Saturday, December 31, 2011
I hope you've had a great Christmas break and are set for a great New Year! We've had a truly magnificent time down here in Esperance and whilst I came close to pondering buying the Esperance Tea Rooms (an awesome spot for Fish & Chips washed down with a Little Creatures) which are for sale currently, I will however be back on pool deck at 5.30am on Tuesday 3rd January! All sessions will proceed as normal then past this point.
I'm well rested and pumped for the new year and can't wait to get you started on our 10 week development plan. We'll commence this from the week beginning Monday 9th January so as to give you this week to get back into the swing of things. No panic either though if you'll still be away for the first couple of weeks of the program, you'll be able to easily slot back into things upon your return.
I have to thank all of you who gave me your tips for where to go in Esperance - they were great. In particular Michael S's suggestion of a trip out to Wharton's Bay (past the Duke of Orleans) - a simply amazing beach, complete with very large white pointer sighting whilst we were there (!) - and to Bill C for his suggestion of a boat ride out to Woody Island. Our favourite beach has to be Hellfire Bay in Cape le Grand - for those of you non-native 'poms' and expats yet to travel down to Esperance - you simply have to go here! The beach is out of this world and we had an awesome BBQ breakie cooked by yours truly down there yesterday.
Thought I'd leave you with a few photos to whet your appetite...we have 2 days left before flying home on Monday morning. I'll be sad to leave but feel totally privileged to have experienced such an amazing place at a very special time of year with my family.
Cheers and Happy New Year for tomorrow!
Thursday, December 22, 2011
Wednesday, December 21, 2011
- Friday 23rd December - 5.30am and 6.30am sessions - come along for some Festive Fresh & Fruitiness - guaranteed to be a lot of fun! 9.30am swimmers will have more of a relaxing session given that you already worked off the mince pies this morning!
- Saturday 24th December - pool session as: 3 x 2km at 3km pace with 2 mins recovery between each, followed up by a straight 4km steady swim in the river, ocean, or if you're really keen, pool!
- Sunday 25th December - day off! Enjoy! OR a 7.30am splash in the sea at Cottesloe Beach with Jasmin and Co. followed by breakie on the beach.
- Monday 26th December - 2km drills session as 500m easy w/up and cool down plus 20 x 50m as the odd number drills with fins (i.e. side kick, 6/1/6, Broken Arrow etc) and the even numbers as 25m fast + 25m easy.
- Tuesday 27th December - 10 x 400m at a good, sustainable pace with just 30s rest between each. Knock this out succinctly in just over an hour or so - a really 'boring' but really 'good' set for you soloists!
- Wednesday 28th December - 500m easy f/s + 3 x 200m drills with fins + 500m moderate f/s + 6 x 100m pull and optional paddles + 500m moderately hard f/s + 12 x 50m as 25m fast + 25m easy for first 8 and last 4 as choice cool down with 15s rest between each.
- Thursday 29th December - rest day
- Friday 30th December - 1000m steady f/s warm-up with some light stretching beforehand, then simply 20 x 100m on a 1.30 cycle for those normally in the fastest group of lane 4, 1.35 cycle for those normally in the second group in lane 4, 1.40 cycle for those normally in lane 3, 1.45 cycle for those in lane 2 and 1.55 cycle for those normally in lane 1. Finish off with 5 x 200m of easy drills using a mix of fins and pull / optional paddles. Aim to hold your fastest maintainable pace in the 20 x 100m set.
- Saturday 31st December - 5km steady swim at Cottesloe Beach, or in the pool (broken down as 5 x 1km with 60s rest between each)
- Sunday 1st January - rest day, or 'hangover' dip in the ocean!
- Monday 2nd January - repeat Monday 26/12 but add in 6 x 200m at the end at 'threshold' pace with 30s rest between each.
- Tuesday 3rd January - all sessions (5.30am, 6.30am and 6.30pm) back to normal and ready for our 10-week progressive improvement plan - exciting stuff!
