Wednesday, March 28, 2018

Easter Monday Pure Technique Session 7am and 930am

Dear Swimmers

Great news that the Claremont Pool re-opened just after midday on Tuesday 27th March - so all sessions are back on as normal, including tomorrow evening, Thursday 29th March at 6.15pm! Whoop! You might want to sign up for this session and use it as a "catch up". Just use the app to do so.

Of course it's Easter this weekend, so there will be no squad swimming on the following dates:

  • Friday 30th March
  • Saturday 31st March (don't forget we have the new Saturday Stoic Sunrise Swim starting the following Saturday at 5.30-7am for a trial period of 8 weeks - sign-up ASAP as it's already gone to a waiting list!)
  • Sunday 1st April

However, due to the pool being closed earlier this week and us not wanting you to miss out on your swimming, we've decided to re-instate the sessions at 7am and 930am on Monday 2nd April as a Pure Technique class with a bit of an added "spicy component" in the last 20 minutes to give you at least a little bit of a workout to burn off those chocolate calories. Please register for this session in the app. It's open to anyone, but you must register first and not assume you're automatically in for this session as it was never originally on the schedule. Hope it helps you maintain your fitness though and make-up for earlier this week!

Have a great Easter everyone - if you're heading down for the swim in Gracetown this weekend, good luck! Let me know how you get on!


Sunday, March 25, 2018

Pool Closure - UPDATE

Dear Swimmers

I hope you are having a little less of a stressful weekend than myself right now 😉 

As I mentioned on Friday's email, we are very fortunate that this unexpected pool closure is such a rarity that I haven't this situation in the entire 10 years I have coached from Claremont Pool, such is the diligence of the facility and staff. I can only apologise for the inconvenience in having the cancel the following five squad sessions:

  • Monday 26th March 7-8am (Pure Technique)
  • Monday 26th March 9.30-10.30am (Pure Technique)
  • Tuesday 27th March 5.30-6.30am (Technique / Endurance)
  • Tuesday 27th March 6.30-7.30am (Technique / Endurance)
  • Tuesday 27th March 6.15-7.15pm (Technique / Endurance)

If you were registered to swim in any of these sessions, you should have received a note stating that they are cancelled. You will of course not be charged for these cancellations.

The pool's filtration system is due to be back online for Wednesday's 5.30am squad session. I will confirm this on Tuesday for all registered swimmers.

What are we doing about it from a training perspective so you don't miss out?

  1. we shall be adding an Open Water Skills session* on Monday 26th March at 9.30am and also on Tuesday 27th March at 6.15am, both at Cottesloe Beach starting from the grassed area immediately in from of the pylon (northside of Indianna Tea Rooms). You will need to please add yourself in for these sessions directly using the app - I do hope you can join us for these! These sessions are open on a first-come first-served basis - so please be quick to register.
  2. ordinarily we cancel the squad for 4 days over the Easter period. The pool will still remain closed all day on Friday 30th March (so no squads), however, I will be foregoing the break to come back in on Monday 2nd April, so if you check your app you will see it is possible to book yourself in for the 7am and 9.30am Pure Technique sessions on that day. As I'm assuming that some of our regulars would still have holiday plans, please be sure to add yourself manually for these sessions if you intend to come. These sessions are open on a first-come first-served basis - so please be quick to register.
  3. by adding in Monday 2nd April, I also now have a 1-2-1 Video Analysis & Stroke Correction Session available at 8.10am on that day if anyone wants to jump on that one?

I'm very much hoping that these measures help to somewhat offset the disappointment of losing some training time. We'd really appreciate your support by attending the additional sessions if you are able?


*Our open water sessions are probably the best fun you'll have all week! Come down and enjoy developing your open water swimming skills including: sighting, drafting, turning and also developing your confidence in the great outdoors too! The sessions will always vary in terms of content and structure and will often involve a small amount of (optional) beach running too. You can expect feedback on your positioning for drafting, pacing ability and whether or not the smile on your face is big enough! It'll be a challenging session physically for all (even you fast guys and girls!).

Friday, March 23, 2018

Unforeseen pool closure

Dear Swimmers

I have just been contacted by the Centre Manager at Claremont Pool to inform me of an issue with the filtration system which they are concerned may not be able to be fixed in entirety until Tuesday afternoon next week (27th March), with a hopeful re-opening of the pool on Wednesday 28th March.

