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Sunday, July 24, 2016
Yasunari Hirai Gets A Kick Out Of Training
Throughout sports history, great athletes have created great athletic moves:
* track-and-field: Fosbury Flop
* gymnastics: Thomas Flare
* gymnastics: Omelianchik
* boxing: Rope-a-dope
* wrestling: Karelin Lift
* marathon swimming: The Illchenko
Sports fans have associated certain great moves with great athletes.
In the open water, balanced kicking and leg strength have long been seen as an important tool of competitive open water swimmers - and elite professional coaches are increasingly incorporating more and more kicking sets in their daily workouts.
Like an engine in overdrive, the 6-beat kick of the fastest swimmers is a pleasure to observe. The lower-limb booster slightly lifts the body and propels it forward in synchronization with the faster arm tempo. Strong legs helps streamline and balance the body for enhanced efficiency and speed when it most counts.
The greatest swimmers of the past, from Greta Anderson to Larisa Illchenko, have the strongest legs in the sport.
Jordan Wilimovsky, the reigning world 10 km champion, is typical of the contemporary athletes with a tremendously strong 6-beat kick that is developed with years of practice.
With the 25 men and 25 women qualified for the Olympic 10K Marathon Swim, the importance of a strong kick has never so evident in the open water. "Those who can sustain a strong kick are not only able to make important tactical surges within the race, but they can also most importantly shift gears at the end. Every medalist in the Olympic 10K Marathon Swim will have this ability," predicts Steven Munatones.
Japanese 2-time Olympian Yasunari Hirai was training at high altitude (2,100m) in Flagstaff, Arizona under Olympic coach Bill Rose of the Mission Viejo Nadadores and Tunisia's 3-time Olympic medalist Ous Mellouli. Hirai described the importance of kicking.
"We trained 80,000 meters at high altitude and realized that training the thighs is critical as well as having flexibility in the ankles and feet to maximum propulsion.
We did kicking sets in the 50m pool with a kickboard, holding pace under 35 seconds in intervals less than 60 seconds. I had to keep up and am getting faster each workout. Training with Ous Mellouli is inspirational. I know that I have to significantly increase my kick to be able to make a rapid change of pace and utilize in the final sprint [at the Olympics]."
Copyright © 2016 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...
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.