All Posts By

Dan Bullock

Pools opening

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APRIL 12th

A little update given the swim excitement of late! So glad to have some water access back at last. Trust you have all been keeping well. The LonFields lido session resumes next Sunday and our lake at Stubbers (https://www.stubbers.co.uk) is now into week3 and warming up nicely!. Fingers crossed Spring arrives soon.

WHEN CAN INDOOR FITNESS RESUME?

Sadly indoor adult group sports are not back until May 17th at earliest and for some bizarre reason swimming in a lane with 5sec gaps due to a coach being on poolside is considered a group sport. So LB, Mile End and Putney are still a way off.

SOME GOOD NEWS RE CHLORINE & COVID

Recent news – SWIM POOLS/CHLORINE effect on COVID https://www.swimming.org/…/swimming-pool-water…/
Maybe if anyone in Govt reads this report it might speed up in terms of pools/clubs being allowed access sooner.

CAN I SWIM WITH SFT YET?

If you have credit on your account from any sessions booked last year of course while waiting you can use them for 121s which did start this week at Nuffield Shoreditch (https://www.nuffieldhealth.com/gyms/shoreditch/swimming-pool)or of course the lake is open but still only 10degrees! It would be great if you can join us there.

HOW YOU CAN HELP SFT!

Obviously with so many owed so much session credit, pools reopening to us is great but we will have very little income for a while longer but wages and pool hire bills to pay. You can use your credit to buy https://sessioninabottle.com which are available as well to help your solo swims in the public lanes until we can all get back to it fully. Just email dan@swimfortri.com and which ones you want and we can take care of it.

TRAINING WITH THE PUBLIC

If you have access to a pool and need some guidance our 2 week return to swim plan (https://store.swimfortri.co.uk) is available free and we did just release this in conjunction with the OSS. https://www.outdoorswimmingsociety.com This plan starts this week and is very gentle! could be done in OW or a pool.
I have just started writing again for https://outdoorswimmer.com so look out for another session to follow there if you subscribe.
Hope everyone is well and healthy and excited to be getting back to swimming
All good wishes
Dan and all the SFT gang.

Confidence in Openwater…

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THE CONFIDENCE TO SWIM OPENWATER AND SWIM FASTER

I can truly empathise with the nervous when helping people get to grips with Open Water. I am one of those people even now when it comes to swimming in the sea. Before that it was Open Water in general. Initially as a pool swimmer the transition for me took place in season two when I had the opportunity to swim Open Water every weekend either as a training session or as a race. By the end of the season I was quite happy in Open Water but it took time.

Time to get familiar with my surroundings, spending time in the environment that was worrying me. I look at confidence in the water in the following way now when working out how to help someone I love the water and racing and all that Open Water has to offer but once upon a time I didn’t, and even now there are types of Open Water racing I prefer. No matter how fast you get its still ok to get a little worried about swimming in Open Water or to flat out not enjoy it.

A BEAUTIFUL SWIM

Give me the beautiful lake/reservoir setting of the Worlds in Gothenburg in 2010 over the sea setting of beautiful Rimini from 2012. My last IM event was South Africa in 2008. Here on this stretch of coastline I was not happy. What to do? Go hard to get out in front on your own spending as little time as possible in the water?

Leave the mass behind hoping it is will be rich pickings for the circling shoals beneath that I conjure up in my mind. Alternatively hang back, utilising the safety in numbers approach at the Shark ‘all you can eat buffet’. I know the stats are with us in terms of it being highly unlikely but it is not impossible. Those are the odds I do not like which leave me hoping for those inland races.

RECOGNISE CURRENT LEVELS

What is the main concern? The lack of clarity? The mass of people? The slight restriction around the chest from the wetsuit? Do we need to build confidence through improved swim technique, fitness, perhaps both or Psychologically overcoming fears? Being in the right frame of mind on race day comes from the confidence of knowing you have done it in training or replicated conditions in low-key less stressful environments. Ideally you will be confident of the distance not tiring you but also of getting onto the bike not overly stressed.

In some instance, levels of confidence need to be toned down. Starting too high up the ‘pack’ can make for an unpleasant experience. This is the other side that we often see when people fail to start safely. It never fails to amaze me the difference in approach to the start of the masses at a Running Marathon event compared to the frenzy of the start of most large Open Water swims. When starting the Marathon, the masses mostly walk until eventually space develops and then a shuffle/jog can start. Compare to a swim start and while similarly cramped when the gun goes what happens? Arms and legs start moving frantically as the smallest gaps are fought over. Most are vertical, starting upright then swimmers quickly switch too horizontal and 4x the space is suddenly needed by everyone.

