December 2013 Newsletter

Dear Swimmers and Triathletes:

What a year!! O2 SWIMMING officially passed the 500 athlete mark - thanks to all of you! The year started off by sending swimmers to PIAA States, Zones, and Regionals. We sent one boy in the "over 30" class to swim in San Francisco Bay with the sharks as he Escaped from Alcatraz! We had another great year all over the world of IronMan ~ one of our other "over 30" boys went well under 10 hours in Florida! Next, we had another "over 30" boy swim the little gap between Europe and Asia in the Hellespont Swim. Two "under 30" swimmers of ours won overall 1st male and 1st female at Steelman in July, my daughter swam with her old man and we both were lucky enough to bring home a 3rd place beer stein (she is still upset about the "trophy"!).

As we enter the fast part of the year - SWIM SEASON 2013/2014, we are once again ramping up to throw down challenges in every pool we swim in. Keep up the good work gang, you all rock.

My theme for this month is :The Wall

For swimmers : This is traditionally an area that I stay away from due to the Endless Pool being wall sensitive! However, just like the ultimate area sin of POOR CATCH UP DRILL that is so prevalent around here, we have too many swimmers forced to do 6 dolphin kicks off the wall... Most are not strong enough to be ACCELERATING to break out. They are forced into decelerating because...._____________. I agree with most aspects of training, but I race to WIN. I want you to race to WIN. You cannot win if you decelerate at every wall. It is YOUR job to determine (through trial in practice) exactly how many underwater dolphins (or better yet, fish kicks - like an Olympian) you can actually do that keeps you accelerating into your breakout. Everyone is different. Know who you are and then race to win.
Do not rush the wall so that you begin to swim while you are still wound up in a half screwy position.. Take the streamline fully out so your line snaps tight as you begin to stroke. Your best friend is the wall, as it is a hard surface to GAIN MOMENTUM from. Have you ever noticed how much faster short course records are than long course records? The wall matters. Spend some time learning how it will help you, as opposed to how much it interrupts you!!

For Triathletes - Use the wall. The wall can help you become PERFECTLY streamline every 25 y/m. Don't rush the wall and take half the pool to get right again. Come off your walls like a swimmer - you do not have to do a flip turn, but use the hard surface to create both momentum and streamline. I see triathletes every day that have very poor wall skills translating into struggle as they swim. Fix many of your issues easily with the help of the wall. My pool (LAF in Warrington) was just closed for 2 weeks for re-plastering; so I swam in the Endless Pool for the duration. I had decent workouts (I count my strokes to do my sets), but my re-entry to the big pool was a shocker. I was getting off the wall like a 3 legged dog... BAD! It has taken me 3 swims of 3,200 (close to 10,000 yards) to get that skill retrenched in my mind again.
I am hearing lots of "talk" around here about big plans for 2014 - Lake Placid IM, The Princeton Half, etc. Stop taking a smoke break at your walls !!! You know who you are, keep the rhythm going. Right now, I would rather have you swim 10 X 100 with some speed, than 2 x 500 getting slower as you go..... Long rest stops at the walls, looking at the clock, fixing your goggles, etc.... I have been swimming a while, I know all the tricks. Keep it moving. Hit the wall and come off in a long, tight might even get some hypoxic training too :)

Happy Holidays and some Housekeeping points:

1) There are many great discounts available through my website. If I could recommend one product for swimmers and one for triathletes, it would be:
swimmers = Finis alignment kick board
triathletes = Finis agility paddles
We also have discounts through Pure Sport Drinks = developed around Phelps, Hansen, and our Olympic swimmers. **Safe and competition legal everywhere in the world!
I got on INFINIT Nutrition this year for my 3+ hour workouts, it is custom blended for YOU only and thus cost effective. I take nothing else on a 5 hour bike ride!!
My O2 NUTRITION side offers you a discount on RX grade supplements that work! **Everyone should be on: Gender specific multivitamin, EPA/DHA, Vit D and PROBIOTICS for ALL swimmers ******

2) The schedule is crazy - thank you and sorry, all at the same time.... Please CALL me to schedule, I am not always "on line". Thank you!

3) We have only a few slots left this year, if I owe you time.... Otherwise, all Tri packs wrap up at year end and we start fresh on Jan 1. ***This does NOT apply to any swimmer currently with me on a Tri pack purchased in the last few months.... Call with any questions.

4) Thank you for all your participation on Facebook this year. I enjoy the interaction and camaraderie. I post many of my workouts, as well as 7 time IM, Mark Dean. What are you doing? How can I help?

5) O2 NUTRITION always has room for swimmers or family members - at a discount, in the New Year. Can't figure it out? I can make it simple and put you on the right path - that YOU want to take!!

Last, thank you for yet another year of allowing me to coach such a tough bunch of athletes. You have taught me much and kept me on the path as well...we are a team at O2 SWIMMING.
Have a great holiday and enjoy the time with your family. Just because your boy or girl swims, does not preclude YOU from embarking on a new years commitment to a sport we all love.
Good luck.
Be well.

And one more time, just because it still makes me VERY HAPPY:
Men's 4 X100 free relay - Best Swimming in history !!!!

SwimStrong. SwimSilent.

Ken Holland
Head Coach
Doylestown, PA
267-994-0568 | |


November 2013 Newsletter

Dear Swimmers and Triathletes:

This is the official change over at O2 SWIMMING from a mixed group of swimmers and triathletes to 95% swimmers! We sent one boy to IronMan Florida, but apparently he didn't like the course - he was back to the hotel in UNDER 10 HOURS !!!! Congrats AY.
2013 is a strong year at O2 SWIMMING.....once again, not a great year to be a 12 or under girl - mostly because they are about the toughest people that show up in the Endless Pool Studio! No slight on the boys either, many are JO qualified already and we only had 1-2 meets so far this season. Good job everyone.
I will continue to teach and focus on my IM based program this season as we dial into areas of improvement for ALL swimmers. There is no end to what you can do in the pool - trust me. Since I formally switched over to speed workouts (more of a traditional swimmer workout than a long distance open water program) my SPL has hit 12 fairly consistently for my first check in (yard pool). Speaking of, how is your SPL? Still checking your SPL 3 X in every session? The daily goal is to be no more than +1. Your lifetime goal is simply to be 1 less....! You cannot make a poor stroke go faster - other than by fitness and the decreases are small. YOU CAN MAKE A GOOD STROKE GO FASTER. Great swimmers have "easy speed". Although I am not a great swimmer, I love the days when I too am granted "easy speed". When I push the gas pedal down, I go! During the winter swim season, each of those days is a major victory for me - and for you. Aim for that marker. Begin with focus. Build it. Improve it. Challenge it. Crush it.

