Editor's note: Swimmer and former Project Runway contestant Jack Mackenroth will blog regularly leading up to his participation in the Gay Games.
I am obsessed with swimming and as you may know I have no problem prancing around in a speedo. I was wearing one since I was 6. (No-not all the time) However when it comes to competition I am all business. You may remember my recent competition in Copenhagen at the Outgames where I won 8 medals and garnered the nickname “the gay Michal Phelps”. Without the bong.
I swam out of my mind at that meet but unfortunately shortly thereafter life got in the way of my training schedule and after a 6 month dry spell I found myself back at square one. In order to help with my preparation for the Gay Games this July in Cologne Germany (still 20+ days to enter) I thought I would write a public journal that tracks my training regimen and various events on the journey to Cologne. I figured it would give me extra motivation and hold me accountable when I don’t feel like getting up at 5:30 to go swim.
The Gay Games is a MASSIVE sports event with dozens of sports. I can’t do anything that involves a ball so that cuts me out of most of the sports. I stick to swimming. Although if you are attending , figure skating, synchronized swimming and ballroom dancing should not be missed. Flawless.
I got back in the pool in January of this year. I do go to the gym and lift weights several times a week so strength is not the issue. It’s all about endurance training. In New York I swim with Team New York Aquatics. Right now I am trying to swim 5 X 1.5 hour workouts a week and also lift at the gym. I’m a bit big for your typical swimmer but I’m a sprinter so I can muscle out a 50 or 100 meter race. I would like to lose about 10 pounds before the Gay Games. Last month I swam in the Commisioner’s trophy meet in Flushing, Queens and I did times I had not matched for about 10 years after only 2 months of regular training so that was extremely encouraging. I actually set a Metro area record in the 100 yard breaststroke with a time of 1:03.58 which was totally unexpected. Because of that I decided to enter Masters Nationals in Atlanta on the 21st of May. I will tell you about that meet my next post. It’s the last major meet where swimmers are allowed to wear the full body suits before the ban takes effect so there should be a lot of people going for national and world records.
As pat of TNYA’s intensive training program we do a swim training camp every spring at the Hall of Fame pool in Fort Lauderdale. We swim 2 times a day for and hour and a half and it’s grueling but after a week our endurance is vastly improved–even though our shoulders feel like they might spontaneously dislocate at any moment. Plus the pool is outdoors so our tans are amazing–which is really the most important thing. Swim camp finished up on a couple of days ago and so its back to New york to ry and maintain everything we gained by swimming 9000 meters a day. Thank god for Advil.
At the Gay Games I am swimming the 50 meter butterfly, the 50 and 100 meter breaststroke and the 50 and 100 meter freestyle. More about me at Jackmackenroth.com.
And if you’re a swimmer in the New york area I encourage you to join Team New York Aquatics. It’s a blast!