As we approach the start date for our practices at Clunie Pool in Sacramento, you may be asking yourselves, “why in the heck am I driving all the way to Sacramento to use a pool?” The answer, long course water. In our region, long course water is the hottest commodity amongst competitive swim teams. Long course, to be specific, is a 50 meter pool, the distance the Olympics are held in and the distance that our current meets are. Experience in the long course setup is invaluable. Your kids will tell you, racing long course is a whole different animal. There are subtle nuances that provide challenges when it comes to both pace and conditioning for long course events.
Training in a long course pool provides the kids with an opportunity to rehearse their races, condition for more challenging events, and engage in more sophisticated training that will provide them with a better opportunity for success when they get to their meets, especially championship level meets like JO’s and Far Westerns.
Access to long course water in this area has long been synonymous with success, even dominance in our sport. Arden Hills dominated not only at the local level, but the national and international levels in the 70’s and 80’s, churning out Olympians and and national champions on par with the top teams in the country. At the time, they had the only viable long course pool in Sacramento. Woodland was the next to get a long course pool and rose to be one of the top teams in the LSC in the 90’s. The Davis Aquadarts, with access to the Woodland pool were also dominant during this time. The Roseville pool’s arrival provided CCA with a rise to power in the early 2000’s and the Sierra Marlin dominance of the LSC from the mid 2000’s to now coincides with the construction of the Folsom pool.
So yes, long course training is not only important, it is an absolute necessity to be competitive. Elk Grove broke ground on a long course pool that we will call home in a year or so. Until then, we need to consider ourselves lucky for the time we have at Clunie. It is worth the drive. The kids need the experience. So communicate with each other, figure out carpools, and do your absolute best to get the black and red swimmers to the long course practices. I will look forward to working with them there.