Friday, April 21, 2017

Our Tips On Losing Weight By Swimming


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North America

Montreal Squads

Montreal Video Analysis

South Carolina Video Analysis

The Woodlands TX, Swim Squad

Connecticut 1-Day Clinic April 28th

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Chicago Squads




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Hong Kong Squads & Video Analysis

Dubai Video Analysis

Perth Squads

Perth Video Analysis

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Kuala Lumpur Video Analysis




Europe

Prague Junior Swim Club

SS Camp Lanzarote (English - Dutch)

Prague Junior Swim Club

Prague Video Analysis

Nijmegen Video Analysis.  & Stroke Correction

City Of Elche Video Analysis / Squads

Nijmegen SS Squads

Zwevegem Video Analysis (English - Dutch)




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Yorkshire Squads (Pool & OW)

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Lancaster Video Analysis

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4 Places Left


Northampton Video Analysis Clinic
If you're looking to shed a few kgs of body fat as you train then you're not alone - we've all been there! A little excess weight doesn't impact swimming performance too much (unlike other sports such as cycling or running) but we all want to look lean and be healthy - so how should we go about shedding a little excess flab?


First Up The Bad News - Losing Weight And Gaining Fitness Is Difficult To Combine

Losing weight is all about creating calorie deficit - using more calories than you're eating. Your body can cope with a small deficit but there comes a point where you don't have enough calories coming in to fuel you through training and recover properly afterwards.

If you're looking to gain fitness and lose weight at the same time, don't aim to lose more than 0.5-1kg (1 to 2lb) of weight per week, otherwise your system will be depleted, you'll feel very flat when training and your fitness won't develop.

Generally speaking it's easier to lose weight the fitter you are because with greater fitness your fat burning ability will increase and your reliance on carbohydrate will reduce. You will know when this starts to happen because you won't feel quite so hungry after a training session.

For that reason it's better to gain fitness first in a training program and then aim to gradually lose weight later on when you have first gained fitness. This happens naturally and it's no coincidence that most athletes become leaner as they become fitter even if they are not consciously trying to lose weight.


Developing A Good Fat Burning Engine

You can do any exercise at any intensity level and you will burn calories, which of course is useful to create that calorie deficit you are looking for. However, at higher intensities (e.g. CSS training) we mostly burn carbohydrate and this will make us feel depleted and hungry. That's OK - and it certainly can work for weight loss - but it's less challenging to lose weight if we burn quite a lot of calories as fat during the training session. And that means swimming continuously at more "steady" effort levels.

In sports like running and (especially) cycling, targeting this "steady pace" intensity for long periods of time is quite easy to do. However the culture of swimming encourages us to swim short distances with recovery between each swim. This does two things:

- It encourages you to push the pace and raise your intensity level because you are only covering a short distance and know you are going to get recovery time afterwards. Swimming at this higher intensity can easily lift you out of the fat burning zone and shift to carbohydrate.

- The lack of continuous swimming places little demand on your aerobic endurance and therefore your fat burning engine never develops properly.

We're not saying that you shouldn't do any swimming at higher intensities - far from it - but make sure you include some longer continuous swims of 800m or more in your weekly training to build that fat burning engine, even if you have to swim more slowly than you are used to doing.

In fact if you are training for an event this summer using a bespoke training plan in the Swim Smooth Guru or one of our waterproof training plans, you can safely follow the plans as normal as they include those longer aerobic swims you need. Just make sure you're controlling your pace well during the sessions - don't start too fast and blow up!


Eating Right

Of course not only do you want to get your training right but there's plenty you can do in terms of diet to help you become leaner. We don't recommend doing anything too radical, just eating normal healthy balanced meals but make your key action to reduce the amount of sugar you consume - e.g. desserts, soft drinks / soda, cakes, fruit juice, chocolate, biscuits etc.

Doing so will regulate your appetite and keep your energy levels more consistent, meaning you are far less likely to have a blood sugar dip and reach for the cookie jar...

Unless you are swimming longer than 90 minutes you shouldn't really need energy drink or gels during your sessions either. Take water but avoid additional energy products unless you are training a very large overall volume of training - e.g. marathon swimming training.

