Thursday, August 26, 2010

Update on Mark Scanlon's Channel Swimming Attempt

This video clip says it all - let's all pray for the weather gods to be with Mark in the next few days!!



Tuesday, August 17, 2010

Positive Signs of Improvement


Hope you're all doing well - not long now hopefully until we turn the corner and the weather starts becoming consistently warmer. Before we know it we'll all be moaning it's too hot again!

I just wanted to write and say thanks so much for your support in the last 3 weeks with your return back to the squad sessions. People are coming out of the woodwork left, right and centre and that's really pleasing to see. Admittedly I was getting very worried back there in July with some of the sessions being so quiet but things are now really picking up. Many of you have also made good use of our August 1-2-1 Video Analysis Special and are seeing some great improvements in your swim strokes as a consequence. If you haven't yet looked at doing one of these sessions the details are at - well worthwhile.

OK, so squad swimmer Mark Scanlon is now in place over in Dover ready to attempt his English Channel Swim crossing. The word on the street is that the weather hasn't been great in the last week and looks set to be a bit rough this week too, but we're crossing our fingers and hoping for a bit of a break in the conditions to allow for a successful crossing for Mark. Mark is unbelievably well prepared for this event, both physically and psychologically, so we really wish him the very best of luck with the conditions out there on the way to France. If you missed our interview with Mark you can read that here: - well worth a read. You can follow Mark's progress live at - he'll even have a virtual GPS tracker up there too - very cool!

If you're sat at work wanting a little swimming inspiration or something to read at the weekend, don't miss these three recent Blog entries as well:

Furthermore, I personally love it when someone gives me a book recommendation, so if you love your reading and want something that will maybe challenge your beliefs about whether such a thing as "natural talent" for swimming actually exists, check out "Bounce" by Mathew Syed (see: ) - I'm loving my copy right now!

Finally, just to show you that we're on the right mark and that the last four harder Monday / Tuesday endurance sessions have been worth it, here are some live updates on four of the squad's swimmer's 1000m time trial progress in "The Biggest Loser Competition":

  1. Trevor Magee's best 1km swim time last year was 16:40. 5 weeks ago he went 17:30 and like most people in the squad was a little off the pace from last summer (to be expected really given the winter we've had). Today Trevor posted a 16:54 to improve by 36 seconds or nearly 4 seconds per 100m which is a very good sign of improvement indeed. Well done Trevor!
  2. James Forbes's best 1km swim time last year was 13:47 (peak season). 5 weeks ago James did 14:01. Today he smashed that and not only beat his record from 5 weeks ago, but went faster than last season to go 13:28. This knocks Ceinwen William's off the squad top perch by 2 seconds (which no doubt will be fuel for motivation there!). Without a doubt, consistency through the winter shining through here - well done Forbsey!
  3. Silke Highet swam 21:39 for her 1km swim 5 weeks ago which is an average pace of 2:10 per 100m. This morning, Silke very easily swam a 600m and then a 500m averaging 1:55 per 100m which is a sure sign that when we retest everyone's Time Trials properly in the middle of September, Silke could be in the running for that coveted "Biggest Loser" award, won last year by Lucas Salter. Good luck Silke!
  4. Gillian Evans featured in the Blog above about the pull buoy set and what it can tell you about your stroke. 5 weeks ago Gillian swam 1km in 20:39 which she was pleasantly surprised with but eager to break the 20 minute marker. On Monday Gillian led the lane for 600m and comfortably averaged 1:59 per 100m which will see her ducking under the 20 minute marker in a few weeks time quite nicely. How did Gillian (a "Kicktastic") do it? Surprisingly enough by reducing her leg kick in favour of an improved catch. Nice work Gillian!

If you haven't done your initial 1km Time Trial yet but would like to and would like to be in the running for the "Biggest Loser" competition, please just let me know at one of the sessions and if appropriate I'll set you off for a time.

OK, have a great day and thanks for reading!