Member News From
Behind the Blocks

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In This Issue
Just Open Water
Dryland Training
We've Got Spirit
It is All In the Water
Calendar Updates
About Us

Have you registered for 2009?

Open Water: Winter Workouts for Summer Success

Click here and register for another year with U.S. Masters Swimming!

U.S. Masters Swimming to Establish National Headquarters in Sarasota...

Read more

Will we see you there?
SC Nationals-Clovis Logo small

U.S. Masters Swimming
Short Course National Championships

May 7-10
Clovis, CA
 Click here for the complete meet info

Don't forget to register for the Athlete Social to be held on
May 9, 2009!

New Sponsor for U.S. Masters Swimming!


Click here to learn more

Really Cool Club Website of the Month...

Naperville Waves
Naperville, IL

to our
Go The Distance Swimmers of the Month!

Dennis Green, Cindy Clutter, Joel Schmaltz, Bill Shea, Wood Wannamaker,

Click here for more information about Go The Distance and other U.S. Masters Swimming fitness events.

Read about Olympian and U.S. Masters Swimming member

Janel Jorgenson

and what she's doing to inspire people to

click here

Do you have a story to tell?

We are always looking for stories and personalities to feature on and in USMS Swimmer.  If you or someone you know would like to see their story featured click here to contact us!

endless pool contest

Support our Official U.S. Masters Swimming Partners because they support you!

Click here for a complete list of U.S. Masters Swimming Partners.

Join Our Mailing List

We are excited to continue to provide you with useful information, tips, and resources to assist you in your quest for a healthy lifestyle through aquatics!  We have a lot of great events right around the corner so be sure to check out today!

Swimming for Life!
Your friends at U.S. Masters Swimming
No Lines, No Lanes,
Just Open Water

by Sara McLarty

Welcome to my first column in the U.S. Masters Swimming newsletter. I'm a young Masters swimmer and I am currently training full time at the USA Triathlon National Training Center. I also coach our local Masters team in Clermont, Fla. I started competing in the pool in 1987 and open water in 1989! Since 2005, I have been known as the "Fastest Swimmer in Triathlon." I recently sat down with Steve Munatones, one of the most experienced and valuable open water swimmers in America. Steve has been a World Champion and a World Champion coach; NBC used his extensive knowledge for the 2008 Beijing Olympic open water event. For more details, check out Steve's website for all things related to open water swimming.

Sara: Steve, how long have you been a swimmer?
Steve: I started swimming in 1966.
Sara: What drew you to open water?
Steve: Its unpredictable, unrelenting, and unrestricted nature.
Sara: What was the first open water event you participated in?
Steve: The Naples Island Swim in Long Beach, California.
Sara: Best memory from that experience?
Steve: Finishing.  I was 6 years old! But it left an impression...I wrote about that very experience in my college application.
Sara: What is your favorite training method for open water?
Steve: Eating a greasy meal or pizza and then immediately swimming parallel to the California shore along and through the surf break.  It is a practical way to prepare oneself for really rough conditions!
Sara: Why are you still in the water after all these years?
Steve: I enjoyed it when I started in the 1960's and I enjoy it even more now!
Sara: Your #1 safety tip for someone thinking about training in open water?
Steve: Swim parallel to shore if you swim alone.

This is a great tip for beginner open water swimmers. The deep, dark depths of the ocean, a lake, or river can be quite intimidating for some people. Be smart and stay close to shore when swimming alone. In case of any unforeseen emergencies, like a leg cramp or a run-in with local wildlife, you are never more than a few strokes from dry land.

Average human body proportions make it possible to swim horizontally and stand vertically in the same water depth. Staying close to shore also means staying in relatively shallow waters. These water depths are usually going to be clear of boat traffic...but wear a brightly colored cap no matter what!

Dryland Training: A Non-Specific Approach
by Rich Abrahams

If you want to go fast in a race, your training should mimic the conditioning and technique required by your focus events, but what type of training should be done outside of the water for fast racing and general health and fitness?  Anti-specificity is one of the hottest training methods across the country.  Read more about the pros and cons of specificity in training and how it applies to you.  Read more...
We've Got Spirit!
Sometimes the main event isn't poolside, or even on the deck...