This month's focus will be LENGTH. I spend time in every session on the importance of the catch-up drill and yet I see people "rushing" their strokes. How many races are won or lost by well under ONE second? How many times has the incomprobable Michael Phelps won by less than 0.10? Would he (or you) win if you lost 8" off just one stroke coming down the home stretch? NO!!!!! You would lose. I am right here gang. Length also tightens your lines and increases streamline. The puzzle comes together.... FEEL your length as you swim this month. Work the catch up to death. Take one off your SPL this month. All of this develops longer muscles, a better core and better habits that will pay you back once you step atop the block and the gun goes off.
For all you triathletes who insist that Mr XYZ has a "popping" stroke and he won..... QRS race.... Here is a real Olympian in a longer race -winning with his long reach. Mr Hackett gives up NOTHING as he powers to his reward of the ultimate victory = best in the world on that given day.
Grant Hackett WR swimmer demonstrating L-O-N-G front end

It all matters.
If you are a swimmer, don't let the yardage wear down your stroke. KNOW your SPL and focus as you get stronger. Getting stronger does NOT automatically make you faster.... A good stroke can ALWAYS go faster, a bad stroke suffers further disintegration as you push the limits. Ever know a swimmer who hits a long plateau around mid season? The #1 cause is high mileage makes the stroke deteriorate allowing strength to become the only asset. Water is thick and loose.

If you are a triathlete, let's spend the "off season" focused on REAL improvement.. Water is therapeutic, not a chore. ENJOY the pool this winter. Make a plan, I will help you in any way that I can. There is nothing more fun to me than coming out of the pool on a snowy day and just feeling great for the luxury of having spent 1.5 hours in the water.

For each of you ~ plenty of resources within the O2 SWIMMING community. We have a nice group on Facebook and a solid link to FINIS on my website. If you need nutritional help, O2 NUTRITION does that too. Winter can be a bore,or it can be your ticket to the next great racing season - your call.

***All tri packs purchased prior to the fall of 2013 must be wrapped up by 31 Dec 2013 so that we can all move forward. Thank you for your business and dedication to swimming through a healthy lifestyle!

SwimStrong. SwimSilent.

Ken Holland
Head Coach
Doylestown, PA
267-994-0568 | |


October 2013 Newsletter

Dear Swimmers and Triathletes:

I have chosen this month to review my thoughts on 2 basic concepts that I see much folly in:

1) Workout structure
2) Pool tools

Workout Structure-
If you are on Facebook and linked to O2 SWIMMING, you already know where I am headed.... If not, it is really quite simple; however, most of what I see flies in the face of conventional wisdom! Here is the basis:

WARM-UP phase : this should be loose and include plenty of drill/swim EVERYday. Depending on your cyclical training phase, this should range from 10-40% of the totals for the day. Based on a normal 4,000 yard workout for me, here is a page in my daily calendar:
300 free EZ....just loosen it up
300 drill/swim...focus on the FEEL of the water and what the drill is trying to show me
300 kick/drill....stretch out the legs and ankle joints. CONNECT power throughout the torso !!!!
100 IM...because I still like to act like a swimmer!
___________1,000 or 25%_________________________
MAIN SET : this depends on if you want to be fast or long or mixed....
solid 500 free with paddles and buoy to set the tone of the day. Work it!
mile set with very little rest (less than 10 seconds anywhere) 400 free, 4 X 200 free, 4 X 100 free....keep it moving. This set has a nice break as you decrease.... Stay solid on work.
50-100-200-100-50....I will usually mix in some backstroke for the 2...100's
4 X to make #3 the fastest, finish the 4th second fastest.
______________2800 or 70%____________________________
COOL DOWN: my daily goal here is to return to my lowest SPL for the day :)
100 very lazy IM (fly, back, breast, free)
100 free trying to stay at my best and longest SPL
____________200 or 5%_____________________________

****All of my workouts look something like this. I see MOST of you show up and just go right into pounding out yardage. This is a huge mistake. Phelps does his drills daily..... "Nuff said?
Do not strap on everything you own in your swim bag and go.... The tools are used to FEEL something better and assimilate improvement. They are not a crutch.

Equipment Review-
As most of you know, O2 SWIMMING is a preferred team with FINIS and you all get my coach's discount of 30% off. The details are on my website..... EVERYTHING is 30% off - from suits and goggles to the tools listed below. My gift to you and another benefit of being part of O2 SWIMMING :)

As any good guide will tell you, you need not go beyond what is in MY mesh bag:

1) the smallest pool buoy you can get. The purpose of the pool buoy is to keep your legs tucked under your hips to improve streamline and help work your upper body strength more. It is NOT to float your hips! Think small here - I have a child's version and I am 5'10" and weigh 178 lbs (today, at least)

2) FINIS finger or sculling paddles. These paddles just cover your fingers (not your hand) and therefor, will never strain you - regardless of age...9 year olds, 79 year olds...all good! These will help you feel the fingertips down position I preach. They improve the catch phase with no side effects.

3) FINIS Agility paddles. Miracles! These paddles have no straps. If you take a full stroke, they stay on - no problem. If you exit the water early in the back, they will fall off. If you hit the front at odd angles, they fall off. I have NEVER had them fall off - not bragging, just to say they are not tricky or finicky. You will benefit. They come in 3 sizes - go NO LARGER than your real size. If you are a 'tweener', pick the smaller size.

4) FINIS freestyle snorkel - this is the #1 training aid at the USOC. Even our Olympians love these because they remove the obstacle of breathing for you and allow you to focus on swimming. Get the standard model - no frills, restrictors, etc. I used this after my ribs cracked in July to get back in the pool without necessitating a need to roll ( OUCH!) to breath. For certain people, these are the game changer!

5) SWIMITTs - O2 SWIMMING has a local company that manufactures these for us. They rock. In essence, they are a restrictive bag over your hand allowing you to FEEL the catch phase through your forearm - because we eliminate your hand with the SWIMITT !! You will not like using these, but you will love what they do for you AFTER!!!!! I use mine every week..... ***hint

6) Z-II fins. This is my shocking discovery from the summer of 2013. I am also excited that I CAN still be shocked by things in the pool :-) Essentially, I don't use any pol tools in the summer as I prepare for my outdoor long distance season. I just show up and swim. A few weeks back , I took my FINIS Z-II fins out and started an "easy" set. OMG!! I could not believe how tight my achilles, legs, and ankles were from the thousands of miles on the bike (If you know me and love me, you know I don't run....) . This got me thinking about all of you who DO run - - a lot for many of you. You are WAY TIGHTER than me and the Z-IIs were hurting me! Good lesson. We all need the stretch a good fin design will give us and YOU need it more than me.
These are my " GO TO" fin for distance swimming and dolphin or fish kick sets off the wall. They are totally different that the next pair - ZOOMERS....

7) ZOOMERS - also from our friends at FINIS. This fin is a rocket ship - of pain and speed, You will feel like Michael Phelps, but you will pay for the new level of speed! This is a short, sprinter style fin that will nealry launch you out of the pool. Feeling slow? Strap these on.... Can't make districts or zones by a second? Strap these on? Getting dropped at Masters? You will lead the lane with Zoomers on!!
***I have both pairs and use them about 30% ZOOMERS to 70% Z-IIs.

Enjoy. Use any/all of the above, but have a plan. FEEL the new skill, then take them off and try to feel the same way without. Always finish up with nothing - just you!

So, the focus for October will be to GET A PLAN and work toward making it happen. If you need help, reach out for me. O2 SWIMMING is at its busiest this time of you, but we always have time for you.
Keep up the good work.

SwimStrong. SwimSilent.

