And The Beatles Were Just A Boy Band - Think Big For 2019

People achieve great things from humble beginnings all the time. Lewis Hamilton lived on his dad's sofa as a kid. Walt Disney was the cartoonist for his school newspaper. Hilary Swank grew up in a trailer park. And the Beatles were just a boy band designed to appeal to teenage girls:

The biggest danger you face when looking ahead to 2019 is to aim too low. You may consider you have "modest" abilities but set yourself a modest goal and you're likely to be uninspired by it.

Or, set yourself a challenging goal, one that excites you and scares you in equal measure and you'll be inspired to work hard and take the steps you need to succeed. When you do that, anything can happen.

Need some inspiration? Take a look back at Lennart Flygare from our blog a few weeks ago, who became the first person to ever swim the Kvarken Strait along with two friends. Amazing!

Some com'on, it doesn't matter where you are now, think big, aim high and get excited about 2019 - let's get fired up and put a dent in this universe!

Happy New Year for Tuesday!

Your Festive Swim Session - The 12 Days Of Christmas

We've just released Episode 6 of the Swim Smooth Podcast where we are joined by Andy Blow - Head Coach Paul Newsome's long-time friend, fellow Bath University Sport & Exercise Science graduate, British Triathlon team member, founder of, and most recently, the guy who dragged Paul around the infamous Otillo SwimRun World Championships in Sweden (see photo right)!

Paul and Andy chew the fat about Sport Science and where their paths in this discipline diverged (Andy - more towards physiology, nutrition and testing; Paul - more towards biomechanics and coaching).

Andy's story is fascinating, from being a prospective Leicester City youth team soccer player in his early teens, to becoming a formidable force in triathlon in the early / mid-2000s, to now helping tens of thousands of athletes in sports as diverse as baseball to biathlon improve their performance through a better understanding of their hydration requirements.

Listen here:

Note: There was a problem with the audio starting at 17:30 on the original release. It's fixed now but if your device has downloaded the original then delete it and re-download.

Like this on an iPhone:

Your Festive Swim Session - The 12 Days Of Christmas

What do the Swim Smooth Squads in Perth do for their last session before Christmas? Swim the 12 days session of course! As introduced here by Paul:

Give this solid aerobic set a crack between now and Christmas day:

Warm-up200mEasy freestyle
12 lengths600mCross eyed emusCSS+7*
11 lengths550mEleven limping lizardsCSS+6
10 lengths500mTen nosy numbatsCSS+5
9 lengths450mNine fat koalasCSS+4
8 lengths400mEight frill necked lizardsCSS+3
7 lengths350mSeven wobbly wombatsCSS+2
6 lengths300mSix cackling cockiesCSS+1
5 lengths250mFive pink galahsCSS
4 lengths200mFour kicking kangaroosCSS-1
3 lengths150mThree mincing magpiesCSS-2
2 lengths100mTwo lucky lyrebirdCSS-3
1 length50mA kookaburra up the gum treeCSS-4

Length count is for a 50m/yd pool - double the lengths for a 25m/yd pool.

* To descend, take 0:25 off your Tempo Trainer Pro in Mode 1 after each swim.

A big fat Merry Christmas to you, from everyone at Swim Smooth!

Our Exclusive Interview With Super-Fish Lucy Charles

We've just released Episode 5 of the Swim Smooth Podcast and what a treat we have in store for you - our exclusive interview with the fastest ever female Ironman swimmer Lucy Charles and her coach and partner, Reece Barclay (also a professional triathlete and phenomenal swimmer).

Lucy has now twice finished second at the Ironman World Championships, totally dominating the swim and setting a phenomenal 48:14 all time swim record this year!

In just the first 60 seconds of the podcast, Lucy’s thoughts epitomise everything that Swim Smooth is all about. Listen to how she refutes the need to look pretty to be effective in the water as she very much embodies our "Swinger" Swim Type :

People would probably say that my stroke, looking at it from the outside, is a fairly messy stroke - I've got a very high turn-over (stroke rate) and I haven't got much of a leg kick either, so most coaches I ever had would tell me off for not kicking my legs (which I always found quite funny) and no matter what I did - I tried to work on it - but because the front end of the stroke was moving so fast, I just didn’t have the coordination to do that with my legs as well.

I think it seems to work pretty well for open water - it's definitely served me well so far - the key thing is, it might look a little bit messy from above the water but everything under the water is doing what you're supposed to do and is quite a strong, powerful pull. I think when I was more of a pool swimmer, it was probably a bit of a neater stroke, but I've adapted it without really realising it for the open water.