I don't wish to jump the gun (knowing that they are at work right now) so at this stage, please simply be advised that our squad sessions may need to be cancelled at short notice and our 1-2-1 Video Analysis Sessions rescheduled.

I do sincerely apologise for this issue. I am coming up to almost exactly 10 years at Claremont Pool (May 2018) with the current squad structure, and despite disruptions beyond control (thunderstorms) and the redevelopment of the centre (2010), this is the very first time anything like this has occurred - which is a pretty amazing run indicating just how great a pool facility we have at Davies Road!

I will be closely monitoring this situation over the weekend and also looking at possible alternatives like an ocean / river swim session to replace the Monday / Tuesday squad sessions. To whet your appetite for that possibility, here's two videos we created just yesterday with the drone during such a swim session:

Here's some food for thought too:

I have reached out to my 1-2-1 clients for Monday and Tuesday (mostly leaving voicemails given the weekend), but please do feel free to reach me on 0431540980 with any concerns. I am hopeful we can reschedule very soon in the event of a cancellation here.

I will endeavour to keep you all posted. Thanks for your support!


Sunday, March 11, 2018

It's that time of year again...!

Dear Swimmers

Firstly, apologies for two random emails that went out over the weekend (1st = about the Quokka Club for young kids; 2nd = about Julie Isbill swimming the Catalina Channel next week - which of course she's already done!). I am investigating where these gremlins have come from so apologies for any inconvenience caused.

10 coaches on pool deck every session for the next 2 weeks - wahoo!

Secondly, it's that time of year again when for the next 2 weeks we welcome our next round of 7 soon-to-be-Certified-Swim-Smooth-Coaches to the Perth Squad. We have a great crew lined up this year:

  • Heiko (originally from South Africa, most recently in Germany but now based in Jeddah, Saudi Arabia)
  • Tim (originally from the UK but soon to be based out of sunny Mallorca, Spain)
  • Karyn from Florida, USA
  • Gretchan from Portland, USA
  • Riana from South Africa
  • Ron (originally based out of Chile, but now in California, USA)
  • Simon (originally from the UK but now based out of Toronto, Canada)

…so we really hope that you make them feel as welcome as you always have with the other coaches we've had with us over the last 7 years (wow, time flies!). They'll be assisting and getting involved with our sessions on pool deck and lots more extra-curriculum mentoring besides!

On that note, if anyone is seeking either an additional swimmer - or support crew / coach - for this coming weekend's Port-2-Pub swim, please let me know as I am sure they'll be keen to help out!

Open Water Sessions:

We have two great open water sessions lined up in the next 2 weeks (Monday 12th March and Friday 23rd March, both at 9.30am) where we have plenty of spots available for you to join in if you can make it and fancy a little bit of extra open water training / tuition. Just sign up in the blog. We'll have the 7 coaches named above as well as Adam and Emma from the UK both in attendance, so you can be assured of plenty of support and encouragement with 10 of us to assist.

Rottnest SwimRun:

A big well done again to the aptly named duo of Gary Couanis and Emily Loughnan, Back-2-Back, for their back to back win at yesterday's Rottnest SwimRun event as well as a new record. It was a great event that I was stoked to be a part of again and together with last weekend's Rottnest Channel Swim Solo 2nd place getter, Brad Smith, am pleased to say we picked up the silver in the men's division and 3rd place overall, going almost 20 minutes quicker than last year. I haven't had any official photos through from Gary and Emily yet but here's a quick grab from FaceBook showing their massive lead on the rest of the field and a few of my Instagram posts telling a little bit more of the story of the day:

Last but not least…

I'm very excited, honoured and super proud to say that 2-time world triathlon champion and current Ironman world record holder, Tim Don, along with 2007 Formula One world champion, Jenson Button, have invited myself and Adam along to the Bahamas at the end of May for an exclusive triathlon training camp (details at ) at the Island House. Many of you will recall that Tim was knocked off his bike 2 days before the Hawaii Ironman World Championships last October and broke his neck in the process. Despite such a terrible accident, Tim is making a terrific comeback so it will be an amazing privilege for me to assist Tim with his journey back with the running of this camp. I'm just a tad excited 😊 

