From: Marty Gaal [] on behalf of Marty Gaal []
Sent: Tuesday, January 15, 2013 8:20 PM
Subject: One Step Beyond Coaching Newsletter - April 2012
One Step Beyond
The Next Level Newsletter
 from One Step Beyond Coaching 
Volume IX, Issue IV
April, 2012 
This Month
Triangle OW Swim Series
Athlete News
Simple Swim Workouts
OSB Swim Clinics
Old School Aquathon Series
OSB Masters Swimming
Triangle Open Water Mile Swim Series

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2012 Race schedule:

May 12 - 5280 Swim
June 17 - Jordan Lake
July 21 - Big Deuce / Little Uno
ugust 18 - Nuclear Swim
September 29 - Open Water Fall Finale

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Powerstroke®: Speed through force and form DVD  
The DVD includes more than two hours of video of freestyle technique, drills, and common stroke errors & how to improve your high elbow catch and early vertical forearm.  We include underwater, above water, and freeze frame analysis.

Visit the website to read all about the DVD and purchase your copy today.

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Dear Marty,

Welcome to the Next Level Newsletter - April, 2012!  Only 6 days late! 
Recent OSB Athlete News

  • Erin Cutrell - 1st female OA at TOA Sprint
  • Jamie Szymusiak - 1st AG and 4th OA female at TOA Sprint
  • Joanne Piscitelli - 1st AG at TOA Sprint
  • Coach Bri Gaal - 1st female OA at Riverwood Sprint
  • Cari Soleo - 2nd female OA at Riverwood Sprint
  • Erik Johnson - 1st AG at Beaverdam Olympic
  • Tracy Moon - 9th AG at St Anthonys Triathlon
  • Jason Schneider - drops 20 minutes & 5th AG at Riverwood
  • Tom Crichton - PRs 4:31 & 2nd AG at TryCharleston Half
  • Mary Robbins - 2nd OA at Granite Falls Tri
  • Jason Klaitman - 5th OA at Granite Falls Tri
  • Julie Paddison - Hot Boston Marathon!
  • Audrey Schipprack - Hot Boston Marathon!
  • Laurie O'Connor - 3rd AG at Belews Lake Tri
  • Kari Mayhew - 3rd overall at Belews Lake
  • Tori Arens - 2nd AG at Belews Lake
  • Mike Shurko - 3rd Clydesdale at Belews Lake
  • Tom Crichton - 1st overall at Granite Falls Tri
  • Tracy Moon - 1st Masters at Frogman Triathlon   
Simple Swim Workouts
Coach Marty Gaal, CSCS 

Dear Coach: What are a few simple swim workouts, and what are some simple sets or tips that can help increase my speed?


Swim training for triathlon and open water racing does not have to involve mind-twisting structured workouts, but your workouts should be more detailed than swimming 40-60 laps non-stop in a pool.


Swimming for ten, twenty, or thirty plus minutes non-stop is good general exercise, and will help you increase your speed and strength from a baseline level. However, without including some form drills and swim sets with rest in between intervals, you will plateau in speed and fitness in just a few weeks.


40 laps in a standard 25-yard pool is 2,000 yards. (A lap is 2 lengths of the pool). A very simple swim set that you could turn this into would involve a specific warm up, a few drills, and then what coaches and athletes call a main set. If you are unfamiliar with drills, there are plenty of online videos and instructional DVDs describing these.


  • 5 x 100 (2 laps) warm up with 10-20 second rest between. Goal: To get the blood flowing to your muscles and loosen up your joints.
  • Rest 1 minute (stretch, relax)
  • 6 x 50 (1 lap) form drills with 20-30 second rest between. Goal: Working on improving your technique which is a critical step to becoming a faster swimmer.
  • Rest 1 minute
  • 10 x 100 higher effort than steady swimming with between 10 to 30 seconds rest. Goal: To increase your effort into the 80-90% of maximum range. If you are a newer swimmer, keep this closer to 80% and take more rest. Experienced swimmers swim closer to 90% and take less rest. This is roughly lactate threshold pace, or the fastest pace you might attempt to hold in a sprint or Olympic-distance triathlon.
  • Rest 1 minute
  • 1 x 100 kicking. Goal: Don't ignore your kick in swim training
  • 1 x 100 easy. Goal: Cooling down and stretching out.


There are plenty of other ways to break up your laps. However, most good swim workouts will be based on some variation of the above theme: Warm up, Drill set, Main set, Cool down. Kick sets can be included anywhere in the workout and could be the main set if you are inclined to kick a bunch one day.


Simple sets to increase speed include main sets like the above example, as well as drill sets, which work on the streamline or hydrodynamic component of your swimming ability. Other simple sets to include are sets like:


  • 8 x 50 start each one easy and 'build' each to fast effort while maintaining good form. Rest 20-30 seconds between each
  • 8 x 25 fast/hard while maintaining good form.       Rest as much as you need to catch your breath.
  • 4 x 200 negative split - first 100 is easy to moderate and the second 100 is moderate hard to hard. Rest 20 seconds to 1 minute between each.


You could do these as your main set, as part of your main set, or as a final set after your main set.


See you in the pool!


Marty Gaal is co-owner and head coach of One Step Beyond. Coach Marty has been a competitive swimmer for thirty years and coaching since 2002.  You can learn more about coaching services and camps/clinics with One Step Beyond at  


Upcoming OSB Swim Clinics

We offer three different types of swim clinics throughout the year:

Beginner Swim Clinics focus on breathing patterns, comfort, and the key freestyle techniques for swim training & improvement. 3 hours long. Beginner to Early Intermediate level.

May 19
December 2

Powerstroke Freestyle Technique clinics are 6 hour in-depth classes on swim mechanics and methods for speed and power improvement.  Includes videotaping and feedback.  Early Intermediate to Advanced level.

July 15
October 27

Open Water Training clinics are conducted at lakes, oceans, and bays and cover all the tools, tips, and tricks you need to improve your ability and confidence in open water.  3 hours long. All levels.

June 2
July 8
August 11
September 16

Please visit our camp/clinic page to sign up!

2012 dates:

May 23 (evening race) - 1/2 mile swim - 2.5 mile run
June 13 (evening race) - 3 x 1/4 mile swim - 1 mile run
July 4 (morning race) - 1/4m swim - 2.5m run -1/4m swim

One Step Beyond and FS Series present a mid-week summer swim-run series to the Triangle area. 

Each Aquathon will take place on the first (or second) Wednesday of each month in May, June, and July.  May and June race start time is 630PM. July happens to be July 4 and will start at 8AM in the morning! 
These events are low-key and a great way to check your fitness against your local training partners.  Bring some grub and hang out after. 

Entry into all 3 races is $60, or $25 per event.
2-person relays are welcome for $75 for the series or $30 per event.

Read all the details at

One Step Beyond
Masters Swimming  

Masters logo11

Looking for a solid season of swim training in the Triangle area?  Join the TAC-OSB Cary Masters swim team at the Triangle Aquatic Center (TAC) in Cary, North Carolina.  All workouts take place at TAC.

This is a year-round program open to all 18+ athletes.

Practice times are:
Monday 545-715AM distance & aerobic endurance
Monday 800-900PM distance & aerobic endurance
Tuesday 545-700AM core strength and swim technique 
Wednesday 545-700AM mixed stroke  
Wednesday 800-900PM mixed stroke 
Thursday 600-700AM distance and mid-distance
Friday 545-7AM core strength, swim speedwork

Some Saturdays 700-830AM coaches choice 

The fees:
$52.50 per month for all swim workout times, or $6.50 per session.

Click here for all the details.  

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