RAM operates according to a set of published of rules, called Bylaws. These are available to be downloaded at here. The web version is not the "Official Version" of the Bylaws. The file for download should be considered the only official version. The Web version is available to permit web review.
In addition to ByLaws, RAM has clearly defined it's Mission, Vision and Core Objectives which are included below. For those that want a hard copy of the Mission, Vision and Core objectives they can be downloaded here in pdf format.
Table of Contents
- RAM Mission Statement
- RAM Vision Statement
- RAM Core Objectives
- Principal Office
- No Political Campaigning
- Monthly dues
- Board of Directors
- Management of RAM
- Finances and Assets
- Policies of RAM
- Policies Concerning Coaches
- Policies Concerning New Members
- Policies Concerning Board of Directors Members
- General Policies
- Financial Need
- Fees from Out-of-Town Swimmers
- Student Fees and Fees for Swimmers 70 years of Age or Older>
- Review of Policies
- Lane Etiquette Guidelines
To promote health, fitness, competition and Masters Swimming
for adults in our community
for adults in our community
To be the premiere Masters swim group in North Carolina by providing frequent, accessible practices for all members of all skill levels in a supportive and encouraging environment, allowing them to achieve their personal goals.
To provide engaging and encouraging coaching that fosters continual improvement.
To support our members' personal goals through challenging workouts, technique enhancement and competition.
To provide an environment of camaraderie that is safe, fun and respectful for teammates, coaches and competitors.
To engage the local community through outreach activities in support of swimming skills and competition.
To foster fellowship among our members through social activities.
AS AMENDED BY RAM BOARD OF DIRECTORS ON MAY 29, 2012
- Name. The name of the corporation is "Raleigh Area Masters", hereinafter referred to as "RAM".
- Principal Office. The principal office of RAM shall be located at such place as the Board of Directors may designate.
- Purposes The purposes of RAM are:
- To attract, educate and train individuals in all aspects of Masters swimming;
- To provide its members with facilities and equipment needed for training;
- To provide coaching which develops swimming skills and encourages swimmers to maximize their swimming potential;
- To provide a year-round swimming and fitness program;
- To promote United States Masters Swimming;
- To obtain and disseminate information related to Masters swimming;
- To promote public awareness and appreciation of Masters swimming;
- To stimulate research into the benefits and effects of life-long exercise of aging and cardiopulmonary development;
- To assist other organizations having purposes or objectives similar to those of RAM; and
- To engage in other charitable or educational activities approved by the Board of Directors of RAM
- No Political Campaigning RAM shall not participate in or endorse the political campaigns of candidates for federal, state, or local elected office.
- Membership Any individual who is interested in the purposes of RAM and who holds a current United States Masters Swimming, Inc. ("USMS") registration with RAM is eligible for membership.
- Duties of Members Each Member shall abide by the Articles of Incorporation, Bylaws and Policies of RAM, as well as the rules and regulations of the facilities used by RAM. Each Member must hold a current or pending USMS registration.
- Monthly Dues. Monthly dues may be changed only by a majority vote of the Board of Directors at a Regular Meeting or Special Meeting of the Board of Directors. Any such change in monthly dues will become effective only after the Board of Directors has provided sixty (60) days written notice of the change to the Members. Monthly dues are due and payable by all Active Members on a monthly basis on or before the fifth day of each calendar month. An "Active Member" is defined as a RAM Member who is current in payment of monthly dues. Inactive Members are not charged monthly dues. An "Inactive Member" is defined as a RAM Member who does not swim one time per month, and who has been granted inactive membership status from the Treasurer of the Board of Directors. In order to obtain inactive membership status, the RAM Member must request inactive membership status from the Treasurer and the Treasurer must agree that the RAM Member is entitled to inactive membership status. If an Inactive Member returns to swim during a RAM practice, he or she will automatically be converted to active membership and charged monthly dues for the months that he or she swims.
