Wednesday, October 28, 2009

Apology and Weekend's Training

Dear Swimmers

Firstly, sincerest apologies to those of you who turned up at 5.30am to swim on Wednesday 28th October for our new morning swim. As explained, the Duty Manager rostered for this shift did not turn up and as such the pool couldn't be opened until 6.05am. Unfortunately we had no way of accurately knowing just how long this wait would be and as such I made the call to cancel the swim and offer to take us down to Cottesloe Beach for a free open water swim instead (where it was very rough!!). This incident was an unfortunate start to many of your days and I can only apologise and pass on the Centre Manager's sincere apologies also. 

Also regarding the pool, there is currently a heating issue which is being investigated and work is due to commence (hopefully) early next week to rectify this. The temperature is currently hovering at a brisk 24.5 degrees which many of you have commented on is "fresh" to begin with but actually really nice to train (hard) in. Hope this doesn't put you off but definitely come attired with a nice warm towel to greet you after the session!


Saturday - 6am = ride / run from Cottesloe Beach Car Park. This will be a 15 mins easy warm-up, 1hr hard riding (or as hard as you wish to go), followed by a 15 to 20 mins run off the bike for those keen.

12pm squad swim session - early this week and next due to waterpolo competitions.

Sunday - Rockingham Open Water Series race - 1.25km, 2.5km, 5km. Details at



Tuesday, October 27, 2009

Photos from the race and Thursday open water swim

Dear All

Just two quick ones today:

  1. Photos from the race expertly delivered by Adam can now be seen at Adam was experimenting with some arty slow shutter-speeds which look kind of cool. See what you think!
  2. Don't forget, 6am Thursday morning, the place to be is Cottesloe Beach for our open water skills swim session. Lots of fun. Suitable for all - plus, its definitely warming up out there!!!



Sunday, October 25, 2009

Long Course World Championships - Results

Dear All

Well the wind blew hard and it was hot, hot, hot - exactly as I predicted 6 months ago!! Ok, enough about my mystical future-predicting skills ;-) on to the results!

Members of the TEAM who had been training with us for anything from regular swim squad sessions to full Long Course triathlon programs performed admirably in the conditions. In all, 6 athletes scooped up Top-5 finishing positions in their age groups. This is a great result! 

I was particularly inspired by Sandy Crowe's run up to 5th place, Sally Scaffidi's 1st place out of the water, Nat Laurendeau's dominance on the bike leg and Anne Murrell's 5th place in her age-group despite being unsure as to whether she should race or not! Well done to everyone!! I thoroughly enjoyed supporting you out there!

You can see their results here:

And the full unabridged results here:

I have to give a quick shout out to my very good friends and former training partners Jodie Swallow and Daniel Plews who had sensational races! As predicted Jodie totally annihilated the field beating former Ironman WA Champion Rebecca Keat by over 11 minutes and actually lapped one of the race favourites (Pip Taylor) on the run course. Not bad on a 5km lap I think you'll agree! This result was really pleasing and I am so happy for Jodie that she has claimed her first senior World Title. Well done. Dan Plews took a bronze in his age-group which was doubly special as his Dad also scooped up a bronze in his 55-59 age-group too!



Saturday, October 24, 2009

Fisher Photography Exhibition for Heart Swim Week

Dear Team

Masters Water Polo Player and multi-award winning professional photographer, Geoff Fisher, is hosting a photographic exhibition, entitled 'Rising to the Challenge,' featuring local swimmers and his photographic art. The exhibition is to be held at Challenge Stadium from Friday 6th November 2009 to Sunday 15th November 2009.
The exhibition will coincide with Heart Swim week being held at Challenge. The title, 'Rising to the Challenge,' and the link to the Heart Swim is based on Geoff's own journey from serious heart-related illness. In early June this year the super fit veteran water polo player was struck down by a virus that damaged his heart and left him near death on the pool-deck at Challenge. Subsequent blood-clot induced paralysis has seen Geoff journey through hospitals, rehabilitation, wheelchairs, and now crutches on his long road back to the pool.

