The "Pull-Setup-Release" Drill Sequence

Everything you need to transform your swimming:

The New SS Coaching System




Upcoming Swim Smooth Clinics / Camps:

Dubai Video Analysis
March 2015

Full information here

New Forrest Clinic
Full information here

Dorset Clinic March 7th
Full information here

West Lothian
Video Analysis

Full information here

Prague Junior Swim Club
Full information here

Richmond SS Squad
Full information here and here

Acton Video Analysis
Full information here

Swim/Tri Camps Alicante
All year round
Full information: here

Richmond/Wimbledon Workshops
Full information here

Salisbury 1to1 Analysis
Full information here

Ringwood SS Squad
Full information here

Twickenham Video Analysis
Full information here

Lancaster SS Squad
Full information here

Lancaster Video
Analysis Consultations

Full information here




For more info on SS Certified Coaches see here
Here's a neat drill sequence to try the next time you swim.

Grab a pull-buoy and swim the following 50m straight through:
12½m Scull #1
12½m Doggy Paddle
12½m Swim (with pull-buoy)
12½m Swim but release the pull-buoy and let it slip out without
breaking the stroke
As you release the pull-buoy in the final section, introduce a gentle kick behind you. Feel the majority of the propulsion coming from your arms and the light kick keeping your legs high in the water. The pull-buoy will float away but you can collect it afterwards.

(You can see demonstrations of the Sculling and Doggy Paddle drills in the Swim Smooth Coaching System here and here.)


Sculling is a great way to improve your catch and feel for the water.

This drill sequence is fantastic for combining a better kicking technique - to reduce drag and effort - and improving the effectiveness of your upper body propulsion. Both these things will act to have you travelling more quickly and easily through the water. Give it a try the next time you're at the pool, repeating it 4 times through.

Whilst this sequence is beneficial for any swimmer, it's particularly effective for Kicktastics and Arnies:

As a Kicktastic, use it to tame the power of your leg kick and shift your propulsion towards the upper body. You should notice a drop in your effort levels and breathing rate as you moderate your kick and improve your catch technique.

For Arnies, use it to work on keeping the legs higher in the water. As you start kicking, keep the legs nice and straight, and press the water backwards (not downwards) in front of the head.

Swim Smooth!
Share:

The Ultimate Secret To Improving Your Swimming?

Everything you need to transform your swimming:

The New SS Coaching System




Dorset Clinic March 7th
Full information here

West Lothian
Video Analysis

Full information here

Prague Junior Swim Club
Full information here

Richmond SS Squad
Full information here and here

Acton Video Analysis
Full information here

Swim/Tri Camps Alicante
All year round
Full information: here

Upcoming Swim Smooth Clinics / Camps:

Dubai Video Analysis Dec 2014
Full information here

Dubai/Richmond/Wimbledon Workshops
Full information here

Salisbury 1to1 Analysis
Full information here

Salisbury SS Squad
Full information here

Twickenham Video Analysis
Full information here

Lancaster SS Squad
Full information here

Lancaster Video
Analysis Consultations

Full information here




For more info on SS Certified Coaches see here
What's the ultimate secret to improving your swimming? You know, it could be that you just need to try to enjoy it more.

Contrast these two short video clips.

Jackson, aged 5 (son of SS Head Coach Paul Newsome):



Jackson claims that he wants to be a "floating coach" when he gets older on account of his love for lying on his back and floating like a starfish.

Stephen, aged 55:



Who is more likely to improve their swimming significantly in the future?

If like Stephen you don't enjoy swimming, take a leaf out of Jackson's book. Take the pressure off yourself, simply enjoy the experience of being in the water and start playing around a bit. You'll be down the pool (or jumping in the ocean) more often, you'll be more relaxed and start to feel things you never noticed before.

Have fun. Think less. Do more. Then the improvements will start to come.

Swim Smooth!