Thursday, March 1, 2018

Rottnest Channel Swim Results 2018

Dear Swimmers

It's great to be back in Perth and to be hearing about all your exploits in last weekend's Rottnest Channel Swim. This is the first time I've missed the event since it was cancelled in 2007 (prior to moving back to Perth later that summer). I managed to stay up to about 3am watching the vent whilst over in the UK as one of the keynote speakers at the London Triathlon Show which saw 51,000 people attend the show and listen into our talks, demos and elite showcasing (more pics at the end of this report). Normally the show falls on the weekend after the Rottnest Channel Swim, so I was very sad to miss the swim this year, such is our commitment to writing the coaching curriculum for British Triathlon (which of course we are proud and honoured to do as well!).

I do however, believe I tempted fate with this slide in my first presentation on Friday (just 5 hours before you started the Rottnest swim here in Perth):

So I'm very sorry if you were one of the solos, duos or team members who were pulled from the water due to the shark sighting, and to those of you who made it across - bravo! What an amazingly quick year!! We were disappointed that Brad Smith did not take the win of course, but his time of 4h08m is the 4th fastest time ever across the channel - top work Brad! Young Byron did an amazing job with Tim Hewitt to take out the duo prize this year, a good margin ahead of 2nd place which featured a 2000 Olympic Games gold medallist in Chris Fydler.

The full results can be seen here:

But here are our squad / 121 summaries for your reference (click to enlarge) - please let me know if I've mistakenly missed you:





So overall we had fewer swimmers than in previous years, but I think it's fair to say that as the squad matures, many of you are now looking beyond Rottnest to events like the Port-2-Pub, the various Ironman events and of course next weekend's Rottnest SwimRun event to tickle your tastebuds! In fact, when I reflect back to 2007/8 and compare the number of events on the calendar then to the choice you have today, there's hardly any wonder that marketing statistics suggest that these days a certain discipline / event is only holding the attention of an athlete for an average of 2.5 years. Hopefully though, with things like the regular routine of our squad etc, your day-2-day exercising habits remain unchanged as you continue to lead an active and healthy lifestyle (which is what it's all about of course!) even if you aren't necessarily undertaking a huge event every year. I know that's certainly how I feel I'm operating these days!

Anyway, well done everyone who competed!

Squad swimmer JT has provided this following summary which I think works nicely as a review - thanks JT!

"…suffice to say it was the best conditions for fast crossings possible. A strong easterly wind throughout, with little or no current that I was aware of. I don't think I noticed the 4,7 and 10km markers but we almost touched each marker from 14km onwards. The swell was only 1-2 metres but it was a bit choppy. Quite a few paddlers capsized and it was quite hard to breathe both sides without getting some splash in your mouth but these were minor issues and dwarfed by the helpful wind.
From a personal point of view it was a massive relief to have good conditions…it also means that I've sneaked up to 10 solos and so can join Rob Herkes and John Edwards in 'semi-retirement'. I like the idea of doing 'casual' crossings with John E, Andy M, Rusty etc without the pressure of events.
As for the event itself, I've just had a look at the results online. 376 soloists listed, 294 finished, 68 DNF and 14 DNS
The last 4 finishers were as follows;
291st. 7hr27min
292nd   7hr32min
Then a 1hr38min gap to ….
293rd  9hr10min
294th  9hr16min
It looks like 2 swimmers right at the back of the field were slow enough not to have reached the 'shark zone', which wiped out the 68 swimmers just in front of them, give or take 1 or 2 who might have DNF-ed for other reasons.
Assuming I've got this right, the 68 shark-caused DNFers should all have clocked between 7hr32 and 9hr10, assuming everyone kept a steady pace.
It's a real shame that for the slow end of the field, they had dream conditions and would have been tracking beautifully up until 12km, when they were forced to abort. Hopefully some of them can enter P2P and get similar conditions, but without the shark.
Finally, my usual stats on my history.
The fact that I'm slower (in training) than previous years should have had me moving down the field. The fact that I stayed around the 40% mark must probably means that the 'extra' 100 swimmers that entered this year were, on average, slower than the 'normal' field.

London Triathlon Show

And finally, some pics from the London Triathlon Show for your viewing pleasure 😉 see you back on pool deck tomorrow!