Technique Tip of the Week

Freestyle- Disappear Behind Your Hand 8/5/14

Why do it:
The less area you expose to the standing water, the better able you'll be to slip through the water with more efficiency and speed.

How to do it:
1)  Start by swimming smooth freestyle.
2)  You'll need to imagine you're swimming down a tube, with your entire body.
3)  Make sure you extend your arm directly forward on each stroke.
4)  Keep your head still and in line.

Watch Video Here!


Ready to speed up those turns? Great! Here are a few tips.

1.) Stay Fast: Don't slow down when entering into your turn.

2.) Don't Raise Your Head: Keep your head down and in line with your body. When you see the T at the bottom of the pool start your turn.

3.) Tuck and Roll: After you take your last stroke both arms should be down at your sides, and your body should be in a straight line. Duck your head first, and let your body follow. Sweep your hands up toward your face while compressing your body into a tight ball. Tuck your knees up to your chest and spin your feet over your body and onto the wall.

4.) Finish Strong: when you feet are in line with your boyd, push off into a streamline while looking up at the sky. Begin turning onto your stomach while kicking.


2012 Global Open Water Conference and Long Beach Open Water Swim

Last weekend (Sept 21-23) was the 2012 Global Open Water Conference and the Long Beach Open Water Swim. Both were hosted by Long Beach locals, reporter of the Daily News of Open Water Swimming and Content Manager for Open Water Source Lexie Kelly, and open water swimming extraordinaire Steve Munatones. Open water swimming heroes from 19 countries and coach, administrators, triathletes and endurance athletes of all ages and backgrounds gathered in Long Beach for this open water swimming extravaganza. The weekend featured 2 awards ceremonies, dozens of inspirational and education presentations by open water swimming luminaries, and an open water swim that replicated the 2012 Long Olympic Games 10k course.

The conference began Friday night with a welcome reception, marine art exhibition ,and book signing on the RMS Queen Mary. Guest, coaches, administrators, officials and open water swimming stars from all over the world gathered once again Saturday morning on the Queen Mary for a day full of open water speakers , presentations, safety panels, and award ceremonies. Diana Nyad kicked off the conference with a very motivating speech, reminiscing about her amazing life experiences, and speaking about her third attempt to swim the 103 miles from Cuba to Florida. Next was a truly inspirational speech by Craig Dietz. A swimmer born with no arms, or legs talked about his passion for swimming and his journey training for open water swimming. Craig also swam the next day in the Long Beach Open Water Swim 10k. The swim was the longest swim he ever attempted. Although Craig fell short of his 10k goal, he still swam an amazing 5.1k! Greta Anderson also gave a very entertaining speech about her open water swimming journeys during the 1940’s. It was amazing to see how much the sport of swimming has and hasn’t changed!

The conference continued with Skype session with Australian Trent Grimsey, the newest recorded holder for the fastest English Channel crossing. Following Trent was a discussion panel that consisted of 3 open water officials from 2012 London Olympics. Ricardo Ratto (Brazil), Shelley Taylor-Smith (AUS) and Dr. Khwaza Aziz (Bangladesh) discussed challenges and the success of the Olympic 10k Open Water Swim and talked briefly about the 2016 Olympic Games.

Next, was an Open Water Safety Panel led by President of the Catalina Channel Swimming Federation, Forrest Nelson. The panel discussed the numerous safety issues that arise in marathon swimming and answered a variety of different questions from hyperthermia to the importance of proper hydration and feeding. Succeeding the panel was an awards ceremony that recognized Pilar Geijo (ARG) for World Open Water Swimming Woman of the Year, Jamie Patrick (USA) for World Open Water Swimming Man of the Year, and Lt. Colonel Nejib Belhedi (Tunisia) for the World Open Water Swimming Performance of the Year.