- Voting. Each individual Member has one vote on all matters subject to a vote of the membership, provided that he/she is in good standing. "Good standing" is defined as having paid in full the current annual membership fees and having paid monthly RAM dues through the previous month. Voting at any Annual or Special Meeting of the Membership shall be determined by simple majority.
- Annual Meeting of the Membership. The Annual Meeting of the Membership will be held in August of each year at a time and place selected by the Board of Directors. The purposes of the Annual Meeting are to elect the members of the Board of Directors, to receive the Annual Report of the Board of Directors and Committees, and to transact such other business as may properly come before the membership.
- Special Meetings of the Membership. Special Meetings of the Membership may be called by the Board of Directors at any time, or upon written request to the President of at least twenty percent (20%) of the Members who are in good standing.
- Notification of Annual Meetings and Special Meetings of the Membership A minimum of ten (10) days written notice is required for Annual Meetings and Special Meetings of the Membership.
- Quorum at Annual Meetings and Special Meetings of the Membership. A quorum consists of twenty percent (20%) of the Members who are in good standing.
- Regular Meetings of the Board of Directors. The Board of Directors will meet monthly for Regular Meetings at a time and place agreed upon by the Board of Directors. A Regular Meeting may be cancelled by the President after consulting with the Board of Directors and with the agreement of a majority of the Board of Directors.
- Special Meetings of the Board of Directors. Special Meetings of the Board of Directors may be called at any time by the President or by request to the President by three (3) or more Board of Directors members.
- Quorum at Board of Directors Meetings. A quorum consists of seven (7) members of the Board of Directors.
- Notification of Regular and Special Meetings of the Board of Directors Notice of all Regular and Special Meetings of the Board of Directors will be made to RAM members at least twenty-four (24) hours prior to the meeting.
- Attendance. All RAM Members in good standing are welcome to attend all Annual and Special Meetings of the Membership and all Regular and Special Meetings of the Board of Directors.
- Board of Directors. The Board of Directors of RAM consists of a President, Vice President, Secretary, Treasurer, Registrar, and seven At-Large Members, to be elected from the voting Members.
- Term. Each member of the Board of Directors shall be elected by the membership at the Annual Meeting of the Membership and shall serve for the next two fiscal years.
- Duties of the President. The President shall be the chief executive and administrative officer of RAM. He/she will preside at all Annual and Special Meetings of the Membership and all Regular and Special Meetings of the Board of Directors. He/she will be responsible for the day-to-day operations of RAM and may sign and endorse checks. The President may have the financial records of RAM reviewed at his/her discretion.
- Duties of the Vice President. In the absence of the President, the Vice President will perform the duties of the President.
- Duties of the Secretary. The Secretary is responsible for keeping minutes of all meetings, providing notice of meetings, and providing a copy of minutes to any Member who requests them.
- Duties of the Treasurer The Treasurer is responsible for receiving dues and other monies for RAM, signing checks and paying such bills as approved by the Board of Directors, including employee wages and taxes. The Treasurer is responsible for presenting annual reports on the financial affairs of RAM to the membership at the Annual Meetings of the Membership and at the Regular Meetings of the Board of Directors. The Treasurer submits regular reports of the current financial status to the Board of Directors at times specified by the Board. The Treasurer operates all accounts of RAM solely for the purpose of RAM financial transactions. Such accounts are used by RAM only for furtherance of the purpose set forth in paragraph 3 of these Bylaws or for related projects as authorized by the Board of Directors. The Treasurer is responsible for receiving dues, recording each Member's dues paid, and notifying Members of delinquent dues when appropriate. The Treasurer communicates this information to the Board of Directors at regular intervals as specified by the Board.
- Duties of the Registrar. The Registrar is responsible for registering all Members with RAM and with United States Masters Swimming ("USMS"). The Registrar's responsibilities include registering new Members with USMS and obtaining annual registration renewals for USMS for active Members. In addition, the Registrar is responsible for registering the RAM team with the North Carolina Local Masters Swim Committee and with USMS. The Registrar is responsible for keeping accurate records of the membership, including names, addresses and phone numbers. The Registrar communicates this information to the Board of Directors at regular intervals as specified by the Board.
