About Masters Swim
One of the largest Masters swim teams in Northern California, Menlo Masters has a rich history of healthy competition and community. We welcome swimmers of all abilities, age 18 and up, who are interested in regular structured workouts. Previous experience in competitive swimming is not necessary. Masters swimmers include beginners, triathletes, former collegiate athletes, nationally ranked competitors and everything in between — all ages, shapes, and sizes. Menlo Masters offers 21 coached workouts per week. Every workout is different and you’ll learn something each and every time. Along with ongoing conditioning at workouts, the team provides stroke instruction, intra-club activities, competitions, and social events throughout the year. We focus on developing swimming skills, enhancing the enjoyment of swimming through regular workouts and professional instruction, and the promotion of lifetime fitness through swimming.
Menlo Masters workouts are fun and challenging, full of camaraderie and high heart rates. You’ll hear a lot of laughter as well as a few groans. You’ll test yourself against high energy teammates and have some early mornings. So show up and see what happens!
The pool is 11 lanes, 25 yards. We use some lanes or all of them depending. You will typically find from 3 to 6 people per lane.
Choosing a lane
To help you choose where to swim, we mark the lanes with cones according to 6 levels with Level 1 the fastest. Often we have more than one lane for each level (especially 3-4) so you can choose to swim with the “fast fours” or “slow threes,” for example. Once you get to know your teammates, you will be able to choose where to swim according to who shows up at the workout and what the workout emphasis is for that day. You can always ask the coach for guidance.
Coaching and the sets
Menlo Masters workouts are all coached with well-defined sets. The whole pool does the same workout, just with longer intervals and fewer yards in the slower lanes. Each workout starts with a warmup and then the lane is given the first of the main sets. When you’re done with that, the second set is introduced, and so forth. Workout emphasis varies. You may do drills, stroke, or sprints. Or long distance free, pulling or kicking. We keep meets and open water swims in mind, providing opportunity to build up to those events. And look out for those relays! Check the calendar for upcoming workout focus. If you wish to swim on your own, please do so during designated lap swim times, available 7 days a week. You may add unlimited lap swim to your Masters membership.
Menlo Masters provides pull buoys, paddles, fins, kickboards or you can bring your own. Please use gear on the sets that require it. Workouts are designed to train your stroke mechanics and fitness in specific ways, so gear versus no-gear swims are purposeful.
Know who you’re swimming with
In your lane, seed yourselves in order of speed and strength. Use the warmup to get acquainted with who’s in your lane. When the main sets start, faster swimmers should go first. Don’t hesitate to change order throughout the workout as you tire or get stronger.
Leading the lane
Lane leader duty is important to the enjoyment of all swimmers in the lane. They assume responsibility for knowing the set, timing the intervals, counting laps, and guiding the lane. A crisp and organized lane leader can make the whole workout flow and everyone’s experience a good one. The fastest swimmer should go first and be the lane leader. If you’re fastest but don’t wish to lead, please don’t feel you have to. Move to the next-fastest lane and swim in the back, or dial down your pace so that you don’t disrupt the lane. You and your lane-mates may also agree to take turns leading during the workout.
Five seconds apart
Leave the wall 5 seconds after the swimmer ahead of you. Unless the set is specifically about drafting, do not swim on anyone’s feet. Besides being annoying, you can throw off the timing of the entire lane and drafting doesn’t do your training any good. If you’re catching the person in front of you, change order at the start of the next set. Or leave 10 seconds apart, which is also a good idea for race-pace sprints when you have few people per lane.
Starting and finishing
Leave from the far right corner of the lane as you face out from the wall, moving over behind the swimmer leaving in front of you. When you swim into the wall to finish, immediately move over to give the next swimmer clear access to the wall. Do not stop before you reach the wall — it is everyone’s responsibility to get out of the way and let the next swimmer finish strong.
Turn on the far left corner of the lane. When the swimmer in front of you pushes off, cross over to your left and make your turn on the left side. This pattern enables a clear sight line and access to the wall for the swimmer behind you. And (bonus!) everyone can then push off straight and not take slanting lines to avoid other swimmers. If you think crossing over is awkward, you may be drafting… 5 seconds is usually plenty of time to set up a clear shot at the left corner wall. And crossing over works beautifully if the person in front of you has turned on the left.
In a 25 yard pool pass on the walls. Let the person in front know you’d like to pass with a tap on the foot. If you’re being passed, stop at the next wall on the far right and squeeze into the corner so the swimmers behind you can turn on the left.
