Wednesday, September 29, 2010

A couple of articles for your interest...

Dear Swimmers,

This month we've been featured in two national swimming / triathlon magazines in the UK which I thought you'd maybe like to have a peruse of as they contain some useful information on developing a good stroke for your body type and build and also for refining your catch and pull through. The two articles can be found at these links:

Hope you enjoy!

P.S For your diary, we shall be conducting a Swim Smooth technique seminar / workshop at Challenge Stadium on Saturday 30th October between 10am and 2pm. The aim of this session is to run you through some technique advice in a classroom environment, utilising some of our latest video footage filmed at Challenge Stadium. I will be inviting our other assistant coaches along for this course as we will then head into the pool for a 1.5hr technique session (still with a focus on open water skills etc) where you will get a chance to interact with all the coaches and fine-tune your stroke. The course will be open to anyone currently training in our normal squad sessions at Challenge Stadium, i.e. 5.30am, 6.30am and 9.30am. A big aim of mine is to ensure that you feel comfortable with the other coaches as they will again be covering 3 weeks worth of squad sessions in November whilst I am away in the UK running some more Swim Smooth Clinics and also photographing my sister's wedding - I can't wait, should be great! 

For your information, we released the dates of our new UK Swim Smooth Clinics (9 in total) on Friday night and had filled every space on every course within 2 hours - amazing stuff, I can hardly believe it! We even now have over 50 people eagerly awaiting spots on our waiting lists! This is truly an amazing level of interest for us and we can't wait to deliver some great coaching over there. You have the chance to experience some of that with your attendance at the workshop on the 30th October, so please try and attend if you can. I'll be sending out an official invite and posting further details soon - watch this space as we may have to limit numbers!!



Friday, September 24, 2010

Just confirming sessions this weekend...

Dear Swimmers

Just confirming that the following two sessions will be available to you this weekend despite the long weekend and despite something called a Grand Final...?!!

  • Saturday 25th September at 1pm
  • Monday 27th September at 9.30am

Both sessions will be held in the Outdoor 8 lane pool at Challenge Stadium.

Hope to see you there!!



Tuesday, September 21, 2010

The Good Shepherd Does Good!


Back in 2004 a new athlete joined our squad who wanted to prepare for the inaugural Busselton Ironman. That athlete was Glen Blackwell who would later go on to knocking off over 3 hours off his previous best Ironman finish and in 2008 be awarded our coveted "Good Shepherd" award for his services to the squad and his enthusiasm for helping others within the squad achieve their goals.

Late last year Glen qualified to represent Australia at the World Triathlon Championships in Budapest, Hungary, and he did exceedingly well with a Personal Best over the Olympic Distance of 1.5km swim, 40km bike and a 10km run in a time of 2:07 - no mean fete.

Glen has very kindly pieced together his story of the day's events to shed some light on his experiences and also the beautiful city of Budapest which I thought you'd all enjoy on this sunny Tuesday afternoon. Here goes - well done Glen:

The ITU World Triathlon Championships for 2010 was to be held in Budapest Hungry. This was to be a beautiful and exciting location for a race and the lure attracted me to have a shot at the Australian Team.

On arrival the weather was great for the first two days. I managed to get out for a long run on the first morning and see the town. Was surreal to be running past Castles and Cathedrals on the banks of the (not so) Blue Danube.

I managed to get together with a few guys from the Australian team and we went for a ride to the designated training area. A little island on in the river with one road of about 2.5kms in length. It was wet and lumpy and very boring as it didn't even make a loop. Just up turn around and back. But it was much safer than playing in the traffic. Needless to say 1hr of that and I was mentally cooked so road along the rivers edge taking in the sights instead.

The rain then started and did not let up for the rest of the week. The sprint races on the saturday got drenched and I went to bed that night expecting to be soaked by the end of the race.

Waking on race morning the Tri-gods had smiled. There was no wind, no rain and the sun came out giving us the warmest day at 23 degrees.

Getting dressed in the green and Gold to represent my country was awesome start to the day and definitely helped get the nerves going.
Especially when I got to the start line and saw all the other countries that were lined up. I was in the second biggest wave start with 125 others on the pontoon.

Getting into the water was a bit hard as the temp was a cool 14 degrees. But the water was flat no current and actually tasted clean. I had a great swim of 22:40 putting me out of the water into T1 in 37th... The the fun. On exiting my zip broke and I spent just over 3minutes tearing my wetsuit to get it off..One of the longest transition times for my group.

The ride was dead flat however the road conditions were terrible for at least 4km of the 13km loop. There were grand canyon cracks running parallel to your travel and lumps, bumps and man hole covers. The only good thing was when you got to the back 9kms you could get down onto the areo bars and go fast.

Getting into T2 i found that I had also broken my left bike shoe halfway found the course and it was just hanging on by the tip.

Well onto the run for the most scenic run I have ever had. We went 5kms up along the bank of the Danube past the university, and the Castle before turning onto the historic Chain Bridge (Think a similar style to the Tower Bridge London). Once here we commenced two 2.5km laps for the rest of the 10km run.

This lap went past the race finish of Roosevelt Square on the river bank then through the paved malls of the town to the open square in front of St Francis Cathedral where you turned almost on the steps before heading back over Chain Bridge to do the lap again.

Coming into the finish chute was awesome with the noise, people, camera crews and even a chopper flying above.

However at the end of the day I P.B'd with a 2:07:34 and most importantly was able to say I represented my country on the world stage..That was the clincher.

Monday, September 20, 2010

Saturday drafting and the Long Weekend

Dear Swimmers

You've got to love this awesome weather right now!

