Open Water Gift Guide

I hope everyone has a great holiday season this year.  If you are like me you probably already have a few open water related gifts on your Christmas wish list.  Here are some of the things that I am hoping find their way into my stocking this year.

FINIS Tempo Trainer - $39.99
This is basically a metronome for swimming.  You attach the tempo trainer to you goggles or put it in your cap and it beeps at the stroke rate you set it to.  This is a good tool for working on your pace and keeping it consistent. 

Tactics and Techniques of Elite Open Water Swimmers - $25.95
This DVD by The Athlete Village is an up close analysis of world class open water swimmers.

Blueseventy Element Goggles - $12.00
My opinion on goggles is that you can never have too many.  I love my Blueseventy Vision goggles for open water but love my Speedo Aqua Socket's for the pool.  The Blueseventy Element's combine what I like about both sets of goggles into one.  Since most of my goggles are tinted or mirrored, I need a pair that are not as dark so that I can use them for early morning and evening swimming.

Go Swim Open Water with Fran Crippen - $39.95
In this DVD, world class swimmer and all around good guy, Fran Crippen shares his techniques for faster freestyle and explains how to master the skills you need for open water.

Stroke Analysis from The Athlete Village - $49.99 to $129.99
This is an easy way to have your stroke analyzed.  Simply have a friend film you swimming and upload the video the the website.  A professional will analyze your stroke.  For the serious open water swimmer, there is a comprehensive open water package that is analyzed by Steve Munatones himself.

Dark Fin Gloves - $24.95
These gloves just look cool.  I have never worn a pair, but am sure that they are more comfortable and natural feeling than hand paddles.  I also like the idea of being able to vary the resistance by simply spreading your fingers.

What swimming related gifts are you hoping to get this year?


Unofficial list of Bear Lake Crossings

Taking on the challenge of swimming Bear Lake has become increasingly popular over the past couple of years.  The lake has attracted marathon swimmers with its clear blue water and beautiful mountain surroundings and has challenged them with 19+ miles of cold water.  With James Jonsson's recent inclusion in the International Marathon Swimming Hall of Fame, talk of forming a Bear Lake Swimming Federation and several attempts already planned in the next few years, the swim is expected to continue to increase in popularity.

Following is an unofficial list of successful crossings of both the width and length of Bear Lake.  I do not claim that this is a complete list and I am positive that there have been other crossings.  The swims listed below have all been well documented.

Length ~ 19+ miles
Current Record: James Jonsson - July 22, 2010 - 8:43:26

Neal Phelps- July 18, 2009 - 13 hours
As far as anyone knows, Neal was the first person to successfully swim the length of Bear Lake.
John Quackenbush - August 10, 2009? - 15 hours
John was the second person to swim the length of Bear Lake and the first to swim it following Channel swimming rules.

James Jonsson - July 22, 2010 - time 8:43:26
James was included in the International Marathon Swimming Hall of Fame for his record breaking swim.

Width ~ 7 miles
Current Record: Gordon Gridley - July 3, 2010 - 4:34:44

Chris Bowcutt - July 15, 2009 - 7 miles - 4:45

Gordon Gridley - July 3, 2010 - 7.1 miles - 4:34:44

Scott and Rachele Kunz (relay) - ? 2010 - 8 miles - 3:40

As was mentioned above, this is not a complete list.  If you or someone you know has completed a swim across Bear Lake (length or width), please send me an email with the details at joshuakgreen@gmail.com or leave a comment below.  Any documentation of these swims would be greatly appreciated.  Likewise, if there are any errors in any of the information listed above, please let me know so that I can correct them.


Swim Clinic With Coach Wade Roberts - Postponed

A few weeks ago I announced a swimming clinic that I was helping to put together with coach Wade Roberts.  We didn't get quite the response that we were hoping for and November 13 turned out to be a bad weekend for many people.  Coach Roberts and I have decided to postpone the clinic for now and will post the new date once it has been decided.

The clinic will be held at the South Davis Recreation Center and will be two hours long with instruction and practice in the water.  The cost to attend is $65 (a $35 discount from his usual rate).

Coach Roberts is an experienced and accomplished swimmer and coach.  For a list of his credentials, see this post.  You can also watch a few short videos of Wade talking about swimming here.  He has helped me to change the way I think about my stroke and correct some of the errors that I had been making for years.  Whether you are new to swimming and triathlon or are a more advanced swimmer looking to fine tune your stroke, this two hour clinic will be a valuable tool to help get you swimming more efficiently and, as a result, faster.  With open water and triathlon season over for the year, this is a great time to focus on improving your technique.

If you are interested in attending the clinic and want to be updated on the new date, please email me at joshuakgreen@gmail.com.  Coach Roberts is also available for private lessons and can be reached at kosal96@yahoo.com.