Wednesday, April 21, 2010

Claremont Pool IS closing!


Please be advised that I have just found out that Claremont Pool will indeed close on Monday 17th May 2010 and will aim to re-open on Wednesday 1st December 2010.

We have been successful in securing some lane space at Challenge Stadium over this period, though there will be some minor changes to the schedule. This schedule will be effective as of Monday 10th May 2010 (when we start up at Challenge Stadium). Please check for details of what will effectively be our Winter Program for 2010.

I must admit the last month has been extremely stressful not knowing if we'd still have a squad at all come May, so the fact Challenge have offered to help us out is really appreciated and I really, really hope that you guys will choose to make the transition up there for this period, keep ticking over through the winter, work on your form and technique and support the squad. We're coming up to our 2 year anniversary now and your support over that period has been hugely welcomed - long may it continue! We'll do our very best to keep things new, fun, entertaining and inspiring for you to hopefully make that extra 2 minutes 48 seconds walk to the change-rooms worth it! ;-)


Please now reserve your place in the new winter program at Challenge Stadium by visiting and completing the form at

We have space for some new faces at the moment, so if you have any mates who want to join us, please ask them to complete the form also and I'll publish the new list accordingly. Due to the change in program schedule (see below) and venue, this will all be on a strictly first-come / best-dressed basis - so please don't delay


  • Last (official) session at Claremont Pool = Friday 30th April 2010 (5.30am, 6.30am and 9.30am sessions)
  • Busselton Half Ironman (Solo & Teams) = Saturday 1st May 2010
  • 1 week "Transitional Break" between Claremont and Challenge Stadium from Saturday 1st May to Sunday 9th May (inclusive)*
  • First (official) session at Challenge Stadium = Monday 10th May 2010 (7.00am and 9.30am sessions)
  • Paul away in the UK = Tuesday 1st June 2010 to Wednesday 23rd June 2010 (inclusive)**
  • 1st Winter "Mini-Olympics" = Saturday 3rd July 2010***
  • 2nd Winter "Mini-Olympics" = Saturday 14th August 2010***
  • 3rd Winter "Mini-Olympics" = Saturday 2nd October 2010***

* We felt it appropriate to plan for a 1 week transitional break between the two pools which will serve two key purposes: 1) for those doing the Half Ironman to have a recommended recovery break (some of you may take up to 4 weeks here); 2) to allow me to smooth everything out between the two pools, i.e. moving equipment etc. Lane space will still be available for swimming at Claremont Pool during this week, though no official coaching sessions will run.

** I wish to inform you that I feel honoured to have been asked by the British Triathlon Federation to help them re-write and produce some of their new material for educating the whole British coaching infrastructure with respect to swim stroke technique and correction. This recognition by a national governing body is something I feel very proud of and as such I have scheduled a 3 week trip over to the UK to begin planning this with their team. We shall also be running several Swim Smooth Clinics whilst over there and touching base with the pilots for our English Channel attempts next year (of which there are 10 of us from Perth doing it). It will be a busy but hopefully rewarding trip. In my absence I will be placing the same coaches as over the Christmas period in charge of the squad and as such I do really hope you will continue to attend given your great feedback last time!

*** I have been thinking of a "new" way to keep you all motivated over the winter period and happened upon an idea which I used very successfully with a squad I was working with back in 2002/3. The idea will be to run 3 "Mini-Olympics" spaced apart by six weeks. These will take place on a Saturday afternoon and the aim will be to offer a program of ten unique swimming events across all four strokes and from 25/50m up to 400m. Each swimmer can pick four events to focus on over the winter and during the standard training sessions we'll aid an element of training for each event, i.e. dive starts, tumble-turns, butterfly, backstroke and breaststroke, sprint capacity etc. The emphasis will be on fun and we'll keep things competitive both inter-swimmer and intra-swimmer with a special prize for the "Most Improved". More on this to follow, but it will be a great chance to learn some key new skills for many of you.