Just letting you know that I'm hoping you'll be able to make use out of our two squad sessions this weekend which I've locked in with Challenge Stadium despite the long weekend:

  • Saturday 25th September at 1 to 2pm.
  • Monday 27th September at 9.30am to 10.30am*.

* please note that this particular session has been quite busy the last two weeks, so this session will only be open next Monday to those who normally attend on a Monday at 9.30am otherwise I fear we might be a little too choca-block! Having said that now, no-one will attend and I'll be left by myself! LOL! If that's the case it might prove to be a good session for you to attend if you normally come on a Monday.

The Saturday session is a great chance to come and hone your open-water drafting skills. Check out this short clip from the filming of this session we did last week: - as you can hopefully make out, the swimmers are creating an arrow-head drafting formation with Geoff (far right) setting the pace. Jas (green cap) is drafting very well indeed, only breathing in towards John (center of frame), but John and Jonny (who comes into the frame a little later in the shot from the left), are both breathing AWAY from the swimmer they are supposed to be drafting. This is one time when unilateral breathing is more favourable than bilateral breathing BUT ONLY if you are breathing in towards the swimmer you are trying to draft off. Want to learn more about how this can save you up to 38% of your normal energy expenditure and prove to be a very fun way of spending 60 minutes following a black line? Come along on Saturday and I'll show you how! If you're not drafting well in the open water you are potentially missing out on massive gains in your swimming that are relatively easy to acquire with good practice and confidence to swim in close quarters to others.



Thursday, September 16, 2010

100% Success Rate For Swimmers!


That's quite a bold title for today's Blog, however, I am very pleased to announce that 100% of those of you who re-tested your 1000m swim Time Trial from the middle of July have (in two months) all improved! This is a great result - well done! Consistency and dedication on those cold mornings has clearly paid off!

Here are some more stats for those of you who like numbers:

  • A total of 89 swimmers from the squad have now tested themselves over the 1000m distance in the past two months. This is ~50% of the squad membership.
  • 36 swimmers were tested on 13th July 2010 - view all the results at:
  • 68 swimmers were tested on the 14th September 2010 - view all the results at:
  • 21 swimmers attended both test sessions and thus qualified to enter our winter "Biggest Loser" competition, whereby there was a 100% improvement across the group!
  • The fastest recorded male time was by James Forbes in 13'27"
  • The fastest recorded female time was by Ceinwen Williams in 13'47"
  • The average pace of the squad is exactly 18'00" for the 1000m distance
  • My predicted improvement (as a percentage) for those who re-tested and regularly swam 2-4 sessions per week for the 2 months was 3.0%
  • The actual average improvement of the Biggest Loser group (as a percentage) was 3.9%
  • The Biggest Loser was Silke Highet who improved by an astounding 2'57" in just two months - equivalent to 13.6%!! Well done Silke!! Silke wins a Swim Smooth waterproof Training Plan as per to keep her ticking over at times when she cannot attend the squad, e.g. school holidays etc.
  • Also doing well for the guys was Andy Bolt with a 7.8% improvement!! Andy wins a copy of the Swim Smooth DVD Boxset (as seen at ) to help him refine his stroke even further!
  • You can view all the Biggest Loser results at:

This (for me) has been a brilliant exercise and one which has prompted a lot of new ideas and sessions to be tested out within the squad in order to get your fitness up to a good level prior to the spring - so thanks for taking part if you did! Hope you enjoyed it - it'll definitely be back again next winter!

Going forwards from here, the annual Open Water Calendar has just been released (not available online yet, but you can pick up your own hard copy from the reception at Challenge Stadium) and as such I'm busily beavering away now on identifying a couple of the open water races over the season which I think would be really good to go and attend as a squad. Many of you have already expressed a bit of an interest in this. 

Also, there are numerous people now thinking about the Rottnest Channel Swim on the 26th February 2011. 20 members of the squad (me included) will be attempting the solo crossing this year, up from 13 in the previous two years. There is a lot of interest in people wanting to have a crack at the DUO or TEAM event who might not have done it before and wish to partner / team up with someone for this great event. If that's you, please drop me a quick email and we'll look at coordinating a few teams and probably organise a catch-up to discuss logistics etc. I think it will be really great if we can get a bit of a team thing happening this year, so I look forward to hearing from you!

Cheers and now let the summer roll on!


Monday, September 6, 2010

Thursday mornings

Dear Swimmers

Just a quick one to let you know that the indoor 50m pool is now back to normal (ie 50m and not 2 x 25m) and as a result on Thursday mornings we will now be swimming in the outdoor 8 lane pool instead (lanes 2 to 4 I believe). Tuesdays remain as normal (so I believe).

Also, now that it's finally starting to warm up and people are coming out of the woodwork we just need to try and manage numbers in the squad sessions as best as possible so that it doesn't get too busy too quickly. If you are planning your come back and have been irregular over the last 3 months, please would you mind dropping me a brief email to say which sessions you plan to re-attend. Priority in the sessions will be given to those who've been swimming over winter, but please help me by letting me know your intentions to smooth this spring transition for everyone. Thanks!

Finally, I will be away on Saturday for the 1pm squad session as it is my birthday and Mish and Jackson are taking me away for a surprise weekend away. I can't wait. Coach Nikki Rogers from Sorrento SLSC will be taking the session and putting you through your paces in this fun open water skills session. Please make her feel welcome and go along and pick up some top tips from this Commonwealth Games medallist and uber swimmer!!



Thursday, September 2, 2010

Mark did it!

Dear Team

Just to let you know that Mark Scanlon successfully completed his English Channel Swim attempt on the 31st August after waiting through nearly 3 weeks of bad weather and had to change pilots (skipper) at significant cost just to ensure a swim start.

Stay tuned to for Mark's post event report soon.

Well done Mark - brilliant result! 9.5 hours in rough conditions!