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Showing posts with label triathlon training. Show all posts
Showing posts with label triathlon training. Show all posts

Tuesday, October 24, 2017

Train Smarter with the Endless Pools Fit@Home App

A swimmer pre-programs his Endless Pools workout with the new Fit@Home app
Endless Pool® owners, you have a new toy to play with!

With our recently launched Fit@Home app, you can control your swimming machine and underwater treadmill from your smartphone or tablet. Better still, the app adds all-new options to program and save your swimming and running workouts.

With the Fit@Home app, your Endless Pool's new, training-friendly functionality includes:

  • Workout Monitoring, with our easy-to-ready Display Mode.
  • Advanced Workouts with custom time and pace intervals; you can easily create, save, and edit your swim/run workouts.
  • Manual Control Mode to let you program a simple swim or treadmill run more quickly than with our standard remote control.
This animation shows some of the basic functions:

A Triathlete Gets Started with Fit@Home
Ed W., a triathlete in Michigan, originally got his own Endless Pool for the convenience; he was tired of waiting in line at the public pool to train. This summer, he upgraded with Fit@Home for even greater convenience.

"I’m 62 and swimming is still my best event," Ed told us. "For the last 3 years, I’ve only trained in my Endless Pool, which really blows most folks away."

Since turning to the Fit@Home app, he reports, "I can pre-program swims instead of having to start and stop.

"I have a couple of programs now – one is 10x100 interval, soon to be 15xI00’s. I could do that before, but I had to watch a clock and just guess when I got close to the time I wanted … I had to move out of the current [to] watch the clock and jump back in again.

"Now, it’s automatic."

A triathlete's Performance Endless Pools swimming machine for at-home swimming training
How can you tell that this is an older picture of Ed W.'s Endless Pool? The 62-year-old triathlete recently replaced that little blue remote (lower left) with our new Fit@Home app. Thanks to the new functionality afforded by Fit@Home, "I can pre-program swims instead of having to start and stop," he says. "It's automatic."

Friday, October 13, 2017

Why Lionel Sanders Will Exit Kailua Bay Faster than Ever

Professional triathlete and Ironman, Lionel Sanders
Lionel Sanders is about to be put to the test. Tomorrow, the 29-year-old professional triathlete will compete at the IRONMAN World Championships in Kona, Hawaii. Despite seeing himself as "a weak swimmer," he just upped his game: he's been training in his own High Performance Endless Pool® for two months, and already he's seen measurable results!

Bad Timing
"My first triathlon back in 2010, I was almost last place out of the water," Sanders recalls. His swim training was hampered by the mid-day or late-night hours at his nearest public pool.

"I'd rather swim first thing in the morning. I was swimming after both my bike and run. No wonder I wasn’t improving – I was always swimming tired! As a weak swimmer, you need to be firing at full potential.

"Most of my swimming is now done in this Endless Pool." Besides his early-morning ritual, "you need to swim when inspired. I can get in the pool immediately upon being inspired and can swim an extra 4 kilometers."

"I'm just a completely different athlete both physically and mentally," he says confidently. "I'm looking to have a much improved race."

Correcting the Crossover
Unlike training with his bike and run, "I hadn't been able to see myself swimming." That changed when he took an Endless Pools test-swim this spring.

By swimming in place, you can watch your stroke in the Endless Pools underwater swim mirrors. "I looked at myself in the mirror and said, 'Yup. One hundred percent!'"

Real-time stroke analysis in the Endless Pool has allowed him to make daily improvements to his swim technique. "I'd been crossing the centerline. That was the first thing I needed to correct.

"I crossed over both left and right at entry. So I didn't have a stable core, so my hips went the opposite way. To counteract, I'd do a scissor kick," This technique flaw created "a massive amount of drag. Look at any great swimmer: no one does that!"

Thanks to the Endless Pool he installed in August, "I've been able to correct that. There's no crossover. Really, my swim improvement started two months ago.

"I've got so many things to improve upon now that I know what I’m doing. Every single day I do a technical session, I can see clearly if I'm improving."