To add an extra dimension to the interview we brought in Lucy's old coach Roy Shepherdson (who spookily enough is one of Paul Newsome's best mates and was best man at his wedding). Roy's observations of Lucy's development as a junior swimmer are priceless and give real insight into why she become such a dominant swimmer in triathlon.

As always you can listen to the Swim Smooth Podcast on any of these platforms:

Enjoyed the interview and would like to see Lucy in action? If you are a Guru subscriber you can see our exclusive footage and study of Lucy's stroke here:

Swim Smooth!

Free Perth Trip Competition: And The Lucky Winner Is...

As you know, every year on December 1st we pick a very special winner and fly them from wherever they are in the world to visit us in Perth Australia. Chosen at random from the Swim Smooth blog subscribers (of which you are one) they will stay with us for a week, are personally coached by Paul Newsome to improve their swimming and enjoy swimming with the Swim Smooth Squad:

Last Saturday we conducted this annual draw for the first time and picked the lucky winner "out of the hat".... drumroll please:


You'll be pleased to know we recorded the moment we phoned up Artem and told him he'd won, which will be included in an edition of our podcast to be released very soon. In the meantime you can enjoy the moment on our Instagram post here and video here:

We hope to get Artem over to Perth early next year and we will share with you his experiences and development during the trip - we can't wait!

We are very sorry if you missed out this time but make sure you stay subscribed to the Swim Smooth blog for next year's draw. You could be the lucky 2019 winner!

You can find out full details of the competition here:

Swim Smooth!

Last Chances! Our Perth Competition Draw Is TOMORROW And Black Friday Deals End TONIGHT!!

We have four news items for you on the blog this week:

Our BLACK FRIDAY DEALS END TONIGHT this is your LAST CHANCE to grab a hefty discount on a Guru Subscription, Finis products, Swim Smooth products and HUUB products. Free shipping and over 50% off many items!

Deals are here:

Purchase here:

TOMORROW we are drawing the winner of our WIN A TRIP TO PERTH AUSTRALIA competition! The good news is that if you are receiving this blog email then you are automatically entered into the competition but why not get all your family and friends to enter too? Just get them to subscribe to the blog before tomorrow and they'll be entered into the draw too!

For more information and to enter visit:

You might want to monitor your email tomorrow afternoon / evening, just in case you get THAT WINNING EMAIL!

Paul Newsome and Brad Smith - Team Swim Smooth - are competing at the Bali Hope Swim-Run event next weekend.

Our oceans are suffocating from a huge influx of plastic but on one small island off the coast of Bali, there’s a chance to make a difference. On December 8th, 2018, 30 brave people from around the world will race over land and ocean in a race against time to protect the future of the islands of Nusa Lembongan & Nusa Ceningan. Previously pristine islands that have been heavily impacted by massive tourism growth are now threatened with an environmental disaster.

Find out more at:

Please give generously to this cause which is very close to our hearts on the Team Swim Smooth donation page:

Finally, Episode 4 of the Swim Smooth Podcast is live. Head Coaches Paul Newsome and Adam Young discuss the history of Swim Smooth itself since the creation of the original DVD boxset back in 2004, right the way through Adam joining the team in 2008 and becoming the driving force in everything you know and love about Swim Smooth, all the way up to the current day and some further insight into where we're heading in the future.

It's a long episode (nearly 2 hours in fact!) but should help you really understand what Swim Smooth is all about, the methodology, the concepts, some of the challenges and hurdles we've faced as well as how we've grown the program to be the coaching curriculum used and endorsed by both British Triathlon and the International Triathlon Union in 119 countries around the world!

Listen here:

Swim Smooth!

10 Ways To Improve Your Swimming With The Guru (Subscribe In The Black Friday Sale)

A long long time ago, when millennials were still at school and people still bought CDs, if you didn't have access to a Swim Smooth coach to improve your swimming, you would have bought one of our coaching DVDs. All was good in the world - sunglasses got bigger and bigger, Uber referred to German cyclists and a Blackberry wasn't a fruit for a while.

But around 2012 it was obvious that the world was quickly moving on and technology was coming that would allow us to produce a much better coaching product than a mere DVD. We could deliver massively more interactive content and sophisticated intelligence to guide the swimmer. A true "virtual coach" was the name of the game.

And so we started writing... and filming... and coding... and filming... and writing:

Three years later, one bright sunny day in December 2014 The Guru was launched (or the Swim Smooth Coaching System as it was called back then):

The result was a "web-app" based system you could access from any laptop, smartphone or tablet with over 30 hours (!) of high quality coaching video, extensive training plans and interactive stroke correction.

