturday & Sunday, April 15 & 16: 9 AM – 6 PM

Visitors to the Endless Pools booth #2327 can get a free swim cap and enjoy a free swim or pre-marathon run on our Underwater Treadmill. For more information, call us at 888-314-9356.

We’re excited to return to support the Boston Marathon and look forward to seeing you there!

Tuesday, February 14, 2017

Endless Pools Distributor Home Counties Wins 2 Awards

Congratulations to our friends at Home Counties Pools and Hot Tubs! They recently won two British Pool and Hot Tub Awards – one for a brilliantly practical Endless Pools® installation and another with a sizable cash prize that they generously donated.

"We are absolutely delighted with the two awards and proud of the dedicated team here at Home Counties who made it happen," said Craig Trusson, Home Counties' Managing Director. "The Wellness Pool award is shared with our friends at Endless Pools, whose valued contributions towards the pool's design and specifications were invaluable to us.

"The awards serve to acknowledge we are driven to provide the highest level of service possible at all times to our customers, without whom no such accolades would be possible."

1. The Gold Medal
In the category "Inground Residential Spas and Wellness," Home Counties took the Gold for this Endless Pool house.

The Endless Pools installation that won Gold at the 2017 British Pool & Spa Awards, Inground Residential Spas & Wellness category
This Endless Pools installation won a Gold Medal at the British Pool and Hot Tub Awards for our partners at Home Counties Pools & Hot Tubs. The pool's owner, Judy, swims every morning "to keep me active in spite of the arthritis in my feet. My son and daughter-in-law, who are both triathletes, also enjoy a good workout. The grandchildren are huge fans of the pool and have spent many a happy hour playing 'Mermaid School.'"

The pool owner, Judy T., praised Home Counties for their innovative design. "It is particularly nice in summer to be able to open the bi-fold doors and enjoy the garden as well as the pool," she notes. "In winter ... the heated floor, towel rail and wall heater keep the room warm, and condensation quickly disperses when I open the skylights after swimming."

2. Peter Geekie Award for Retail Excellence
Peter Geekie was a retail innovator (and much-loved character) of the UK pool and spa industry back in the 1970s. This prestigious award recognizes the entirety of the customer experience, from the retail showroom to the website to the retailer's customer service philosophy.

Tuesday, February 7, 2017

PHOTOS: 5 Stunning Endless Pools

The versatile Endless Pools® swimming machine can look cozy or luxurious, organic or outstanding, as you can see from these stellar recent photographs!

Our signature current lets you swim in place outdoors, in spare rooms, or in new additions. In consultation with our experienced Design Representatives, these five homeowners have created beautiful, even surprising installations to promote fun, fitness, and property value. Take a look…

An in-ground Performanc Endless Pool in Knoxville, Tennessee
Enjoy a bit of Mediterranean glamour in this Knoxville, Tennessee, garden! Installed partially in-ground, this Performance Endless Pool has been customized with a 51" water depth. When not swimming, exercising, or just cooling off, the homeowners enjoy plenty of room for outdoor entertaining, as the compact design also functions as a illuminated water feature.

A partially in-ground Original Endless Pool in Lancaster, Pennsylvania
Winters can be rough in Lancaster, Pennsylvania. Fortunately, this Endless Pool offers year-round access to warm-water swimming and splashing. By customizing the water depth to 45", the owners get more buoyancy and less joint impact when training on their Underwater Treadmill. They smartly saved space in a room with a sloped ceiling by cornering their pool, thanks to the internal components' easy accessibility from a single side.

A lakeside Original Endless Pool in Seattle, Washington
The water's always warm outside in Seattle, Washington, thanks to this smartly placed Endless Pool! The silver strip at the top of the pool is the Automatic Retractable Security Cover; with the turn of a key, the owners can secure the pool from debris, children and critters, as well as heat loss and evaporation. Better still, splashing won't harm the nearby plants, thanks to our low-chlorine water quality system.

Tuesday, January 24, 2017

Case Study: Endless Pool Room with Hot Tub Area

An Original Endless Pools enclosure by Bakers Timber Buildings
Bakers Timber Buildings has been designing, crafting and installing beautiful garden buildings and home offices since 1985. In this Case Study, the Bakers team details an Endless Pool® room with hot tub area in an East Sussex garden; it was designed for their client to enjoy all year round.