- Executive Session The Board of Directors may move to executive session by a majority vote of the Board members at any Regular or Special Meeting of the Board of Directors at which a quorum is present.
- Management of RAM. The management of RAM shall be vested in the Board of Directors. The Board of Directors shall provide support and direction on all matters related to the continuing operations of RAM.
- Vacancies. Whenever a vacancy occurs in the Board of Directors, it may be filled by a majority vote of the remaining members of the Board of Directors at a Special Meeting of the Board of Directors called for that purpose, subject to approval by a majority vote of the Members at the next Special Meeting or Annual Meeting of the Membership. A vacancy in any Board position may be declared by eight (8) votes of the Board members, for failure or inability to perform the duties of that position.
- Committees. The President shall create, with the approval of the Board of Directors, such committees as may be deemed advisable from time to time. The President shall be an ex-officio member of all committees. Committees are open to Members in good standing
- Non-Payment of Dues In the event that any Member has not paid his/her dues within sixty (60) days after the dues are due, or has not arranged with the Treasurer a plan of payment of the past-due amount which is acceptable to the Treasurer within sixty (60) days after the dues are due, he/she shall automatically be expelled from the membership of RAM.
- Other Violations. In the event of a violation of the Articles of Incorporation, Bylaws or Policies of RAM (including Lane Etiquette Guidelines), or of Article 402 of the United States Masters Swimming Code of Regulations and Rules of Competition, or in the event of conduct which may tend to endanger the good order, welfare or character of RAM, the Board of Directors may suspend all rights of a Member, including the right to swim with RAM or to vote in RAM, until the Board of Directors determines that such violation or conduct is satisfactorily corrected or until the Board of Directors votes to reinstate or expel the Member. For the purposes of this provision only, a super-majority vote of ten (10) or more Directors is required to expel a Member. Once a Member has been so expelled, the Member may be reinstated only by a super-majority vote of ten (10) or more Directors.
- Fiscal Year. Unless otherwise fixed by the Board of Directors, the fiscal year of RAM shall run from January 1 through December 31.
- Finances and Assets
- No part of the earnings of RAM or the funds contributed by any person or corporation shall inure to the benefit of any director or officer of RAM or any private individual, or Member, or other persons, except that reasonable compensation may be paid for services rendered to or for RAM affecting one or more of its purposes.
- In the event of the liquidation or dissolution of RAM, whether voluntary or involuntary, no director or officer of RAM or any private individual, or Member, or other person shall be entitled to any distribution or division of its remaining property or its proceeds, and the balance of all money and all other property received by RAM from any source, after the payment of all debts and obligations of RAM shall be used or distributed exclusively to United States Masters Swimming, Inc., P.O. Box 185, Londonderry, New Hampshire 03053 if such organization is then an organization described in Section 50 1 (c)(3) of the Internal Revenue Code of 1986 or any corresponding section of any future tax code, or for purposes similar in nature to those set forth in Paragraph 3 of these bylaws and within the intendment of Section 501(c)(3) and the regulations thereunder as the same now exists or as they may be hereafter amended from time to time.
- Amendments Procedure for Amending the Bylaws. These Bylaws or any portion thereof may be amended, altered, or repealed only by the affirmative vote of a majority of the Board of Directors at a Regular Meeting or Special Meeting of the Board of Directors. The Board of Directors will provide notice of any change to the Bylaws by providing written notice to the Members and by posting notice of such change to the Bylaws on the RAM website. If the amount of monthly dues has been changed, such change in monthly dues will become effective only after the Board of Directors has provided sixty (60) days written notice of the change to the Members.
- Policies Concerning Coaches
- The Board of Directors is responsible for hiring RAM Coaches. The Board of Directors is responsible for determining at the time each RAM Coach is hired the amount of compensation that will be provided to that Coach. Each RAM Coach will be paid on an hourly basis according to a specific hourly rate for that Coach that is approved by the Board of Directors. The Board of Directors will review the hourly rate for each Coach on an annual basis.