Ken Holland
Head Coach
Doylestown, PA
267-994-0568 | |

September 2013 Newsletter

I can't believe I had to move inside today... always a rough day for me. Despite the copious amounts of rain, we had a decent summer outdoors. To recap the summer:

- Commanded the podiums at Steelman OWS and Tri. Congrats!

- 100% finishers at Lake Placid IM and Mt TremBlanc. Congrats!

- Several OLD pool records fell to O2 SWIMMERS this summer. One of the records was older than the kid that broke it !!! Congrats!

- One of our boys went for an 11 mile swim - for fun! Congrats!

- One of our boys swam the Hellespont Swim...from Europe to Asia. Go look it up...very cool !!!! Congrats!

I think we all did a fantastic job of getting the job done so far in 2013. Now, we ease into the traditional fall swim season and the Tri gang is winding down - for the most part. This weekend, we have athletes at Quakerman and Skylands Tri's as well as several lining up to do Florida and Wisconsin IronMan later in the fall. Inspired? Consider yourself warned....the pressure NEVER lets up around here! What are you planning?

Coach Ken is now transitioning into more of a swimmer style workout: shorter/faster sets. There are literally thousands of swim sets available to you. O2 SWIMMING Facebook is a good start, as most triathlete inspired sets are too light (in my humble opinion). Work on your stroke in the "off season" but work to get faster too. Speed going short CAN translate into speed going long in the spring - if you manage it correctly. The golden rule will always be your SPL - it is HOW you swim. All of our solid O2 SWIMMERS range between 16-18 SPL. If you are not there, you are working too hard for your efforts. EVERYTHING builds directly on this platform.

My focus for you this month is NOT DECELERATING. Lots of swimmers can go fast. Most fade terribly and then fight like a human...thrashing....struggling....head up....slapping the water. Not decelerating requires excellent focus and thoughtful sets that break just in time to allow the brain to jump out of survival mode and back into smooth mode.
If you look at splits from great races; you will see consistency that is machine like. Do you feel like that? Can you reproduce your stroke for along time? How long is a long time for you? If you are not racing, you are training. What is training? How can YOU make it more productive?

- get a buddy
- buy a buddy- - - FINIS Tempo Trainer...I love/hate mine!
- watch better swimmers
- study video
- GO TO A SWIM MEET this fall. ***They are free (no money in swimming:(
- get some new tools : ***Finis gives us 30% there entire line up!
O2 uses: finger paddles, agility paddles, pool buoy, alignment kickboard, Z-II fins and Zoomers
- get out of your comfort zone....go race in a foreign country!! OK, Carl, not everyone can swim from Europe to Asia, but there are races in the Caribbean, etc.

For Parents of Swimmers - do you appreciate how much work your kid(s) do? How good they really are? Maybe you should race them! Time to get back in shape? I am here for YOU too! No one is ever too old to swim. There are some 90+ year old world records that I plan to go after someday....a goal of mine has always been to outlive most of my competition and eventually climb the podium a little higher:)

Resources: O2 SWIMMING proves an endless pool to swim in - besides the actual coaching program. We have a website with discounts available for all my favorite players: FINIS,, Pure Sport, Emerson Ecologics, Infinit Nutrition. O@ SWIMMING is on Facebook with a great community of contributors ranging from workouts, to tips, to races, etc. Get involved.

As the days get shorter, put your plan together - in writing. Send it to me. I will help you.
We have an incredible network of talent in this area - use it. Because of you, when I was smacked by an SUV on my bike and told I had 4-6 weeks of rest before I could function again- I just laughed. 4-6 weeks, people recover from open heart surgery in less time!!! I was in the endless pool with a borrowed FINIS freestyle snorkel (Thanks Roger!) in days. I was swimming 2000 in 10 days, 3000 in 20 days and was hitting my 13 SPL long before the 4th week. On the 4th week, I put in 124 miles on the bike too...because YOU never give up, I don't either. Thank you. The moral of the story: sport makes you healthy and swimming is the most healthy sport we can do. Run too much? Swim. Need a break from the bike? Swim. Getting older? Swim. You get the idea !!

I look forward to this fall. O2 SWIMMING has the most late high school swimmers ever this year - beware. They are serious and getting ready early this year. It's going to be a great season :)

Sept Addendum

I came home a little early today to do some work and noted that I forget to mention one very salient point as we head gale force into the traditional fall swim season....I get even busier (thank you!). I always find slots if you have some flexibility, but we need to work together and cancelled appointments at the last minute really hurt everyone...

Point of note: As has been my policy for almost 10 years now, NO SESSIONS WILL BE CARRIED OVER FROM YEAR TO YEAR - unless, of course you sign up for a 3 pack in the later fall. If I owe you, NOW is the time to schedule that last session you have let hang. I will have decent weekly availability until around the beginning of Oct when the season starts in earnest. Please call now, there are only a few of you in my file that are owed time from earlier in 2013. Trying not to be a pain, but when an athlete is in serious learning mode and they can't get in because I have a casual appointment left over from 6 months is hard on everyone. I like to have continuity with you when you need it most. ***If any of this causes an issue, please call me sooner than later!

Thank you for your understanding and cooperation. Looking forward to a record setting fall season :)

Remember, this month's theme is NOT DECELERATING !!!!

SwimStrong. SwimSilent.

Ken Holland
Head Coach
Doylestown, PA
267-994-0568 | |


August 2013 Newsletter

Dear Swimmers and Triathletes:

Lots to discuss with you this month, we are full of congratulations, new ideas and hopefully inspiration!

1) Congratulations - This year ALL of our O2 SWIMMERS finished at Lake Placid IronMan and many had completely awesome times. Special shout out to the freshman class of 2013 on becoming IRONMEN !! I believe our highest place finisher again this year was Mark D (4th) - thanks for keeping everyone moving forward all year long buddy. Mark is responsible for the WOD (workouts of the day) religiously posted to O2 SWIMMING's Facebook page 3X a week.

Special shout out to Zach "the Hammer" C. who decided to do the Steelman Open Water Race the night before and then had to volunteer to get "in". The Hammer was 1st overall in for the 1.5 mile race!!! I believe we had about 10 podium spots full by the end of the day including my own daughter who grabbed a 3rd place spot ONLY because the OVERALL 1st female was in her age group... Congrats to Kristen S - also an O2 SWIMMER going back a few years! Apparently, our current breed of 16 year olds can swim :-) Very proud of all of you.

2) New Ideas - As some of you may have heard, I was hit on my bicycle by an attorney in an SUV. The incident happened within a mile of my house on the way home from our last 50 mile "frisky" ride the weekend before Placid. The only reason I know the "gentleman" that ran into me was an attorney was because those were his first and only words to me as I lie in the street after impact..... How does this relate to swimming? EVERYTHING in my life relates to swimming....!
I find it difficult to do certain things with cracked ribs (like breath), so my first foray back into exercise was of course - SWIMMING! I eased into the Endless Pool and set the current on a lighter setting and began a few "soft strokes". The first day, I managed to do 4 X 100 with plenty of rest in between. ***I know I did about 100 yards because I stroke count. My YARD SPL is 13 and my meter SPL is 14, so I use 15 as my multiplier. A 100 yards/meters would be 4 lengths X 15 SPL = 60 strokes.
Today (4 days later) I did 4 X 100 and 4 X 200 = 1200 y/m.