This East Sussex client had so loved the outdoor pool they had at their previous property that, when they moved, they decided to install an 'all year round' solution - an Endless Pool room with covered hot tub area and integrated pump house and store.

They found us online and visited our show centre in Bolney, Mid Sussex, to see all the options available. After deciding on an Endless Pool Room, they also decided to include an area to the side of the pool room with a covered canopy, suitable for housing a hot tub.

An integrated pump house with storage cupboard, incorporated behind the main room and extending into this area, meant that not only the pump was hidden away, but any cleaning chemicals were safely stored and also out of sight.

Martin Baker provided the clients with an initial quotation, and his subsequent free site survey enabled him to finalise costings and complete the design before proceeding with the project.

An Original Endless Pool installed in a custom pool house by Bakers Timber Buildings.
Citing "the British weather" as a reason to enclose their Endless Pool for year-round use, this family turned to Bakers Timber Buildings. The modular Endless Pool can be installed in existing rooms, but the new construction gave them the opportunity to customize a comfortable pool room with safe, out-of-sight storage for the remote pump.

The Work
This contemporary Endless Pool room with hot tub area measures a spacious 7.5m x 4.2m and sits nicely in our clients’ delightful garden. The Endless Pool is situated in the main room, which is tastefully furnished with a small changing area and table and chairs on which to relax.

Next to the pool room, underneath a covered canopy, is the hot tub. The pump and workings for the pool and hot tub are cleverly housed within in the cupboard (Pump Room) behind the main room and extending to a cupboard next to the hot tub, along with a further storage cupboard.

The pool room's UPVC sliding doors were colour-matched to the building's external painted cladding in Sadolin Superdec ‘7004’ and are the perfect choice to allow for maximum usable space within the room.

The pool room building also features a fully insulated floor, ‘Aqua step’ Laminated wet room flooring in ‘Beach House Oak’, and MDF/ cement board painted internals in ‘Angora’ and of course is fully lined, insulated and double glazed for the year round use the customer wanted.

The Result
Our client was delighted with the process and the finished result of their Sussex Endless Pool Room:

Tuesday, January 17, 2017

Swim Faster with the SwimSmooth & Endless Pools Video Series

Swim Smooth Founder and Head Coach Paul Newsome
Internationally acclaimed swim coach Paul Newsome just kicked off a series of stroke training videos from his backyard pool. The first five videos in a planned series of 25 are now available on the Endless Pools YouTube channel.

Newsome is the Founder and Head Coach of Swim Smooth, the methodology designed to improve your efficiency in the water and maximize your training time. The Swim Smooth instruction system has been utilized by the International Triathlon Union (ITU) and in 119 countries.

The videos benefit from the fully adjustable swim current of the Endless Pools Fastlane®. The Fastlane mounts to the deck or wall of almost any traditional pool. With Endless Pools' in-place swimming capability, you can monitor your own stroke, either in real time using our underwater mirrors or with video for review after.

Wednesday, November 16, 2016

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

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.

Tuesday, November 1, 2016

Case Study: Coach Carol Brings Her Training Home

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.

Thursday, October 27, 2016

New Video: Learn Surfing Paddling in an Endless Pool

“Can I take fewer strokes and conserve more energy, so I can go out and catch more waves?”

That’s the question that inspired Rob Case to open his Surfing Paddling Academy, featuring a High Performance Endless Pool®, last spring. He just released the Academy’s first promotional video, which showcases his knowledge, his passion, and some striking drone shots!

A swimmer since age three, Case says, “Paddling gives me an edge. I end up catching more waves” than other surfers. He previously tried sharing these skills in a 50-meter pool, but the physical distance slowed interactions and, as a result, progress. He resolved those issues by moving  instruction into his own Endless Pool.

Underwater before/after photos from the High Performance Endless Pool at Surfing Paddling Academy
Underwater video footage like this is part of what makes Rob Case’s Academy so efficient. And that’s possible because of his choice of pool: “What I can cover in 50 minutes in the Endless Pool is something that I could do in four to five sessions in a [traditional] pool.”