Tuesday, December 13, 2011
Tuesday, December 6, 2011
- 2, 3 or 400 easy f/s
- 3 x 200m +15s rest as 1) fins - 6/1/6 + f/s, 2) pull and paddles, 3) 6/5/6 + f/s
- 1000m continuous f/s swim at 75-80%
- 3 x 200m +15s rest as 1) fins - Broken Arrow + f/s, 2) pull as 15m doggy + 85m f/s, 3) torpedo kick + f/s
- 2, 3 or 400 easy f/s
Thursday, December 1, 2011
- Friday 5.30am, 6.30am, 9.30am
- Saturday 1pm
- Monday 7am, 9.30am
Tuesday, November 29, 2011
- Give yourself plenty of time in the morning. The PRO wave goes off at 5.30am and the Age-Group wave goes off at 5.45am so this is going to mean a pretty early start. I'd normally factor in getting up 3hrs before an event like this just to take your time over a light breakfast and to top-up on your fluids from over-night. Don't go crazy on the food and fluids as hopefully you'll have been steadily topping these up over the week and especially if you've tapered down for the event you'll have automatically started to store some additional carbs and fluid anyway. Listen to some tunes to get you pumped up, but it's a long day out there, so don't get too carried away! My personal favourite: 'I'm Not Afraid' by Eminem. Everyone normally panics that they won't be getting enough sleep when having to get up at ~2.30-3am, but the golden rule is to get a good night's sleep the night before the night before, i.e. Friday night to Saturday morning. Relax and enjoy your early start and think positively about what lies ahead.
- Not having a frantic start from Point # 1 will allow you time to get down to the transition area and spend an extra few minutes putting your wetsuit on properly - this can make a massive difference to how well you swim on the day. Check out my tips and short video here: http://www.swimsmooth.com/triathlon_adv.html (also including some more great open water swimming tips) - all too often we see people rushing to put on their suit on race morning only to then complain about it feeling tight and too restrictive around the shoulders leading to premature shoulder fatigue. As per the video, get a friend to shoe-horn you into the suit, but make sure they watch their nails! I personally now use Bepanthen baby rash cream around the collar of the wetsuit to prevent chaffing - it's less messy than vaseline and smells better than Bodyglide! It'd be well worth your while going for a quick swim in your wetsuit this week (even in the pool) just to test out the fit and feel and to experiment with some of the other ideas below. If you happen to be like last year's Ironman WA champion Kate Bevilaqua and find swimming in a wetsuit less enjoyable that without, you might like to check out this advice here: http://www.feelforthewater.com/2011/07/are-you-slower-in-wetsuit.html
- Head down to the start and check out the race course looking for the wind and current directions. You will swim around the Jetty keeping it to your left. The Jetty points to the NNW and the current forecast for Sunday morning is showing wind coming from the NE at anywhere between 14km/h and 31km/h (as per the forecast at http://www.weatherzone.com.au/wa/southwest/busselton) or 25km/h to 45km/h (as per the forecast at http://www.windguru.cz/int/index.php?sc=208628). This is a reasonably strong wind, but don't panic it could all change yet and even then, you can't do anything to change it! You need to remember that everyone will be in the same 'boat' as you - it's how you deal with it that counts. Because Geographe Bay curves around the Jetty (thus protecting it somewhat) a NE wind is not necessarily bad news, but given the very strong E wind we experienced at the Busselton Jetty swim earlier in the year, this did make for some challenging conditions out there, especially around the tip of the Jetty, forcing over 60% of the field to retire from that particular race. If the wind does kick up, you may find yourself needing to breathe a little more often to your LEFT on the outward leg and then more to the RIGHT on the homeward leg, thus breathing away from the wind and likely surface chop. You should still be able to breathe bilaterally (preferable as it will keep you straighter by being more symmetrical) but we've been practicing quite a bit of this single-sided breathing recently for this very reason. So remember, if you need to breathe to your non-dominant breathing side for extended periods, make sure the timing of your breathing to that side is good, as well as your rotation to that side. For more tips and visuals on this, see: http://www.feelforthewater.com/2011/11/checking-your-breathing-timing.html
- Remember that the Jetty itself is not perfectly straight and has a kink about a third of the way along. Depending on buoy placement and race organiser rules and restrictions, the shortest course on the outward leg is as per #1 on the map above, not hugging the Jetty itself. Equally, on the way back, you need to be very careful to ensure that you veer away from the Jetty at the kink and not hug the Jetty at this point (#2) as you will add extra distance as I mistakenly did at the Jetty Swim in February. Sighting is not as easy as previous years when heading for the Goose and the helter-skelter turrets, especially if it does get a little choppy. On the outward leg, you might find yourself getting pushed into the Jetty itself and on the return leg pushed away - watch out for this as it can be pretty frustrating! Keep your cool and use the marker buoys as per the race briefing to guide you.
- If it does get tough out there, make sure you've read this simple bit of advice for staying positive about things: http://www.feelforthewater.com/2011/11/switching-off-negative-voice-inside.html - you can deal with anything out there if you know what to do and how to handle yourself - if anything a lumpy swim makes for a little more excitement than a perfectly flat day anyway and it'll keep you focused on each and every stroke rather than thinking about how much further you've got to go. Remember, if you're moving you're making progress!
- Choppy and swelly conditions can also require an adjustment to your stroke technique which also benefits your shoulders in a long-sleeved wetsuit. A straighter arm recovery is often adopted by many of the world's best open water swimmers and triathletes in these conditions because it: A) helps to ensure you get clearance of the hand over the surface of the water - a high elbow / low hand recovery might look pretty and 'text book' in the pool, but there will be no style points awarded out there (especially if it's rough) so you need to ensure good momentum and to not be buffeted around too much; B) means you won't be fighting against the restrictive nature of the rubber suit around your shoulders - it's much more fatiguing in a wetsuit to try and maintain that high elbow recovery style which looks so classical in the pool; and C) can help to keep your stroke rate at a slightly higher level than normal to help power through the waves.
- Don't make the mistake of seeking out 'clear water'. So many times I hear people (even good swimmers) saying that they like to find some space once through the melée at the start of the event, but doing so effectively means you're swimming solo, or worse still with a gaggle of blood sucking Swingers on your toes! Drafting effectively can save you up to 38% of the energy expenditure when swimming by yourself and it's imperative that you maximise this advantage when you're out there. This is what we practice every Saturday in our 1pm session at Claremont Pool. We have some more tips on this and how it might affect your breathing patterns at http://www.feelforthewater.com/2011/01/when-not-to-breathe-bilaterally.html - no-one wants to get bashed around of course, but if done effectively, drafting well can either save you a lot of time or a lot of effort or both! You don't want to be the person who everyone else is drafting off - there are no 'hero' awards out there on the day - sit-in if you can, it's allowed!
- Follow the advice based on Dan Tarborsky's GPS data in 2010 to ensure you don't swim more distance than you have to out there: http://www.feelforthewater.com/2010/05/whats-easiest-way-to-take-ten-minutes.html and follow-up with these summary tips: http://www.feelforthewater.com/2010/05/swimming-faster-and-straighter-in-open.html
- Sometimes you just have to let that smooth stroke go!
- Most of all, enjoy yourself - you've put in the hard work, now get out there and have a great swim!
Monday, November 28, 2011
Tuesday, November 22, 2011
Friday, November 11, 2011
- To allow the leader of each lane be able to manually adjust the new beepers themselves and in doing so maintain the flow of the session nicely. Ordinarily we won't be changing pace as much as this on a Friday session but it did allow us to be much more precise with our pacing and hope you all found this to be beneficial. I could literally now say to the guys in the fast lane (for example) that their goal per 100m is 1'17":44 and we'd be able to set the beeper at 19:36 and be able to achieve this. Pretty cool. These smaller increments will really help you develop your threshold speed - the key determinant to how well you perform in an endurance event!
- To allow you to experience that pace whereby all of a sudden it starts get very hard and you start to struggle to hold the times, i.e. tipping over that threshold point.
- To have a bit of fun with a completely new session - the geek in me loved it, don't know about you?!
