- Wednesday 13th February will be a Red Mist Endurance Session at the pool at 0930 to 1100
- Friday 15th February will be a CSS Development Session at the pool at 0930 to 1030 (switched with Wednesday)
- Monday 18th February
- Wednesday 27th February
- Friday 1st March
- Wednesday 6th March
- Friday 8th March
- Wednesday 13th March
- Monday 18th March
- Friday 5th April
Thursday, December 13, 2018
Thursday, November 29, 2018
14 years of Swim Smooth - a special, extended podcast to chart the ups and downs of the past 14 years!
You can access the podcast here: https://itunes.apple.com/au/podcast/swim-smooth/id1441577778?mt=2
- Episode 1: Interview with Ironman AG World Champion and record holder, Dan Plews PhD (1h35m)
- Episode 2: Interview with Tom Hickman of the Bali-Hope SwimRun Challenge (0h41m)
- Episode 3: Interview with Dean Jackson the man / the myth / the legend behind HUUB Design (1h04m)
Tuesday, November 20, 2018
Hope you’re doing well this week…a bit chilly for mid-November though I have to say…the poolside thermometer read 9ºC this morning for the 5.30am squad!
Three items on today’s Blog:
- Squad Party this Friday, 23rd November 5.30/6pm to ~10pm
- A big congratulations to our most consistent squad swimmers in the last 12 months
- Photo diary of our recent road trip to Kalgoorlie for your interest
Squad Christmas Party:
This Friday sees us celebrate everything that is swimming with the Swim Smooth Perth Squad (fun, friends and frivolity) and to also help us warm our new renovations as well - if you’ve attended one of the first 3 Christmas Party’s you’ll definitely notice a difference:
We kick off at 5.30/6pm on Friday 23rd November and will aim to wrap up around 10pm or when we’ve drained the last drop and scoffed the last nibble (whichever comes last!).
This year we have the following:
- two bar staff to get me mingling more and off my heavy-handed cocktail mixing!
- the pool (heated but please bring warm towels for the kids as the air temperature looks set to be low-mid 20s), a trampoline and some table tennis for the kids (please be sure to keep a good eye on them)
- Mother Smooth dying to meet everyone!
- some cool funky tunes
- we’ll have some nibbles and wine / beer / champagne, but please feel free to BYO too as we’re never quite sure how many people will show up
…on that note, in previous years we’ve always had >100 people show up on an RSVP of 57 (max). This year we’ve got 98 RSVPs so that either tells me people are more onto the RSVPs this year, or that we’re going to have a very big turn out!! I’m thinking the latter (and slightly nervous now thinking about it!). I’m also thinking that given various events on Saturday (including the Saturday Stoic Squad Session - which will still go ahead with myself coaching), that the peak period to attend will be around 6.30pm to 8.30pm just FYI.
The key details are as follows:
- address = 145 Alfred Road, Mount Claremont
- time = 5.30/6pm to ~10pm
- parking (best to get an Uber / taxi) but otherwise = on street parking on Strickland Street (south side of Alfred Road might be best) or down at the Mount Claremont Oval (600m walk up the hill) or at Deli ChiChi / Mount Claremont Bakery
Can’t wait to see those of you who can make it then!
Consistency is Key!
As my old training / racing mate Dan Plews - the new Ironman World Record Holder (8h24m) and overall Age Group Champion at the Hawaii Ironman World Championships in Kona, 2018 - clearly claims in our new podcast (link here), “Consistency Is Key!” to Dan’s ability to finish 22nd overall (including all the professionals who raced) and to post the 5th fastest marathon split that day. He claims he did nothing special, other than post 22 consecutive weeks with a weekly TSS (Training Stress Score) load of over 1,000 points (which is special all in itself as those of you who use Training Peaks will know!). He states that a simple program, backed up by every session having a specific target but one which fits around his busy family and work schedule, was what produced his best performance in his 25 years of doing the sport. It was quite simply amazing and if you get chance to listen to the podcast, you’ll see just how impressed I was with my old mate from sunny Yorkshire who I’d been writing the swim component of his epic race for over the last 13 months.