Rob Case instructing a student in the High Performance Endless Pool at Surfing Paddling Academy
According to Rob Case, “Surfing paddling, like swimming, has a lot to do with feel, and when you can have that instant feedback loop” from the proximity afforded by the Endless Pool, “you can stop them right as they’re doing something incorrectly and make that modification on the spot. They can then have … that ‘a-ha!’ moment.”

A drone photo of the High Performance Endless Pool at Rob Case's Surfing Paddling Academy
This drone shot shows Rob working with a surfer in his High Performance Endless Pool. Upon opening the Academy, Rob told us, “When you learn to paddle, you increase your experience in the water tenfold.” That makes sense: researchers have found that a surfer spends about 10 times longer paddling than wave riding. 

Thursday, October 20, 2016

7 Mighty Man Caves for Men who Love Swimming

Man caves serve as sanctuaries, spaces dedicated to the tastes and passions of the men who inhabit them. And for men who love swimming, there's no better way to appoint your man cave than with an Endless Pools® swimming machine.

The modular Endless Pool installs easily indoors. All components fit through doors and down stairs, so you can put your Endless Pool in the basement and other cavelike existing rooms.

If you're seeking man cave ideas of your own, start by checking out these swimmer-friendly set-ups!

Man Cave with big screen television and Endless Pools swimming machine
The charcoal tile lends a robust air to this man cave, while the Endless Pool adds a decisive blue, thanks to the optional underwater lighting. Endless Pools can also be outfitted with an Underwater Treadmill for low-impact running and jogging, making it easy to get active while watching the big game.

Man Cave with sports memorabilia and partially inground Endless Pools swimming machine
In this man cave, the clean kitchenette is balanced by the rugged, distressed textures of the pool skirting and wainscoting. The manual retractable security cover, at the lower left, traps in heat and humidity when the pool is not in use. (We have automatic covers too, but who's afraid of putting in a little elbow grease to get the job done?!)

Man Cave with hammock, kitchenette, and partially inground Endless Pools swimming machine
Deep red walls and exposed wood beams define this man cave with a luxe but potent vibe. As its centerpiece, the partially inground Endless Pool offers convenient access to a vigorous swim session ... because a man should have to earn the right to kick back in his indoor hammock!

Thursday, October 13, 2016

PHOTOS: 5 Knockout Endless Pools

The Endless Pools® swimming machine adapts to any aesthetic, and these recent photographs prove it!

Our signature current lets you swim in place in your family room, garden, deck, barn ... just about anywhere. Take a look at how these five homeowners integrated their Endless Pools into their homes and their lifestyles.

inground Original Endless Pool in Cleveland, Tennessee
This inground Endless Pools adds healthy versatility to this eclectic family room. The rails at poolside and on the exposed wood beam make the pool accessible for fitness, aquatic therapy, and rehab. With fireside seating, timeless rustic touches, and a state-of-the-art fitness and leisure pool, there's something for everyone here!

partially inground Performance Endless Pool in Houston, Texas
This partially in-ground Performance Endless Pool gives you a better swim than a traditional pool while still leaving plenty of room for gardening, trees, and entertaining. The pool's modular design easily adapts to the clean, modern lines of this garden. Even in a compact yard, you can have everything you need for family fun and fitness ... even a place for your rubber duck!

aboveground Original Endless Pool in Southold, New York
Thanks to some outside-the-box thinking, this Original Endless Pool® is skirted in cedar shake. The shingles add more than just a warm, rustic feel; they're also durable, moisture- and insect-resistant, and naturally insulating to control water-heating costs. The below-deck security cover, once closed, will also contain heat and prevent evaporation.

Thursday, October 6, 2016

Racing Kona After 50

age-group triathletes use the Endless Pool at the 2015 IRONMAN World Championship in Kailua-Kona, Hawaii
The IRONMAN™ World Championship takes place this Saturday in Kailua-Kona. Known as a grueling 140.6-mile course, the event still draws its fair share of older triathletes who inspire us with their stamina, grace, and commitment.