The Guru is still such a new idea in coaching that it might not be intuitively obvious to you how it works, so we've outlined 10 ways to use the Guru to improve your own swimming (or coaching). But before we get started with that don't miss the fact that we have a Black Friday deal on the Guru running for the next few days only:

Sign-up here and use promo code VUQ8-7G2G to get 30% off a 3 month PRO subscription or 10% off an annual PRO subscription:

10 Ways To Improve Your Swimming With The Guru

1. Our Complete Drill Library (Pro and Std Subscriptions)

Never again wonder what to focus on or the purpose of any drill with our full guide to every SS drill featuring extensive coaching points. Watch in glorious HD from any angle:

Subscribers shortcut:

2. Study Elite Swimmers (Pro and Std Subscriptions)

How can elite swimmers possibly be so quick? Understand how with our exclusive collection of amazing swimmers shot for you to study from every angle. Featuring Olympic Champions like Rebecca Adlington and the fastest female swimmer in triathlon Lucy Charles:

Subscribers shortcut:

3. Our Full Learn To Swim Program (Pro and Std Subscriptions)

Can't swim freestyle yet? You're in for a treat as both subscription levels of the Guru feature our full Learn To Swim process. We'll build up your stroke step by step for those first laps of smooth effective freestyle - get inspired!

Subscribers shortcut:

4. Correct Your Stroke With Our Fault Fixer (Std & Pro) & Swim Types Processes (Pro subscriptions)

OK down to business directly improving the efficiency and effectiveness of your stroke with our truly individual approach to stroke correction. You have a choice of two routes - firstly identify a specific fault in your stroke and follow our step-by-step process to correct it. Or work on multiple areas at once with our ingenious Swim Types processes - identify your type and fast track your progress with our holistic approach to your swimming.

Subscribers shortcut:

5. Training Plans For Any Distance (Pro subscriptions)

Training for any distance of triathlon or open water swim? We have a full swim training plan specific for your needs to get you fully prepared for a big personal best. 19 plans to choose from in total:

Of course you can print out any session to take poolside and follow.

Subscribers shortcut:

6. Session Libraries (Pro subscriptions only)

Not following an event plan but want a session of a specific type of session to follow? We've organised over 800 (!) sessions by type in our libraries. Technique, Aerobic Endurance, CSS or Red Mist - you decide! The perfect resource for coaches too.

Subscribers shortcut:

7. Train Interactively With A Tempo Trainer & "Tweak" Your Fitness

The Guru knows and tracks your swimming ability using the CSS system which Swim Smooth popularised throughout swimming. With our clever "tweaking" method, your CSS pace adapts over time to make sure you are training at the optimal pace for your ability.

But how do we make sure you swim at the right speed? With our Tempo Trainer Pro integration. Simply program the Guru's settings into your Tempo Trainer and swim to the beep - turning and pushing at the end of each lap as it beeps (a bit like a beep-test in the gym):

Subscribers shortcut:

8. Fitness Tracker (Pro Subscription) & Performance Profile (Pro - Marlin Required)

Want to see visually how you are progressing? How do you know how tired you are and if that's affecting your speed on any given day? The Guru features a clever Fitness Tracker to model your fitness and fatigue levels visually over time. Easily compare month against month or year against year.

Subscribers shortcut:

And, if you own a Platysens Marlin (more on this below) the Guru assesses every lap of every swim to understand your fitness profile across different distances:

Subscribers shortcut:

9. Swim With Our Virtual Squad - The Exact Same Sessions As The Perth Squad!

Unfortunately not everyone can swim in sunny Perth at the glorious Claremont swimming pool but now you can swim the same sessions at the same time! The Virtual Squad features technique, training and open water skills direct from Head Coach Paul Newsome down-under:

Subscribers shortcut:

10. "Close The Loop" With A Marlin

As an optional extra to the Guru, purchase a Platysens Marlin and wear it whilst you swim. Send a training session from the Guru to the Marlin and it will verbally speak the session to you as you swim reminding you what to do. Not only that but the Marlin will record the session for you and import it back into the Guru for full analysis. Genius!

Subscribers shortcut:

You'll love working with the Guru - so much so you might even be inspired to bake a Guru cake (Thanks Nolan!) :

Sign-up to the Guru here and use promo code VUQ8-7G2G to get 30% off a 3 month PRO subscription or 10% off an annual PRO subscription:

Swim Smooth!

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