SKILL ACQUISITION

Improving levels of confidence comes from repeating actions over and over in a situation that slowly becomes less uncomfortable. Swim with two people either side of you as your wingmen slowly getting closer as you progress in a pool lane. Add a few more people into the group, with someone out in front. Add some people behind so that the toe tapping is now a concern. Eventually that small group of the 3 of you is now 30 practicing across an Open Water venue.

Try to prepare in conditions that replicate your race dynamics. This sense of knowing can only help when it comes to lowering stress levels and building confidence that you are going to be ok on race day. The canal exit at IM Austria can be recreated by racing low key, smaller River Swim Triathlons.

The Lake Placid IM had buoys are attached to a submerged track visible in the clear water. Often rowing centres offer similar as the lanes are marked with small buoys. Do you have a facility nearby that offers smaller OW events to try? There are now lots of open water swim only events where you can practice without the added issues of it being a Triathlon. When ready, try some OPEN WATER racing without your wetsuit if the worst-case scenario arises. It happened again not so long ago at IM and left some swimmers distraught over in Switzerland. If you fancy Kona, then for sure it will be non-wetsuit.

BUILD ON IT

When you think of all the things has can irritate and chip away at the already fragile confidence you might have about your Open Water swim; doesn’t it seem sensible to take control of as many factors that you can. Ensure your wetsuit is comfortable, that goggles fit and don’t leak. Try to reduce fogging & learn some self-defence measures to protect yourself on the start line. The CATCHUP swim drill is a great drill and will leave both arms around the head momentarily helping with a degree of protection if you are concerned.

More confidence might mean you start further up the field and you then give yourself the opportunity to swim the first 400m rather than battle it out midpack. Nothing slows a swim, leaving you fatigued and frustrated quite like wrestling your way through a densely packed field of slower swimmers.

Many swimmers find their best swimming halfway through a training session after a good warm-up and a chance to build into their stroke. Try to recreate this sensation earlier in the race by performing a dry land warm up. Implement this ahead of a water based (if possible) warmup so that you feel good and ready to swim well when the gun goes.

Think about the basic skills necessary that allow you to master as many of the controllable variables as possible, it can only help. Think about the types of smaller races that might help prepare for the big one. Too often late in the season I come across people not yet comfortable with a pair of goggles, that don’t leak. All far too close to race day.

SWIM HAPPY

Knowing you will be happy with completing the distance required is also something you should be happy with well in advance. Try to reduce potential additional stress that might worry you i.e. could it possibly be a non-wetsuit swim? How close under the cut off might I be? Can I make myself more familiar with the style of course I might be racing during my ‘A’ race? Factor in and work on the stuff you have control of. With those aspects mastered it might just keep the worry about the uncontrollable stuff under control.

Pool Based Open water skills are a great way to start to get ready for a transition to openwater. More details here including our full confidence in OW plan –  https://store.swimfortri.co.uk

 

Swimming Jealousy

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Be Careful What You Wish For….

A light hearted look at how the green-eyed monster might rear its ugly head as you watch that great swimmer in the next lane to you. Sometimes the water might not be greener the other side of the lane rope. The next time you look enviously at your teammate who swims like a fish remember the downside for them. As my Triathlon teammates would remind me, I would swim like a fish, run like a duck. Here are some of the pitfalls a swimmer might suffer from and how you once out of the water will be chasing them down.

Big feet

A natural advantage in the pool is simply from having bigger flippers. Unless of course your tight running ankles leave your toes pointing at the bottom of the pool but let us gloss over that for a moment – see next para. You might have heard of Ian Thorpe and his size 17 shoes which helped him break 5mins for 400m legs only (not a typo – 5mins!) at his peak.

Now some studies suggest bigger feet can help you run faster but let us focus for a moment on ground contact time. I defy anyone to get a size 17 foot off the ground quickly enough repeatedly enough to finish a race before dark. Whatever the size of your foot, try your best to make the best by at least not having them fused at 90deg at the ankle. This position will sink your legs quicker than using a brick as a pull buoy.