The rest of the afternoon consisted of discussions on coaching open water, jellyfish, extreme swims, and mass participation swims. It was so encouraging to see the amount of people who support and share the same enthusiasm for open water swimming. This sport is exploding! With the increasing amount of interest in the sport one of the biggest emphases at the conference was safety! Participating in an open water event can be truly an exceptional experience, but it is so important to remember that this sport is subject to nature’s elements.

Sunday was the Swim Across America Long Beach Open Water Swim. Swimmers could participation in either a 100 meter swim, 800 meter swim, 1.5k swim, 5k swim or 10k swim to benefit the Memorial Medical Center Foundation that supports the Todd Cancer Institute in Long Beach, California. The race was held at the Marine Stadium in Long Beach, the 1932 Los Angeles Olympic Games rowing venue, and the course was set up as an exact replica of the 2012 Olympic 10k course which was truly a once in a lifetime experience. It was a beautiful warm day in Long Beach and water temperature was around 71 degrees. Swimmers swam clockwise around 11 bouys. The 1.5 swimmers swam 1 loop, the 5k swimmers swam 3 loops, and the 10k swimmers swam 6 loops. The course allowed for packs of swimmers to stay tight and the feeding station was great practice for those swimmers looking into doing longer swims. Around 300 swimmers went off in two waves. USMS swimmers went off in the first wave at 10:00am and the Non-USMS swimmers (youngsters) followed in the second wave 6 minutes later. The 1.5k, 5k and 10k swimmers all started at the same time which made great company for swimmers in the 10k! LBSM swimmers Anita Correa (1:25.30), David Buczkowski (1:29.00), Merritt Morris (1:11.00), Nicole Norris (1:25.40), Jill Unze (2:13.10) and Val Hagopien (1:23.35) all took on the 5k challenge and finished strong! Also, three of LBSM coaches participated in the swim. Coach Danny McClary competing in his first open water swim of the summer, swam a short and quick 1.5k in 28.67 minutes. In addition, Coach Carri Cook and Lyle Nalli challenged themselves in the 10k. Carri and Lyle were the first male and female Master swimmers. They swam most of the race together, helping each other with drafting, encouragement, and much needed nutrition throughout the 2 and half hour swim! Results can be found here!

2012 Waikiki Roughwater Swim

On Labor Day - Monday September 3, Long Beach State Masters Swimmers made their mark at the 43rd Annual Waikiki Roughwater Swim. It must have been all of those Aloha Friday workouts. Merritt Morris took home the 3rd place Bowl in the 30-34 Women’s division with a blazing 1:01.52. Allison Hilgers placed 9th in the 30-34 Women’s division in 1:16:58, a very impressive effort for the first time WRS competitor. Waikiki Roughwater Swim President and Race Director as well as Long Beach State Masters Swimming Coach didn’t swim on race day but provided Merritt and Allison with some local knowledge of the Waikiki waters in the days prior to the swim. They saw some huge Honu (sea turtles) and some cute little white tip sharks and way too many tropical fish to count. This was one of the more challenging WR Swims as the currents and wind chop made good navigation skills a key element of the race. The 44th Annual Waikiki Roughwater Swim will be held on Monday September 2 and sounds like a good excuse for a Long Beach State Masters Swim Team road trip. The Waikiki Roughwater Swim was the genesis of the swim portion of the better known Ironman Triathlon and is widely known as one of the top open water swims in the world. It is not only one of the more scenic races in the world but also one of the most competitive. - LBSM Coach Kaia Hedlund

Complete Results and Great Race Video Can Be Found Here!

Don Burns CDM 1 Mile Swim

There was a great turn out last Saturday for the Don Burns CDM 1 mile swim! With almost 300 swimmers, a great course, perfect conditions, and 73 degree water this race was a ton of fun! Congrats to all the LBSM swimmers who participated. A special thanks to Coach Lucy Johnson and LBSM swimmer Tom Trapp who came out to volunteer during the race and cheer on the team! Fantastic job everyone! To see results click here!

Highlights from the Don Burns 2012 1 Mile Swim Availble at:!

