Tag Archives: Training

What’s On This Week

What’s on this week & next
If you would like to join the club, come to the pool and ask for Coach Andy, you will be required to demonstrate a lap each of Freestyle, Backstroke and Breaststroke.
One you have been placed in a squad, you fill in the registration form. located on this blog, then pay your 1,200 peso registration fee at the school cashier, then pick up you Sailfish Cap and Sailfish Shirt at the next Swim Suit Sale Day.

Monday 16th January Normal Training & Tryouts for new swimmers.
Tuesday 17th  – Normal Training and Tryouts
Wednesday 18th  – Normal Training, Parent Meeting (Tryouts)
Thursday 19th  – Normal Training, (Tryouts)
Friday 20th – Normal Training (Tryouts)
Saturday 21st – Varsity Training


Sailfish Tryouts

Sailfish Swim Club is starting this Monday the 13th, come along to tryouts.

We will ask you to swim Freestyle and Backstroke, then Breaststroke.  You do not need to be a champion swimmer to join, we cater for all abilities.  We want to see  how well you swim not how fast, once we have seen you swim you will be put in a squad that suits your ability.

Elementary School can up to 3 times a week.  It’s ok if you come less though, we encourage to be good at lots of different sports.  We have 3 ES squads,  Squad 1 is generally is for swimmers new to the sport, and focus on Freestyle, Backstroke and Breaststroke. They Train 2:30-3:15, Monday, Wednesday and Friday.  Squad 2 concentrates on perfecting FR, BK, and BR, and are learning Butterfly (BF)  They train Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday.  Squad 3 is the top Elementary Squad and train Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday.

Middle School either come three times a week for those still learning, or 5 times a week for those who have been swimming a long time and are ready to train for performance. We have 3 Squads, MS1 is for swimmers new to teh sport and are technique focused with some conditioning work, and train Monday Wednesday and Friday. Squad 2 combines technical and conditioning training and train Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday.  Squad 3 trains with the High School Squad and is a performance focused squad.  They train 5 times a week Monday-Friday.

High School either three times a week for those new to the sport or 5 PLUS times for those who are after Performance training.

Any Questions?  e-mail Coach Andy astfalcka@ismanila.org

Training Starts

Hi folks, welcome back, I’m sure many of you have or are struggling with jet lag, waking up at 2:00am in not pleasant, thankfully it gets better every day and eventually goes away.

I’m really looking forward to a fun and fast new swimming season, we have some new things lined up for you, more about this in later posts.

Training starts on Thursday for High School Students, 3-5pm,

Training for MS and ES swimmers who swam with the Sailfish last season start training on Friday.  Everybody welcome.

People new to ISM or who want to join the Sailfish Swim Club please come to training next week Monday-Friday for an assessment.  Please ask for Coach Andy, I will watch you swim and decide which squad will suit you best.  Once you have been assessed I will e-mail you a registration form, please fill it in and e-mail back to me.

Questions please e-mail coach Andy  astfalcka@ismanila.org

see you on pool deck


Two Foods You Should Never, Ever Eat After Exercise


Posted by: Dr. Mercola | July 27 2010

Did you know that what you eat directly after exercising – typically within two hours – can have a significant impact on the health benefits you reap from your exercise?

Consuming sugar within this post-exercise window, will negatively affect both your insulin sensitivity and your human growth hormone (HGH) production.

A recent study in the Journal of Applied Physiology found that eating a low-carbohydrate meal after aerobic exercise enhances your insulin sensitivity. This is highly beneficial, since impaired insulin sensitivity, or insulin resistance, is the underlying cause of type 2 diabetes and a significant risk factor for other chronic diseases, such as heart disease.

In addition, as HGH Magazine explains, consuming fructose, including that from fruit juices, within this two-hour window will decimate your natural HGH production:

“A high sugar meal after working out, or even a recovery drink (containing high sugar) after working out, will stop the benefits of exercise induced HGH. You can work out for hours, then eat a high sugar candy bar or have a high sugar energy drink, and this will shut down the synergistic benefits of HGH.

… If you miss reaching HGH release during working out, you will still receive the calorie burning benefit from the workout. However, you’ll miss the HGH “synergy bonus” of enhanced fat burning for two hours after working out.