A post shared by Lionel Sanders (@lsanderstri) on
Out of the Water Faster
Just weeks after beginning his Endless Pools training, Sanders returned to the ITU Long Distance World Championship. As in 2016, he was up against the dominant Australian triathlete, Josh Amburger.

Amburger is a particularly strong swimmer, and Sanders is used to trailing him out of the water. This year, Sanders happily reports, "I had my least deficit ever to him by a significant amount. And I swam completely solo."

After a solid bike and an outstanding run, Sanders landed at the top of the podium; Amburger took silver.

Now in Kona, Sanders feels optimistic following a preliminary practice swim. Using the UK triathlete Harry Wiltshire as a metric, "I was 8:41 down" out of the water in the 2016 Finals. "This year, [at practice] I was less than 4 minutes down to the same guy.

Friday, September 22, 2017

The Week in Swimming

dress rehearsal for Two Legs Bad, an aquatic ballet adapting George Orwell's Animal Farm and staged in a New Orleans swimming pool
USA Swimming has clarified its position on the so-called "Lochte Rule" on body position after a flip turn.

Keep an eye out for these storylines for women swimmers and men swimmers for the upcoming NCAA swimming season. (Swim Swam)

Britain's most successful swimmer ever, 22-year-old Adam Peaty is already considering his legacy. (The Set Pieces)

With this hot new swimming-pool workout, you can hear the hip-hop soundtrack and the coach's directions thanks to amphibious headphones. (LA Times, with video)

Check out these practical tips for tapering your swim (and bike and run) the week before your triathlon. (220 Triathlon)

Pro footballer ('soccer player' in the U.S.) İlkay Gündoğan is spending a lot of time in the swimming pool as he recovers from a torn ACL. (New York Times)

A new class uses mermaid tails to help teach girls swimming skills and water safety. (Star-Tribune)

Inspired by the Iron Man movie franchise, two young engineers used 3D printers to create these amazing underwater jetpacks:

Thursday, September 21, 2017

ITU Rotterdam Wrap-up: Inside the Endless Pools Tent

The Endless Pools swimming machines tent at the ITU World Triathlon Grand Final Rotterdam 2017 Expo
Last week, we were honored to participate in the ITU World Triathlon Grand Final Rotterdam. Accomplished triathletes, age-group and professional, stopped by the Endless Pools® tent to dip in to our signature swimming machine. 

As you can read in the Instagram captions below, these triathletes used the Endless Pool for rapid gains in their technical training, warm-ups, tapering, and just the sheer love of swimming.

Triathletes praise the Endless Pool and its adjustable swim current for a most remarkable recreation of open water conditions. With more than 50 speed settings, the pool can serve all levels of swimmer, from cool-downs to sprints to high-intensity interval training.

The Endless Pool gives these swimmers immediate and detailed feedback. Swimming in place lets them observe their technique in real time with our underwater swim mirrors; it also allows for video analysis that would be near impossible in open water.

Thanks to our Netherlands dealer, MaroZwembaden, for their invaluable assistance at the ITU Rotterdam Expo, and our congratulations to all the inspiring triathletes who made it to Rotterdam!

Tuesday, July 25, 2017

A Paralympian's Top 3 Benefits of Endless Pools Training

Paralympic triathlete and Endless Pool owner Joe Townsend
Since Joe Townsend lost both his legs in Afghanistan, he's been on the move more than ever. The Royal Marine Commando-turned-paratriathlete has competed at the IRONMAN World Championships in Hawaii, in ITU events from Geneva to Yokohama, and at the 2016 Rio Paralympic Games.

After his fateful accident in 2008, he turned to the triathlon to regain his feeling of control over his body and to raise money for Help for Heroes, a charity supporting wounded UK veterans.

He's seemingly embraced every challenge to come his way; fortunately, his triathlon training got less challenging last year. Reports Joe, "I'm really fortunate to have an Endless Pool® right in my house."

Becoming a Paratriathlete

"After my injury, I was asked to do an IRONMAN to raise money for charity." At the time, Joe was "not at all" a competitive swimmer; "I could pass a basic swim test, but I needed extra lessons." He almost opted for the bike/run duathlon option. "I eventually decided, 'Why not try to learn to swim so I can call myself an Ironman.'"