Ankles

Think about the flexibility at the ankles to create the perfect streamline in the water. No wonder your swimmer friend has such a low stroke count! They only swim half the length of a 25m pool. Other than a ballerina who else can point their toes in this way? My super flexible ankles while being filmed for a running gait analysis years ago left the expert in hysterics, ‘the worst running gait I have ever seen.’ It still haunts me. If you can improve your ankle flexibility a little bit but not to the point it impacts your running stability it will really improve your swim if you stop pulling those anchors along.

Wingspan/Arm span

Michael Phelps probably brought this to the publics’ attention regarding swimmers’ physiques most recently and the media had a field day. Being blessed with a longer arm span than your height is a very common swim thing. It really helps. Mr Phelps does have some pretty impressive stats though regarding this anthropometric trait, what with him being 3inches wider/arms longer than he was tall.

Hide your smugness when you see your swimmer friend in discomfort on tri bars that never seem to fit or with arm warmers that only cover up half their arms. You might not be able to improve this personal statistic but with some improvement to your flexibility your upper bodies range of motion will get better and your rotation will improve making the distance travelled with each stroke greatly improved.

Hands

Hands like large shovels finely honed to catch water all day long, to make the slipperiest of the elements feel solid. An elite swimmer’s hands are the tools of their trade. But try tying run shoelaces in T2 on a cold day just off the bike.  Or how about changing gear on your bike with the finesse and panache of a TDF rider? unlikely with those big bunches of bananas on the end of your wrists.  When I tried it usually sounded like the gearbox of my 1963 Morris Minor with the missing 2nd gear.

Again, you might not be able to improve this literally but ensure you do the best with what you have. Don’t cup them too small and too clenched allowing them to slip under the body as you pull.  This scenario offers little reward in terms of the body being pulled forwards. Many swimmers I watch also don’t pull with the hand coupled to the forearm. Think of them as one unit as you anchor the ‘blade’ vertically and pull the body forwards.

The fist drill can help connect the hand to the elbow and pull as one.

 

Height

The average height of the male swimmers in Rio 2016 racing at the Olympics was 6ft 2 or 188cm. Not that uncommon you might think and how would that be an issue? Well, if you combine that with the other desired Phelpsism of shorter legs being preferred for a great swimmer then sadly that combination would not be so great for reaching the peddles or ground with the legs 🙂

Good height with short legs usually means long torso and a better centre of mass/ centre of buoyancy leaving our lucky swimmer floating horizontally in the water. You will always spot the swimmer on a flight as the tallest person sitting down but once you disembark they will disappear into the average throng of the population. Phelps at 6ft 4 had the legs of someone usually ‘only’ 6ft tall. Not much you can do about your height in in the water but make the most of what you have, push off the wall in a starfish streamline and you will swim like one. If you have long legs don’t undo all the good they can do with a ‘too big’ kick!

Glutes

Years of long-distance FC swimming left me with what I thought would be a decent set of glutes having elevated a straight leg back up to the surface 6times per arm cycle for 13 or 14 strokes per 25m for literally 000s of metres each week across 20+ hours of swimming weekly for 50 weeks of the year.

Cue my first running injury when starting Triathlon years later to be told by my physio I had weak glutes. I was devasted. If you can straighten out the upsweep of your kick you will significantly improve your kick and reduce drag. A good kick will hide behind the body, a great kick in the world of long distance FC does not need to be propulsive just not invasive! Try the glute kick drill or the Pilates swimmer to get a feel for this movement.

Shoulders

Those broad shoulders that developed as a teenager ploughing up and down the lane will not help them stay in front on the bike. I know one elite duathlete who spent a winter trying to crack the swim by adding hours of solely ‘pulling with paddles.’  They then, when back in the wind tunnel the next spring could not work out why their numbers were now so bad. They had actually added a few cm of mass to their upper body/shoulders and now could not get as aero as before when down on their tri bars. A pull buoy & paddles should be part of your swim training not literally your swim technique. If you are faster with a PB then work out why.

The mystical feel for the water.

You take a week out of the water and your next swim feels like a water boarding experience by CIA recruits who are not that good at it yet. Listen to your fish neighbour miss one day and they will be crying how they have lost the feel for it and a session of sculling will be needed to reacquire it. Try it, it does help the water feel more solid and so easier to catch. As will swimming with a few mm of space between your fingers, exfoliating your palms lightly and swimming in those water mitts you see people using who bought them by mistake instead of paddles.

