Swim of the Week

By May 20, 2019Uncategorized

Here at SFT we do love to hear all about your improvements and how your races went. If you could share a race experience with us, a result or an improvement we will be offering a prize for Swim of the Week.

Simon at the Putney sessions just swam 6mins quicker at Mallorca last weekend compared to his best last year so that is not a bad starting point for July. Leslie H just added 45m to her T10 best at London Bridge. Please add your results to the comments below and one will be selected for a prize. Goodluck!

T10, time trials, races all count. Will need some verification though if done outside of an SFT session. Goodluck


  • Verity says:

    Not a result per se but went from 0 to 5k in five days at just over four weeks post partum!

  • Simon says:

    First sub 6 minute 400m time trial. Been a long time coming but was really pleased to achieve this in Italy.

  • Lee Jolliffe says:

    After learning to swim for the first time in mid January 2019. In April with very little swimming under my belt I took part in a weeks open water course in Lanzarote with the SFT team. Who quickly realized i was a none swimmer. But with their patience and encouragement they got me through the course and were truly incredible. On May 25th 2019 i completed the open water 2.4mile course of the Lanzarote Ironman in 1hr 49mins 55sec and went on to complete the competition under the 17hrs required. Huge thank you to Dan and the team who without i would of never got in the water.


  • Isabel says:

    I did my first triathlon on Saturday (Blenheim) and did the sprint swim in 15 minutes! The rest was not as impressive. At Serpentine tonight so take it easy on me…

  • Lee Jolliffe says:

    Another ironman next year maybe Barcelona. A few charity runs.. As many open water events i can get in before the season finishes… So if you know of some good ones to take part in? Would be much appreciated for details.


  • Debs Paterson says:

    I did Staffs yesterday (my first OW race) and did the swim 7 minutes faster than I have done in training, to complete the 1.2 in 45 mins :). My training with Keeley and also the OW Serpentine sessions definitely helped!

  • Mark Klein says:

    I escaped from Alcatraz and swam from the island to the shore. An amazing experience jumping from the Belle boat and coping with the temperature, conditions and currents. Trained hard and made it to shore in 35 mins so well chuffed. Thanks, Mark

  • Steve Harding says:

    Did the Henley Classic yesterday for the second time, with a much stronger stream than last year. The time wasn’t faster but everyone had slower times – the swim felt much ‘easier’ than last year and everything felt cleaner and more efficient – all credit to Lan for her coaching – especially given I was laid up in Feb and March with broken ribs! Then for some reason did the Sunday fitness session at Putney in the evening!

  • clare ratnavira says:

    I’m standing on the edge of a lake in Essex, it is 6.30am on a sunny Saturday morning. The sun is glinting off the lake and around me the heady smell of neoprene as other early risers and I pull ourselves into our wetsuits, readying for an open water swim session. I can just about see the buoys around the edge of the lake marking out our route. My training goal is to do 4 laps, 4kms being further than I’ve swum before and this being only my 5th visit to the lake.

    I find myself over thinking the enormity of what I’m about to do, “it’s a long way”, “I’ve never done this before”, “what if I can’t get round?”, “what if……?”, “what if….?”. I’m doing a great job at starting to psych myself out of not only not achieving my goal, but not even starting on the journey.

    Finally I give myself a good talking to, walk into the lake and just start swimming. I’d resolved to face my fears, to focus on one stroke at a time, to recollect everything my swimming coach had taught me and to trust in my ability. I was not breaking any records, but before I knew it, 91 minutes later I’d achieved my goal and you couldn’t wipe the smile off my face.

    As I drove home, I mulled over my morning’s experience, the parallels with everyday life, how easy it can be to self-sabotage our potential to achieve. How often do we just not start something, talk ourselves out of it, not take that next (or first) step or stroke, not speak up with a new idea, not apply for that new job, or promotion because we over think it and we don’t know how we will do it, if we can do it and we certainly don’t have all the answers, let alone all the questions!

    We have all been there, so let me challenge you, where in your life do you just need to just take that first step (or stroke!)?
    Be courageous, be bold. Today could be the day to just do it

  • clare ratnavira says:

    An amazing 9 days……. two milestones achieved: 1) first time 4km swim at Stubbers, stood on the side of the lake, overthinking it & in danger of psyching myself out of it – but eventually, one stroke in front of the next!! 2) first time ironman distance, Fugitive in Marlow with a 44 min swim!
    Big thanks to Dan, Keeley, Christine Cedric & Maria for getting me there!

  • Bernice Gray says:

    After two nights camping in torrential rain, I took part in the inaugural Weymouth Swim the Bay 2.4 mile event. Choppy first half swimming into a headwind, then slightly better conditions for the second half. Delighted to come first in my age group! Thanks Swim for Tri, and all my London Field lane mates, for motivating me to improve.