Rob Ladewig has owned an Original Endless Pool since 2005. Last year marked his 30th IRONMAN and his eighth time at Kona, where he’d finish 31st in his division. Still racing in his late 60s, his motto is, “If you can’t beat ‘em, outlive ‘em.”

Carol Blattspieler was racing her 5th IRONMAN and her second at Kona, where she finished 20th in her division.  An orthopedic nurse practitioner, she first came to the Endless Pool through her practice, referring clients to it for physical therapy, before using it personally for “instant feedback” on her swim stroke.

Many professional triathletes, including Luke McKenzie and Andrew Starykowicz, use their Endless Pools for stroke and endurance training. And these age-groupers also find our swim-in-place technology useful for its amazing simulation of open-water conditions!

We wish the very best to all of this year’s IRONMAN athletes as they take on the heat, humidity, and 140.6 miles of the toughest course in triathlon!

Thursday, September 29, 2016

Making Miracles Happen at Kona

Blind IRONMAN triathlete Steve Walker and his guide, pro triathlete Chris Foster
Great sports stories are about overcoming adversity. While the 140.6-mile trek of an IRONMAN triathlon seems sufficiently adverse on its own, Steve Walker and Derek Fitzgerald overcame so much more to finish the grueling course at Kona.

The Marine
Steve Walker was a U.S. Marine when his vision began to fail. His rare ailment, retinitis pigmentosa, has progressed to the point where he’s almost completely blind.

After accepting that he was un-deployable, Steve recalled watching IRONMAN triathlons on television as a kid. He decided that, even with his eyesight failing, he would dedicate himself to the sport.

In the summer of 2013, he completed his first triathlon, a sprint. The 2015 IRONMAN World Championship was his tenth.

Endless Pools® is proud to sponsor Steve, who now trains with the Endless Pools Fastlane swim current generator in his backyard pool. You can hear him relate his inspiring story in this video.

Like many pro and age-group triathletes, Steve praises his Endless Pool swimming machine for its accurate recreation of open-water conditions. “The last thing that I did the night before leaving Los Angeles was take one more swim in the [Fastlane], and once we got out here into [Kailua] bay, it felt like the same thing, just a little more salty.”

The Survivor
Derek Fitzgerald survived Non-Hodgkin lymphoma. But the chemo that kept him alive damaged his heart. After his heart transplant, he felt the need to “pay it forward.”

Tuesday, September 13, 2016

David Adams: Helping Swimmers Feel at One with the Water

Swim instructor Dave Adams in the Original Endless Pool at Wave Cloud Swim School
“I don’t try to swim anywhere; the end of the pool comes to me. You get in a state of oneness. It sounds totally crazy! I try to get to the highest state of consciousness through swimming. I become the center, and everything moves around me. … Do you know what I mean?”

Well, do you? Surfer/swim coach David Adams may not provide your run-of-the-mill swim instruction. (“My approach is quite unique,” he insists. “I’m fairly certain I’m the only one in the world doing it this way.”) But at his Endless Pools® training facility, Wave Cloud Swim School, he gets results.

The Triathlete Who Couldn’t Swim
“The first time he put his face in water was in the Endless Pool in my house,” Adams says of Dan, a swimming student. Adams finds that the Endless Pool makes an approachable introduction. “It’s not a big, intimidating pool.”

“We start with basics: floating, breathing,” he recalls. “For every action, there’s a breath that goes with it.” All seemed on track with Adams’ organic approach until, as he recalls, Dan told him, “‘I have a triathlon in four weeks.’”

Adams felt confident that he could prepare Dan for his first open-water swim. “The Endless Pool gets them used to the current. They already know what to expect. It’s a truly amazing tool. I just love it!”

“His first time out [in the open water] and he’s swimming across the river. He’s so focused on his breath. It was the first time he’s ever not able to touch the bottom. Literally, after eight or nine hours of swimming in the Endless Pool!”

Mr. Universe Used to Sink
Not all of Adams’ students approach swimming quite like he does. His clientele includes people he describes as “all gym-ified. They want to go quickly. I tell them what we’re doing is more like ballet than football. It’s not a sport.”