PS. After his session with Paul, Stephen said: Thanks for introducing me to my new best friend - the beeper! This has made my swims a lot more focused and interesting, with challenging "beat the beeper" sets. Combined with some stroke technique improvements during our one to one sessions, it has really motivated me to get into the water to practice.
Share:

The Causes Of Neck Pain In Swimming

Everything you need to transform your swimming:

The New SS Coaching System



Dorset Clinic March 7th
Full information here

Abingdon Clinic Jan 24th
Full information here

West Lothian
Video Analysis

Full information here

Prague Junior Swim Club
Full information here

Richmond SS Squad
Full information here and here

Acton Video Analysis
Full information here

Swim/Tri Camps Alicante
All year round
Full information: here

Upcoming Swim Smooth Clinics / Camps:

Dubai Video Analysis Dec 2014
Full information here

Dubai/Richmond/Wimbledon Workshops
Full information here

Salisbury 1to1 Analysis
Full information here

Salisbury SS Squad
Full information here

Twickenham Video Analysis
Full information here

Lancaster SS Squad
Full information here

Lancaster Video
Analysis Consultations

Full information here




For more info on SS Certified Coaches see here
Our friends at Level Water have launched a new fundraising initiative to get 50 more disabled children swimming in 2015. To support this great charity and get inspired yourself, visit: 50.levelwater.org/


If you suffer from neck tension or pain after swimming you'll know how annoying it is but have you considered it might be something in your stroke technique causing it?

Here's three classic stroke flaws that place a large load on the muscles in your neck, which commonly lead to pain and discomfort in the neck or trapezius muscles.


1. Looking Skywards Whilst Breathing

Here's Clare looking straight up towards the sky (or pool ceiling) when breathing in an effort to find clear air:


Having to twist the neck this far round places a lot of stress on the neck, which can easily lead to soreness after swimming. This is a very common stroke fault amongst Bambinos (and also extreme Overgliders with very low stroke rates).

When we swim we should use the bow wave created by the head as it passes through the water, the bow wave shape creates a trough by the side of the head which we should be breathing into straight across the pool in position A.


Here's Swim Smooth Coach Steve Bailey demonstrating this technique to good effect, angling his mouth to the side ('Pop-eye Breathing') to allow him to keep his head really low:


Notice how Steve's lower goggle is in the water and he's looking across the surface of the pool, not twisting and looking skywards.

If you're quite new to freestyle, keeping your head this low can take a little getting used to but it's an essential skill to master to make breathing comfortable and relaxed. Try developing it whilst swimming with a pair of fins on, you'll be more relaxed with the fins on and your extra speed through the water will exaggerate the size of the bow-wave.


2. Breathing Too Far Forwards

The bow-wave trough only becomes deep in the area directly alongside the mouth, which is why we should be breathing directly to the side in position A:


If you try to breathe further forwards of this point in position B then the surface of the water is much higher and you will have to crane your mouth and head upwards to find air.



This craning position places a large stress on the neck, quickly leading to a sense of fatigue. Practise breathing in position A and you'll immediately feel relief.


3. Lifting The Head To Breathe

Did you know your head weighs around 5kg (11 pounds)? That's a heavy weight to lift out of the water every time you breathe and the effort of doing so places a lot of stress on your neck and trapezius muscles:


Lifting the head out of the water like this actually stops the bow-wave forming, so that trough beside your head disappears - making it feel like you have to lift it up that much or you'll swallow water! Trust that when you keep the top of your head in the water the trough will be there for you and you can keep your head much lower.


Additional: If you're subscribed to the Swim Smooth Coaching System you can follow our full stroke correction process for these faults here: app.swimsmooth.com/sequence/cpq/lifting-head-to-breathe/


Swim Smooth!
Share:

Everything You Want Is On The Other Side Of Fear

Everything you need to transform your swimming:

The New SS Coaching System




Lancaster Video
Analysis Consultations

Full information here

Abingdon Clinic Jan 24th
Full information here

West Lothian
Video Analysis

Full information here

Prague Junior Swim Club
Full information here

Richmond SS Squad
Full information here and here

Acton Video Analysis
Full information here

Swim/Tri Camps Alicante
All year round
Full information: here

Upcoming Swim Smooth Clinics / Camps:

Dubai Video Analysis Dec 2014
Full information here

Dubai/Richmond/Wimbledon Workshops
Full information here

Salisbury 1to1 Analysis
Full information here

Salisbury SS Squad
Full information here

Twickenham Video Analysis
Full information here

Lancaster SS Squad
Full information here




For more info on SS Certified Coaches see here
It's that time of year again when we start thinking about our goals for the year ahead and how to make improvements to our performances. You might consider how to develop your training routine or improve your diet, but have you thought about the mental side of your training and racing, and if it is holding you back?

