Monday, July 27, 2009


Introducing a new site for all things swimming: Swimpulse!

The mission of the site: "We're checking the pulse of the swimming community to find out what kind of support an independent, for swimmers by swimmers website, will get from you. Swimpulse isn't part of a bigger company or organization, which means our priorities and obligations to the swimming community will never come 2nd. Ask any great coach and he'll tell you the best approach to building something is to keep it simple, so that's what we're doing"

This site is the work of Garrett McCaffrey – the man who built Floswimming from the ground up. He knows swimming and knows what interests the swimming community. To make a long story short, there was what seems to be a falling out between Garrett and the folks behind flocasts. So, after a sudden departure from that site (where you can still see all his and his fellow bloggers/interviewers’ previous work), his dedicated followers have been anxiously waiting for his new venture to finally surface.

The site is pretty nifty for something built so quickly so keep in mind that it’s a work in progress. But, I’m excited that Garrett and those who also defected from Floswimming with him, are back interviewing, filming, blogging and just overall creating superb content (including coverage of Masters meets!) Let’s hope he’s able to continue providing the same type of coverage. The fact that he values swimming and swimmers at all levels is very much appreciated!

Thanks to The Screaming Viking (another great blog) for breaking the news (The Screaming Viking was also gracious enough to allow Garrett and others to use his blog to post while the Swimpulse was still being formed. I’ve added both to the blogroll on the right.)


Sunday, March 22, 2009

Understanding the Fly

The fly has always perplexed me. It's a beautiful stroke but hard to get right. And, the more people who don't get it right, the fewer people I can watch in order to get it right. Finding someone whose stroke you can record in your head and visualize as you swim is a huge help. So, again, we turn to MP.

This video is almost 6 minutes long, has multiple angles and simply shows Phelps swimming lots and lots of fly. It's a lot more than you'd get from watching him in one of his races. The flexibility of his shoulders and upper body is absolutely remarkable. Most of us will never be like Mike, but, hopefully, just trying to emulate his stroke will have a positive influence on our own fly.

Monday, January 26, 2009

Untraditional backstroke

Remember the drill with the dolphin kicks and backstroke pull? Well, this guy here does it really well. World-record-breakingly well. Yup, that's right. He competes that way. It's amazing to watch.

Here he is breaking the SCM 200 back world record for his age group. Oh, yeah, he broke the 100m and 50m world records too.

For more on Chris Stevenson's accomplishments, check out Swimming World Magazine.

Saturday, January 24, 2009

Successful Crossing of the Strait of Magellan!



On January 21, 2009, our very own (and by that I mean former Vanderbilt Y regular), Cristian Vergara and Rachel Golub (who has jumped in the pool with us before and is known by many on the team), along with Mark and Scott Lautman, successfully crossed the Strait of Magellan.

For a brief geography review, the strait is "immediately south of mainland Chile and north of Isla Grande de Tierra del Fuego.” I’ll let Wikipedia do the rest of the explaining here.

The waters are frigid, to say the least (40 degrees on the day of the swim) and the conditions not always the friendliest (according to Rachel’s blog, there are treacherous winds that can pick people up out of the water!). Yet, these brave swimmers trained long and hard to prepare themselves for this challenge. And, with the help of a useful sponsor, a little press, and a lot of support from friends, some of whom accompanied them to Chile, they all crossed the strait in under 2 hours.

Congratulations to all of the swimmers on your amazing accomplishment!

You can follow Rachel’s account of the swim on her blog: Magellaniana
And, here’s a story on Rachel and Cristian’s training regimen at Brighton Beach: NYTimes
Patricia Sener also plans to post pictures on her blog: Salty Tales
Y para los que leen espaƱol: La Prensa Austral

(Picture credit: La Prensa Austral)

Monday, November 24, 2008

Introducing Salty Tales!

In case you ever decide to leave the lane-line behind, Patricia has started a new open-water swimming blog for her sea-faring friends called Salty Tales. It's a blend of ocean reports, swim adventures, news, upcoming events, and historical tales. Plus lots of pics and other fun tidbits.

Hope everyone has a great Turkey Day. You're all invited to join the CIBBOWS peeps at their annual Turkey Day (brrr) dip this Thursday at 10am at Grimaldo's chair.