- RAM will request that a RAM Coach be present at any swim meet in which six (6) or more RAM swimmers are registered to participate. The RAM Board of Directors will determine the total number of coaches to appear at any event. A RAM Coach who has been approved to coach at a meet is eligible for compensation according to provision three (3) below.
- RAM will provide compensation to RAM Coaches appearing at swim meets in which six (6) or more RAM swimmers are registered to participate. Such compensation will be provided on an hourly basis at the Coach's individual hourly rate for a maximum of eight (8) hours per day. RAM will also provide reimbursement to RAM Coaches appearing at meets for all actual and reasonable lodging expenses that are necessary for attendance at the meets. RAM Coaches must provide receipts for all lodging expenses to the Treasurer. RAM will provide a flat rate of $50 per day to RAM Coaches appearing at meets that are located farther than 100 miles from Raleigh, North Carolina for all other expenses, including, but not limited to, expenses for meals and mileage.
- RAM will pay required registration fees for the RAM Coaches, as insurance regulations require that Masters Coaches be registered with USMS or USA Swimming. If a RAM Coach resigns three (3) months or less after RAM pays the Coach's fee, the Coach will be required to reimburse RAM for the amount of the registration fee(s).
- A RAM Member, who coaches but has not been hired as a RAM Employee, is entitled to waiver of monthly dues for one month for every three (3) practices that the Member coaches. The maximum number of credits for coaching that a RAM Member may carry at any time is seventy-two (72) credits or 24 months of dues waived.
- If a practice is canceled for any reason after a RAM Coach or RAM Member who coaches has arrived at the pool, the Coach or RAM Member will be paid or credited for the full practice time scheduled. The RAM Coach will not be paid for the cancellation if it was made twelve (12) hours in advance.
- Policies Concerning New Members
- Prospective Members must register with RAM, and they are allowed a maximum of three (3) free swims before they must register with RAM. After a new member has registered with RAM, his or her first month dues will be assessed as follows:
- If the new member swam all three free swims in the month prior to the joining month, the full dues amount will be assessed for the joining month.
- If the new member swam all or some portion of his or her three free swims in the joining month, then:
- The first three (3) swims are free, and
- The next swims will be charged the lesser amount of (a) $10 per swim or (b) the monthly dues amount.
- Policies Concerning Board of Directors Members Missing two (2) consecutive Board of Directors meetings or missing a total of three (3) Board of Directors meetings in a membership year may result in an automatic resignation of a Board member, unless a majority of current Board members vote that the absences be excused.
- General Properties
- Any club expenditure of more than one hundred dollars ($100), with the exception of payments for pool fees, compensation to RAM coaches, and taxes, must be approved by the Board of Directors or be approved at an Annual or Special Meeting of the Membership.
- Monthly dues are waived for the RAM President, Treasurer and Registrar in consideration of the time commitment required of these offices.
- RAM pays relay fees for RAM swimmers at any sanctioned Masters meet.
- Financial Need
- Special Sponsorships Special sponsorships are available to RAM swimmers in financial need. These sponsorships are not designed to recruit swimmers, but to assist regular members in time of need. The swimmer must meet the following requirements:
- All dues and fees must be currently paid;
- The swimmer must have been a member of RAM for at least three (3) months; and
- The swimmer must have exhibited regular attendance at practice -- 2 or 3 times per week.
- A swimmer desiring a sponsorship should contact the Treasurer. The request will be presented to the Board of Directors and dealt with confidentially. Votes on sponsorships will be by closed ballot. The swimmer's contribution to the team will be considered. A sponsorship is awarded for three (3) months, at which time the swimmer may reapply. If a sponsorship is granted, RAM will subsidize up to 80% of the monthly dues.
