There is no substitute for practicing open water!

There is no substitute for practicing open water!

While coordinating swims with a similarly-paced partner is a great way to improve comfort and endurance Liquid Lifestyles also encourages swimmers to challenge themselves by incorporating structured workouts to their open water training regime.  By participating in our Liquid N’Durance 60-minute, coached workouts, swimmers will experience increased speed, power and efficiency in the water.  

Check out the benefits of structured open water swim practices below:

  1. Race Day Comfort – By practicing in a simulated race course, complete with buoys, swimmers can improve their sighting and buoy turn skills at each practice.  Learning to stay on course is a challenge for many, so perfecting your sighting is key to an efficient race.
  2. Speed Interval Training – Just like cycling and running, swimming can be improved by tempo and speed workouts.  Having a coach there to provide speed-specific workouts and motivation is an excellent way to improve your race time.  Swimming with people of differing abilities also helps many swimmers push themselves a bit further than they would otherwise swim.
  3. Increased Stroke Efficiency – A coach can determine many technique improvements to a swimmer’s stroke, even in an open water environment.  Without a second set of eyes reviewing your technique, it may be difficult for a swimmer to know where improvements can be made.  Remember – the less strokes you have to take to get to the swim finish, The more energy you will have for the bike and run!!

All open water practices are included in the LND Monthly Plan or for $10 drop in. 

* While we encourage all swim speeds to participate in the open water workouts it is recommended that all participants be proficient swimming 500 yards continuously and comfortably in deep water. Beginner swimmers interested in learning open water swim skills should first participate in one of our signature OPEN WATER SWIM CLINICS prior to participating in the LND training sessions.

Look forward to swimming in the lake with you soon!

Stay Healthy & Warm When Swimming in the Winter

Stay Healthy & Warm When Swimming in the Winter

Wintertime; we’re sledding, skiing, and swimming…

 KEEP YOUR MONSTERS AND PENGUINS HEALTH AND WARM DURING WINTER SWIM LESSONS WITH THESE EASY TIPS

KEEP YOUR MONSTERS AND PENGUINS HEALTH AND WARM DURING WINTER SWIM LESSONS WITH THESE EASY TIPS

Wait, what? Yes, swimming!  Despite the cold, swimming in the winter is still a fantastic indoor activity for you and your family! Whether it be swim lessons or just for fun, pool time is a great way to get out of the cold and maybe pretend you’re somewhere warmer!  You will, however, have to step back into the snow globe to get home and risk contracting an illness. This risk is evident at any point in winter but increases with a combination of wet hair and cold air.  We at Liquid Lifestyles know all about this combo and have picked up a few hacks to share with coaches, clients and parents alike.


Three hacks for surviving a trip to the pool in the winter:

Bathrobe

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This one goes to the parents and its genius! Throw a  bathrobe in your swim bag for your child to quickly cover their back and neck after swimming. You can also get them with hoods for extra coverage. Bonus! With the bathrobe securely on your child, there’s no chance it will be dragged on the wet ground like that towel!

Hair Dryer

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Bringing a hair dryer may seem a little excessive, but nothing beats sickness like no wet hair at all! Taking the extra time to carry a hair dryer and dry your child’s hair could be the most beneficial hack against sickness from winter pool time on this list. Ensuring your child’s hair is dry before entering the arctic air eliminates the concern completely! Some of our facilities, such as North Olmsted Rec Center, have hair dryers available for use in the locker rooms. 

Hat and Scarf

Our last hack is probably our easiest hack and great for those who like to rinse off at home. Toss a warm hat and scarf in the bag, stuff that wet hair in the hat, wrap the scarf and enter snow globe! A hat alone is great, but adding the scarf really helps prevent chills later on. Once home, rinse off and have a hot glass of coco!

These hacks keep us warm in the winter and we hope they do for you as well! See you at the pool!