"I've been swimming six days a week ever since." That hasn't always been so easy. At the nearby public pool, where he had to share lanes with less focused swimmers, "serious training wasn't possible."

"When I swim in a traditional pool," the double amputee notes, "I can't kick off the wall." That means additional effort to get back up to speed, so "I can't get in my race pace."

As a result, "I was really struggling with my swimming time," Joe laments. He recalls thinking to himself, "It would be awesome to swim whenever I wanted without any interruption."
Bringing Training Home
Joe now swims in a Performance Endless Pool, courtesy of our award-winning dealer, Home Counties Pools & Hot Tubs. A step up from our Original Endless Pool, the Performance swim current adjusts from a gentle warm up to its demanding top pace of 1:11/100m.

"The Endless Pool is an absolutely fantastic piece of equipment. It's more open-water specific," he observes. On a more personal note, "I wanted to optimize my training environment at home so I can be close to my family."

Of course, Joe found other benefits of his Endless Pools training…

#1: Stroke Analysis
"First, for swim stroke analysis and working on technique, the Endless Pool is just brilliant," Joe finds. "It helped to improve my swim times dramatically."

Joe uses Endless Pools' two stainless-steel underwater mirrors. The Swim Mirror, which is at the front and angled upwards, lets swimmers monitor their hand entry, pull through, and shoulder rolls. The Floor Mirror lies flat to reflect a swimmer's body position.
#2: Video Feedback
"Second, I can video myself and look back" to review swim technique and body position.

In-place swimming makes it easy to record a full swim with a stationary camera, either underwater or just above. Joe can then assess the real-time adjustments that he made using the mirrors.

#3: Immediate Pace Signals

Wednesday, May 31, 2017

CrossFitter: My Swim Workouts Are Like Wrestling!

U.S. Navy veteran and CrossFit fanatic, Jeffnkanasas on Instagram
"I'm high-mileage for my age, that's for sure," says Jeff. A 46-year-old Navy veteran, former wrestler, and dedicated CrossFitter, he now tailors his workouts differently than when he was younger.

"Twenty-six and under, you're still made out of rubber and plastic," he half-jokes. "As I get older, my knees and back don't want to lift." To keep himself fit and active, he incorporates more swimming.

As you can see from his recent Instagram posts (below), Jeff has recently trained with a waist tether. The tether "kind of holds you up out of the water, so it's cheating a bit." He's also trained with the Endless Pools Fastlane®. "There's no comparison, that's for sure," he declares.

The Fastlane current is "smoother." When training in a group, "it's seamless. We're not constantly changing the tether." Jeff also finds that it's better suited to the open-water training required by triathletes.

A fan of sprint- and Olympic-distance triathlon, Jeff calls the Fastlane current "very similar" to open water currents. "You still have to maintain a straight line. My last triathlon swim was 1,000 meters; I probably swam 1,500!"

Like the open water, the Fastlane current can "pull you left or right," so it's creates the discipline to swim more efficiently for the real-world conditions of open water swimming – and leave yourself with maximum energy for the bike and the run!

A post shared by @jeffnkansas on

A post shared by @jeffnkansas on
Jeff still does CrossFit two days a week, and he now sees even some of his younger workout buddies cross-training in the pool. "A lot of CrossFitters will swim or do yoga for recovery. You have to take those days off" because the workouts are so demanding.

That doesn't mean that his swim workouts are easy; his swim coach often leaves him sweating and breathless. "I didn't know you could get that workout swimming!" he enthuses.

As he's sees it, swimming "is like wrestling: if you stop, nothing good happens. It's the same sink-or-swim mentality."

"It's a great product," Jeff concludes. "I'll probably buy a smaller one myself someday."

Friday, March 31, 2017

The Week in Swimming

Swimmer Caeleb Dressel after setting American and NCAA records in the 100 freestyle at the NCAA Swimming Championships
Take a closer look at the record-breaking swims that earned the Texas Longhorn men their third consecutive NCAA title. (Swimming World)

April is Adult Learn-to-Swim Month, and U.S. Masters Swimming shares resources for students and volunteers

Simone Manuel and Katie Ledecky are among this year's honorees the Pac-12 Women's Swimming & Diving Awards.

