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Wednesday, April 23, 2014

Hertz Goes Into Overdrive

Courtesy of WOWSA, Huntington Beach, California.

"She has a lot of marathoning left to do," predicts Tampa Bay Marathon Swim race director Ron Collins about Lisa Hertz.

The 28-year-old took a little spring break from class and turned in an impressive 12 hour 46 minute swim at one of the longest competitive marathon swims in the world this past weekend.

The English schoolteacher from Winter Haven High School in Florida was one of the five solo swimmers to finish the 24-mile wind-blown, turbulence-strewn course across Tampa Bay. The emerging swimmer and pioneer of the Assawoman Bay explained her experience.

Daily News of Open Water Swimming: Did you expect to swim for nearly 13 hours?

Lisa Hertz: My training partners, which includes the race director Ron Collins, expected my finish time to be around 9 hours, maybe 10. Just recently, I have learned that it is better to overestimate your finish time. That way, finishing around your estimated finish time feels wonderful, like you are coming in early, and you aren't disappointed when you have to keep swimming a long time. I figured I would swim 12 hours when I saw the winds that morning, so I separated my swim into four, three hour cycles. It seems more manageable when you think of it that way.

Daily News of Open Water Swimming: What were you thinking at you took your last stroke at the finish?

Lisa Hertz: I only asked how far to the finish when there was less than one mile to go. Then my crew started yelling out "500 yards!" "200 yards!" When they said "75 yards!" I could see the sand forming underneath me. It felt like it came out of nowhere. It was a really neat finish because I started right when the sun came up and finished right before the sun went down. It was amazing to touch the sand with the sun setting. It had been cloudy most of the day, but there weren't any clouds on the horizon and it was a really pretty sunset. When I first touched the sand, I thought I was going to start crying. But then I had to focus on getting up and clearing the water. All I could hear was my teammates cheering, which took me aback a little. I wasn't expecting that and it is unusual for the end of a swim. My mom wrapped me up in a towel and I just stood there grinning.

Daily News of Open Water Swimming: How did your training prepare you well?

Lisa Hertz: I am very lucky to train with some amazing marathon swimmers. I used to be a sprinter in college. I swam 50 free, 100 free, 100 back, and 200 back for Franklin and Marshall College. Training for those events is insanely different than training for marathon swimming. But for both types of swimming, it is crucial to have the support of teammates and wisdom and expertise of those who have experienced more than you have. Mark Smitherman, one of the finishers of last year's tough Tampa Bay Marathon Swim, is one of my main mentors. He is an amazing and inspiring athlete and will lead our training group on workouts that seem impossible...until we finish them. Smitherman and Chris Burke are training for Manhattan Island Marathon Swim this year and Carl Selles and I would round out our core training group. There is no way I could have been sucessful training alone. Marathon swimming is such an individual, isolating sport, but dependent on people that care about you so much during the training and swims as well.

More specifically, I swam long on Saturday and Sunday. The combined weekend distance almost equalled the distance of Tampa Bay Marathon Swim. One of these days would be an open water swim in the Gulf of Mexico. In the fall, the weekend was less intense and I swam the same workouts as the Winter Haven Stingrays swim club where I live. Workouts were two hours, five nights a week and three additional mornings a week. I also coach cross country where I teach high school and ran a few miles a week with the team. By January, my Winter Haven coach gave me different workouts and I only did dryland in the mornings because the weekends were so intense, up to five hours a day.

Daily News of Open Water Swimming: Did your pace hold even throughout the swim or did you negative-split or tire?

Lisa Hertz: My initial race plan for 10 hours of swimming was 3 hours easy, three hours cruising, three hours really swimming hard, and than an hour sprint at the end: everything I had left. We made some alterations to that. I had to insert an entire three-hour cycle. Something about the tides also made a game-day change to go out hard not only the second hour, but the third hour as well. The entire fourth three-hour cycle had the worst chop of the whole race, so I was glad that I had save some energy for going out hard at the end. I needed to use it all to face the chop. After the Gandy, the winds shifted to straight north and were blowing strong.

Daily News of Open Water Swimming: Looking back, what other types of training might have been helpful?

Lisa Hertz: I started doing yoga after a suggestion from Carl Selles, my training partner and the oldest person to complete TBMS. Yoga was very helpful and strengthened sore muscles. I would have like to have found more time for this, because it was very helpful. All of my dryland training was pretty basic but essential. I did core work, therapy bands, and running. Most of my training was in the water.