My learning occurred as I cannot roll to breath very well. Another of our veteran swimmers (thank you Roger H), let me borrow his FINIS Freestyle Snorkel so I could stay straighter and not roll so much to breath.... IT IS HARD! I am finding out how utterly difficult it is for those of you who land FLAT on your stomach during every stroke. The additional power requited to move through the water is amazing to me. Apparently, I roll THROUGH the bottom very freely from one side to the next and thus facilitate an "easy" rhythmic stroke cycle. The old LAW #3 WEIGHT SHIFT comes into play very easily for me. I get a larger amount of "free" power/speed by creating the high side to low side dynamic as I head forward. O2 SWIMMING has always preached that the "magic" of good swimmers is the ability to generate "free" power simply by rolling from side to side and gaining momentum from ROTATIONAL VELOCITY. While swimming flat, I am amazed at the additional power required to overcome this poor position.... **STAY OFF THE BOTTOM. Keep rotating through the bottom. Watch any of the swim videos I have sent you over the years and you will see it clearly. Learn from my tough love session.....

3) Inspiration - This year, Steelman OWR allowed me to "age up" in the 10 year swimming bracket - lucky me, huh? I decided to take a short break from my obsessions with each of you and focus on my own bad self for a few special weeks.... I put in an improved stretch of 30,000 yards over a 14 day period and actually starting feeling REAL IMPROVEMENT. (One problem of this plan was I started to late and thus "peaked about 10 days past Steelman). My workouts got harder, yet easier. I became inspired again to live what I tell each of you ******YOU are not a triathlete. YOU are a SWIMMER. YOU are a CYCLIST. YOU are a RUNNER. A few times every year, you happen to put them all together on the same day and call your self a "triathlete". NONSENSE!!! BE A SWIMMER. THINK like a swimmer. TRAIN like a swimmer.

Here is how I will help you.... Yes, it's going to cost you:( Go buy Michael Phelps' book NO LIMITS

We all need a hero, someone to inspire us.... This book is a quick read and is great for swimmers, parents of swimmers and certainly triathletes. Each of the 8 chapters is a Gold Medal story that may start when he was 5 or 12, etc. and carry you to the feel of the actual race. The 9th chapter was an add-on that takes us from Beijing to Rome to London. AquaMan is human. He trains. He puts out. He is focused. Bob Bowman has abilities far beyond swimming. As he says, "I will get yo to the ballpark, IT IS YOUR JOB TO PUT YOUR HAND ON THE WALL". Apparently, they left out some flowery adjectives as he referred to Michael's "lack of effort" on a particular day.....
This book was good enough to be New York Times Bestseller's list. I was happy to see the goals of the Michael Phelps Foundation laid out for everyone:
- Set goals
- Take responsibility
- Practice Discipline

Is that how you are raising your kids? Are those ideals you can live with?
Get the book. Be inspired. Swimming IS "all that"....!

In closing, we are just finishing up the summer Champ meets - good luck to all of you left in the A races!
****Another special shout out to Ryley F for blowing up a pool record at NorGwyn recently - THAT is what I am taking about. Commitment. Setting goals. Taking responsibility. Practicing discipline.

Hope to see you soon. I will be training hard as my rehab gives way to the new me:)
August and Sept should offer everyone ample opportunities to get in the Endless Pool Studio - reach out for me.
Keep up with all the action on O2 SWIMMING. Add your races, observations, inspiration. We are a community - - O2 SWIMMING !!

SwimStrong. SwimSilent.

Ken Holland
Head Coach
Doylestown, PA
267-994-0568 | |


July 2013 Newsletter

Dear Swimmers and Triathletes:

This is a huge month!!! July is my busiest month of the year - sorry if I do not get to all of you, but as of 05 Aug 2013, life returns to just normal busy:)
We have Lake Placid IM this month, Steelman - a top local racing venue, and the summer swim teams are racing 2 days a week. Best of luck to all of you. Have confidence in your training and go kick tail !!!!!

My focus for this month is: Practice Sessions
It has come to my attention (repeatedly) that many swimmers and triathletes do not get the most out of their valuable practice time. This is like pouring water in your gas tank and expecting it to go fast..... Let's go over some of the basics of a good swim practice:

- Warm up: this should be about being long and relaxed and remembering how to "be" horizontal. Should incorporate your drill to swim work in the warm up, and there should be no clock here, just perfection.

**sneak in a little stretching now!

- Main set(s): these should be a moving target daily, weekly and seasonally. You are teaching yourself to swim SLOW if you do about the same workout all the time. You are NOT a are a SWIMMER, a cyclist, and a runner. I post many workouts on the O2 SWIMMING Facebook page that you can borrow or cut and paste versions of. Other swimmers from Mark Dean (multi IM finisher and Kona boy) to the SwimChicks, will post workouts for you. YOU can post to this page too - it is for all O2 SWIMMERS!

- Cool down: just like it clock....easy up on the throttle. Get back to your lowest SPL. Regain your flexibility and feel good with your time in the water.

- Have one. Yes YOU. All swim team members have a coach, but YOU are responsible for some mental tuning as you enter practice every day. Have a focal point every day. Do you really think Phelps just got in the water and slogged out whatever Bob Bauman had in his mind every day? NOT!!!! You can solve most problems before they magnify just by FEELING the water and listening to its feedback of your flow.
If you are a one sided breather, maybe you can work on breathing on the "weak" side sometimes?
Is your catch as dynamic as it could be? Should be?
Do your legs add or subtract from your speed? Really........?
*****The definition of insanity is doing the same thing every day and expecting a different result !

- Get out of it. You do not have to kill yourself, but you need to push the razor's edge often.
Make one set really hard?
Time yourself and commit to writing down your fastest (100?, 500?). Race this like your life depends on it!!!!
Get a FINIS Tempo Trainer and prepare to learn about what your pace really looks like - I HATE MINE....................Actually, I love/hate it:)

Leave you with 2 little thoughts:

1) I am not sure how many of the new O2 SWIMMERS know we are on FACEBOOK. Please check out the page, post your results, share a workout or tip... USE it for the benefit of swimmers everywhere. We have people from the UK, Asia, etc watching us......!!

2) One of my all time favorite pieces of inspiration to get you stirred up this month:
Men's 4 X100 free relay - Best Swimming in history !!!!

Very Last - if you need anything: suits, goggles, paddles, nutrition, etc ~ go to my web page and get your O2 SWIMMING discount directly!!

SwimStrong. SwimSilent.

Ken Holland
Head Coach
Doylestown, PA
267-994-0568 | |

June follow-up

Dear Swimmers and Triathletes:

Just a quick follow up on some business related stuff:

1) Please CALL me or text me to schedule your appointment - I am not always at the computer and neither are you!!

2) My recommendation is for you to do your 3 pak within 6 weeks - for about 200 reasons..... Stretching them out for half a year is non productive - the rhythm is gone.... I have always offered a straight single hour session if you want one prior to an event , but have used up your "pak". As times goes on, I lose track of you and my schedule gets full. ***All packages must be taken prior to year end (unless you are a swimmer in season and are working through the Nov/Dec time frames).

3) Summer is by far my busiest time of year - reach out for me ASAP to get what YOU want:) I always have room, but it gets very tight now......