2012 Naples Island Swims

Check out the Naples Islands Swims Results at! Thank you to all the LBSM members who came out to support and help with the races, and great job to all those who participated! You can also check out the highlights of the swims and listen to what coach Kaia had to say at:

2012 SPMS LC Championships in Mission Viejo

Great job to all LBSM swimmers who competed this past weekend at the Southern Pacific Master Swimming Championship long course swim meet in Mission Viejo. Swimming 5 events and placing 1st in her age group in the 100 Freestyle (1:03.00) , 200 Freestyle (2:22.35) , 400 Freestyle (5:01.44 ), and 50 Breaststroke (38.99), along with grabbing a 2nd in the 100 breaststroke (1:26.99), Merritt Morris had a very busy but successful weekend! Coach Lyle Nalli also had some great swims and placed 3rd in the 200 Freestyle (2.19.23 ) and 400 Freestyle (4:51.35) and 4th in the 100 Backstroke (1:14.95). In addition, one of LBSM Breaststrokers John Templin placed placed 2nd in the 400IM (5:54.42) and 3rd in the 200 Breaststroke (3:01.66) just off his goal of sub 3:00.00. For more results visit the SPMS website at

2012 Newport Pier 2 Pier

Congratulations to all 9 LBSM swimmers who competed in the Balboa to Newport Pier to Pier 2 Mile Open Water Swim! On the North side of Balboa Pier at 10am, the starting horn went off and 349 swimmers sprinted from the shore line into 64-degree water. Swimmers then took a very crowded right turn around the first buoy and headed north, straight towards Newport Pier. The morning fog made it difficult for sighting on the first half of the swim, but as soon as the first group of swimmers hit the 3rd buoy, the fog started to burn off and the Newport Pier was in sight! When swimmers reached the 6th and final buoy they made a right turn and had about a 300-yard swim to shore. Low surf made dolphin dives necessary, but once swimmers reached soft sand it was a short run to the finish line. With the current behind the swimmers, this rough water swim was fast and fun!

All 9 LBSM Swimmers Mark Christoffel, Carri Cook, Anita Correa, Valerie Hagopian, Kaia Hedlund, Gusti Lind, Merritt Morris, Lyle Nalli, and Julie Ruhlin finished top 3 in their age groups! Great job swimmers!

Seal Beach Swim June 30th!


Make sure to sign up for the 43rd Annual Seal Beach Rough Water Swim! This swim is perfect for open water beginners and veterans. There will be a 5k and a 1 mile swim starting at the N/W side of the Seal Beach Swim. There will also be a 200, 400, 800 and 1200 yrd swim for age groups swimmers, so bring the whole family!  See you on the beach June 30th!

 CLICK HERE for more information, and HERE for the registration form.



Remember to wish coach Lyle good luck as he will be leaving this week to compete in the 14th Fina World Masters Championships in Riccione, Italy. Lyle will be swimming the 100 Backstroke on Friday June 15th and the 400 Freestyle on Saturday June 16th.

This meet host some of the fastest master swimmers in the world, and we are fortunate to have one of those swimmers as our coach. You can find results to the meet below. SWIM FAST LYLE!
World Masters Championships Results

LBSM Members Take on the 2012 Alcatraz Challenge

Congratulations to LBSM members David Buczkowski, Jill Unze , Deena Bickford and James Bickford for completeing the 2012 Alcatraz Challenge. The race was a 1.5 mile swim in 55 degree water and a 7 mile run. The 1.5 mile swim course began at Alcatraz and finished at the East Beach of Crissy Field located in the Golden Gate National Recreation Area’s Presidio Park. The run course followed the Presidio’s popular Golden Gate Promenade, a dirt trail that winds its way along the San Francisco Bay and up onto the east span of the Golden Gate Bridge (about 400 feet of elevation gain in less than a half-mile).  In their divisons David placed 5th, Jill 7th, Deena 13th, and James 18th. Great Job!