We might not all be aiming for a world title (or even a world record!), but in speaking with every single high performing individual that I’ve ever been lucky enough to chat with, they all stipulate routine and consistency above all things. To that end then, I’d like to recognise the following Top-20 most consistent squad attendees for their efforts during 2018 - divide these numbers by 11 for their monthly attendances or 46 for their weekly visits, and I’m sure you’ll be impressed! Well done everyone!
Aitor will sadly be leaving us as of today to pursue a new career in SciFi writing back in his home country of Spain, but will join our Swim Smooth program in Alicante instead, to ensure he keeps docking his Red Mist card!
…and despite spending the first part of the year recovering from major ankle surgery, Cobie has been able to recover well, getting back into her routine and has been nudging up the attendance ranks in her own “no fuss, get on with it” way throughout the middle part of the year:
On the Ghost Town hunt in Kalgoorlie!
My Mum (Mother Smooth) is currently visiting and had always wanted to take a road trip to Kalgoorlie (of all places!) so that is where I’ve been this last weekend. We had a fabulous trip and thanks to the recommendations of Gavin C and Amanda N, we also tied in a trip out to Lake Ballard (cue spooky SciFi images below of the amazing sculptures on the salt flats) and the ghost town of Gwalia too (which made the news here today). We happened to be there for the historic reopening of WA’s oldest state hotel which hadn’t been accessed for over 54 years! Amazing. Whilst 800km east of Perth is a long way to travel, such a road trip with my Mum, step-Dad, Mish, the kids and Sandy (the dog) is not something I’ll forget in a hurry, so thanks for allowing me to take an impromptu break with the family - it was awesome (except for the $38 I paid for a double gin and tonic on the last night!!). Here’s some photos for your interest:
Monday, November 19, 2018
Saturday, November 10, 2018
"I'm going to JAIL!! And I need your help!!
On the 22nd of November I am going to be arrested and thrown into Jail and I need to raise bail money to be set free. This bail money will go directly to helping current families of the NICU and proving them with the much needed support they need at this time through the Helping Little Hands Charity.
As some of you might know this cause is very close to my families heart and mine as we have directly received much appreciated help from this charity.
Our twin boys Luke & Harvey had to be delivered at just 28 weeks gestation due to a rare condition called twin to twin transfusion syndrome. I remember when my wife Mel and I were first told about this, we were shocked and had no idea what road lied ahead for us. Even after having weeks and weeks of scans and conversations with the doctors and being told they could be early we really had no idea about the journey we were about to take. Absolutely nothing prepares you for the day when the doctors say your babies stand a better chance outside than in.
That began our 77 days of life at King Edward inside the NICU. 11 of the longest and hardest weeks we have ever endured as a family. Our boys were delivered barely over 1kg each and were the smallest most fragile little people you could ever imagine. Walking out of the hospital and leaving your precious babies behind is one of the most soul destroying moments a person can have.
We essentially had two families during that time. We had our two beautiful kids at home, who couldn't meet their new brothers and struggled with understanding on what was going on. And we had the boys fighting for their lives in the NICU, day in day out. We split our time as best we could, between home, work, and our new second home in the NICU with the boys, however a day did not pass where we didn't sit by those babies side hoping and praying that they would come home and join our family as soon as possible.
We were one of the luckier families who already had an amazing support network of family and friends to help, but it was still unbelievably hard. Without the additional help of Helping Little Hands charity And the amazing support the doctors, nurses and staff at King Edward, I'm honestly not sure we would have made it!
So please help me raise some
much needed funds to help this charity support others that are going through what we did, or worse.
https://www.mycause.com.au/page/190008/ross-robertson to place a donation."
Monday, October 15, 2018
It was pretty windy out there this weekend!
OK, so I wanted to take this opportunity now that the weather is supposedly warming up, to give you a bit of a scope out of the spring / summer season ahead and what we have in the pipeline. As this has been the first proper newsletter in some time, it’s a bit lengthy, but I’ve broken it down into seven sub-sections for your ease of reading.