If you need to rest in the middle of a set, stop in the right corner of the lane so that people behind you can turn on the left side. Hop back in when there’s a gap and your speed is appropriate. If the set is finishing up, after you let swimmers behind you pass, move over to the left to allow finishers clear access to the wall. Do not hang on the lane lines with all your body weight. Enough said.
Workouts are meant to be challenging but enjoyable. Communicate with your lane mates, ask questions, and get the most out of your training by putting good effort into the sets. With Menlo Masters, you’ll find that every workout is different and you learn something every time. Swimming is good for the mind as well as the body!
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Oct 15-31 is our first One Warm Coat drive! Donate clean, gently worn coats of any kind. The coats will go to the Ecumenical Hunger Program in East Palo Alto. Cash / online donations will go to One Warm Coat, (for online, use #16-0375 in comments for our drive). Team breakfast Oct 15 to kick it off!
Killer Quad starts this month! Halloween Hour swim leads us in – all workouts Oct 31 & Nov 1.
Schedule & Pricing for Masters Swim
Drop into any of our 21 weekly workouts ($20 drop-in):
|Mon–Fri:||5:45am – 6:45am|
|Mon–Fri:||7:00am – 8:00am|
|Mon–Fri:||12:00pm – 1:00pm|
|Tue and Thu:||7:00pm – 8:00pm|
Pricing: Learn more about workouts how we run our sessions.
Masters plus Lap Swimming (Level 3)
(Includes Menlo Masters, Lap Swim, Open Swim, Indoor Cycling, Water Polo, Aqua Fit, and Tattersols Running Team)
$135 per month – register today!
$385 per quarter – register today!
$1458 per year – register today!
All-Access GOLD Pass (Level 4: Triathlon Team or Level 4: Boot Camp)
(Includes all of the above, plus Triathlon Team and Boot Camp)
$185 per month – register today!
$527 per quarter – register today!
$1998 per year – register today!
Note: If you are a 2015 monthly or quarterly member, no action is necessary to renew. Your membership will automatically roll over into 2016. If you are a 2015 annual member, you will need to renew your membership. Follow the appropriate annual membership links above.
Masters, AquaFit, Indoor Cycling, Water Polo, and Tattersols memberships require an annual $30 team fee; All-Access Gold memberships (which includes Triathlon Team and Boot Camp) require an annual $60 team fee. Annual team fees are payable upon registration. Monthly memberships are billed on the first day of the month and quarterly memberships are billed on the first day of the calendar quarter.
Menlo Masters is part of the US Masters Swimming association, which means all members must be registered with USMS for insurance purposes. Your USMS card is required to participate in Masters swimming events and you receive the benefits of regional and national news about Masters swimming. You may register directly on their website at www.usms.org/reg/
Student, Senior and Family Discounts
Student and Senior discounts are available for all memberships. Family discounts are available for family members participating in the same program. For these discounts, please contact the Service Center.
Cancellations and Refunds
Annual Memberships can be refunded on a pro-rata basis. There will be a $50 processing fee for any annual membership refund.
Duration of Discounted Annual Membership Availability: The purchasing window for all discounted Annual Memberships will expire on January 15, 2017.
Our Master Swim Coaches
Tim Sheeper / Founder and Head Coach
For over 20 years Tim Sheeper has coached athletes of all ages. He has and is currently coaching the beginner, intermediate and elite level athlete. In that time he has led more than 4,000 athletes through more than 20,000 training sessions, and has become one of the most prolific triathlon coaches the country. Tim has been competing in triathlons for 25 years and has been racing in running competitions since the age of 8. His passion for building community among multi-sport athletes resulted in founded of a triathlon team in the mid 1990’s, which is now called Team Sheeper. Tim’s mission in life is to encourage and motivate people to live a life full of activity, strengthening the body and the mind, and discovering we are capable of doing much more in life than once thought possible. Tim also makes family a priority. He has three children who are active in sports and his wife Lisa is herself a champion swimmer and team advocate. Tim’s interest in developing whole-person athletes extends to including families in aquatics and outdoor activities while supporting members’ personal commitments.
Rick Peterson / Swim Coach
Rick Peterson has helped coach the Menlo Masters swim team almost since the organization started back in 1988. He has been an active Masters swimmer and cyclist since 1976, a runner since 1974, and a triathlete since 1982.
Rick has also coached the Leukemia Society’s Team in Training triathlon and run programs for TNT since the late 1990s.
Beck Seelos / Swim Coach
Becky has been in and around water since she was a baby. She started off swimming competitively at age 6 and by the time she reached high school she was ready for something new; water polo stole her heart instantly! She has been playing water polo for 10 years, on a nationally ranked team at CSU Bakersfield (position: driver), and for fun with a masters team after college. In addition to Masters, Becky coaches our Menlo Mavericks Youth Water Polo team.
