Swimming Fast in the Morning


In 2008 in Beijing, the world’s athletes will be faced with the need to swim fast in the morning – since that is when the Olympic Gold Medals will be won, thanks to the commercial need to put the Games on TV in USA Prime Viewing Time.

Likely you’ve all followed that discussion over the past 12 months. The world is unhappy about it, and have added it to their list of unending reasons to be pissed off with the USA. The statement (totally illogical, but hey!) is that somehow the USA swimmers and coaches maneuvered this to provide us with an advantage.

Now why the USA Swimmers would find contesting finals in the AM to be an advantage is over my head, but, its good for those who love to bash the USA.

Many of us, with more mortal athletes, have been concerned with how to swim fast in the morning for a long time, because if our normal athletes don’t, they don’t get to swim at night in championship meets. Actually a lot of the world has had to learn how to swim fast in the morning much before any of this Beijing stuff.

During a recent USA Swimming meeting, i decided to ask the ASCA Coach of the Year, who coaches a young man named Michael Phelps, what they had experimented with this year to learn how to swim fast in the AM. Here’s Bob’s responses:

  1. “Wake up Three Hours Before You Swim” (at least.)
  2. Take a WARM shower.
  3. Immediately dress in warm clothes, including cap, socks and gloves or mitts.
  4. Provide the athlete with a longer and more intense warmup than you would otherwise do in the AM.

The Key Point, according to Coach Bowman? Iits raising the core temperature of the body and keeping it there. That’s the major physical difference between AM and PM swimming.”

Thanks for the advice Coach Bob. It may be useful for our slow people trying to make finals in our local meets, as well as for the fast people going after Olympic Medals in Beijing. Good luck to both groups!

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