T26 Blog


Swim meets motivate! They reinforce our training regimes as evidenced in the multitude of “best time” performances.

Many Tower 26 members attended our meet, performed extraordinarily well receiving another jolt of motivation and validation.

Here’s why it’s important to attend a meet: Almost every triathlete runs either a 5k, 10k, 1/2 or full marathon for a PR in addition to their tri racing schedule. It helps measure improvement, bolstering confidence, and is a reinforcement to their training regime. Improvement validates the training process, BUT more importantly it elevates confidence ultimately leading to improved performances in ones tri races.

The same should occurs for swimming, EXCEPT, few triathletes enter swim meets. Perhaps it’s too intimidating, even though that elevated confidence level post event would lead to enhanced tri swim performances. Making the meet experience a gentle introduction, we created a swim meet at our home facility bringing in a meet referee, programmer, and necessary equipment….. our members just had to do was show up. Many did.

Let’s take a look into some results from last week with a particular athlete in mind, FRANCISCO CORTEZ.

Francisco started swimming with Tower 26 in November 2010, he was one of our initial members. His swim confidence was low, his skills rudimentary, and his specific swim fitness fairly non-existent. He swam 100s on a 2:15 – 2:30 interval or slower; his repeat times ranged from 2:00 – 2:15; he struggled as many do at the beginning.

Francisco believed in and executed upon the process we provide. His 100 time last week was 1:16.5. A massive improvement. For sure, he no longer views himself as he did last month, last quarter, or last year. Look for big things from Francisco this season. Congrats Farncisco!

Other significant improvements were seen in the results of:
BARD AUSTIN, who took one of our Swim Improvement clinics in February, and then joined our training program. I would estimate Brad’s swim performance in February at around 1:20 for an all out 100; pretty good. Last week he swam 1:01.4. His 1000 was a smashing 13:18. He had no swimming background, rather an 800 m track runner.

CHRIS KAVEH, could barely complete a 50 without utter exhaustion when he joined us last November. His eventual improvement in swim specific fitness would assist him swimming 100s on a 2:30 interval. Chris swam his 100 last week in an astounding 1:21.09.

JEN TETRICK is a professional triathlete. We met at Matt Dixon’s purplepatch pro camp in March 2011. Her biking and running were good, but her swimming needed lots of work for a PRO, an important distinction. Jen moved to LA last December, making Tower 26 her destination swim improvement program. She has powered-up her 1.2 mile swim from 34 minutes to 28 minutes, AND, she stopped the clock in her 100 free last weekend in 1:03.75. At camp last year, her 75 free was 1:03. Her journey began then.

NANCY McDONALD is one of Tower 26’s remote clients for a couple years. Her voyage began with around a 1:30 personal best 100 free and 17 minute 1000 free. Last weekend she stopped the clock at 14:21.9 in her 1000, and 1:13.7 in her 100.

There were many, many other notable performances that stood out, above are just a few, but the success derived is the same because the journey is similar:
1) decide to do it;
2) understand it’s a 2-year plan, there are no short-cuts;
3) commit to your part of execution;
4) be CONSISTENT; and
5) set-up a mechanism for measuring performance.

Improved results WILL come.

Recognizing a few other performances:

SEAN JEFFERSON is a 3:56 mile runner and indoor NCAA mile champion. Recently turned triathlete needing to improve his swim, he moved to LA in February joining Tower 26. His test 1000 and 100 then were 12 minutes and 1:02. Last week Sean swam 11:13.56 and 56.88. He’s motivated even more now.

SARAH PIAMPIANO is another purplepatch pro traithlete who moved to LA in January for swim improvement. Her initial 1000 and 100 free time trials in January were 15:52 and 1:21. Last weekend she smashed those with a 13:17 1k and 1:11.01 for the 100 free. Sarah recently won the New Orleans 70.3. Her story worth reading is here: http://www.purplepatchfitness.com/news/one-win-doesnt-make-season

BRYAN PAUL could swim? Who would think the former Washington State quarterback would improve his 1000 and 100 free by over two minutes, and, 10 seconds respectively in just a few short months. His 13:29.8 1k and 60.66 100 free were inspiring performances, BUT he put in lots of effort and time into his training these last several months.

Chris Wright, Chris Doss, Reilly Smith, Susan Moon, Greg Wootton, Baker Smith, Greg Kearns, David Lee, Leslie Steiner, Eric Carysfort, Rebecca Nevitt, Stacey Stern, Chris Plourde, Julia Kolyadenko, Mark Vermeersch, Amy Aukstikalnis, Mattie Reyes, Carolyn Nohejl, Mike Tatum, James Duffy, Eric Reid, Monica Morant, Mike Schiepke, Ben Patterson, Susan Kallal, and Chase Watts all made their commitment with similar stories.

These “Big Guns” all put in sub 60 second 100s: Mike Tatum, Eric Craysfort, Sean Jefferson, Todd Larlee, Mark Vermeersch, David Lee and Chase Watts. Both Todd and Mike posted 57+ 100 swims. Congrats! Knocking at the sub minute barrier are: Bryan Paul, Brad Austin, and James Duffy.

Meet results can be found here:

Club member, Carolyn Nohejl posted some event photos here:

Up next is our 1-hour swim for distance coming up on May 20 at the Cost to Coast event in Culver City, and, our May 26 Swim Improvement Clinic. Details in a couple days.

Gerry Rodrigues
“Be Race Ready”

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