- Any compensation to RAM members for services to the club must be established prior to the performances of services, and such compensation must be approved by the Board of Directors
- Fees from Out-of-Town Swimmers. Masters swimmers visiting from out-of-town are allowed to swim free up to three times in each calendar year, provided proof of current USMS registration is presented. If an out-of-town Masters swimmer swims more than three times in a calendar year, the Masters swimmer must pay a fee of $10 to RAM for each additional time that he or she swims and must provide the fee to the coach on deck or a Member of the Board of Directors. The out-of-town Masters swimmer may be charged a maximum of $45 per month.
- Student Fees and Fees for Swimmers 70 Years of Age or Older RAM members who are currently enrolled full-time in college as an undergraduate or graduate student and possess a current college identification and RAM members who are 70 years of age or older are entitled to a reduced rate of the monthly dues. Members who wish to take advantage of this special rate should make arrangements with the Treasurer.
- Review of these Policies On an annual basis, these policies of RAM will be reviewed by the RAM board after election and prior to the year end. Updated versions will be placed on the RAM website.
- The attached RAM Guidelines for Lane Etiquette are hereby incorporated by reference as a RAM Policy.
- Over 18 years of age;
- A current registered member of USMS and RAM, unless you are trying out or from out of town.
- Lane Assignment
- All swimmers are grouped into lanes according to ability or fitness. The coaches try to estimate times for all swimmers, and you should swim in the lane that the coach assigns. If you find you are too fast for the lane or too slow for the lane, discuss this with the coach. You can be reassigned. Do not jump lanes without the coach being aware and agreeing to the change. Sometimes you may be assigned to a lane for a specific purpose other than regular training.
- Practices are conducted using circle swimming. This means we swim down the right hand side of the lane at all times. If there are only two swimmers in the lane, it may be possible to split the lane -- if the coach approves.
- Spacing between Lanes
- When starting a swim, each swimmer should leave the wall about 5-seconds after the preceding swimmer, unless the coach specifically sets a different interval. A 5-second window gives all swimmers room to swim in a relaxed manner and to concentration on the swim.
- Swimmers in a lane should try to arrange themselves such that the fastest swimmer goes first, the second fastest goes next, and so on. This may require rearrangement between sets to reflect different abilities for the various strokes. But the idea still holds. If a swimmer is caught from behind by another swimmer, the two swimmers should continue in that order until they reach the next wall. Upon reaching the next wall, the slower swimmer should allow the faster swimmer to go past. To do this, the slower swimmer should swim to the right side of the lane, at the wall, and then allow the faster swimmer to turn and move ahead from the left side of the lane. Do not try to pass in the middle of the lane. This invites collisions with oncoming swimmers. Be courteous when this is done. All swimmers have occasional "bad" practices and can be off their game. If there is a consistent problem with swimmer sequence, the swimmers should take the issue up with the coach. The only basis for swimming sequence is ability and determination of the swimmer.
- Behavior in a lane
- All swimmers in a lane should be doing the same thing at the same time. If you did not finish a set and a new set is being started, switch to the new set. This is particularly important at the start of practice. If you arrive late and the practice is already underway, find out where the people in your lane are in the workout. Pick up where they are. You do not get the privilege of doing the entire missed portion of a set or warm-up simply because you were late entering the pool.
- There are instances where all swimmers in a lane are not doing the same stroke or are doing modifications of the stroke. These instances are where an injury, such as knee injury, keeps a swimmer from doing a Breaststroke kick. So they may swim Breaststroke using the proper arm motions but do a dolphin or flutter kick. Analogous changes can be done for shoulder injuries. Even with these changes, the swimmer should hold the same intervals or distances being done by the other swimmers in the lane. If this modification of a set is required, let the coach know what you will be doing and tell the remainder of the people in the lane. You may want to adjust when you start your swim by moving up in the lane or moving down in the lane.
- Be prepared for your coach to stop a set. There can be many reasons for this. What the coach sees may prompt a change in the set or workout, usually to focus on something specific. Your coach may wish to make sure you get to a key or main set.