4) As per each year since 2009, I have opened up MON-WED-FRI mornings for you - time is by mutual agreement!

5) 2013 marked the second price increase in 11 years. Please note the prices for 2013 are:

$54 for a single session and follow up

$135 for a TRI pak and follow up

***All swimmers and triathletes are eligible (for life) to get all O2 discounts offered on the website !!!! This is a nice benefit I have worked on for 10 years. All the products are tested and THE BEST for our group of athletes. Enjoy.

Thank you for being a huge part of the most fun part of my day!

SwimStrong. SwimSilent.

Ken Holland
Head Coach
Doylestown, PA
267-994-0568 | |


May 2013 Newsletter

Dear Swimmers and Triathletes:

YEAH, summer is here. Locally, Fanny Chapman warmed up from 64F last wednesday to 77F on friday.....! With the heat clearing out this week, I am sure it will remain "cool", but swimmable. O2 SWIMMING is in full swing as usual with Eagleman Half IronMan just days away - my swimmers are ready!! This past weekend, we had 2 of our boys complete (severe understatement) the Potomac 7.5 mile swim. We want to send them both a huge CONGRATS!! And, one of our younger swimmers broke all kinds of PRs at her meet - way to go Joy!! Could you swim 100 fly when you were 10 in 1:33? OK, can you swim 100 fly now??? This kid is one to watch!!

So, as we open the outdoor season, let's keep in mind that summer swim teams are supposed to be FUN. Yes, you are going to work, but ENJOY the summer - the traditional fall season will be here soon enough and all the qualifying times will go down AGAIN. The summer is a great time for swimmers to work on technique and bring other interests in too: running, cycling, soccer, baseball, etc.

Triathletes will be hammering now like never before. Not only is Eagleman just days away, but Lake Placid IM is just over a month out.... All the long hours and hard work will be shown off soon - stay focused. The taper for these long events is some longer/easy sets and maybe once a week, some short sprints sets:

4 X 500 easy stretches
3 X 800 just stay long

I wil be doing almost all longer stuff now - nothing less than a 500, but will sprint the last 100 or even back half of some of these sets.

Our focus this month will be on NUTRITION

Nutriton will differ based on your age and the length of your event. My boys swimming for 4 hours last weekend will not look like my girl swimming 100 fly, so here are some general guidelines:

SWIMMERS: stay hydrated. This is not a huge factor is the lighter summer swim practices, but is a factor at outdoor meets lasting 3-5 hours!! Pick a cold drink you like ranging from water to gatorade, etc. Those in the know have been using the Michael Phelps designed drink PURE SPORT available with discounts on my website. Eat lighter, but often during the hot summer - I know swimming is NOT all that you do.
***No need to "carbo load" to go swim a pool event lasting 60 seconds. Eat to feel normal and keep drinking...

Triathletes: you range from 16 year olds doing "sprints" to old dogs doing the full distance IronMan. For anything past 2 hours, some carbo loading will help you - also protein is a must so that your body does not begin to break down in search of amino acids. I have switched over to INFINIT full custom drink for longer stuff this year and am really loving it. One drink. Simple. Done. Nothing else. All mixed according to MY needs for long training and events. We also have a discount link for O2 SWIMMERS on my website....
Eat lots of veges now - they are awesome and in season. When it gets super hot, go vege for a day - try it, it won't kill you. Forcing your PH up into a more neutral/basic range will help you build power and last longer.
Dial in your pre-race nutritional protocol - this is too often overlooked until the day of. INFINIT has a newer product called MUDD that many of us love. It is a drink consisting of a nice amount of calories, electrolytes, some protein, some caffeine...a little chocolatey and a wee bit coffee = perfect!!
Of course, oatmeal, bananas, Hammer bars, cliff bars, etc are all invaluable as pre race meals. During the race, I got on Honey Stinger "waffles" last year. These are great because I can chunk them down (shark-like) in about 2 bites and still get 100 or so quick kcal.
There are lots of little tricks, but you must find out (BEFORE) what works for you. If you need additional help, reach over to O2 NUTRITION .net for some extra TLC.

Keep swimming.
Be long. Do your catchup drills!!!!!!!!!
Keep me posted.....:)

SwimStrong. SwimSilent.

Ken Holland
Head Coach
Doylestown, PA
267-994-0568 | |

May 2013 Newsletter

Dear Swimmers and Triathletes:

O2 SWIMMING has had another fun month - thanks to all of you! May is sort of a "tweener" month for us, but I have been busy. Many local triathletes are doing Black Bear, Eagleman, Lake Placid IM and my swimmers are always interested in improvements when they have TIME to implement them. My daughter is finishing up her lifesaving and will be teaching and guarding at Fanny Chapman this summer; the only wrinkle is that she will be "reporting" to her big brother, as Matthew was hired a the manager this season:)

Before we get to our FOCUS POINTS this month, I just want to go over what YOU should be doing now:

SWIMMERS = this is "off season" and you should be stretching out again and working on technique. I know some of you are bound to practice year 'round, but you CAN have your own agenda too. Most of you shrink over the long/hard winter swim season due to chasing and long yardages. Strength goes up, but precision suffers - for some, it gets bad. No worries, NOW is the time to refocus. Each of you is now a year older and more will be asked and expected of you - just like life, eh?
Reach out for me if you need to discuss your future......

TRIATHLETES = some of you logged a nice base of yardage over the cooler months and are now enjoying the fruits of your labors. Some of you are just cracking your heads out of the bear cave..... My workouts are nearly always on Facebook for you to check on. Mark Dean (6 times IM) blasts his out to many of you and also posts on the O2 SWIMMING Facebook page. NO EXCUSES for not getting it done. If you SwimStrong, SwimSilent; you will be well prepared to continue your day of cycling, running, and general butt whoopin' !
Recommended weekly yardages for your distance:

SPRINT = 4,000 yards/week
OLYMPIC = 6,000 yards/week
HALF IM = 8,000 yards/week
IRON MAN = 10,000 - 12,000 yards per week

MAY FOCUS ~ Hand Speed

This is something I have never touched on, but have noticed in myself first and many of you next.
I am referring to the ACCELERATION of your hand through the stroke. If it is slow, you will get mostly a push down of your entire arm - resulting in you traveling UP (NOT forward). If it is too fast, you will have trouble holding a long stroke - poor efficiency when you shrink off the catch-up format. Now what?
I went back to videos and can clearly see (and FEEL in my own stroke) that the hand needs to accelerate FASTER than the arm or elbow as you CATCH water. Stand up, walk away form the computer screen and try this - all 3 ways - on dry land. I'll wait......
FEEL it?
SEE it?
Definition of insanity - doing the same thing all the time and expecting a different result. Start playing with your hand speed. Try out of the water in front of a mirror, then get wet and see how this feels.....

The right answer is somewhere in between, but trending closely toward ACCELERATION of the hand. Get the hand moving faster so it hinges down off the soft elbow into a CATCH position.
***I really like this and have been experimenting with this for several weeks. If you send me some interesting thoughts, I will post your discoveries next month. It is my belief now that this is a larger component than anyone thought before..........

