Wednesday, April 30, 2014

Saturday 1pm squad cancelled this week!

Dear Swimmers

Please be informed that there will be no 1-2pm squad session this Saturday at Claremont Pool owing to the Busselton Half Ironman and the fact that the majority will be attending that event.

We will resume this session on Saturday 10th May as part of the Get-Your-Mojo-Back campaign - hope you can attend it, it's a great session!

PS apologies to Sandy's squad last night in the Tuesday 630pm session. I incorrectly informed you that the pool's winter hours start this Thursday and hence the session needs to come forward to 615pm on a Tuesday and Thursday. These winter hours actually started on Monday 28th April hence we should have started earlier last night. Apologies to one and all!


Monday, April 28, 2014

Tuesday / Thursday evening sessions 15 minutes earlier from Thursday 1st May for Winter

Dear Swimmers

Just a quick reminder that as of this Thursday 1st May, the Tuesday and Thursday 6.30-7.30pm evening squad sessions will be moving forwards by 15 minutes, to commence at 6.15-7.15pm. This is due to Claremont Pool operating on Winter Hours between May and October and to allow you time to finish your session properly and have a quick shower before heading home. The facility closes bang-on 7.30pm so we will need to get you on your way fairly swiftly.

The process will be that the sessions will each commence at 6.15pm in lane 4, 5 and 6 of the 50m pool and after the warm-up at 6.30pm you will be directed to move into lanes 6, 7 and 8 once one of the other swim squads has finished their session.

We will be keeping an eye on numbers at these sessions over the winter period as spaces may become available for others on the waiting list.

Thanks, and remember, this all starts from this Thursday, NOT at tonight's session which will be the last one at 6.30pm until the summer.


Saturday, April 26, 2014

May & June is "Get-Your-Swimming-MOJO-Back Month(s)" at Swim Smooth Perth!

Dear Swimmers

I hope you're enjoying the last long weekend for a while. I thought I'd take this time to write to you about a little plot I've been hatching over the last couple of weeks. You see, March / April is always a funny time of year here in Perth and I often refer to it as the "Post-Rotto-Doldrums" - many of you trained really hard for that event and following this (or any other A-race for that matter), it's easy to slip into a kind of post-race blues feeling. This is especially dangerous at this time of year, as the weather will start to deteriorate soon and it'll be all too easy to roll over in bed at 5am in the morning and tell yourself "not today, thank you very much!" 

Same thing for those of you competing next weekend at the Busselton Half Ironman - a couple of "rest weeks" soon becomes a couple of months and before you know it, it's October and you've done very little indeed over winter. Of course rest is important, but it's equally important to set yourself a few simple winter goals to keep you tracking in the right direction.

So what prompted all this? Well I've definitely been picking up on a lack of "mojo" vibes in the squad recently and I can't help but wonder if I'm partly to blame? You see I too am feeling this way at the moment…I missed swimming the Catalina Channel in October due to my bad back, had surgery in December to fix my back, got my stitches infected in January, had the wound re-open in February, had a business trip to the UK in March and then was "Daddy Daycare" in April - get the picture? Sound familiar? In a nutshell I've had zero consistency to my training for the last 6 or 7 months and am totally craving routine and stability right now. So why not lead this charge of "Get-Your-Swimming-MOJO-Back" I thought? Goodness knows I need it too. In fact, I've just postponed my next UK trip (originally planned for the end of May) to the start of July just so that I can get you all back into a good routine this winter and establish that all important C-word: Consistency. I'm going to go a step further and add a little humour and interest to this by growing my beard (or attempting to!) until such stage as I've got that MOJO back! You'll be turning up to swimming for the next few weeks either thinking "urgh! what is he doing growing that ugly bit of bum fluff on his chin!" or you might just think "weirdo!", but that's OK because a) Michelle happens to like it and b) one day you'll turn up at 5.30am and it'll be gone! When you ask? When I've got my MOJO back! I'm hoping this might inspire equally weird feats of monk-like deprivation if you're in the same boat as me right now!

So how is this all going to work? Well, next week we'll start off with a little time trial to assess exactly where we're all at (these will operate on Wednesday 30/4 at 9.30am, Thursday 1/5 at 6.30am and Friday 2/5 at 5.30am and 6.30am). If you cannot attend these sessions, follow the advice at and perform the 400m and 200m time trials and record your times and then use the calculate to work out your current CSS pace. Remember, don't shy away from this - this is an experiment and like any good experiment we all need to know where we're starting from so we can gauge how much we need to do in order to improve. Good or bad is not important - it is what it is. It will also ensure you start this program at precisely the right intensity which is very important if (like me) you've had a period of absence; in fact my CSS has gone from 1:12/100m prior to winning the Manhattan Island Marathon Swim in June 2013 to approximately 1:22 or 1:23/100m currently. My intermediate goal is to get this back down to about 1:16/100m in this 8 week period - it won't be easy, but the biggest challenge will simply be to a) commit and b) start - is this what is holding you back too perhaps?

