Got a preview of the first issue of H2Open Magazine, the world's first magazine devoted exclusively to the sport that we aquaphiles love so much. I got a soft-copy preview, so I cannot judge its glossiness, how it feels in the hands, or how bright and lovely the pictures are. But I must say, all of this looks great in the soft-copy version!
This is the third installment of my review of the first issue of H2Open Magazine. In this installment I will finish reviewing the articles.
Features: As I mentioned previously, there are nine features in this issue. Nine! NINE! (Yes, I'm yelling.) The features include an interview with Kari-Anne Payne, the UK's silver-medalist from the Beijing Olympics 10K; a beginner's guide; some training basics; a nutrition article with one of the scariest pictures in the entire magazine; a gear review; a Rottnest Channel article; two more training articles; and finally, one on braving the cold.
Nutrition: The scariest picture in the entire magazine comes on page 32 (see below, if you dare), and unfortunately it's a two-page spread. That is one fat belly. How do you advertise for that? "Looking for a man with dunlap disease and slight man-boobs for modeling job." Is there a niche market I'm missing out on? Anyway, the article is basic about nutrition, but with an angle on the "Can Fat Make you Faster?" The final answer was just to train and ignore your body composition, and I am hearkened back to a picture I put in this blog of John van Wisse after he attempted to do a triple-crossing of the English Channel. The guy is a monster for swimming 20+ hours straight, and he's carrying a little weight. But the guy on the two-page spread...not sure he's a swimmer.
Beat the Cold: Midgie Thompson gives us some hints about cold-water swimming, and this article I really appreciated. First hint? Swim in cold water more often, and I am reminded of reading about the UK Olympic team preparing for the water in a cold dunk tank. Wetsuits are also helpful, and the article tells me that the weenie-little one I wore in Denmark extended my safe time by 3-4 times. But with the new suit requirements, what's a guy to do? Think of a fire in your belly. That's what the majority of the article stresses, the mental. Not sure if that would have helped in COpenhagen in that 16C water, but I didn't even think about after a couple hundreds yards. Whether that is mental or my body warming up, who knows.
Swim Plus: Really loved this article. Paul Newsome of Swim Smooth (great site!) gives you hints on transferring your pool skills to the open water. One problem my 2.5 dedicated readers know that I have is swimming straight in open water. I practice sighting in the pool. I lift my head, breathe, then continue. Whoops! Paul recommends timing the sighting to just before you breathe; lift up your head just so the eyes clear the water, sight, turn and breathe. This prevents the head coming up so much that the hips drop, destroying your forward momentum. More suggestions on swimming straighter is to use fin drills not just for practicing your slipperiness a la TI, but to practice going straight. Draw your shoulder blades together and aim down the middle of the lane, staying on one side for one length, then switching sides. And, finally, there is bilateral breathing. Gotta work on that. The article ends with exercises for drafting. Drafting is fine, if you're anywhere near a group. But as my first 5K experience taught me, sometimes you're all alone!
OK, the rest of the articles rounds out the meat of this first issue. Tomorrow I will review the Regulars, eleven in total. Now go and subscribe already!