Thursday, August 28, 2014

It's here! Our FREE 2015 Rottnest Channel Swim Program!

Dear Swimmers,

This year's 2015 Rottnest Channel Swim Program is now ready for your viewing pleasure here. The program starts on Monday 6th October 2014 and runs for a total of 20 weeks. The intention is that you'll spend the next 5 and a bit weeks "training to train, before training to race", essentially readying your body and schedule to knuckle-down as best as "life" allows for what is a small, but very doable window.

I've personally had a shocking run of trying to get back into it over the last few weeks and keep trying to tell myself that I've still got plenty of time, and the reality is you have - work out the kinks in your schedule, health, family / work / social life now to be able to roll as seamlessly into the start of the program as possible. You don't need to be training the house down already, but you do need to start getting some consistency to what you are doing within the next couple of weeks, so make that your priority.

Rottnest Channel Swim Program Webinar:

Last year I delivered a very well received webinar on successfully training up for marathon swimming events such as the Rottnest Channel swim and went through training specifics, nutrition plans, injury prevention etc. It's 75 minutes in length, but well worth a watch over a coffee and muffin, especially for those of you contemplating this for the first time - see:

The Program:

You can now download our totally free 2015 Rottnest Channel Swim Program at the following link: is only 2mb in size and is designed to be read on your computer as it contains links off to various other bits and pieces that will help you during your training.

Please take a good read through of the material for anyone doing (or thinking about doing) the event in a little over 5 months time. By all means circulate to friends, family, work colleagues etc - I simply ask that if you are planning on doing the event and seek to follow the program that you quickly email me to let me know if you're doing a Solo, Duo or Team and then I shall watch out for you!

A few notable points:

most of the early morning squads are already close to capacity and as such, if you're not already swimming in some of the sessions which feature in this program, please email me on to be kept informed if / when spaces become available. I can't guarantee to be able to get you in but will keep you posted.
a really good session to consider to start building up your endurance is the new Friday 9.30am 1.5hr endurance session which replicates the fully booked Wednesday 5.30am session - email me for a place.
we do have 4 places available in our Saturday 1pm session for the first 5 people to raise their hands for interest in these. 
given that the squads have been so busy, it may not be possible for those of you who sometimes do a double 5.30am to 7.30am session on a Tuesday and Friday to do this this season, however, three solutions: 1) swim in the 6.30am session and then continue on to 8.30am when the pool is much quieter (I'll still be on pool deck with a 1-2-1 which is good); 2) do the double at 6.30pm on a Tuesday evening, i.e. two separate sessions in a day - if you've never tried this it's actually very effective; 3) swim with me on a couple of the sessions listed in the Program to boost your volume at quieter times.
if you don't already have a copy of our new book and are planning to do quite a bit of swimming by yourself, I'd highly encourage you to order a copy as there are literally over 5,000 possible training session ideas in there that you'll be able to use to compliment the longer, more specific sessions that feature in this program.
I have added a little more detail than last year to the volume recommendation for Thursday 6am open water sessions at Claremont Jetty and also Sunday 7am Claremont Jetty sessions. These are not coached per se, but allow you to swim with a group of like-minded swimmers which is very motivating and encouraging.
for those of you either living out of town or whom cannot attend the squads due to work schedules or because they are full, stay tuned right around the start of the program for news of a new paid-for initiative that should allow you to follow the full detail of all the sessions that the squad will be doing. I will not be writing any personalised programs for the event this year, but as you will see with what we have coming up, you'll have more than enough specific info / ideas to work with - exciting!
the five long Sunday pool sessions are all brand-new and re-written from the 2013 & 2014 programs - I hope you enjoy!
we start on Monday 6th October and run for 20 weeks to Saturday 21st February 2015 (race day).

Cheers everyone, can't wait to get cracking!


Very rare! Several 121 Video Analysis Sessions and a 1-day Swim Smooth Clinic NOW available in October!

Dear Swimmers

Owing to slight change in plan, we will now be running a 2-week Coach Certification program from 22nd September to 5th October and 3-day Coach Education Course on 10-12th October. 

As such, though we had originally hoped to pop over to Hawaii for the Ironman in Kona on 11th October, we will no longer be doing so and instead focusing on the coaching here in Perth.

The great news for everyone in the squad is that during October (when many of you start popping back out of the woodwork!) we'll have many hands on the coaching "deck" which will be great. 

1-day Swim Smooth Swimmer's Clinic:

On Sunday 12th October for the very first time on Australian soil (despite over 250 of these 1-day clinics having now been run worldwide since 2005!!) we will be running a very special 1-day Swim Smooth Clinic as per details here.

