Archives for the month of: April, 2018

What did you notice about the pace of the 100s and 50s you did last week?  I know some of you noticed that you ended up swimming the 100s quite a bit faster than your target 1500m race pace, and they felt relatively relaxed as you focused on the saving something for the hard efforts on the 50s.  If you didn’t notice this then don’t worry – we will do some similar efforts in the future to give you another chance to try and find that easy-speed!

This week is a much steadier session and a chance to think again about your high-elbow catch as well as some aerobic swims.  It will also be a 1 hour session again for the 8am session to give the Juniors time for the final set of time trials this Spring.  We will be doing some of the Chloe Sutton drills by counting 1-2-3 to really give yourselves time to think about the high-elbow catch position.  Look at the two drills starting at 6 minutes into the Chloe Sutton video if you want a reminder!

See you Saturday,


Photo by Ali Abdul Rahman on Unsplash


Well done for all your efforts at the time trials last week, it was great to see so many PBs.  I’ve added the results to the time trials page in case you didn’t get the email.

This week and next week we will be finishing the 8am session at 9am to allow the Juniors to do their time trials.  The week after, on 5th May, we will have the pool for 3 hours so we will be splitting the session into two hour and a half sessions, from 7am to 8:30am and from 8:30am to 10am.

The main set this week is a set of 100s at your 1500m race pace followed by a 50m flat-out sprint.  This is a good opportunity to get used to a fast and relaxed 1500m race pace with enough saved for the 50m sprint effort at the end.  If you don’t know your 1500m race pace then a good approximation is your Critical Swim Speed (CSS) time per 100m, which you can see estimated in the time trial results.  If you didn’t do the time trial you can look at the CSS for others of a similar speed, which is about 1m25s/100m for lane 1, 1m38s/100m for lane 2, 1m50s/100m for lane 3 and 2m/100m for lane 4.

See you Saturday,


Photo by Goh Rhy Yan on Unsplash

It is time for the final set of time trials of our Winter training and I would like you to focus on swimming them with a good mindset.  Most of you are in very good shape physically, and have improved your technique over the Winter, so the other key aspect to putting in a good performance is having a good mindset.

Helen is much more on an expter on this than me and her advice for you all is that a good mindset to adopt is a Challenge mindset.  

She has written an excellent article for Outdoor Swimmer Magazine on this very topic which you can read here.

So what can you do to get yourself into a Challenge mindset rather than a Threat mindset?  I think Helen’s article has some great suggestions in three areas – self-confidence, control and achievement goals – so here are some ideas specific ideas that you may want to think about:

  • Self-confidence – many of you are great at encouraging others during time trials but speak less encouragingly to yourselves.  How about trying to speak to yourself in the same positive way as you would to encourage others by focusing on all the good sessions you have done in preparation?
  • Control – you can’t control how anyone else swims in the lane next to you, so how about focusing on what you can control with your effort and technique, especially if you know that good technique helps you swim quicker.  For the last time trial I know some of you tried this (thinking on just one aspect of technique each length) and found it very successful.
  • Achievement goals – focusing on a good achievement goal, like relaxing on the first 100m or saving enough energy to start pushing the 3rd 100m, are much better than worrying about what others might be thinking or what your time will be.  Focusing on how you want to swim the time trial will allow the result to look after itself.

So what are the 3 things you will do for self-confidence, control & acheivement goals to try and give yourself a good challenge mindset this week?

See you Saturday,




I will be away this week so will leave the sessions at the pool for you to put out at the start of the session.  You will be doing the Will Clarke main set of fast & steady 50s as it is the final Saturday session before we do the last set of time trials for this Winter on 14th April.

One of the reasons I really like this set is how it helps to improve your easy-speed (i.e. swimming fast and relaxed.)

It does this in a few different ways:

  • Firstly, the tight turnaround times at the start of the set encourages you to swim fast enough to make the turnaround times but in as relaxed a way as possible as you know you will not be getting enough rest for the good recovery;
  • Secondly, adding in faster efforts increases your stroke rate, which has a nice carry-over effect into the steady-paced 50s and many people find themselves doing the steadier 50s at a faster time and lower effort than they usually do; and
  • Thirdly, the continuous fast 50s at the end of the set, when you are tired, helps build your speed endurance for the tough final quarter of a time-trial or race when you need to try and maintain your speed and form.


See you next week!



Photo by Quino Al on Unsplash

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