Perhaps his most ‘gym-ified’ client is a former Mr. Universe. “He’s never been able to swim,” reports Adams. “He’s a bit embarrassed.”

So how do you teach someone who has the opposite of a ‘swimmer’s build’? Adams quickly decided that freestyle was not the correct approach.

“He’s not able to get enough purchase with his forearms. … We’re going straight to butterfly purely because he’s a bit like a dolphin: just pure muscle – and he doesn’t float!”

Of course, that was before he worked with Adams in the Endless Pool. By now, expect that Mr. Universe feels at one with the water.

Wednesday, September 7, 2016

Krige Schabort Aims for Paralympic Gold

paratriathlete Krige Schabort winning the 2014 ITU World Championship
“My life has changed in a second,” says Krige Schabort, and that’s been true more than once. As he prepares for his sixth and final Paralympic Games, the 2015 ESPY Award winner reflected on the improbable and inspiring path that may well lead him to Olympic gold.

Lemons into Lemonade
While serving in the army for his native South Africa, Schabort lost both legs in a surprise bombing in 1987, during the Angola War.

After learning that Schabort had been a lifelong athlete, enjoying basketball and swimming, his occupational therapist introduced him to wheelchair racing.

“I was tickled when I saw these guys going at those speeds on the track,” he recounted in an interview earlier this year. “And then, I decided I want to see if I can get a racing chair and start track events.”

After overcoming “the only tough part,” actually acquiring a high-priced racing chair, Schabort participated in five Paralympic Games as a marathoner. He earned a bronze in Barcelona and silver in Sydney. He then made a major switch.

Paratriathlete Krige Schabort, with his wife, Caron, after winning the 2015 ESPY Award for Best Male Athlete with a Disability
Paratriathlete Krige Schabort never gives up! Surviving a bomb in Angola and a hit-and-run near his Georgia home, he continues to compete and inspire. In 2015, he won the ESPY Award for Best Male Athlete with a Disability (here with his wife, Caron). This week, he competes in his sixth and final Paralympics. The silver and bronze medalist could leave Rio with his first Olympic gold.

Discovering Triathlon
“In 2008, my sponsor for my racing wheelchair went to Kona” for the IRONMAN World Championship. “‘You should do this,’” he recalls being told. “‘You will love it.’” Apparently, his sponsor knew him well.

Adding swimming to his repertoire seemed a natural fit. “I grew up on the ocean,” he recalls. “I used to swim a lot. A big part of me is attached to water.

“I did my first half-IRONMAN [70.3 miles total] in 2009.” The following two years, he qualified for Kona. He won both events, each with nearly identical times: 9:26 and 9:24.

Besides winning his own division, “I was #300 overall,” he says proudly; that’s an impressive achievement for a race that garners some 2,000 triathletes!

Training at Home
For convenience and to train in open-water conditions (against a current, with no flip turns), Krige had his own High Performance Endless Pool installed in his yard.

“It’s been great,” he says. “I love it – right out my backdoor, I jump in, it’s clear water.”

He finds that the Endless Pool has added benefits. “It’s good for our family, it’s good to have in winter. My boys are swimmers, they are triathletes.”

In-place swimming in the Endless Pool affords opportunities for real-time feedback; with Endless Pools’ underwater swim mirrors, he’s observed progress in his technique, particularly in “the initial part of my pull. I used to go too deep; I did not have a high elbow lift. I’ve been working on that in the Endless Pool.”

Tuesday, August 23, 2016

How the Brownlee Brothers Made History in Rio

Jonathan and Alistair Brownlee show off their silver and gold Olympic medals in Triathlon, Rio, August 18, 2016
If there’s any sibling rivalry between the Brownlees, it wasn’t visible in Rio.

Moments before Alistair crossed the finish line to win his second consecutive Olympic gold medal, a historic first in Triathlon, he paused to look over his shoulder for his younger brother, Jonathan, just a few seconds behind. On the other side, panting on the pavement, the two held hands.

How they came to dominate the sport is, of course, a story of grit and determination. And while you’d never know it from seeing the brothers atop the podium with their gold and silver medals, it’s also a story of successive injuries rehabbed with aquatic therapy.

