Challenge Yourself With Our Biggest Loser Competition

Looking for a challenge this winter? Something to inspire and motivate you? Welcome to Swim Smooth's Biggest Loser Competition! How much time can you LOSE off this classic set of 100m intervals over the next 6 to 12 weeks?

As the nights draw in this autumn it's a great time to get focused on your swimming and make some big improvements. We hope to get as many swimmers as possible of all ability levels, all around the world, taking part in the Biggest Loser Competition. Why not join them and report and discuss your results on our dedicated Forum Thread?

Find out more and take on the challenge:

The Biggest Loser Competition is suitable for any swimmer who can swim 2000m or so in a session - even if you've not trained with 'proper sets' before. There are three different difficulty levels of the set, so whether you're a beginner, intermediate or advanced level swimmer, one will be perfect for you.

Don't be nervous - setting yourself little goals and challenges like this is a great way to stay motivated over the autumn and winter months. So get involved, challenge yourself to improve your swimming speed and tell us how you get on here. If you don't have a forum logon yet you'll need to create one - it's easy, start here.

Over the coming weeks we'll report back here on the blog how swimmers are going and any inspiring stories we hear about!

Swim Smooth!

Swimmers In Secret Filming Shock

Hi, Paul Newsome here.

On the blog today I wanted to share a little demonstration with you -- something I think that every swimmer could improve their swimming speed from watching. It’s a short video clip secretly filmed by a Swim Smooth coach at one of our squad sessions here in Perth, Australia.

The swimmers in the video are normal age group triathletes and swimmers in a normal training session. There’s nothing unusual about them, in fact they’re probably a lot like you and swim a lot like you, too. There’s a whole range of abilities there - some are new to swimming and some are very experienced and yet through poor pacing skills they're all harming their performances. Do you do the same? Chances are you do.

Check out the video:

Text link:
(if you like this video, please give it a good rating on YouTube so more swimmers find it)

99% of amateur swimmers and triathletes swim this way in training and races – starting too fast and then fading. Pacing is a critical skill if you want to maximise your race speed. By starting too fast you’ll fade dramatically in the second half of the race and lose much more time than you ever gained early on.

In training, the problem with poor pacing is that it reduces the fitness gains you achieve. If you want to improve faster, or get off a speed plateau, you need to pace your swim sets carefully. When you pace things right training feels easier and you’ll avoid that horrible feeling of ‘my stroke is falling apart’.

Here are the swimming speeds from the guys in the video over the course of that first 150m swim. Notice the large drop off in pace (we’ve added a 25m split in too):

If you swim with a masters group or squad you probably feel under significant peer pressure to keep up or stay in front as everyone else starts too fast around you. If you’re in this situation why not try some carefully paced sets swimming by yourself, experience the benefits and then suggest to your group to try swimming that way?

In forthcoming blog posts and articles we’ll be giving you some more advice and tips on how best to work on your pacing. If you want to experiment straight away, get a friend to take your splits (preferably every 25m) through a simple set like this:

5 to 8x 200m swum at your fastest sustainable pace with 30 seconds rest between each.

After each 200m get feedback on how you did and try and improve on the next one. I’m sure you’ll be very surprised how easy you have to take the first 25-100m to pace the set perfectly! Let us know how you go on this thread in our forum:

Remember, good pacing is a form of swimming technique, just like good stroke mechanics. Learning good pacing skills is very important if you want to achieve your potential in the water.


Swim Smooth!

Do You Own A Waterproof MP3 Player?

Swim Smooth are pleased to announce a new product to improve your swimming :

Stroke Rate and Lap Interval Test Tracks For Your Waterproof MP3 Player

Swim Smooth have produced special audio tracks that beep Stroke Rate and Lap Intervals to you on any MP3 Player. If you own a waterproof player these tracks give you a low-cost introduction to the fascinating world of Stroke Rate Training and Lap Interval Pacing:

- Use the first set of Stroke Rate Tracks to time your arm stroke to the beep, improving your rhythm and timing. Adjusting your stroke rate up or down lets you find that sweet spot in your stroke - so you can swim faster and more economically.

- Use the second set of Lap Interval Tracks to develop your pace judgement, improving the accuracy of your training and reducing your race swim splits. Deceptively simple, this set beeps every lap or half-lap so you can pace your swimming perfectly. Most swimmers are surprised how poor their pacing is and how much room they have for improvement!

We call these 'Test Tracks' as they allow you to thoroughly test out the two functions of the specialist Wetronome tool at a very low price. With every purchase we include a Wetronome discount voucher to the full value of the MP3 tracks. We do this because we believe you'll experience so much improvement in your swimming you'll go on to purchase a Wetronome. Compared to an MP3 player a Wetronome allows finer settings, it's smaller, has almost endless battery life and never reaches the end of a track whilst you are swimming!

Find out more about the MP3 Tracks and how to download them here:


Swim Smooth!

SIX Is A Magic Number

Are you making a change to your stroke? Struggling? Does it seem to require continual focus?
Here’s an interesting rule of thumb: After focusing on a change for six swim sessions it should suddenly feel a lot more natural. That’s just how it works, you’ll get in on your 7th session and it’ll just click - the modification suddenly feels smooth. So, if you’re struggling with a stroke change, a drill or a timing change, hang in there for those 6 sessions!
Perhaps even more important is the flip side to this: If a change doesn't click after 6-8 sessions then you need to try another approach, what you’re doing isn’t working.
For more background theory on how humans develop skills, see our article:
Swim Smooth

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