Janet Evans: This is when champions are made

255_janet_evansHi everyone,
What an exciting Race this has become!

I’m really excited today because Nueva Esperanza, one of the turtles that I’m coaching, showed some amazing speed and determination to cross the finish line today! Our team is really happy for her incredible performance.

I’m also thrilled to be able to give a few words of encouragement to all of the turtles as they near the end of the Great Turtle Race, and before tomorrow’s announcement of the results of Longest Distance Traveled swimming challenge.

I know a thing or two about long distance swimming competitions, having won five Olympic medals and 45 US national titles in 400m, 800m, and 1500m freestyle events during my career. It’s a good thing that I didn’t have to swim against these turtles, though, because I think all my world records would have been broken immediately by these prolific paddlers!

ON THE MAP: See the final moments on the race map

The turtles have done a good job of pacing themselves throughout the long Race, knowing that they have to cover a great distance and can’t burn themselves out too early. Keeping up a good pace is really important to make sure you still have ‘gas in the tank’ for the final push of the race, which is where the turtles are now.

The other thing they have going for them is something that all of us swimmers have to have as well to succeed – the ability to swim hard while holding our breath. This is especially vital for long distance swimming, because you have to keep swimming hard for prolonged periods, and to do that, you need lots of oxygen to fuel those swimming muscles. But we humans, just like the turtles, have to breathe air, so you have to maximize how far you can go between breaths.

Now that they are coming to the end of the Race, it’s time for them to finish strong and put all the energy they have left into going as far as they can. This is the point in the Race when all their training, instincts, and perseverance become so important, and is when champions are made!

Read Janet Evans’ previous post: Coaching the Turtle Race >>

Be sure to check back tomorrow to see which turtle finishes above the rest in the longest distance traveled swimming challenge.

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