 

New & Improved: Liquid N 'Durance

New & Improved: Liquid N 'Durance

New for 2018: Periodization, Performance Testing, and Speed, Lactate Threshold & Endurance Specific Workouts

Just like you, we are always looking for ways to improve. Beginning in January we are making some very valuable enhancements to our popular Liquid N 'Durance training group. We have always had thought provoking sets designed to improve both technique and fitness. We are taking it to the next level and making it as personalized as we can. The new structure is based upon the following three key training criteria: periodization, performance testing and specific purpose workout focus.

Periodization

We structured the periodization to have have our athletes peak between July 22nd and August 12th. The Cleveland Triathlon Club has selected Ironman® Lake Placid 140.6 as the 2018 club event and with Cleveland hosting the 2018 USAT Age Group Nationals, it was only natural to target these events as so many of our athletes will be racing. Some other events that fall into this window include:

HFP Buck Creek State Park - 7/22
Cleveland Triathlon - 7/22
NCN Avon Lake Triathlon - 7/22
Ironman Lake Placid 140.6 - 7/22
HFP Mason Triumphant - 7/29
Ironman Ohio 70.3 - 7/29
Ironman Canada 70.3 & 140.6 - 7/29
Ironman Boulder 70.3 - 8/4
HFP Alum Creek State Park - 8/5
USAT Age Group Nationals (Cleveland) - 8/11-12
Ironman Steelhead 70.3 - 8/12

Because this training plan is structured into 5-week blocks (4 build weeks followed by a recovery week), you can build to peak performance even if your "A" Race does not fall within the group's target window. We will ask each participant to let us know what event they are training for and will be able to make adjustments so that you are at your peak on race day. 

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Lactate Threshold, Speed & Endurance Testing

 You will need a Tempo Trainer!

You will need a Tempo Trainer!

LND has always used training metrics such as Tempo, Stokes Per Length and LT Pace, but we have always relied upon the individual to know their numbers and use them during training sets. We are now taking this to the next level by having testing sets that repeat every six weeks. We will record and post these test metrics so that you can reference them during workouts so that every workout is customized exactly for you. You will be able to track your progress and see how much improvement you have made and determine what areas you still need to work on.

Workouts Designed for Specific Physiological Adaptations - Not Just Yardage 

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You can swim yards and yards and miles and miles and still not get any faster. Sure you will burn some calories and stay fit, but if you want to get faster you will have to force your body to adapt. You can't do that if you only swim one speed. We will have a specific adaptation focus for each of our workouts. They will be either Speed, Lactate Threshold or Endurance focused.

Speed workouts may emphasize the turn over rate (tempo) or the power side of the speed equation and will be comprised of short sets at high Vo2Max intensity with ample recovery. 

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Lactate Threshold days will have main sets with each effort being 400+ yards all done at your individual LT pace as determined by your LT Test. (See our LT Pace Calculator) These workouts are critical to your success as a triathlete or long distance swimmer. You must train your aerobic system and in order to do so you must have efforts that are 8 minutes or longer in duration. Otherwise you will be adapting your anaerobic system and getting faster at 100s and 200s but you won't get any faster in the mile. 

On Endurance days we will have a variety of distances make up the sets. The focus will be on total yards and short rest intervals between efforts and sets.

CTC Members Get First Visit FREE

REGISTRATION IS REQUIRED FOR ALL POOL & OPEN WATER PRACTICES / You do NOT need to be a facility member to participate in any LND practice. Practices may be cancelled if no clients have registered at least two hours prior to class start time.

 $10 "Drop-In" or $52/Month Unlimited Plan

What's in Your Swim Bag?

