Active Blu - Open Water Venue.

Active Blu - Open Water Venue.

Tuesday, 16 January 2018

How did that happen!!

How did that happen!!

Its seems we are half way through January already and I am sure many of us have some great plans for this year. There is so much opportunity and energy at the start of the year with people deciding on which dreams and goals they want to follow. Whether it be a new challenge, getting fitter, moving more or remaining injury free......

I guess after coaching individuals and groups for so long, what I have learnt is just how important it is to share those goals and dreams, whether it be with friends, family, coaches, team mates or colleagues. The power of sharing your ideas and plans for the year not only allows it to become reality, but it also makes you accountable. The power of having someone that cares checking in on your plans is so valuable.

I am lucky to coach an amazing group of athletes in my squads, where although we have a lot of fun, they all set themselves challenges both in the long and short term, so not only so the rest of the squad can ask how they are getting on, but I can also make sure they are doing the correct training and offer any help they need to achieve their goals.

After years of running this particular squad, it really reinforces the importance of sharing with others. I look at the group now as they train and realise that each individual is training for something unique to them, whether it be a race, a challenge, to be social, to keep moving or health and well being. Even though this is the case, the support they offer each other is quite moving and obviously very motivating for each other.

So heres your challenge: To everyone that reads this to do today, take 10 mins to yourself.  Think about your goals for this year. What you want to do, achieve, see or feel like. Write it, draw it or capture in some way and then go share your plans with someone. Even ask them to check in on you once in a while to see how you are getting on.

To make this even better, take your goal and break it into smaller, realistic achievable tasks, moments or chunks, so that you can monitor your progress, nor feel too overwhelming. By breaking it down you can see the week by week journey you will need to make to achieve your goals.

I would love to hear what yo have planned this year. Please share it here, tell someone, find a coach, a friend.... So that you have help, you are accountable and they will check up on your progress.
I promise it makes it easier.....

Dream big - Break it down - share it with others.....

Active Blu opportunities: Prehab injury Prevention Class - 4th Feb: PREHAB
Active Bly Swim Camp Weekend: CAMP

Saturday, 4 November 2017

Prehab - Keeping healthy and Injury Free

DATE: 26th Nov 2017 - 2pm to 6pm. 

Venue: 315 Health Club, Lancaster.

At Active Blu we have a lot of athletes coming from around the country to see us about injuries they have suffered with whilst swimming. The majority of these athletes have had to stop or reduce their swimming load whilst they get advice, go for treatment and deal with the cause of the injury. 

Often theses swimmers and triathletes will come and see us for video analysis, to look at their swimming, to try and identify anything within their stroke that could be causing their injuries. Generally for the majority of these athletes there are common faults causing the issue, which we can often highlight, identify and then work on, with the relevant drills and technique that will reduce the risk of their injury getting worse or reoccurring. Obviously with anything like this, it is essential to also seek advice from a Physio or Sports therapist to get their opinion and advise too. 

The other area we highly recommend is dry land work. Prehab can be that essential session to keep you performing at your optimal, stay injury free, develop strength and flexibility, enhance your performance and keep training consistently. 

So here it is - Your opportunity to book onto a course and learn everything you need to support your swimming and triathlon training. We will be looking at pre swim / race warm up, body imbalances, any potential injury site for you as an individual, simple exercises to remain injury free, develop strength, gain flexibility and optimise your performance. To read more about the day check out this link and book here: Prehab Workshop 2017 


This is a must for every athlete wishing to improve their performance and reduce the chance of injury. 

Find out more - Prehab Workshop 2017 

If you have any questions or you want more details, please email 

Saturday, 22 April 2017

The water is nearly open....

In a few weeks time the open water season is officially open here in the Lakes. Most athletes know that the water has to be at a certain temperature for good training session to commence, so although a few brave souls are getting in to acclimatize, waiting a bit longer to get the most out of your session would be the best option. Only a few more degrees...honest, it makes all the difference.

This time of year is a lot of peoples favorite time and as the air temperature gets warmer, the temptation to jump into waters too cool off is very tempting, I would however suggest to be mindful that most of our big lakes warm up very slowly and cool off fairly slowly. So make sure you test the water and walk in slowly, rather then jumping in, just to be safe. If in doubt - stay out. 

A few things you can get involved in over the come weeks with Active Blu: The open water swim squads - This may sound daunting, but there are two squads designed to support swimmers of all levels and experience. We start on Thursday nights on the 18th May and run for 5 weeks. If you would like to know more or sign up, the squads are held on Windermere, with a full safety team and qualified coach. They are designed to be progressive and help develop your fitness, confidence and skills essential whilst swimming outdoors. 

