by Jarrod Shoemaker, 2008 Olympic Triathlete
Tapering, or peaking for performance, is one of the most important aspects of an athlete’s training regardless of what timed sport you compete in: swimming, running, cycling or all three: triathlon. If you have been training for a race for months you do not want the last week leading into the race to ruin your race. That hard part about tapering is that every athlete reacts differently to drops in volume, quality or an increase in rest.
When I was running in college I averaged 75 miles a week, but had friends running 110 miles a week. For my taper I would drop down to 35-40 miles a week, meanwhile my friends would barely drop down only to 70-80 miles a week. If they had dropped half their mileage or more they would not have performed as well. This leads me to a key point about tapering, you train every week and assuming you are hitting all your workouts, why change things too much?
I had a high school cross country coach who told me “Anything you do 10 days out from a race can only hurt you.” If you are looking to have a breakthrough performance on race day, just do exactly what you are supposed to do in training. Just because you feel better does not mean you should try to set a mile PR in practice, save it for race day!
Our coolest giveaway ever! We’re celebrating the launch of “What the Pros Wear” on SwimOutlet.com, with a terrific contest you don’t want to miss.Read More
Win an autographed Aqua Sphere swim cap signed by the most-decorated Olympian and greatest swimmer of all-time, Michael Phelps!
What the Pros Wear is our awesome new section that shows you some of the great suits, styles and accessories worn by your favorite swim stars courtesy of the top swim brands. Many of these athletes get a great deal of support from the companies that they endorse. Support that helps them train, travel and compete at the highest levels. Simply click on a swimmer and shop what they are wearing!
by Jarrod Shoemaker, 2008 Olympian
Once upon a time, nutrition was simple, people ate what they could forage for. Then we domesticated some plants, agriculture came along and we started to grow staple crops like wheat, corn and beans. Soon massive farms were producing food to be shipped all around the world. Now all we have to do is walk or drive to the grocery store (or order online) and select the foods we want. It is so much simpler today than it was… or is it?
Walking up and down the grocery store aisles can be a mind-numbing task, with an average grocery store stocking 43,844 different items! This is very comparable to the current sports nutrition market. Looking at every brand can be quite a task and trying to figure out what they are for can be even harder.
The simplest way to break sports nutrition down is into four categories: bars, chews, gels and mixes. My goal is to give you a simple primer to help you make sense of it all, regardless of what sport you do – but of course, keep in mind I always come from the angle of an endurance athlete.Read More
Coaches are the backbone of any swim team and frequently the unsung heroes of an athlete’s success. They are the instructors, motivators, teachers and role models for many young athletes and swimmers. That’s why it’s important that SwimOutlet.com partners with organizations like the National Interscholastic Swim Coaches Association (NISCA). Every month, we recognize a different coach around the country for their tireless devotion to our sport and its athletes with our SwimOutlet.com Coach of the Month Award.
This month’s SwimOutlet.com Coach of the Month spotlights Chris Deger, a 33-year coaching veteran of both water polo and swimming at Maine South in Park Ridge, IL. Congrats!
by Jarrod Shoemaker, 2008 Olympic triathlete & SwimOutlet.com expert contributor
The growth in open water swimming in the past decade has been tremendous, whether for fitness, competition or multi-sport events like triathlons. Venues range from lakes to rivers to bays to oceans and each one presents different challenges. Most open water swimmers train for races exclusively in the pool and this can leave them unprepared for open water swimming. There are a few important techniques to think about when swimming open water, so I put them together with my tips: sighting, stroke efficiency, buoy turns and water entries and exits.
By Mark Gangloff, Olympic Gold Medalist
For quite some time “land” athletes have benefitted from technology. Between watches, GPS devices, computers, and even shoes that provide key metrics, land athletes have been able to track their training, compare results, and set goals rather easily. In the pool, we are often left to our own devices (no pun intended): counting.
Recently, there has been a transition to swimmer-friendly technology. Among them, Swim.com has launched in beta this summer, providing a swim tracking and workout platform that is compatible across multiple wearables, including some tech watches that I have reviewed here.
Tech watches – some people call them smart watches – for swimmers provide key feedback and relieve the athlete of counting, tracking, and roping an innocent bystander into keep your pace.
Over the last several weeks, I have tried many tech watches for swimmers. I am thrilled about these innovations and what they could do for our sport and our athletes so a brief overview follows.
The Telly Awards has named the “Swim Like a Champion” DVD series – available online exclusively at SwimOutlet.com – as a Silver Winner in the 35th Annual Telly Awards. “Swim Like a Champion” was produced by The Fitter & Faster Swim Tour presented by SwimOutlet.com together with Championship Productions and has been the best-selling training video on SwimOutlet.com since its launch last December.Read More
Behind every swim champion is a normal person, just like the rest of us. They have a sense of humor, friends and family that inspire them to do better, hobbies (other than swimming-- believe it or not), favorite foods, and places that they call home. Olympic swimmer and TYR Athlete, Jimmy Feigen, gives us a glimpse into his world and shares 5 random facts about himself.
