Thursday, November 24, 2016

It's Black Friday! And A Swimming Power Meter For $32 ??!!

Fly The Flag with a
brand new Archimedes 2!!
Today is Black Friday and that means incredible savings on Swim Smooth DVDs, HUUB wetsuits and Finis products in the Swim Smooth Shop:

To highlight just a few of the deals:

- By entering promo code 5CQM-QHAC you can save up to 30% when you sign-up for a Guru PRO subscription. All of Swim Smooth's coaching at your fingertips! :

- We have the Great Britain Edition of the HUUB Archimedes 2 on sale for £299 (or just £239 if you live outside the European Union) with FREE WORLDWIDE Shipping too!

- All three of our coaching DVDs are discounted by up to 40%: DVD Boxset, Learn2Swim and Catch Masterclass

All offers must end on Monday 28th - so don't miss out!

Last shipping dates for pre Christmas delivery:  UK: 21st Dec, USA/Canada: 15th Dec, EU Countries: 14th Dec, Central / South America: 8th Dec, Australia / NZ: 10th Dec

Does A Swimming Power Meter Already Exist?

If you've used a power meter on the bike you'll know it's an amazing bit of kit, letting you accurately set your training intensities and measure small incremental improvements in your cycling fitness as the weeks and months go by.

But what if you could achieve those same benefits for your swimming for just US$32?

Well actually you can using a Finis Tempo Trainer Pro (on sale for just US$32/UK£26/AU$45 in our Black Friday sale!)

Here's how:

Most swimmers think of the Tempo Trainer as a way to control their stroke rate (cadence) as they swim, and this is certainly a very valuable thing to do when developing your stroke technique. However, and perhaps even more usefully, you can slow the timer right down and set your Tempo Trainer to beep every length of the pool instead.

Since there's no current or waves in a pool and the length is always the same, this allows you to control the speed (and so intensity) at which you are swimming very accurately. Use a 25m pool and want to swim at 2 minutes per 100m? Just set the Tempo Trainer to a 30 second delay, pop it under your swim cap and judge your speed so you turn and push-off when the beep goes. It's a bit like a beep test in the gym but the pace stays the same rather than getting faster.

May the beep by with you... always.
On a bike you might use your power meter to ride a threshold session of 4x 10 minutes at your threshold watts. To do the same thing in pool just set the time on your Tempo Trainer to your CSS pace per length and swim out a CSS set staying with the beeper. Such a set might look like: 6x 300m with one beep rest between each interval.

[More on finding your CSS pace here and a more advanced version in the Guru here]

Just like a power meter this is a brilliant way to accurately target the right intensity to improve quickly... And you'll immediately notice improvements in fitness as you start to edge ahead of the beeper by a few seconds session by session. Of course as soon as that happens you need to tweak the time down a little to keep those improvements coming in an optimum fashion!

Just like a power meter the Tempo Trainer will also help you develop your pacing skills, it's easy to get ahead of the beeper at first but with the help of the beeper learn to control that urge and the quality of your training will immediately improve for bigger fitness gains.

Of course a Tempo Trainer Pro isn't quite a power meter for swimming as it doesn't directly measure your swimming watts but in practise it's just as good (and is a tiny fraction of the cost).

Swim Smooth!

Friday, November 18, 2016

What Does The Swim Smooth Stroke Look Like?

SS Clinics and Camps:

United Kingdom

SS Clinic Millfield

Swindon SS Squad

Felixstowe Video Analysis

Acton London Video Analysis

Cardiff Video Analysis Clinic

NEW High Wycombe Squad Starts 15th Sep (Free taster session)

Reading/Abingdon Video Analysis Gift Vouchers

Northampton Video Analysis Clinic

Yorkshire Squads (Pool & OW)

Yorkshire Video Analysis

West Lothian Video Analysis

Richmond London SS Squad

SW London Swim Workshops

Salisbury 1to1 Analysis

Twickenham Video Analysis

Lancaster SS Squad

Swindon/Cotswolds Video Analysis

Lancaster Video Analysis

Northampton Swim Squad


Kuala Lumpur Video Analysis
Monthly Clinics, Chicago

Kuala Lumpur Swim Squad

SS 1 Day Clinic South Carolina, Oct 30th

Montreal Squads

Montreal Video Analysis

Hong Kong Group Training & Video Analysis

Hong Kong Squads & Video Analysis

Dubai Video Analysis

NYC / SC Video Analysis

Montreal Clinic (French Language), Oct 22nd

Asia & North America

Kuala Lumpur Video Analysis

Kuala Lumpur Swim Squad

SS 1 Day Clinic South Carolina, Oct 30th

Montreal Squads

Montreal Video Analysis

Hong Kong Video Analysis

Hong Kong Squads & Video Analysis

Dubai Video Analysis

NYC / SC Video Analysis

Montreal Clinic (French Language), Oct 22nd

Quite often we get asked by swimmers and coaches: What does the Swim Smooth stroke look like? Where can I see it?

The short answer to this question is simply that there isn't a single cookie-cutter stroke that we want everyone to copy. Different stroke styles suit different swimmers and there's way too much variation in the general population's height, build, arm length, hand size, flexibility and strength for their to be one ideal way for everyone to swim.

Take our two stroke animations showing two classic ways to swim. Mr Smooth demonstrates a long smooth stroke used by many elite pool swimmers:

And Miss Swinger (available to study from all angles in our Pro Console) demonstrating an alternative style using by elite swimmers both in the pool and open water:

Their arm recovery, kicking style and stroke rate (cadence) are completely different - and yet they both show great "Swim Smooth technique".

You can see examples of real swimmers using these styles here:

Smooth: John Van Hazel:, Rebecca Adlington : (Guru subscription required)

Swinger: Jodie Swallow:, Tim Don : (Guru subscription required)

Your Own Swimming

So what stroke style should you be aiming for yourself? In most cases you don't have to actively choose a given style, instead work on the key areas of your stroke below and your individual style will naturally evolve - moving you towards the Swinger or Smooth style, or somewhere on the spectrum in-between.

The Swim Smooth stroke has:

- Great breathing technique, keeping the head low when breathing and breathing bilaterally to both sides:

- Continuous smooth exhalation into the water:

- An individual head position that keeps the swimmer balanced in the water and works well for open water swimming.

- An efficient leg kick, kicking with a nice straight leg from the hip in either a 2-beat or 6-beat kick style, lifting the legs high and minimising drag:

- An arm recovery style that is natural to you and suits the environment in which you are swimming. A classic high elbow recovery might be great for pool swimmers but a straighter arm recovery is better for wetsuit and open water swimming to clear waves and chop:


- Extending forwards underwater with the elbow slightly higher than the wrist and the wrist slightly higher than the fingertips:

- An effective catch and pull, pressing the water back behind you at all times with a bent elbow:

- Good stroke rhythm, moving continuously from one stroke to the next.

- At an advanced level, the swimmer has the ability to change their stroke rate depending on conditions - lengthening out slightly in very flat water or increasing stroke rate in rougher conditions.

Work on those key elements in your own stroke and you'll be swimming better than you ever have done before, and you can then be confident you have a true "Swim Smooth stroke"!

Swim Smooth!