The course will run from 9am to 5.30pm and will feature full video analysis of your stroke, some theory work around what makes an efficient freestyle stroke and how you can incorporate these ideas into your own swimming, as well as a 2-hr stroke technique development session.

This is a jam-packed day and we will literally have better than 1-2-1 coach:athlete support given that this forms the third day of the aforementioned 3-day Coach Education Course.

Cost of the 1-day course is $325 and is open to a maximum of 12 swimmers.

My recommendation is that course would best suit those either very new to the squad (within the last 2-3 months) or friends / family members of the squad who don't regularly train with us but want an intensive day of tuition (given that some cross-over of material for those familiar with our drills / methods will be on the program).

Please respond by email with name, age, email address and mobile contact number for anyone interested, clearly stating that this is a request for the 1-day Clinic on Sunday 12th October.

For those more established / experienced squad swimmers or those whom don't have a full day to spare, please read on…

1-2-1 Video Analysis Sessions:

By not flying to Kona, it also means that I've been able to free up the following 121 video analysis sessions which have recently been operating with a six month waiting list.

These will be offered on a strictly first-come, first-served basis and are expected to fill up very quickly! So if you've been thinking about doing one yourself for a while or have a friend / partner who you think would benefit and are maybe training for something like the Mandurah 70.3 event, Busselton Ironman or the Rottnest Channel Swim - now is the time to book a spot! 

I am anticipating that by offering these sessions that some of my pre-booked clients in late October, November, December and January will seek to be moved forwards and if this is requested then those that do will be obliged the first available spots. However, as regular attendees of the squad, I wanted to post this availability out to you all first as recognition of your continued support for what we do.

So, fingers on the buzzers…here are the dates / times - please act ASAP - go! :-)

  • Saturday 27th September at 2.30pm
  • Monday 6th October at 8.10am
  • Tuesday 7th October at 7.45am and 9.30am
  • Wednesday 8th October at 8am
  • Friday 10th October at 2pm
  • Saturday 11th October at 9am & 2.30pm
  • Monday 13th October at 8.10am
  • Tuesday 14th October at 7.45am and 9.30am
  • Wednesday 15th October at 8am
  • Friday 17th October at 7.45am

Please email your name, email address and mobile contact number and the date(s) you wish to book. I will then confirm your dates as I receive them and send a payment link through shortly thereafter.

Cost until the new year is $189 for this 70-75 minute session.



Tuesday, August 26, 2014

Accommodation thanks and another request for help!

Dear Swimmers

Hope you're all doing splendidly this week! I'm well on the mend with my teeth and starting to feel much healthier - thank goodness!

Still no word on when Super Sue will swim the English Channel sadly, but as soon as I know I will let you know - keep your well wishes and thoughts coming!!

Mega Megan crossed the Prince Edward Island Sound last week successfully and became the 24th person ever to do so without a wetsuit! Yay Megan! And Andrew Hunt also successfully crossed the Catalina Channel making him an honorary member of the so-called "Triple Crown" club - well done that man - hopefully we'll have fuller reports to detail soon!

OK, thanks for the great response re. accommodation home stays for our visiting coaches on the 22nd September - I think we are now all sorted.

I have also received a request for one of Britain's top female triathletes (Emma Pallant, recent winner of the London Triathlon) to come and spend November in Perth training with the squad after we did some work with her and her two Olympian coaches (Michelle Dillon and Stuart Hayes) in the UK which is really reaping the benefits for her now. As such, I'm also looking to try and find Emma some accommodation for the month of November if anyone can help, please let me know!

Many thanks as ever,


Saturday, August 23, 2014

Looking for 3 more home stays if possible...can you help?

Dear Swimmers

It's rapidly approaching that time of year again when we invite a small collection of esteemed coaches over to Perth for our 2 week coach certification program. These three coaches have been hand selected from the 195 coaches worldwide whom have now sat our initial 3-day Coach Education Course and we're very excited to invite Lance (USA), Sinead (Ireland) and Gavin (UK) over to Perth for the course starting on Monday 22nd September until Sunday 5th October.

The coaches will mostly be arriving on Saturday 20th September and leaving on Monday 6th October and we're hoping to find them each a home-stay during this period if at all possible. Last year worked out great with coaches Morgan, Stacee, Cath and Dominic and allowed them a real opportunity to gel with their 'families' and also get a nice taste of the Perth environs.

I'd be really appreciative if anyone were able to help out this time around as well. If you could let me know by return email, that'd be great. The coaches wouldn't necessarily be expecting a free home stay, but obviously with costs of travel over to Perth, we're hoping to cut the cost of hotel accommodation for example significantly. I'm pretty sure they'd be open to 'contra' arrangements on video analysis session(s) or assistance with your own swimming :-)

Cheers and thanks for the consideration.


Friday, August 22, 2014

Andrew, Geoff and Pete to swim the Catalina Channel

Whilst we are still waiting with baited breath to hear about Sue Oldham's English Channel swim, I have just had the following sent through from Andrew Hunt of Lane 4 Tuesday 630am sessions - I hope you can watch and support the boys!!



Hi Paul, setting out for my swim tonight (LA time).   If interested, you can track the swim like this:

All of our swims can be tracked on the mapswim web page which shows a map of the swim between Emerald Bay on Catalina Island and Palos Verdes on the mainland near Long beach.   The map should show a flattering photo of the swimmer at their current location, along with a track of coloured markers showing progress.   The white concentric circles on the map show 1km and 5km bands from the start, giving a rough idea of the distances.

My swim starts at midnight on Thursday 21st August (which is 3pm on Friday 22nd) and should take 12 hours plus or minus 2 hours, so I should be finished between 1am and 5am on Saturday morning.

Geoff's swim starts at midnight on Monday 25th August (which is 3pm on Tuesday 26th, finishing early on Wednesday morning).

Pete's swim starts at midnight on Wednesday 27th August (which is 3pm on Thursday 28th, finishing early on Friday morning)

For my swim Tory will be tweeting some photos and updates via twitter,  follow on twitter go get these updates.

For Geoff's swim Tory and I will tweet some updates on

For Pete's swim I'm sure Lisa will post some updates on facebook.


Friday, August 15, 2014

Back to the waiting game again for Sue...

Dear Swimmers

Sorry to be the barer of "bad" news, but Sue Oldham's skipper has just stood the crew down for Sue's attempt to swim the English Channel at what would have been 6.30am AWST Saturday 16th August due to the weather window suddenly narrowing considerably. I will keep you posted as ever on any further updates and when Sue will get her next chance - this waiting game is tough I tell you, none moreso than for Sue who we're all sending positive weather vibes!!

In the meantime Mega Megan Surrette will be attempting to swim the Prince Edward Island Sound in Nova Scotia at 7pm AWST Sunday - as soon as I have more details I will let you know.



Thursday, August 14, 2014

Sue's at it again!

Dear Swimmers

All being well we should be able to track Sue across the English Channel now the weather has settled somewhat at 6.30/7am our time on Saturday morning (Sue's 11.30pm - so ~5 hours in the dark to start, which she'll relish as a beautifully peaceful way to start her attempt!).

Here's that link again:

Go Sue! We're all behind you and sending you awesome vibes!


Wednesday, August 13, 2014

Missing in action!

Dear Swimmers

Sincerest apologies for my absence on pool deck again this morning. Unfortunately I have had to go back into hospital for some further surgery on my stubborn wisdom teeth but hope to be back in time for Friday morning's sessions, albeit a little hamster-face-like!

It's been a funny old year since winning Manhattan last June with my back, Mish and her brother etc (who is now fully clear of cancer, thank god!) so I'm hoping that after this I can get moving again positively forwards as I go into my 37th year in a few weeks time - eeek!

Thanks for listening and understanding - I hate letting you guys down by not showing up for squad.


Ps hoping to have some news about Sue Oldham's next scheduled swim date for the English Channel, all being well this Friday following the terrible hurricane-like weather that cancelled her first attempt last week. Also, the mighty Mega Megan Surrette has just left for a marathon swim across to Prince Edward Island in Nova Scotia which I will keep you posted on too. Megan will be the only competitor attempting the swim non wetsuit - whoop, whoop!

Friday, August 8, 2014

Sunshine Saturday!

Dear Swimmers

It looks set for another cracking winter's day tomorrow and what better way to spend the afternoon with a good solid hit out at the pool between 1-2pm. Sally is giving her throat a chance to recover so I will be taking the session and hope you can join me for some rip-roaring open water skills work!

See you then,


Thursday, August 7, 2014

Sue Oldham to swim the English Channel tomorrow at 68 years young!