Profits from the exhibition have been pledged to the Heart & Lung Transplant Foundation to aid the work championed by cardiothorasic surgeon and masters water polo player, Dr Rob Larbalestier. Rob, a long-time friend and team mate of Geoff, was swimming at Challenge with Geoff when Geoff's heart stopped. Rob literally saved his life.

Ticket numbers to the Friday evening function Nov 6 are limited so please respond quickly by contacting Fisher Photography on 9381 2233. You can purchase over the phone or drop in to the studio at 294 Hay St. Subiaco.

Thanks to Jeremy for sending this through. Check out some of the images here.



Thursday, October 22, 2009

Training / Racing this weekend

Dear Crew

This weekend sees the City of Perth being over-run by some of the world's best triathletes in the form of the ITU Triathlon Long Distance World Championships held right here, down at Langley Park and utilising the Freeway and Mounts Bay Road area. It will be a spectacular event to watch, so I suggest you try and make it down. The event consists of a 3km swim, an 80km bike ride and a 20km run to finish. Racing starts from 8am on Sunday down by the Barrack Street Jetty. Full details here:

Racing from the squad will be (good luck crew!):

40-44 Mens

  • Matt Illingworth

45-49 Mens

  • Mike Bowles
  • Sandy Burt ( he back? Judging by the Aquathlon today - maybe?! Good on you Sandy!)

50-54 Mens

  • David Laidlaw
  • Alan Nicholls

60-64 Mens

  • Graham Crocker

25-29 Womens

  • Lisa Delaurentis
  • Sandy Crowe

30-34 Womens

  • Sarah Thomson

40-44 Womens

  • Judi Clemie
  • Suzanne Laidlaw
  • Donna Todesco
  • Sally Scaffidi

45-49 Womens

  • Desiree Silva

55-59 Womens

  • Anne Murrell

We'll also be batting for three British athletes with whom I've shared many a hotel-room whilst on training camps / races etc: Jodie Swallow, Leanda Cave and Daniel Plews - all will be right up there at the pointy end of the PRO field. Give them a shout for me!

OK, so back to the training for us mere mortals then:


6am - ride from Cottesloe Beach Car Park - just under 2hrs at a good old pace on a looped course.

8am - swim from Cottesloe Beach - aim for 3 to 5km for those doing the Rottnest DUO / SOLO swim.

1pm - squad swim at Claremont Pool (please note - 1pm)

Rottnest Solo / Duo Swimmers and those racing triathlons this season:

I've been promising to get this information out to you for a good few weeks now and I'm nearly there - promise!! First up, here's my pick of the races that I would recommend this season on a per-discipline-basis. I'm not suggesting you have to do all of them - just to help you plan: 

The final Rottnest Program (adjusted for this Calendar and our new timetable) is not quite complete yet, but as inspiration for some benchmarks for where you should be aiming as you step up your volume, please see last year's program as a rough guide:

I'm busy writing a more detailed plan for 2009/10 with some tips on what we learnt last year for those doing it this year as solo or duo swimmers which will be very useful for you. Please bare with me - I've been very busy of late (yeah, that old chestnut!). Here's one thing to get you started though - for those doing the Solo swim, aim to do a 2km continuous swim in the pool this week. Do this at a pace which you believe you could go for 5km at currently. Take the time and work out your 100m pace, i.e. 1:45 per 100m. We'll then use this as your Endurance Pace as we develop your ability to swim for ever-increasing distances. This figure is very important, so please make sure you get chance to do this.

OK, see you over the weekend!


Wednesday, October 21, 2009

Blue Seventy Suits Permitted at Rottnest Channel Swim 2010

Thursday Morning Open Water Swim

Business as usual tomorrow morning down at Cottesloe Beach. Meeting at
6am on the grass in front of the pylon. See you there for a fun open
water skills session. Please remember your PAYG session card. Thanks
in advance!



