Monday, September 28, 2009

Weekly Update

Dear Athletes

Hope you all had a fab long weekend - great weather on Sunday...shame about Monday?! I am sure summer is now just around the corner...

In this newsletter: 1) Coaches Training Day Report; 2) Open Water Sessions starting this week; 3) please confirm your attendance.


So, over the Long Weekend we had our inaugural Coaches Training Day at the Claremont Pool. The focus of this session was to provide an open "forum" for discussion of theory and practical issues surrounding the coaching of The TEAM CORE's various weekly sessions. As you know, the squad has grown tremendously in the last 6 months and in order to keep the focus on the quality of the coaching you receive, we wanted to bring the new coaches up to speed with our practices to ensure continuity in delivery. This was a real success and everyone really enjoyed and benefitted from the open communication that was generated during the day. We focused on the following issues in the session that ran from 9am to 3pm:

1. Discussion about what makes a good coach, e.g. empathy, experience, listening skills, technical skills, motivational etc.

2. How to develop the 3 key areas of an athletes preparation - 1) stroke technique development; 2) fitness development; 3) open water skills transfer.

3. The coach-athlete communication "pathway" and how this can be improved.

4. Video analysis and stroke correction of two of the coaches (Shelley Taylor-Smith and Bruce Allender) - very useful for peer review.

5. A full 1-2-1 Video Analysis and Stroke Correction session of Claremont Aussie Master's President, Gary Bradley.

6. Summary & Close including the structuring and allocation of each of the coaches to the various weekly sessions (this is still in progress - update to follow).

All up, 9 of us attended, including myself (running the course) and Adam Young (who you now all know and love!); Adam Mullens (former Australian swim team member); Nikki Rogers (1990 Commonwealth Games Bronze Medallist); Shelley-Taylor Smith (7-time world marathon swimming champion); Ceinwen Williams (5h30 Rottnest Solo swimmer 2009); Bruce Allender (from Melbourne and Victoria's Master's Swimming Coaching Director); Sandy Burt (Hale rowing coach and 2009 Australian Half Ironman Series winner); Nicola Holmes (uber-swimmer from lane 3 and Sports Nutritionist who has delivered several seminars on this topic for the team in the past). As you can see there really was a massive wealth of experience within the group and we are very proud to have this group who will be getting involved within the various sessions over the next 12 months. The session was sponsored by The Team Core and the various coaches will be attending 6 to 10 sessions each over the next 3 months in a work-shadowing capacity in order for you all to get to know and work with them.

It's an exciting time, especially going into summer!


Just a reminder that the new Thursday 6am and Saturday 8am open water swim sessions start this week (1st and 3rd October respectively). Both will be at Cottesloe Beach meeting on the grassy area to the north of the Indianna Tea Rooms and immediately opposite the pylon. We have a large number of you down to attend these sessions which should make them a lot of fun. The Thursday session will focus on the essentials of open water proficiency including sighting, drafting, turning and building your confidence in this unusual environment. Wetsuits are allowed but not compulsory. Charge is one tick off your PAYG card. The Saturday session will be a long continuous swim which I will join you for. We'll aim for 2 to 3km this week. There will be no charge for this swim as it will be essentially "uncoached". It might be a little cold for the next couple of weeks, but do pop along and give it a try!


Please take a brief moment to confirm your attendance at the following sessions:

I only need to hear from you if your are NOT planning on attending any of the sessions that you have put yourself down for. Please remember that this is still a very flexible system and I am not in anyway asking you to commit to every single session that you put your name down for - just trying to manage the numbers effectively without having to resort to a monthly or quarterly fee which means you then lose out on sessions which you do not attend. We don't want to do this and it appears that the majority of you really like the flexible Pay As You Go system. However, we have been averaging 18 to 21 swimmers for most sessions (~28 / 32 for the 4-lane swims on a Tuesday and Friday at 6.30am) of a suggested capacity of 24 swimmers (including 6 people on each "buffer" list). Both the Monday 7am and Wednesday 5.30am sessions have been a little quiet in their first couple of weeks despite appearing "full" on the list.