Tuesday, October 28, 2008

Introducing Saturday Morning Swim - A Wonderful New Swim Blog

Drawing by Christina Sun

Christina’s started a new blog, Saturday Morning Swim, in addition to her New York Harbor Sketchbook. It’s for her swim students at NYU but also for all of us :D You’ll find swim technique written in whimsical prose and lovely illustrations like the one you see here! Check it out, folks!

Wednesday, October 1, 2008

Unique Workout

From our trusty friends at Floswimming, who documented a practice session at Nitro Swimming. Enjoy!

Visit Floswimming For More Videos

Tuesday, August 12, 2008

Speed is not the ____, it's the _____!

Some interesting quotes from the NYTimes regarding the principles of swimming fast that are very much in line with Igor’s main mantra: “Speed is not the goal, it’s the result” :D

“A lot of people think you’re just thrashing in the 50,” Weber-Gale said. “But there’s a lot more to it than that. You’re trying to go as fast as you possibly can without trying.”

Once the starting beep sounds, the trick is to hit the water sprinting but not all-out. “You’ve got to be able to dive in,” Jones said, “pop up and go and be able to get that tempo exactly right.”

“The more effort I put into it, the more I slipped in my stroke.” (Biondi)

The Zen of the 50 goes beyond slowing down to swim faster. The rule of thumb on breathing, said Ben Wildman-Tobriner, the reigning world champion, is that, “If you take a breath when you need it, it’s too late.”

The 50 is not a thinking person’s race. It is for swimmers whose minds turn off so all they hear is their inner metronome. “People who tend to be cerebral, who are thinking: ‘Don’t forget to breathe; remember to kick; am I ahead?’ are not going to excel in the 50,” Biondi said. “The more people hold onto those thoughts the slower they’ll end up going.”

The shorter the race, the longer it takes to master. “The only way you’re going to be able to get super fast,” Weber-Gale said, “is to be as efficient as you possibly can and perfecting your stroke takes a long time.”

Thursday, August 7, 2008

Interactive Olympics Tracker

I was having a hard time finding a place that listed out the full Olympic event schedule in a detailed but user-friendly format and that would allow for customization based on the sports I was most interested in. I think the one that the NYTimes has created is pretty nifty and the best interactive tool I’ve encountered so far. If anyone knows of other useful and fun sources, let me know!

Fly Technique

So, one of the last swimming tidbits Igor shared with us (which was pretty novel to me) was: in the fly, don’t let your arms follow your head down or shoot them deeper/downwards as you would in breast, but keep your arms slightly above the head. You’re still leading with the head in terms of making the undulating motion, and as Igor used to say “pulling with your head”. And, you’re still making the second kick stronger than the first to “kick your arms forward”. But, by not letting your arms follow your head down, your second kick becomes a lot better and isn’t unnecessarily huge.

Since that was not that eloquent of an explanation, here’s an underwater video of Phelps doing it, which demonstrates it a lot better!

Wednesday, July 16, 2008

To Igor, with love

Though we will never, ever be the same without you, we hope to always be your swimmers…igorswimmers :)

Tuesday, July 1, 2008

Speaking of the New York Harbor...

Introducing the blog of one of our very own swimmers: Bowsprite. I think it's safe to say that Christina prefers the open water to chlorinated pool water and it definitely shows in her lovely New York Harbor Sketchbook. Check it out, folks!

Watercolor painting by Christina Sun

Saturday, June 28, 2008

Olympic Profile: Dara Torres

An extended feature in this weekend’s NYTimes Magazine on Dara Torres’ journey to make Olympic history.

Photo credit: AJ Mast/AP (via Washington Post)

Natalie Coughlin and the 200 I.M.

Check out this article on Olympic favorite, Natalie Coughlin, and her overcoming her fear of the 200 IM.

Photo credit: Jed Jacobsohn/Getty Images (via NYTimes)

Thursday, June 26, 2008

New York Harbor School

A great article on a school that teaches confidence and leadership by connecting students to the water around them. The New York Harbor School’s maritime focus includes basic swimming lessons, hands-on sailing and navigation training on the Lettie G. Howard, “a 125-foot schooner that was used as a New England fishing boat 100 years ago,” and rowing trips on the East river.

Photo credit: Ruby Washington/NYTimes