Aqua Notes

What is an allowable limit?

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What is an allowable limit? In Nathan Jendrick’s book Dunks, Doubles and Doping: How Steroids Are Killing American Athletics, I remember a chapter where a former athlete and user of illegal performance enhancing drugs talks about how utterly ridiculous the allowable limit ratios are. For testosterone the allowable limit was 6:1 (testosterone to epitestosterone). The normal balance for a healthy young man is 1:1.

What if an athlete with the means to hire a private doctor with the resources to keep a testosterone level steady at, let’s say, a ratio of 5:1. This ratio is still within the allowable limit set by FINA or the World Anti Doping Agency. The athlete is adhering to a VERY strict regime of testosterone injections and should their level ever go over the set target of 5:1 then the doctor simply ups the counterbalancing hormone epitestosterone with another injection. Read more

The World Team II

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The arrival of Matt Macedo at The Race Club is exciting news for a couple of reasons. First, the obvious, Matt is an excellent coach that has proven himself over the years and will contribute to our program tremendously. With Matt’s arrival we open our doors to a number of athletes that are on their own way to becoming the next generation of great swimmers.

I have often described The Race Club as a swimming academy. It is an honor to welcome a World Team graduate to the ranks of Race Club Perfessor (coach).

There are simply too many people that want to train with Perfessor Mike Bottom. Many talented young swimmers that have yet to reach their full potential have been turned away in the past. We did not have the space or resources to accommodate everyone.

By creating a World Team II we are able to advance the swimming accomplishments of swimmers that aren’t quite at the Olympic medal podium level, YET. We are able to place athletes in an environment that will catapult them into the next level. Read more

Detective Work

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I always try to put myself in the shoes of others. I imagine what it’s like to drive a Bentley without a license and have more Chihuahuas than brain cells or what it must be like to be Carrot Top. By doing so I find myself sympathizing with those that initially I can?t understand.

Here is a post from a Timed Finals article on an issue that I have weighed in on from time to time over the years: CHEATERS IN SPORT. Read more

Swimming For A Few Dollars More

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When I was young, about 10 to 14, my aunt and I had a system of hustling swimmers out of their cash. I had a privileged upbringing. My grandfather would take us over to Europe in the summers. We would stay at these really nice resorts and at every pool at every resort there would be some swimmer putting in laps.

I was a kid and would act like a kid, splashing around in the shallow area. My aunt was my supervisor, assuming the duties of babysitter to her nephew at the pool. She would approach the swimmer and get to talking with them. Usually, or almost always it was a male. Read more

Pan Ams: Soldier Through

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My bags are packed and the majority of the team is headed out to enjoy their last night in Rio de Janeiro. Most were able to see Christ the Redeemer today while the few of us that still have to swim sat behind hoping to close this meet on a good note.

About 64% of the men’s team swam a lifetime best at these Pan Am Games. About 86% of the women’s team swam lifetime bests. That’s impressive. Read more

Pan Ams: An exercise in tough

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Beating Brazil in Brazil is like, hard. We knew it was going to be tough but now that we are in the competition and actually having to do it, well, it’s tougher to do tough than it is to talk about tough. I am reminded that this is and was always the case.

This young US team is doing a bang up job. There is no doubt about it. Every swimmer here has made the US proud, swimming their guts out in these Pan Am Games. They have been gracious in victory and defeat. I am sure that you will see some of these swimmers on the Beijing trip. Read more

Pan Am Open Water Swimming: Exciting!

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The race setting could not have been more beautiful, with the course stretching along the world famous Copacabana beach. The weather was perfect. The seas were a little rough. Make that really rough. In the distance the surfers looked on, missing barreling sets to see the Xtreme swimming.

Two US men summit the medal podium to kick off what is sure to be a great meet for the US team in swimming. The talented Fran Crippen won the 10K open water event today in a time of two hours 2 minutes, and 24 seconds. Chip Peterson finished just five seconds behind in what can be considered a photo finish for open water swimming. The two battled it out the entire race with Chip leading until Fran “Madman” Crippen pulled ahead at the end in a gutsy finish. Third place was Brazilian Allan Carmo in two hours 3 minutes and 53 seconds. Read more

2007 Pan Am Games

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Rio de Janeiro here I come. One Patrick O’Neil, member of the Race Club’s World Team and Pan American team, and your humble narrator have been sitting in the belly of a plane on the hot tarmac of Miami International Airport. Our flight has been delayed for close to seven hours. Couple that with the two hours drive up from the Florida Keys and another two for a timely check in and we are eleven hours en route and we haven’t even left yet.

We are due to fly to the Pan American Games in Rio de Janeiro sometime, through Washington DC, and then through Sao Paolo. It’s like flying from Los Angeles to Tokyo, through St. Louis and Kyoto. Crazy. But that’s what happens when you make the United States Swimming National team and anyone who has will tell you about some crazy flight. It’s some game of international leapfrog with layovers. It is my belief that a schizophrenic chimpanzee handles the travel arrangements for USS, or an undead Marky Ramone.

So, forgive me if I am a little grumpy. The bright side is that I’ve got a lot of time to write out my first piece for Timed Finals. I’ll try to write in about the happenings of the Pan Am Games in Rio. They should be good, if this delay isn’t an omen. Read more

Racing Is What It’s All About

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Greetings from Earth,

The Race Club: Racing Is What It’s All About

You can now challenge anyone, anywhere in the world, in any race you can dream up and settle it here.

In the Race Club Message Boards we have come up with a concept that is sure to change the way we race. A swimmer in the Los Angeles area is set to race a swimmer in San Diego. The proverbial gauntlet has been thrown down and we at The Race Club LOVE that! One swimmer is swimming and the other is kicking. Better than fine. But while this race was being formed the idea emerged to film the swims separately and post them on You Tube and our site. A virtual race.

“maybe when we are at practice on certain days we could all do a timed something… then all post the results for a virtual online meet/race. perhaps once a month or something… could be good!” Read more

Is Thorpe A Cheater?

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I put on a swim clinic at the Lakeland Hills YMCA in New Jersey last weekend. We also put on a diabetes expo with the BD diabetes team. Just wanted to say thanks to the hundreds of people that came. I had a great time. Thanks! If you didn’t catch me there I talk swimming and/or diabetes year round at our camps in the much warmer Florida Keys. Come visit us and we’ll make you a faster swimmer. Bring the whole family because there is plenty to do for everyone. I’ll see you soon.

Is Thorpe A Cheater? Oh, and the World Championships…

Because it’s the right thing to do I am going to start this Aqua Notes by covering the newsworthy swims of the World Swimming Championships. Who cares about Ian Thorpe when Michael Phelps goes a 1:43.86 in the 200 free? Michael had an incredible meet, no doubt. The 50 freestyle went to Ben Wildman Tobriner in an impressive time of 21.88. Congratulations to Ben, for dashing everyone’s Fantaswim picks! And to the beautiful Therese Alshammar for winning the 50 fly, Huzzah! The whole meet was spectacular! I could go on and on about the great swims but I’ll leave some for the water cooler. Now for the dirt. Read more