With that in mind, here's a brilliant post by London based Swim Smooth Coach Julian Nagi, the original taken from his coaching blog at: www.juliannagicoaching.com/?page_id=257

It's called:

Get Comfortable With Being Uncomfortable



As we approach the New Year I have to admit I start getting pretty excited about what is to come from the athletes that I coach. We had some amazing success in 2014 and each year I like to see everyone raising the bar further still, I try to do this with my coaching each year and expect my athletes to do the same.

Without doubt at this time of year most athletes are raring to go and are looking to start ticking the sessions off one at a time with great consistency moving forwards. But why not stop to ask yourself, where are the biggest gains to be made? For each athlete this will be different but its important to recognise your strengths and in particular your weaknesses so you can formulate a plan.

Without question, the area I personally think that most triathletes have the biggest scope for improvement is the mental side of training and racing. Unfortunately though it's the area most seem to neglect. They are often far too concerned with accumulating numbers, spending far too much time uploading & downloading data that for most of the time offer no substantial value to them or myself as a coach.

Sure this data will then look good in a spreadsheet but what is it really telling us about the training session that the athlete has just experienced if left poorly described? When I see athletes wasting 5-10mins during a session pressing buttons on their all singing all dancing watches there is a huge disconnection from the workout goal because you are too focused at looking at the numbers.

Learn to embrace the moment and feel. Gadgets have a place but know when and how to use them. I still find it astonishing how many athletes I see on a daily basis that time their warm up, cool down, technique sets and then check their watch at the end of every length to ensure they are on pace, I've even seen this done in time trials!

What I love in spreadsheets (yes I do use them!) are descriptions such as how the session feels, what hurdles were overcome, how did you react to this and how do you think you could do it better next time? Or simply if you just nailed the session then great – job done! This kind of intuitive information is like coaching gold-dust because it tells me that the athlete is really thinking about how they feel and their perception of effort.

I also like to speak to my athletes as much as possible because the look in their eyes, the sound of their voice and seeing how they move tells me more than any data file. It is also important to note that data can actually serve to demotivate triathletes if they are slower that the previous weeks session.

As coaches we understand that in training there are no two weeks or two sessions that are ever the same as there are too many factors to account for. Some sessions will be great others will feel like you are banging your head against a brick wall… that's ok! Don't look back to a bad session just keep looking forwards to the next one, which could be so much different.

Find out more about Julian and his coaching
at: www.juliannagicoaching.com
I think there is a healthy balance to be gained from using gadgets and numbers but your training shouldn't solely rely on it. Learn how to develop your feel for pacing and intensity because this is what will help to develop your racing instinct. You won't find a function for this on any watch.

As a coach that specialises in Ironman triathlon coaching I often hear the question asked – “How much of being good at Ironman is the mental aspect compared to the physical?” I often hear numbers that Ironman is 90% mental versus 10% physical, I'm not sure I buy into this. I would rather say that each and every athlete has a certain make up and the ratio will be different from person to person depending on his or her ability. One thing for sure is both need to be developed simultaneously if an athlete is to be successful, you can't have one without having the other.

The reason I think most triathlete's neglect this side of their training is because its takes true self-reflection to understand who you are as a person and as an athlete. The person you really are is usually only revealed during your deepest and darkest moments of your training and racing. It can be a scary place to look because it's ultimately about being honest with yourself and accepting your weaknesses, and standing up to your fears and failures.

Its also about asking yourself the hard questions, accepting the answers and then being able to do formulate a plan to do things better next time. Any athlete that wants to improve their performance year by year needs to go through process of self reflection frequently - on a daily basis - and never more so important than just after a race.

But what does true reflection really mean?