The so-called "Harvard of the East," Tsinghua University sparked controversy with a new requirement that all students swim at least 50m to graduate. (BBC)

All Olympians take risks. Women swimmers in Afghanistan risk military threats just to train for Tokyo 2020! (AFP)

Ten of these 22 FAQs for beginner triathletes concern the swim. (220 Triathlon)

Get inspired by the 68-year-old Masters swimmer who's earning podium victories … after a 50-year absence from competition! (Charlotte Observer)

The College Swimming and Diving Coaches Association of America announced their Division I All-Americans for both men and women.

Wednesday, February 1, 2017

5 Reasons this Ultrawoman Loves her Endless Pool

Ultraman triathlete Linda H. in her home Endless Pool
"You can swim until the day you die. You can't run until the day you die. Swimming is so easy on your body." That's the line of reasoning that Linda H.'s husband used to convince her to get an Endless Pool®.

That was in 2010, when she'd only been racing triathlons for a few years. She wasn't certain that she'd stick with multisport, but she's now glad they made the investment. "I really, really love the pool," she says from her Nevada home. "It's done more for me than I imagined."

From Running to Triathlon
"I started doing triathlon about 10 or 12 years ago," she recalls. "All my friends run. I was afraid it was going to tear my body up. I was already having joint pain. I started doing triathlon to get endurance without beating myself up" from the high-impact pounding of running, by incorporating low-impact cycling and swimming.

In 2010, she completed her first IRONMAN® triathlon, crossing the finish line in under 14-1/2 hours. "I've never been fast," she admits to explain why she focuses on endurance training.

That year, she was lucky enough to make it to the IRONMAN World Championships in Kona, gaining entry with her first lottery. It was at the event's expo that she first tried the Endless Pool®.

Just a simple garage setting for a world-class training pool: that's all that Linda needs to do some serious Endless Pools training for the three-day, 320-mile Ultraman triathlon. "I really, really love the pool," she enthuses. "It's done more for me than I imagined!"

Tri Training at Home
"I was a terrible swimmer," Linda confesses. Initially, she couldn't even put her face under water. "I could not possibly have trained without my Endless Pool."

"I wanted to train up to four and a half hours" for Ultraman events, a series of three-day, 320-mile triathlons that kick off with a 10-km swim. "I don't know of any pool within any reasonable distance where I could swim long enough to see my time in a 10K," says Linda.

"Normally, I swam an hour at a time" in the public pool because that was the maximum allowed; once she had her Endless Pool installed, she could push her limits. "I started adding 5 minutes a week to a long swim."

5 Reasons to Swim at Home
1. Convenience: "I love it because I can go any darn time I want to! Right now, we have a foot to a foot and a half of snow outside, and I'd have to drive 15 miles to the nearest pool."

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.

Thursday, December 22, 2016

The Week in Swimming

A swimmer dressed as Superman diving into Lake Geneva for the 78th Coupe de Noël
You’ll love the extraordinary photos in this article on the roots and realities of ice swimming. (NY Times) These ice swimmers may even be getting added health benefits. (Spectator)

As Speedo and Swimming Australia end their sponsorship agreement, take a look back at their 60-year partnership in photos. (Guardian)

A swimmer considers the reputation of college swimming in light of Princeton’s suspension of their men’s season. (Swimming World)

Former Navy SEAL Chris Ring reflects on his historic 2,300-mile Mississippi River swim. (Tennessean)

Get inspired by 11-year-old Paralympic swimmer Luke Batty, already a National Champion with big plans for his future (Manchester Evening News) and by a woman with multiple sclerosis who just completed her 2016 resolution to swim one million yards (ABC13, with video).