I have been reluctantly turning away a few of the swimmers who are down on the reserve lists for fear of being too busy. I know many of these guys and girls are "chomping at the bit" to attend, so please, please, please just let me know if you are down on a certain list incorrectly or if the slot just isn't working for you due to other commitments and if I can offer your spot to someone else instead. We just want to make the sessions run as best as possible for everyone, so please help us help you and keep this a fair and flexible system over the summer months.

Thanks in advance!


Friday, September 25, 2009

Cyclosportif and Swim Experiment

Dear Swimmers

It looks like the good weather is finally showing its face - wahey!


1) please note that both the 7am and 9.30am swim sessions on Monday 28th September will still proceed despite the Long Weekend - please pop along if you can!

2) please reply to this email if you are keen to partake in next Sunday's (4th Oct) 75km Pinjarra Cyclo Sportif event - we are looking to put in a team of 7 to 9 riders. Please let me know. Thanks!

I just wanted to follow-up this morning with our breathing experiment as hopefully you found it quite useful. The aim was to get you doing a series of 100s at your best maintainable pace just like any other Friday, BUT that you were "forced" into breathing some of these 100s just to the left, some just to the right, and some bilaterally. Everyone will invariably have a favoured side to breathe to unless you learnt from scratch to breathe bilaterally. Whilst you had a goal pace, you will have noticed that you were faster with one of these options over the other two. Which option was this? By how much?

What was great to see / hear was how many of you felt more balanced, symmetrical and "straighter" in the water when breathing bilaterally, even if you were maybe 1-2 seconds slower per 100m than breathing to your favoured side. Should you then scrap the idea of doing the majority of your training breathing bilaterally if unilateral breathing is faster? Surely as a coach I should be advising you to swim in the fastest manner possible? True, perhaps, but how many of you complained of feeling sore or fatigued on one side when breathing unilaterally? A lot. What does this show? You are not rotating well enough to that side.

Who felt they were out of breath breathing with any of the options? Maybe you were holding your breath?

If you are 1-2 seconds quicker per 100m breathing to one side only in the pool, but this ultimately causes you to swim less straight in the open water and therefore swim 3-4 seconds slower (or more!) per 100m than bilaterally, which is the preferred option and the one to pursue? If your need and frequency to sight and lift your head in the open water (which slows you down because you bum drops) is dictated by how confident you are of swimming straight, then surely it makes sense to pursue the option which gave you the best sensation of swimming straight in the pool (bilateral) even if it hasn't yet felt totally comfortable for you. It will only feel comfortable if you give it time and diligent practice. Old habits are hard to break, but they can be broken!

I am very pleased to say that the majority of you do now breathe bilaterally. For those of you who don't, why not give it a chance? What have you got to lose?


Wednesday, September 23, 2009

Weekend's Training and Sweat Study

Dear Athletes

Just a reminder of what we have in store for the weekend:

Friday morning - all 5.30am, 6.30am and 9.30am sessions as usual. I will be back down at the 4.30pm session for those who can make it.

Saturday morning - 6.30am ride from the Bell Tower. Recommended route down the Freeway bike path like 2 weeks ago. I will attempt to be there, however I have a bit on this weekend with our Coaches Training Day which is now on Sunday for the registered coaches.

Saturday lunchtime - 12.00pm swim session (not 1.00pm) due to water-polo - please pass this around.

Sunday - Coaches Training Day from 9am to 3pm



P.S Nic Holmes is currently recruiting athletes to be part of her PhD research looking at fluid and electrolyte losses in sweat. The research will take place in the heat chamber at Curtin University where you will to asked to cycle on a stationary bike for ~30 minutes while  sweat will be collected for analysis. Testing will take place every morning at 5.30am for the next 3 weeks, to be involved you would need to be able to come to Curtin on two seperate occasions for about 1 hour. At the completion of the study all athletes will me given a copy of their individual results. If interested or require further information please email Nic Holmes at Many Thanks!

Tuesday, September 22, 2009

Fancy a BIG challenge? English Channel Swim!

Dear Swimmers

Please be advised that we are now seeking applications for swimmers who have always dreamed of swimming the English Channel (all 38km of it in ~15 degree waters!). We tentatively discussed this with the Rottnest Solo group earlier this year, but we are now looking to make this a big aim for those daring few - me included!