Brothers in Arms
The improbably named Coz Tantrum, their former swim coach and still a family friend, has had a privilege vantage point into the brothers’ unique bond.

Alistair “tends to think a little bit more outside of the box,” she observes in this interview with BBC Radio last week. “Alistair does take risks. He did prior to 2012 when he injured his ankle. He said, ‘Well, I’ve got to do something here to get back in the water, but I can’t put any weight on my ankle.’ So we trained in an Endless Pool on a treadmill.”

As she recalls, in the six months “prior to the 2012 Olympics, he’d done hardly any [dry-land] running. So when he got on the line, he knew he could swim, he knew he was going to be able to bike, but he didn’t know how his ankle was going to hold up. And as it turned out, he did the fastest 10K.”

The Endless Pool retained its rehabilitative role this time around. Alistair suffered a stress fracture to his ankle just nine months ago. As he maintained one of the leading positions on the bike, and then as he took a commanding lead over his co-frontrunner, Jonny, in the run, the injury seemed a distant memory.

The Race in Rio

The brutal course, worsened by sweltering heat and humidity, had been called the toughest in Olympic history. The waters off Copacabana beach are notorious for their choppy waves, and the bike course achieved gradients as steep as 20 percent.

The pair stayed side by side through most of the race, always near or at the front of the pack. Only in the last 2 km did Alistair break out to take a solo lead.

Alistair stands as the first triathlete, man or woman, to earn successive gold medals in the sport. He and Jonny are also the first brothers to take gold and silver together since Rome 1960.

A photo posted by Jonathan Jonny Brownlee (@jonnybrownleetri) on

A photo posted by Alistair Brownlee (@alistair.brownlee) on

Thursday, August 18, 2016

TODAY: Watch the Brownlees Defend their Olympic Titles

World Champion triathlete and Olympic medalist Jonathan Brownlee in his Endless Pool
This morning, Alistair Brownlee could become the first person to win back-to-back gold in Olympic triathlon. He and his brother, Jonathan, who took the bronze in London 2012, both acknowledge that their Endless Pool® has played a crucial role in their preparation.

Six months before the London Olympics, Alistair tore his Achilles tendon. In the low-impact environment of his Elite Endless Pool, he was able to continue running on the Underwater Treadmill. He credited the pool with giving him a “massive, massive benefit” in the crucial months before his gold-medal victory.

Training about 35 hours a week, the brothers know that injuries are unavoidable in such a demanding sport. “I got a stress fracture last year,” Jonny tells UK television presenter Charlie Webster in this video, “and I got told I wasn’t going to be able to run for 12 weeks. Thanks to the Endless Pool, I was back in seven or eight weeks.”

The brothers also use their Endless Pool for swim training and stroke refinement. As Alistair observes, “Every day when you swim, you can definitely learn technically.” Jonny adds, “If you use an Endless Pool, you get that constant technique feedback” from their pool’s underwater mirrors and video.

Last August, Alistair underwent ankle surgery. Again, he turned to his Endless Pool for training and rehabilitation. “Days or weeks when I’m injured, I actually spend as much as 10 hours just running on it.” This summer, he returned to the sport, winning World Triathlon Series races in Leeds and Stockholm.

This morning in Rio, they swim 1.5 km in the waters off Copacabana beach, bike into the hills for 40 km, and then run for 10 km along the coast. In an interview this week, Alistair claimed, “I feel like I'm in my best shape since London.”

from left, TV presenter Charlie Webster , triathlete and Olympic gold medalist Alistair Brownlee, and in the Endless Pool, triathlete and Olympic bronze medalist Jonathan Brownlee
“Having an Endless Pool meant that when I was injured, I could still get the hours in,” reports triathlete and Olympic medalist Johnny Brownlee, seen here on his pool’s Underwater Treadmill. “You’re still getting the same long workout, but you’re not getting the same impact on the ground.” He and his brother, gold medalist Alistair (center), also use their Elite Endless Pool to refine their swim strokes.