Monday, October 19, 2009

Tony, Lotti and Bill mix it up at the World Masters!

Dear Swimmers

Whilst some of us were wondering how many 100m intervals we had left to complete the 10,000m relay challenge on Sunday, Tony and Loretta Van Merwyk, together with Bill Moody, were whooping it up at the World Masters Swimming Championships in Sydney.

Tony and Lotti entered the 50m, 100m, 200m and 400m freestyle events, with Bill entering the sprint events of 50m and 100m. They had some impressive results (see below). Tony said that for him and Lotti (having competed here once before), that they are now quicker than they were 7 years ago - which is no mean fete! Well done. 

Bill took up the challenge following a slight bit of goading from myself after a Friday morning Fresh & Fruity session where he blew away everyone in the pool over a 50m sprint, including the super-fish in lane 3 who mostly have long swimming backgrounds. 

The World Masters championships are a great event to get involved in. In 2013 they will be held in Turin which will be an amazing venue! Tony said the only draw-back was the fact that they had to do the YMCA and Macarena on the pool-deck in celebration! Very funny!!

Loretta Van Merwyk

  • 50m = 30.3
  • 100m = 1:07
  • 200m = 2:29
  • 400m = 5:13 (massive PB and 5th in her age category!!)

Tony Van Merwyk

  • 50m = 30.2 (got to get 0.1s over the missus!)
  • 100m = 1:06
  • 200m = 2:33
  • 400m = 5:33

Bill Moody

  • 50m = 32.0
  • 100m = 1:12

Well done guys!!

Sunday, October 18, 2009

10km Relay Challenge - THE RESULTS!!

Dear Swimmers

Some fine form yesterday at the inaugural Claremont Pool 10KM Team Relay Challenge as displayed here by these two fine of this year's event from a team of 2009's Rottnest Solo-ists aptly named "Just Keep Swimming!"

The format of the day was for the 8 teams of between 4 and 8 swimmers to a team to complete a total distance of 10KM in as fast a time as possible. All teams had to nominate an estimated finish time and there were awards for a) Fastest Overall; b) Best Dressed / Supported; and c) Closest to Estimated Time.

Taking out line honours were "Just Keep Swimming" in a total time of 2:12:26 which is a fantastic result, averaging well under 1:18s per 100m for 100 x 100m! They didn't have it all their own way though as team "Bar 120" led by Justin Palmer were off to a flying start in the first 1500m, eventually finishing 2nd in 2:17:00. In third place were this year's Best Dressed Team - the "Somerset Super Seals" led by gun water-polo player Karlee Canon. The girls were superbly dressed as super-heroes and finished in 2:25:34. Next in were the "Thorns and 2 Roses" made-up of Trevor, Stuart (the Roses) and Renee and Olivia (the Thorns!) who finished in 2:32:22 and were within 1:30 of their estimated time of 2:31:00 - nice pacing skills!

There was some hot rivalry between teams in 5th & 6th (the "Comodo Dragons" & the "Slappers) and also 7th & 8th (the "Snails" & the "Slugs"). The Dragons were the boys / husbands team and the Slappers were the girls / wives team. It was close between these two teams with the boys finishing just over 2:35:00 and the girls at just over 2:39:00 (awaiting confirmed results...!). The Snails and the Slugs fought it out literally within 2m of each other for the first 7km with the Slugs eventually pulling ahead and finishing 7th in exactly 2:50:00 with the Snails not too far behind in 2:54:00 and a good 5-mins quicker than they thought they'd be!

We've had some very interesting photos through from the day and these can be seen here:

Thanks to Claremont Pool and their staff for hosting the event and to Adam, Nat and Victoria for the photos! Here's to next year!!!



Thursday, October 15, 2009

Weekend Training

Dear Athletes

This is the plan for the weekend:

Friday - all sessions as normal including the new 430pm session.