We also recommend you avoid taking too much caffeine which can create peaks and troughs of energy too - it's easy to become reliant on caffeine but it can often end up making you feel more tired overall.

In a nutshell, just eat normal regular food, just aim for low sugar (note, not low carb).


Above All Else, Be Consistent

Just like when you are training purely for best performance, make consistency your goal: consistent training, consistent diet, consistent rest and gradual consistent weight loss. Avoid "superman weeks" where you do huge amounts of training but then hit a massive energy low.

Keep things rolling over many weeks and months, train and eat at a level that you can sustain without undue struggle, enjoy your time in the water, stay healthy and that number on the scales will move slowly and consistently downwards...


Swim Smooth!


[All this may make somewhat amusing reading to marathon swimmers who face the opposite problem - how to keep weight on (or gain it) whilst training hard. If you're swimming long distances in cold water (no wetsuit allowed) then a healthy layer of body fat is definitely required to avoid hypothermia...!]




From the Guru (PRO subscription required):




Saturday, April 15, 2017

Visualising Better Breathing


SS Clinics and Camps:


North America

Chicago Squads

Montreal Squads

Montreal Video Analysis

South Carolina Video Analysis

The Woodlands TX, Swim Squad

Connecticut 1-Day Clinic April 28th

Chicago Video Analysis




Asia / Middle East / Australia

Hong Kong Group Training & Video Analysis

Hong Kong Squads & Video Analysis

Dubai Video Analysis

Perth Squads

Perth Video Analysis

Kuala Lumpur Swim Squad

Kuala Lumpur Video Analysis




Europe

Zwevegem Video Analysis (English - Dutch)

Prague Junior Swim Club

SS Camp Lanzarote (English - Dutch)

Prague Junior Swim Club

Prague Video Analysis

Swim/Tri Camps Alicante (English language)

Nijmegen Video Analysis.  & Stroke Correction

City Of Elche Video Analysis / Squads

Nijmegen SS Squads




United Kingdom

Northampton Video Analysis Clinic

Yorkshire Squads (Pool & OW)

Yorkshire Video Analysis

West Lothian Video Analysis

Richmond London SS Squad

SW London Swim Workshops

Salisbury 1to1 Analysis

Twickenham Video Analysis

Lancaster SS Squad

Swindon/Cotswolds Video Analysis

Lancaster Video Analysis

Northampton Swim Squad

SS Clinic Marlborough

Swindon SS Squad (Try for free!)

Felixstowe Video Analysis

Stratford upon Avon & Birmingham/Coventry Squads

Felixstowe Squads

Acton London Video Analysis

Cardiff Video Analysis Clinic

Improvers Freestyle Course, Abingdon

Open Water Confidence Course, Dorchester
4 Places Left
Let's jump right in and watch how elite swimmer Jono Van Hazel breathes in his stroke:



His breathing technique is so smooth and seamless to the rest of his stroke that blink and you miss it!

Underwater things looks like this:



Notice the following:

- He only rotates his head just far enough to breathe, so that one goggle stays in the water and one out. He doesn't over-rotate and look to the sky.

- He keeps his head low in the water and doesn't attempt to lift it clear of the surface.

- He angles his mouth to the side like Popeye chews his spinach so that he can keep his head lower without taking on water:



- He blows out smoothly into the water so he only has to inhale when he does rotate to breathe.

- He breathes regularly to both sides - bilateral breathing - which keeps his rotation and whole stroke symmetrical.


Here's two common problems you might have with your own breathing:

Twisting your head to look skywards to breathe. This causes you to rotate right onto your side (way too much rotation):



Do that and your legs will part to regain your balance, as we see Clare doing above, which creates a huge amount of drag.

Lifting the head out of the water to breathe. This is also a problem because to lift you up at the front you have to press downwards on the water with your lead arm. That only lifts your torso upwards and sinks your legs downwards, again slowing you down significantly:



So the next time you swim, focus on angling your mouth to the side like Popeye, keeping your head low and looking across the pool with the lower goggle in the water. Just like Jono.

Get this right and your breathing will take less time than you're used to, involve minimal movement and you will feel a more continuous rhythm to your stroke.  It's so quick you can think of it as taking a "sneaky" breath!

Swim Smooth!





Related materials in the Swim Smooth Guru (subscription required):