Most of people know that I am the coach of our local Masters team. My personality and the lack of a coach got me into the position as team dad.  I write the workouts, plan for meets and do what I can to increase our pool time so we can be open for more than just competitive swimmers, but masters of all levels. With today’s limits space in the pool I have been forced to set requirements for our weekday workouts, but Sundays everyone is welcome.

The main reason I am so active with Masters is I like to be in control and see that things get done the way I think they should get done.  The other reason it feels good to see when “my” swimmers improve.  I would like to think that everyone who has been swimming with me since 2007 as seen some improvements.  I think even those that have not seen such a huge difference in their swimming times, feel stronger and not as tired after a longer swim.  But there are two highlights from the last four years or so.

The first is local triathlete Rickard Carlsson.  He came to us about four years looking to improve his swimming so that he could get out of the water in the first wave. Since drafting is allowed on the bike, it was crucial for him not to be left behind. During his first few months he focused on technique, and then had to take a break after a hip operation. Once he was back in the water, it was technique, strength in the water, endurance and speed work, lots of speed work. He quickly got down under 23 minutes for a 1500 m freestyle. As he approached 21 minutes, his need for more on deck coaching increased.  He needed more than I could give him, so he moved over to the seniors training group. There he had 2-3 others that trained for the same distances.  Today he is fully capable of swimming down around 18:45 given the right conditions and meet prep.

The other is a local guy who started swimming on his own, wanted to get better, swim longer & faster. Hampus Carlsson, a true work horse came to us just about two years ago.  Hampus came to us at a time when most in the masters group wanted to only train for 50m and 100m races. But Hampus did not mind.  He listened and learned, and was quickly keeping up with us on really hard sets. After his first year he was down around 21 minutes in long course for the 1500m. In the spring he swam under 20 minutes with a near perfect race.  He too is also fully capable of swimming down around 18:45 given the right conditions and meet prep.

Both of these guys have taught me a lot about myself, but also show that it’s never to late to start swimming.

This week, we have a third newcomer to Masters with no swimming history, but someone who knows how to train.  Victor Dahl starts with masters on Tuesday, he is a decent cyclist and great runner.  He is starting off with a 1500m time around 28:00. It will be great to see how our little group can help him develop his swimming skills and even get him down to sub 22 before next season.

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