Saturday - meet at the slightly earlier time of 6am in cott beach car
park for a spirited 2hr ride followed by a dip in the ocean (subject
to warnings) at 8am. Would love for you to then join us at the John St
Cafe for a breakfast celebration for Trevors 55th birthday at ~915am.

Squad swim is on at 12pm this week due to waterpolo comp.

Sunday - Team Relay Competition at Claremont Pool. Registration and
warm up at 930am for a 10am start. BBQ from 1230pm.

Hope to see you then!



Wednesday, October 14, 2009

Thursday Morning Ocean Swim Cancelled this week!

Dear Swimmers

Please be advised that due to the proximity of the two large great white sharks feeding on the whale carcass off Floreat beach yesterday, we have made the decision to cancel tomorrow's Open Water swim session at Cottesloe Beach (6am). We plan to maintain the swim on Saturday at 8am (subject to warnings and advice from the fisheries) and will return to the Thursday 6am session next week (watch for an update on this). Thanks for your support in this matter!



Seeking female swimmer for Anaconda event!

Dear Swimmers

Any of you ladies keen on joining a strong team for the Anaconda event down in August on the weekend of the 7th/8th November? A team including a former Avon Descent winner is short of a swimmer. You'd need to be able to swim 1.8km and also do a 1.8km beach run. Accommodation is provided. Please contact if you can!



Tuesday, October 13, 2009

Mark finishes 17th at Bathurst

Dear Athletes

It's that time of year when we're starting to post out numerous reports of different athlete's results at different multisport events around the country and further afield. Whilst you wouldn't necessarily refer to V8 Supercars as multisport racing, it does require an exceptional level of endurance, skill and mental acuity to perform well in. We are very proud at The TEAM CORE to have one of the best up and coming V8 Supercar drivers in Australia as part of the squad in driver Mark McNally.

Last February, Mark McNally (whom many of you now know who swims at 5.30am on a Tuesday and Friday in Lane 1 when he's in town) joined the squad to build his fitness and endurance for his V8 goals and this last weekend had the chance to perform at the highest level at the Supercheap Auto Bathurst 1000 at Mount Panorama. Running as high as fourth overall at stages in the event, it certainly provided exciting watching for those of us who know Mark. Andrew Holmes (also of Lane 1) said:

"A bit of drama in the last handful of laps pushed them down to 17th overall, but this is a fabulous result. I know I was excited!!"

Mark said of the race:

"The team did an unreal job, I'm really happy with them. Oscar did a great job with the strategy to keep us on the lead lap and a great position, which is probably a surprise for a lot of people that we were running as high as fourth."

Full details of the race can be seen at:

From all of us here Mark - well done!!

Monday, October 12, 2009

Results in from Kona

Dear Athletes

Hope you all had a great weekend. Whilst some of us were grumbling about the rain (again!) over the weekend, 6 guys from the squad were doing it tough over in Kona at the Hawaiian Ironman at the weekend. It certainly looked to be a tough day out there and especially the swim and run seemed to knock a few people around a bit. Our local Ironman "guru" (Mr Sandy Burt) who was busy analysing all the results as they were happening in real time believed that whilst the conditions were reported to be very windy on the bike, the times didn't necessarily show this with slow bike rides, but tended to manifest themselves with people struggling a little more on the run this time around.

We await full race reports from the guys when they arrive back, but for now, big congratulations to Ben, Todd, Ron, Matt, John and Rob for getting through the day - I am in awe at your tenacity chaps and would love to one day (one day) be out there at that event!



Friday, October 9, 2009

The painful road from 12:18 to 9:46 Ironman!

Dear Athletes

Today I'd like to share with you Des Adkinson's race report from the recent Challenge Barcelona event - an Ironman distance event in the picturesque city of Barcelona.