Generally Clumsy

It is said that swimming often chooses you at a young age as you slowly discover dryland activities do not suit you. Last to get picked for football/netball?  Don’t like team sports or sharing the glory? At the age of 11 I was actually asked to leave my junior football school team as I accused the other players of not trying hard enough. I had the fitness from hours of swim training already just no skills. Don’t enjoy getting rained on? Then head indoors to swim, we all know chlorinated water is fine! Enough bruises on shins to warrant leaving your older brothers shin pads on all the time? It was a good look with short trousers. All these cues tell you one thing – try swimming. It is how most of us found it. Therefore, it won’t take long for you to catch up to the swimmer in front on your bikes, they’ll still be on stabilisers.

As they say no race was ever won on the swim in a Triathlon. As I know, there is not much fun in exiting in the top 10 to then be overtaken by 2000 competitors such as I was in the Lake Placid IM. If you can take a few tips on board to improve it will help. During this lockdown, watch, learn from, partake in as much swim related dryland as you possibly can each week to minimise the damage done from being out of  the water again these next few months.

After 3months of dryland stretch cords with us last Spring many of our regulars who came to the lake were not too out of sorts when returning to the water. Rusty, a little mechanical with a loss for the feel of the water were reported. Swim fitness and technique were soon reacquired. If you can return with some of these aspects improved, you will sure to be gaining on the fish in the next lane.

 

 

with pools closed…at least in the UK

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With Pools Closed here are 10things to focus on and help your swimming. 
Watch this for inspiration, a technically beautiful FC swimmer – Katie Ledecky
Do this – our Mon and Wed Dryland stretch cords. Lots of sessions stored here from last year.
Listen to this – FC tech podcast with Annie Emmerson who was not a natural swimmer but went on to great Tri success after World Duathlon success
Try this – shoulder strengthening and swim related stretches to improve range of motion in the water.
Activate these – Glutes in a FC motion! In water and out, the simillairites will help you swim faster by controlling a smaller legkick. Look for the glute kick drill in the ‘water link.’
More dryland swim options were covered in the Endurance lecture series
Consider this – swim bench from VASA now not as big as they used to be but superior to everything else out there.
Buy this so you are ready when the pools reopen.
Plan to swim as much openwater as you can, assuming pools will be slower to reopen by doing the research now and finding venues nearby. OS always useful for this info
Enter an event and support a small operator who deserves to still be here as an event organiser later in the summer

Slow swimming!

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The Challenge

I have been challenging my swimmers for quite some time now (pre covid/lockdown) with a simple yet challenging swim drill. To be honest it is not really a drill just slowed down FC. However it is not as simple as it sounds if done well. Why would you do it? well most drills either restrict bad habits or encourage good. They challenge you to work harder on an isolated aspect of the stroke. Once refined it will flow back into and enhance your fullstroke. This is why I believe 10m or so of a great drill performed as you leave a wall will then flow nicely into and help morph a  better FC tech as you finish the rest of the length full stroke.

Slow it down

Think of slow motion FC as more of a skill to be used as an overall technique challenge. By slowing the arms you need to work your kick harder so I recommend fins to help do it well. Your rotation will be challenged as will timing your breathing. A bit like overspeed work where skills are challenged during artificially sped up swimming.  Think stretch cords pulling you back across the pool at faster than normal speed. This is the opposite where you will need to control the stroke/rhythm and technique while challenged to do things in slow motion. But once you return to normal speed leg kick, balance, rotation and breathing will feel easier.

Demonstrated

Here is British Champ Joe Litchfield under the watchful eye of Loughborugh High Performance Coach David Hemmings performing slow motion FC. I was pleased to see someone else at this high level making use of the drill/skill. Drills are not just for beginners to learn the basics. Swimmers at all levels swim drills to restore a tired stroke post heavy workloads, to see if a new concept works better  or even to iron out flaws and yes we all have them at all levels.

Slow motion FC 

What it isn’t

Don’t let it become ‘catch up’ that is very different. Catch up is a drill to help work your arm pull and something we use to slow down frantic swimmers during early progressions. Keep in mind it is basically alternating single arm FC so you would not want to race like this.  Perhaps try it with a  snorkel initially to get a feel for it and be able to focus on the arms.