For me it is epitomised by two of the greatest triathletes the world has ever seen – Mark Allen and Chris McCormack. Both multiple World Champions at short course and long course with Mark winning 6 Hawaii Ironman titles and Chris winning 2. Just because you are an age grouper doesn't mean to say these guys are so dramatically different to you, they aren't and the same lessons are applicable to all. You can still learn from their mistakes and apply it to your own training and racing.

What is truly enlightening is the process of self-evaluation both athletes needed to undertake to win the coveted World Championship titles in Hawaii. Both of them failed time and time again before they were ever able to come through and win. Never forget that all champions have experienced failure first before they ever achieved the success we take for granted:

"I missed more than 9000 shots in my career. 26 times I was trusted to take the game winning shot and missed. I've failed over and over again in my life. And that's why I succeeded." Michael Jordan


The reason I chose these Mark and Chris is because they couldn't be anymore diametrically opposed as people. Chris is a real extrovert known for his smack talking and outspoken nature, while Mark is much introverted, calm and thoughtful in comparison. Both led the race in Hawaii many times but ultimately fell apart: a very painful and humbling experience for them when they were expected to win.

But what they didn't do was give up. In Mark's case, he failed 6 times before he actually went on to win in what is regarded as the greatest race of all time in 1989, now known as the Iron War. This eventually led to Mark winning a total of 6 Ironman World championships titles in following years.

But why did two of the greatest athletes in the world fail so many times? Quite simply, they weren't mentally strong enough to win. Physically they were in the best shape of their lives but neither were mentally strong enough in the latter stages of the race to come through and win. The pressure, the race, the conditions all served up one big knock out punch to beat them.


"I can accept failure, everyone fails at something. But I can't accept not trying again." Michael Jordan

Both wanted the title badly and would do whatever it took to go back there and win it. This would require them to ask the hard questions about why they were failing so that they could formulate a plan to deal with it. Both athletes realised they had to get comfortable with being uncomfortable, in fact more uncomfortable than they had ever been before because this is what it would take for them to win.

Chris' journey took him on a path of self-reflection with his inner circle (coach & family), which led him to question everything about how he was mentally dealing with his training. What he realised was how incredibly negative he was being in those deep dark moments during hard training sessions when the tough questions were being asked.

He was astute enough to realise that his thoughts were far from positive, he spent too much time focusing on the negatives: "This sucks... it hurts so much... cant wait to get this session over". When really what he should have been doing was learning to deal with these moments in a more positive light. It is in these crucial tough moments in training that he realised he needed to embrace his fear of un-comfortableness so he wouldn't fear it so much when he raced. It was his fear of the uncontrollable that had been holding him back and he had to learn how to let go and break through it.

What's really interesting is how he overcame this, firstly he learned how to "smile" when he reached these moments, sounds too simple doesn't it? But that's what he did, he would realise when these moments were upon him and simply smile to himself and welcome them in like an old friend. He knew this would be one of the small tests he would have to continually pass that would contribute to making him a champion.

He also coined a phrase "embrace the suck" which simply means rather than fearing pain and suffering, welcome it in and relish the challenge of it. If you can teach yourself to do this you will ultimately become a stronger and more mentally tough athlete.




Mark on the other hand was incredibly spiritual, this led him to seek outside assistance from a Shaman called Brandt Sucunda. He began studying the teachings & practices of Shamanism. In it he found the tools for personal transformation that helped him change pain into joy, inner struggle into gratitude, and impatience and fear into calm and courage. Mark also learned how to think of fitness more broadly, in terms of his spirit and emotions and how to become the champion he to aspired to be.

Some of the key principles he developed were to:

1- See reward not negativity in repetition
Doing one thing right in training is a positive, then repeat it time and time again to get an even deeper reward. Practice makes perfect. Learn to embrace the sets or sessions you hate because these are just dress rehearsals for those tough moments in racing when you want to give up.

2- Quiet your mind
Turn off the internal negative mental chatter when the going gets tough. Put it back in the box and don't let it back out. Focus on the positives.