- If you must rest, please stand (or hang) on the right side of the lane or leave the pool. Be sure to keep an eye on those still swimming to stay out of their way. Do not block the middle of the lane or the left side of the lane.
- If you find yourself getting tired in mid-pool, take the swim to the wall. DO NOT STOP IN THE MIDDLE OF THE POOL. This is a safety issue and other swimmers may hit you.
- Adjust the length of your swim to match what is remaining in that repeat distance of the lane. To ensure safety, each lane must be swimming the same repeat at all times. This is important if you wish to swim freestyle while others are swimming a slower stroke. If you are faster, you lead and finish first. You must stick with the interval for the entire lane. If you are still too fast for the lane, ask the coach if you may move up a lane.
- If you find you are repeatedly catching the swimmer in front of you, please ask to go before that swimmer. Also, if someone is catching you please let them precede you in the set. Try to settle this within the lane. If it cannot be resolved within the lane, ask the coach to help.
- Be courteous at all times. If there are problems, call the coach. We are adults, and we are here for fitness, technique and enjoyment. Leave your headaches, problems and attitudes outside the pool area.
- NO foul language!
- If you find yourself at odds with the coach, try to politely settle the issue on deck. Do not try to do this from within the lane. If you cannot settle the issue, stop your practice and take the disagreement up with the RAM Board of Directors.
- We swim competitive strokes, either Freestyle, Backstroke, Breaststroke or Butterfly. Sidestroke is not a competitive stroke.
- PULL => The swimmer uses a "pull buoy" (a flotation device placed high between the legs and swims without kicking. Pulls can be varying duration and lengths and can call for using Paddles or not.
- PULL BUOY => A small floatation device used to aid the swimmer in maintaining higher hips in the water. Used for drills and getting a proper feel for swim position.
- PADDLES => Flat plastic devices placed on the hands for drills, strength building and endurance.
- LENGTH => One trip down the length of the pool.
- LAP => two lengths, that is one length down the pool and return.
- CH => an abbreviation for choice stroke, you select. (Sometimes written as STR for stroke. Meaning a stroke other than freestyle.
- FR, BK, BR, FL => ;abbreviation for freestyle, backstroke, breaststroke and butterfly.
- INTERVAL => This is a time given to swim a stated distance plus the rest. At the end of the interval, you must start the swim again or move to the next part of the workout. (Example: swim 100 on 1:45. This means you must adjust your pace so you can swim the distance and get rest before you go again. If you swim it in 1:30, you get 15 seconds rest.
- REPEAT => A specified stroke and distance that must be repetitively swum
- SET => A group of repeats.
- PACE => This is the time to be spent swimming the repeat.
- CLOCK => This is the pace clock that is usually somewhere near the pool. If there is more than one, they should be in agreement or your lane must agree to which one is being used. Learn how to read these and use them to ensure you hold your interval for each set.
- Freestyle => This is the most common stroke used in training, and is also called the crawl. It generally means to swim forward in a somewhat prone position.
- Backstroke => This is a stroke where the swimmer rotates from side to side while facing toward the ceiling. This is the only stroke where the swimmer does not look where they are going.
- Breaststroke => A stroke in which the arms move simultaneously and in the same horizontal plane without any alternating movement. The hands push forward together from the breast on, under, or over the surface of the water. The elbows must be kept under the water except for the last stroke at the finish of a set distance. At no time can the hands be brought past the hip line, except for one pull at the start and at the turn. The kick must be performed so that all vertical and lateral movements of the legs are simultaneous. The feet must be turned out during the propulsive part of the kick movement. There may not be a flutter or butterfly kick used at any time.
- Butterfly => A stroke in many ways related to the BREASTSTROKE. The biggest difference is the arms are required to be recovered out of the water and the kick is with both feet moving together up and down simultaneously. The legs may not cross at any time.
- CIRCLE SWIM => Almost all practices are done this way. Swimmers swim up the right side of the lane, staying close to the lane line, and return on the other side in the same fashion. Always stay to the right, off the black line.