Why triathletes should be careful about what they learn from single-sport pool swimmers. (Triathlete Europe)

From Nevada City to Bondi, explore 14 of the world’s best swimming spots. (Matador Network)

After completing a charity swim across Lake Malawi, a swimmer raised close to £2,000 more by accepting a dare to check in at the airport in his Speedo. (Telegraph)

To an uninitiated observer, ice swimming can seem peculiar. From afar, it might look like normal swimming in any lake. But while watching groups of half-naked people splashing into water 41 degrees or less, your mind naturally struggles to comprehend why. WHY? #Iceswimming has deep roots in Europe, where many believe it provides restorative health benefits. Only within the last decade have organizations begun formalizing these rituals. As in many extreme sports, participants embrace the opportunity to learn about themselves. But the risk to the body is real. Christof Wandratsch — photographed here by @juliengoldstein — is a lifelong competitive swimmer. The 49-year-old begins the acclimatization process in September, swimming an hour and a half in 68-degree water. These days, in water 40 degrees and below, he trains for 20 minutes at most. Whenever possible, Christof goes sockless in the winter. He takes frequent cold showers. But he didn’t heed his coach’s suggestion to sleep outside in his garden. Visit the link in our profile to read more about the swimmers with ice water in their veins. #???
A photo posted by The New York Times (@nytimes) on

??DECEMBER 20: JANE ASHER ?? She quit counting world records after breaking 100 of them. With smooth technique she swims faster than most triathletes. At 85 she swam 200 meter freestyle on 3:12 during 2016. This Water-loving Lady was born in Rhodesia, but female duties and circumstances pushed her away from swimming. Losing her husband in her sixties she found her way back to swimming. After replacing both hips in 2000 her record breaking journey started. Here are her times after turning 80: SCM: 50 free (37.67) 100 free (1:24.44) 200 free (3:01.61) 400 free (6:34.92) 50 back (46.10) 100 back (1:44.88) 200 back (3:42.88) 50 fly (45.57) 100 IM (1:42.46) 400 IM (8:07.34) ?THIS SWIM CALENDAR recognizes women, one each day from December 1st to Christmas Eve. They all have taken swimming to the next level. ? TO SUPPORT THE WOMEN that has the hardest of times right now, make a donation on @lighthouserelief - link in my bio or REPOST this ------------------------------- #swimming #swimmingworld #swimswam #natacion #natação #windsor2016 #simning #vansbrosimningen #crossfit #swimrun #simkalender #swimbikerun #triswim #natcion #femaleathlete #femaleswimmer #simmasverige #gbswimming #swimcalendar2016 #roadbike #bikelife #like4like #likeforlike #canyonbike #trekbikes #cervelo #triathlon
A photo posted by Mikael Rosén (@human_ambition) on

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, 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.

Wednesday, June 29, 2016

Andrew Starykowicz: How Endless Pools Skills Translate to Open Water

professional triathlete Andrew Starykowicz
Last week, professional triathlete Andrew Starykowicz (STARK-o-witz) recounted how he used his Performance Endless Pool® to quicken his recovery from 2015 bone-spur surgery. Andrew came back to win the 2016 IRONMAN 70.3 New Orleans. Today, he discusses other benefits to his triathlon training in his basement Endless Pool and how it helps him in open water.

Going into the 2016 season, I found myself preferring the Endless Pool to the lap pool for many reasons. 

The first is the convenience; I could take the baby monitor and get a swim in after my wife leaves for work and before my daughter wakes up. 

The second is that it was something new to swim in a pool without flip turns.  The difference between a traditional pool and an insane asylum is the pools walls are not padded; the hours of going back and forth made it hard for me to get motivated to swim.

The third is that I could do pace-based training in the water. So many athletes love their treadmills or cycle trainers because they can set a pace and then execute their work out perfectly. I adapted this technique and mentality to the pool. The Endless Pool allowed me to lock in and focus on how to maintain a pace with minimal energy exerted.  This became my challenge in every workout: how little can I work to hit goal paces.  I had literally stopped trying to swim fast and just make fast paces easier.