Work the legs, keep the hands at 180deg to each other for as long as possible. Note the progressions with each length back to his FC. The beauty of doing this correctly is  that you will keep rotating from side to side and not pause in the flat position that catch up encourages.

Fins and Paddles

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FINS and PADDLESThe more you practice & improve your swim tech the better it will hold when you are not focused on it ie in race mode!

Fins and Paddles is one of my favourite combinations of swim equipment. Great for that lovely combination we call technical endurance. Ideal as we slowly build up our fitness alongside our technique at the moment post lockdown. The paddles should be be big enough to allow a solid hold on the water but don’t forget to pull with the forearm as well. The fins should help you feel the sensation of driving the body forward over the ‘anchored hand.’ I was pleased to learn that Katie Ledecky is a big fan of this combination. Watch here – RIO 2016 Gold medallist. She is one of the most economical swimmers around travelling similar distances regardless of speed which suggests her propulsion and lack of drag is quite special!

Other gains.

There are lots of fitness benefits to be gained from the larger muscle groups of the legs being worked by the fins. The surface area of the fins will stop the kick from becoming too big which is a big problem I see daily.. Swimming with a pullbuoy between the ankles or utilising the flat float kick will help you reduce the size of the movement at the hips and help you ‘hide’ the kick behind the body. The paddles helping the hands to drive the fingertips over and point down so the palm can face the wall you are swimming away from. Hiding the kick is critical!

At any point in a long swim mainset combine these two items for a great technical swim. Add a snorkel and you can be sure to get even more from the movements. Keeping the head still by taking away the need to turn to breathe and you can focus on the hands pulling under you, popping the elbow out wide (See the image of Ledecky top.) Have a look at the SFT swim down for a detailed look at this kit combo. We often combine all 3 items to boost a tired FC stroke post mainset and then slowly remove item by item to finish with your best FC technique ahead of leaving the pool.

If you feel you need further help with your swim technique then we do have 121 lessons available –

Enjoy your week of swimming

#weswam is back, look out for this hashtag on social media for fitness and tech tips

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Sunday we were back at one of my favourite pools – LondonFields Lido.  After a long warmup we went straight to the single arm drill as it is so effective & so good for all aspects of the full stroke. It is a ‘fast’ drill so will not allow swimmers to cool off in our openair lido but we allow it to flow into and out of full stroke to keep swimmers challenged and moving. Currently the sessions need to keep HeartRate levels low to keep respiration levels low in the lane. As mixed squad training is slowly reintroduced so technique after a long layoff works on all levels.

Frustrating

This drill might keep frustration levels high though but if you understand why we do it, the how might be easier! Ideally with any drill if you know what is happening to your stroke during the drill it might help you to focus longer.

I explain in great depth why we perform them hoping to convince the sceptical. Making the drill harder/easier is a key coaching skill so that all swimmers find something of value hence the 5 levels of progression here. Some of the new swimmers tried the old fashioned way (Traditional single arm in the videos here) and we talked about its limitations. This old drill has been progressed to allow the advanced version to more closely mimic full stroke and how we wish the body to rotate. A progressive mainset was created as follows.

Variations

Using equipment to make the drill easier/harder and helping the swimmer feel where and why things were happening was the focus. At nearly 2km this mainset is of use for light fitness but with a technical theme. I often refer to this style of swimming as Techncial Endurance. Lots of opportunities to practice the key movements, learn the fundamentals, build on them and at all times feel the drill shaping and flowing into the full stroke.

 

We started with a mixed 1000m warmup but you could do less if pushed for time before continuing with.

 

18 x 100m AS FOLLOWS, REST 10, MAKING USE OF ALL EQUIPMENT

1)    3×100 as 25m advanced single arm left/right into 50m full stroke with fins&paddles. Use the paddles to help accentuate the hold you have on the water and work the drill most effectively. Breathe away from the pulling arm once the arm finishes its revolution. Trying a little old fashioned Single Arm would be of use at this time to convince newcomers to ‘go with’ the new version.

2)   Repeat no paddles. Think about your hand shape to help offset the lack of paddle. Make sure you are pulling with the hand and forearm.

3)   Repeat with fists clenched on the drill. Only the drill, you want the full stroke swum well with the hands feeling like you have added invisible paddles. This progression will ask more of the forearm, kick and rotation to offset the lack of hand shape.

