This page is dedicated to featuring a new swim coach each month in the state of Montana.
The Montana LMSC recognizes times are tough right now. Clubs and workout groups have expressed their concern and desires for inspired workouts. As a result, from January – June, a new coach will be featured each month on this page. Two workouts from that coach will be distributed to members via email from the LMSC Registrar. Each workout will have three different levels to it.
March: Ellen Parchen
Hey Swimmers! Hoping you are in the water, training and challenging yourself as well as a lanemate or two. I coach a fabulous group of adults in Missoula, indoors at the Peak during the winter; and outside at Splash MT during the summer. My swimmers are a great mix of all abilities and caliber with a bit of feisty tossed in. They also have a wide variety of training goals, from fitness to Ironman work.
We have been able to be training since last June, so these workouts are a sample of what we are currently working on in “the big plan” with hopes to have some chance to “compete” during the summer and fall this year. They are a typical mid-season workout for my folks. We are not yet in Triathlon/ open water season, but have been building in that direction.
I am a huge advocate for having a coach on deck to watch what you are doing and offer feedback, so imagine that is happening while you do these workouts if you do not have a coach to give you feedback on the focus portions of the set.
Have fun, work as hard as you need to, and come visit us in Missoula if you have a chance.
February: Paul Landes
A little bit about me followed by a link to some of my thoughts on designing workouts.
I’ve spent many more years in the water than out of it. I started my competitive career at 6 and swam continuously until I graduated from college. A break was needed to repair my burnout. Seventeen years later I heard about Masters and thought I’d give it a try. My competitive spirit was still intact. Over the past 30 years I’ve done my share of pool swims, open water swims, adventure swims, water polo and everything in between.
I started coaching around 10 years ago. At that time, I was swimming for a coach who was and still is inspiring. I think I just wanted to be like him. He has impacted so many lives through his coaching and I’m not just talking about swimming. Peoples’ outlook and attitude about humanity, sharing, participation, integrity, mental strength etc. have been positively impacted through this man’s coaching.
I’m now coaching in Helena with Peggy Stringer and we make a good team. Together, we try to do what we can to provide opportunities for our swimmers to improve both inside and outside of the water. It’s a blast!
January: Peggy Stringer
My workouts for January are designed for swimmers of all levels. If you can only swim a half-hour skip the bonus sets. During January, I am working on endurance, getting ready for building up a base for longer distances and open water spring swims. Along with Paul Landes, I coach the Helena Ridley Masters in Helena Montana. We swim at the YMCA and Capital City Health Club in Helena for 60 min workouts. My proudest moment as a master’s coach was in 2014 when I received USMS’s Kerry O’Brien Coaches Award. With the help of Carrie Strike Jacobs of Whitefish, I started coaching master’s swimmers and triathletes 10 years ago.
I started swimming with master’s and competing in triathlons almost 20 years ago. I competed as part of team USA in the 2008 Vancouver Triathlon World Championships. Vancouver was magical, but my best event, the swim was canceled because cold, rough ocean that was capsizing rescue craft. In 2011, after being hit by a car on Queen City Triathlon bike course and rehabbing for an entire summer, I decided to get in shape and do my first full IM. I won my age group in Coeur d’Alene earned a spot at the World Championship IM Kona, Hawaii. Kona was magical! With the encouragement from Mark Johnston of Polson, I also have competed in open water events at Flathead Lake, Elk Lake outside of Bend, Oregon and Majorca, Spain. What I like most about USMS Masters is the people, great people!
The main goal of this workout sharing program is to provide support to coaches, members, clubs and workout groups. Over 80% of our membership survey responses ranked getting a good workout in the pool as the top priority. Clubs and workout groups indicated having issues with pool space, providing coached workouts, and wanting some inspiration for their workouts. Majority of our members and clubs have shorter practice times, with the shortest time allotment being 30 minutes.
This summer’s virtual challenges and events demonstrated that it is possible to foster a new, different sense of community and belonging. Sometimes swimming the same distance, set, or event at our respective swimming locations can add a little social component back to our lives. Examples of this include
- Contacting the featured coach about the workout they shared.
- Connecting remotely with a friend after completing the same workout.
- Encouraging swim friends and teammates to post selfies that document completing one of these shared workouts. #MTSwimChallenge
Coaches who are interested in participating in this program and membership service should send an email to Paul Landes