3 – Focus on the joy
This is my favourite principle because I always tell my athletes to smell the roses while out there training and racing. Take in the beauty of nature and realise how lucky you are to be able to being doing what you are doing. This will counteract any negativity you are experiencing. The world can be a beautiful place when you look at it with big eyes particularly when you are suffering.

4 – Slow down to get faster
Its not all about high intensity hard training, get the balance right between mainly aerobic training, a smaller amount of harder training and make good recovery of paramount importance.

5 – Embrace your inner tortoise
This means learn how to pace yourself and don't follow what others do. There is tremendous strength to be gained from this. An Ironman is a long race and it's amazing what can happen if you can pace yourself correctly in the early stages.



These are two remarkable personal journeys which although very different in nature are also very similar in many ways. They are about two athletes who accepted they had weaknesses and were prepared to meet them head on to become better athletes. Each and every athlete is capable of doing this if you are prepared to look deep within yourself and face the truth.

For me, mental training starts in day to day training. Each and every training session will present a certain challenge to you albeit some more difficult than others. Some sessions will just be about execution whereas others will be about pushing your boundaries and testing yourself physically and mentally. Ask yourself if you are up for this and how you are next going to react when that fear arises in you? Will you meet it head on or will you let it beat you? Will you react negatively or will you react positively? It is entirely down to you.

Each and every time you over come these moments you get a step closer to becoming the athlete you really want to be:

“This session is the one that makes you who you are. Defines what you want to be and gives enlightenment to the individual of oneself. You only ever grow as a human being if you're outside your comfort zone." Percy Cerrutti

So start to think with your head during training sessions, do it day in day out. Realise that if you want to get good you have to commit to excellence at all times. Make the most of every sessions no matter how easy or hard because ultimately you will become empowered by this. Look for a better version of yourself in the deepest darkest moments because you can and will find it if you look hard enough.

If you are sitting there reading this thinking you give 100% to your training then you are wrong because there is always an area that can be improved. That's what drives on champions day after a day - they don't rest on their laurels, they have to think outside of the box to stay ahead of the game. Remember the training doesn't just involve the swim, bike and run accumulation this is just part of it - recovery, nutrition and also mental training have an equally large part to play. Don't be a volume junkie, the accumulation of miles doesn't equal training success. Do things right and be smart with your training.

Remember its not your times or results that define you as an athlete, its the journey of self transformation you decide to go on that will ultimately tell you about the person you really are and what kind of athlete you can become.

All the very best for an outstanding 2015!

Julian

Coach Julian Nagi
First Ironman Coaching & Swim Smooth Coach
www.juliannagicoaching.com
Share:

Nick Baldwin: Addressing My Weakness With Swim Smooth

Everything you need to transform your swimming:

The New SS Coaching System




Lancaster SS Squad
Full information here

Lancaster UK, Video
Analysis Consultations

Full information here

Abingdon Clinic Jan 24th
Full information here

West Lothian
Video Analysis

Full information here

Prague Junior Swim Club
Full information here

Richmond SS Squad
Full information here and here

Acton Video Analysis
Full information here

Swim/Tri Camps Alicante
All year round
Full information: here

Upcoming Swim Smooth Clinics / Camps:

Dubai Video Analysis Dec 2014
Full information here

Dubai/Richmond/Wimbledon Workshops
Full information here

Salisbury 1to1 Analysis
Full information here

Salisbury SS Squad
Full information here

Twickenham Video Analysis
Full information here




For more info on SS Certified Coaches see here
What could you achieve with 8 weeks of focus on your swimming? This was the challenge that Pro Ironman Triathlete Nick Baldwin set himself in November and December when he came to Perth to work with Swim Smooth Head Coach Paul Newsome.

Nick's a fantastic cyclist and runner but his overall performances were always let down by his swim. In his own words: "Like many triathletes, I've never given my swim the attention it deserves... until now". As you read Nick's report below on how he got on, ask yourself the question: What if I too committed to 8 weeks of focus on my swimming, what could I achieve?


