Cheers to Open Water Season!

Summer with SPP means Open Water Swim Clinics!  We have been fortunate enough to partner with the Disney Triathlon Team again this year in supporting their swimmers with open water practices.  But our own team members have been getting in the water as well!  Here’s what they had to say about their Open Water Experiences…

open waters swimming

Joseph Alvarado

1. What was the most fun aspect of the Open Water Swim for you?

Just being in the water and the thrill of swimming in the ocean.

2. What made you the most anxious about swimming in the ocean?
SHARK! Didn’t see any but my imagination did.
3. What did you learn about yourself from the experience?
That I’m really afraid of sharks in the ocean.  But also that I can do this.  I really can

4. What piece of advice would you share with a new open water swimmer?

Don’t worry about the waves too much; if you can feel the waves out you can make them your friend.

Disney Triathlon Team

Lujan Decima

I love Open Water because it’s a chance to bond as a group. We face the ocean together, but we all have to make it alone, through the waves and on to the buoy. Before we run in we share a few nervous laughs and take on the challenge! At the other end we high five and talk about our experience and share tips and advice. It’s both a group practice and an individual one to learn to swim in the ocean.

There is definitely a level of anxiety. I’m not sure if it’s the waves, or the riptide, or the depth of the ocean. It’s helpful to have so many lifeguards out there though. You don’t feel alone if you’re ever in trouble.

I’m definitely better than I was last year on my first swim of the season.

If you feel like you’re panicking try to focus on the techniques learned during practice: long strokes, high arms, open water sighting.

Coach Charles SPP

Karen Younkins

1. What was the most fun aspect of the Open Water Swim for you?

It was a beautiful day and I love the beach!

2. What made you the most anxious about swimming in the ocean?

Waves. Big waves. Did i mention the big waves?

3. What did you learn about yourself from the experience?

If you’ve ever taken a pure barre class you’ll recognize this one — you are so much stronger than you think!

4. What piece of advice would you share with a new open water swimmer?

Try to stay calm and go with the flow (or in this case, the current)

See?  Easy as pie!

SPP will be at Zuma Beach in Malibu every Saturday from now until the Nautica Malibu Triathlon, September 15th and 16th.  No need to RSVP – just come join us!

Long Course – You Know You Want It

Five Reasons to Embrace Long Course Meters Season

I know what you’re thinking, because I’ve thought it before myself.

Oh.  My.  God.  I’ll never get to the end.

But you will.  And you’ll love it.  You just need to do it – just once.

Prior to this year, I had only done one long course meet.  It was my first swim meet EVER, and it was at UCLA.  And I’m not gonna lie – it kicked my ass.  But at the same time, it really empowered me.  It was my first swim meet, after all.  And I did come home with ribbons.

SPP works out in a yards pool so we don’t get to workout in long course.  I can apprecaite the  apprehension.

So here are five reasons to be excited about Long Course….

1.  Two Words:  Flip Turns. 

If you only do 50’s, you have none.  If you only do 100’s, you have one.  See how beautiful that is?

2.  Distance Events are Transcendental. 

I discovered this while competing in the 200 Freestyle at the Santa Barbara meet on June 30th.  It was imperative to just focus on keeping my stroke smooth, getting my elbows high, and keeping my breathing steady.  I could see AND hear Coach Charles during parts of my race.  And I had the best time.  I even ribboned in that event!

why you should love long course

3.  Long Course takes place during the summer months. 

What’s not to love?  Sun, warmth, and a good reason to be in the water.  What’s summer without swimming?

4.  Long Course is one of Swimming’s THREE SEASONS.

What other sport has three seasons?  None.  So we get to mix it up a little bit from season to season.  And your times seem a little faster, too!

5.  If it’s good enough for all those Olympians….seriously. 

World Class Athletes swim long course. What other argument do you need?

SPP will be swimming Long Course on Sunday, July 22nd in La Jolla for the San Diego Imperial Masters Championships.  You can still register up until July 21st by clicking here.


