Conan The barbarian considers what is best in swimming

Nightmare Swim

It’s sometimes said amongst distance and marathon swimmers that everyone suffers (at least) one nightmare swim. The kind of swim where everything seems to conspire against you. Nature, circumstances, events, planning, details. Nightmare swims are sometimes ascribed to over-confidence by the more self-aware kind of swimmer. Rather than blaming everyone except yourself the self-aware marathon swimmer…

Other swimmers use dolhins and sharks are animal motifs, I use cartoon skunk Pepe Le Pew, who always keeps going

Advice on New Year’s Swimming Resolutions, whether for health, swimming improvement or weight management

It is known that people are usually more influenced by the other people they know, friends and families, than by experts. It’s from my swimming friends that I have learned most, not distant (both in geographic terms and ability) world champions or experts. I eke out my improvements incrementally, often going backward. I listen to friends, to them…

Swimming out

Swimming for beginning open water swimmers and triathletes is like planting a tree. Twenty common beginner triathlete questions answered.

Swimming is very much like the old saying about planting trees: The very best time to start was ten years ago. The second best time to start was yesterday. The next best time is today. But tomorrow is too late. I myself did not start ten years ago but I did incrementally improve my skills and technique…

Measuring life in metres

In the original Star Wars A New Hope movie Harrison Han Solo Ford famously said that the Millennium Falcon had “made the Kessel run in less than twelve parsecs“. I still remember how annoyed I was, because even as a kid I knew a parsec was a measure of distance, not of time. (No thanks,…

How To: Understand Zone Training for Swimming

In HOWTO Write a basic training system, I said we would progress from the structure of a simple one hour or more training system to devising a more comprehensive swim training plan. A long time ago I wrote a post on introducing interval training to swimming and another on heart rate zones, that one really…

Review: SwimSmooth.com One Day Swim Clinic

In late Channel season 2011 I was in Varne Ridge to crew a solo. Present for that tide were a bunch of Channel Aspirants from Western Australia, advised by seven-times world open water champion Shelley Taylor-Smith. They had had a long wait with bad weather. One of the swimmers was UK-born but WA resident Paul Newsome, the…

What is post-exercise fatigue?

Edit: For all those of you who got this by email, WordPress just completely dropped all the formatting, for no reason I can understand, (but it happens occasionally), and you got a giant wall of text. Sorry! It’s with trepidation I approach this subject. I don’t have the medical background that seems essential in trying…

FLOW: the ideal swimming state

Every swimmer knows how the actual act of swimming can be both rewarding and frustrating. I can’t speak how it is for everyone else, but for me most of the time it’s somewhere in the middle, (like most of life). Sometimes the frustration is horrible, getting in the pool unconcerned but then the water feels…

Just another six hour pool swim

I remember my first six-hour pool. It was done with the Magnificent Seven in Source Swimming Pool in Cork in January of 2009. I’d done  a couple of four-hour swims by myself, just swimming pyramids. I’d also done one five-hour by myself the previous year (pool). But the first six-hour pool swim with the group…

asthma

Asthma and marathon swimming – Part 1

This post and the subsequent Part Two post should not be construed as medical advice. This is another example of how I deal with something related to swimming, in which I have made mistakes and learned and adapted and which may be instructive or useful as advice or warning. Throughout the two articles I will…

Total Immersion in marathon swimming

I mentioned T.I. in an email to a well-known record-setting swimmer and we thought I might write a post on it. When someone who has set a new record thinks it’s a good subject, you write! Many of you will be aware that Total Immersion, (T.I.) is a method of teaching swimming developed by Terry Laughlin, which…

How To: Training Zone Chart

Just thought (since I’ve posted nothing all week) that I’d post this useful training zone chart to follow-up the metabolic energy storage and use stuff that I posted last week. Cross reference your age, to the level of exercise you wish to do (endurance for many of us, with some threshold and maximum effort also). These…

Energy storage in the body

Ok, I think I’ll talk about the bodies energy systems. From where does our energy come , what energy system does the body use for various activities, how is it stored? This is going to be another thumbnail sketch of my understanding of it. Swimming movement comes from muscle contraction. All energy for muscle comes…

Core exercises without equipment video

Stupid things I’ve done Number 3,754 involved a mountain in Switzerland, snow, an inflatable inner tube and a cliff. It led to me damaging my lower back (and therefore taking up swimming). It flares up every so often and the best option is to go back to doing some core exercises. I should do them…