Archives for the month of: August, 2015

This week we will be doing the ratchet set again where we do repeated swims on progressively shorter turnaround times.  This set is good for improving your speed endurance as you will be trying to hold a good pace with some increasingly short rest intervals.  When you look at some of the turnaround times for the set I know it can appear rather daunting as the later turnaround times are shorter than we usually swim.  However, the ratchet set is possible to complete for most of us as demonstrated by many of you before.  My top-3 tips for how to approach this set are:

  1. Relax for at least the first half of the set and longer if possible. Making the turnarounds for the final few swims will require a lot of effort so you need to conserve as much energy early on in the set to be ready.
  2. Stay calm. It is easy to get tense with the pressure of the clock and tight turnarounds but being tense will waste energy and usually result in poorer technique, too.  So just accept that many of us will end up swimming continuously for the final few swims and try and enjoy the challenge of trying to make the continuous swimming happen as late in the set as you can.
  3. Hold your technique. When the going gets tough focus on the basics – minimising drag, maximizing propulsion & breathing well. Only focus on one thing at a time when working on your technique but you can vary it each length.  Length 1 – drag (still head & narrow continuous kick), length 2 – propulsion (high-elbow catch and full length underwater pull past your hips) and length 3 – breathing (emptying lungs completely from your belly, one goggle in water for minimal head movement to breathe).

See you Saturday!


I hope you managed to see at least some of the fabulous swimming performances at the recent World Swimming Championships in Kazan.  For those of you that missed it the BBC website has some great highlights of the main performances and I would especially recommend watching Britain’s Adam Peaty’s 100m Breast stroke Gold (, USA’s Katie Ledecky’s 1500m world record ( and Britain’s James Guy’s 200m Freestyle Gold (  They are some great examples of both excellent technique and exciting racing to inspire you!

This week’s main set is inspired by James Guy’s 200m freestyle performance and you will all have plenty of chances to emulate James as the main set will consist entirely of 200m swims.  They will be progressively paced 200m swims and broken at 100m with an extra 5, 10 or 15s rest.  The aim of the extra rest in the middle is to allow you to recover a bit and swim each 200m faster than the previous one.  James Guy won his 200m freestyle gold in a stunning 1:45.  I don’t expect anyone to get near his time on Saturday but do try and swim each 200 in the same overall time when the extra 5, 10 or 15s rest is added in, meaning you will have to swim 5, 10 and 15s faster on each swim to keep the total swim + rest time the same.

I am looking forward to seeing a pool full of aspiring James Guys and Katie Ledeckys on Saturday!


I am now back from holiday and doing the usual Saturday morning routine.  While I was away I saw Dave Scott’s excellent article in 220 Magazine with some great triathlon training tips but I especially liked his swimming tips, which if you missed them you can read here.

I think his advice is spot on and covers all the basics for good technique and triathlon performance.  His particular advice on imagining an eye ball in your elbow and keeping it looking at the sides of the pool is a good way of reminding yourself to keep those elbows high at the catch.  I know some of you have heard this before, and found it useful, but if you haven’t do try it this week during the session to ensure you’re swimming as efficiently as possible.

This week we will be doing the Brownlee set of 1-5 progressively-paced 100s we did a couple of months ago.  Use the slower-paced swims to make sure you think about your technique and then trying to hold it as you increase the pace to race pace and faster!

See you Saturday,


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