We'll then commence an 8-week program on Monday 5th May (until Sunday 29th June) where I'm going to encourage you to try and swim 3 or 4 times per week, as per this suggestion:

  1. technique focused swim session, i.e. Monday 7am, Monday 9.30am, Friday 9.30am or simply by yourself
  2. threshold focused swim session, i.e. Wednesday 9.30am, Thursday 6.30pm, Friday 5.30am, or Friday 6.30am
  3. endurance focused swim session, i.e. Tuesday 5.30am, Tuesday 6.30am, Tuesday 6.30pm, or Wednesday 5.30am
  4. open water focused swim session, i.e. Thursday 7am (down at the river with me - meet at Claremont Jetty at 6.45am), Saturday 1pm, or simply by yourself

…full details of these sessions can be seen here:

I have prepared the session record sheet as per the image below, which is downloadable at a higher resolution from

Prior to winning Manhattan I did a very similar thing and it worked wonders. I calculated that I had 10 weeks remaining until the race and that I wanted to get 50 sessions in during this period. 5 sessions and ~36km per week sounds like a lot, but compared to my rivals who were swimming upwards of 30km more than me per week (in fact 2nd place finisher Lochie Hinds was clocking over 120km per week!), this was all that I could fit in around my busy work and family schedule. I had to be realistic. You can read more about these 50 sessions here: - the power of writing down my sessions for post-session reflection and even Tweeting every one through my @SwimSmoothPaul account did amazing things for my MOJO at that point. You don't necessarily need to set up a Twitter account yourself and some of you won't even bother to download this PDF record sheet let alone fill it in, but hopefully just getting onboard with this challenge will help to inspire you a little and that multiplied by 180 regular swimmers in the squad could do amazing things for you, me, all of us!

The key to my Manhattan "process" had to be consistency and that each session had to really count. Here's a few tips how you can make your 32 sessions really count during this period:

  • get onboard now - deciding to a) commit and b) start is the hardest part of this whole process…leave it a few weeks and whilst it will totally be possible to pick-up and join-in (especially for those of you planning a break after Busso), for some of you it will be very difficult knowing others have started before you.
  • start filling out the record sheet after every session…even if the motivation for this wanes after about session 5 or 6, you'll be well on your way by that point and getting through those first six sessions is always the biggest hurdle, see: for more details.
  • lead the lane at every possible opportunity: let's think of moving "up" or "down" a lane less of a promotion or demotion and more of doing what's right for you - just last week I was super proud that Janine Kaye and Rhian Chin completed +5km in the ANZAC Day Swim, however I moved them "up" into lane 2 to swim at a pace 'supposedly' 6"/100m faster than their CSS pace only to be told that they found it too easy being behind 8 other swimmers and had a much better workout and more beneficial when they were leading lane 1! Fair enough, I couldn't agree more. Take every opportunity to lead that you can: don't be shy, don't fear failure, just get up there and give it a go! And remember, if I move you across a lane (in either direction) I'm doing it to best suit your needs and requirements, nothing more, nothing less.
  • mind the gap: see - please read this right now…it's soooo important!!
  • learn to see one good thing in every session that you do, write it down, record it and do the same with one thing that could have been done better - this is how we learn and improve.

OK, so at this point nothing really looks any different right? There's a fancy looking PDF to print off (which few of you will do anyway) and a weird picture of me stroking some bum-fluff on my chin, but how exactly will we get that MOJO back? Well, the 8 week program will be split into 2 blocks of 4 weeks where we will essentially repeat the key sessions or training sets in the second block of 4 weeks to see how we're faring. This will typically occur in the threshold focused swim session, i.e. Wednesday 9.30am, Thursday 6.30pm, Friday 5.30am, or Friday 6.30am. So week 5 will be a repeat of week 1, week 6 a repeat of week 2 and so on. We'll keep send off times the same, won't restrict you quite so much with a specific target pace on the beeper (at least, not always), and give you the chance to really shine when needed. This might sound a little boring, but the chance to repeat the same part of a session again when you're hopefully a little fitter and (in this case) a little more pumped-up for it will be a great objective challenge. You'll need to get into a good habit of writing down some of these times and I'll be there to tell you which ones are important to record. We will then re-test in week 9 (week commencing Monday 30th June) and see how everyone's done, including me - hopefully by that point my chin will be as smooth as a baby's bum and all will be well in the swimming world again! ;-)

So come on, finish that Sunday morning cappuccino, get pumped, get inspired and get down to training next week and get started on as many of those 32 sessions that you can!