This year's Virginia Masters Swim Team New Year's swim workout was 109 x 50s which totaled to a whopping 5450 yards.  An annual tradition, this event is held the first Sunday of the New Year.  Coaches Wayne White, Connie Adelman and John Facciola designed the workout, which resulted in big turnout, lots of fun and overeating afterwards at IHOP.  When asked if she would be attending the breakfast event afterwards, one swimmer put it all in perspective, "Are you kidding?  Do you think I'd swim that far if I didn't get to eat afterwards?"

Open Water: Winter Workouts for Summer Success

To see yourself, your coaches, or your program featured send us a photo that displays outstanding spirit to

Visit Today!

Is it All in the Water?
by Dr. Jim Miller
While muscles need hydration to maximize their performance, they are not burning water.  They are burning carbohydrates.  So, what happens if the muscle is not supplied with nutrition and what should you do about it?  Read more...
SwimFest Logo

Imagine the following seven Masters coaches on deck giving you swimming instruction, motivation and their years of Masters coaching wisdom to improve your pool or open water swimming: Kerry O'Brien (1987 Coach of the Year, head coach Walnut Creek Masters), Kris Houchens (2007 Coach of the Year, head coach IndySwim Fit), Susan Ingraham (2008 Coach of the Year, head coach Masters of South Texas), Whitney Hedgepeth (Olympic Gold Medalist, head coach Longhorn Aquatics Masters), Sara McLarty (Professional Triathlete and Open Water Champion, coach National Triathlon Training Center), Mike Collins (1990 Coach of the Year, head coach NOVA Masters) and Jim Montgomery (2002 Coach of the Year, head coach Dallas Aquatic Masters). Now imagine these coaches plus more all on deck for you. Well, it's coming: SwimFest '09.

SwimFest '09, presented by U.S. Masters Swimming, is sure to be a fun packed weekend. It is open to any registered USMS member wanting to improve their swimming (meaning, this is not a competitive swim clinic but open to all USMS members regardless of their ability). The two-day SwimFest '09 will be hosted at the brand new CISD Natatorium in Shenandoah, Texas and home of the Woodlands Masters Swim Team. Saturday's pool session is limited to 130-swimmers. The 50-meter pool will be set up with 20 x 25-yard lanes. Stations covering all four strokes, starts/turns and dryland will be set up as you rotate through with other swimmers and the Masters coaches. Sunday's session is limited to 56-open water/triathletes. The Sunday session will be in the 50-meter pool with no lane lines and also include station rotation. Under water videotaping is included for both days.

To learn more about SwimFest'09 and how you can be a part of the fun visit Registration will open March 1, 2009.  Look for more info in the next issue of USMS Swimmer as well.

Calendar Updates: February/March

Registration for U.S. Masters Swimming Short Course Nationals is available online.  Click here to register!


Article ideas for July/August issue of USMS Swimmer Magazine due to USMS Editor (Bill Volckening;

Open Water/Long Distance individual and relay All-Americans posted on the Open Water/Long Distance web page

Postmark entry deadline for 2009 SC Nationals

All registrations received as of today's date will be included in the mailing of the May/June issue of USMS Swimmer Magazine
Open Water: Winter Workouts for Summer Success

About U.S. Masters Swimming

U.S. Masters Swimming, founded in 1971, is a membership-operated national governing body that promotes adult health, fitness and wellness through aquatics.  It does so by partnering with more than 1,000 adult swim clubs across the country that offer swim/fitness programs, promoting information via a bimonthly member magazine and, and sanctioning and promoting pool, open water and virtual competitions.  Nearly 50,000 adults are registered members of U.S. Masters Swimming.

About "Member News from Behind the Blocks"
U.S. Masters Swimming encourages all U.S. Masters Swimming members to subscribe to "Member News from Behind the Blocks", however if you would rather not receive this update, please do not click the unsubscribe button, as that will remove you from all other U.S. Masters Swimming National Office mailings.  Rather, please click on the "Update Profile/Email Address" link at the bottom of this email. Here you can select to discontinue your "Member News from Behind the Blocks" service or sign up for the U.S. Masters Swimming coaches' newsletter, "News from the Deck".