Professional triathlete Andrew Starykowicz on an open-water swim
"The difference between a traditional pool and an insane asylum is the pools walls are not padded," quips professional triathlete Andrew Starykowicz. Clearly a fan of open water swimming, he prefers training in his Performance Endless Pool  for its lack of flip turns, as well as for its convenience and the ability to do pace-based training. He trained solely in the Endless Pool before completing the 2016 IRONMAN Puerto Rico 70.3 swim in a stellar 24:25.

Going into the first event for 2016, I was quite nervous because I had not been in an actual pool yet; training had consisted exclusively of swimming in the Endless Pool, so IRONMAN 70.3 Puerto Rico would be the test.  The field had a few of the fastest swimmers in the sport, and I knew that if anything other than my “A” game would leave me out of contention.

Wednesday, June 22, 2016

Andrew Starykowicz: From the Top to the Bottom and Back

professional triathlete Andrew Starykowicz
Professional triathlete Andrew Starykowicz (pronounced STARK-o-witz) has had quite a journey! In the first installment of his two-part post, he details his recovery from hip surgery – part of which was performed in the Performance Endless Pool® in his basement.

Every athlete gets injured – heck, everybody gets injured – and it is then we learn how important our health is.  When you go from being able to swim 10,000 yards, bike 200 miles, and run 20 miles one weekend to not being able to get up and get a beer out of the fridge the next weekend, it is at that point that therapy devices become an integral part of life.

This is where my journey with Endless Pools® began.  In the midst of training for absolute dominance at the 2014 IRONMAN World Championship in Kona, I was struggling with injuries. When I was healthy for any period of time, I was winning races. Come the end of the season, I had to withdraw midrace at Kona. 

Getting the Bad News
It was a month after the season, when physical therapy was not improving my condition, that I learned that I had a bone spur on the head of my femur that was making Swiss cheese out of the laburum in my hip. This required a hip arthroscopy with Dr. Nho of Midwest Orthopaedics at Rush. It was the start of a long journey back.

I then realized that I would need to utilize tools that I had not used before to get healthy and stay healthy. In addition to my recovery, my wife and I were having a baby, so time was coming at a premium. 

Immediately after surgery, I learned that this surgery’s comeback would be a lot longer than I had originally thought. No pushing off the walls swimming, kicking while swimming, running, any of that for 4 months. The doctors knew from therapy that I would push the envelope on whatever they said I could do, so they kept the lid on it. During this time I was able to get in the Endless Pool and get in pull-sets to maintain some fitness.

Professional triathlete Andrew Starykowicz at T1, IRONMAN Texas, May 14, 2016
At this May's IRONMAN Texas, professional triathlete Andrew Starykowicz started strong with a 48:51 swim. Just 18 months earlier, he'd had hip surgery that left him unable to train on dry land. He now credits the Performance Endless Pool in his basement with helping him get back on track quickly enough to earn praise (and shock) from his doctors.

Active Recovery
At the four-month mark, the lid was opened a bit. I was able to resume normal swimming (still no pushing off the walls) and assisted running. In most situations this meant running with an Alter-G, but with access to the Endless Pools Underwater Treadmill, I started walking and eventually running a lot sooner without bearing my full weight.

Wednesday, June 15, 2016

Jay Learns to Swim … for His First Triathlon

“I knew how to swim across the pool for a beer,” Jay Stillman notes dryly. That, of course, was before … before he went to ProSwim Fitness, before he trained in their Endless Pool®, and before he completed his first triathlon just three months later.

“My sister is my inspiration,” he says appreciatively. “She’s doing an IRONMAN at 54.” His family has always been close, but with her in Florida and him in New Jersey, a little more effort has been required.

So he agreed to join her for a triathlon in her adopted hometown of Naples. “I’ve always been a runner,” he notes, and he’d been training with his road bike for about a year; but like many triathletes, he considers the swim his weakest leg.

That’s why he turned to Patti Ann Finch and the team at ProSwim Fitness – to learn to swim, to build the stamina to do it long distance, and accomplish that very quickly.

Jay Stillman in the Dual Propulsion Endless Pool at ProSwim Fitness, Mt. Laurel, NJ
Jay Stillman (front) had just three months to learn to swim for his first triathlon. Here, he's training in the Dual Propulsion Endless Pool at ProSwim Fitness. “I’m more comfortable in the Endless Pool because I can focus," he says. "You’re not thinking about turning around or looking at a line.” He's come to enjoy swimming in general because, unlike other endurance exercises, "my body never hurts when I'm done!"