Frequently Asked Questions
Q: What is the annual Team Fee used for?
A: The fee is used for awards, food, intramural event production, and team extras — all things that go into improving the quality and value of the team.
Q: How do I pay for my Menlo Masters membership?
A: You can choose an annual one-time payment or automatic credit card payments either quarterly or monthly. If you choose an annual membership, then you need to renew each year. If you choose quarterly or monthly memberships, you will be charged automatically until you cancel your membership. Register online.
Q: How do I cancel, suspend, or change my membership?
A: If you would like to cancel your Menlo Masters membership completely, please fill out the online Cancellation Form. Cancellation requests may also be taken in person through the Service Center, (650) 330-2232. Cancellation requests must be submitted by the 15th of current month to terminate recurring payment/membership for the following month.
Q. What is USMS Membership?
A: To swim with Menlo Masters, you must register for a Menlo Masters Only, Level 3 (Silver) or Level 4 (Boot Camp or Tri Team) membership and pay the annual team fee with Menlo Swim. Once you have registered with Menlo Swim and Sport, you must also register with U.S. Masters Swimming. Since Menlo Masters is part of USMS, all members must be registered with USMS for insurance purposes. You may register directly on their website.
Q: Do I register with USMS directly. Or does Menlo Swim and Sport do so?
A: You must renew your USMS membership directly with USMS. Once you have registered with USMS, please let us know so we can update our records.
Q: Can I come to the pool to swim laps for free?
A: We need to charge for any swimmer who comes for laps, but we provide a discount to Menlo Masters members. You can register for a combo membership, which will include Masters plus Lap Swim. Otherwise, please drop in whenever you wish and pay the Lap Swim drop-in fee. More about Lap Swimming.
Menlo Masters participates in swim meets, open water swims, and intramural events throughout the year. Here are the events on our 2016 calendar.
|January||Killer Quad 4 100×100 with Potluck Breakfast! (Jan 2, Burgess)
Killer Quad Make-up day, 3 lanes (Jan 9, 6-9am)
Swimmer of the Year Party & Talent Show (Jan 31, 1-4pm, Arrillaga Rec Center)
|February||Can-Do Challenge (all month, Burgess)|
|March||Rinconada Spring Meet with relays! (Mar 12, Palo Alto)|
|April||Team Book Exchange (Apr 4-15, Burgess Pool)
Swim-the-cycle Pool Challenge (Apr 18-30, Burgess Pool)
|May||30-30-30 Challenge (30 swims in 30 days for 30 minutes, all month, Burgess)
Menlo Masters Memorial Swim (May 30, Burgess Pool)
|June||Dynamic Duo with Team Bake-off (Jun 18, Burgess Pool)|
|July||Pacific Masters Long Course Meters Champs (Jul 22-24, San Mateo)|
|September||Alan Liu Memorial Meet (Sep 18, Mountain View)
Pizza & Polo Night (Sept 23, Burgess Pool)
|October||Warm Coat Drive (Oct 15-31, Burgess Pool)
Warm Coat Drive Kick-off Breakfast (Oct 15, Burgess Pool)
Killer Quad swim #1 (Oct 31 & Nov 1, Halloween, Burgess Pool)
|November||Killer Quad swim #2 (Nov 23 & 25, Thanksgiving, Burgess Pool)|
|December||Killer Quad swims #3 (Dec 23 & 24, Christmas, Burgess Pool)
Killer Quad swims #4 (Dec 30 & 31, New Years Eve, Burgess Pool)
The swim meet season is packed with traditional meets, new events, and championships. We target a few swim meets each year as a team. Some of our swimmers travel to meets all over the region and to championships throughout the country.
For more information about local swim meets and open water events, check the Pacific Masters website. You can subscribe to the Pacific Masters newsletters for the most current updates. For more information about national and international meets, check the USMS National Championships page.
Open Water Swims
We have many swimmers who enjoy spending time in various oceans, bays and lakes. Each year, we focus on attending a selection of open water events as a team.
We challenge ourselves at intra-squad team events every year. Some have been traditions for many years – and we’re always dreaming up new ones! Here are time-tested traditional events:
Our Can-Do February Challenge has been a team tradition for over 20 years. The goal is to swim 50,000 yards in the month, or 100,000 yards or as much as 100 miles. We tally up our yardage each day and swimmers reaching these thresholds receive gifts from the team to honor their efforts. The real reward is that for every 2000 yards you swim, we ask you to bring in a can of food to be donated to a local food bank, along with a monetary donation from Menlo Masters based on the number of cans collected.
