Friday, September 30, 2016

On Our Way Home! Hope You Had Fun & That Perth Is Warming Up?

Dear Swimmers

I am hoping you've enjoyed the last 10 days working with coaches Cyndy and Sally in my absence. We've had a great trip over to bonny Scotland for my sister's wedding in the Highlands and are now just about ready to hop back on the plane, returning back to Perth early evening on Saturday, ready to hit the pool deck for Monday morning's Pure Technique sessions at 7am and 9.30am! It's been a great trip and a wonderful opportunity to spend some quality time with all of my family over here and for the kids to connect with grandparents, aunties, uncles and cousins etc. We feel very privileged to have been able to make it over for this trip and thank you for your support in my absence.

Fancy Pants:

Just a quick reminder that anyone seeking to take advantage of our special free worldwide shipping offer on the "fancy pants" you may have heard some of the squad raving about, you'll need to do that before midnight BST (tonight) by visiting where you can also read and watch a video on how / why you'd want to consider using them and if they're right for you.

Rottnest Solo Plan:

As discussed in previous Blogs, we'll be commencing our 20 week Rottnest Solo program from Monday 10th October. If you plan to do the Port-2-Pub swim instead, you'd just need to start 4 weeks later. Whilst away, myself and coach Cyndy have been compiling the detail for 100+ sessions for you to be able to follow through step-by-step to get you in prime condition for these great events. The program will be available via the ($19/mo) by late next week, so please watch this space. Those of you who are attending regular squad sessions - and whom are planning to do the solo - may already feel you have enough support with your sessions, however, for those of you who cannot attend regularly, or who would like some solid structure for times when you are away yourself and / or would just like to be able to track your progress with our innovative Fitness Tracker and CSS Tweaker, then this will be the thing for you!

App Update:

I'm so sorry that the saga of the updated Squad App has been dragging on! I believe now that almost all of you are sorted and those who have been struggling I've been helping out whilst over here in Scotland during moments of downtime - apologies for any inconvenience. Supposedly the network error and ability to cancel out issue that a minority had been experiencing has now been resolved in version 3.6.6. 

Can I please request that you download the latest version of the app either by visiting your App Store or Google Play Store directly from your phone and checking the "UPDATE" tab and letting your phone do the rest, or my using this direct link for iPhone and Android - thanks!


Here's a quick few photos of our whistle-stop tour! See you Monday!

Our lodgings for the wedding atop a wild, windswept highland moor! The winds peak at over 130km/h that night, making for what was very nearly a Gone With The Wind episode!

Preparing a cup of tea the old-fashioned way!

Taking my Mum's new dog, Monty, for a stroll along Loch Tay - I swam in there, it was 10ÂșC tops!! Brrrr!

Some wildlife along the way!

All dressed up in our Sunday best - Isla was the Flower Girl and Jackson the Paige Boy

Monday, September 19, 2016

Pecking Order 2016/2017

Dear Swimmers

It's been over 12 months since I've updated the squad's "Pecking Order", accounting for the typical two groups per lane and the new wait-listing system. As I will be away from late Tuesday 20th September until Saturday 1st October for my sister's wedding in Scotland, I am hoping this proves to be useful for yourselves as a "go to default" - as there have been some recent shifts - and also helps to show what current level of ability you're operating within when we set target times and cycle times etc.

Please check out the following link so you can see:

  1. which lane we typically* suggest you swim in
  2. which group we typically* suggest you swim with
  3. which order we typically* suggest you swim in
  4. which leader we typically* appoint to each group
  5. the CSS pace / RM Cycle 5 that we typically* appoint to your lane / group

*of course, subject to the dynamic nature of some people attending and some not, others accessing the session via the waitlist etc, this is all just a guideline and your coach on the day will assign the best spot for you.

Here's the listing:

As it turns out we only had 16 swimmers (from a squad of 271 active members) attend Saturday's free CSS Test session at Claremont Pool, so I think I am correct in my assumptions that we have moved on from this regular style of testing and that the frequent "testing sets" that we employ (often without you realising!) are great for allowing adjustments to be made accordingly. Well done to those of you who did it though, I hope the results and my explanations of those results afterwards proved valuable:

Lastly, when you check the Pecking Order listings versus the actual attendance for each type of session over the last 12 months (see below) you'll see just how dynamic the squad actually is and for this reason I really thank you for utilising the squad app to notify us when you will / won't be attending! There is of course always still the possibility of a busier than normal session (due to the legacy of offering permanent spots above the maximum threshold to act as a buffer prior to the new system), but by setting the thresholds correctly, out of 350 sessions last year, not once did we crest over this point. Good lane etiquette (as explained here: is always appreciated by everyone though of course! We're not racing for sheep stations after all!*

Attendance Analysis of Squad Sessions last 12 months: YELLOW = average; RED = peak; GREEN = minimum

I'll see you tomorrow morning and then back again for Monday 3rd October. Here's the coaching roster in the meantime:

