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 second installment of my review of the first issue of H2Open Magazine. In this installment I will start to review the articles.
Features: As I mentioned yesterday, 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.
Kari-Anne Payne: The editor, Simon Griffiths, interviewed Ms. Payne (that's her on the cover). I must say that she doesn't look like a killer, but she is. Her Beijing time for the 10K was 1:59:29.2. Yes. Under two hours. Holy crap. My first (and only so far) 5K was only 11 minutes faster than that. Oh, and she only missed Gold by a second-and-a-half. Yikes. Anyway, great article, straight to the point and only two pages. The best part of the article, however, is a side-bar on page 26 with her tips for beginners. And she includes one of the most important and often overlooked: never swim alone. Another great tip: start toward the back at your first event. If you want to avoid the picture on pages 8-9 (and below), then don't start in the front!
Swim Faster: This is one of the training articles in this issue, written by James Parrack, a former Olympic swimmer from the 1988 Seoul games. Very smart tips for especially first time OW swimmers. For one, the kicking part. Too many of us kick our little hearts out, only to be worn out before the first turn buoy. Seriously, a two-beat kick is probably sufficient, unless the OW swim is 50m only! I also like him stressing a warm-up. While I've been lazy about it in my whopping three-OW swim career, I've been very anal about getting a warm-up in for my many postal swims, and I must say, it has helped tremendously. For me, 20 minutes/1000 meter warm up gets my arms and shoulders loose and ready to really push for the postal, whether it be an hour or a 10K. Great to see someone with an Olympic resume stress it.
Take It Outside: Another article by editor Simon Griffiths (hint hint again, Evan and Rob). Very nice intro for beginners, stressing that you don't have to swim the Channel on your first outing. (And this being published in the UK, you know they're not talking about the Strait of Gibraltar. But, tune in tomorrow for my review on their Gibraltar Strait article!) If you were to send one article to a friend who was thinking of starting OW swimming, this one would work. It is UK-centric, as expected, but it oozes with enthusiasm for the sport, and rereading it now, I want to head back to the pool for more training. (I'd say "head back to the river/lake/ocean" if I were not now sitting in Moscow. Not doing any OW swimming in February here, sorry!) Another two great side-bars added to this article. One on the safety (e.g. cleanliness) of British rivers and lakes nowadays and another with a bevy of internet links.
Tomorrow, dear reader, I will continue to review the articles. Check back! But even more important, go subscribe to this great addition to OW swimming!