We looked at a way of ensuring you do rotate while performing the single arm drill by adding a shark fin movement. This is why we do not often do the single arm drill with a snorkel. You can remain flat, get your air and not fully reap the full rewards.

4)    Repeat with a sharkfin between single arms to feedback on rotation to tell you if you have any body rotation. Shown here – Single Arm with a twist! remember you do not need to swim this as tight as the sharkfin suggests, it depends if you have a traditional high elbow led recovery or straighter arm looping recovery.

We offered two versions of this drill depending on style of recovery- check out the straighter arm lift of the clock drill also shown in the previous videos for guidance. So you either lead with your elbow pointing up at the highest point or fingertips as a straight arm lifts.

Both FC styles have merits, the top swimmers will be able to switch between the two – watch Michael Phelps/Nathan Adrian finish their FC races and they often shift to straight to keep momentum/speed high. This might be of use in an openwater start where you need a fast start but later things calm down into more of a relaxed mid race cruise

 Coach Abbie talks about this at a recent ASCA conference if you really really are interested! At speed the straighter arm is faster but needs more strength so maybe suitable for a faster openwater start but at slower speeds (long distance openwater, mid race cruise) high elbow uses more muscles so can be more relaxed with a lower energy cost. At faster speeds the high elbow cumulatively uses more energy as the recovery is slower. This is up for debate among coaches but it is not a bad review of the principles!

5)     Repeat with the Singapore variation as a further challenge to mind and body!

6)    3×100 FC build to fast ‘easy speed’ rest 15 no swim aids

200 easy feeling all the elements of the drills coming through and shaping a great new FC stroke. Having worked so hard to swim with just the one arm, returning to both should feel incredibly strong –

2km technical mainset

Enjoy

June Newsletter

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So we have been back at our OW facility, Stubbers  in Essex for a week now. Very exciting to be back at some kind of work and out doors. If this does not work for you location wise then you can join us for free stretch cords sessions each week. Just email dan@swimfortri.com each week for the invite. You can find all the old sessions uploaded here – https://www.youtube.com/user/swimfortri

The response to our COVID safety policy has been overwhelmingly positive keeping swimmers safe through registration and into the water. Sorry no changing rooms are available but most are coping. If you have sessions booked with us (fitness, or courses etc) please get in touch if you would like to swap them to OW with us at Stubbers. We swim

Tues and Thurs 7-9am – Saturday 7-10am – Hope you can join us.

APP

We have been busy developing our online training plan website into a phone app. This should be available soon with the addition of a 12ooo word ebook on breathing and swim technique. Once the pools reopen please be sure to make use of the free ‘return to fitness‘ training plan to get you back on track re your swim fitness and technique

PODCAST

The podcasts have been going well and keeping us busy and  entertained as we have spoken to old and new friends, colleagues from the world of swimming and Triathlon. We have covered diet, psychiatry, psychology, coaching, tales from a 34yr + tri vet and more recently a chat with Ben, our favourite Green team member from Club La Santa who is branching out into more specialised coaching. The Anchor link will then enable you to find a preferred Spotify/Apple link etc

PINK

A new session in a bottle is on its way! who does not love a pink water bottle. This has some pretty big mainsets on it focusing on the 3.8km distance. Ideal to help your return to fitness once the pools reopen. Drop me a line to register your interest, we hope it is year by the end of the month since the Tacx plant has reopened.

Returning to the Water.

We have been back at our lake for 3 sessions now, having finally reopened with lots of new smiling faces enjoying OW for the first time. Many or our regulars are back having not swum since FEB/March and the feedback we have been getting has has been positive, most while tired and unfit suggest it was not as bad as they were imagining.

You will feel clumsy/mechanical/ out of sorts but it won’t be as bad as you imagined. We often experience this with our swimmers at xmas and the two week break. One year I was convinced peoples minds were trying to trick them back onto the sofa ie talking them out of it. We filmed quite a few and most agreed their tech was not as bad as they thought.

Start Easy

Nice and slow and build up. Take this opportunity to work on your technique, try to point the toes back not down, keep the kick small and hidden behind the body, keep the head still unless breathing or lifting to sight, Keep the palms pushing water back towards the feet by keeping the fingertips pointing down towards the bottom when pulling rather than the palm which will bounce you upwards.