- IM or Individual Medley => A swim where all four strokes are swum in the order of BUTTERFLY, BACKSTROKE, BREASTSTROKE, FREESTYLE.
- RELAY => A swim of varying distances involving four swimmers performing one at a time. Each swimmer does the same distance. The relay is finished when all four swimmers have completed their distance.
- MEDLEY RELAY => A relay swim where four swimmers participate in each of the four strokes but in the following order. Backstroke, Breaststroke, Butterfly, Freestyle.
- NEGATIVE SPLIT => The second half of the distance that is being swum is faster than the first half. It is also possible to negatively split each length of a distance. The coach will specify which is to be done.
- WARM-UP => The warm-up is almost always some version of 600 yards/meters. Swim this very easy in what will feel like slow motion swimming. Stop to stretch whenever you want. This is the time to adjust goggles, caps and what not.
- DRILL => A drill is usually a modification of a stroke done to emphasize an element of proper stroke technique. The drill set is usually an extension of warm-up. There are rarely interval times associated with this set, so that you may focus totally on stroke technique without concerning yourself with speed or rest. Again, stretch as necessary and pay close attention to your body position and form. Allow your heart-rate to come up slowly. You should get 10-15 seconds of rest between each part of the Drill Set.
- MAIN => The main set ranges in length from 1200 to over 2000 yds. To modify the main set (or any set of the workout) for less distance, you may either decrease the distance in the repetitions or decrease the number of repetitions. For example: a set of 10x 100 can be modified to 5x 100 or 10x 50 to arrive at a set one-half the distance. If your water time is limited, avoid the temptation to eliminate the warm-up and/or drill sets. These are important for injury prevention, better stroke technique and the flow of the workout. Equally important is to leave time for a cool-down swim at the end of your workout!
- DESCEND => Descending sets ask you to swim each repetition faster than the previous. For example, the following set:
- BUILD => Building is different from Descending in that the swimmer's goal is to increase speed within the single swim distance(s). For example, the following set:
- Some Helpful Fitness hints
- If you are a new swimmer or one who has not trained for some time, remember to go easy at first. Do not feel obligated to swim the entire practice time or even every set. Remember to give yourself and your body time to adjust to the workouts.
- Try to swim at least three times per week. While you will benefit from some exercise, a minimum of three times per week will gradually improve your fitness. To be competitive, plan on progressing up to four practices or more practices per week.
- Set goals to improve. Give yourself a target time for a number of events and work towards those times.
Masters swimming is committed to providing training in technique, endurance, and fitness. RAM provides an organization toward achieving this goal. RAM practices are all coached by well trained and experienced coaches. Since the workouts can be intense at times, RAM encourages its members to approach practices with an attitude to learn, work and enjoy the practices. RAM expects all swimmers to be courteous toward each other and the coach at all times.
Every practice has a leader, a person in charge. The RAM coach is that person. The coach sets the practice, decides how it is to be done, determines the distribution of swimmers in each lane, and chooses any exceptions to what follows. If there are any questions about what is going on, first ask someone in the lane or ask the coach.
US Masters rules apply to all RAM practices, and RAM practices adhere to USMS Rules. RAM has published on its web site information about who can swim in RAM practices. This information is available at Swim With RAM. Without repeating in detail, you must be:
To help understanding in practices the following vocabulary will be used. Additional terms will be used as needed. If you do not understand, ask the coach.
6 x 50: Descend 1 -> 6
Asks you to swim six 50's with each one faster. If the set read:
6 x 50: Descend 1 -> 3 and 4 -> 6
you are asked to descend the first 3 and the second 3 in the set. The fourth 50 should be slower than the third. The third and sixth are the fastest in the set. Unless specified, the interval stays the same, giving you a bit more rest as your swimming time descends.
3 x 100 Build
This asks you to swim each 100 starting easy (with perfect technique) and increasing speed within each 100 to a fast finish (maintaining perfect technique throughout). As you may have guessed, the goal in a "Build" swim is to build speed while maintaining good stroke technique.