Cheers and thank you for listening to my ramblings - I hope they help!


Friday, April 25, 2014

Home stay sought for elite junior triathlete from Malaysia

Dear Swimmers

Hope you're having another great long weekend!

I have been asked to coach for a period of about 10 days a young Malaysian elite junior (17-20 yo) triathlete who will be here in Perth from 4th May to 15th May and is seeking a home stay close(ish) to Claremont Pool - can you help please?

Riki is a very nice young man and speaks perfect English. His coach is my first ever mentor in triathlon coaching way back in 1999 so it's quite an honour to be asked to assist in this way.

Please let me know if you can help. Thanks for the consideration.


Thursday, April 24, 2014

Busselton Family Holiday House now available for the half ironman due to late cancellation!

Busselton Family Holiday House now available for the half ironman due to late cancellation!
Lisa Palmer from the squad has just had some guests from Singapore cancel their Busselton Half Iroman booking at her holiday house in Bussleton.
Its free for 10 days from Tues 29th April to Thurs 8th May and she can do the following super special prices:
  • 2 nights $590
  • 3 nights $725
  • 4 nights $850
  • 5 nights $950
  • 6 nights $1,050
  • 7 nights $1,125
  • 8 nights $1,200
It sleeps 12 in 7 beds (5 doubles and 2 singles) plus there is a steel craft sonnet portacot and boori matildas cradle for use by families. There are two bathrooms.
Address is 300 Marine Terrace which is part of the bike course and only one street back from the ocean -  so perfect for viewing whilst maintaining toilet options for your support crew ;)
Details are but please email Lisa direct at if you are interested or give Lisa a call on 0402 284 158


Tuesday, April 22, 2014

Last Minute Wetsuit Bargain Grab Before Busso!!!

Dear Swimmers

Please be advised that we have 13 wetsuits available for purchase ranging in size from Small (ladies) to Large (gents) and from "brand-new-still-in-the-box" to "ex-demos" and "extremely-well-loved" suits in various states of repair to suit your height / weight and budget requirements!

The suits will be available to try tomorrow (Wednesday 23rd April) from 7.30am to 8am and Friday (25th April) from 8.40am to 9.10am at Claremont Pool. The prices stated are open for some very small negotiation, but please respect the fact that these are already excellent offers and if you need a suit in a rush before the Busselton Half Ironman or simply want to take advantage of these excellent offers for next season, then these will make a perfect buy! 

Be quick! I will be offering these on a strictly first-come, best-dressed basis with no lay-bys - if you're interested in a particular suit, please let me know by return email, but you will need to be at the pool at the times stated above and/or arrange pre-payment to secure the suit(s). 

Here are the details (plus approximate height / weight fitting guides):

1. HUUB Archimedes 3:5 Size: SMT (will suit 5'8" to 6'0" and 72-80kg). Average condition. A few superficial nicks, most of them repaired. $250.

2. Orca 3.8 Size: 8 (will suit 5'10" to 6'1" and 74-82kg) Good condition. Relatively old suit. $195. 

3. Blue Seventy Helix. Size: Large (will suit 6'0" to 6'4" and 88-98kg). Used only once. $449.

4. Blue Seventy Axis. Size: Medium Large (will suit 5'11" to 6'3" and 84-94kg). Used only once. $349. 

5. HUUB Archimedes 3:5. Prototype. Size: Large (will suit 5'11" to 6'3" and 82-92kg). Reasonable condition. $150. 

6. HUUB Aegis 3:5. Size: Medium / Tall (will suit 5'11" to 6'2" and 78-88kg). Brand new (still boxed). $325.

7. HUUB Archimedes 3:5. Size: Medium / Large (will suit 5'11" to 6'3" and 82-90kg). Brand new (still boxed). $699.

8. FOOR Quantum 2. Good condition. Size: Medium / Tall (will suit 5'10" to 6'1" and 74-80kg). Couple of nicks (repaired). $195. 

9. Blue Seventy Axis. Size: Size: SMT (will suit 5'8" to 6'0" and 72-80kg). Good condition but one hole in need of repair on right shoulder. $195. 

10. HUUB Archimedes 4:4. Size: SMT (will suit 5'8" to 6'0" and 72-80kg). Seen a lot of action with some deep scratches in left shoulder, hence just $95. 

11. HUUB Women's Aura 3:3. Size: Small (will suit 5'3" to 5'8" and 58-64kg). Used three times. $349. 

12. Snugg Slipstream. Size: Small / Medium (will suit 5'6" to 5'9" and 60-66kg). Well used, hence just $120. 

13. Blue Seventy Helix. Size: Women's Medium (will suit 5'3" to 5'8" and 54-60kg). Very good condition. $295. 



Thursday, April 17, 2014

A big day for Swim Smooth! Our new App is ready for downloading! Plus ANZAC Day Allocations!