We will be offering the following weekly sessions (as shown here:

  • Monday 7-8am (Pure Technique and Stroke Correction) in Outdoor 10 lane pool
  • Monday 9.30-10.30am (Technique & Endurance) in Outdoor 8 lane pool
  • Tuesday 5.30-6.30am (Technique & Endurance) in Outdoor 8 lane pool
  • Tuesday 6.30-7.30am (Technique & Endurance) in Outdoor 8 lane pool
  • Wednesday (CYCLE) 5.50-7.30am (Social) from Bouchard Cafe, Mount Street, Perth
  • Wednesday 9.30-10.30am (Fresh & Fruity) in Outdoor 8 lane pool
  • Thursday 5.30-6.30am (Fresh & Fruity) in Outdoor 10 lane pool
  • Thursday 6.30-7.30am (Fresh & Fruity) in Outdoor 10 lane pool
  • Friday 9.30-10.30am (Technique, Endurance & Stroke Correction) in Outdoor 8 lane pool
  • Saturday 1-2pm (Open Water Skills / "Mini Olympics") in Outdoor 10 lane pool

...the key changes then are:

  • no Tuesday evening swim session (scaled back due to the winter period)
  • no Wednesday early morning swim (due to lack of pool space...but I am working on this as I've really enjoyed taking this new session this year! Watch this space!)
  • Friday (early) morning's Fresh & Fruity sessions have shifted to Thursday mornings and have hence become "Fresh & Fruity Fursday" instead (due to lack of space on a Friday morning). I personally think that this balances the program a little better anyway. Please note that this session may be set up as a short-course pool (i.e. 25m) until September but we will have 5 to 6 lanes at each session so it doesn't get too crowded. It will actually work really well for some of the "Mini Olympics" training as well as the speed work we'll be doing and as they say "a change is as good as a holiday!"


I'm sorry to have to do this, but my lane fees during this period will be 42% more than they were at Claremont Pool, plus I've now gone a full 3 years without any change in price structure despite also being liable for GST for the last 12 months too. I hate to have to increase my fees but it will be essential that I do so in order for the squad to survive and I do hope that you can understand and support this. The price increase will be effective as of 1st July 2010 so there's always the opportunity to stock-up on PAYG cards before then if you wish to save some pennies! The new prices will be as follows:

  • Casual Rate = $15.00 (no increase)
  • 10 Session Card = $120.00 (i.e. $12 per session)
  • 25 Session Card = $270.00 (i.e. $10.80 per session)
  • 50 Session Card = $480.00 (i.e. $9.60 per session)
  • 1-2-1 Video Analysis & Stroke Correction (Initial Consult) = $165.00
  • 1-2-1 Video Analysis & Stroke Correction (Follow-up) = $120.00

We really believe in the value of these coaching sessions, especially with the restricted squad numbers, often having two coaches on pool deck etc and hope that you will continue your training with us despite this increase.


It is probably no real surprise to many of you that we have really focussed on the swim coaching side of things in the last 12 months in tandem with the successful release of the new website in July 2009. This website now has over 19,000 subscribers worldwide and we have also created a strong international network of over 200 coaches as well. We're very proud of how well this is all going given the huge amount of hard work that has gone into it all and the respect and praise we are now receiving from our peers, especially the British Triathlon Federation, is very pleasing. I personally really feel that this is where I excel - swim stroke correction in small squad environments and through my 1-2-1 Video Analysis sessions. 

Having had our little man a little over a year ago as well has made me re-assess what I can feasibly cram into a day as well and without a doubt swim training is much more time efficient than say a long cycle ride. It has been hard to cut-back on the bike and running sessions as I am still so passionate about triathlon, but feel that you guys all benefit much more from my input pool-side and on the beach as highlighted by the difference in popularity between swim .vs. bike / run sessions in the last 12 months. To that end we are looking at merging the two businesses down the line and re-branding our local operations under the "Swim Smooth" banner. We will still look at running casual bike and run sessions upon demand and will hopefully have a bigger TRI squad for next year's Busselton Half Ironman (if everyone gets their entries in on time!), so in reality nothing changes too much, just that we'll be really focussing our attention on the Rottnest Channel Swim, enjoying social and recreational swimming for all ability levels, and helping the triathletes of WA improve their open water skills - all under a different (but hopefully less confusing!) name! Our ethos will remain unchanged and I will still be called Paul...! ;-)


Anyway guys, that was a mammoth email, sorry about that...just wanted to ensure you knew what was going on and when. Please now complete the squad form at:


Thursday = run session at the north of Lake Monger. Meet at 6pm for a 6.15pm start. 4 x 1km intervals tonight.

Friday = all sessions (5.30am, 6.30am and 9.30am) all as normal - totally specific set for you guys doing the Half Ironman next weekend and if you're not, you'll still enjoy it!

Saturday = (those doing the Half Ironman) should just do a steady 2hr ride with a quick 20 mins run off the bike. 1.00pm squad session this week will be with Ceinwen.

Next week = last week at Claremont for 6 months - oo er missus!



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