FINAL THOUGHT: I have now been on INFINIT NUTRITION for a month and through all manner of testing. I have ridden as much as 81 miles (with 6500' of vertical climbing) and swum hard 4,000 sets. It is SO SIMPLE and SO EFFECTIVE. No more hassle of multi products. Call them and have INFINIT mix you up a batch today - it is a game changer. Every client has a personally tailored formula - mine says "O2 ENDURANCE" on the container. You will get a discount if you follow directions on my website. I already know of several of you that are using and the evidence is clear - IT IS SUPERIOR.

PS. If you have not done my "silent swimming" drill in a while, do it the next time you swim ...... You'll thank me later!

SwimStrong. SwimSilent.

Ken Holland
Head Coach
Doylestown, PA
267-994-0568 |


April 2013 Newsletter - Review & side notes...

Dear Swimmers & Triathletes:

Just wanted to take a few minutes this week to pass along one review of a new product for us and one housekeeping note:


As most of you know, we have had a nice 20% discount with Pure Sport for several years. I even got them to cut the shipping by half last year - to a reasonable number! Pure Sport was developed by nutritional doctors around our Olympic Swim Team - with Michael Phelps and Brendan Hansen being a major focus and contributors to the product line. It is simple and effective - with only 2 products: Workout & Recovery. It is the only thing made in one building, so the purity and lack of contaminants has always been a major focus. We don't want any of our athletes being DQ'd at a major event for "doping" because their drink got some sudafed powder mixed into an unclean hopper....
My only problem with Pure Sport was the 40 kcal / scope left me hanging on long workouts. This was never a problem for me in the pool, as my longest sets are typically around 4,000. However, a 5-6 hour bike ride or event left me grossly under fed - imagine me "underfed" !!

Intro - Infinit

Infinit is a company based in Ohio that I looked at years back and considered it "expensive". I was wrong. Infinit will custom blend EVERY formula for YOU. My magic formula is called "O2 Endurance". You can either do a self assessment on-line or speak to Ryan or Ashley for free to help dial in your unique combo OR, pay $29.95 and get a 30 minute consult with a Nutritional Doctor. Amazing? The best part is YOU WILL NEED NOTHING ELSE BUT THE DRINK. All day, nothing!
I would not write to you until I tested this myself.... On saturday, I did the 75 mile Fool's Classic Cyclocross Race here in Bucks County. I rode over and back from home, so it was 81 miles for me. It was just over 5 hours of climbing 6500 vertical feet on gravel, dirt, etc on my cross bike. I finished strong and had only 4 bottles of my O2 Endurance with 290 kcal per bottle or 1160 kcal plus all the endurolytes, minerals, buffers, etc. My calculation indicates I spent 5115 kcal over the course of the event. The only thing I ate was ONE fig newton just looked so darn good...I had too.... That was it. 5 hours of hellashish climbing and riding on NOTHING but what was in my bottles. I came home across River rode pulling 21-22mph through the 60-65+ mile zone.
This product works. It has been proven and is the only thing used by Team Mark Allen and pro cycling team Garmin Cervelo.
Not only will they custom blend for you and simplify your life, I negotiated a 10% discount AND all you tough guys can get an extra $5 in INFINIT BUCKS by posting your race picture on their Facebook page.
At this point, we have solid history. 75+ miles in early April on a cross bike is tough; INFINIT came through in spades.
Like all O2 SWIMMING discounts - they are for YOU. Just go to my website and get the directions and codes - all on you now!


I am having some difficulty catching up with some of you regarding appointments and I do not wish to frustrate you. However, I am not in an office as much as I have been in the past. PLEASE call me or text me to get a time slot. The email is far too slow and time consuming for as busy as O2 SWIMMING and O2 NUTRITION have become. Please don't ask. "what do you have open" on an email, it can fill before you receive my answer. I will greatly appreciate you just calling or texting me - between 10am and 4pm is the best time to find me. If you go to voicemail, PLEASE leave me your best phone number to get back to you - it will be that day!!!!

Congrats to all who raced last weekend. Eagleman is closing on the horizon and Lake Placid IronMan will be here before you know it.
Keep the fire burning!

SwimStrong. SwimSilent.

Ken Holland
Head Coach
Doylestown, PA
267-994-0568 | |


April 2013 Newsletter

Dear Swimmers and Triathletes:

Very excited this month - lots of good stuff for you. I have been working hard and learning a lot from you:)
As many of you know, I initiated a 10 day athlete cleanse last month. I worked hard to wade through all my medical nutritional classwork to nail down a spring detox that CAN be accomplished by an athlete; unlike most cleanses which knock you flat out for a while. The cleanse is heavily supported with a Metagenics "medical food" and some detox/enzyme capsules along with your diet fish, vegetables, etc. My energy level was good, but knew I should not push past the 1-2 hour window in training. What I learned helped my swimming too.....always thinkin!!!

The theme for this month is: Momentum

I experienced a lack of momentum resulting from swimming too slow. It was bad. I had not felt a sinking feeling - ever? I was trying to conserve energy, but swam so slowly at times that my tilt meter registered, SINK. As soon as I lifted the pace a little, the feeling went away and ...funny thing.... I swam with less energy. I swam faster with less energy, as long as I swam fast enough to have FORWARD MOMENTUM. This got me thinking about many newer swimmers and triathletes. Perhaps in your efforts to make it through your workouts, you are losing enough energy to feel the downward pull of gravity. The result being that you worked harder to just stay afloat. Does this all relate back to the O2 SWIMMING LAW #1 = BALANCE? A balanced boat can move forward easier than an unbalanced boat, hence they build them with BOTH balance and streamline (law #2) in mind. Is the human body immune to these laws of physics? Me thinks not.

So, this week, get your mojo up a notch. Increase your tempo a bit and see if that actually feels easier. There are many varied forces at work on you in the horizontal (swimming) position. Increase you forward momentum. Have you ever heard an Olympic gold medal winner say the race was "hard"? They always say - it felt fast, easy, on fire. Trust me, they have momentum.

We are now 2 months away from the Eagleman Half IronMan and 3+ from Lake Placid IronMan. The local pools are coming furiously to life. Have a purpose. KNOW your SPL every day. It will be worth quite a bit to taper your SPL down by even ONE when going long distance. Do some tempo and some actual sprint work EVERY week. Put as much energy into your swim workouts as you do in your bike and run.

Brand New Affiliate Program !!!!!!!
The relationship between O2 SWIMMING and O2 NUTRITION strikes again. I looked at INFINIT Nutrition years ago when they were new and prior to my education in 2010 as a Board Certified Holistic Health Coach. I thought they were expensive.... After many years of helping so many people up their game, I went back to look for a simple nutritional solution to using 14 different things during long training and racing. Viola' , INFINIT Nutrition started looking like a winner. Interestingly, Mark Allen's athletes use INFINIT as well as the Garmin-Cervelo Pro Cycling team. I worked with Ryan and Ashley to order both Mudd and my personal O2 Formula and more importantly, set up an O2 SWIMMING affiliate discount program for all of us going forward. We got the max!! O2 now has on board with a full 10% discount on all orders, all the time. Just set up your account and use the code: o2.
Be clear on how this works: no gels, no bars, no road capsules, NOTHING. You get your own custom blended powder to mix with water that will have all the nutrition you need to go as far as you can handle - all day for you IronMen!!!! I am so excited to see how you dial into this unique nutritional product(s). I will be putting this up on as soon as I can, but you are good to go TODAY! I will be doing a 75 mile cyclocross race this saturday on nothing but my O2 Infinit Formula - wish me luck!!!
If you decide to go this route, please "Like" them on Facebook, as any pictures of you on race day will earn you $5 INFINIT Bucks each time.... So, 10% off and $5.00 per race post.