Even as a professional swim coach, I often find it challenging to get to the pool to get my own workouts in. One of the barriers I encounter is getting all of my stuff together early in the morning or if I only have a short window of time during the day. Spending 10-15 minutes trying to find my swim suit, goggles, tempo trainer or toiletries might be the difference in whether or not I have time to fit in a swim. As a solution to this dilemma, I put together three fully packed swim bags so I can just grab 'n go on a moments notice. I had multiples of almost everything to begin with but I did buy three packs of the 3-ounce silicone bottles for shampoo, body-wash and lotion so that I am not constantly searching for and transporting the big bottles of the stuff, plus a couple of extra suits and goggles. If I was buying everything from scratch the total bill would have been $345 (excluding towels and my Tom Tom Multisport). Everything can be purchased from SwimOutlet.com except the silicone, leak proof travel bottles. I picked those up on Amazon

Where is your head these days?

Where is your head these days?

Some of us have bigger heads than others, but the average human head weighs 10-11 pounds.  Now what does this have to do with swimming?  Picture this:  I come to the pool with a bowling ball and ask you to hold it up as you swim.  How difficult would that be?  Yet many swimmers do exactly that; instead of using the water's density to support the weight of the head, they carry the extra burden by holding their heads up. The difference in load bearing is about 8% of body weight.  Imagine the energy wasted, energy that instead should be devoted to moving forward.

Even if your face is in the water, you may be swimming with your head too high.  Here are some simple clues to look for:  

1.  You are looking forward instead of down.

2.  Your hips and/or legs are sinking.

3.  Most of your cap or hair remains dry.

4.  Your neck hurts after you swim.

Proper head position should be the #1 priority of swimmers and their coaches.  Where is your head these days?

 

                                                                                                 --Coach Beth

Who Invented the Swim Fin?

Did you know that one of the founding fathers of our country also invented the swim fin?  It's true!  As a child, Benjamin Franklin loved to swim, and by age 11, he was looking for ways to get faster.  So Ben carved two pieces of wood into oval shapes and attached sandal straps to each one.  He first tried the paddles on his hands, but when he discovered that they hurt his wrists, he transferred them to his feet.  For his love of swimming and his invention of swim fins, Franklin was inducted into the International Swimming Hall of Fame in 1968.  If you're ever in Ft. Lauderdale, you can check it out!

Benjamin Franklin was also the first to map the gulf stream.  Because he was endlessly curious, he noticed during his frequent ocean voyages that the eastbound currents were much faster than the westbound.  Legend says that he loved to swim in the noticeably warmer waters of the gulf stream.  No wet suit needed; it hadn't been invented yet!  You can see a copy of Franklin's chart below, which was printed in 1786, ten years after he originally drew it. 

Why are Swim Caps Required?

Why are Swim Caps Required?

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While putting on a swim cap may seem daunting and unnecessary, it is important that all participants wear one when enrolled in our programs.  Here is why:

For swimmers with long hair, it keeps hair out of their eyes.  When you are constantly distracted by hair in your line of sight or hair in your mouth you will inevitably have trouble concentrating on stroke mechanics and proper breathing techniques. Seeing underwater and unobstructed breathing is critical to aquatic comfort.

The cap keeps goggles from slipping off your head and getting tangled in hair.  A swim cap is necessary to maintain comfort, minimize distraction and ensure focus on the coach and the lesson’s curriculum.

Mindset.  Liquid Lifestyles coaches offer premier swim instruction that spans from beginner swimmers to elite athletes. Our clients are provided with skills and techniques that will last a life time. As such, we want to create a fun, yet disciplined, learning environment.  Teaching water safety is a life-saving skill and having a high standard in the training and appearance of our swimmers is paramount.

Safety.  Our coaches and swimmers are fortunate to have access to a network of partner facilities. On any given day there may be a variety of programming occurring simultaneously in the pool. The Liquid Lifestyles swim caps allow our staff to quickly identify all of our participants and maintain safe lines of sight. In open water settings a highly visible swim cap is even more critical to the safety of each individual.

If you or your child are struggling with a swim cap, please practice putting it on at home.  This habit will increase familiarity with the cap and decrease any associated anxiety in a short period of time.