Daily News of Open Water Swimming: If you lived inland (e.g., Kansas or Geneva), how would you have trained differently?

Lisa Hertz: It wouldn't have changed too much, except for the once a week open water swim would have been non-existent. I think pool training is very important to open water success. In open water, it is easy to not push yourself to your limit and just go with the flow. I believe that having workouts with interal training forcing you to hold an aerobic theshold for a long time are the more important part of the puzzle. Tampa Bay locals have done very well in TBMS when the conditions got tough, so there is something to be said about getting used to the conditions as well, but maybe it is our awesome swim community that we have.

Daily News of Open Water Swimming: How did your training help you (a) hold an even pace or (b) negative-split the race - if that was indeed the case?

Lisa Hertz: The workouts that we did always got harder as we went along. The hardest part of the workout wouldn't come until two-thirds of the main set was over. This made me better at energy conservation. I don't think I negative-splitted this race due to the conditions, but if it were not choppy, I might have.

Tampa Bay Marathon Swim Results - Solo Swimmers

1. Samantha Simon (24) 12 hours 18 minutes
2. Lisa Hertz (28) 12 hours 46 minutes
3. Carl Selles (67) 14 hours 21 minutes
4. Ann von Spiegelfeld (52) 15 hours 22 minutes
5. Arnie Bellini (54) 16 hours 17 minutes

Tampa Bay Marathon Swim Results - Relay Teams

1. Bull Shark Beach Open Water Swim Club (Big Donald Lutton, Andrew Lutton, Christopher Beach, Bubba Drody, Juan Cue, Scott Linebaugh): 10 hours 8 minutes
2. Delmarva Dogfish (David Speier, Jennifer Underwood, Jeffrey Benner, Charles Potterton, Bruce Anderson): 11 hours 16 minutes
3. SYSM Shark Bait (Fernette Ramnath, Terri Goodman, Marty Rauch, Ray Becker): 11 hours 49 minutes



Photos and video courtesy of Jason Malick.

Copyright © 2014 by World Open Water Swimming Association

2 comments:

  1. Such an inspiring young woman. The best is yet to come!

    ReplyDelete
  2. Such an inspiring young woman! The best is yet to come.

    ReplyDelete

Thank you very much for your interest in the world of open water swimming.

The Staff of the World Open Water Swimming Association

2014 Global Open Water Swimming Conference

Learn more...
Courtesy of WOWSA, Huntington Beach, California.

CLICK HERE TO REGISTER FOR THE CONFERENCE

The Global Open Water Swimming Conference is a conference on the sport of open water swimming, marathon swimming and swimming during triathlons and multi-sport endurance events.

The conference which has been attended by enthusiasts and luminaries from 6 continents, is devoted to providing information about the latest trends, race tactics, training techniques, equipment, psychological preparation, race organization and safety practices used in the sports of open water swimming, marathon swimming and triathlons.

The conference's mission is to provide opportunities to listen and meet many of the world's most foremost experts in open water swimming, and to meet and discuss the sport among swimmers, coaches, administrators, event organizers, sponsors, vendors, officials, escort pilots, and volunteers from kayakers to safety personnel.

Dozens of presentations at the 2014 Conference at the Mount Stuart House cover numerous aspects of the vast and growing world of open water swimming where attendees can learn and share the latest trends, race tactics, training modalities, swimming techniques, equipment, race organization, logistics, operations, and safety practices for open water swimming as a solo swimmer, competitive athlete, fitness swimmer, masters swimmer, triathlete, multi-sport athlete, administrator, race promoter, sponsor or referee.

The conference was first held in Long Beach, California as part of the 2010 USA Swimming National Open Water Swimming Championships. It has since been held on the Queen Mary in California, at Columbia University and the United Nations in New York City, and in Cork, Ireland. This year in September, it comes to another iconic location, the Mount Stuart House on the Isle of Bute in Scotland.

"The Global Open Water Swimming Conference was started due to the desire and need for athletes, coaches, referees, administrators, race directors, promoters and sponsors from around the world to share, collect and learn information about the growing sports of open water swimming, marathon swimming and triathlons," said founder Steven Munatones. "Other swimming conferences usually offering nothing on open water swimming or perhaps a speech or two, but we thought open water swimming deserves its own global conference. It is great that the community shares its information via the online social network, but there is nothing like meeting other open water swimming enthusiasts face-to-face and talking about the sport from morning to night."

