Archives for the month of: March, 2020

Looking at my post of last week it all seems so long ago given all that has changed.  Publishing swimming sessions to do on our own only lasted 24 hours!  But at least we were able to do our online swimming-focused strength and conditioning session and will do a similar session this week.

I must say that in so many ways it has brought out the best in so many people.  The real heroes are our key workers but from a club perspective we have already seen sessions continue with Tim & Heather’s online sessions and Stuart’s Facebook run session to name but a few.  And I have been really impressed by the huge number of online swim-focused activities I have seen people do and would like to mention a few of my favourites from this week:

  • Brenton Ford’s post from Effortless Swimming on 10 things we can do out of the water at present (I like the cold shower one)
  • Lucy Charles and Reece Barclay’s post about dry land swimming training
  • Helen’s short video from SwimEngland about how to deal psychologically with the current challenges
  • Lucy’s toilet roll challenge for keeping people active from 5kyourway
  • Helen Gorman’s 100m IM challenge

I have been inspired by many of these and will incorporate some of the ideas into the session in this and future weeks.  The session this week will be similar to last week with a slightly shorter warm-up and a slightly extended main set and subset.  I also want to make time for a fun challenge at the end of the session with Lucy’s toilet roll challenge.  So this week please can you bring to the session:

  • Stretch cords (proper or homemade) if you can for the main set
  • Something like a bench to lie on for using the stretch cord
  • 6 toilet rolls and 6 tin cans (without panic buying anything) plus a basket large enough for the toilet rolls

If you can’t get together any of the above don’t worry as we will structure the session with alternatives.  Please don’t make any extra journeys out of the house to get them either!

See you Saturday,



Photo by Hello I’m Nik 🎞 on Unsplash


I am really sorry there will be no more CTC sessions for a while until we get through the Covid-19 outbreak.  So how do we keep our training and swim fitness going?  I have several ideas for you:

  1. Do more running and cycling if it is safe to do so while meeting government guidelines about social-distancing.  We are a triathlon club after all so many of us are able to do this and keep in shape.
  2. Find a pool that is still open and do some swimming by yourselves safely while it is still possible.  I have added all of our recent winter sessions onto my page here so you can do some of our recent sessions if you want.
  3. Use one of the many online resources that are springing up for home-based exercises to keep in shape.
  4. Come and join Helen and myself online while we do a swimming-focused strength and conditioning session from our living room on Saturday morning.  I will send out a link on email for when you can join us this week and we plan to do 2 x 45 minutes sessions with the first one starting at 7am and the second one at 8am.  You will only need a towel to lie on, a sofa and a phone or laptop with screen and camera to see what we are doing.  We will be using Zoom video conferencing to make this possible so follow the link in the email to check it out.

Hope to see some of you on Saturday online!



Photo by Sarah Ardin on Unsplash

We are getting close to race season so it’s time to keep cranking up the pace with the return of USRPT. As a reminder, USRPT stands for Ultra Short Race Pace Training and it is has some very simple rules to make it a very effective form of training for building your speed.  They are:

  1. Swim every 50 fast.
  2. Leave exactly 5s intervals between swimmers and take your time for each 50.
  3. Repeat until your time drops by 1s or more.  When this happens miss out the next 50m.
  4. If the person in front of you misses a 50m for this reason DO NOT close the gap on the next swimmer – keep to the same turnaround for yourself for the whole set.
  5. You do not get to choose when you miss a 50m.  The clock decides when you miss a 50m by telling you your time dropped by 1s or more.
  6. If you do not miss out any 50s then you have not worked hard enough on the set.

Patience and acceleration is critical to getting you swimming at the maximum speed in this set.  If you are tense you will not swim fast for long.  You still need patience to ensure you are relaxed and only apply the acceleration and power when it is effective during the push phase of the stroke.  We will be doing some drills before the main set to help you think about this.

See you Saturday!


Well done for your efforts on the Leap Year Swim last week.  It was a tough session and you all rose to the challenge.  This week we will slow it down and have a steadier session as I know many of you will be doing the Cambridge Half on Sunday.  So we will be doing some steadier paced aerobic swimming again giving you a bit more time to focus on your technique.

The thing I’d like you to focus on this week is patience and acceleration.  Patience is how I would like you to do the catch of each stroke.  Acceleration is what I would like you to use at the back half of each underwater pull to give you the maximum propulsion you can get from each stroke.  Watch the following video recently posted by Effortless Swimming to give you an idea of what a world class patience and acceleration during your stroke can give you.

Isn’t this a great video to watch?!  I love watching how smooth it is even though I know he is putting in a fair amount of effort to get the great distance per stroke he achieves from his patient catch and great acceleration at the back end.  Have a go this Saturday at adding a little bit more patience and acceleration into your stroke and see if you try and get a little bit closer to the sort of smoothness and speed you see here!


%d bloggers like this: