Thursday, July 14, 2011

A reminder about Saturday and Squad Numbers

Dear Swimmers

Hope you're enjoying the lovely sunshine today! Awesome winter weather! Here's a nice shot from Cottesloe last weekend:


Just a quick reminder that owing to a water-polo match this Saturday there will be NO squad session at 1pm unfortunately. This will resume on Saturday 23rd July as normal.

Squad Numbers:

It's that time of year again when it's seemingly much harder to get out of bed when the temperature is in the single digits! There's also all the late-night Tour de France watching that goes on and of course the school holidays too. 

All this being said, I just wanted to let those of you who may be waiting on a space in some of the squad sessions, that we do currently have availability and that I would encourage you to please come down and try any of the sessions as outlined below. I'd hate to think that you might be waiting on for an opening and not attending because of this! 

The sessions that are particularly quiet at the moment are:

  • Monday 7am
  • Tuesday 6.30am & 6.30pm
  • Wednesday 5.30am
  • Friday 6.30am
  • Saturday 1pm

IMPORTANT: we have just been offered some extra lane space which will essentially offer us a regular 4th lane on a Wednesday at 5.30am and a Friday at 6.30am - I need to get back to the pool manager by Monday, so it'd be good to get an indication of interest from you as to whether or not to book these lanes in.

It's a great time to come down and get a bit of stroke TLC (as you saw here: - these 5 lucky swimmers got a video analysis session as part of the Saturday swim). Also, we have some very consistent former lane one 5.30am swimmers who just 12 months ago would have been swimming 1'48" to 1'50" per 100m who have recently been moved up into lane 2 (and last week even spread across into lane 3), who swam 400m last Friday at an average of 1'36" per 100m - a simply MASSIVE improvement. Well done you guys - consistency is key!

For your reference, this is what you can expect to be doing at each of the sessions:

In a given week we like to operate a regular cycle or structure which ensures that you know what to expect from each session and equally what benefits that session will give you from a fitness and technique perspective.

1. Monday 7am: A technique session with a small group size, offering you the chance to come in and work on your stroke. This is not a big volume session, nor is it physically hard, but it does contain a lot of drilling and work on refining your efficiency in the water. A great way to start the week and particularly suitable to those who've recently done a 1-2-1 Video Analysis session.

2. Monday 9.30am, Tuesday 5.30am, 6.30am & 6.30pm: This is an essential session for the week and absolutely adored by those who have a "diesel engine" and like longer, challenging swim sets at moderate paces and with a good focus on technique. An excellent way of building endurance.

3. Wednesday 5.30am: This is a favourite session of Half and Full Ironman athletes as well as Rottnest Solo and Duo swimmers. The primary focus of this 1½hr session is to allow you to work on refining your pace awareness and energy conservation over longer distances. Whilst it contains less drilling work and shorter recoveries than the Tuesday session, we still focus on technique here - the technique of effective race pace strategies. Highly recommended!

4. Wednesday 9.30am, Friday 5.30am & 6.30am: If you want to get faster with your swimming, then this session is essential. It has been shown that the most effective way to improve your aerobic (endurance) performance is by tactically shifting your threshold curve to the right, meaning that you can perform at the same speed for less effort OR perform at a faster speed for the same effort. How do you do this? By working specifically at paces just slightly below and slightly above this threshold point. How do you know where this point is? You need to test regularly for it. Is that hard? No, quite the opposite, it's very simple and if done in the right manner and using some simple training tools (like the Wetronome) this session can be both very challenging, highly rewarding and, surprisingly enough, fun!

5. Friday 9.30am: This session is similar in many respects to Monday morning's 7am session but with a slight twist in two respects: 1) each swimmer is encouraged to work through the set session entirely at their own pace and to hold back if they are feeling tired or to push on if they are feeling good. 2) we always conclude with a very special "Friday Fun Challenge" which is sure to keep you on your toes and help you learn some new swimming skills. A great way to round-off the week!
Saturday Sessions Are A Lot Of Fun!

6. Saturday 1.00pm: By far and away our most enjoyable and practically useful session of the week for triathletes and those following the open water calendar. This is a structured pool-based session focusing on refining your open water skills for more effective and less anxious ocean swimming. We go through drafting, sighting, turning and pacing and if it's not covered in this session, you don't need to worry about it in the ocean! It's a hugely fun session and not to be missed by any aspiring triathlete or open water swimmer..

Thanks crew and hope to see you down at the pool in the morning - I've got a lovely little set lined up for you!



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