By Jarrod Shoemaker
As athletes we are constantly bombarded with information about the next best gadget that can measure this or help us do that. However, there is one accessory that is cheap, useful, and every athlete should have in his or her bag of tricks. That gadget is a stretch cord.Read More
Stretch cords are a useful tool for every athlete. The list of uses for stretch cords are long, but I will focus on some of the important uses and some recommendations for buying stretch cords.
The latest installment of our series about training features Arena athlete Laura Sogar.
Leave a question or comment for Laura below by May 5 11:59PM, and you will be entered to win a pair of the Arena COBRA goggles.
1) We all know getting in the pool can be a struggle some days, what keeps you motivated on days like this?
I will be the first to admit how hard getting up for those 5:30 morning workouts can be but thinking about my competition and if they are working hard that morning always gets me motivated to make sure I am not losing out on any training time. It helps that I always end up having fun with my teammates once I am at workout and any of that initial desire not to go is quickly forgotten when we are laughing during warmup.
2) What does the inside of your swim bag look like- do you have a favorite practice suit, type of goggle, or training accessory?Read More
I really really love my arena challenge back suit, I wear them every single day at workout and they’re super comfortable and flattering. As far as equipment goes I cannot do without my kickboard. Kicking is a huge part of my stroke so I spend a lot of quality time with my board doing kick sets. I also am getting really into yoga so at a meet you can often see me with my yoga block stretching out before warmup.
TOP 2014 TECH SUITS REVIEWED:
2014 Men's High End Technical Suits - Jump to Reviews | Visit Category Page
Arena Carbon Pro - Gangloff Review | Product Page
Blueseventy Nero 14 - Gangloff Review | Product Page
Speedo LZR Racer Elite 2 - Gangloff Review | Product Page
Engine Armour Wingskin - Gangloff Review | Product Page
Nike NG-1 - Gangloff Review | Product Page
FINIS Vapor - Gangloff Review | Product Page
TYR Tracer Light - Gangloff Review | Product Page
Arena Carbon Flex - Gangloff Review | Product Page
2014 Women's High End Technical Suits - Jump to Reviews | Visit Category PageRead More
Arena Carbon Pro - Stupp Review | Product Page
Blueseventy Nero 14 - Stupp Review | Product Page
Speedo LZR Racer Elite 2 - Stupp Review | Product Page
Engine Armour Wingskin - Stupp Review | Product Page
Nike NG-1 - Stupp Review | Product Page
FINIS Vapor - Stupp Review | Product Page
TYR Tracer Light - Stupp Review | Product Page
Arena Carbon Flex - Stupp Review | Product Page
by Jarrod ShoemakerRead More
Until just a few years ago compression socks were confined to hospitals and rehab units for use in post-surgery, diabetes and people who needed to stimulate blood flow. The few athletes who used compression socks used them to combat dreaded “cankles” (pooling of blood in the feet and ankles during prolonged periods of sitting) on long-haul flights. Then suddenly, athletes were wearing compression socks in racing, from 5Ks to marathons to triathlons.
Since the increase in popularity of compression garments began, there have been numerous studies to determine how effective compression socks and sleeves are. Generally, the majority of the studies have come to the conclusion that they do not increase performance. But just because they don’t directly impact performance, doesn’t mean there aren’t a lot of other good reasons to use or try compression clothing.
As swimmers, we know that the key to success is being dedicated to your training day in and day out. With that said, we asked 4-time gold medalist, Matt Grevers, what his two must-have training items are. Here's what he had to say:
The latest installment of our series about training features Arena athlete Claire Donahue, who is also a regular on the Fitter & Faster Tour Presented by SwimOutlet.com and appears in the Swim Like a Champion DVD series.
Leave a question or comment for Claire below, and you will be entered to win the Swim Like a Champion – Butterfly DVD featuring Claire.
Coaches are the backbone of any swim team. They offer motivation, support, advice, praise and criticism.
Without a swim coach, many swimmers might not have the self-discipline and determination necessary to achieve success.
For that reason, SwimOutlet.com has teamed up with the National Interscholastic Swim Coaches Association (NISCA) – the organization of high school swim coaches – to celebrate a monthly SwimOutlet.com Interscholastic Coach of the Month Award.Read More
The greatest swimmer -- greatest Olympian -- of all-time is mulling a comeback. Michael Phelps may not be saying so publicly, but his actions have clearly left a trail of clues that signal a return to the sport he dominated from 2003 to 2012. During that time, he won a record 22 Olympic medals, including an incredible 18 gold medals and 11 individual gold medals. Phelps began training again last year, and, in October, public records showed that Phelps had re-entered the U.S. drug testing pool, a pre-requisite for swimming athletes looking to compete at elite-level competitions.Read More
Here is our monthly SwimOutlet.com blog featuring a Q&A with an Arena athlete talking about all things training! December's edition features 25-year-old Matt McLean, a 2012 Olympic Medalist. Leave a question or comment for Matt to answer at the bottom by December 31 and you’ll be entered to win an Arena prize!Read More
By Chloe Sutton
When I work with the Fitter & Faster Team, I know that no matter what we do, we do it big! We take an idea and we do everything possible to make it the best thing out there. When you’re working with a group of Olympic Swimmers, you know that we’re competitive, disciplined, and we never settle for anything but an epic success. So when I was invited along with a group of my favorite fellow Olympic swimmers to San Jose, California for a secret project, I knew that something amazing was in the process.