  • Sophie Bennet says:

    Swam the bay inaugural race in Weymouth. It took 1 hour 50 mins for 2.4 miles. It was challenging. Really great to get sea experience ahead of Swim Scilly challenge in September. Hoping the Serpentine will be calmer tomorrow eve 🙂

  • Dave Royden says:

    Those who know me from Mile End know I not a lover of any distance over 100m! So when I entered the Thames Marathon this year I did take a long hard look at myself in the mirror! Why?! Well I managed to complete the 14k or 8.7 miles in 3 hours 55 mins which I was well chuffed with and I can even say I had an enjoyable time too. Water was pretty clear for the Thames anyway and a lovely 20 degrees. It was well supported with over a 1000 swimmers and a great atmosphere as you would expect. I would certainly recommend it but having swam it twice now I think I’ll be hanging up my long distance swimming cap!

  • Steve Harding says:

    Myself and Jennie Amin completed the Thames Marathon on the weekend… and smashed our 5hr target, getting through the 14km in 4hrs 46mins – it’s amazing how time flies when you get into the rhythm. Waiting nervously at Leander Rowing Club in henley at 7:30am to get in, we had 8 waves set off before us but that just motivated us to try to catch swimmers with other coloured caps, helped by a reasonable stream and a generous supply of mini cheddars keeping us going. Surprisingly we managed to swim side by side almost all the way, starting and finishing at exactly the same time!

    Safe to say we’ve still got post-race euphoria (and struggling to lift our arms!)!!

  • Andrew Short says:

    I think that Dan would readily admit that I have been one of his most regular swimmers over the last 15 years. Each year, like clockwork, I would turn up, swim for three weeks, and then, like clockwork, disappear for the next 11 months. I realised that this was sub-optimal, and so in December 2019 decided to sign up to a race that meant I would have to swim more regularly. That race was the 21.5k race in a lake in Sweden: Vidosternsimmet.

    I did do quite a lot of swimming in 2019, although not enough long (i.e. over 10k) or open water swims (as I only did 2 – a 10k and a 15k, both in docks which make for relatively straightforward swims). The race was on 10 August 2019. After a lovely summer, the weather took a turn for the worst on that day. Heavy rain and winds – gusting up to 15 metres per second – were forecast. I wasn’t too worried about the wind as I don’t know what metres per second means (although I have since googled it and found out that it is about 28 mph which is quite lively).

    There were just over 100 swimmers, quite a few from the UK. The start was quite rough – waves in a lake! – and it took a while to get into any kind of rhythm and wait for my heart rate to drop. In just over 8 hours (8 hrs 5 mins) I reached the finish. Which was very cool. Although the course was 21.5k, most people with GPS watches said that they swam closer to 23k. The organisers said that this was probably right but they would not charge any extra.

    I learned a few things. I would have reduced my time with better sighting, better weather and more open water training (or being a better swimmer). The wind (or something) meant that for long stretches of the race I would end up pointing in completely the wrong direction if I didn’t sight every 4 strokes or so. This wasn’t too bad though as the rain meant that I couldn’t often see where I was going anyway. And the field spread out (ie most of them left me far behind) after about 7k so I was more or less on my own until I was overtaken with 25 metres to go!). When the wind dropped, or I was sheltered behind an island, I could go about 12 strokes between sightings, which felt much more efficient.

    My arms felt really tired, but were loosened up by a few strokes with fists (seriously, really worked) or a few strokes tapping the compulsory tow float.

    One think I did get right was the nutrition. I did take time at the stops – every 4 or 5 k – to take a couple of gels, a snickers bar and some picked cucumber (who knew). I may have been the only swimmer to put on weight during the swim, but I felt I had energy for the whole race.

    All in all, it was terrific. The link is here. I am sure entries for next year will enter sooner or later. I recommend it. And the pickled cucumber.



  • Andrew Bole says:

    Hi all, a quick swim tale.

    I’ve just finished Ironman Copenhagen- tick (my first long course, which I never thought I would do)
    It is a lovely one lap sea lagoon swim with a rolling start. The rolling start of 6 people at a time is brilliant, it means almost no battling for position or swimming over people. A game changer for long course triathlon

    I spent the first 5 minutes surfing for some feet to follow and then stuck to them for the whole swim. Simples.

    My swim time was 1.02. Garmin has me swimming 4.1km at 1.31m/100, with the bulk at a very consistent 1.34. Really pleased, can’t believe it as that is pretty much full gas in the pool.

    A massive thanks to SFT and the LB crew. Also a big thanks to Keeley, in the weeks leading up to the event I had a 1:2:1, which I would highly recommend. She gave me a couple of tips which materially improved my stroke.

    All I had to do was I stay relaxed, trust the process and avoid the jelly fish!

    Bring on the Dart in a month.

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