In this newsletter we cover:
- Communication - how to stay abreast all the squad news, gossip, offers etc
- Rottnest Channel Swim - how to get your training groove on for this amazing event
- Permanent vs Guest squad spots - how to snag your chance to have a guaranteed place in the squad (includes a great description of each type of session we offer and what to expect from them)
- Squad “Christmas” Party - being held much earlier this year on Friday 23rd November (to allow Mother Smooth to meet you all!)
- Have a taste of what SwimRun is all about...
- Results from the 2018 Hawaii Ironman World Championships
- Our next 2 week Certified Coaches Course will take place 11-23 February 2019
These days there are many different mediums for staying in touch and up to speed with everything in the Swim Smooth Perth Squad. If you’re new to the squad, you might not be aware of all the great free information we’ve built our reputation on over the years, so here’s where to find us on t’internet:
- The Squad Blog (what you’re reading right now) goes out sporadically every few weeks and contains a good insight into the weeks and months ahead, i.e. details and results of CSS challenges, free sessions and giveaways, squad socials and the like. Perhaps you have got this link via a direct email? If so, this will have come via the database which holds your email address as a squad swimmer. I prefer to post these messages via the Blog so we can always refer back to them at http://swimsmoothperth.blogspot.com - but if you think you’re maybe not subscribed, you can do so here: https://goo.gl/jkLwt5
- Push Notifications (the little SMS-like notifications that temporarily pop up on your phone if you’re using the squad app) are used to inform you of certain critical changes to the program in real-time, i.e. cancellations due to the weather and the like. Of course, you need to have the app installed to receive these - that can be done here for iOS users and here for Android users
- Social Media updates for the squad (and Swim Smooth as a whole) can be found here: Facebook, Instagram, Twitter and YouTube
- Feel For The Water Blog (the main Swim Smooth blog) is our main resource of creative writing, interviews, tips and techniques that appear in your inbox once per week. Running since 2009 (and having not missed a single Friday post since that point), this is the world’s most prolific swimming blog with in excess of 130,000 subscribers around the world which we’re awfully proud about. To subscribe (and also get a free version of our animation Mr Smooth to guide you forwards) visit http://www.swimsmooth.com/info/mr-smooth-free-app - a chronological archive of some of these articles can be easily accessed at http://www.swimsmooth.com/blog - in fact, believe it or not, we wrote the entire best selling Swim Smooth book (see our 4.9 out of 5 star reviews on Amazon here) based upon responses to the blog between 2009 and 2012!
Rottnest Channel Swim:
Furthermore, my Top-10 Rottnest Channel Swim tips (from back in 2017) can still be viewed here: https://karmagroup.com/blog/ensuring-your-karma-resorts-rottnest-channel-swim/
The Saturday Stoic Sunrise Swim every Saturday at 530am would make the perfect compliment to your training week whether Solo, Duo or Team swimmer.
We will be announcing about ten 60-90 minute open water sessions taking place in the new year during the 9.30am squad slot (due to carnival clashes) in due course. Outside of these, my best recommendation is always to sign up for as many of the https://www.openwaterswimming.com.au/calendar/ series races as possible, where there’s a certain security in numbers and water safety above training by yourself in the ocean (if you catch my drift…).
Permanent Spots in the Squad:
Essentially, swimmers can access the squad sessions in one of two ways:
- As a PERMANENT squad member who has all their sessions permanently booked in for them (going forwards to August 2022 at this point). If you cannot make a session, simply OPT OUT up to 12 hours before the session to avoid being charged as though you were there. This option assures you a place in the squad every time you wish to use it.
- As a GUEST squad member who switches and changes their sessions according to their own schedule. You need to OPT IN every time you wish to attend a session, which can get a little tedious remembering to do this as you’ll also need to monitor any sessions that you are popped onto the wait list for. For those with very changeable work schedules though, this option often works very well.
All other sessions have limited availability of permanent spots - so please get in quick!
We have a special push going on at the moment for the two evening sessions (Tuesday and Thursday 615pm) which have been a little on the light side over the winter months - can you make them?
