Thursday, November 29, 2018

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

Three 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!

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:

Friday, November 23, 2018

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 - 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 born (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.

When the system launched the Guru was such a new idea in coaching (it still is today) 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. 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:

Here's those 10 ways:

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. Elite Swimmers To Study (Pro And Std Subscriptions)

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. Full Learn To Swim Program (Pro And Std Subscriptions)

Can't swim freestyle yet? You're in for a treat as both subscription levels 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 Fault Fixers (Std & Pro) & Swim Types (Pro subscriptions)

OK down to business 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 only)

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. ## plans to choose from in total:


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 ### sessions by type in our libraries. Technique, Aerobic Endurance, CSS or Red Mist - you decide! Perfect 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" system 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 (see below) the Guru assesses every lap of every swim to understand your fitness profile across different distances:


Subscribers shortcut:

9. "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!

10. Another


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!

Thursday, November 15, 2018

Should I Use A Snorkel To Develop My Stroke Technique?

Here's a question we get asked a lot: Should I swim with a snorkel in training to develop my stroke technique without the distraction of breathing?

The benefits of using a snorkel in this way are pretty obvious - rotating to the side to inhale can easily cause over-rotation, a loss of balance and a pressing down during the catch. Over time all of these stroke flaws can become a habit in your stroke:

Con presses down on the water at the front of the stroke whilst breathing and
over-rotates such that his legs scissor kick apart.
The idea of swimming with a snorkel is that you can avoid these problems and learn better technique such that when you remove the snorkel the technique will stick.

So should you?

In our opinion it can be a useful exercise but only if you are very relaxed and confident using a snorkel. For most swimmers using a snorkel feels very strange and you may be concerned and distracted about water coming down the tube. It can also lead to feelings of claustrophobia.

That's why we don't use snorkels as a matter of course through our coaching. If you have a specific problem to work on related to breathing and are experienced and confident using a snorkel then by all means try it. Make sure you use a front-mounted freestyle specific snorkel though (not a beach snorkel) as they won't pull the mouthpiece out of your mouth at swimming speeds.

Finis make an excellent one of these:

Which can see it in our Swim Shop here:

As with all swimming aids be careful not to become addicted to using it and make sure you conduct the majority of your swimming without.

Stroke Correction Without A Snorkel

So how do we go about fixing stroke flaws whilst breathing? We have many drills and methods in the Swim Smooth Guru designed to do this targeting specific stroke flaws. A favourite is the Javelin Drill which involves kicking on your side in the position you want to hit when breathing before introducing breathing strokes:

Javelin uses a paddle on the lead hand to improve your proprioception of the stroking hand and arm whilst performing the drill. Always breathe away from the paddle.

You can watch the Javelin drill demonstration and receive all the coaching points in the Guru here (subscription required):

Swim Smooth!

Monday, November 12, 2018

The Swim Smooth Podcast Is Now Live On All Channels!

We've just released episodes 2 and 3 of the shiny new Swim Smooth Podcast and the great news is that it's now available on all podcasting channels for you:

Join SS Head Coaches Paul Newsome and Adam Young as they bring our highly popular blog to life with tips, tricks and techniques to help you maximise your swimming efficiency and enjoyment in the water. Paul and Adam will have interviews with a wide-range of athletes from the very top of the sport to the everyday heroes that espouse what the Swim Smooth philosophy is all about.

Please subscribe on your channel and if you love it give us a 5 star rating too - that will help us spread everything Swim Smooth to the swimming and triathlon worlds!

Episode 2: Interview with Tom Hickman of the Bali-Hope SwimRun Challenge

Tom Hickman is the founder of SE Asia's very first SwimRun event, taking place in Bali on the 5th to 9th December 2018 with Paul taking part in the event on the island of Nusa-Lembogan.

In the show Paul and Adam discuss with Tom the issues of plastic wastage facing the oceans and waterways of the world, specifically in the Bali region. We discuss the event itself and how to train up for a SwimRun event including a brief discussion on equipment choices etc. The guys also discuss the charity aspect of the event and how Paul and teammate Brad Smith will be getting their hands dirty on the beaches with a plastics clean-up effort as well as visiting schools and local communities in the region in aid of the Bali Children's Foundation.

To donate to this very worthy cause and give the boys a bit of support, please visit:

You might also like to watch this clip of Paul and Andy Blow from Precision Hydration discussing further details of SwimRun equipment choices:

Listen here:

Or on one of the channels above.