- Depending on how things go over the next fortnight we will re-issue the Session Sign-Up Form. We normally allocate 8 people per lane in all the sessions, with an additional 3 "buffer" spaces per lane as well. If you are on the buffer list, you can attend. The way this system works is a little "give and take" - we have decided to maintain the flexibility of our Pay As You Go Card system (PAYG) to allow you maximum payment flexibility at the sessions - don't fancy swimming one day and your name is on the list? Not a problem, we won't penalise you for it! This often means that the squad operates with fewer people per lane than we anticipate. Again, this is great for you guys. However, at peak times (i.e. the next 2 weeks and December 2011 and January / February 2012), we do anticipate times when the sessions will be a little busier when everyone nominated may turn up for a session. I hope that you can understand and support this as it all balances out in the wash (as they say), leaving everyone happy, i.e. you the swimmers and us the coaches. Below I have detailed my top tips for good lane swimming etiquette at the busier sessions.
- I am just investigating the potential of operating a third 7.30am to 8.30am session on a Friday morning. We tried this two years ago and for the summer period it worked very well indeed. Do please email me if this would work for you (detailing which of the 5.30am or 6.30am sessions you are currently attending). I'll let you know how we progress on this - there's a few changes I will need to make to my other bookings to accommodate this change.
- I am looking at bringing in the cavalry with an additional coach on pool deck with me at these busier sessions to help keep things running smoothly!
- Unless otherwise advised, please use the clock and set-off exactly 5 seconds behind the person in front of you. You do not (and should not) try to catch them up immediately, as whilst this gives you a draft and makes it feel easier, you're not getting the best possible workout that you could and it also annoys the person in front. The coach will announce when drafting is actively encouraged, but especially on drill / technique sets, please keep your distance to allow everyone to perform at their best.
- Always keep to the left and swim in a clockwise direction (like you would on the road). Stay close to the lane rope and avoid swimming in the middle of the lane as this is when head-on collisions occur or whacking of arms. This is especially important in Lane 4 (fastest lane) as there is a good range of ability within this lane especially in the faster, harder sessions.
- If someone is catching you up and you are aware that they wish to get past you, either pull right over to the left (keep swimming), or better still, when you reach the end of the pool pull off to the left, stop, and let them past here.
- Be vigilant when you are pushing off in the middle of a set - is someone coming up to the wall to effectively lap you? If so, don't push off immediately in front of them as this is very frustrating. Let them through and then when it is clear jump into a spot behind them.
- Aim to start each and every lap with a good torpedo push off. If you don't know how, check it out here: http://www.feelforthewater.com/2010/03/sunk-without-good-torpedo.html - it will really pay dividends and make you look quite the "pro"!
- When using fins or pull buoys, chances are the speed order (pecking order if you like) of the lane often changes. If you know that you are particularly quick with fins on, don't be afraid to ask to go in front of the person in front of you.
- Aim to pace yourself well, this is ultimately what keeps the lane flowing really well and makes the most out of your own practice time. See how here: http://www.feelforthewater.com/2010/07/poor-pace-awareness-and-how-yours-may.html
- Aim to do your drill and technique work to the best of your ability. Don't feel pressured to rush through this aspect of the session. I will quite regularly slide to the back of the lane in the squad which I swim with when working on my technique, even if it means missing the odd lap. A drill worth doing is a drill worth doing well - please always remember that.
- Try to keep all your kit neatly organised on the pool deck - a mesh kit bag is highly advisable and prevents other swimmers mistakenly walking off or using your kit. Also, naming your kit in bold black marker is ALWAYS worth doing!
- Lastly, be nice to your fellow lane swimmers...it might be early in the morning and we might all be a little grumpy normally at this time, but there's never an excuse to get irritable with anyone in the lane. If there's a problem, let the coach know or just diplomatically address it with your swimming buddy. We're all here to have a good time and not feel pressured when we swim. Having said that, it was smiles all around this morning - well done!
