Our Philosophy

Charles River Masters Philosophy

The goal at Charles River Masters is to create an enthusiastic training environment that provides mentally and physically stimulating workouts to a diverse group of athletes ages 18 and up while we adopt, align, and implement the United States Masters Swimming core objectives of Service, Educate, and Build. Whether you’re a first time swimmer or an Olympic medalist it is our priority to assure that each member, regardless of ability level, gets the most out of their investment and commitment to our program.

The Charles River Masters objectives:
1. Encourage and promote improved physical fitness and health.
2. Offer adults the opportunity to participate in a lifelong fitness/competitive swimming program.
3. Inform the local community and businesses on the benefits of Masters swimming.
4. Promote fellowship and camaraderie among members.
5. Educate members on current issues and research in psychology, physiology, and sociology of Masters swimming.

Workouts are 60-90 minutes long and time is set aside for warm up and warm down. Variety is a huge component of the daily, weekly and monthly training plan. Workouts are designed to mix various speeds, strokes and repeat distances while providing the proper conditioning for all of our athletes regardless of their competitive background or focus (improving overall fitness, triathlons, open water events, sprint and distance).

Sessions are planned to emphasize intensity and quality as opposed to pure volume. Do you want to swim long distances at practice, or do you want to train and condition yourself for distance events? Coaches will not write workouts comparable to something that could easily be done in a lap lane (long straight swims swam at a low HR). Longer repeat distances (500 yards or more) will be incorporated into the training plan but never for the sake of just increasing yardage.

Sprint sets and longer swims will be included in workout plans along with technique work, drilling and pulling. During freestyle sets there will always be an option to add stroke work in and vice versa. Free or Drill options will be given for swimmers at more intermediate levels during stroke/IM sets.

Good communication is essential. Athletes are encouraged to communicate to the coaching staff any upcoming events they are attending. Athletes training for upcoming competitions such as triathlons or open water events will have the ability to work with the coach in adjusting the workouts in order to provide the best opportunity for success as long as these adjustments don’t disrupt the rest of the training lane or group as a whole.



Please introduce yourself to all your lane-mates at every practice.  This is a great way to improve communication and make the workout enjoyable for all.  

1.  Circle right, leave :05 seconds apart, or :10 seconds apart when space permits.  Use the pace clocks on the walls.  Keep your spacing during swims unless you intend to pass. 

2.  Swim in fastest to least-fastest order in your lane.  If someone is constantly catching you, offer for him/her to go ahead of you.

3.  Intervals.  Watch the pace clock: Know when you leave and when you return so you know your swim times.  Do not rely on the lane leader to be the only one following the clock.  It is your responsibility to know the interval and know when to leave.   If you are new to organized swimming, it will just take a little practice to learn how to use the clock and swim on intervals.  Your interval is the time you leave on.  Your swim time plus your rest equals your interval.  Knowing how to read the clock is important, as it will give you feedback on your swimming and it is necessary to keep the workout organized with multiple people in one lane.

4.  Make sure everyone in the lane can finish at the wall and get his/her times.  Please move over to the left as you get to the wall so each swimmer in the lane can finish.

5.  If there are multiple abilities in one lane, choose an interval that works for everyone or go on 3rd or 4th Person Rest.  In some instances there can be multiple intervals in one lane if space permits.  If you feel you are either too fast or too slow for your lane, move to a lane that better suits your ability when available.  If you choose to put on fins or paddles, move to a lane that is appropriate for your increased speed if appropriate.

6.  Passing can be done at the wall, or in the middle of the lane when it is safe to do so.  You may tap the foot of the person in front of you to alert him/her that you are passing.  Do not be offended if someone behind you taps you on the foot; it is a safe and effective method of indicating someone behind you needs to pass. 

7.  If you stop at the wall while your lane-mates are in the middle of a swim, avoid pushing off directly in front of them; let them go by and then resume your swim. 

8.  Do your best to be on time to avoid disruption of the practice.  If you are late, always check-in with the coach before entering a lane.  If the coach is unavailable, ensure you alert the existing swimmers in the lane that you are joining them. 

9.  Communicate with your lane-mates with courtesy and respect, this is the best way to enjoy your workout and avoid confusion.

10.  Always ask the coach or a teammate if you need clarification with anything.  If there is a dispute in your lane, approach the coach and he or she will help solve the issue.  Coaches have final say with lane organization.