Thursday, May 31, 2018

Another Great Example - Different Strokes For Two Very Different Folks

Paul Newsome and the rest of the Swim Smooth coaching team have been out in Mallorca the last week running our 3 Day Coach Education Course at the Best Centre and then racing in the amazing Best Fest open water series (if you have the opportunity you've got to get out here for it one year!).

Meet two coaches who attended the Coach-Ed course. Nico (198cm tall) from Tenerife, Spain and Andrés (172cm tall) from Benidorm, Spain :

Both have developed their own swimming and stroke style around our Swim Types model to maximise their own performances given their height, build, arm-length etc.

As you can see from the photo, Nico is very tall and has very long arms and large hands. This makes him perfectly suited to the long stroke style of the classic Smooth Swim Type, which he fully embraces. He looks super smooth in the water - in fact it looks like he's barely trying at all (although of course he is).

On the other hand Andrés uses a shorter stroke with a faster turnover to great effect. We recognise this as the "Swinger" stroke style and done right it is an extremely fast and effective way of swimming. Just to prove that point, Andres is every bit as fast as Nico in the water, in fact he was slightly quicker in our CSS test during the course, posting 5:18 and 2:34 for his 400m and 200m splits, giving him a CSS pace of 1:22 /100m - great swimming.

So how do they look in the water? Here they are swimming one behind the other during that 400m swim:

No prizes for guessing which one is which! Andrés has managed to catch Nico and sit on his feet; that may skew his CSS result a little so be wary yourself of doing this with another swimmer intentionally during a CSS test - leave a big gap to the person in front or smoothly (and safely) overtake them.

It's worth noting whilst we are here that most Swingers enjoy the rough and tumble of open water swimming and are naturally good at drafting - like Andrés - while most Smooths tend to avoid it and prefer clear water to keep that range in their stroke long and continuous.

We've shown you quite a few examples over the years of how the stroke styles of great swimmers vary depending on their height, build, experience and flexibility. You might remember Byron vs. Brad a couple of months ago. We do this to re-enforce the point these differences are everywhere and extremely common - something this is so often overlooked with traditional swim coaching.

You might be thinking that this is an extreme example but really it isn't. In the group of 20 coaches on the Coach-Ed course Nico wasn't even the tallest and Andrés was about average height for the group (there were plenty of shorter coaches). Of course being well matched in pace terms makes these two interesting to compare here. These differences are EVERYWHERE when you look for them.

So every swimmer should be asking themselves the question: Am I trying to swim with the wrong style for my natural make-up? Doing so will SERIOUSLY hold your swimming back!

Swim Smooth!

Saturday, May 26, 2018

Test Post By Adam - Please Read

Hi coaches, hello from sunny Mallorca!

I've made a tweak to the blog template because some of you (e.g.  Gemma, Seamus and Linda) have had a problem where the text isn't appearing, or in some cases only appearing after a minute.

Can you see it now? Please just reply to this and let me know if you can. :)



Friday, May 25, 2018

Want to be faster? EFFICIENT vs. EFFECTIVE...

OK, let's float a controversial idea which runs distinctly against the status quo of swimming "fact".

Here's a very efficient road car (bear with us here this is about swimming):

It's a Volkswagen Polo 1.4 TDI, reaching 62mph (100kph) in 12.9 seconds with a fuel efficiency of 76.3mpg (3.7L/100km) on the combined European cycle.

All very respectable.

On the other hand, here's a Formula 1 car, a 2018 Ferrari SF71H in fact:

Top speed 240mph (390 kph). 0 to 62mph (100kph) in around 2 seconds. Super fast, super sculpted and streamlined. An awesome machine.

Now here's the thing, the fuel efficiency of this performance machine is a completely lousy 7mpg (33L/100km). Yes that's nearly 10 times worse than our VW Polo (and the car is less than half the weight)!

Ferrari haven't wasted any efficiency - just like an elite swimmer, the drag of this car is as low as it can be to get the job done.

And the clever engineers at Ferrari could easily make this car more efficient but the result is that it would immediately be slower. It would be less effective at covering ground quickly.

Here at Swim Smooth we believe "EFFECTIVE" is a good word for most swimmers to focus on. Rather than focusing solely on becoming more efficient, instead try thinking "I need to be a more effective swimmer". You'll swim with much more more purpose as a result.

Unfortunately the nature of aerodynamics and hydrodynamics means that the easiest way to be more efficient is to just go slowly. So the danger with chasing efficiency to the nth degree if that we just end up being slow.

We're not suggesting thrashing around like a mad thing and wasting energy unnecessarily. Instead we're looking to develop an effective stroke working with the water to move you forwards quickly over longer distances.

Want to be fast? Try EFFECTIVE...

Swim Smooth!