I have been coaching Des since 2007 and is one of the athletes that I coach remotely over in the UK using our sophisticated Training Peaks software platform. To be efficient in this manner, communication is essential and Des is extremely good at keeping me informed with regular updates and uploading his data files from his power meter and polar HRM. Whilst some think this is a little "geeky", it was one of the primary reasons why Des was able to knock off a whopping 2.5hrs off his Ironman P.B to record a brilliant 9:46 at the Ironman event!

At 43 years of age, this will ensure that Des has a very realistic shot at going to Kona next year. It wasn't all "plain sailing" though, and whilst Des's report is a little long, it is incredibly detailed and thought-provoking and might just be the sort of thing you need to read if you're considering an Ironman in the next year or so, or even if you're just interested in the science behind what goes into the programs I write.

I've read many a race report over the years, but I'd suggest that this is easily one of the best I have ever read from an "information to others" perspective in particular.

Thanks Des - we're very proud of you! ;-)



Thursday, October 8, 2009

Training this weekend

Dear Athletes

Training this weekend looks like this:

Friday - usual 5.30, 6.30 and 9.30am sessions all in operation as well as the 4.30pm Friday afternoon session as well.

Saturday - meet at Cottesloe Beach Car Park ready to leave at 6.30am for a 1.5hr tempo ride up the coast before a quick transition to meet the crew for a swim at 8.00am. No charge for these two sessions. Squad swim at the pool is on again at 1.00pm this Saturday (usual fee applies).

Sunday - not a huge amount of local racing on this weekend, but Carl A, Mel C, Rob B and Helen B are all taking part in the Great Southern Adventure Race this weekend which we'll hear a report back from next week. Sounds exciting!

Also, we have Ron Sammut, Rob Newman, John Annear, Ben Curetin, Todd Skipworth and Matt Illingworth all racing at the Hawaiian Ironman on Saturday too - a monster event!! Let's wish them luck...6 from the squad at Kona - wow guys, you've done well!!!



P.S Great article here posted to me by TEAM CORE Ironman WA prospect and rapidly rising star of 5.30am Lane 1, Dan Timbers: - thanks Dan - great stuff!

P.P.S News just in from Mel C re. the Great Southern race:

Helen, Rob, Carl and I are heading down to Denmark to do the Mountain Designs Great Southern Adventure Race – it’s a 2 day event with 13 stages covering approx 200kms with running, mountain biking, ocean and river paddling, navigation and rope work (no swimming which explains why you haven’t seen us in the pool much over the last few months!). We’re in two separate teams – Helen and myself have joined with Janet and Keira Macfarlane (she of the there and back Rotto crossing in some crazy fast time), and Carl and Rob are joining two guys we don’t know so well called Brett and Dave from Perth’s southern suburbs. The course we’ll be following is a secret until Friday evening when we’ll receive our course maps and handbooks. There are four people in each team but only three have to do each leg so there is always someone sitting out helping our support crew (Judy Young and Sarah Kepert – names you know well). Apparently you can get updates on our progress over the weekend at And if you can keep your fingers crossed for the ocean to be calmer than the 3m+ swells they’re predicting for Sunday – we’d be most appreciative! Hopefully we’ll all return in one piece and you’ll see us back in the pool late next week (well, Helen will be in the UK but hopefully I’ll be back in the pool next Friday).

Polite Reminder!

Dear Athletes

Another chilly one this morning down at Cottesloe, but a few more faces. This session will really get cranking in a few weeks time so please try and get down if you can.

Just a quick (and polite) one today. Please, please, please can I just request that you all make a real effort to have your PAYG session cards with you at EVERY applicable session. 95% of you are great at this and I thank you in advance for your support on this front. With the addition of several new coaches who will start to be involved with the various squad sessions, it is absolutely imperative that each of you have your cards with you at every session as it becomes an increasingly difficult administrative task to keep a track on who owes a couple of ticks on their cards here and there.

You know me, I'm usually like "yeah, no worries!" but now with the larger numbers there's only so much my poor old memory cells can take without resorting to using a more formal register which then detracts from the quality of the coaching due to time wasted.