This is an extremely important fact to remember if you want to cut body fat and shed a few pounds.

The University of Virginia research team demonstrated that carbohydrates are burned during exercise in direct proportion to the intensity of training. Fat burning is also correlated with intensity. However, the actual fat burning takes place after the workout, during the recovery.

This makes the “Synergy Window,” the 2 hour period after a workout, very important in maximizing HGH, once it’s released during exercise.”

Fitness expert Phil Campbell, author of Ready, Set, Go! further explains how you can maximize your HGH production by limiting sugar intake for two hours post exercise, in this article on HowToBeFit.com.

Exercising one hour a week and getting the same results as traditional strength training might sound impossible. However, University of Florida orthopedics researchers have developed a system that may do just that, and as you will read in my comment below, the kind of exercise you perform can dramatically reduce the time you spend in the gym while still getting better results than you did before.

The system created by University of Florida researchers uses eccentric (negative) resistance training, which capitalizes on the fact that the human body can support and lower weights that are too heavy to lift.

According to UF Health Science Center:

“Through a system of motors, pulleys, cams and sensors it adds weight when a person is performing a lowering motion, and removes that weight when the person is lifting. As a result, the body starts seeing loads, resistance, and forces that it doesn’t normally see”.

Other scientists have found additional clues that explain how exercise reshapes and strengthens more than just your muscles.

It changes your brain too.

In the late 1990s, researchers proved that human and animal brains produce new brain cells, and that exercise increases the process. But precisely how exercise affects the intricate workings of your brain at a cellular level remained a mystery.

However, a number of new studies have begun to identify the specific mechanisms, and have raised new questions about just how exercise reshapes your brain.

In some studies, scientists have been manipulating the levels of bone-morphogenetic protein (BMP) in the brains of mice. The more active BMP becomes, the more inactive your brain stem cells become and the fewer new brain cells you produce. Exercise reverses some of the effects of BMP.

According to the New York Times:

“BMP signaling was found to be playing a surprising, protective role for the brain’s stem cells … Without BMP signals to inhibit them, the stem cells began dividing rapidly, producing hordes of new neurons.”



Below are releases on studies appearing in the June issue of Pediatrics, the peer-reviewed, scientific journal of the American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP).

For Release: Monday, May 24, 2010 12:01 am (ET)


 Before families head to the beach or pool this Memorial Day, the American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP) has updated guidance on water safety and drowning prevention. In its updated policy, the AAP has revised its guidance on swimming lessons and highlights new drowning risks – including large, inexpensive, portable and inflatable pools – that have emerged in the past few years.

Fortunately, drowning rates have fallen steadily from 2.68 per 100,000 in 1985 to 1.32 per 100,000 in 2006. But drowning continues to be the second leading cause of death for children ages 1 to 19, claiming the lives of roughly 1,100 children in 2006. Toddlers and teenaged boys are at greatest risk.

“To protect their children, parents need to think about layers of protection,” said Jeffrey Weiss, MD, FAAP, lead author of the policy statement and technical report, which will be published in the July print issue of Pediatrics and released early online May 24.

“Children need to learn to swim,” Dr. Weiss said. “But even advanced swimming skills cannot ‘drown-proof’ a child of any age. Parents must also closely supervise their children around water and know how to perform CPR. A four-sided fence around the pool is essential.”

A fence that completely surrounds the pool – isolating it from the house – can cut drowning risk in half. Unfortunately, laws regarding pool fencing may have dangerous loopholes. Large, inflatable above-ground pools can contain thousands of gallons of water and may even require filtration equipment, so they are left filled for weeks at a time. But because they are considered “portable,” these pools often are exempt from local building codes requiring pool fencing. From 2004 to 2006, the Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC) reported 47 deaths of children related to inflatable pools. “Because some of these pools have soft sides, it is very easy for a child to lean over and fall headfirst into the water,” Dr. Weiss said. “These pools pose a constant danger.”

In the new policy, the AAP reinforces its existing recommendation that most children age 4 and older should learn to swim, but the AAP is now more open toward classes for younger children. In the past, the AAP advised against swimming lessons for children ages 1 to 3 because there was little evidence that lessons prevented drowning or resulted in better swim skills, and there was a concern parents would become less vigilant about supervising a child who had learned some swimming skills.

