Wednesday, December 30, 2009

Funny Polar Bear Plunge Almost Turns Tragic

Just in time for Jan 1st, in case you were planning a polar bear plunge, here's one guy who finds out the truth.  Scary about half way through. 
Fat Guy Lake Cannonball Fail - Watch more Funny Videos

Tuesday, December 22, 2009

Calculate the caloric value of your swim workout

I'm sort of a techie nerd and got myself on the mailing list for early this year when it rolled out. If you don't know what wolframalpha is, it is a "computational knowledge engine" - i.e. a search engine that is extraordinarily good at doing calculations. This means that you can ask it stuff and it kicks back replies based on the calculations it does behind the scenes. What does this have to do with swimming, you ask? Well in today's year end newsletter, the web site announced it has a fitness calculator. This is the cool part. I typed in "swimming 55min" and it kicked back a screen showing energy expenditure, fat burned, oxygen consumption and metabolic equivalent. It defaults to a body weight of 160 lbs, but you can enter your own weight and it will give you these results for your profile. If you're across the pond, you can have the results in metric equivalents.

Don't know if this will help anyone for the upcoming holidays, but here's something I calculated that I found useful for my 210lbs profile. WA says I burn 550 calories in my workout (at a leisure pace). That means I can eat two doughnuts at 224 calories each, and still be ahead! Awesome!

Thursday, December 17, 2009

Mini-Goal Completed - Canadian Border via Great Lakes

Today, I completed one of my mini-goal milestones on my way to swim the distance of the Atlantic Ocean from Leiden England to NYC (the same route our pilgrim forefathers took ... they missed Manhattan). The completed mini-goal was to swim the distance of the Canadian border through the Great Lakes region - Kingston to Thunder Bay - a distance of 1,134 miles (or 36,316 circular laps in a 25 meter swimming pool). This took 735 swimming workouts, begun officially on Jan 2, 2007.

My prior goals and future goals may be seen on the left of this page.

Wednesday, December 16, 2009

Idea for a gadget to help you swim more efficiently

Do you swim in a straight line? Really? Sure, there are the novice swimmers that snake all over the place, but if you're well practiced, how do you really know? Most peoples' bodies swivel a little bit, and it can really make a difference for that efficient stroke. I try to hold the line but while my eye always follows the line in the bottom of the pool, I'm not so sure my body really does as much as I'd like to believe it does.

I've come up with a concept that some engineers out there might find interesting (or crazy). The solution is cheap and very high tech (i.e. cool factor! yeah, baby!) ... it uses lasers (think sharks with lasers).

Basically, my idea is that if a waterproof gadget the size of a quarter could be created, with an embedded toy laser (like those toys you buy at the pet store to give your cat something to chase) and that gadget was attached to the body (e.g., chest, belly, shoulder, or foot via a Velcro strap), one could see the exact line in the bottom of the pool as one swam, including the variability from center.

To add value to this concept, it could have several settings. Setting #1 would be a standard light that shows the dot on the bottom of the pool as you swim. Keep the dot on the side of the line in the bottom of the pool. A memory chip could be installed and setting #2 could record the track and play back the actual line swum in the prior lap during the next lap. Setting #3 could record the track without showing the track and play it back during the next lap, forcing the swimmer to practice the perfect line without the aid of the laser. The unit could use a proximity indicator, like in an iPhone so it could know when a swimmer has made the turn.

If anyone out there takes this idea and runs with it, please let me know. I want one.

Wednesday, December 02, 2009

How Swimmers Repair Dry Skin

Chlorine and sodium bicarbonate can really take a toll on a swimmer's skin. Add in winter dry air and you might find your skin peeling off - and you thought a sun-burn was the only cause of that! I've been dealing with the problem for years and it's only gotten worse as I've aged and my natural skin moisteners have failed me. Of late I've had peeling on my finger tips - last place I ever would have imagined. I tried all sorts of remedies including udder cream - all which helped but none fixed things, then I remembered an old radio ad that promoted a product that Norwegian fisherman purportedly use - I think it was Neutregena Hand Cream. Anyhow, I bought a tube and found that if I put the cream on within about 10 minutes of drying off, it works well and the healing begins. The cream is thick and while moistening your hands it then seems to create a barrier that helps keep the moisture in your hands. If I wait too long, my hands dry out. While the cream helps if I put it on hours later, I don't get as good results. I may be wrong about that, but it's my observation. Vaseline may do basically the same thing but I haven't tried that. The barrier, seems to be key. As for the rest of my body, I haven't tried anything yet. Will post if I find something.

Note: Disclaimer ... I am a sample size of one. Your results will probably vary from mine. Neutregena and I have had no direct contact or business arrangement. These are just my observations. Neutregena and Neutregena Hand Cream are trademarks of Neutregena Corporation.