We do drills at every swim practice.

When Coach Charles is saying “catch up” – that’s a drill.

“you’re going to do 4 75’s – first 25 drill and the rest freestyle.”

But why do we do all those drills?  It’s not just for something to do in the water other than freestyle.

These drills all have a special focus that’s supposed to make our swimming better.  So here’s some details on why these drills are part of our regular workout schedule:

Catch Up:

  The Water Blogged Triathlete says this about the catch up drill:  Catch Up Drill is a swimming staple for many reasons. It allows the athlete to work on the timing of their breath, a good rotation, and a steady kick. It isolates each arm but allows newer athletes to balance their stroke with less difficulty than they’d have with the opposite arm glued to their side. Catch Up Drill can help correct a short hand entry by forcing the athlete to extend their recovering arm further in an effort to touch their opposite hand.

DPS – Distance Per Stroke

To put it simply, “DPS is where you exaggerate your stroke to consciously lengthen it. If you do it often enough and correctly, then your regular stroke will also lengthen.”  Triathlon Magazine says this, “The key to increasing your speed by improving your distance per stroke is to ensure that you cover more distance in the same amount of time. It is of little use to cover more distance per stroke but to take more time in doing so.”

Triple Tap

This is where Coach Charles has us work through our recovery by touching three parts of our body:  the hip, the shoulder, and the head. Swimming World Magazine says this about the Triple Tap:  With each freestyle stroke, swimmers will tap each of these three points with their hand during their recovery. This forces swimmers to keep their recovery relaxed with a high elbow. It is impossible to get to any of these three points with a forced recovery or a straight arm. Rather, this drill is meant to practice bringing their arm back to the front of their stroke with as little effort as possible while also reminding them to be mindful of their body position and to use their core and kick at all points in their stroke.


We all have a good laugh about this drill, but it does really help catch efficiency in all strokes.  According to Swimming World Magazine, again, “The drill is exactly as it sounds: for a portion of a length of swimming, your athletes will pull through the water with closed fists. Taking away their hands, swimmers will be raise awareness to how they are using their forearms through the catch phase of their pull as well as to how much “feel” they do get from having their hands initiate contact with the water.”

So – now you know a little bit more about these drills.  But you can still give Coach Charles a hard time about them 🙂

Short Course Yards Season has begun!

Welcome to Short Course Yards Season!

On February 10th, ten members of SilverPeak Performance descended upon the Rose Bowl and participated in Day One of the Rose Bowl Aquatics SCY Meet!  The results were, shall we say, a big splash!  Here’s what members had to say about their experience:

Lloyd Umail:

I enjoyed this meet a lot. It was efficiently-run by polite and respectful officials and volunteers. I especially liked the atmosphere – I thought it was light, fun, more personal to the swimmers. Basically, just get in the water and have fun! Being an outdoor pool helped with the atmosphere as despite an overcast throughout the meet, outdoor was still better than indoor, to me.

As a swimmer, it felt great to see my teammates cheer me on from the other side of the pool right on the deck – I liked that! In between my events, I enjoyed supporting my teammates, cheering them on as they crashed the walls and wowed us with their underwater prowess, and being close to the action.

As a team, I thought the event was a great bonding opportunity. We carried ourselves and represented SPP well – with pride, respect, finesse and smiles all around. Our sum was greater than its parts. Without a doubt, Together Everyone Achieves More – T.E.A.M.

Oh and yeah, we had fun and our loot of ribbons was super. Rock On!

Yvette Mankerian:

Proud to be part of such an amazing group of people. Mostly, superbly proud of Coach Charles McPeak who inspires and encourages us every day. I feel very fortunate to be part of this team.

How You Practice is How You Perform

What Does Coach Charles Always Say?

This is the time of year to do the work so next season’s goals can be reached, You can set Personal Records and achieve person success.  We have all been there:  coming to practice tired, dragging, and not quite all there. I propose something a little different…

You’re there.  Why not make the most of it?