Photo courtesy of Janine Kaye Photography
Dear Swimmers

Squad stalwart and lady on a mission, Sue Oldham has had the call that 6am GMT (1pm Perth) on Friday 8th August should be her chance to swim across la Manche at 68yrs young! You'll be able to track Sue at on the Anastasia with pilot Eddie Spelling - go Sue! We're so proud of you and will be following you every step of the way!

I've already had two swimmers whom I've been advising from afar cross the Channel this week - Lawrence from Sydney in 13h55m and Kent from Adelaide in 13h42m - so let's hope for a hat-trick tomorrow with Super Sue!



Monday, August 4, 2014

A polite reminder to be polite to your fellow swimmers...

Dear Swimmers

Hope you're enjoying this glorious weather today! It was simply beautiful on the pool deck this morning - thanks for joining me if you were able!

In an effort to ensure that the squad remains a happy, productive environment in which everyone can enjoying training and improving their swimming, I thought it'd be of benefit to re-hash some "lane etiquette" pointers as we roll through the last few weeks of winter and towards the new season. I apologise if I sound like a stickler when I go through these, but it's amazing how a little lane "harmony" can really affect everyone's attitude in a positive manner!

Squad attendance has been unusually high during the winter, probably spurred by the fact that we have a confirmed 263 people currently on the wait list to join the squad. If for any reason your circumstances have changed recently, do please let me know. I am keeping a close eye on numbers as we speak and as a little bit of an update in how things are looking, see below:

  • Monday 7-8am - light, technique session - FULL
  • Monday 9.30-10.30am - light, technique session - PLEASE ENQUIRE*
  • Tuesday 5.30-6.30am - moderate endurance session - FULL
  • Tuesday 6.30-730am - moderate endurance session - PLEASE ENQUIRE*
  • Tuesday 6.15-7.15pm - moderate endurance session - PLEASE ENQUIRE*
  • Wednesday 5.30-7am - very hard endurance session - FULL
  • Wednesday 9.30-10.30am - threshold development session - FULL
  • Thursday 6.15-7.15pm - threshold development session - PLEASE ENQUIRE*
  • Friday 5.30-6.30am - threshold development session - FULL
  • Friday 6.30-7.30am - threshold development session - PLEASE ENQUIRE*
  • Friday 9.30-11am - *NEW* very hard endurance session - PLEASE ENQUIRE*
  • Saturday 1-2pm - open water skills session - PLEASE ENQUIRE*

*I will be keeping a close monitor on these sessions this week and next and will offer space in them if space appears available - by all means let me know if you are keen and I will keep you posted for the time being.

Playing "nice":

Here are some tips on how to play nice within the squad sessions to ensure that everyone has a great time - I genuinely hope they help…I'll be testing you this week on these - ha!