Menlo Masters Memorial Swim
A new tradition begun in 2014, we dedicate our workout on Memorial Day to those we wish to honor with our effort. Sets are designed to commemorate team members no longer with us.
We finish each year with a series of 4 holiday swims to keep us in the pool as the weather cools off and winter approaches. The swims progress in difficulty and length. The format is a series of 100s, all on a set interval for your lane that provides 5-10 seconds rest between each 100.
|Halloween:||one-hour swim without stopping|
|Thanksgiving:||50×100 swims on a timed interval|
|Christmas:||75×100 swims on a timed interval|
|New Year:||100×100 swims on a timed interval|
And we offer a variety of individual challenges for team members:
|Swim-the-Cycle (at swim meets):||Swim all 18 meet events|
|Workout Swim-the-Cycle:||Swim the cycle at workouts|
|Year-Rounder Club:||Monthly 10,000 yard swim in a day|
|30-30-30:||30 swims in 30 days for 30 minutes minimum|
Menlo Masters Mix 26
In 2015, we piloted the Menlo Masters Mix 26 Challenge (details) – an opportunity to challenge yourself across all the team events and challenges throughout the year. Team members earned points for each event successfully completed – total points were tallied and rewarded based on level of accomplishment. This challenge may return in the future, stay tuned
Team Social Events
Keep an eye out for our Swimmer of the Year celebration date in March. We typically have a team picnic or potluck at some point in the year. We also occasionally bring food to the pool following events, such as after our final Killer Quad. Impromptu social affairs crop up now and then, along with informal gatherings at swim meets and open water events. Watch the team blog for announcements! To keep up with the latest happenings, listen for news announcements at workouts and sign up to receive the team’s emailed newsletter.
The Dynamic Duo is an internal fun event where two swimmers are paired up by the team so that every pair is about the same speed. You and your partner swim a relay of alternating 50’s for a total of 40 of them (20×50 each). The prize list consists of fruit. Yes, that means a grape for last place, and something as hefty as a watermelon for first!
Menlo Masters Records
We keep records of the fastest time swum by a Menlo Masters swimmer at a swim meet – all 18 individual events and the standard relays for Short Course Yards, Long Course Meters and Short Course Meters. These swims must be logged in the USMS database as part of the official meet results. Check our team’s amazing swims via the links below!
Short Course Yards
Long Course Meters
Short Course Meters
Swimmers of the Year
Every year, Menlo Masters presents a Swimmer of the Year award to two exceptional individuals on the team. They are chosen for their personal, behavioral characteristics as well as for their athletic achievements and team contributions.
While many team members may be worthy of this award each year, these athletes are singled out because of the way they elevated themselves in achieving ordinary to outstanding results during that year. And more importantly, they have improved our already thriving team culture by their actions and demeanor.
In the end, our team would just not be as successful without the involvement of these individuals. Congratulations to our winners!
2015: Stephanie Couch and Matt Messmer
2014: Louise Feeley and Brett Bannan
2013: Barbara Breen and Harlan Pinto
2012: Marianne Brems and Kent Stietzel
2011: Judith Schwartz and Dave Gildea
2010: Barbara Jones and Carl Mortensen
2009: Miki Armstrong and Bill Dawson
2008: Sandy Dutro and John Sulzbach
2007: Sue McGlennon and John Goldman
2006: Lisa Sheeper and Murray McLachlan
2005: Juliette Applewhite and Peter Shepherd
2004: Jana Matena and Phil Arcuni
2003: Tasha Capen and Jim Kemp
2002: Ann Kay and Al Humphrey
2001: Frances Reneau and Scott Marshall
2000: Whitney Wood and Dave Quincy
1999: Rebecca Pinto and Dick Bennett
1998: Jane Burks and Sherman Hall
1997: Judy Strauss and Ed Owen
1996: Ginny Langmuir and Rick Peterson
1995: Gail Roper and Brian Kohlmeier
Tim Sheeper / Founder and Head Coach
I am fortunate to have the privilege of being the coach of such a wonderful group of people known as the Menlo Masters. What has allowed me to keep busy at the “coaching craft” for nearly 3 decades is the quality individuals who I am fortunate to interact with on a daily basis. Our Menlo Masters care deeply about their well being as evidenced by their dedication to swimming and they also care deeply about their fellow team members whom they share a great deal of time with in their swimming immersion.
Strong bonds and relationships are built between swimmers and these ties can be everlasting. We cherish each other and value these friendships.
We always keep in mind the teammates who have left our world and we choose to honor them every Memorial Day with a dedicated team workout.