But new evidence shows that children ages 1 to 4 may be less likely to drown if they have had formal swimming instruction. The studies are small, and they don’t define what type of lessons work best, so the AAP is not recommending mandatory swim lessons for all children ages 1 to 4 at this time. Instead, the new guidance recommends that parents should decide whether to enroll an individual child in swim lessons based on the child’s frequency of exposure to water, emotional development, physical abilities, and certain health concerns related to pool water infections and pool chemicals.

“Not every child will be ready to learn to swim at the same age,” Dr. Weiss said. “Swimming lessons can be an important part of the overall protection, which should include pool barriers and constant, capable supervision.”

The AAP does not recommend formal water safety programs for children younger than 1 year of age. The water-survival skills programs for infants may make compelling videos for the Internet, but no scientific study has yet demonstrated these classes are effective, the policy states.

 The updated policy also outlines the danger of body entrapment and hair entanglement in a pool or spa drain. Special drain covers and other devices that release the pressure in a drain can prevent such incidents.

AAP offers specific advice for parents:

  1. Never – even for a moment – leave small children alone or in the care of another young child while in bathtubs, pools, spas or wading pools, or near irrigation ditches or standing water. Bath seats cannot substitute for adult supervision. Empty water from buckets and other containers immediately after use. To prevent drowning in toilets, young children should not be left alone in the bathroom.
  2. Closely supervise children in and around water. With infants, toddlers and weak swimmers, an adult should be within an arm’s length. With older children and better swimmers, an adult should be focused on the child and not distracted by other activities.
  3. If children are in out-of-home child care, ask about exposure to water and the ratio of adults to children.
  4. If you have a pool, install a four-sided fence that is at least 4 feet high to limit access to the pool. The fence should be hard to climb (not chain-link) and have a self-latching, self-closing gate. Families may consider pool alarms and rigid pool covers as additional layers of protection, but neither can take the place of a fence.
  5. Children need to learn to swim.  AAP supports swimming lessons for most children 4 years and older. Classes may reduce the risk of drowning in younger children as well, but because children develop at different rates, not all children will be ready to swim at the same age.
  6. Parents, caregivers and pool owners should learn CPR.
  7. Do not use air-filled swimming aids (such as inflatable arm bands) in place of life jackets. They can deflate and are not designed to keep swimmers safe.
  8. All children should wear a life jacket when riding in a boat. Small children and nonswimmers should also wear one at water’s edge, such as on a river bank or pier.
  9. Parents should know the depth of the water and any underwater hazards before allowing children to jump in.  The first time you enter the water, jump feet first; don’t dive.
  10. When choosing an open body of water for children to swim in, select a site with lifeguards.  Swimmers should know what to do in case of rip currents (swim parallel to the shore until out of the current, then swim back to the shore).
  11. Counsel teenagers about the increased risk of drowning when alcohol is involved.

Link to article – 

News Highlights – May 17, 2010.

Low Fitness in Youth Linked to Hypertension

Low Fitness in Youth Linked to Hypertension

Lack of Exercise in Young Adulthood Associated With High Blood Pressure in Middle Age
By Bill Hendrick
WebMD Health News

June 1, 2010 — Young adults who don’t get enough physical and aerobic exercise increase their risk of having high blood pressure later in life, a new study shows.

Researchers who analyzed 20 years worth of data conclude that a “substantial” proportion of high blood pressure cases are associated with a lack of physical activity and not enough aerobic fitness.

There is a difference in measuring aerobic fitness and physical activity, according to scientists at Northwestern University’s Feinberg School of Medicine.

Physical activity is a behavior, while aerobic fitness is a physiological measure that reflects a combination of physical activity, genetic potential, and functional health of various organs.

The researchers examined data on 4,618 men and women taking part in a research project called the Coronary Artery Risk Development in Young Adults Study, or CARDIA. 

Study researcher Mercedes Carnethon, PhD, an assistant professor of preventive medicine at Northwestern, says the study confirms earlier research pointing to a link between fitness and hypertension “by showing that fitness during young adulthood — a time when cardiovascular disease risk burden is typically low — is an important indicator of hypertension development in middle age.”