We have teamed up with 7 time World Champion and 5 time winner of the mighty 48km Manhattan Island Marathon Swim, Shelley Taylor-Smith ( ) and Philip Rush ( ) the current world record holder for two and three-way crossings of the Channel - amazing stuff! I'm sure you'd agree that this combination will quite literally be world class! Together we hope to build a really strong training group for this event in true "TEAM CORE" style!

We plan to do the Channel in July / August 2011. We are seeking expressions of interest from within the squad (or friends) at this stage as boats / skippers will need to be booked well in advance (i.e. very soon!)...not to mention to amount of training required!

One of our squad members, Mark Scanlon, has been confirmed for an attempt on the Channel in 2010 and we know he will pave the way for a successful trip for the rest of us a year later!

So, if you're keen, drop me an email back by replying to this message and we'll arrange to meet up as a group for a casual meeting to start proceedings, discuss travel and event costs and logistics etc in the next fortnight.

Exciting stuff!



Wednesday, September 16, 2009

Weekend's Activities

Dear Athletes

A couple of reminders about sessions this weekend:

  • Friday 5.30am, 6.30am and 9.30am swims all on as normal - hope you can attend. I've got a good one on the books for you this week!
  • Friday 4.30pm swim - I won't be there this week unfortunately as I am the wedding photographer for our "Good Shepherd" Glen Blackwell at his wedding to the lovely Anita Smith down in Busselton this week. Horay for Glen! I will leave a session on the board of the swim box for those of you who would like to attend and follow the session. Please just roll the box back when you are done!
  • Saturday 6.30am ride - will it ever be dry again on a Saturday morning?? Many of you are either a) down south at Glen's wedding or b) doing the Fremantle Half Marathon on Sunday. My suggestion is a Round the River ride (loop of 55km) but include a couple of laps in Kings Park to finish off for good measure! Enjoy!
  • Saturday 12.00pm swim - remember, due to the A-Grade waterpolo competition this Saturday it has been necessary to bring the squad swim session forward by one hour to 12pm. Please try to be prompt as we will be out bang on 1.00pm. Adam will take this session and it will be fun, FUN, FUN! This same time will apply next Saturday also (I will remind you!). Please pass this info around to anyone you know who might not be on the email list - thank you!

Looking forward to next week, don't forget the new Monday morning 7.00am "Kick Start" swim session is now running, as is the new Wednesday morning 5.30am "Solid As..." swim session - both of which were well attended and lots of fun this week. Hope you can attend!

That's it for me, see you Friday morning and if not, have a great weekend!



Tuesday, September 15, 2009

New Wednesday Swim

Dear Athletes

Just a quick reminder that our new 530 am swim on a Wednesday at
Claremont Pool starts tomorrow for those who can make it or want to
give it a try. Hope to see you then.



Wednesday, September 9, 2009

Friday Afternoon Swim & Saturday Ride

Dear Athletes

Sorry for the profusion of emails this week - must be that time of year when people are getting out of their winter gear and thinking about getting fit for summer. Now all we need is the good weather!

OK, first, Friday afternoon swim. We have about 10 or 12 of you down for this. This will be an uncoached and effectively free swim. I'll be in the water with you. This is aimed specifically at Rottnest DUO and SOLO swimmers, but anyone can attend. Focus will normally be on some longer sets building endurance but might be slightly shorter this week. The session will be on the board. I'll aim to be there to start at 430pm. We'll see how feasible this is for most of you to attend post-work and if its too early and from your feedback we'll make it a touch later if necessary. The hope is that with a good following we'll go for a pizza and drinks afterwards each week if that proves to be a good idea for everyone.

Next, Saturday Ride. Meet at the Bell Tower at 6.30am for a 70 or 95km ride down the Freeway and back up through Fremantle. A good little ride this one the last time we did it. Those taking the shorter route will cut off at Russell Road. Here's the map: A good ride for those doing the World Long Course or even Busso IM. Plan will be to ride as a group down to Mt Henry Bridge and then split into smaller sub-groups as ability level dictates.

Lastly, Saturday swim session is on at 1pm this week as normal. Cheers!