Thursday, May 17, 2018

Our New Competition: Win A Trip To Perth!

Today Swim Smooth are very pleased to announce a brand new competition:

Every year one lucky person will win an amazing trip to visit the Swim Smooth home-base in Perth, Western Australia!

On December 1st every year we will pick a random winner from the blog subscribers and fly them to Perth for an amazing week long experience the following March. Yes, just by being a member of the Swim Smooth Blog you are automatically entered and have a chance to win!

Yes you might get to swim with these lovely people in THAT pool!
The winner receives:

- Flights for one (from wherever you live in the world) to sunny Perth.

- Accommodation in the western suburbs of Perth, close to our home base at Claremont Pool and the beautiful beaches of the Indian Ocean.

- A full video analysis and stroke correction session with SS Head Coach and Founder Paul Newsome to improve your stroke technique!

- A week spent with the inspirational (and very friendly) Swim Smooth Squads, giving you the full squad experience.

- The chance to experience one of the most beautiful places in the world - sunshine, beaches, art, culture, amazing swimming (oh and fine wine too).

Watch the competition video here:

Anyone Can Enter

You can of course encourage your friends and family to enter too, which they can do on this page:

You must be 18 or over to enter and only one entry is allowed by person, which will be checked before winners are announced. See full competition terms and conditions here:

Good luck and we hope to welcome you to Perth next March.

Swim Smooth!

Friday, May 11, 2018

Try This Session - Perth's 10 Year Anniversary Swim!

On Monday we celebrated a special date in Perth, the 10 year anniversary of the squad!

A quick calculation by SS Head Coach Paul Newsome showed that over last 10 years at Claremont, he and our team of brilliant coaches (Sally, Cyndy, Derek, Marie, Roo, Sandy, Shelley and Nicola) have conducted over 6,000 squad sessions! And a crazy 3,500 1-2-1 Video Analysis & Stroke Correction sessions to boot!

The very first Swim Smooth Perth Squad session at Claremont Pool on Monday 5th May, 2008
Chrissie (centre) and Liz (right) are still regulars to this day! Well done girls!

Swim Smooth itself has been around a little longer (into our 14th year now), but the local squad here in Perth will always be the "engine room" to what we generate on an international scale, including being the official swim coaching partners of the governing bodies of British Triathlon and the International Triathlon Union.

We call the squads in Perth "The Life And Source" of Swim Smooth and if you've ever visited you'll understand why. The squad boasts 12 weekly training sessions accessed by 360-400 people per week in the lovely year-round 28.5ºC water temperatures of Claremont Pool. It's been an amazing ride and one which Paul and his team enjoy as much today as they did all those years ago.

Of course, EVERY Swim Smooth Coach has to make the pilgrimage there for intensive training too - so they can bring you the same quality of coaching and feel-good-factor to their setup at your local pool.

And 10 years later we are having just as much fun...

So how did we celebrate? With a swim session of course!

That's right, the squad celebrated with a tough little swim - a Technique/Endurance swim set in fact. We published this in full in the Guru a few days ago but are new releasing it onto the blog below for everyone's swimming pleasure.

You will need fins, pull buoy and paddles, and to make the most of the session you would ideally use a Tempo Trainer Pro too - for pacing you through the main set.

This is a full squad session so it assumes you know some of the drills (from our book, our DVDs or the might Guru). You can see also see this quick drill reference list.

Warm Up

400 easy freestyle as twice:
50 breathing every 3 strokes
50 breathing every 4 left only
50 breathing 4 right only
50 breathing every 5

2x 150 with fins as 2x (50 6/1/6 drill + 50 freestyle + 50 broken arrow)

4x 100 Pull Buoy and Paddles breathing 3/5/7/3 (this means take your first breath after 3 strokes, second breath after 5, third breathe after 7 and then back to 3 etc).

6x 50 Pull Buoy swum through twice:
12.5 Scull #1 drill + 12.5 Doggy Paddle drill + 25 freestyle
12.5 Scull #2 drill + 12.5 Doggy Paddle drill + 25 freestyle
12.5 Scull #3 drill + 12.5 Doggy Paddle drill + 25 freestyle

Main Set - Swim Straight through on RM5 cycle*

Set 1
300 OR 400 freestyle
100 Pull Buoy and Paddles
4x 50 fins FAST!

Set 2
100 OR 300 freestyle
100, 200 OR 300 Pull Buoy and Paddles
4x 50 fins FAST!

Set 3
100 OR 200 freestyle
100, 300 OR 400 Pull Buoy and Paddles
4x 50 fins FAST!

The distance varies from 2800 - 3600 depending on the options you choose.