Wednesday, November 9, 2011
- Lane 4: 20 x 100m starting at 1'31" and finishing at 1'12"
- Lane 3: 18 x 100m starting at 1'38" and finishing at 1'22"
- Lane 2: 16 x 100m starting at 1'50" and finishing at 1'35"
- Lane 1: 15 x 100m starting at 2'02" and finishing at 1'48"
- Lane 4: 20 x 100m starting at 1'36" and finishing at 1'17"
- Lane 3: 18 x 100m starting at 1'44" and finishing at 1'28"
- Lane 2: 16 x 100m starting at 1'54" and finishing at 1'39"
- Lane 1: 14 x 100m starting at 2'05" and finishing at 1'52"
Saturday, October 29, 2011
Wednesday, October 26, 2011
VENUE: Sorrento SLSC, West Coast Highway, Sorrento
TIME: 8am start (ready on beach with wet suit on) & 9am finish
under 2 hours for an Ironman swim. Wetsuits strongly recommended.
VENUE: Meet at Swan River, Matilda Bay, Carpark next to UWA Boatshed, Crawley
TIME: 6am in car park ready with wet suit at waist level
Tuesday, October 25, 2011
Friday, October 21, 2011
Hopefully you are aware (I wasn't!) that next Friday 28th October is a public holiday for the Queen's visit to Perth.
Because of this the Claremont Pool will not be opening until 7am next Friday.
This is a bit of a shame as given attendance over the last few Fridays it appears that everyone is getting into their Fresh 'n Fruity sessions!
However, with the kind assistance of Claremont Pool and not to let you down, we have negotiated a special 7-8am AND a 9.30 to 10.30am squad session at Claremont Pool.
The earlier session will feature the use of 5 lanes (!!) and as such I would like to invite the first 40 people to reply to this email to attend that session to come on down for a great little set. I'll get an additional coach in to assist.
Ordinarily we'd do a beach swim on a public holiday but given last week's tragic news I'm not keen on running a session back down at Cottesloe just yet!!
Hope that all makes sense and that you're still able to come down.
Wednesday, October 19, 2011
Wednesday, October 12, 2011
Sunday, October 9, 2011
Wednesday, October 5, 2011
- meet at 7.15am for a 7.30am prompt start on the grass bank immediately adjacent to the north side of the Indianna Tea Rooms at Cottesloe Beach
- 60 minutes
- one tick on your PAYG card or $15 casual rate
- wetsuits optional
- please reply to this email with "I'm in for this Saturday's AM swim" if you can make it so we can make provisions for the right numbers
Friday, September 30, 2011
Wednesday, September 28, 2011
Sunday, September 25, 2011
- Fiona Ford is a BTF (British Triathlon Federation) Level 3 coach (as high as you can take the accreditation system in the UK) and has been coaching full-time for 2 years now and part-time since 2006. Fiona won her Age Group at both the World Triathlon and Aquathlon Championships in 2006, has 7 Ironman Top-10 finishes (overall) and has a PB of 9h54 over this distance. She is a brilliant athlete, but has the admirable quality of being able to communicate her experience with athletes of all levels. Fiona is based in London, UK and runs a coaching company http://www.triathloneurope.com/ which specialises in world class training camps in the French Alps and personalised coaching / bespoke triathlon training programs and swim squad training sessions in London.
- Gabriela (Gabby) Fetterova is a former national swimming champion from Prague in the Czech Republic and is currently building her own swim coaching program in Prague where she hopes to specialise in video analysis and stroke correction. She will be the first coach in the Czech Republic to formally use the Swim Smooth model and she says she's very excited to visit such a beautiful place as Perth to develop her http://www.swim-coach.cz/o_mne program even further. Gabby says Australia is her dream holiday and swim coaching is her dream job and that she looks forward to chatting with you all on pool deck these next 2 weeks.
- Craig Maltby is passionate about swimming, especially open water swimming. Craig runs his Langebaan Swim School in South Africa and has access to some great open water venues and lagoons close by. Craig also runs open water events and races and has noticed a substantial increase in the uptake of interest in these events over the last few years. In July 2012 Craig will swim the Robben Island swim (http://www.capeswim.com/robbenisland.htm) which appears to be a similar event to our own Rottnest Channel Swim. Having seen Craig swim, we know he'll do very well! Craig says that he believes Swim Smooth has been incredibly successful and focused on getting people "out there" and looks forward to this opportunity to learn more from us whilst here and meet those of you who swim within the various squads.