P.S I'm planning on compiling a list of suggested weekly structures for you to all use free of charge which will target the question "which sessions do you recommend that I do from the Squad and which should I do by myself and what should these be?" Think of them as a basic outline for what you should be doing. These will cover these race build-ups:

  • Rottnest TEAM, DUO or SOLO and the recommended week-by-week progression in distance goals for this.
  • Sprint, Olympic Distance, Half Ironman and Ironman triathlon.
  • The "Weekend Warrior" - i.e. a minimal commitment to training for those who just want to keep fit with a bit of cross-training across all 3 sports.

Hope these help you! It will be another email in your inbox mind! LOL! ;-)

Tuesday, September 8, 2009

Another challenge to tempt you...

Dear Athletes

Following on from yesterday's ideas for a few events to look at over the summer, don't forget we'll also be running a 10km Relay Event at Claremont Pool on Sunday 18th October from 10am to 1pm. The event is open to teams of 4 to 8 swimmers each swimming repetitive legs in multiples of 100m. We'll also be adding a SOLO event for up to 6 swimmers keen enough to try a straight 10km swim in the pool (entry fee will be much reduced for solo swimmers - watch this space for details). Details and registration are here:

Finally, we still have a few remaining places for our new 5.30am Wednesday morning swim, starting next week. This will run alongside the current 5.50am cycle ride. The aim is to meet at 5.30am, spend 15 mins stretching (or for those who want to spend that time in the pool, they can) and then do a good solid swim set focussing on intervals of 200 to 500m (the ones that get you really fit!). The session will finish at 7am, but for those who need to be away earlier there is flexibility to do this as well - no problemo! Let me know if you want to add this to your schedule and even swap from one of the other sessions.



Set yourself a goal this summer!

Dear Athletes

Now that we have kicked off our summer training program and also taken on our 150th athlete (wahoo!), I thought it prudent to set a couple of goals for the squad and for each of you as individuals over the next 3 months leading into the "true" summer. Many of the major organisations are now posting out their race calendars, so if you feel like a dabble in a couple of the swimming and triathlon events this year, why not check them out at:

Many of you appear happy enough to be working on your technique and keeping fit and this is great, but I always feel its worth having a couple of small goals to aim for to keep you on your toes. It is often very hard to set out subjective goals such as "I want to feel smoother in the water" - if you do achieve this, great, but it is often very motivating to know that you are also getting a little quicker too. Testing yourself objectively with the occasional time trial is the best way to do this. Some of you will get very much into this, others might say "pah! whatever!" and that's OK, our little plan is designed to be taken with a pinch of salt as it were. Please check out the list at:

...what I have aimed to do is identify an estimated 100m interval time that you are each capable of currently (yes, for all 150 of you! phew!). This would be for a set of say 12 to 15 x 100m with ~20s rest aiming to hold your best maintainable time. What I have then done is set you a target 100m pace to be able to hold within 6 to 8 weeks time (assuming consistency in your training), a goal 400m time to be achieved by the final week in October, a goal 1000m time to be able to do by the middle of November and a goal 3000m time to be able to do by the end of November. These are all educated estimates, but it will be interesting to see how you all fair with this task. 

Don't get me wrong, this is not designed to put you on the spot and make you worry about numbers etc, simply to give you a bit of impetus for your training going forwards. 

If you have a "?" by your name I either haven't seen you for a while, you've just started with us or you've maybe been sick / injured recently.

Finally, as we've added so many new swim sessions recently, I thought it would also be good to show you how we plan to structure these sessions for intensity, volume and technique content so you have a rough idea of what to expect and also which sessions will be similar or the same. I've also pencilled in a few rough coach allocations in there as well. These are very rough at this stage and will be discussed in depth with the coaches during our Coaching Training Day which has been confirmed now for the 26th September - exciting stuff! Here's the link:

Finally, the latest Confirmed Squad List is now available at please check your details. If you are on any of the lists incorrectly and potentially blocking out a spot for someone else, please let me know as soon as you can. Many thanks. There are still 10 spots remaining for our new Wednesday morning swim session at 5.30am starting on the 16th September - please get back to me asap if you would like to reserve a spot in that session OR if you'd like to swap one of your current choices over to this session.

Have a great week!

Kind regards


Paul Newsome
Head Coach
World Class Coaching in Your Language!
Tel. +61 (0) 431 540 980

Friday, September 4, 2009

New Schedule Starting on Monday!