Training in the Endless Pool
“I needed to go to the basics,” Jay says matter-of-factly. “The Endless Pool has helped. It gives you that feeling of water coming at you.” That’s a common sentiment among triathletes: The Endless Pool offers the best available open-water simulation.

“I’m more comfortable in the Endless Pool because I can focus. You just go. You’re not thinking about turning around or looking at a line.”

Jay approached his swimming lessons with a mix of caution and determination. “For adults, it is intimidating,” he admits. “It’s very hard to learn swimming when you’re older. But it’s doable.

“There’s no question: You can learn to swim. All adults should have swimming as an option to exercise. My body never hurts when I’m done! It’s great.”

The Big Day in Naples
On the day of the Naples triathlon, Jay recalls, “I felt prepared. We ran in [to the Gulf] and then everybody’s kicking. It was chaos.”

Wednesday, April 27, 2016

VIDEO: Triathlete Mark Buckingham Takes the Yonda/Endless Pools Challenge

How long does it take for GB Elite Triathlete Mark Buckingham to get into his Yonda® Ghost Wetsuit, swim 100 meters in the Endless Pool®, and then get out of his wetsuit? That was the challenge at last month's Swim Expo, and it earned one participant her own Ghost wetsuit for her predictive skills!

You can watch video of the entire challenge after the jump.

GB Elite Triathlete Mark Buckingham completing the Yonda/Endless Pools Challenge at Swim Expo, Manchester UK, March 2016
Professional triathlete Mark Buckingham suits up, strips down, and declares victory! At last month's Swim Expo in Manchester, Mark completed both -- with a 100-meter Endless Pools swim in between -- in just 1:53. One lucky participant won her own Yonda Ghost wetsuit for the most accurate prediction of how long it would take. Photos courtesy of Richard Asquith.

GB Elite Triathlete Mark Buckingham swimming in the Performance Endless Pool at SwimExpo in Manchester, March 2016.
Mark swam in the Performance Endless Pool's demanding top pace of a brisk 1:11/100m. The Performance model has a swim current that's about 30% larger than that of our standard model. With two propellers, it provides a smoother current too. Triathletes favor the Endless Pool for convenient home swim training with no flip turns. Photo courtesy of Richard Asquith.

Wednesday, April 20, 2016

Save the Legs! How Swimming Agility Training Can Increase Triathlete Efficiency

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

Goggles fill with water. A recent storm leaves a harsh current. Algae and vegetation cloud the water. It starts to rain, yet the race will go on. These are all environmental factors with which triathletes are regularly faced.

It’s easy to train for each of these: make your goggles leak so it doesn’t seem like as big of a deal; turn up your Endless Pool® current really high; smear petroleum jelly in your goggles to cloud your vision; you can even have a hose sprayed from above your Endless Pool to simulate rain. But when it comes to training versus race day, triathletes can find themselves needing not just endurance and speed, but agility.

If you train in a pool, yet compete in the ocean, your stroke will feel completely different because the stroke needs to behave differently. 

The foundational goal of swimming remains the same in either arena: perform linear acceleration in a straight line in order to reach the finish line through the path of least resistance as quickly as possible.

When you shift from the (mostly) still water of a pool to the strong pull of an open-water current, your stroke mechanics will change. The question is: will you let them change unconsciously and ineffectively, or will you intentionally adapt your stroke mechanics to achieve better efficiency and performance?

Raby Bay Triathlon 2001, photograph by mushu2011 on Flickr, some rights reserved
How do you navigate the chaos of a triathlon swim? Sports Scientist Jenni Brozena recommends that you "save the legs." That is, use her training tips to control your swim from the core, shoulders, and head for the necessary agility to deal with obstacles in the water. 
Photo by mushu2011, some rights reserved.

