Thursday, May 21, 2015

Pool Closure 6-21st June 2015 - The Plan, Stan!

Dear Swimmers

As you will recall, the Claremont Pool is closing for a period of 2 weeks from Saturday 6th June 2015 to Sunday 21st June 2015 for essential maintenance works on the lining of the pool which is starting to pull away after the major renovations at the pool 4.5 years ago (wow, is it really that long ago?!).

Back in 2010 we shifted as many of the squad sessions as possible up to Challenge Stadium for the 7 month closure but this was met with limited success, i.e. high booking rates and very low attendances due primarily to the change in venue and the colder weather. Given that this closure is only for 2 weeks and is at that time in the season when dark mornings, early sunsets, poor weather and the fact that many people are still recovering from the season just gone often results in low-attendance naturally, we have taken the executive decision to suspend the official squad pool sessions for this 2 week period. I apologise for any inconvenience this may cause you.

The Plan, Stan!

Whilst I appreciate that this might be of a disappointment to many of you, I have been working hard over the last month to create a fully structured program for you to follow should you wish to access one of the other pools during this period to keep yourself ticking over, especially for those of you racing some northern hemisphere events in the next little while. This can be accessed here, totally free of charge:

Utilising this special plan you then have the option to: 

  1. follow the 11 sessions for this period step-by-step from the nicely formatted, printable PDF
  2. or if you fancied taking things a little further, you can access the sessions through our portal (use the 48-hr free trial to check it out or sign up for a month's access - you'll love it!) and have full access to all our videos, tips and techniques that will help you prep nicely for the coming winter season

Option 1:

If you take option 1 to keep yourself ticking over, please be aware that I have configured the system using a CSS pace of 1:40/100m for the example swimmer (given that this is a median CSS pace for the squad). Correspondingly the paces and send-off times that the printable PDFs will state will be based on this number. That shouldn't be a problem for you though as hopefully you all know your CSS paces by now and can substitute your pace for the example swimmer. If you're still unsure, the table below "Additional Squad Space 6th July onwards" will help you get a close approximation of your pace if you find your normal session, lane and then group.

For CSS-based sessions your targets will typically be the 25m time, i.e. if your CSS is 1:30/100m just divide this by four (22:50) and enter this into Mode 1 (as per the PDF directions) on your Tempo Trainer. You can order one here if you need one: 

When it comes to calculating the RM Cycles, simply divide your 100m CSS pace by two and add the RM number to this 50m time, i.e. if your CSS is 1:30/100m, half of this is 45 seconds and an RM5 cycle time would imply a send-off of 45+5 seconds = 50 seconds. Simply enter 0:50 into your Tempo Trainer Pro in Mode 2 (as per the PDF directions) and away you go, beating the beeper to form your recovery.

Option 2:

Of course, if you have access to the app (either with the 48hr free trial or with a monthly subscription of $19.99 which you can easily cancel when the squad resumes if you wish - both available at ) you can take the CSS Test of 400m and 200m and input your information into and the clever little sausage of a system will propagate your target paces and instructions throughout the entire App for you. Neat, huh? You'd then use the 3 or 4 letter App Codes (as listed in the right-most column of the table above) input these into the intelligent search bar and be able to access all my suggested sessions but individually catered to your pace. Simply print these sessions off directly as you come to do them and away you go! The App will also allow you to see how all the drills are done and to pick up valuable tips and techniques on your training and open water swimming. I have included some specific videos you might like to look at within the main June Squad Sessions PDF at

Option 3:

Of course there is the option during this period to take a 2 week break to re-stock and re-callibrate for a good solid winter's training!

A 4th (Open Water) Option:

As I still plan to swim during this period as well, I cordially invite you to come and try a dip in my favourite spot at Claremont Jetty off Jetty Road on the following mornings, meeting at 7am for a 7.15am start (sunrise):

  • Sunday 7th June - 2km familiarisation
  • Tuesday 9th June - 400m intervals
  • Thursday 11th June - 4km timed swim
  • Thursday 18th June - 200m fartlek intervals
  • Friday 19th June - cruisey 5km out and back
  • Sunday 21st June - 4km timed swim


I plan to spend this 2 week period creating a world-beater of a winter program for you all, kick-starting on Monday 22nd June 2015 with some CSS Benchmark Testing on the Wednesday (9.30am) / Thursday (6.15pm) / Friday (5.30am / 6.30am) sessions. This is precisely 20 weeks out from the Mandurah 70.3 Ironman, 24 weeks out from the Busselton Ironman and a full 36 weeks out from the Rottnest Channel Swim, so still plenty of time to get into great shape! 

Sometimes the mind and body needs a little break and I know myself that I'll be able to use this period to get on top of some admin work, write those programs, assist and mentor our other coaches and even hopefully sell and move house! Which reminds me, if you know of anyone keen, we have our first home open this Saturday at 1.15-2.00pm, see for details - sorry for the plug, hope you don't mind! :-)

Squad Availability:

I have been keeping a very close eye on squad attendance over the last month or so and have determined the following availability which we will potentially release to the wait list (now numbering 381 people!) for Monday 6th July 2015 onwards. If you have been absent over the last six weeks or so and think I might have "forgotten about you", please let me know your intentions for attendance over the winter months so as to help me plan availability better. 

PAYG vs Monthly Fees:

A few members of the squad have suggested a shift to a monthly payment scheme for the squad rather than the current (and historic) PAYG system, their reasoning being to smooth out some of the peaks and troughs in attendance and to ensure a maximum number of attendees on any given day. This wouldn't be an overnight change and my personal leaning is not towards this as I feel the flexibility for you all of the PAYG system is better, though admittedly much harder for me to administer so long as the highs and lows aren't too disruptive for you! 

I would really welcome your feedback if you feel either very strongly for or against a change in the payment scheme as it currently stands - please feel free to speak your mind! The June 6th to 21st period is ideal for me to work through some of this feedback and ensure that what we are offering caters towards the majority of people's requests. Equally, any / all feedback you have for me will be listened to and taken onboard during this period so that your needs are met as best as possible, save for potentially the addition of lots of kick sets, short sprints of 25m and the other three strokes…been there, tried that and had a very poor response historically ;-)

1-2-1 Video Analysis & Stroke Correction:

Winter is often a great time to work on enhancing the efficiency of your stroke through our 1-2-1 Video Analysis & Stroke Correction service. For your reference, bookings are now being taken from the start of September as per details / sign-up here: - don't delay, book in today and I'll keep you posted on any earlier cancellations. Cost is $219 for the initial assessment of 75 mins and $169 for any subsequent 60 mins sessions.

Thanks everyone and here's to a great two weeks of hard and diligent training between now and the pool closure…given the training plan as listed above, there should be no reason to back-off now - this is just the beginning!



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