Check these two squads out for more information: Open water development Squad. 

Everyone is welcome and if you have further questions please email me:

The other news is on the 21st May 2017 12 - 5pm we are running a transition training session. This is open for all and will cover everything you need to to perform a confident, effective T1 and T2. 
This is designed for all levels, whether you are very experienced and looking to develop your skills, or a novice looking to learn some top tips and have a practice before an event or just to learn a new set of skills. Everyone is welcomed and will be challenged, whilst hopefully having a lot of fun. 

For more information and to book onto this day click here.

I look forward to seeing you all over the summer period and hearing about the events you have signed up for.  If you would like to know more, please email me at: 

Wednesday, 25 January 2017

Capturing special moments.

Why we do what we do - Capturing special moments.

5am Swim this morning. 

Sitting on the plane on another long haul flight allows a lot of time for reflections, 34 hours I have worked out door to door!! I am sleepy after a long few weeks preparing to leave the country again. I do not like leaving the squads for long, I am not really sure where I am staying, nor do I know how I am getting there, but I smile to myself, as my squads are in good hands and the other bits are just not that important - It always works out. 

I am in pain, my back is so sore I think I may have to find a spot to lye down, I start to sweat as my body screams for me to move, I have been traveling now for 22 hours. I find myself walking the isles of the plane hoping to see somewhere I could try and straighten up. Only another 10 hours on this flight I think to myself, but there is no where to lye, so I find myself back in my seat once again. 

Being where I love 

Mindfulness I think to myself - Well this always works for me, this may help my pain. It is painful, but my body is just making me aware its uncomfortable. Ok, so acknowledge that and maybe it will pass!! I am not sure how long it took, but it did settle and I was able to remain seated or the rest of the trip. 

World Record flip flop attempt

Awareness is an amazing thing, the reason I am writing this is that sometimes situations are uncomfortable and even distressing, physically or emotionally and we can question what we are doing either in that moment in time or in life. I certainly have at times questioned choices I have made, but it always draws me back to why I created this lifestyle. 

Coaches - Perth

I believe, knowing why you do what you do, helps it become a lot easier. I often remind myself of this, especially when jet lagged, staying somewhere new and feeling slightly nauseous with sleep deprivation. However knowing why I do what I do outweighs all those thoughts and moments of being uncomfortable, tired and in pain. Basically the opportunities, learning and experience I get are worth every minute of it. 

Coach development - South Africa

When you know why you do what you do.....everything becomes clearer.

As a coach and coach educator I am in a very privileged position to travel the world, start to understand different cultures, work with people expressing different ideas and opinions. I meet people from all backgrounds and in many diverse situations. It may not always be easy, but I get to support individuals and encourage them to push their boundaries and believe in themselves, all in hope that they travel further then they ever thought possible. 

Tutors - UK

I know why I do what I do; Because I get to support peoples journeys, either for a moment in time, or if lucky a bit longer. I get to see people achieve things they have been working towards for years, I get to see that smile on their face when they know they have excelled at something or simply noticed a difference in themselves. I get to see people progress, develop and grow. 
 Its sometimes the small things that are so big.

Coach Development - St Croix

Life is made up of special moments - We are not always aware of them, or focused on them at that time, in fact sometimes we can ignore them for too long. However special moments are always around, so when we do notice them, its worth acknowledging them, capturing them in some way and remembering thats why we do what we do. 

Windermere - UK

I know I am lucky, I am where I am now because of a dream I once had, because I kept exploring when I knew something was not right, because of the people around me believed in me. 

UK Coaches

I encourage you too explore the WHY and capture those many moments we have which make us smile and feel alive. 

Enjoy exploring. 

Tuesday, 10 January 2017

Fearing time off...what if you knew it could improve your performance?

Its a much feared word "Rest day" but what if you knew it would improve your performance?

I have just started back with my squads and coaching after Xmas and New Year - What has been interesting over the previous months is just how many athletes (I do not train) come up to ask my advice about their programmes. The general conversations start with them telling me how much they fit into the week and how fatigued and demotivated they are, their weeks include large volumes of training, managing family, work and social commitments. I mean - 90% of the time I am amazed just how much people fit into a week and still function. 

I say still function, but there seems to be a worrying trend that we need to do more and more within our lives and the idea of rest and recovery can often get over looked. 

Over the years I have trained many athletes that do not see recovery days as part of the training process. They often fear that if they do not train they will not get fitter and by taking a rest day, its wasting valuable time. I am sure for many of us this sounds familiar....