Nick Baldwin: Addressing My Weakness With Swim Smooth


My swim training has often been sporadic, with motivation occasionally dwindling as I've searched for excuses to either miss swim sessions completely or cut them short. However, in the last two years of racing as a professional I've learned one thing – the swim matters. For myself as a second pack swimmer, it's not necessarily the time I lose to the leaders that's the biggest factor, but the impact that it has on the dynamic of the remainder of the race. I wanted – and still want – to be a better swimmer, but I knew that something had to change. My coach Brian recognised this also and we planned to spend the winter focussing on swimming. Addressing my weakness seemed logical, but in reality I knew it would be difficult to shift focus towards my least favourite of the three disciplines.


Nick finishing fourth at Ironman Sweden

We briefly looked into some options, which included Europe, the US and Australia. There was one option that I kept coming back to – going to Australia to train with renowned triathlon and open water swim coach Paul Newsome (of Swim Smooth). Having worked with countless triathletes who have come away with big improvements, I had no doubt that his expertise would have a positive impact on my swim. After chatting with Paul he convinced me that if I was committed I would come away a better swimmer. Just how much better would depend on me. Having friends in Perth made the decision an easy one - I booked the trip and two months of swim training awaited. I immediately recognised what a fantastic opportunity this was and was determined to make the most of it. I focussed on doing just two things: turning up and working hard. If I could do that then I trusted the improvement would take care of itself.




After arriving the first task was to establish my CSS (Critical Swim Speed), which was done by completing a 400m and 200m time trial. That gave us a benchmark to use in training, with most of the sessions using the beeper (Finis Tempo Trainer), giving you instant feedback of how fast you're swimming. Throughout the week the emphasis was on specific sets rather than drills and technique, although Monday's session was always an easier one, incorporating a number of drills. One session which never changed was Tuesday's 10x 400m, which gave me a good indication of how my swim was progressing as the weeks went by. Wednesday and Friday varied each week - one session had a threshold pace main set and the other a longer endurance main set. We also did one open water session every week, swimming in the Swan River from Claremont jetty:


L-R: Nick, fellow 2nd Place Kona Finisher Rachel Joyce and Paul

Initially it was hard, really hard. I was struggling towards the end of sessions and it took almost two weeks until I was able to complete a main set at my target pace. After that initial period, the improvements started coming. Using the 10x 400m set as a benchmark was fantastic and seeing the times come down week on week was really motivating. Paul analysed my stroke with video and talked me through it, clearly explaining the elements to address as well as pointing out the positives. My stroke didn't need completely tearing apart, but there was definitely room for refinement.

The work continued as the weeks ticked by. I turned up and worked hard, just as I promised myself. For the first time ever I actually enjoyed swimming. There are a few reasons for this. Firstly, we were swimming in some fantastic pools. Whether it was the outdoor pool at Claremont or one of the three 50m pools at Challenge Stadium, the swim facilities were excellent. Secondly, there was a really great group of people swimming together and we had fun outside of swimming. Finally, Paul was always so positive and enthusiastic, it was difficult not to get excited about swimming!

Before arriving in Perth, Brian and I agreed that my bike and run training would take a back seat, allowing me to focus on executing the swim sessions to the best of my ability. Monday to Friday's bike training consisted of commuting to/from the pool (a 50km round trip), with one longer ride on Saturday. Similarly, run training dropped off slightly, getting in some aerobic runs during the week and a longer trail run on Sunday. We of course knew that my bike and run fitness would regress with this schedule, but we were confident that it would soon return with regular training. The important thing was that my swim was improving in training, and an opportunity to test it in a race environment was just around the corner. With Busselton being just a 2.5 hour drive away, I entered Ironman Western Australia with no expectations. Four Ironman/Challenge races between April and September this year was tough and I was unsure how my body would handle the prospect of another. Given the low volume of bike and run training – and absence of any specific training sessions – I couldn't expect to compete for the top spots against the strong pro field that lined up for the race. I put my pride aside and accepted that for the first time in my triathlon career my day would likely end before reaching the finish line.