Wednesday, August 17, 2016

6 Steps to Swimming for Lose Weight (Part 3 of 3)

Jenni Brozena, MS, CSCS, CES, of Aqueous
By Jenni Brozena, MS, CSCS, CES
Owner/President of Aqueous

Part 1 of this series explored the effectiveness of swimming for weight loss, and Part 2 reviewed training strategies. Here, we consider practical strategies to build a regular swimming weight-loss regimen.

Work, kids, family, school, LIFE ... There are so many (legitimate) reasons that can intrude on our workout schedule. Yes, there are only so many hours in one day, and some days there simply isn’t time to work out. And no, we should not feel terrible when we miss a day here or there.

Swimming, by nature, takes more time than say, running or living-room aerobics. There’s a bit more prep and unless you swam competitively growing up, most adults aren’t cool with walking through parking lots wrapped in a towel and ready to swim.

As a result, the time involved with changing, pre-showering (per the guidelines that we all follow), and dancing on the edge of the lane prepping for the cold shock of a morning open-swim lane can seem like a barrier.   

A Practical Guide to Swimming for Weight Loss
Now that we got that out of the way, here is a practical guide to incorporate swimming for weight loss into your daily routine.

Swimmers have exceptional discipline, so write the word “discipline” everywhere you will see it: smartphone, calendar, sticky note, everywhere. By choosing swimming for weight loss, you’re joining a community, and this community works hard both in and out of the pool.

Swimmers, as a demographic, are internally motivated, high-achieving, and competitively driven. As such, swimmers are typically good students and grow to be committed to their work, families, and workouts.

Six Steps (or just One)

Swimming for weight loss is worth the few downsides. So how can you schedule time to swim and still keep up with the rest of your life? One way is to buy an Endless Pool and avoid all the scheduling issues, but if you don’t do that, try these:

Wednesday, August 10, 2016

Two Training Strategies in Your Quest For the “Swimmer Body” (Part 2 of 3)

Jenni Brozena, MS, CSCS, CES, of Aqueous
By Jenni Brozena, MS, CSCS, CES
Owner/President of Aqueous

Part 1 of this series explored the effectiveness of swimming for weight loss. Here, we consider practical strategies to build a regular swimming weight-loss regimen.

We learned last week that swimming for weight loss is an excellent strategy. Let’s look at two approaches to see which can most effectively help you to lose weight by swimming.

But First, a Recap
While weight loss requires fewer calories, we also learned that athletes require special nutritional instruction in which caloric intake is sufficient to promote recovery.

Swimming is such an effective form of exercise for two reasons:
  1. Both large and small muscles groups are used continuously throughout the exercise.
  2. Training styles vary widely so there is ongoing opportunity to avoid plateaus.

The body requires continuous changes in stimulation in order to reach new levels of strength, speed, and efficiency. That’s why some people hit plateaus in weight loss or other fitness progress: they keep doing the same exercise. Cycling through prescribed exercise programs, switching it up to keep it fresh and achieve your aims, is called “periodization.”

Periodization can be broken down into long-term cycles (“macrocycles” lasting 4-6 weeks) and shorter “microcycles” lasting no more than 2 weeks. Structured periodization – each period focusing on a specific goal, such as energy strengthening, speed and agility, and especially important, rest – can support incredibly effective results for weight loss or high-level competitive performance.

In swimming training, periodization traditionally follows the competitive swimming season – one giant “macrocycle,” if you will. 
  • Preseason and the first few weeks of training are to build a cardio base.
  • Faster training and swim meets follow.
  • This leads into high-intensity training over the winter holidays
  • A slow decent follows until we find the holy grail….
  • TAPER!
Evidence-based periodization is much more sophisticated than this extended macrocycle, which is why employing a sport scientist and human performance coach are so vital.

HIIT is the acronym for “high-intensity interval training,” which has gained incredible popularity in gyms and other performance arenas across the U.S.

Wednesday, August 3, 2016

Swimming for Weight Loss (Part 1 of 3)

Jenni Brozena, MS, CSCS, CES, of Aqueous
By Jenni Brozena, MS, CSCS, CES
Owner/President of Aqueous

“Swimmers have great bodies, so I should probably start swimming to lose weight, right?”

