Tag Archives: index

HOW TO Articles Index

During the summer of 2013 I indexed all the cold and cold water swimming How Tos for your easy perusal. This time I am indexing the HowTo articles, each again getting a brief description.

HOWTO be an open water swimmer… One of the first posts on loneswimmer.com

HOWTO: Lane swimming etiquette. Essential conduct for all pool swimmers.

HOWTO: Marathon and Channel Swimming Swimmer and Crew Checklist (updated for 2013). Occasionally updated check-list for swimmer and crew.

HOWTO: Generic marathon swim Observer’s Report.

HOWTO: Open water swim tips for triathletes. Also useful for new open water swimmers.

Improving triathlon swimming performance – Part 1. Addressing technique problems for triathletes.

Improving triathlon swimming performance – Part 2. Continued.

HOWTO: Swimming Notation. How to read common swimming training plan notation.

Sea Lice, Seabather’s Eruption and Swimmer’s Itch. Understanding and treating the various conditions

HOWTO: “How much do I need to swim for – x – open water distance?”. Various considerations in training for swimming a range of distances.

HOWTO: Progressive Step Overload training for distance swimmers and endurance athletes.

HOWTO: Discussing Zone Training. What is heart zone training and how it applies to swimming.

HOWTO Introduction to writing a basic pool swimming set. Writing a basic pool training plan for a single day.

HOWTO: Using Tide Tables. Using both online and printed Tide Tables for tide prediction and safety.

HOWTO: Tides for Swimmers, part 1 – Theory. It’s important that swimmers understand tidal aspects fully, especially those who live in high tidal range areas like Western Europe.

HOWTO: Tides For Swimmers, Part 2 – Local Effects. When considering tides, theory and local effects are often very different.

HOWTO: Understanding Waves, for Swimmers, Part 1. Waves, i.e. breakers are a difficulty for triathletes and new swimmers. Also important for coastal safety.

HOWTO: Understanding Waves, for Swimmers, Part 2.

HOWTO: Preparing for Cold Water. Basic cold water swimming introduction.

HOWTO: Annual advice for a Christmas or New Year’s swim in cold water for the irregular open water swimmer. An annual and very popular post. Longer than the previous post above.

HOWTO apply lubrication for distance sea swimming. Not everyone naturally knows how to do this.

HOWTO: Understanding Rough Water: Force Three. Specifics of a marginal sea condition.

HOWTO understand Sea Area Forecasts / Shipping News. Weather forecasting is a useful skill for distance swimmers.

HOWTO: Beaufort Wind Scale – An essential observational skill for the OW Swimmer. Being able to read wind conditions is essential to understanding the sea and safety.

HOWTOStudying weather online during a Force 10/11 blow. How to use online resources to track a storm and what various aspects mean.

HOWTO: Open water breathing patterns. The sea changes every day. To be an experienced sea swimmer you need to be able to adapt your breathing.

HOWTO: Swimming in rough water. Linked to the previous article.

HOWTO: Sample marathon swim feed schedule (MIMS). Feed schedules are personal, but this will give you an idea if you don’t know where to start.

HOWTO: Important factors in marathon swim feeding. Other factors outside the actual schedule for long distance feeding.

HOWTO: Introducing interval training to your swimming. Basics of swim training.

HOWTO: Understanding hypothermia in swimmers – Mild Hypothermia. Mild hypo is very common. How to recognise it (and not worry).

HOWTO: Understanding hypothermia in swimmers – Moderate & Severe Hypothermia. Moderate hypothermia is not moderate. Severe is life-threatening.

HOWTO: Diagnosing and addressing Moderate Hypothermia in swimmers. What to actually do about hypothermia.

HOWTO: Core Exercises, Part 1. Core exercise are recommended for swimmers to assist balance and strength and endurance.

HOWTO: Core Exercises, Part 2.

HOW TO: Why you SHOULD shower before you use the pool and why you SHOULDN’T pee in the pool. Things you need to know about pool hygiene.

HOWTO: One Simple Effective Core Exercise. One simple core exercise.

HOWTO: Theraband work for shoulder strengthening. Theraband work helps to prevent swimmer’s shoulder (impingement) problems.

HOWTO: Tennis Balls And Tights. A useful remediation technique for muscle knots that develop through training.

HOWTO: A simple open water swimmer’s first aid & medical kit. Be prepared, accidents happen around the sea.

HOWTO: Stretching for swimming. Help to avoid or reduce swimming injuries. Post-swim only.

HOWTO reduce a swimmer’s use of towels. Really. Not everything has to be complicated.