Sorry to be a pain, but if you could ensure that you have your cards with you and ready to be ticked BEFORE each session, that would be much appreciated!

Anyone needing a new card can order one here:



Tuesday, October 6, 2009

Final Call for 10k Relay Swimmers

Dear Swimmers

I'm loving the sunshine this week - top stuff - finally!!

This is just a quick "final call" for any teams keen on entering next Sunday (18th October) 10km Relay Challenge at Claremont Pool. Swimmers can compete in teams of 4 to 8 and can rotate as often or as little as they like (in multiples of 100m) with not every swimmer in the team needing to cover as much distance as the others. It is designed to be a fun, social event for a range of abilities. We have a couple of solo swimmers whom have entered the event and there are still places available in this discipline as well.

Cost = $150 for teams inc. a post-race BBQ and $25 for solo swimmers. Registration will be from 9.30am with the start at 10.00am. I do hope you can make it. Anyone keen on joining a "Coaches Team" with myself and Adam, please let me know (you don't need to be a coach!!). Entries can be made at Closing date is Wednesday 14th October at 5pm.

Also, this was emailed to me by Paul Downie - well worth a listen for those of you into your ocean swimming this season:

Finally, I am still working hard on trying to get out some training templates for those of you doing the Rottnest DUO and SOLO swims including guidelines on progressive distances etc and also for those of you new to triathlon wondering how best to structure your week. We hope to return to some more structured bike and run sessions also over the next couple of weeks now that the weather is getting better and now that we've successfully run our Coaches Training Day. Thanks for your patience during this busy planning period!



Thursday, October 1, 2009

Training this Weekend

Dear Swimmers

Hope you are all well - is summer here yet? Who knows?!

Here's a quick breakdown of what's on offer this weekend for training:

Friday (pm) - 4.30pm swim. I should be there with a session on the board (just depends how many show bags little Jackson wants me to carry back from the Royal Show!) - if not, please follow the session and have a good one!

Saturday (am) - 6.30am cycle ride leaving from the Bell Tower. We also have the 8.00am swim from Cottesloe Beach this week as well. This will be a long continuous swim of between 1600 and 3000m. Both sessions are free to attend. I'm feeling quite amped for a bit of triathlon training myself at the moment, so my suggestion for those keen is for us to meet at 6.30am for a ride, ride 1.5hrs around the river and back up past Cottesloe, hop in for a swim with the group and then ride home via a muffin at Daisies - sound like a fun plan? Obviously if you plan to do this you'll need a small bag for your swim gear (wetsuit, googles, cap etc), a lock for your bike and maybe a change of cycle kit as well. Try to travel light. It'll be a fun change!

Saturday (pm) - 1.00pm squad swim session. Back on at 1.00pm. That's 1.00pm. 1.00pm. Everyone know that its 1.00pm? Good, that'll be 1.00pm then! Sorry for the confusion with these subtle changes to a few of the Saturday swims due to the waterpolo, but this one is 1.00pm! Please pass this on. Thanks!



Thursday mornings are where it's at!

Dear Swimmers

Brrrrr!!!!! Water temp = 17•, air temp = 4•!!! Still, we had 8
swimmers bravely attend the first open water swim of the season at
Cottesloe Beach this morning!!

This session was conducted by myself and one of our new coaching team
Adam Mullens who provided excellent water safety and support on a
Malibu board, feeding back to the swimmers with tips on sighting and
drafting etc.

Despite being a little chilly this morning, this session promises to
be a real beauty over the summer months. Please pop down and give it a
try when you get the chance. I have 4 spare wetsuits to try for those
without one and who dont fancy swimming in just their bathers just yet!

We will cover all aspects of efficient open water swimming including
drafting, sighting, turning and over coming anxiety etc. Plus it's a
whole heap of fun too - my personal favorite session of the week no