“Save the legs” is conventional wisdom when it comes to the swim, so let’s apply it to swim training. If you are to “save your legs,” this means that you control between the different environments using the hip complex up through the core, the shoulder complex, the force production from the stroke itself, and the head movement involved in breathing, sighting, and changing directions.

Wednesday, April 13, 2016

Video: The Brownlee Brothers at Home

Olympic triathletes Jonathan and Alistair Brownlee
“Swimming is a very technical sport,” observes Olympic gold medalist Alistair Brownlee. “Of the three sports in triathlon, it’s definitely the one you can make the most gains in technically.”

To develop technical swimming skills, Alistair and his brother, Olympic bronze medalist Jonny, use their Elite Endless Pool®.

Alistair finds Endless Pools’ underwater swim mirrors particularly useful. “Everyone who swims knows that what you feel you’re doing with your hands and what you’re actually doing are two very different things,” he says wryly.

Interviewed in this video by popular UK television presenter Charlie Webster, the Brownlees also recount how they’ve used the Endless Pools Underwater Treadmill for injury rehab.

“I tore my Achilles in early 2012,” Alistair recalls “I missed probably six weeks, if not more, of running in the crucial six months before the Olympics, and I wanted to catch that up. ... The Endless Pool allowed me to do that.” And that would be his gold-medal victory!

When Jonny had a stress fracture, he reports being “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.”

“You’re still getting the same long workout,” he notes, “but you’re not getting the same impact on the ground.”

Wednesday, April 6, 2016

Video: Pete Jacobs at Kona

2012 IRONMAN World Champion Pete Jacobs
“I don’t swim in squads; I swim on my own,” notes professional triathlete Pete Jacobs. “I’ve got a pool at home, it’s got a Fastlane® in it. It’s such an advantage for me.”

In 2012, Pete won the IRONMAN World Championship. He sat out the race in 2015 due to injuries, but he still came to Kona in support of the triathlon community.

While on the island, he stopped by the Endless Pools® booth near Kailua Bay, swim start, where we shot this video.

In just under two minutes, Pete discusses his swimming training and what he’s learned in his decade-plus triathlon career.

Pete trains at home in his own Endless Pools Fastlane, our swim-current generator that easily installs in traditional pools.

“It’s just such an advantage for me because I like training at home,” he notes; and with three disciplines to train for, being able to swim at home – no commute, no flip turns – is a huge time-saver!

“I’ve got 15 minutes free?” Pete asks. “I can just jump in, loosen up and get a really good feeling out of swimming. It’s like being a kid again!”

Monday, March 28, 2016

5 Tips to Diminish Your Swimming Fear by using a Controlled Environment

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

For many triathletes, “swim, bike, run” would sound much better as “bike and run as far away from the swim as humanly possible”.  The evolution of becoming a triathlete often begins with an athlete as a runner who later turned cyclist (normally when injuries make cross-training sound like a good idea), and then eventually it seemed silly to not conquer the swim as well. Voilà! A triathlete is born.

The adrenaline rush comes from conquering a new sport, a new training regimen, and ultimately completing the rigor of any triathlon distance. Triathletes who are not seasoned competitive swimmers can interpret the swim not only as the most challenging part of the race but a fear-evoking event.

To a novice triathlete, the sheer size of a swimming pool can be intimidating. The length of a lane does not bring much comfort either. (Proposal: as a nice gesture to those truly fearful of swimming, don’t take them to a 50-meter pool their first time.)

The question is not how can we help triathletes avoid their fear while training and racing the swim, but rather what can we teach during training to instill confidence and overcome their fear of the swim.

A controlled swimming atmosphere, like that of an Endless Pool®, creates an unintimidating environment. It also provides an opportunity to develop finely tuned motor control skills that greatly impact the triathlete’s swimming performance.
It is common for triathletes to experience heaviness in their legs while they swim; we may even see their hips drop in the water and their legs inch towards a vertical position rather than a force-producing horizontal position. This leads to an increase in energy expenditure, a “fighting” feeling against the water, and an irking feeling to a fearful swimmer that they might not make it to the swim’s endpoint. 

How can we help decrease the fear of the swimmer while also improving their kick? Here are five simple steps:
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