Dear Swimmers

Firstly, thanks to those of you who applied earlier in the week for the special ANZAC Day Squad at 7am to 8.30am next Friday, 25th April at the Claremont Pool. We have allocated the following positions and probably have ~5 extra spaces remaining - but please be quick! Email me now and stipulate your lane request. Thanks!

Secondly, it's a massively important day for us today as we officially launch our very first fully-functional App! Check it out here: - download your copy today and when the new Swim Smooth silicon swim caps (complete with new, funked up logo) arrive to celebrate the "birth" of our brand new swim box at at Claremont Pool on the 30th April, show me the App on your iPhone or iPad and get a free cap! Can't say fairer than that!!

Enjoy! Have a great Easter!


Tuesday, April 15, 2014

A reminder about the Easter Mini-Break and ANZAC Day

Dear Swimmers

Great to see most of you back down at the pool this last couple of days now that I'm back to normality with Mish returning home on Sunday. Thanks for all your lovely messages of support - Mish's brother seems to be doing really well and it was great for her to go and see him and support him through his third round of chemotherapy.


Just a quick reminder then that given the various pool closures this weekend for the Easter Break, as normal, we will be cancelling the following sessions on the following days:

  • all sessions on Friday 18th April
  • all sessions on Saturday 19th April
  • all sessions on Monday 21st April

…from speaking with many of you it seems that half of Perth's population will be down south anyway this weekend, which is exactly where we're headed to as well - Augusta for 3 nights camping - should be fun!


Finally, on Friday 25th April the pool will not open until 7am due to ANZAC Day. As such, the 5.30am and 6.30am squads will be unable to run as normal, though the 9.30am session will still go ahead as per a normal week.

To make up for these "lost" sessions, we are offering up to 10 places in each of the 4 lanes for a special 7am to 8.30am squad session. This is your chance to come and have a crack at a solid 1.5hr session of up to ~6km (for lane 4, lane 3 will likely do 5.5km, lanes 1 & 2 ~5km). The idea will be for the session to be a bit of a cross between a Wednesday 5.30am Endurance session and the Friday 5.30/6.30am Threshold session, so it will be a solid challenge, but hopefully a fun one at that - something to lift you out of your comfort zone and if you've never had the chance to try the Wednesday 5.30am session yet, this should be a nice little taster!!

To "apply" please respond to this email ASAP, with your name, current threshold pace and / or the normal lane in which you swim and in which session, i.e. Joe Bloggs, 1:22/100m, Lane 4, Friday 5.30am. First come / best dressed and all that. Anyone currently swimming with the squad can apply (i.e. if you normally swim at 9.30am but fancied this challenge, please just apply and cross your fingers for a spot!).

I will notify you of who was lucky to get a spot on Thursday 17th April at 3pm.

Given that some of you will no doubt take the opportunity to have a bit of an extended break between Easter and ANZAC Day I am anticipating a slightly quiet week next week - so if that's you, have fun, enjoy and see you post-ANZAC Day where we will truly get back into the swing of things! Can't wait to get that routine going again.



Tuesday, April 8, 2014

121 Video Analysis Session Availability with Super Sally Scaffidi!

Dear Swimmers

As most of you are well aware, last year Coach Sally Scaffidi who has been taking the majority of my squad sessions in my recent absences became an officially certified Swim Smooth Coach - whoop, whoop! You can read more about that here:

We are super proud of all Sally has achieved in such a relatively short space of time with her video analysis and stroke correction work and I can personally vouch for just how great her abilities are in this regard. Setting up the certified coaches program was a daunting thing to do initially as anyone with their own business will sympathise that you're always a little concerned about how another person might relay your philosophy and methodology as you have done for so many years. However, I have the pleasure in having personally tutored Sally through her entire certification process and continue to assist with ongoing mentoring. Needless to say, a session with Sally is nothing short of a session with myself and - without blowing my own horn too much in this discipline of swim coaching - I don't think there's any better compliment I can give than that. All the advice you will receive from Sally will be totally concurrent with what I would tell you. 

I am personally fully booked until mid-August and whilst I am still accepting bookings, Sally's wait period is much less simply by virtue of the fact that she's still establishing her business.

Full details of Sally's sessions can be found at:

She works the following spots at Claremont Pool:

Monday to Wednesday  (11am and 12.30pm)
Thursday  (9am and 10.30am)
Saturday (2.30pm)

Cost is $175 for the 75 minute consultation.

This will be the best opportunity you get this winter to hone your swimming technique - don't delay, book a spot in today by contacting Sally direct on