HOWTO make your swimsuit (swimming togs) last longer. Surprisingly, not every swimmer knows this simple tip.

HOWTO tie men’s swimming briefs. Another of the simple tips.

HOWTO get water out of your ear. A very popular search item leading into this site.

HOWTO: Jellyfish ID charts. Particularly for swimmers in Ireland and the UK.

St Patrick’s Day swimming nutrition. Not really. How to make a great Irish Coffee. How to make a great one!

HOWTO: Follow an English Channel swim online.

HOWTO: Write a basic daily swimming session.

Future How To articles will be added to this index, as I remember to so do!

Everyone is a lone swimmer

LoneSwimmer.com reaches a quarter of a million page views this weekend*, and I wanted to thank all the readers, viewers, commenters, subscribers and occasional visitors. It is very gratifying for an average swimmer in the middle of nowhere.

When I started this blog I honestly never expected it to reach such a figure, I never had such a goal or target. In fact I never had any particular target other than a continuing desire to share whatever I’d learned. It took a year and a half to reach 50,000 views and I remember both being very pleased but wondering how much life was left in the blog at that time, (something I still often wonder). And I was also pleased as you know by now to win the Sports and Recreation Blog of the year for 2012, to my very great surprise.  Personally one of the greatest pleasures have been the direct contacts and friendships I’ve made with swimmers around the world resulting from the blog.

loneswimmer monthly views Mar 2013

Readers come from almost all over the world, though Equatorial Africa and parts of the Middle East seem uninterested. The four regions for most readers are the USA, Ireland, the UK and Australia, with Canada, South Africa, India and the EU countries being the next most common origin. Darker colours in the map represent more readers.

loneswimmer world map Apr 13

About 700 posts, have been published (some have been removed due to being obsolete…or rubbish). Over 1200 comments have been left, and that’s despite my being sometimes poor at responding, especially in the early days of the blog. There have been over 42,500 SPAM comments! Most SPAMmer are idiots, but not are all and those few can confuse the SPAM filter, and the sheer volume means that occasionally a genuine comment or question will get caught in the SPAM filter & I might not see it for months. My apologies if this has happened to you and if I never responded it probably means I missed it entirely.

The most commented post is Introducing a Precise Open Water Temperature Scale, which is also the site’s third most popular post. “What temperature is too cold to swim in”, and the amended version of the same being the most popular posts, ongoing.

Apart from variations about cold water swimming, the most popular search is for Sea Lice, a continuing problem for open water swimmers around the world, and which seem to increase in volume in spring and late summer of both hemispheres. The incoming searches can be very varied. I see people who have plugged in the entire question from their homework verbatim, or others looking for images of some of my swimmer friends in bikinis or even naked. And those friends don’t have to be women!  Someone wanted to know if a dog can swim the English Channel and there are other occasional odd ones. How to get water out of your ear is perennially popular (I still prefer the hop up and down on one leg as my preferred method, for the jovial aspect at least).

English Channel from the ISS

Quite a few people visit because of images here, such the English Channel from the International Space Station, European Space Agency’s Grid Waves, (which caused a huge influx of traffic recently after it got shared around on Facebook, many thinking it was a fake). Other very popular images include the depth of the ocean to scale (look very carefully at the bottom of that image) and lot of people click-through on this image!  Also images for Jellyfish ID, the Training Zone chart, different types of athlete’s bodies, understanding waves, and how waves can interfere with swimmers, understanding prevailing winds are all popular, often or maybe even usually amongst irregular swimmers. My open water swimmer’s brain cartoon has escaped in the wild also.


The HOW TO series is continually popular, which is why I leave the link up there on top, and those How To posts tend to be the ones I most like writing since they are at the core of what I am trying to do. (I really need to organise an index for them). Interestingly theraband work for shoulder strengthening is the most popular of those, with the annual cold water swim advice for irregular swimmers being the second, and the next three are all on the subject of understanding and addressing hypothermia in swimmers. There have been three different April Fools joke, which have caused varying levels of consternation (2012 & 2013) or even panic (2011) but have always entertained…me!

In comparative terms to loneswimmer.com, marathonswimmers.org, which Evan and I founded early last year, is coming on 600 members and has page views coming up on half a million! Are you a member yet? The power of community is always stronger than one person’s views.

So there we are, a quick overview and Thanks to you all!

Sometimes we are all lone swimmers, and everyday is the Channel.



{* In fact since quite a few people receive posts by email and aren’t recognised in the overall figures, the number was passed a while ago. In order to so some site housekeeping, email updates will revert to summary only for the moment and you’ll have to make a one-click jump from email back here to read the full article.}