Here is our monthly SwimOutlet.com blog featuring a Q&A with an Arena athlete talking about all things training! November's edition features 22-year-old Caitlin Leverenz, a 2012 Olympic Medalist and NCAA athlete at University of California Berkeley. Leave a question or comment for Caitlin to answer at the bottom by November 29 and you’ll be entered to win an Arena towel and goggles!Read More
Today starts a new monthly series on the SwimOutlet.com blog featuring a Q&A with an Arena athlete talking about all things training! The first features 22-year-old Megan Romano, a 2013 World Champion and NCAA champion at Georgia. Leave a question or comment for Megan to answer at the bottom by October 28 and you’ll be entered to win an Arena backpack!
1.) We all know long training sessions are not always the most glamorous, what is the thing you love about training most and what’s your least favorite?
I don’t know many people who enjoy anything about practice (haha). But I love the feeling you get after having a really good practice and you’re really pumped about practicing the next day. You can’t wait to get to the pool and have an even better practice. I also like the feeling of getting stronger and better each day I practice. There is always something to work on. On the other hand, my least favorite thing about practice is waking up Monday, Wednesday and Friday mornings at 5:30 am. It’s tough but you know it’s for the best. Getting up and actually going to practice and actually jumping in the freezing cold pool is another one of my least favorite things. But once you’re actually there and swimming, it’s not bad.Read More
As the ferry neared the shores of Angel Island, the idea of lunging into the icy bay for a nautical-mile swim became a reality. Hundreds of people stripped down to their swimsuits and lined the beach waiting for the start of the race. Among us were a dozen Olympians, who chatted with one another as they anticipated the final countdown. They were the first to go -- at 9:10AM the elite division departed at the blast of a shotgun.
Preparing for an open-water swim is both mentally and physically exerting. Swimming in a large body of water, as opposed to a pool, can also be an extremely rewarding experience. However, the preparations and training leading up to the event are crucial.
A few swimmers here at SwimOutlet.com are getting the chance to swim the popular RCP Tiburon Mile at the end of September -- so it's been a crash course to get ready. The RCP Tiburon Mile is one of the best-known swim races in the San Francisco Bay. This particular event features a mile of swimming in open waters, and solid preparation is key.Read More
With many swimmers wrapping up summer training and heading back to school, it’s a great time to remember one of our favorite aspects of our swim team: teammates! Best buddies. Family. Our weirdest friends. Whatever you call them, they are the people we see day in and out, sometimes for hours at a time.
To on-lookers, it may appear that swimming is an individual sport with one person racing in their own lane, swimming for their personal best time. Behind the scenes, it's so much more than meets the eye.
Teammates are with us doing our best sets, or when we false start at a meet. It's one of the aspects that make this sport so amazing. From playing cards between sessions to celebrating best times after a meet, teammates are there to make those little victories sweeter and pick us up on our toughest days.Read More
While the world was checking out times and tallying scores at the recent 2013 Swimming Worlds, the fashionistas at SwimOutlet.com noticed other aspects of the meet: the best and brightest swimsuits on display in Barcelona.Read More
Hey guys! It’s Mark Gangloff and I am back with another product review. Let me start this post by thanking everyone who gave feedback on my last post. Your comments, questions, and general interest have gotten me even more excited about continuing to share my own experience and thoughts with you about the products that I choose and love. I hope you will enjoy this review just as much!
This review will be a little bit different from the last one, as it is not about equipment that I use in the pool. Instead, it is an out-of-water, out-of-practice piece of equipment. Yet, it’s VITAL to my success. I have been swimming for the last 22 years and I have never had any major injuries. One of the most common questions that I am asked is, "How do you prevent injuries?" My answer is always, "I get regular massages." Most people think (and sometimes even say), "Oh he is an Olympian and is entitled to a fancy massage." I have to explain to them that while I do get a massage every two weeks, the majority of massages I do myself. I give myself some sort of massage at least every other day – if not every day.
While this review is not intended to be a teaching session, I must say this: DO NOT WALK OFF DECK WITH TIGHT MUSCLES. IT MAKES TOMORROW MUCH HARDER. While stretching does help, I find a combination of stretching and massage is what really allows me to maintain high levels of performance day in and day out.
During this review, I am going to be speaking specifically about three of the products that SwimOutlet carries:
There are 18 different foam rollers and massagers on Swimoutlet.com, but many of them are variations of the same product. So I will review these three categories and will do my best to make suggestions about the other products along the way. I will start this review with the most general type of massager and move onto massagers great for specific uses.
First and foremost: Why use a self-massager? The main reason for using a self-massager is for myofacial release, which is a fancy way of saying “relaxing tight muscles.” The other, less obvious reason to use a self-massager is to warm up before a workout. In fact, I use one kind of massager for warming up and another for muscle relaxation. I’ll explain my reasoning throughout the review.
Here we go…Read More
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