* RM5 is a setting that goes in your Tempo Trainer based on your CSS pace. To calculate the setting, simply take your CSS pace per 50m and add 5 seconds to it -  then round to the nearest whole number. For instance if your CSS pace is 2:00 per 100m you need to put 65 seconds in the beeper (use Mode 2). During the main set above, wait for the beep, set off and swim quickly enough to get ahead of the beeper every 50 meters. The further ahead you get the more rest you earn before the next swim of the set - you need to take off as soon as it beeps again, no additional rest! You should just get enough rest to take your paddles/pull-bouy/fins if you are quick.

Here's the session on the squad board if you prefer to read it that way:

Swim Smooth!

Friday, May 04, 2018

Special Offer: 10% Off The Marlin Swim Meter

Summer is nearly here in the northern hemisphere and to celebrate the start of the open-water swimming and triathlon season here's a very special offer for you - 10% OFF THE AMAZING PLATYSENS MARLIN SWIM METER in our all new swim-shop:

This offer must end on Friday 11th May so don't delay and snap yours up now!

The Marlin is a next-generation swimming tool worn on your goggles. It monitors everything you do as you swim and then speaks to you, giving your verbal feedback on your performance. It also integrates fully with the Swim Smooth Guru (more on this below).

The Marlin informs you of the speed you are swimming, your stroke rate, strokes per length and distance swum. It can also talk you through training sessions step by step.

Swim Smooth have been an integral part of the development team at Platysens, making sure the Marlin gives you the right feedback and prompts you in the right way to maximise your development as a swimmer.

Once your session is complete you can of course analyse all your swim data on your smart-phone (iPhone or Android required) - and into the Guru too if you are a PRO subscriber.

The Marlin comes in two versions, the pool only "Marlin-P" (without GPS) and the "Marlin" (with GPS) for pool and open water swimming. Note, as the Marlin has a clear GPS signal on the back of your head it can do this with far greater accuracy than a GPS watch which spends much of the time underwater whilst swimming:

Marlin <-> Guru Link - Truly Closing The Loop!

And if you are a Guru PRO subscriber you can link your shiny new Marlin to your Guru account!

As you would expect you can import your recorded swims into the Guru for special Swim Smooth analysis:

But not only that, you can choose from 120 #confirm# Guru training sessions to send from the Guru to your Marlin so they are spoken to you as you swim, talking you through your pool session as you go.

Even more impressively, the Guru replaces your Tempo Trainer Pro, automatically beeping the right target pace to you during training sets, the pace of which is calculated from your CSS pace in the Guru (no more setting that Tempo Trainer).

Most impressive!

Offer Ends Friday May 11th.

The Marlin is a true next generation product and we're super excited about getting one strapped to your goggles in 2018.

Buy yours now, the 10% off offer ends May 11th:

Swim Smooth!

SS Clinics, Camps and 1to1s:

North America
Charleston SC Clinic May 6thSterling VA Clinic April 14thProvidence / Boston Video Analysis
1 Day Clinic Louisville April 7th1 Day Florida Clinic April 15thCalgary Video Analysis
Calgary SquadsNew Oceanside CA Squad starting July 26thSolana Beach / Oceanside / Carlsbad Video Analysis
Chicago Video AnalysisChicago SquadsMontreal Squads
Montreal Video AnalysisThe Woodlands TX, Swim SquadSS Clinics Chicago
South Carolina Video Analysis

Asia / Middle East / Australia / Africa
NEW COACH SINGAPORE!Hong Kong Squads & Video AnalysisPerth Squads
Perth Video AnalysisKuala Lumpur Swim SquadNEW Johannesburg Video Analysis
NEW Johannesburg SquadsKuala Lumpur Video Analysis

Nijmegen SquadsPrague Junior Swim ClubPrague Video Analysis
Nijmegen Video Analysis.  & Stroke CorrectionCity Of Elche Video Analysis / SquadsSS Camp Lanzarote Mar/Apr 2018 (English - Dutch)

United Kingdom
NEW Salisbury SquadNEW Bournemouth SquadFelixstowe Clinic May 13th
West Lothian Video AnalysisRichmond London SS SquadSW London Swim Workshops
Twickenham Video AnalysisLancaster SS SquadSwindon/Cotswolds Video Analysis
Lancaster Video AnalysisNorthampton Swim SquadMillfield Stroke Correction Clinic
Swindon SS Squad (joining offers!)Felixstowe Video AnalysisStratford upon Avon & Birmingham/Coventry Squads
Felixstowe SquadsHeston West London Video AnalysisNEW Cambridge Video Analysis Clinic
Manchester SquadGuernsey SS SquadsGuernsey Video Analysis
Yorkshire Squads (Pool & OW)Yorkshire Video AnalysisSwim Smooth Kent Squad
Swim Smooth Kent Video analysisLuton SS Squad Wed/SatSt Albans SS Squad Saturdays