A version of this sentiment flows from the mouths of hyper-dedicated New Year’s ‘Resolutionaries,’ potential triathletes, and the delightfully overconfident who presume swimming is an easy sport. 

Swimming for weight loss can absolutely be successful if combined with other lifestyle choices such as nutrition, rest, and periodization of training. Weight loss, however, has become entwined with conflicting advice and profit-minded fads, but the basis of weight loss remains deeply rooted in two options:
  1. Consume Fewer Calories
  2. Burn More Calories
Now, these two weight loss options become potentially complicated, depending on your individual needs.  After all, the “swimmer’s diet,” which looks remarkably close to a level of gluttony, is enjoyed by many competitive swimmers and was even showcased in comedy sketches during previous Olympic cycles.

Sports nutrition is the field dedicated to understanding the evidence-based metabolic needs of athletes; they need to replenish their energy for training rather than cutting/burning calories for weight loss.

How much weight can you lose by swimming?
Google “How many calories do you burn swimming,” and you will be prompted with this answer: “A 130-pound person swimming freestyle for one hour will burn 590 calories swimming fast, and 413 calories swimming slower. A 155-pound person swimming freestyle for one hour will burn 704 calories swimming fast, and 493 calories swimming slower.”

Generalized, definitive calorie expenditures do not create an accurate profile for your unique body, movement efficiency, and metabolism.

Wednesday, July 20, 2016

Tom Ward: Triathlon Coach on a Mission

the logo for Passion Fit, Tom Ward's triathlon coaching studio
When Tom Ward abandoned his 17-year banking career to found Passion Fit as a full-time triathlon coach, he wanted to do at least three things differently than he’d experienced them. He wanted a welcoming culture; he wanted an Endless Pool®; and most personally, he wanted to empower survivors of domestic abuse.

Discovering Triathlon
“In 2011, I signed up for my first ever triathlon: IRONMAN Lanzarote,” Tom recalls. Then 34, he’d just retired from 20 years of competitive field hockey and felt pressured into it by his father-in-law. “I never intended to follow it beyond that one race. It was just a challenge.

“I enjoyed it much more than expected. That feeling of crossing the finish line – it’s hard to explain. I signed up for the UK’s 70.3 just three weeks later.”

He progressed in the sport relatively quickly. “In September 2014,” he notes, “I finished IRONMAN Wales and qualified for Kona,” a bit ahead of the four-year plan he’d set for himself.

Triathlon coach Tom Ward and the Performance Endless Pool at his Passion Fit studio.
Tom Ward has good reason to look proud. In the five years since he discovered triathlon, he's finished the IRONMAN World Championship at Kona and made a mid-career shift to found Passion Fit, his own coaching studio with a Performance Endless Pool. Team Passion Fit is "centered around attitude and culture, not ability." He specifically welcomes domestic abuse survivors who need "the self-esteem that endurance sports give you."

Changing Course
Tom had already achieved professional success as a senior bank manager, but he found it decreasingly fulfilling. “I always wanted a career in athletics,” and he realized that triathlon coaching paired well with his other passion: helping domestic abuse survivors.

“My mom was badly abused,” he notes matter-of-factly. “We experienced quite a lot. My mother and I decided we would be support for women in abusive relationships.”

The concept became his coaching studio, Passion Fit. But it meant abandoning what had been a lucrative career. “Much to my wife’s frustration, it took me about 48 hours to decide. I literally decided to walk away in two days.”
Transformation at Kona
“For an amateur athlete, it’s as close as you can get to going to the Olympics,” enthuses Tom about the IRONMAN World Championship in Kona. He calls it both “a bit of a circus” and “the most incredible experience.”

“I first swam in the Endless Pool in Kona” at the triathlon’s expo. “It completely convinced me that this was the way forward” for Passion Fit.
“First, the visual feedback is hugely important,” he reports of the pool’s underwater mirrors and cameras. “I find it difficult through verbal coaching to improve my own swimming. In that one swim, I was able to make some fundamental adjustments.”

He’s since found similar success with his own Performance Endless Pool for his clients and the triathletes on Team Passion Fit. “In one session, I can progress a client what would take four sessions in a normal pool.
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