You can do all this yourself on line, or reach out for either Ryan or Ashley for special help. They also have a Nutritional Doctor consult available for $29.95 if you want to go "all in".


Keep up the good work, people. Swimmers, don't get lazy from now till summer season!! Triathletes, see you on the road and in the pool !!!

SwimStrong. SwimSilent.

Ken Holland
Head Coach
Doylestown, PA
267-994-0568 | |


March 2013 Newsletter

Swimmers and Triathletes:

I am so excited today. March 1 is the WAKE UP CALL for my tough guy triathletes!!! My swimmers are in top shape right now and most are heading to Districts and JOs (junior olympics) in the next week. Good luck to all of you who put heart, soul, mind and body into what you love to do - payback time! Go kick some serious tail!

On my regular thursday morning ride today, I could not believe how warm it was - didn't even wear my cycling boots, just my regular shoes. We saw robins everywhere... It is time, people!!

If you are a swimmer - don't leave your fastest swim in the warm-up pool. Get your engine running and go do what you are trained to do! Good luck. SwimStrong. SwimSilent.

If you are a triathlete, here are some guidelines for March intro season:
Most of you have spent the winter developing stroke technique and dialing into better habits. By now, yardage must increase and times need to challenge you.

Sprint Gang = should be swimming at least 2 days a week. Workouts in the 600 - 1500 range with at least one 500 yard swim per week now. Make it count.

Olympic Contenders = tough distance with lots of ability and lots of competition. You need to be doing 3 days a week and averaging a rock solid 1500; with 2,000 occurring more than occasionally.

1/2 IronMen and Women = 3 solid days a week with a range of 2000 - 3000 EVERY swim. Make sure you get some longer sets in: 3 X 500 or 800-600-400-200. Keep it moving, you are already fit....

IronMan = tons of my guys and girls are doing Lake Placid again this year. The swim is flat, the rest.....not so much. You need to rocket out of the water and be ready to go. 3 days a week is good enough, but yardage needs to be 3000-4000 with a 1000 thrown in sometimes, a 1500 sometimes...NOW. Do it NOW. Check in with yourself. RESPECT THE DISTANCE.

*****No matter what category you fit into, EVERY swim starts with drills: catch-up, fingertip drag, etc. Reach out for me to get a complete list if you have gone soft on this. Our Olympians drill 7 days a week.... Questions?

This month, I also wanted to go back to basics for some of you that might appreciate a refresher.
O2 SWIMMING 4 LAWS - in order:

1) BALANCE = without this, you are literally sunk and starting from struggle. No matter who you are, this can become an issue because you are not built like any known aquatic animal.... No ship was ever built out of balance. If you apply power to something out of balance, it will resist motion. Nothing is more important. Are you hitting YOUR UNIQUE BALANCE CORNERS?

2) ACTIVE STREAMLINE = your ability to swim through the smallest hole in the water. Most Olympic coach's favor streamline over strength or power! This is why many of my girls can beat their boys.... My Endless Current will always put this in perspective, a static pool...not so much. How long has it been since you have swum in the Endless Pool ?

3) WEIGHT SHIFT = the ability to control gravity (free !) in a down/forward momentum. This will not occur properly if #1 and #2 are not in good order. This is the magic that all good swimmers FEEL and many others struggle with. Simple put, your arms will never out-swim my core :)

4) TRACTION = your ability to catch/hold/trap water. We humans catch best with an open, relaxed, and downward facing hand. Many ways to accomplish this..... How dynamic is your catch? Do you push water down, resulting in your going UP? Watch the hand position of any truly good swimmer and you will see what I mean. Sometimes, by just doing (attempting ?) all 4 strokes once and a while, we gain FEEL.

This is the end of your wake up call. The next thing many of you get from O2 SWIMMING will be on April 1st....or will it?

101 days to Eagleman

150 days to Lake Placid IM

Got your attention now?

Also would like to do a special shout out to Cliff. Cliff is racing escape From Alcatraz this sunday 03 March 2013 !!! Show ' em how it is done, buddy:)

SwimStrong. SwimSilent.

Ken Holland
Head Coach
Doylestown, PA
267-994-0568 | |

February 2013 Newsletter

Dear Swimmers and Triathletes:

I have seen lots of great swims in the last 30 days - hats off to each of you that works hard in practice and delivers at meets! Just last night, CB East raced Pennridge and EVERY girl was under 59.99 in the 100 free....every one of them! The only people not overly impressed with this are my 12 year old girls - because they are all under a minute this season!!!
I have also noticed the TRI gang has resurrected themselves and are taking advantage of some pool time this year - WAY better than last season where I did not see hardly any triathletes in the pool until nearly race season....
This month, I have a unified theme for both swimmers and triathletes:


Got your attention? What is that grumpy old swim coach talking about now....?
As you know, one of my key reasons for coaching all of you is my own selfish personal development! Over the last 30 days, I have witnessed too many people that land surf board flat at a bottom position of their stroke. In other words, they land flat - like a barge. The overwhelming reason for this seems to be over-dominance on a single breathing side - high/nice rotation on that side and then landing flat down. This trick impinges any ability to create power on the opposing side. After careful study of my own stroke, the solution is not difficult - ALLOW the full rotation to occur. Do not stop yourself from using the full weight of gravity (I excel here !) to go past flat and into a power side down position. This forces the weak side UP and facilitates an ability to create power on BOTH sides.
To distil this down for you ADD tri people - get off the bottom! Move THROUGH that bottom position - do not land on it. Use the hips more.......
Picture yourself stretched out and face down in the water....flat as a barge
Now, picture yourself shoulder down, hips down and extending on an angle through the water...streamline as a fish

Your call...!

SWIMMERS = best of luck during this champ season. Be sure you fully differentiate practice pace from ALL OUT RACE PACE - there is a huge difference!!!!

TRIATHLETES = check in with your race calendar and be sure you are putting in focused work and decent yardage now. Cold outside, use the time in the pool. Lots of work-outs on my O2 SWIMMING Facebook page - no excuses.

17.5 mile swimmers...both of you....****** Work backstroke directly into some of your long sets now, it will open up your chest DURING time intensive swims. eg. I did a 1500 straight warm-up swim today and I rolled over a few times about 900 yards in and did some exaggerated backstroke - it felt wonderful!

No video this month - send me YOURS !!!

SwimStrong. SwimSilent.

Ken Holland
Head Coach
Doylestown, PA
267-994-0568 |


January 2013 Newsletter

Dear Swimmers and Triathletes:

Happy New Year to each of you. We had a nice holiday, but are ready and excited to embark on new adventures in 2013. Our current group of swimmers are absolutely destroying the competition in waves. Interestingly, I took a minute and looked back on the names over the last few years and found that MANY of the names of kids back in 2007, 2008, 2009, etc are the kids now blowing up record books - congrats to all of you for "getting it" and taking steps above and beyond your competitors to excel in the pool. This fact alone gets me inspired to take 2013 to new heights!! I made it to many meets and some larger invitationals in 2012 and am proud of all O2 SWIMMERS for their superior skills and positive attitudes with everyone surrounding swimming.

