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!

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