Carnethon says in a news release that high blood pressure is known to develop over a long period of time and is due to a combination of factors that includes genetics, diet, and health behaviors.

“Our study measures a comprehensive set of these health risk factors over 20 years, making this one of the longest follow-up studies to test whether activity and fitness are associated with hypertension development,” she says.

The researchers measured blood pressure and estimated fitness levels based on the duration of exercise treadmill tests conducted on people who were between 18 and 30 in 1985.

Participants were re-examined after two, five, seven, 10, 15, and 20 years.

Activity was assessed by an interviewer who administered a self-reported questionnaire.

Researchers say low fitness has a stronger link with the development of hypertension than low-reported physical activity, though the two appear to have independent effects.

Researchers also found that:

  • Hypertension incidence was 13.8% per 1,000 person-years, a calculation found by taking the number of new cases within a specified time period divided by the size of the population initially at risk.
  • Low fitness was associated with an increased risk of developing high blood pressure after adjusting for smoking, age, sex, cholesterol, race, diet, and other factors.
  • The estimated proportion of high blood pressure that could be prevented if participants moved to a higher fitness category was 34%. This figure is called the “preventive fraction,” which tells scientists, at least hypothetically, what proportion of disease could be eliminated if the risk factor were removed from the studied population.

Clinical trials with various activity and fitness levels are needed before doctors can use the study information to make recommendations about the amount of physical activity needed to improve fitness and lower the risk of developing hypertension, the researchers say.

The study is published in the journal Hypertension.

Low Fitness in Youth Linked to Hypertension.

Holiday Work Out Design

Who is going to go for a swim on their own or with a friend this summer holiday?

What do I do, I’ll just e-mail my coach and ask them to make one for me, easy!

No, not this holiday, I’ll help you design your own workout.

Warm Up

  1. How much time do you have? aim for an hour of swimming, break the workout into 15 minute segments, 15min for warm up, 2x15m segments for the main set, then a 15minute cool down set, If you are going to swim for only 30 minutes, break it down to 10min warm up, 15min main set, then a 5 minute warm down.
  2. Warm up your muscles and tendons slowly: You probably have been sitting at your computer all day, and decide you need to get some exercise, the warm up is designed to get your blood flowing to your swimming muscles, before you start swimming fast. Typically spend 10 minutes swimming slowing but technically well, mix up the strokes, Freestyle, Backstroke, Breaststroke.  We’ll do some butterfly a bit later.
  3. Get to know you environment: Have you swum in the pool before? If not the warm up is an opportunity to get to know your new environment, is it a 50m or 25m pool? are the walls slippery? Is there lane ropes? Is the pool busy?  Is there backstroke flags, diving blocks? Is it cold or warm water.  Some of  your answers here may change your work out, if there is no backstroke flags you won’t be doing any backstroke.
  4. Practice skills early in the work out: The warm up is also an opportunity to practice some skills or drills.  Later you may be tired and won’t be able to physically and mentally concentrate on practicing the drill well. Spend about 15 minutes practicing a drill or skill, concentrate hard and try to do it well as you can. Drills are designed to fix a fault in your stroke, you don’t need to do a drill if you don’t have a problem with your stroke.  Do a drill that you know that is helping you to improve a weak area of your stroke.  You don’t always have to do drills now, you could practice a particular swimming skill, diving, turns or with a partner relay change overs.  Do you know how to do a cross over turn? Its a Individual Medley backstroke to breaststroke turn, it a tough one to learn, check out the video on the technique/turn page to see a swimmer demonstrating it.
  5. Drink Water: Do you have your water bottle with you? sip water all workout. don’t wait till you get thirsty.  Our body is made up of 70% water, our body depends on a well hydrated body, if you become dehydrated, you can’t operate as well as you should. Your blood is made up of fluid and your blood carries oxygen and fuel to your muscles and brain.  If you become dehydrated your muscles won’t work very well, and you will slow down, you will feel tired, you could get cramp, you could even get a headache.  Your body won’t recover quickly either, you may be tired the next day as well.
  6. Main Set: The main set typically takes 30-60 minutes. It depends on how long your total work out will be. What type of workout are you looking for?  You should swim
    • Endurance set – typically you will swim long distances at a constant speed with short rest,aim to swim for 20 to 45 minutes. It should not be exhausting.  Endurance sets, develop your heart, lungs, and circulatory system.  This type of workout, helps you swim for longer, more efficiently, which means your body will be able to swim faster for longer amout of time.  A majority of this type of swimming freestyle , backstroke, kick, pull or whole stroke.
    • Fast Endurance – Typically this type of work out takes 20-30 minutes.  It’s like the previous set, but you swim at a faster speed, take a little more rest, this type of swimming is more exhausting so you won’t be able to do swim as far or for as long as a straight Endurance set. You can do this set doing any stroke, kick or pull.  Fairly exhausting, you will be tired after this set.
    • Race Pace/Sprint Swimming – Usually you can effectivly swim at this speed for 400-600m. Pick an event, and practiced swimming at that the speed you would swim that event at.  Even better swim slightly faster than your current best time, so you body gets used to swimming that speed.  Break the event up into small parts and swim, if you pick the 200m Freestyle event, break the 200m int 40X50m take about 30 seconds rest between each interval and keep track of how fast you swim each 50m.  This set should take about 20mintues to complete.  You will be exhausted after this set, it is physically very hard to swim at race pace for an extended time, even if you have a rest between intervals.
  7. Cool Down: Your body will recover quickly from a workout if you cool down properly, you muscles produces lots of waste material when you exercise, it if stays in your body, especially in the muscles, you used it you will get sore the next day.  A cool down is d esigned to lower you heart rate, and to flush your muscles of those waist materials. Typically you should swim about 400-800m in a cool down