Nick reflecting before Ironman WA

The gun fired and the pace was on right from the get-go. I'm fairly certain I set a new 100m PB from the start, with the subsequent few hundred metres not getting any easier. As we approached 1km things seemed to spread out a little and there were some gaps starting to form up ahead. I'd been red-lining since the start and was giving it absolutely everything, but the front group of guys were pulling away. Just before halfway I moved to the front of our group and got a small gap, although the leaders ahead continued to swim into the distance. The last 2km was a solo effort as I found myself stranded between groups, eventually coming out the water in 49:52. The rest of the race went mostly as expected – I biked a 4:34 which lost time to the lead group and ran a gratuitous 3km before pulling to the side of the road and taking off my timing chip. There wasn't a moment of hesitation in stopping – I'd made peace with the decision around 120km into the bike. I've raced enough of these to know that you have to be mentally prepared and willing to push your body to the limit, but on that day, I wasn't prepared – or able – to do that. The rest of the afternoon was spent on the sidelines cheering on the other athletes which was great fun! The post-race analysis of the swim was really positive. Sneaking under 50 minutes for the first time and losing just 3.5 minutes to the lead swimmer was definitely a step in the right direction (for comparison, this season I've consistently lost 5-7 minutes to the lead swimmer). The main front pack still eluded me by 2.5 minutes, but that's a time gap that I hope will continue to come down.




Was I satisfied with the improvements during the two months? Absolutely. In the 10x 400m sessions my times improved by 7s/100m over 8 weeks, I progressed up to 8km in the open water averaging 1:19/100m (courtesy of drafting Mr Newsome!) and I had my best ever swim in a race. I got everything I hoped out of the experience and more. There's certainly a lot of work ahead to get closer to the front pack, but my time in Perth proved that with the right focus, I have the aptitude to commit to swimming – something I wasn't sure about previously.




As I write this at 40,000 feet on my final flight of 2015, I leave Perth grateful for an amazing couple of months. Just like their coffee, the Australian lifestyle is tough to beat and is something I'll really miss. That being said, it's the people around you that turn good experiences into great ones, and I'm lucky to have an amazing group of friends who made this trip a great end to the year.  

Nick

You can find out more about Nick on his website here and follow him on twitter here.

And a few final thoughts from Paul:

The number of pros visiting us in Perth to work on their swimming is ever increasing. I personally love working with these athletes and despite having a low perception of their swimming abilities, with a few simple tweaks to their stroke and a little hard work, they all take large strides forwards.

Nick's first session with us was our infamous 10x400 "Red Mist" session and it's fair to say he really struggled with this first session, to the point where I initially doubted he might show up again as I have seen this session crack the souls of some of the hardiest athletes out there. I needn't have worried though, Nick's commitment and positive attitude was something I came to appreciate very quickly and with it his improvements too. It was staggering to see such improvement coming week-in, week-out and what was really cool was how his elite peers also recognised this as well. 

Every Thursday we'd do an open water swim in the river. One of Nick's first was in very challenging conditions which he swam with Rachel Joyce. Nick managed to complete 4k that day in the same time I completed 5k, so you can imagine how impressed I was when the following week in smoother conditions he hung onto my feet for 4k, then the next week 6k and the final week 8k! These were all performed at sub-50 minute 3.8k iron distance pace and 5 seconds per 100m quicker than his (non wetsuit) CSS pace - incredibly. This signified to me he was going to have a great swim at Ironman WA. 

It has been a pleasure working with an athlete who personifies the term "professional" in his approach to what he does best. Nick will now continue to work closely with me utilising the new Swim Smooth Coaching System web-app to track his progress and ensure he keeps up the great work from Perth. I'm expecting big things for 2015!"

If you're looking to taking some big jumps forward with your swimming in 2015 then I'd highly recommend our new coaching system to do that. It contains all the same training, technique and open water skills I oversaw with Nick, all set at the right level for you as an individual. Check it out here:


Swim Smooth!
Share:

Subscribe to Feel For The Water
And receive the amazing Mr Smooth animation as your optional free gift.
Find out more: here

* required
I consent to receiving tips to improve my swimming and occasional information about our products and services from Swim Smooth. You can unsubscribe at any time. See our Privacy Policy
Powered by Blogger.

Labels

Blog Archive

Recent Posts