Here’s what you can expect in each of the types of session we offer (note this information is always in the description when you use the app to sign up for a place):
- Monday Pure Technique The "Stroke Refiner" Pure Technique Session is a great way to start your week. The emphasis here is on a lot of drill and technique work with plenty of recovery and tips on how to refine your individual stroke. A common mistake many people make is to rush through the exercises to try to keep up with others in the lane. Don't. There is no need to do this. Take your time and focus on YOU! Leave the ego in the change-room and give your stroke the TLC it deserves. You will need all your swim equipment for this session (fins, pull buoys, bands, paddles and a Tempo Trainer as well if you have). There will be very little emphasis on target times etc during this session to keep you focused primarily on your technique. You can expect feedback during this session on how to perform the nominated drills correctly and a few quick tips on your stroke.
- Tuesday Technique / Endurance The "Cheeky Tuesday" Technique / Endurance Session is a great way to blend a bit of focus in the warm-up and build-set on enhancing your efficiency in the water, with a little bit of low-level endurance work, typically at CSS +3s to +6s/100m and over interval distances of 100m to 1000m. It's not as challenging as the longer "Red Mist" Endurance Sessions, but is a still a cracking little work out! You can expect feedback during this session on how to perform the nominated drills correctly and a few quick tips on your stroke.
- Wednesday / Thursday / Friday CSS Development Ah, the classic "Fresh 'n' Fruity" CSS Development Session - my favourite. There's a reason why a third of our 12 weekly squad sessions are focused on this type of session and that's because it works. If you want to enhance your speed in the pool and the open water over distances greater than 400m, then this is the place to start. It's a very challenging session and relies upon you knowing your current CSS pace. If you don't, why not have a little tester using the information at www.swimsmooth.com/training.html Intervals will range from 50m to 500m and will all centre around CSS pace. There will be a few drills and a few little pick-up sprints as well, but the majority of the session is focused on you maintaining your speed as your stroke inevitably starts to breakdown. The best swimmers in the world are those who let this happen least. Join them by getting good at these sessions! You can expect feedback during this session on how well you are holding pace and motivation to keep pushing on when things are getting tough.
- Wednesday / Friday Red Mist Endurance The infamous "Red Mist" Long Endurance Session is one tough little session, and in fact there's nothing really "little" about it as swimmers will cover between 3800m and 5000m during the 90 minutes. This session is the stalwart of the Ironman and 70.3 brigade given how good it is at preparing you for these distances. Despite it being the hardest session of the week, it's also the most popular which goes to show that people recognise it's merits and are willing to lay themselves on the line each week to get the most out of themselves. Interval distances range from many multiple 50m on a very short cycle up to 2000m - yes, as an interval, not as a total! These sessions typically use an RM Cycle which is different to the standard CSS pace method of using the Tempo Trainer to beep every 20 to 30 seconds or so when you should be at the 25m mark. Instead the RM Cycle adds a small buffer per 50m which includes your rest period - push harder and get more rest but risk blowing up, or back off and risk making the intervals become one long continuous swim: you are in control - though it'll hardly feel like it at the time! These sessions also rarely feature a "proper" warm-up, encouraging you to get right into it from the word go like at the start of a race - can you hold off the "Red Mist" from descending on you when you're not feeling your best?! You can expect feedback during this session on how well you are sticking to your targets and a rather excited coach urging you on under pressure to add to the sense of stress - all as a simulation of a race, you understand?!
- Saturday Stoic Sunrise Swim The long-awaited "Saturday Sunrise Stoic Swim" is a 1.5hr pool training session which caters to a variety of swimmer's needs. What's more - you don't need to stay in for the entire session, but will need to be there for the start at least. Perhaps you're planning to compete in the next Rottnest Channel Swim or Port-2-Pub event, or fancy a dabble in a longer distance Triathlon or SwimRun competition and this is merely the aperitif to a longer Saturday brick session? Maybe you just love swimming so much that the idea of a challenging year-round Saturday morning swim is too good to miss to kick-start your weekend on the right note? Whatever your reason, if swimming on a Saturday morning floats your boat then we have the session right here for you. The session will draw a little from each of our 4 session swim types: a bit of technique, a bit of strength work, a bit of threshold development and some of the longer / challenging Red Mist endurance intervals too. The ratio of these parts will evolve over the course of the season to prepare you for the key events of the season, including some open water specific for those of you who recall our previous Saturday afternoon sessions. Basically, it's going to be a lot of fun and everything you'd expect from an engaging Swim Smooth session! We hope you can join us!