That’s it for now, good luck with designing your holiday workouts.

it’s great if you swim over the summer, but make sure you have permission to go to the pool by your parents, and never swim along, always swim with a lifeguard or have adult watching over you. .

If you design your onw workout, sent it, I may give the workout to somebody else.



Prevent Swimmers Ear

A Sign of the Season: How To Prevent Swimmers’ Ear

from The Swimmers Circle by Braden K.
This very painful infection of the inner-ear can ruin a season, a summer, or even a swimming career if it becomes severe enough. Luckily, with diligence, swimmer’s ear can be easily prevented with about 2 minutes of care after each practice.

Swimmer’s ear is caused by water penetrating the water-resistant lining of the ear canal. This lining is usually pretty solid, but when it is wet for a long period of time, it becomes pruney and soft, much like our fingers and toes do. This makes the ear very susceptible to tearing, and once there is even a tiny tear, bacteria can get into it and cause all sorts of nasty infections.

Symptoms: People with swimmer’s ear usually complain of an itchy and/or painful ear. The pain can be quite severe. The ear is particularly sensitive to the being tugged up and down. The earwax may appear soft and white, and there may be a small amount of clear discharge.

#1. The first step is to consider ear plugs. When fit properly, these can help keep water out of the ear. General commercial earplugs do not tend to fit great, but ask your doctor if you want to get custom made plugs. Pulling a cap down over the swimmer’s ears will help keep the earplugs in place (as well as cover them up for those kids who are shy about them!).

#2. After practice, playing in the pool, and even baths and showers, use ear drops to dry the water out of your swimmers’ ear. Q-tips can irritate the ear canal and contribute to swimmer’s ear, so ear drops are the safest way to dry them out. Tip the swimmer’s head to one side and put a few drops in. Keep the head tilted for a minute or so to ensure it absorbs the water and bacteria, and then tip the head the other way to drain the solution. Repeat with the other ear.

These solutions can be bought at your local grocery store, or just combine 1 part water, 1 part vinegar, and 1 part rubbing alcohol. The vinegar disinfects, and the rubbing alcohol dries the ear out. Note that these drops are to be used to PREVENT swimmer’s ear, or to treat very mild cases.

FOR MORE SEVERE CASES, consult a doctor before putting anything in the child’s ear to prevent a very painful reaction. Prevention can go a long way, because once a swimmer gets an infection once, it is likely to recur frequently.

This article should not be taken as medical advice. Please consult your doctor if you have any concerns about your or your child’s health.

Assessing your exercise pain

Assessing your exercise pain

What’s all right and what’s too much when it comes to exercise discomfort? Exercise physiology physician Max Testa recommends using 5 factors in assessing pain.

