How to be a Pool Swim Pro

If you live in the United States of America right now, you’re aware of the deep freeze that was gripping the entire country. We’re unsure of how there are even any pools left to swim in- haven’t they all turned to blocks of ice in the ground by now?!

Pool swim kids backs

The summer sun and open water season may be months away, but that hardly means that your local indoor pool can’t get some good use. Instead of worrying about those pesky New Year’s resolutions, why not resolve to do something for others and start a Swim Across America pool swim? Here are a few tips on how to be a Pool Swim Pro, deep freeze or sunny skies!

Have a Vision, but Be Open to it Changing:

It’s always best to have an idea of what you want an event to be like before you take it on, and to realistically assess your goals and visions. However, if things change along the way

Get Help from Us!

We put on large-scale-swims all the time, and we love helping our directors reach their goals and launch a great event. Request the official guide, “How to Host a Pool Swim” and we’ll help you, our newly minted Event Director, get everything going!

Break Out Your Calendar:

Even though SAA provides you with marketing materials, tips, fundraising software, and everything for event day, you’ll need ample time to secure a pool, a date, recruit volunteers and gain some fundraising momentum. Planning ahead is the key to building up a great event!

Fundraise Like a Boss:

It’s work, but ultimately, fundraising for your pool swim can be extremely rewarding, especially when you see the impact it has. Three major fundraising tips: Start Early, Be Pleasant and Persistent, and Get Personal. Every little bit counts, and every little bit makes a difference!

Enjoy the Day!

Event day can be stressful, but don’t forget to take a step back and absorb the magnitude of what you’ve accomplished. Have fun! Smile and get excited!

12 Days of Christmas Workout

Between holiday shopping sprees, why not plan to get a workout in at the pool? This set comes straight from the North Pole- it’s our Twelve Days of Christmas Workout, and it’s 4850 yards of joy if you go through each day once. (If you’re a holiday workout fanatic and decide to go through the set like the song it’s named after, you’re looking at a whopping 23,200 yards, so have a couple extra Christmas cookies!)


On the first day of Christmas, my workout gave to me…
1 x 100 easy free 

On the second day of Christmas, my workout gave to me…
2 x 75s drill

On the third day of Christmas, my workout gave to me…
3 x 50s descend

On the fourth day of Christmas, my workout gave to me…
4 x 100s IM

On the fifth day of Christmas, my workout gave to me…
5 x 50s sprint ALL OUT!

On the sixth day of Christmas, my workout gave to me…
6 x 100s pull

On the seventh day of Christmas, my workout gave to me…
7 x 50s alternate IM/IM transition 

On the eighth day of Christmas, my workout gave to me…
8 x 25s no breath freestyle 

On the ninth day of Christmas, my workout gave to me…
9 x 75s build to 90% effort

On the tenth day of Christmas, my workout gave to me…
10 x 50s kick alternate 3 build/2 fast

On the eleventh day of Christmas, my workout gave to me…
11 x 25s alternate 1 free easy/1 stroke fast

On the twelfth day of Christmas, my workout gave to me…
12 x 100s hold best average


Brain Waves

What we think about when we swim can be varied and unpredictable. Sometimes it depends on the day, sometimes it depends on the set, and sometimes it depends on the swimmer. We at Swim Across America know from experience that the thoughts that float through our heads while we’re floating through the water will fall into some distinct and interesting categories.


Here are the most common Brain Waves that we catch during a workout.

The IPod- This brain wave is a gift- or a curse. There are times when a song is stuck in your head, and the annoyance makes you as dizzy as the constant flip-turns. There are other times that a solid tune gets in there, and it pumps you up and gets you through a set. Either way, who needs headphones?

The Blank Book- There are some swimming brains that can go an entire practice without thinking about anything, really. How relaxing! These lucky swimming fools get an hour or two of brain shut-off while getting their workout in, and they’re the envy of many. (Including ourselves, can’t you tell?)

The Planner- We must be conditioned because of all those 6am workouts, but many swimmers cruise through a practice and come out with a plan for the next twelve hours. Especially during sets with long yardage, the Planner brain wave lets you dive in a groggy mess and climb out with a mental To-Do list, ready to attack your day. 

The Abacus- Similar to the Blank Book, the Abacus wave almost shuts the mind completely off, save for one thing- it’s countin’ meters like it’ll never count again. Sometimes the only thing we can think about is how many laps we’ve got left, and sometimes it’s just that relaxing, monotonous time-waster that gets us through a set.

The Worst- There are times when you can’t think about anything else but the pain. It sears into your brain like the lactic acid searing into your muscles. Try and try you may to catch another brain wave, it just won’t stick. The Worst wave makes for the most miserable sets, but toughing it out is almost a right of passage in the swimming world! 

The Kobayashi- You will never encounter a swimmer who has avoided this brain wave. For many swimmers, it’s rare to actually register hunger during a practice, yet that hardly stops us from daydreaming about the mountain of food we’ll get to consume after a rip-roaring workout. Do you even know what a Vermonster is? Of course you don’t… unless you’ve tasted victory over it after a 4-hour Christmas training session.

Why Masters’ Swimming?

As the air gets chilly and the pumpkin spice lattes get back on the market, we can tell that fall is in full swing and summer is officially over. Swimmers everywhere are getting reacquainted with the chlorine-tastic smell of indoor pools.

With so many different types of swimmers that have joined us in the fight against cancer, we know that training can bring you to the pool constantly. Post-college, a Masters’ team can be a great way to get you pumped about your training and renew the excitement of jumping into water during the chillier months.

Here are SAA’s top 5 reasons to get involved with a masters’ team:

  1. Training Buddies Make You A Better Swimmer- Some swimmers like to swim a practice by themselves. But isn’t everything better with a friend or two? Training buddies push you to be better, support you on your off-days and provide the camaraderie that is lost when training like a lone wolf.
  2. Competition Isn’t Required If You Just Want to Stay in Shape- Did you know that roughly 75% of masters’ swimmers do not compete in USMS meets? The great thing about Masters’ Swimming is that athletes can make it as competitive as they want it to be. Some will participate in meets, others have never been to one, and still others do a few to see what type of shape they’re in. It’s all what you make of it, and most Masters’ programs support swimmers’ involvement in many different capacities.
  3. All Abilities and Skill Levels Are Welcomed- No one gets cut, and there’s no pressure to reach a certain ability level. The spectrum of swimmers is wide in Masters’ programs, but everyone still comes to the pool to work out together!
  4. Masters’ Swimming Keeps You In the Pool- well into your golden years! The age groups at a Masters’ meet will give you a hint, but it’s very common for swimmers to stick with their sport (and sometimes, to pick up their sport) late in life! The low-impact, full body workout is great for all ages- and on a Masters team, it’s easy to stay in shape and keep community with others who share your love of the water.
  5. Your SAA Team Could Be Built Right In- Many tribute teams that participate at Swim Across America events have been formed from Masters’ teams. If you’re looking for friends to join your squad in the fight against cancer, you’re guaranteed to make them at a Masters’ practice!