October 27, 2008

Ask "theSwimMom"

I'm going old school with this post and will be writing it out with pen and paper first.  This is due mainly to the fact that I don't have a laptop and I am currently sitting at a swim meet. (Want to start a write in campaign to Brent to get me a laptop? Yah, I didn't think so.)

Andrew's first time in a swim cap! Doesn't he look thrilled?

This particular swim meet is being held in American Fork, Utah and is being hosted by the HAST team.  I have been told that during the college off season many BYU swimmers swim with them.  Are you impressed?

Today the kids are competing in a 25 yard 8 lane pool that is actually housed in a bubble.  A bubble you ask? Yes a bubble a very large removable bubble.  This is so the pool can become an outdoor pool during the summer months and still be used once the weather goes south.

If you look in the background of this picture you can see the walls of the bubble.  If you click on this picture you can see some pretty cool blur action of feet during a start.

Yours and mine very favorite swim pal Willow ask.....

SwimMom, are indoor swim meets filled with the aroma of ick? Most indoor pools I have visited have a quite distinct and completely unpleasant smell about them.

Frankly as I sit here I do not smell any chlorine.  This could be due to two reasons.  The first being that I am so use to chlorine that I can no longer smell it. (Just saw a shirt a swimmer is wearing, "Chlorine makes everything taste better." Is it scary that I think that is funny?) The second reason could be attributed to a brand new UV system that many pools now use. A UV system is attached to the pools filter system.  Imagine if you will, a gigantic tanning bed, as the water passes through the UV lights it becomes clean and removes the chloromines from the air. Chloromine is the smell you smell when you think you smell chlorine.

Many pools in Utah installed this multiple 10's of thousands dollar filtering system after a nasty bug, that was chlorine tolerant, infected the public pools of Utah.  Leaving thousands of public pool using, Utahan's very sick.  I will spare you the details of what the sickness caused. Needles to say pools lost so much money in loss of patrons that they were anxious to install a system that brought the patrons back to the pool.  One more positive from the system no chloromine smell.  Pools still have to use chlorine but a lot less and cleaner water in the process.
So lets talk swim lingo are you ready? As I already mentioned today we are at a 25 yard pool. 

Short course pools are 25 yards or 25 meters, these are generally indoor pools.

Long course pools are 50 meters and due to their length are generally outdoor pools.

Sam's first event was a 100 IM which means she swam 25yards of each competitive stroke.

Competitive strokes are Butterfly, Back Stroke, Breast Stroke, and Freestyle.
In the swim world Front Crawl is usually called Freestyle.  However, by definition Freestyle is any stroke that is not Butterfly, Back or Breast.  So there is actually a difference between Front Crawl and Freestyle.

During a swim meet swimmers swim events.  Usually there are more swimmers then lanes so they swim in a heat.  The heat they swim in is determined by there previous time in that event.  The fastest swimmers swim in the last heat. The fastest swimmer of the heat swims in lane 4.  Which is why you always see Michael Phelps in lane 4. At the end of the event swimmers are placed according to their times.  So even the slowest swimmer in heat one can beat the fastest swimmer in heat three if they get the time.

When swimming a swimmer is always trying to improve their times.  There are several levels of swimming times that a swimmer is trying to achieve.  Let me simplify it.  First a swimmer swims to achieve state times which means they swim on the state level.  Then they try to achieve zone times which means that they swim against several states.  From zone they try to achieve national times.  This is basically the Olympic qualifier.  From national you try to be the fastest and you go to the Olympics.  Sounds easy right? It is fun to watch but it can be nerve racking watching a 100th of a second keep your swimmer out of state.

Which leads me to Willow's final question...

Do you condone performance enhancing drags off the Sue Bee Honeybear? The swimmer with whom I plan to spend forever was known to gulp honey prior to races as added pep. Would you, or have you ever, supported nutritional doping?

If SueBee is not your energy supplier of choice, is there a dietary ritual practiced by your swimmers to give them an "edge"?

Sue Bee? Really? Well that is interesting.  I have to say that I have not heard nor seen that one at a meet.  My favorite that I currently see at many meets is "Red Bull."  I have to say the first time I saw a nine year old chugging down a "Red Bull," I was a little taken back.  Did it really help?  Did it really give them an edge? After thinking about it I also realize that I have seen many kids with pixie stix. Nice sugar rush before your event.

As we have learned that all of these "natural" substance have a crash factor. So depending when you take it and how much of you take.  Eventually you will crash.  My suggestion is to eat a proper diet and learn what foods do not go well with swimming.  For example, I learned the hard way that PB sandwiches at a meet not the best idea. I also, have learned that forcing your kids to eat spaghetti the night before a meet gets really old after four years.  Sam nearly has convulsions at the site of spaghetti.  We try to stay away from junk food and keep things pretty simple and most of all get plenty of rest.  That seems to work the best for our young swimmers. I have seen a lot of good ideas for good kid sports nutrition on this blog.

Also, we realize that every kid has an off day so we try to take those in strides. Well I don't know about you but I am about swim mome'd out. Next week  we will be talking  tips, tricks, and hints about your little one and the pool.  Have a great week and remember, "Life is better when you swim."


Willow said...

Really, the honey thing is not even a lie.

ashleeeee said...

I love the smell of chlorine, or uh, chloromine. Is that weird?

That nasty virus... ugggggggggggggggggggggggggggg.
I had a hard time getting back into the pool. Seriously.

Paul swam in HS and did the honey/pasta-right-before-a-meet diet. Yum.

Can't wait 'til next week. I have been dying to take Hollie to the pool, but Paul doesn't want to go yet. I don't know why not. Blah. But I want her first time to be with both of us, or else I'd already be in the water!

ashleeeee said...

Okay SwimMom, I have questions.

1) What does SPF in sunscreen mean?

2) Are they really trying to sell me a swimming suit by promoting that it's "AT LEAST 50 SPF" (the tag really says that). Of course it is! It's FABRIC! Does fabris really have a SPF rating? And, if it really does, shouldn't fabric have a higher SPF rating than 50? You know, because it's... fabric.