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Sunday, December 9, 2012
100 x 100s ... A Century Of Passage
When a coach or a group of swimmers mentions 100 x 100s, you know it is approaching the New Year and there is one serious group of swimmers getting ready for a year-end test of their physical stamina and mental strengths.
The tradition started in the 1970s and is now commonplace.
100 x 100s is a pool swimming distance freestyle interval set that is a tradition among competitive pool swimmers, channel swimmers, and channel swimmers. One hundred swims of 100 yards or 100 meters each for a total of 10,000 yards or meters. The set is conducted in a pool, either on one consistent interval or performed at different intervals. The set is usually done during the year-end training period by competitive age-group swimmers, collegiate teams and adult masters swimmers.
But some distance freestylers go even further.
Ned Denison pushes adult English Channel aspirants to 100 x 200s in winter while Coach Mark Wagner in Northern California pushes his athletes to an even greater level. The Redding Swim Team set – done during their annual Hell Well – includes one five-day period of a set of 100 x 100 ... twice per day. That is 20,000 yards per day five days in a row or 100 km (62 miles) – enough to get anyone through an open water swim.
Lexie Kelly (shown above), recalls, "I was so tired [during Hell Week] that I didn't even want to brush my hair. But we all did it and we looked forward to it. I did it year after year with the rest of the team."
When a swimmer inevitably feels down, tired or depressed during an open water swim, they dig deep - or get out. Successful swimmers often dig deeper than they ever experienced or even knew possible. With Hell Well's 10 x 100 x 100, the athletes at the Redding Swim Team have the experience to ride the storm, to weather the obstacles, to overcome the barriers.
Coach Wagner explains his philosophy, "It's a test mentally and physically for the athletes. It's seems scary for the rookies, but once they complete it, the sense of accomplishment is unmatched. For the seasoned athletes, it provides a different test: I'm really tough enough mentally to go through this again physically. The surprising results those athletes realize they can handle anything mentally or physically."
Copyright © 2012 by World Open Water Swimming Association
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Open Water Swimming Magazine
Open Water Swimming MagazineThe Open Water Swimming Magazine is the monthly magazine entirely focused on open water swimming heroes and heroines of every age, ability, and background. Published by the World Open Water Swimming Association, the Open Water Swimming Magazine is a free benefit to WOWSA members.
WOWSA Member Benefits include 12 issues of the Open Water Swimming Magazine, the annual 276-page Open Water Swimming Almanac, a free listing in Sponsor My Swim, outstanding product discounts from FINIS, an entry in Openwaterpedia and more...
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The trends are very clear.
The tide is rising for open water swimming.