*on that note of racing for sheep stations, how's this? You're double Olympic Gold Medallist. Everyone comments on your razor-like focus and your "win at all costs" mentality. You've been accused of being "unsportsmanlike" for using a domestique on the bike, but in the Grand Final of the World Triathlon Series when you could easily claim the title yourself, you stop and pick your faltering brother up with 1km to go and haul him across the line so that he can take the spoils. Incredible. Check out the footage here: - this is a champion personified. Alistair Brownlee, what a legend - teaching us in a nutshell Perspective 101 at the very highest levels of the sport. So next time someone ruffles your feathers in a Red Mist set, take a leaf from Alistair Brownlee's book, keep it real:

Monday, September 12, 2016

Swicheroo this Saturday for the FREE CSS Test and Foam Roller Session!

Dear Swimmers

Firstly, a hearty congratulations to squad swimmer Claire McLean who finished 9th in the Paratriathlon in Rio late last night in the PT4 category! I haven't had the gossip from Claire on the race yet but will let you know as soon as I do!

The Saturday Switcheroo!

Please note that the Foam Roller and CSS Test Session at Claremont Pool this Saturday between 1 and 3pm have been switched around owing to an unforeseen clash with a newly added water-polo match at the pool. The new format is:

  • 1-2pm CSS Test
  • 2-3pm Foam Roller

…hopefully this doesn't mess you around too much and will give you a nice relaxing session to look forward to after your efforts in the CSS session!

It's still not too late to register through the app for the CSS Test (21 people currently registered) and remember this is a FREE session too, so a great chance to come and see where you're at. Adding this in as an additional session outside of normal squad hours is in order to allow you to continue to make gains from the CSS and Red Mist endurance sessions without a break in the consistency of these sessions. Even though a CSS Test seems "hard", really it's *just* 600m of hard work versus 1.5-2.0km of hard work in a CSS session and up to 5km of hard work in a Red Mist session. 

With the newly added RM Cycles from about 12 months ago, it's been possible for me to progress these sessions without the standard CSS Test as frequently and if you've checked out our app, you'll see that once you've done an initial CSS Test, through our innovative CSS Tweaker feature (see, it is technically possible to never need to do a CSS Test ever again by constant tweaking after each session. Of course I do that tweaking for you within the squad context, but if you're going to be doing some training by yourself for a Rottnest Solo swim etc, then this feature proves to be invaluable to ensure you're always moving forwards - it's very cool! 

Rottnest Solo Program - starting 10th October:

On that note, we will be going live within the Guru with a totally complete Rottnest Channel Solo Swim program that will start on Monday 10th October, i.e. 20 weeks out from the race (or 24 if you're doing the Port-to-Pub). This will detail in full (for the first time ever) a complete 100+ session guide to getting you over to Thomson's Bay in the best shape possible, all for just $19.99/mo. In the past we've always detailed a template of what would be recommended for this event (see: but this year will allow you to follow each session all of the way through, even if you never swim with the squad; of course, that takes an extra bit of motivation to do that, but for our country WA, interstate and international followers, this will be the perfect thing for you. So for now, keep "training to train" before we "train to race" come 10/10/16!



Monday, September 5, 2016

Stellar Results at the World 70.3 Championships, Mooloolaba, QLD

Dear Swimmers

I hate jumping the gun by delivering these results for the risk of not having captured everyone's results (if I've missed you or someone else you know please let me know), so the plan is to post out a "finalised" version of these "preliminary" results on Friday's blog, but needless to say I am a very proud coach in announcing the following results at the World 70.3 (Half Ironman) Championships:

  • GOLD Emily Loughnan, 1st in Age Group and 4h40m with a 26:44 swim time or 1:25/100m
  • GOLD Janine Willis, 1st in Age Group and 4h48m with a 27:59 swim time or 1:28/100m
  • SILVER Carrie Anderson, 2nd in Age Group and 5h00m with a 33:11 swim time or 1:45/100m
  • BRONZE Janet Ferguson, 3rd in Age Group and 5h14m with a 32:53 swim time or 1:44/100m
  • BRONZE Graham Crocker, 3rd in Age Group and 5h35m with a 29:52 swim time or 1:34/100m
  • Lisa Luckin, 10th in Age Group and 4h57m with a 31:26 swim time or 1:39/100m
  • Renee Baker, 30th PRO and 4h59m with a 27:39 swim time or 1:28/100m
  • Guy Crawford, 18th PRO and 3h54m with a 22:54 swim time or 1:13/100m (wowsers!)
  • Brad Kaye, 42nd in Age Group and 4h35m with a 33:55 swim time or 1:47/100m
  • Sean Jermy, 66th in Age Group and 4h47m with a 28:54 swim time or 1:31/100m
  • Sean Webb, 134th in Age Group and 4h54m with a 28:56 swim time or 1:31/100m

Well done crew, some really great performances there (yet again!)