The Doylestown gang is sitting like the pole car at the Indy 500 - engines revving and just waiting to hit the throttle in 2013. We have DOZENS of triathletes heading to Lake Placid IronMan and probably more doing the Eagleman Half too. Better get on board this train soon - it is leaving the station at warp speed....!!!

Tricks for the new years?

Swimmers - I see lots of hard work, but also some improvements I can only talk to you about... Please focus some time on your breakouts NOW. I have watched many go to the wall in the lead and have a good turn, but a very average breakout back into the stroke. FIGHT FOR YOUR LIFE as you leave the wall - it is important. Learn EXACTLY how many dolphin (or fish kicks) your muscle and skills can handle. Then EXPLODE into stroke. Those that consistently do this - - - win.
I take time here, as we cannot do this in the Endless Pool. Think about this as a real part of your practice. Free lesson to the swimmer that sends me the best You Tube video of a dynamic breakout!!!

Triathletes - So, we have a whole bunch of "newbies" cranking out yardage and adding a fresh perspective AND a bunch of mean old dogs kicking butt. I love it !! Your focus is on SWIMMING right now. Here are my January guidelines for yardage based on your racing plans:
SPRINT triathletes: minimum 2 days a week with 1,000 - 1,500 yards as your goal. 3 days would be better, especially now as every pool is beautiful this time of year (vs tough running/cycling weather).
OLYMPIC triathletes: 3 days a week with a 1,500 -2,500 yard plan. Mix it up and check on the O2 SWIMMING Facebook page for workouts from myself, IronMan Mark Dean, and sometimes the Swim Chicks....
HALF & FULL IRONMAN distances: We will treat you both as equals in January - 3 days a week solid and 2,500 - 4,000 yards. All of my workouts are posted in this range and will get your through. Do not get stuck in a rut - mix it up. Use plenty of time/yardage to perfect your stroke mechanics. When you swim races in the 1.2 to 2.4 mile range, a ONE SPL improvement is monumental....

Let's take 2013 by storm - a tsunami storm! Find a partner - a good one. Get help. Get involved early. Make it your best season ever......!

For this month only, I am going to cross or combine O2 SWIMMING and O2 NUTRITION in one newsletter. Read on.....

ALL of us need help sometimes with the basics - including food. This side of my persona is full of current ideas and the overriding premise of my recent education : CROWDING IN. As a board certified holistic health counselor, my job is to diagnose problems and offer solutions that are practical and work in the real world. Since everyone reading this is an athlete (swimmer), I will confine my comments to only those relevant to my audience.

Practical Ideas for 2013 to Implement Now:

1) NO "dieting" right now. This is the single biggest "sick time" of the year, just coming off all the holiday stresses: too much sugar, too much salt, too many late nights, etc. NOT a good time to "diet". O2 NUTRITION suggests you slide back to normal for about 2-3 weeks, then if you feel good enough, begin to make changes in your diet to enhance your plan.

2) Become a germ-a-phobe. Since most of your friends and neighbors are dieting and are unhealthy now - become germ paranoid. Wash hands. Sleep enough. Eat in. You get the idea....

3) Take your vitamins. I have already customized a plan for many of you, but the basics for all of us living the O2 lifestyle are:
- gender specific multi vitamin and mineral
- cold water expressed fish oils for strong source of necessary EPA and DHA......only 90%+ of the USA is deficient here....
- Vit D 1,000 IU .......again, over 90% of the USA north of Atlanta is deficient here
- PROBIOTICS. I have pounded this one for years. I have not been sick in 20+ years and this is huge for me. Chlorine is toxic and I am pickled in Chlorine destroys the GI flora and leaves all swimmers susceptible to invasion. ALL swimmers need to be on Probiotics and especially now with the high yardage and compromised diet.

****Please go to and get access to my pharmaceutical grade vitamins/supplement link. YOU get my discount and can buy direct. Happy New Year!

4) Eat your vegetables - no limits !!!!!!!! As a matter of fact, start planning to eat 2 vegetables with most dinners:
- broccoli and a salad
- carrots AND green beans
- a whole plate of mixed salad greens BEFORE you begin to fill the same plate with dinner

5) Take care of your sinuses:
- use Aquaphor to wipe the inside of your nasal membranes before you swim. This is an awesome preventative barrier to sinus infections.
- use plenty of nasal saline spray IMMEDIATELY after swimming to flush out anything hiding out deep in your nasal cavities
- a higher does of Vit C has anti-viral properties. Try at least 500mg of a quality Ester C to maintain health while the sun is still in winter hiding mode

Thank you for allowing me to coach you and for your continued support of O2 SWIMMING and O2 NUTRITION !!

SwimStrong. SwimSilent.

Ken Holland
Head Coach
Doylestown, PA
Kenneth W Holland HHC, AADP
Doylestown, PA


Kenneth W. Holland
A unique, exciting innovation in health and nutrition

o2 SWIMMING designed the SWIMMITT to help all swimmers advance their technique primarily by forcing them to swim from their core and stop the endless arm cycling. Throughout the summer, o2 SWIMMING did testing of prototypes on various levels of swimmers and triathletes. One thing became clear - this is an awesome training aid that sharply increases the learning curve both with and WITHOUT professional coaching. By "hiding" the swimmers hands, we are able to lengthen them out on the water and engage the forearm as a paddle. Without the sensitive hand and fingers in the equation, the swimmer will swim slower initially as they build a stronger core - this reduces potential injuries by shifting the burden off the smaller arm muscles and onto the larger back and chest muscles (core power). As proficiency is gained, speed is a "free" byproduct. The SWIMMITT causes a hyper focus and shifts the mind off the clock and onto the technique. The best swimmers spend the most time doing APPROPRIATE drills. Our Olympic team does not just bang out thousands of yards a day, as a matter of fact MOST of the workouts are NOT whole stroke swimming !!
We recommend the SWIMMITT to any swimmer with a reasonable degree of competency and they are available in 3 sizes both with and without a sealed thumb. We designed the open thumb for the younger swimmers to increase their feeling of security by being less "restricted". To my surprise, half of the adults love the freedom on an open thumb as well to adjust goggles, etc.
Try a pair today ! They are manufactured here in Doylestown and available only at o2 SWIMMING

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    OR o2swimming gets 20% OFF FINIS direct from their website,, by using code: "o2swimming"
  • Pure Sport - Olympic level sports drinks. 20% off with us
    Promo Code: o2swimming
  • Emerson Ecologics - medical professional vitamin and supplement line
    accessed via sister company o2 NUTRITION 15% off with us
    Promo code: o2nutr
    Zip code: 18902
  • INFINIT Nutrition - No gels, no bars, no road capsules, NOTHING. You get your own custom blended powder to mix with water that will have all the nutrition you need to go as far as you can handle - all day for you IronMen!!!! 10% off with us (Plus earn- $5 INFINIT Bucks when you post a race day picture of yourself on their INFINIT Facebook page)
    Promo Code: o2

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