We all know technique is the most important thing in swimming. To achieve proper technique, muscle memory is key. I’ve heard all kinds of things at practices from all kinds of people for years.

“I’m just warming up.”
“It takes me awhile to get going in the water.”

And so on and so forth. Remember the way you practice is the way you race.

The first second you get in the water and take your first stroke, you must concentrate on technique has to be concentrated and perform at your best ability. Everybody’s busy, our schedules are jam packed.  You’re already at practice and in the water…make every lap count!

Warm-up you don’t have to go 100%  – yet you should concentrate on every part of the stroke that you can.  Bad habits are hard to break – don’t create them during your warmup. After warmup, perform each lap with intention and precision.  Do the drill, the lap, the set and practice with your best effort.  If you do flip turns in in your race do them every lap in training (By the way swimmers and triathletes…there is an avalanche of literature and the data is conclusive…there is not a better instrument than the flip turns for training your body to process oxygen more efficiently)

Remember that Coach Charles plans every workout with the team in mind.  He schedules each set, each drill, each practice after heavy research and development.   We will continue to do research and apply new advances in training so why not take advantage of it today.

I can’t wait to see next year‘s achievements by all of you!  Yeah, you probably have seen, we get emotional but it starts from the very first second you get in the water!!

Race Report – Trick or Tri (October 28, 2017)

kadie jaffe trick or tri
It’s always fun to see a new triathlete complete their first race!  SPP was thrilled to be with Kadie Jaffe at the Trick or Tri this year.  Here’s what she had to say about her experience…

Kadie’s First Race – Trick or Tri, October 28th

I think one of the most intimidating parts of completing your first triathlon is all of the coordinating involved. Between gear, transitioning, and the events themselves, there is a lot to think about! Thankfully Charles and Kris made it easy on me. Every step of the way, they were there to remind me what was important and what wasn’t for my first race. With their guidance, I felt prepared and relaxed before Trick or Tri even started!

The Starting Line…

When the race started, I panicked a little during the swim but it was over before I knew it. The rest of the race was great. I must have had a big cheesy smile on my face the whole time! Everyone’s energy is infectious. One of my favorite parts was socializing with other triathletes after the race. I told some about my swim and even the seasoned athletes could totally relate. They were very encouraging and had some great advice for how to relax if it ever happens again.
My goal was just to finish, but I ended up being really pleased with my time.  I’m so happy I just did it! Now I feel confident that going into my next race I’ll know what to expect. Can’t wait until next time and next year’s Trick or Tri!  Thanks SPP for making it possible!
–Kadie Jaffe
Remember that when you race, it’s just yourself you compete with.  The other swimmers, bikers, and runners don’t matter.  Just get out there, do your best, and finish proud.  Charles and Kris try their best to be at everyone’s first races because we know how important this is!  Please always let us know when you are getting ready to compete so we can support you!

A Swimmer’s First Meet

The Spooky Shoot Out at Pierce College – October 22, 2017

Spencer Allen I was actually going to tag Silverpeak in this post, but it wouldn’t let me… Happy to share my thoughts 




Just swam my first short course meters USMS swim meet. Was a bit surreal and a bit intimidating to be out swimming in the same pool as future and former Olympians.

Had a nice start with a 50m freestyle sprint, and got cocky… decided, against my initial instincts when I first signed up, to pencil in for a 200m freestyle.

I finished it.
I can say that much.
I had genuine fear I was going to black out, and finished with a roaring headache. Instincts.

All in all it was a great day. After I recovered, I had a nice 100m free and swam anchor on a 200m medley relay.
My coach is one of the kindest people I’ve ever met, and the people involved with the club are genuine and awesome people. I feel lucky to have found this group, and am excited to get to work pushing down my times.

Yvette K. Mankerian The Spooky Shootout was truly a fun and exhilarating experience.

Thank you Coach Charles for constantly believing in us and pushing to not only do great but to have fun.

We have a great team! I loved the support and it certainly made competing much more fun than stressful.




I can’t wait for the next meet. And the article is right on!!

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