SS Podcast Episode 19 Anna-Karin Lundin - Swim Smooth Coach And The World's Smoothest Swinger!

We've just released a new episode of the Swim Smooth Podcast for your listening pleasure on your favourite podcasting platform:

Episode 19 - Anna-Karin Lundin, Swim Smooth Coach and the world's smoothest Swinger!

Today we speak with legendary Swim Smooth Coach and Olympian from the 1988 Seoul Olympics, Anna-Karin Lundin. The interview takes place in sunny Mallorca, Spain immediately after the BESTFest 2019 of Open Water Swimming, of which she won a few of the age-group events outright against some very strong competition.

If you've never seen Anna-Karin swim, start off by viewing this *awesome* clip here:

We talk candidly about Anna-Karin's early successes in swimming (primarily as a breaststroke swimmer), her participation at the 1988 Olympics as one of the youngest swimmers at the entire event, her early burn-out and retirement, and then her renaissance through her coaching in Gothenburg and venturing outdoors into the open water swimming arena!

Paul and Adam (above with AK) also discuss her development as a coach and how she came to join the Swim Smooth team:

We hope you enjoy listening to this episode as much as we enjoyed recording it! You can find out more about Anna-Karin's background and her coaching services at

Swim Smooth!

The Waterpolo Drill - Add Some Punch And Rhythm Into Your Stroke

When moving from pool to open water swimming, the number one mistake swimmers make is to think open water is just pool swimming but without the walls. It's actually anything but!

Open water swimming requires a distinct set of skills, including:

- Being comfortable swimming close to other swimmers
- The ability to swim straight without a black line to follow
- Being able to navigate accurately around a course
- Knowing how to execute effective drafting behind or alongside other swimmers
- The ability to cope with disturbed water conditions

The last of those - coping with waves and chop - is very important but often overlooked. Traditional swim coaching teaches swimmers to develop a long stroke technique, minimising the number of strokes taken. More often than not this is a bad thing to do in the pool but in open water it can be disastrous because it lowers your stroke rate (cadence)  - killing the rhythm of your stroke.

Developing A Better Stroke Rhythm

To excel when swimming or racing in open water you need a good sense of rhythm in your stroke. This helps you punch through disturbed water, either from waves, swell and chop from the prevailing conditions, or that generated by other swimmers around you:

Try and use a long smooth stroke in these conditions and you'll hugely underperform because you get stalled when a wave hits you in the gap between your strokes and have to reaccelerate your whole body mass again on the next stroke. The more efficient way to swim is to apply propulsion continuously from one stroke to the next.

(Thinking of avoiding this by seeking out clear water? And as we discussed here, you actually can't, even on an otherwise flat lake:

So as part of your preparation for open water swimming, you need to work on developing good rhythm in your stroke. But what's a good way to develop it?

A key drill is Waterpolo, watch Swim Smooth's interpretation of this exercise here:

Waterpolo involves swimming with yours eyes above the surface of the water as you would expect. However, with Swim Smooth's version of the drill we only perform this over short distances (start with just 10-15m) but at sprint pace. In this way you push the pace very hard and swim at a high cadence/turnover.

Focus on maintaining a strong tempo, getting into each stroke quickly at the front. If you struggle to perform the drill at all, try using a large pull-buoy or don a pair of fins to help bring the legs up at the rear.

Perform Waterpolo regularly in your training and your ability to increase and sustain a higher stroke rate will improve, whether you are swimming easy, steady or hard pace.

The footage above is taken from the Swim Smooth Guru. Subscribers can see all 44 Swim Smooth drills (and discover exactly how and when to use them) here:

Subscribe to the Guru today and get to work improving your swimming! :

Swim Smooth!

SS Podcast Episodes 17 & 18 - Recovering From Injury And Our Mallorca Mashup!

We've just released two new episodes of the Swim Smooth Podcast for your listening pleasure on your favourite podcasting platform:

Episode 17 - Insights Into Dealing With Injury And illness In Swimming And Triathlon

After a two month hiatus owing to Paul dealing with a very bad back injury and some reflections and adjustments to his day to day schedule, the boys are back with a podcast recorded two months ago on sunny Mallorca. We strongly recommend this episode for those of you struggling with work / life / training balance as well as those of you currently dealing with injury and illness, and are maybe in a reflective state yourself. If you're going great guns at the moment, you might want to skip this one or send it over to a friend who might benefit from our musings.

This show was meant to go out immediately after recording but sadly a big relapse of his back injury has seen Paul out of action for a further two months. It's a little ironic, as the aim of this show was to talk about some of the insights and research Paul and Adam had gleaned over the years with respect to sleep, HRV, over-training, injury and illness which has further spilled out into everyday life for Paul in particular.

Given that the show includes some snippets and insights from Paul's first dip back in the water and what that felt like with the view to showing you how you might also return to activity after a hiatus (for whatever reason), it felt prudent to hold this episode (and the next two) back until this blip was properly overcome. But we're now there (fingers crossed and thanks for your patience), so on with the show!

Related links:

Oura Ring:
Peter Attia / Matt Walker (Why We Sleep):
Dan Plews:

Episode 18 - The Mallorca Mash Up!

Recorded in June 2019, this is a "mash up" of interviews and snippets of advice from open water swimmers and coaches enjoying the fabulous BEST FEST of Open Water Swimming in Colonia Sant Jordi, Mallorca:

Including interviews with legends of the swimming world such as Jazz Carlin (double Olympic silver medallist) and Jack Burnell (open water swimming extraordinaire and Olympian). Recorded live on the beach prior to and immediately after several of the events, this is sure to tickle your taste buds for jetting off to amazing locations to swim in azure waters with hundreds of like-minded souls!

Find out more about next year's event at:

See you there in 2020!

Swim Smooth!

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