Make sure you are comfortable in your wetsuit if you are wearing one. We have had temps in the low 20s so quite pleasant with or without. Check the May entry for details on making your wetsuit more comfortable.

Maybe don’t stress about time/distance or speed. Just enjoy the first few after so long cooped up. Enjoy something that you probably have been completely deprived of. Walking running skipping, indoor cycling and other strength/conditioning activities have various cross overs. Swimming is the really unique one and it will have been missed.

I hope the peace and tranquility of being out in nature make up for the lack of clarity, the warmer temps of a pool and lack of a black line but for those missing the reassurance of the pool I urge you to go again, try again it does get easier the more familiar you become with swimming in OW. 

 

MAY NEWSLETTER

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MAY NEWS

I trust everyone is doing ok and keeping sane/active/not bored/fit/healthy/amused, delete as applicable. We are busy trying to rewrite Risk Assessments and how we might make use of our lake etc as and when we return. More dryland sessions are appearing on Youtube and more content on our Training Plans page. We are doing our best to keep in touch. I am particularly pleased to finally add a podcast which you will be able to find on spotify/itunes etc but the simple link is here on ANCHOR The first is a little more of an amusing trip down memory lane to 1992 and how I got involved in Triathlon.

SYDNEY OLYMPICS

Next up we spoke to Coach Steve Trew about his early Tri career and his involvement at the Sydney Games. You can also hear from Simon Griffiths, the founder of Outdoor Swimmer magazine. More guests to follow. Please let me know the kinds of people you would like to hear interviewed? pro triathletes? more coaches? designers, inventors.

LOCKDOWN

We have since spoken to Dr Claire re coping with Lockdown as her background in Sports Psychiatry gives her some great insights. With Physio Dan Smith re swim tech/injury prevention etc Also for those who have swum with him (Mile End, Putney and London Bridge over the years) Scott Coey who started with us in 2003 and worked his way up to Kona qualification.

SPOTIFY LINK.

Prefer a good read rather than a listen? I just added 5000 words here in our latest FAQ – ‘Wetsuits – the Ins and Outs.’
Don’t forget you are all welcome to Stretch Cords at 6pm, M/W/F each week. Free session that will help minimise the distress when we finally get back in the water. You can catch up on all the existing classes here YOUTUBE
Pls email dan@swimfortri.com for the Zoom link

SOME OFFERS FROM OUR FRIENDS FROM THE WORLD OF TRIATHLON

here’s a 15% discount code for Scienceinsport.com >>> AMB21JBR
Sundried offer – 50% offer code SWIMFORTRI
Catch up with Pilates with Jem on ZOOM
More Physio advice from Dan Smith
Food and nutrition from Claire.
We are offering 3 sessioninabottle for the price of 2 for SFT swimmers at the weekends. You can get them here SFT SHOP
Order 2 orange and I will add in a silver etc I am trying to only go to the Post Office one day each week so pls take advantage of the offer so I can get them wrapped and just head in on Monday !
Enjoy and hang in there, fingers crossed we are swimming again soon.
SFT

Swimtips from the Stairwell – WETSUIT INSIGHTS

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So for this weeks #swimtipsfromthestairwell I wanted to focus on something a little more positive after weeks of lockdown. I wanted to talk about something positive, something we can do in preparation of going outdoors and swimming at some point. I am sure many of you will not have checked your wetsuits since last year unless you got a sneaky training camp or race done back in January. Let us check our wetsuits ahead of that first swim. In the stairwell lecture I talk about simple repairs, avoiding the dreaded neck scraping and why you might upgrade and spend a little more money on your next suit if you are going to be swimming further.

The Lecture

Over the years we have worked hard at understanding wetsuits fully and making them more comfortable. Here we go beyond the usual fitting guide and look more indepth and how to make them more comfortable and fit better.

A more indepth look at swimming faster in them, making them work harder for you to improve your swim

I have written extensively on the subject of wetsuits and here bring all those thoughts together. You should not miss the section on ‘taking advantage of the properties of your wetsuit and should your FC technique change in a wetsuit.’

A humorous look at what happens if you forget your wetsuit lubricant!

The Spring and it’s glorious weather could not have more cruel as we sit indoors missing our lakes and rivers but fingers crossed it will not be long. Get your wetsuit out, check it, repair it or contemplate an upgrade if you are swimming further this year.