Speakers at the conference include English Channel swimmers, ice swimmers, record holders, renowned coaches, world champions, professional marathon swimmers, renowned race directors, officials and administrators from the Africa, Americas, Asia, Europe and Oceania.

"Because the audience is passionate and educated about the sport and its finest practitioners, the Global Open Water Swimming Conference is also the location of the induction ceremonies for the International Marathon Swimming Hall of Fame and the annual WOWSA Awards that recognize the World Open Water Swimming Man of the Year, the World Open Water Swimming Woman of the Year, the World Open Water Swimming Performance of the Year, and the World Open Water Swimming Offering of the Year. Special Lifetime Achievement Awards are also occasionally presented to individuals who have made significant contributions to the sport over their career."

The 2014 Global Open Water Swimming Conference Programme

Wednesday, September 17th
Leave Glasgow to commence 2-day tour of Scotland [closest international airport is Glasgow]

Thursday, September 18th
Stay Mainland, North of Scotland

Friday, September 19th
14:00 - Swim Loch Lomond
17:00 - Head to Isle of Bute
19:30 - Scottish Banquet
21:30 - Dinner Dance

Saturday, September 20th
09:00 - Registration & Coffee
10:00 - Speeches
12:20 - Lunch and WOWSA Awards
13:40 – Speeches
15:40 - Round Table
19:00 - International Marathon Swimming Hall of Fame Dinner & Induction Ceremony

Sunday, September 21st
09:00 - Registration & Coffee
10:00 - Speeches
14:30 - Swim in St Ninian's Bay on the Isle of Bute

The luminaries of the open water swimming world who will be honored in Scotland will include:

* Sandra Bucha (U.S.A.), International Swimming Hall of Fame Honor Open Water Swimmer and International Marathon Swimming Hall of Fame Honour Swimmer
* Jon Erikson (U.S.A.), International Swimming Hall of Fame Honor Open Water Swimmer
* Claudio Plit (Argentina), International Swimming Hall of Fame Honor Open Water Swimmer
* Judith van Berkel-de Njis (Netherlands), International Swimming Hall of Fame Honor Open Water Swimmer
* David Yudovin (U.S.A.), International Swimming Hall of Fame Honor Open Water Swimmer
* Mercedes Gleitze (Great Britain), International Swimming Hall of Fame Honor Open Water Swimmer
* George Young (Canada), International Swimming Hall of Fame Honor Open Water Swimmer
* Dale Petranech (U.S.A.), International Swimming Hall of Fame Honor Open Water Contributor
* Melissa Cunningham (Australia), 2013 Irving Davids-Captain Roger Wheeler Memorial Award winner
* Vojislav Mijić (Serbia), International Marathon Swimming Hall of Fame Honour Swimmer
* James Anderson (U.S.A.), International Marathon Swimming Hall of Fame Honour Administrator
* Dr. Jane Katz (U.S.A.), International Marathon Swimming Hall of Fame Honour Administrator
* Indonesian Swimming Federation, , International Marathon Swimming Hall of Fame Honour Organisation
* Elizabeth Fry (U.S.A.), International Marathon Swimming Hall of Fame Honour Swimmer
* Pádraig Mallon (Ireland), the 2013 World Open Water Swimming Man of the Year
* Olga Kozydub (Russia), the 2013 World Open Water Swimming Woman of the Year
* Bering Strait Swim (international team), the 2013 World Open Water Swimming Performance of the Year
* International Ice Swimming Association (Ram Barkai, founder, South Africa), the 2013 World Open Water Swimming Offering of the Year

For additional articles on the 2014 Global Open Water Swimming Conference, visit:

* Olga Kozydub To Be Honored In Scotland
* Pádraig Mallon To Be Honored In Mount Stuart Castle
* Mount Stuart House, Splendid Setting For Swimming
* Colleen Blair To Kick-off Global Open Water Swimming Conference
* The Man Who Swims Better Than He Walks
* Joining In The Sea Goddess At The Hall Of Fame
* Mercedes Gleitze To Be Honored In Scotland
* The Incredible Career Of Merceded Gleitze
* Jon Erikson To Be Honoured In Florida
* The Incredible Career Of Mercedes Gleitze
* St Ninian's Bay To Host International Swim Conference

Copyright © 2014 by World Open Water Swimming Association

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Open Water Swimming Magazine

The 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.

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2014 Open Water Swimming Almanac



An Almanac for Open Water Swimming

An almanac is essentially a body of knowledge which is so complete that it enables people in different fields to make predictions about the future of their respective industries.

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