Dear Athletes

Please be advised that the new Summer Training Program as outlined at goes into effect as of Monday 7th September, including the addition of our new Monday morning 7am swim squad session. Hope you can make it!

Also, we have had good news in the last 10 minutes that we have been able to add a new Wednesday morning 5.30am to 7.00am squad swim session that will run alongside the current 5.50am cycle ride. This session will be focused on those swimmers wanting to add another early morning swim. It will feature 15mins of dryland exercises (stretching etc) and then an extended swim session focusing on middle-distance intervals of 200 to 500m. If you want a bit of an endurance boost, this could be for you. As ever, this squad is restricted to 24 swimmers and will be selected purely on a first-come, best-dressed basis. To reserve your place, please simply reply to this email with "Please add me to the 5.30am Wednesday Swim Session!" and I'll let you know if you've been successful in securing a spot. We aim to start this session on the 16th September subject to demand.

Finally, kick-off for our two openwater sessions (Thursdays at 6am and Saturdays at 8am) will be on the 1st and 3rd October respectively, so brush off those wetsuits, summer is almost here!



P.S Back to bed now to shake off this Man Cold that I've been suffering with the last few days. If you don't know what I'm talking about, please see (its VERY serious!).

Wednesday, September 2, 2009

Saturday Ride

Dear Athletes
This Saturday we'll meet at the usual Bell Tower spot at 6.30am and do this 64km loop: into the hills. Should be back by 9.00am latest.
It was supposed to be the Death Valley ride (130km) but I've decided to postpone this until either next week or a little further down the line because:
  1. It looks like crummy weather on Saturday (cold and wet)
  2. Not sure how many of us are up to 130km given the recent run of bad (ish) weather
  3. I think I'm coming down with the dreaded Man-flu and might not be able to handle being out on the bike that long!
Hope to see you there!

P.S Saturday swim is at 1pm this week as usual!

Tuesday, September 1, 2009

Hawaii 5-0 and Saturday Swimming

IMPORTANT NOTE: Saturday Swim Sessions - change of time to 12pm for 6 dates - please note!

On the following Saturdays in September through November, it has been necessary to bring the Saturday afternoon squad swim session forward by 1 hour due to water-polo fixtures at the pool. I sincerely apologise for the inconvenience and hope you are still able to attend. These are the dates (I shall email out on the Wednesday prior to each one as a reminder, but please make a note for your diaries):

1.                   19/09
2.                   26/09
3.                   17/10
4.                   31/10
5.                   07/11
6.                   28/11

Dear Athletes

We have some very special news for you today...Rob Newman who trains with the group in the 9.30am Monday, Wednesday and Friday swim sessions has successfully qualified for the Hawaii Ironman on the 10th October 2009. Rob has had his fair share of ups and downs in the lead-up to this event, starting off with a long string of niggling injuries which look set to prevent him from even competing at the qualifying event over in Penticton, Canada this last weekend. 

Showing an amazing degree of consistency and perseverance in his training regime, Rob got himself to the start line at the weekend. Rob competed in the very competitive 45-49 yr category with 313 athletes in his age group all fighting for just a few places to go to Kona. Exiting the water after 3.8km in 90th place Rob knew he had some work today, but rather than lose his head, worked steadily through the field to finish the 180km in 36th place and then ran a brilliant 3:37 marathon in very tough conditions to work his way up to 9th place. A tremendous result! Rob actually finished 142nd out of 2595 athletes who had qualified just to race Ironman Canada and finished in a very commendable 10:25. Rob said of the race:

"I have qualified, which is awesome.  I am very excited.  Thanks for all of your support - you got me there.
My big lesson out of yesterday is "never give up".  I thought I had blown the race after my swim, which was quite slow.  I also thought I had really blown when I was 36th off the bike and I felt like crap at the start of the run.  But I hung in there and came good for most of the run.  Once I started passing people, I knew I had a chance.  But 9th was a real surprise when I finished. 
I have celebrated with pizza and beer :-)"

Well done Rob - we're all very impressed with your effort! Coincidentally this will be Rob's first ever assault on the Kona World Championships and also the first athlete I have personally coached in entirety right the way through to the we're both chuffed to bits at the moment!