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. I myself did not start ten years ago but I did incrementally improve my skills and technique and open water experience and achievements.…

How To: Write a basic pool swimming set

Many swimmers are often confused about how to write a basic pool set. Many experienced but younger swimmers from a club background had become accustomed to having a coach always provide their sets, without ever needing to understand for themselves what the coach is trying to achieve or why a particular set is used on a particular…

Checking my Stroke Rate during a swim (including poll)

We’ve spoken before about the importance of stroke rate in open water swimming, especially in cold water to maintain body temperature through thermogenesis and to help in rough water, where a slower stroke rate can be overwhelmed. It’s also the case that realising that stroke rate was important was something that didn’t happen immediately for…

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…

Time Trial Tuesday

Amongst  the essential aphorisms of swimming are; that you need to start swimming properly before the age of 16 or you will never reach your maximum genetic potential, (as Swim Ireland put it), which means fast; and that you need to train with others to get fast. That’s me screwed then. I didn’t start swimming…

Variables

Over the past few years, the first proper long pool swim of the winter usually turns out to be tougher than expected, and almost always with some discovery or other, though I’ve long been of the opinion that every single long swim teaches you something, even if that is only a re-affirmation of the difficulty,…

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…

It’s a drag! The Bucket

Other people talk about bucket lists, I’ll just talk about the bucket. It can be any bucket, but once you’ve used one, it becomes The Bucket, your own personal torture instrument. Mine is that 2.5 litre plastic DIY paint kettle from a hardware store, cost about €5. It has a long string tied to the handle…

File> Insert> New worksheet> Name : 2012

There’s a somewhat bitter-sweet aspect to closing last year’s training log. All that swimming and the relevant bytes are now consigned to the position of worksheet from ago. All the locations, times, distances, temperatures, races and screw-ups are past data, now part of a trend. Even last Saturday’s sea swim, the last swim of 2011,…

A long training swim in numbers

Location: Kilkenny Watershed, low chlorine pool. Start time: 9:37 a.m. Pool length: 25m Cost: €5 Current pool depth of adjustable floor: 2.01 metres Time to finish first 3k: 53 mins Worst period: 4th hour Duration sun actually shone through cloud: <1 minute Distance: 20,500 Of which front crawl: 18000 With paddles: 6000 Backstroke: 1000 Kick:…

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…

Returning to Swimming

I recently came across this fantastic and simple chart that an experienced swimmer wrote about returning to swimming after a few year’s hiatus. As swimmers we actually often forget or don’t realise how fit we are, or at least how well adjusted we are to the requirements of regular swimming. This simple chart explains better…