Preparing for Your Child’s First Swim Lesson

Preparing for Your Child’s First Swim Lesson

Enrolling your child in Liquid Bubbles swimming lessons is a critical step in developing your child’s comfort in and awareness of aquatic environments.  Whether your child is enrolled in private lessons or a group class, Liquid Lifestyles’ highly-trained coaches, through the use of intuitive curriculum, will teach your child important life-saving skills in a comfortable, safe pool environment.  Learning is fun and easy when it’s “Swimming Simplified!”

Here is what you need to know about preparing for your first lesson: 

Set expectations with your child beforehand.

Some of our facilities require parents to remain in a waiting area while your child is taking their lesson.  This policy is in place to ensure safety of all pool patrons, as some facilities have space constraints.  Talk to your child about the idea of you being in the waiting room during the lesson so he or she is not surprised when they cannot see you during the lesson.

You will be given the opportunity to speak with the coach at the end of the lesson when your coach will review your child’s progress at the end the lesson.  You can also use this opportunity to ask questions of your coach.

Arrive early.

Liquid Lifestyles requires all children in Liquid Bubbles 1 and beyond to wear swim caps and goggles.  For more information about why we have this requirement, click here.  Liquid Lifestyles provides a Liquid Bubbles swim cap for all participants, but it is the customer’s responsibility to purchase goggles.  Goggles are available for purchase on the pool deck.  Just ask your coach for a pair!

The coach will show you how to put on the swim cap and goggles properly.  The purchase process and demonstration may take a few minutes, so it be best to arrive early for your lesson to ensure a prompt start time.

Your child may become uneasy before or during the lesson.

Oftentimes, a young child will become uneasy at some point before or during the lesson.  This is understandable, as the pool environment can be new, different or a bit overwhelming to a small child.  Our coaches are trained to help ease your child’s concerns.  Tactics include distraction, fun, singing, etc., but please know the lesson will continue even if your child sheds some tears. 

If you are located at a pool that allows parents on deck, it is possible that the coach may ask you to leave the area in the event your client is upset.  Why?  Your child looks to you as their parent or guardian for love and support at all times.  By being able to see their parent, a distraught child loses interest in the lesson and focuses solely on the parent.  Your Liquid Bubbles coach wants the opportunity to bond with your child and be viewed as a trustworthy adult.  This process is made easier when the child’s focus remains with the coach. 

Usually once the parent leaves the area, the child realizes the lesson will continue and their objections cease by the end of the 30-minute period. 

Afterwards

Strong-willed children may continue to fret through the first couple of lessons.  This is normal, and we ask that parents please continue to bring their child to lessons several more times, as it is not advisable to validate the child’s protests by ending swim lessons.  Swimming is a necessary and life-saving skill all caregivers want their child to master.  We at Liquid Lifestyles can work through the tears as long as the parent allows us!

Talk to your child about the lesson, the importance of swimming and about how much fun they can have in the water.  Most parents notice an increase in confidence and appreciation for the water after several lessons.  Our goal is to have every Liquid Bubbles participant develop a life-long love of swimming, and we will work with you and your child to ensure we met this goal.

Happy Swimming!

The Importance of Head Position to Master Body Balance

The Importance of Head Position to Master Body Balance

 Maintaining proper head position is the key to achieving proper balance while swimming.

Maintaining proper head position is the key to achieving proper balance while swimming.

Your head is a 12-pound weight and in order for you to travel efficiently in the water and push through as small of a column of water as possible you have to get your head down in order to get your hips to come up. Your fulcrum, or balance point, of your body while attempting to be horizontal in the water is not at your belly button, it is directly under your lungs. You have more distance behind the fulcrum that in front of it. Therefore a 1-2" change in front of the fulcrum can make a 3-5" change behind the fulcrum.

Once proper head position is achieved, the second most important factor in improving your balance in the water is to get your lead arm into a position that is several inces below the water rather than at the surface. At first this might seem counter-intuitive, however the trade off here is what is important. Yes, you will have a small amount of added drag to get your arm lower, but by doing so your hips and legs go up. That is a good trade.