- Steve Casson is the BTF East Midlands Regional Academy Head Coach which selects and develops 14-18 year old athletes with the potential to progress through to the World Class Podium Squad. Steve runs his own successful coaching company as well called http://www.cassonz.com/ and works with adults from novice through to Age Group champions from short course to Ironman distance. Steve is also a full-time triathlon coach, based in Northampton, UK. Having worked with Steve in Loughborough last November, we're very confident that you're going to get a lot from speaking with Steve about your swimming at the squad sessions.
- Leigh Archer has been involved in triathlon now for 25 years and loves it as much now as when he first took up the sport. He runs http://www.triathlonspecific.com/ and specialises in the Retül bike fit system as well as being the UK distributor for Sable goggles. These are my own personal preference in goggles and I have to say they are fantastic from a fit and anti-fog perspective and were what I used when I swam the Channel. Leigh has an enviable record as a coach and was British Triathlon National Performance Development Coach Of The Year for 2010. He now wants to build his own elite squad and sessions in Loughborough, UK with a focus on stroke correction, whilst all the while sticking to his mantra of "it's all about the FUN!"
- Steve Bailey is based in Salisbury in the UK and has attended both our 3-day Coaches Course and also several other of our 1-day Swim Smooth Clinics around the UK to further his experience with the Swim Smooth program. He's been coaching swimming for 20 years and has three children all of whom are very strong swimmers. Steve is very keen to also help guide those new swimmers in the UK seeking to get into the longer distance open water events as well as for triathlon. Steve has done a lot of video work with swimmers in the last few years and wants to now develop a successful swim squad in his local area along the lines of what we do here in Perth. He's a great guy and someone whom we believe has a great future ahead of him as he looks to pursue more of a full-time swim coaching role.
- Martin Hill is also a BTF Level 3 coach and is based down in Yeovil, Somerset in the UK. Martin has developed his own brand of swimming paddles http://www.completefitnesscoaching.co.uk/pages/Introducing-The-New-Palm-Paddle.html which work on the need to develop a more propulsive catch and feel for the water. We love them! He works with a range of swimmers from novice to "masters" and is looking to develop a larger, more dedicated swim squad over the next six to 12 months. Martin is a very competent swimmer himself and looks forward to meeting you all here in Perth.
- Julian Nagi is a very experienced Level 3 triathlon coach who has coached over 100 athletes to Ironman success, from first-timers to Hawaii Ironman finishers. He specialises in Ironman coaching, open water swimming and in-depth stroke correction and analysis. He is a British Gas Swimming Ambassador / Coach in partnership with British Swimming and runs his successful coaching program from the lovely Park Club in London. Julian's http://www.firstironmancoaching.com/FIC/first_ironman_coaching.html program inspires his athletes to love swimming and not see it as a necessary evil (which many triathletes do). I personally met Julian back in July 2005 when I was first establishing the Swim Smooth brand in the UK and we have remained in close contact ever since, utilising his club's venue for several coaching clinics over the years.
Wednesday, September 21, 2011
Tuesday, September 20, 2011
There will no doubt be a recording put up online a few days later for those who wish to listen but are pained by the early start!
I'm sure it'll be motivating listening though for those of you swimming at tomorrow's 5.30am session which I'll be back to coach. I'm really excited to be back coaching this session again as it is definitely my favorite of the week (after Saturday of course!).
See you then!
Monday, September 19, 2011
Thursday, September 15, 2011
- Weeks 1 to 3 = pool based
- Weeks 4 to 6 = start in the pool and finish with 2km in the ocean / river
- Weeks 9 to 11 = start in the pool and finish with 4km in the ocean / river
- Weeks 12 to 19 = all in the ocean / river, apart from Week 15 which will be our super-special 12km Rotto Pool Set