  1. Keep your wits about you - it's easy to zone out and become so self-absorbed when you're completing a set on a target time, but please be aware that there are others around you - it's amazing what a cursory glance over your shoulder just before you set off can do to ensure you're not pushing off into someone! Think "wing mirrors"!!
  2. Mind the gap - try to adhere (where possible) to the 5-8s rule behind the person in front of you…usually the green sign on the left side of the pool at the 10m mark is the easiest way of doing this. No one likes having their toes tickled and if you do this to the person in front of you, it's usually interpreted as you wanting to get past. If the lead swimmer offers to let you go past, you should do this or at least drop back a few meters to stop touching their feet. This mostly happens unintentionally but can be very frustrating for the lead swimmer. It all starts by setting off the right distance apart and then holding this gap, as opposed to closing it down on the first length. We're not racing for sheep stations and maintaining a gap rather than closing it down will be more beneficial for your swimming anyway. Please do it.
  3. Keep to the left - in the last 3 months I've made a practical intervention to try to improve the squad by offering two ability groups within most lanes so that two people are leading two sub-groups, each with their own beepers. The idea is to allow you to be swimming at a pace more closely linked to your specific CSS pace. In an ideal world there'd be a lane for each of you and you'd each have your own specific beeper but the practicality of this in a squad environment makes it impossible sadly. A good compromise is having two smaller groups operating allowing twice as many of you have the responsibility and practice of leading the lane and getting your pacing set correctly. The downside is that eventually the faster group will lap the slower group and for a while it can get a little messy. Keep your wits about you, don't swim over the top of each other and slower swimmers keep to the left, but it is the faster swimmer's responsibility to do the passing! This happens most often in the Wednesday 5.30am and Friday 9.30am sessions (due to the length of the intervals) and to some extent the naming of these sessions "Red Mist" was born out of some of the stress and frustration that people feel in this situation of "controlled chaos". Of course it's the same sensation that many experience in a race, so learning to calmly take it all in your stride will not only benefit your session, but your racing too!
  4. Avoid short turning - in the case of Point # 3, sometimes it's inevitable that the best thing to do is to short-turn at the shallow end to avoid a big calamity as the two sub-groups converge, but you shouldn't use this as an excuse to think it's fine to do this all the time! Short turning is bad practise with your fellow buddies who feel like it messes up the rhythm of the whole lane. Please avoid where possible.
  5. Finishing / moving over - as soon as you finish an interval, move over to your right or into the very left-most corner of the lane, but do be cognisant of those behind you still wanting to finish (or turn) on the wall. During busy sessions this is especially important, so please be aware of the intentions and goals of your fellow swimmers and allow them to get their full length in too.
  6. Listening up - my poor old voice (and that of Sally's too!) has been taking a real bashing this last year, so much so that I'm off to see a voice coach on Friday to see how I could better "throw" my voice. One of the things we're looking at is a portable P.A system but even then it makes it hard if people are talking when we're trying to give instructions. I have to say that you're all normally VERY good with this (and thank you for that), but do please see if you can catch yourself out from time to time or even your fellow swimmers and politely remind them for a bit of "shhhh!" during key instructions - it'll be really very much appreciated!
  7. Take charge - don't be afraid to have a go leading the lane from time to time if you're having a good session or are on the cusp of moving up within the lane anyway. No one is going to think you've failed if you can't make the times and ironically enough I can say with 110% certainty that you'd gain more kudos from your training buddies simply from giving it a go - it's not that scary, trust me!
  8. Simply be nice - I personally feel that the squad (now into it's 8th year) has reached a good level of "maturity" and there are clearly some great friendships that have been forged. It's a lovely place for me to personally work and I love to coach you all and see you enjoying yourselves. A simple "hello" or "how are you?" with your fellow training buddies can be all that it takes to reduce some of the intensity and pressure / stress that some of you feel within a training session, so don't forget to simply be nice. The escapism that the pool allows you all is a great way to say to yourself "OK, this next hour is my chance to let go of anything I'm stressed about at work / home and just enjoy myself" - sharing that with your fellow team mates really bolsters that feeling and you'll be amazed how much better you can feel after a session if everything has gone well and everyone has been nice to each other. 

Peace out (man!),


Saturday, August 2, 2014

Starting to think about Rotto...

Jane gets geared up for the 2014 Rottnest Channel Swim - her first Solo swim which she did amazingly well at!

Dear Swimmers

It's always about now that I start to get asked the question - when should I start training for the Rottnest Channel Swim?

I am very keen on people feeling like they can really commit to a solid 20 week program, starting this year on Monday 6th October. In reality, with the Christmas break this gets broken down to 11 weeks followed by 2 "squiffy" weeks and then a highly focused 7 week run-in to the big event on Saturday 21st February 2015. Registrations open on Monday 3rd November as per the details here:

If you're going to be doing this event for the first time, or simply want to do better than you've done before, I'd highly encourage you to start thinking about "Training to Train" before "Training to Race", and that would involve an initial 8-week window which you could start on Monday 11th August. During this period you'd be getting yourself into a regular - but not highly regimented - routine swimming 3 to 4 times per week, simply focusing on getting your body ready for the rigours of what you will inevitably need to do to prepare properly for the event. You don't need to be super strict with yourself during this initial period (save that for October 6th onwards!), but honing your form and technique and getting some basic semblance of fitness back will really help to bolster your efforts later on. This can be as much as 3 to 4 x 1hr sessions per week in these early stages, with perhaps a longer mid-week session or longer open water swim at the weekend.

To that end, last year I prepared this special 75 minute presentation about the event which you should hopefully find very useful:

The link to the actual PDF program from last year (which will be similar again this year given the success of last year's swimmers - "if it's not broken, don't try and fix it!") is here:

You might also find this useful food for thought if you're contemplating the event this year: 

I hope you find this useful to get you to start thinking about when you might like to start coming out of the woodwork. If you are thinking of doing a Solo, please let me know for my reference as it'd be great to keep you posted on all that we will be having going on for you guys this summer re long swims etc. 

Ouch! Wisdom teeth are finally out!

I'm personally hoping to swim myself (this will be my 4th Solo) and given my wisdom teeth extraction last Thursday (hence the no-show on Friday morning!), Monday 11th August will also be the first day in my program for the build up to the event, so I hope that you can join me - as they say, "there's strength (in motivation and spirit!) in numbers!"

See you out there!