We pride ourselves on the unprecedented level of personal feedback and interaction during the squad sessions, but for a fuller analysis of your swimming and some individual stroke correction, please register your interested in our coveted 1-2-1 Video Analysis and Stroke Correction Sessions. Use code “bubblebubblebreathe” for 10% off your booking with Paul & Sally.
An Early Squad Christmas Party:
This year we’ll be running our 4th annual Christmas Party at 145 Alfred Road a little earlier than usual on Friday 23rd November to allow for Mother Smooth (my Mum and top Swim Smooth employee over the last 10 years!) to attend and meet you all. They’re visiting from the 12th to 30th November. My step-Dad has had a bit of a health scare recently, so I’d really love for them to have a great time whilst they’re here and meet as many of you as possible in a social environment!
- 145 Alfred Road, Mount Claremont
- Friday 23rd November from 530pm to 10pm+
- Please bring a plate of nibbles and / or some beverages (we will also provide some nosh and drinks as per previous years)
- Please bring your partners and / or kids as well as their bathers so that they can chill out in the pool (we also have a trampoline and ping pong table this year!)
- Please be sure to register within the squad app so that we can get an idea of how many people to expect
We’re really hoping that this date works for as many of you as possible as it’s by far and away my favourite night of the whole year and simply a chance for us to all let loose outside of the confines of simply following that black line!
Want to suffer like never before but do it tied to a mate? Read on…
So you saw me suffer like never before in the 2018 Ötillö World SwimRun Championships in Sweden last month and fancy a piece of the action yourself now hey? The good news is that you don’t have to swim and run your way over 75 gruelling kilometres in the Stockholm archipelago, no, now you can get a taste for it right here in Perth. On Saturday 24th November the Shoreline SwimRun event will take place over approximately 20km up at Sorrento and is well worth checking out via their Facebook page here. Notably, this is the morning after the Christmas Party, so that might be the perfect place to find a race partner and then rock up the following morning in the true spirit of SwimRun - to have a little fun in nature!
Results from the 2018 Hawaii Ironman World Championships:
We had 6 members of the Swim Smooth Perth Squad compete in the 40th edition of the Hawaii Ironman World Championships yesterday. The weather was reportedly the best it’s ever been in the race’s 40 year history, with the men’s record being beaten by nearly 10 minutes (Patrick Lange of Germany) and the women’s record by over 20 minutes (Daniela Ryf of Switzerland). Last year’s female runner-up was also this year’s second place getter as well after totally destroying the swim course record, Lucy Charles of the UK. If you’ve got access to our Guru, you can check out my analysis of Lucy’s stroke after we did some work with her back in 2016 in Mallorca - see here: https://www.swimsmooth.guru/video/c2m/lucy-charles/ - she’s a simply brilliant athlete!
Winning the men’s age group title (non-professional) by over 10 minutes and incidentally beating all but 21 of the top professional athletes in the world, was my old mate Dan Plews who smoked the course in 8h24m! Simply amazing for someone who holds down a full-time job too! Dan and I first raced together in 1994 and have been close friends ever since. In fact, when I was 16 and Dan was 13, he cheekily jumped on my wheel as I left T1 of my first open water triathlon in the lead and proceeded to draft off me the whole way…he wasn’t old enough to do the actual race so his Dad told him to just hop on his bike and see what he could do. I was flattered that he asked me to help him with his swim component of his Kona preparations some 25 years later! I can’t quite get my head around how brilliant of a result this is, and am very happy for him.
A massive congratulations for the following 6 squad swimmers for also raising the bar and showing us what can be done if we dream big enough - kudos Nick, Rob, Shane, Gary, Fiona and Brad:
Adam, Emma and myself will have our next group of 4 to 7 coaches vying for full Swim Smooth Certification on 11-23 February 2019 here in sunny Perth. This will be a great opportunity to seek some additional feedback from the coaches in training and to also possibly secure their assistance with your Rottnest Channel Swim team (either as a swimmer or on-board coach!).
Thanks for reading this far if you did!