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Friday, June 27, 2014
Doug McConnell Starts To Swim Downhill
There will be few people swimming around Manhattan Island with more eyes on them than Douglas McConnell, Managing Director of Vissant Capital Corporation.
McConnell will start at 7:50 am (New York time) on June 28th and expects to finish around 5 pm.
"We would love for you to follow along: by Facebook, by SPOT tracker, by LandAirSea, by Twitter.
LandAirSea has provided a GPS device that emits a signal, like SPOT, but does so every ten seconds. In addition, the most recent location is placed on a Google satellite map that will show actual buildings that we are near, practically in real time. Unlike the SPOT, it won’t show our line of progress, but it will show the current scenery from the perspective of the swimmer and the crew. There is a Login button. The login is alongswim and the password is doug. In addition, an app called Silvercloud can be downloaded to a smartphone, and the login and password are the same."
Besides McConnell who is swimming on his last leg of the Triple Crown of Open Water Swimming, 22 others are swimming Manhattan Island Marathon Swimming. "This is a very competitive group, whose ages range from 16 to 62, so I will be lucky to be in the middle of the pack. The 23 swimmers include 6 women and 17 men who represent 9 states and 9 countries. People are flying in from places like Finland, Spain, Italy and Australia."
McConnell is preparing like other world-class athletes. "In terms of our training schedule in recent days, I have been going through what the endurance sports world calls a taper. The nature of swimming is that you spend virtually the whole year being fatigued. It is the kind of fatigue that is with you always, and you just ache all the time. You have to remind yourself that you’re in pretty good shape aerobically. My resting heart rate is a little under 50 beats per minute, but the muscle soreness follows you around like an old friend. Just this evening, I got a cramp in one of my hamstrings sitting at dinner. It is not like it was when I was swimming in college; recovery time and technique at age 56 is something you have to take pretty seriously.
At the end of a long season, then, everyone looks forward to taper time, which is when the time and distance spent swimming will reduce steadily in anticipation of the Manhattan swim. The theory is that, after an extended period of a heavy swimming workload, a gradual tapering of that workload will provide rest to exhausted muscles and summon peak performance for a given event. It is a great theory, but the execution of a good taper is more art than science. I have learned over the years that my physiology is such that I take a long time for me to rest, so I have devoted more than two weeks to the process.
The funny thing about a taper is that, at first, you feel horrible. Don Sammons, our coach at Illinois, explained it to me once that, just like at the beginning of the season when the build-up in yardage requires that your body change to accommodate the workload, the decline in the workload at the end of the season requires your body to respond, too. The best part of the taper is toward the end, when your new-found strength is so overwhelming that you feel strong and indestructible. 'Powerful beyond measure,' Don used to say.
The best telltale of whether the taper has worked, though, is a feeling that is unmistakable but difficult to describe. It gets to the point that moving through the water feels so effortless that you have the sensation that you are actually swimming downhill, as though your body is moving with a force that you didn’t cause, and that your arms have to spin faster just to keep up with the speed of your body through the water.
It has been a long season. It was a cold winter. Taper only comes once a year for marathon swimmers. Only five days separate us from the MIMS swim, and I long to feel like I am swimming downhill again.
It is at times like these, with 36 hours before we start another world-class swim, that I am overwhelmed with feelings of gratitude and humility. I am so grateful for all of my teammates who have played such indispensable roles in getting us to the starting line, none of whom ask for anything in return. I am grateful for good health that makes it possible to consider a 28.5-mile swim in the first place. I am grateful for what appear will be good conditions that will make it so that perhaps these rivers will let someone swim around them."
McConnell is swimming for a cause that has been spectacularly successful: A Long Swim. He has raised over US$200,000 for the Les Turner ALS Foundation.
Editor's Update: In addition to Fionnuala Walsh (Ireland), John Walker (USA), and Joelle Beard (USA) who also joined the Triple Crown of Open Water Swimming on June 28th, McConnell successfully completed his Manhattan Island Marathon Swim in 9 hours 39 minutes.
Copyright © 2014 by World Open Water Swimming Association
2014 Global Open Water Swimming Conference
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
Swim Across the English Channel...
Who else is looking for a qualified open water swimming coach to help them swim across the English Channel?Chloë McCardel is a 6-time English Channel Swimmer who inspires and instructs. Access featured content by Chloë in this month's issue of the Open Water Swimming Magazine. Published monthly by WOWSA, the Open Water Swimming Magazine is a digital, interactive publication made available exclusively to WOWSA members. See what you've been missing! Become a WOWSA member today!
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...
The Other Shore
The Other Shore follows world record holder and legendary swimmer Diana Nyad as she comes out of a thirty-year retirement to re-attempt an elusive dream: swimming 103 miles non-stop from Cuba to Florida without the use of a shark cage. Her past and present collide in her obsession with a feat that nobody has ever accomplished. At the edge of The Devil’s Triangle, tropical storms, sharks, venomous jellyfish, and one of the strongest ocean currents in the world, all prove to be life-threatening realities. Timothy Wheeler’s documentary brings Diana Nyad’s extraordinary adventure to life as Diana sets out to prove that will and determination are all you need to make the unimaginable possible.
2014 Open Water Swimming Almanac
An Almanac for Open Water SwimmingAn 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.
This, for example, was the purpose of the traditional farmers almanacs. It enabled farmers to determine as accurately as possible which crops to plant for the greatest harvests in a given year.
But the farmers almanac was just one example among many.
There are, of course, many different kinds of almanacs.
In fact, there is even one for open water swimming...
Preview the Open Water Swimming Almanac:
The trends are very clear.
The tide is rising for open water swimming.