Cook Strait Swim, New Zealand

Sunday, January 30, 2011

Swim for a cause...February 14

Many swimmers throughout the world will be swimming on February 14 to bring an awareness of heart disease in their country. As many of you know, heart disease has killed many young athletes. My 34 year old brother died suddenly and unexpectedly of a heart attack...Robbie had broken several swim records. In England, English Channel swimmer Mark Rickhuss died of a heart attack at the age of 41. In his memory, his friends started a swim team called "Big Rick's Outdoor Swim Team". They have raised a substantial amount of money for their Heart Association in England. They are to be commended for their hard work and continued effort to raise money for heart disease. Please visit their website. And in Mexico, Antonio Arguelles has organized 25 swim clubs and 1400 swimmers to participate in the Feb. 14 swim. Every swimmer will have the opportunity to have their blood pressure checked, blood glucose and cholesterol levels tested prior to their swim. Also, every swimmer will receive a swim cap with a logo of a "red heart". And two cardiologist will be helping with this major Heart Awareness Campaign. I am inviting you to join us in thought and action on February 14. On that day, go to your local community pool or open water swim.....and tell your fellow swimmers that you are swimming to bring an awareness of heart disease and make a donation to your local Heart Association. Together we can make a difference

Wednesday, January 5, 2011

Countdown to English Channel Swim

I am so excited that 2011 is finally here.... I've been training hard for my English Channel attempt in August. I've had several emails from swimmers asking about my training program so I will try to give a brief outline of my schedule. Like many other swimmers I work (4 days a week as a nurse) and have a very busy family life (husband, kids, grand kids), so I have to carefully plan my training. Currently, I've been training six days a week.....three days a week are 4+ hours of swimming each day with cross training of one hour, the other three days are 2+ hours of cross training and 1 hour of swimming. Also, I weight train every two days and it includes upper body and core strengthening. My cold acclimation is easy living here in Maine where it's currently 30 degrees....my cross training is outdoors and I wear very lightweight clothing so I am intentionally COLD. I take one day off for rest. NOW for the confusing part......every two weeks I add one hour to "one"of the long day workouts. I make sure it's added to a "back to back" workout days....for example: On Saturday I will swim 5 hours and Sunday I will swim 4 hours. A few weeks later I will increase by one hour the Saturday workout.... Saturday 6 hour swim and Sunday 4 hour swim. This will continue each month until I reach a 10 hour swim on a Saturday and 4 hour swim on a Sunday. I continue with my routine workouts on the other days. A marathon runner doesn't run a marathon everyday likewise a marathon swimmer doesn't have to swim a marathon distance everyday. But it is very important that every week,a long distance of swimming should be met. I will start my transition from pool to ocean in April when the water temp is mid-forties. It will be a gradual transition where I will swim mornings at the pool and ocean swim in the afternoon. I will have a few night swims in July. Early August I will continue to train hard and I will start my taper when I board the plane to England. I will be celebrating my 60th birthday in a few weeks and I have surprisingly discovered that my endurance has improved again this year....Go figure!!!!!