Episode 3: Interview with Dean Jackson - the man - the myth - the legend - behind HUUB Design

Paul and Adam meet up with "Deano" Jackson to discuss Ross Edgley's brilliant #GreatBritishSwim as well as how the Brownlee Brothers have helped to shape the future of the brand, originally conceived in a Costa Coffee in Folkestone, UK!

This fact-filled show charters the history of the UK's biggest and best wetsuit brand, HUUB Design. During the show, Dean Jackson (#gamechanger) discusses with Paul and Adam the vision for the company and recalls how Paul and Adam's insight utilising the Swim Smooth Swim Types methodology helped conceive the first few series of suits to embrace and acknowledge how everyone needs a suit to fit them individually with respect to their buoyancy profile and how they swim.

We get the low-down and juicy inside information about Red Bull's Ross Edgley's amazing 2800km swim around the UK (#GreatBritishSwim) and how many wetsuits it took to get him round during this epic 157 circumnavigation to set an amazing new world record.

Dean discusses how the Brownlee Brothers (who share 4 Olympic medals in triathlon, including 2 gold) helped give their insight into the new Agilis suit and we also hear about what the future has instore with the new HUUB / Wattbike track cycling team.

One thing's for sure - this is a not-to-be-missed episode of the Swim Smooth Podcast!

Listen here:

Or on one of the channels above.

Thanks for listening,

Swim Smooth!

Wednesday, November 07, 2018

Take On The 2km Every Other Day Challenge

Here's something that SS Head Coach Paul Newsome has started doing over in Perth, along with a number of other swimmers that we coach.

We call it The 2km Every Other Day Challenge - the idea is to swim 2000m every other day at an "enjoyable" pace to develop some steady state aerobic efficiency. If you’ve lost a little mojo lately, see if you can use this challenge to bring back a bit of pure enjoyment for the tranquility and simplicity of steady swimming performed with good pacing and with positivity.

Ideally this session is done with a Finis Tempo Trainer Pro set to mode 2. Dial in the slowest pace per 100m you'd be happy with even on a bad day - we suggest 6-8 seconds per 100m slower than your CSS pace. So if your CSS pace is 1:40 /100m, add 6 seconds to give 1:46 and enter that in the beeper. Pace your swim so you turn and push-off on the beep every 100m and you know you're on the pace. Simplicity itself.

The first time you try this you'll doubtless go off too fast, dial back significantly and hopefully find your groove from about 700m in. Remember, it’s NOT a race, it's steady paced swimming like a long run or ride.

Here's Paul's times for the first 6 weeks of his challenge - you can see his times gradually come down as he's getting fitter through October:

Swim some harder sessions in-between the 2km swims, for instance a CSS session or even a mighty Red Mist set. Not only do the 2km swims help develop that low level aerobic base but they also assist with recovery from the harder sessions.

Watch Paul's introduction to the session here:

Give it a go and let us know how you get on in the blog comments, or on social media using #2kmeveryotherday and #swimsmooth. We predict you'll be feeling the benefit after 6 sessions.

Swim Smooth!

Thursday, November 01, 2018

The SS Podcast Episode 1: Dan Plews (Kona Age Group Record Holder)

Yes it's here: After many requests over the years we've finally released the very Swim Smooth Podcast to the world!

In the podcasts Swim Smooth founders Paul Newsome and Adam Young will be interviewing fascinating guests from around the swimming world and discussing in depth how to improve your swimming through better technique, training and open water skills. We have a little more time on a podcast than in a blog post to explore some of these subjects in a bit more detail - and can't wait to share that insight with you.

In Episode 1 we have a special interview with the phenomenal age-group triathlete Dan Plews, who just set the FASTEST EVER age-group time at the Hawaii Ironman World Championships:

As you'll find out Dan's not only a brilliant athlete but also a leading Sports Science PhD conducting important research in the field of endurance sports. Not only does he have an extensive knowledge of preparing for endurance sports but he has an ability to put that knowledge in easy to understand advice for you to follow.

The perfect podcast guest? Listen here and find out:

We're still finalising our sound-recording setup so our apologies if Dan is a little quiet on the recording vs. Paul.

Whilst you listen, here's a few more shots to absorb from Dan's epic performance on the big island:

Swim Smooth!