Firebelly Blog

News and information about swimming, coaching, and, of course, Firebelly!

Becoming a “Grand Master” Swimmer

Why does it take so long to master the sport of swimming? With the rare exception of those born with a feel for the water, most people take years to become a truly proficient swimmer. Experts say that it takes 10,000 hours of deliberate practice to become a grandmaster in chess. My gut feel is that becoming a "grand master" swimmer is probably on p...
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Congrats USMS Nationals Swimmers!

We'd like to take a moment to congratulate the members of the Firebelly Family that participated in the 2018 USMS Nationals meet this past weekend. There were a number of top 10 performances and even several USMS National Records :-) ​ Dave Sims (55) 200 free: 1 st place, 1:48.83 100 fly: 1st place, 53.68 – National Record! 200 fly: 1st place, 2:01...
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“Has Firebelly made you faster?”

As a currently competing masters swimmer and a daily user of Firebelly, people often ask me if Firebelly has made me faster. It's a tricky question for reasons I'll explain, but in my opinion "I'm not getting faster, but I am becoming a better swimmer."   Getting Slower, Slower As a masters swimmer, I am getting slower. I've been a lifelong co...
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12 Ways To Know "You Might Be A Swimmer..."

Many of you are probably familiar with Jeff Foxworthy's "You Might Be a Redneck..." comedy routine.  Enjoy this riff on it for us swimmers! ​​If your hair dresser has ever made a funny faceand said "Ohhh, do you swim?"...  Youmight be a swimmer.  If you've ever wondered why the first step of the directions for Ultra Sw...
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Sometimes You Just Need a Swim Companion

My swim buddies and I just completed our annual 10,000 yard workout to celebrate the new year.  We did 100 x 100 on Thanksgiving, so we opted for something different this time.  We decided to do a main set of 5 x 1600's on a 1:20 per 100 base sendoff, broken up as follows:  1 x 1600 2 x 800 4 x 400 8 x 200 16...
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Finish Your Race Strong

We did a set the other day that was inspired by Katie Ledecky and the fantastic way she finishes her races.  I recently read an article about Katie titled "How Katie Ledecky became better at swimming than anyone is at anything" 1 .  The title is a little over the top, but nevertheless as a swimmer the article is an inspiring rea...
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Stroke Rate – The Final Puzzle Piece

This is the final post in a three part series on 'training like you race'.  We are going to examine  Stroke Rate , the final component of the swim performance equation from Swim Speed Secrets 1 : Time = Number of Strokes * Stroke Rate Stroke rate is often the least well understood component of the equation.  We are going to...
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Stroke Count – Building the Foundation of Fast Swimming

Last time  we talked about the importance of training like you race.   Good training habits and awareness during your workout help you develop good race habits.   We introduced the swim performance equation covered in detail in the book Swim Speed Secrets 1 :  Time = Number of Strokes * Stroke Rate I'd like to clarify ...
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Train Like You Race

Everyone knows that what you do in training is the key to determining how your races will go.  But how should you train?  A simplistic answer to this question is to train like you race, but the devil is in the details so let's break it down. There are essentially three measurable factors that determine your swimming performance....
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The Power of "Why"

"Why" is a pretty powerful word.  It ascribes motivation and meaning, versus the word "what" which is merely a description based on observation. Simon Sinek has a TED Talk where he tells us about the power of why 1 .  Check it out if you get a chance.  I'd like to give you my "why's" – first "why do I swim" and second "why did I crea...
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