A swimming analogue pace clock, with the single hand almost pointing to 60 at the top.

How To: An Introduction to the Pace Clock for Beginner & Improving Swimmers

Following my review of Brilliant Swim’s PaceWatch, it seemed an appropriate time to do an introduction to the Pace Clock commonly seen in most pools. Along with my guide to the different types and uses of swimming googles and the perennially popular understanding lane swimming etiquette, these articles are intended (mostly) for newer and developing swimmers. While LoneSwimmer.com…

Centre Line Snorkel_original_0.resized

Review: Zoggs Swimming Snorkel (aka Centre Snorkel)

In the autumn of 2014 I picked up an injury when I got a Grade 3 ankle sprain. I couldn’t swim much due to lingering chest infection (and didn’t want to either, as open water swimming season was ending). However years of ingrained habit made me swim anyway. I thought some kicking might help rehabilitate my ankle but I found a…

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. 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: 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…

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…

Should slow swimmers have the right of way in lane swimming? Really?

A long time ago I wrote a couple of posts about lane swimming and lane etiquette. They regularly pick up ongoing viewers and have been read and maybe even used by a share of swimmers. Recently Simon Griffiths, editor of H2Open magazine, dropped the links into H2Open’s weekly email newsletter. He shortly received a Mr Angry…

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…

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…

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:…

Review: Biofreeze Gel

I’ve mentioned before that regular icing is a great way to address the knots and aches that build up in a swimmer’s body when they are doing regular hard training. For myself these start to occur once I start to regularly go to 25,000 metres a week and over. I’ve also mentioned the tennis ball…

How To: Do Simple Stretching for Swimming

Swimmers train a lot. A lot of time is spent in the water. One consequence is tight muscles. Another problem for some is insufficient flexibility for swimming, like ankles and legs. Apart from the essentials of regular massage, and probably direct icing, stretching becomes necessary if not essential. Each of us will probably have some…

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…