2016 U.S. Olympic Swimming Trials

I was blessed enough to attend the U.S. Olympic Swimming Trials in Omaha, Nebraska last week. The entire event was so overwhemingly inspiring, I am still settling back into reality. Not only did the big guns such as Michael Phelps, Ryan Lochte, and Katie Ledecky perform well, but the most eye-opening celebrations came in the form of the random heat 1 swimmer who knocked out a best time.

Seeing someone far from the top of the pack celebrate and be happy with their own success, meeting their own goal is so motivating for me. As I always say as a coach, swimming is You vs. You. Each individual, even at the elite level, has goals specific to his/her abilities and commitment. Even if we are nowhere near the Olympic Trials level, we can still apply the goal-setting and celebrative attitude to our everyday lives.

Swims of the meet for me included Ryan Held's 100m freestyle, Tom Shields' 200 fly, and Cullen Jones 50 freestyle. Cullen didn't make the team, but he threw down more than respectable sub-22's to get him through to the final.

Posted on July 9, 2016 .

15 Workouts To Try, Courtesy of YourSwimBook

YourSwimBook creator Olivier Poirier-Leroy posted some great workouts on his site recently. He describes the 15 unique workouts as applicable for sprinters, distance swimmers, butterfliers, IMers...essentially any competitive swimmer who is looking for some variety.

You can find his post here

Take a look and pick one out to try before your next pool adventure.

Posted on June 15, 2016 .


I read this question on social media this week and it is a good one. To me, the question is asking, if one is simply at a practice in body, going through the motions and following directions; Or, is the person engaged IN practice....actively taking part, applying instruction, pushing himself with every effort.

Next time you get in the water, ask yourself what you are doing TODAY to make yourself better TOMORROW? Are you simply AT PRACTICE or IN PRACTICE?

Coach Retta

Posted on May 31, 2016 .


Congratulations to Mark Gutowski, who nailed his swims at the 2016 USMS Spring Nationals Meet in Greensboro. A personal best 100 freestyle time kicked off his competition, which continued with solid performances in the 50 fly, 50 free and 100 fly. 

Congratulations, Mark!


Posted on May 3, 2016 .

Where are NKSM Workouts?

For any regular reader who is searching for our NKSM workouts, please remember that they are all now contained within the forums of usms.org. 

- http://forums.usms.org/forumdisplay.php?151-High-Intensity-Training-by-Retta-Race

A new set of 4 workouts are published by noon every Tuesday and all are high-intensity focused with a sprint & power base.

Feel free to leave feedback here or on the usms.org forum. Looking forward to hearing from you!

Coach Retta

10 Ways to Reduce Frontal Drag (from The Race Club)

As readers of this site know, I'm a big fan of The Race Club out of Islamorada, Florida. The group is run by Gary Hall, Sr., an Olympic medalist, doctor, and swimming expert. Every time I read through something they record, write or share, I inevitably learn something new about our ever-changing sport.

Their latest article recounts the 10 ways to reduce frontal drag, which is one of the swimmer's worst enemies.  My favorite part about the 10 ways they describe is that they are ALL DOABLE. Nowhere does it specify you need to have a 6'8" frame, or otherworldly wingspan or crazy equipment. The tips, which include common swim-isms like 'streamlining' and 'pulling with a high elbow' are things that are completely possible for all ranges of swimmers.

Take a read and see where you can improve: The Race Club's 10 Ways to Reduce Frontal Drag

Team/Website Updates - 02/02/16

Happy February, everyone! Wanted to let readers know that I will no longer be posting workouts on the website, at least not for a while. As I am now a workout writer (High Intensity) for usms.org, all of the workouts will be posted within the forums on that site instead for the remainder of 2016. 

*Note: you must be a USMS member in order to reach the forums, but here is the link to where the workouts will be posted - http://forums.usms.org/forumdisplay.php?151-High-Intensity-Training-by-Retta-Race

Don't worry, though!!  I'll still be posting good information regarding technique, research, training, etc. on this website, so come back often!!


Coach Retta

Posted on February 3, 2016 .