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The Alaska Club

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Swim for Your Health

Posted by Tracy Dumas. | Jun 9, 2023 2:58:46 PM

Summertime brings memories of splashing around with your friends in the pool. But swimming is not just for kids, it’s also a great choice for a workout. Lifelong swimmer and TAC Swim Coach Glenn Preston has some tips on getting started with a swim routine and how to keep on kicking for benefits that last.


TAC Swim Coach Glenn Preston is a lifelong swimmer who has been coaching on and off since the 1970s. He started with TAC in 2008 teaching group swim lessons and now leads the club’s youth swim team to give kids the skills they need for competitive swimming. “Over the years I’ve seen kids give up swimming after high school and I wanted to change that,” said Glenn. “Swimming is a lifetime sport. My goal with kids and adults is to throw interesting things at them during a swim workout to show them that swimming can be fun!” From tying helium balloons to the bridge of their goggles while they swim backstroke to bringing a fun water bottle to the pool to encourage hydration during exercise, Glenn aims for kids make good memories of their time in the water. A mindset he wants adults to embrace too.

Have you considered joining one of the club’s Masters’ Swim classes? Glenn says whether you’re a basic swimmer or a triathlete, anyone can jump in. “Our pools have different lanes and different speeds in each lane,” says Glenn. “We’re not going to put a beginner in the same lane as a swimmer fresh out of college who’s ripping through the water.” He recommends starting slow and pacing yourself to get stronger. Swimming uses every muscle in your body. While many physically fit people who regularly run, walk, or bike can be intimidated by their swimming skills, Glenn says that’s part of a water workout. “When you’re in the water there’s pressure against your whole body,” he says, “You’re also breathing differently in the water as opposed to dry land workouts.” He encourages swimmers to focus on the technique of sliding through the water rather than plowing through it, noting that every stroke matters.

When you’re ready to swim, Glenn suggests using interval training and running through the four competitive strokes – freestyle, butterfly, backstroke, and breaststroke – to get a well-balanced workout. He recommends trying to swim 100 yards at your own pace and then sprinting for the last 25 yards. “Even if it’s in your own mind, you’re sprinting. It takes off the pressure to do your personal best without someone telling you what to do.” But when you are ready for help, TAC has an experienced swim staff to offer support. “Little things our swim coaches point out can make a big difference,” he says adding, “Different perspectives from different coaches offer insight and answers to questions about your technique.”

Swimming is a beneficial workout for everyone, especially if you’re trying to go easy on your joints, build muscle, and work your heart. Ready to dive in? Glenn recommends a good pair of goggles, jammer swimsuits for men and tank style suits for women. Don’t be afraid to add swim fins, hand paddles, or kickboards to add some variety. You can join Masters’ Swim Mondays, Wednesdays, and Fridays at South or Tuesdays and Thursdays at East. Dedicated lap swim times are also available at Wasilla, Eagle River, and Fairbanks South. For more information about our pools, aqua fitness classes, and swim lessons go to www.thealaskaclub.com/pools. See you in the water!

Interview with TAC Swim Coach, Glenn Preston. Written by TAC Marketing Director, Tracy Dumas

Written by Tracy Dumas.

Director of Marketing & PR

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