Archives for the month of: February, 2015

I hear that you all worked hard over the last couple of weeks so well done for that.  I hope you also did your homework and watched the Bill Furniss video I posted last time.  You will be tested on it this week!

This week we will be picking the pace up a bit more with some anaerobic threshold paced swimming as well as some technique work.

I’ve talked about anaerobic threshold paced swimming a number of times before but the basic idea is that you will get more rest than usual so you should be swimming at the fastest pace you can sustain throughout the set.

For technique I would like you to think about a common fault I see which is letting your arms get in too close to your centre line at the front of your stroke or even crossing over the centre line.  So I’d like you to think about about keeping the space between your arms so they enter in front of your shoulder rather than in front of your head.  You will have seen this in the Bill Furniss video from last time but if you missed it you can just watch 17:45 – 19:45 in the video.  Having a good high-elbow recovery is a good way to set yourself up to achieve this.

See you Saturday,


I will be away for the next two Saturdays so I have left sessions in the Tri Club box.  Chrissie and Simon will be coaching when they can but it is unlikely to be for all four sessions so if you are the first one on pool side please put out the sessions for everyone.

We are starting to do some more faster-paced swims as we build up towards the start of the season.  More faster-paced swims also means there will be more slower paced swims, too, especially when doing progressive sets.  Even if the slower-paced swims do not include drills please do use them to focus on technique and whatever aspect you think needs the most work.  To help you think about your technique please watch the excellent video by Bill Furniss below:

Bill Furniss is currently the Head Coach of UK Swimming and was also Rebecca Adlington’s coach so he knows a thing or two about front crawl!  The video is  really for coaching the basics of front crawl to age group swimmers but I think everyone with an interest in swimming fast, distance front crawl will find it very useful.  So this is your homework for while I am away!  It is nearly 40 minutes long, and not professionally filmed, but well worth watching so please do watch as much as you can.

See you in a couple of weeks,


Well done to everyone who did the time trials last week, especially those who had to wait over 30 minutes on the pool side for a replacement lifeguard during the 7am session.  Clearly this was not the best preparation for a time trial, and I think it reflected the difference in results between the first and second sessions, but overall there was still an overall improvement in average times since November.  In fact, having looked back at all the results over the last few years there are a number of performances that stand out from Saturday:

  • Alex Bevis beat the previous best 400m time trial result on Saturday by 1s to set a new record of 4:47.
  • Paul Thorby made an impressive 45s improvement in his 400m time since Nov 2012.
  • Anna Blackwell posted a 12s improvement since March 2014.
  • Sarah Parkin swam 27s faster this time than in May last year.

If you haven’t improved as much as you would like then it is worth trying to understand why and what you’d like to do to change it for next time.  We haven’t done much race-pace work over the Winter so any recent improvements I would expect to come from any changes you’ve been making to your technique over the Winter.  Changes in technique do take time to bed in, and reflect in improved speed, so don’t be too disheartened if you’re not seeing much effect yet.  However, do talk to me or any of the other coaches about any changes you are trying to make if you don’t think the changes you are trying are the right thing and will make a positive difference.

We’ll be doing some more faster-paced swimming on Saturdays over the last few weeks.  This week sees the return of Will Clarke’s favourite set of fast and steady 50s.

See you Saturday,


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