April 08, 2010|By Eric Heiden | Tribune Media Services

Exercise can be uncomfortable when beginning any new type of training or when getting back in the saddle after a long break.

Discomfort of exercise when starting out and also when competing at the elite level is universal; it happens to everyone, and it is not a sign that you are not cut out for exercise. On the contrary, everyone is cut out for exercise. And for the vast expanse of training levels between the two extremes, exercise is a feel-good experience — most of the time.

Even in the middle, however, a little discomfort now and then is not unusual or unexpected. And it’s not a sign to quit your fitness program. Instead, I use it as an opportunity to get to know my body better. You can do so as well by breaking down any exercise discomfort you experience into its essential components.

Exercise physiology physician Max Testa advises athletes to assess exercise discomfort as a combination of five factors:

—Your level of fitness

— The intensity of the exercise

— The degree to which you can tolerate the exercise

— Your motivation to keep exercising

— The degree to which you perceive you are suffering

The first factor comes into play when, say, walking three miles feels hard because it’s way beyond your fitness level. The other four factors may all be negligible — the pace is not too intense, you can tolerate exercise well and feel motivated, and sunshine mutes any grumbling — but your newness to fitness alone can spike your feeling of discomfort. Once you are walking five miles at a pop regularly, however, walking three miles won’t even register on your discomfort radar. The work your body does to walk three miles won’t change, but your improved fitness will shrink your discomfort.

Meanwhile, if you exercise at an intensity that is 70 percent to 80 percent of the greatest intensity you could possibly do, you (or anyone) will be uncomfortable starting out. After you’re experienced training at that intensity, though, you won’t be uncomfortable with pushing yourself that hard. That’s essentially the basis of interval training: You train at a higher intensity in short bursts (say, a few minutes) interspersed with rests (blocks of time at low-intensity) and soon higher-intensity exercise doesn’t hurt quite so much, because your muscles and lungs are getting in better shape.

Your brain also gets in better shape, creating a greater tolerance for exercise. As it learns to manage greater fatigue, your brain will interpret the same signals from your body differently.

Likewise, the signals to your brain (or your interpretation of them) change with your level of motivation. As you exercise, the level of signals coming from your body has a value — a number from 1 to 10, say — but the message from your cerebral cortex modifies that value, given your motivation. A 7 today can feel like a 10 next week if it’s raining and you don’t want to be out there. Other days, it can feel like a 3, if you’re with friends.

This is where the chatter going on in your cerebral cortex is cardinal to your fitness: It’s responsible for telling you how long you want to push yourself, either “I can’t stand this another second!” or “I can hold this for another 30 seconds.” You can control that chatter — and thus the impact of the motivation variable — very effectively.

Eric Heiden, M.D., a five-time Olympic gold medalist speed skater, is now an orthopedic surgeon in Utah. He co-wrote “Faster, Better, Stronger: Your Fitness Bible” (HarperCollins) with exercise performance physician Max Testa, M.D., and DeAnne Musolf. Visit http://www.fasterbetterstronger.com.

Exercise ‘helps’ school children concentrate

Exercise ‘helps’ school children concentrate


Teenagers playing football

Researchers said the study had implications for school exercise

Young children who exercise at school perform better in concentration tests, researchers have said after a study on pupils in Aberdeen.

More than 1,000 children at primary schools in the city took part in the study by researchers at the universities of Aberdeen and Leeds.

The team said those who performed aerobic exercise did better in the tests than those who did not.

They claim the study has implications in the debate about exercise in school.

Pupils between primary four and seven exercised for between 10 and 15 minutes.

Mental tests were then carried out at the end of the school day.

‘Attention span’

Dr Justin Williams, senior lecturer in child and adolescent psychiatry at the University of Aberdeen, said: “This is the first and largest study of its kind and our results show that 15 minutes of exercise in the classroom improved performance on cognitive tests conducted later in the day.

“While further research is required, this could change the way we think about exercise in schools. As well as being important in tackling obesity and promoting a healthy lifestyle, exercise can help with learning.

“It also raises the question of how much the often-reported decline in children’s attention span in modern day life stems from a lack of physical exercise.”

The findings have been published in the journal Developmental Medicine and Child Neurology.