So what does a rest day or recovery day actually look like - It often does not actually mean you have to sit about and do nothing, in fact you can still be active, but the intensity, focus and duration is just not there. A bike to the cafe with a friend, a swim in the open water or pool with no agenda, a stroll in the park with the kids. This all serves you well, not only to let your body, repair, get stronger but mentally give yourself a rest too. 

The fear athletes have of rest, in itself is detrimental to their goals and ambitions. I am not talking about prolonged periods of time off,  it is just if you are training hard, it is important to think of rest days and sleep as a vital part of your training too. 

For a lot of athletes I start working with, its not about trying to get them to train - for the majority of people it is about educating people about the importance of recovery. 

The fear people have of stopping training when they are sick, injured or fatigued often result in putting themselves at greater risk of long term health issues. The best advice I can give is listen to your body, most people know the difference between those days you just can not get motivated for a session and when it is long term fatigue or injury and know deep down it is best to rest. Your body is an expert at telling you to may just have to listen to it. 

So some simple steps....
1 - Make sure depending on your training programme you have rest / recovery days built in. 

2 - Remember through out your season, you need to build your fitness, but this can only happen if you rest your system, sleep well and allow it to repair and recover. 

3 - If you miss sessions through illness or injury, don't try and make them up in one day / week, so that you can say you have done the training. 

4 - Recovery is about repair, sleeping well, mentally recovering and preparing your body for the next session or weeks ahead. Try not to miss these, as it will catch up with you in the end. 

5 - If unsure, talk to your coach, as they will support you in managing your training. 

Keep it simple, enjoy the recovery, know you are doing this to improve your performance and well being.

Enjoy 2017 - I look forward to hearing all about it. 


Saturday, 24 December 2016


Its that time of year to be with those we are close too - start to look back on the year and see what we have done, achieved or in fact seen others achieve.

In my role as a coach, mentor and coach educator - I certainly am privileged to witness people achieve their goals, desires and challenges and there is nothing I like more then to remind people just how important it is to share those stories with others. 

Its so important to celebrate your success tell people what you have done, be proud of your achievements, as not only it allows people to see whats possible, it also may inspire them to get out and try something new too..... 

This year has been remarkable - So of course I am going to share just a few memories....

Dec 2015
Floods hit the North and to raise money for the community the Active Blu Squad and 315 Health club members raised £2000 by swimming for 12 hours non stop over 4 lanes. Personally I have never swam in a pool for that long and many people covered distances never before achieved. 

 That was a special day - Well done to everyone involved. 

Jan 2016
Two week coach education programme: Heading out to Perth to meet and train the next group of coaches from around the world. They were truly fantastic and it was a great opportunity to be part of these coaches development. 13 coaches came to Perth - Australia. These coaches really highlighted what passion and love for the sport they have. Lucky Athletes. 

Feb 2016
Squads in the UK are showing a great improvement and over the 10 week programme everyone improves dramatically, with peoples focus on their challenges and events for the summer. 

March 2016
The British Triathlon Coach Educators head to South Africa to run an International development programme.

The coaches were fantastic and show real commitment and passion to develop Triathlon within their home environment - its great to see and hear about the projects they have created and been involved in 9 months on.  

 April 2016
 I am invited to go to Switzerland to be part of the International Triathlon Facilitation course....We had 2 days taking and delivering engaging coaching methods. ITU Faciliators course.

May 2016
The open water season starts in the UK, athletes start braving the water prepping for the summer ahead. The Active Blu venue on Windermere attracts all swimmers and Triathletes from the first timers to the elite. All developing open water skills, race tactics and confidence. 

 June 2016
The open water season is well on its way - The Great North swim attracts 1000s of swimmers across the 3 days.

July 2016
The NEW British Triathlon open water CPD which piloted in the Lakes. Proved very successful and went live for coaches to get practical experience whilst coaching in the open water. Developing great coaches and safe practice. 

Aug 2016
ITU - Kids camp Greece - The first ever
Off to Greece to support the first ever ITU kids camp where we had 54 kids and 6 coaches running a week long training course. It was an excellent week and a lot of fun. Most importantly the kids had fun and learnt lots along the way.

Sept 2016
After the re design of the NEW British Triathlon Level 1 and 2 qualifications, support the amazing tutors - exciting changes to coach education. 

Oct 2016
Working with the regional academies to help support and develop the Youth and Juniors.  Camps, Video analysis and a few runs and cycle rides....

Nov 2016
ITU Level 1, St Croix, Caribbean. 
Amazing coaches, facilities and most importantly the future of Triathlon looks bright on the islands.

Dec 2016
Video Analysis, Squads and clinics are busy with people pursuing their new goals and dreams for the following year. I am excited and fortunate to be part of this....Just a few folk to recognise. 

John H - Coniston and Windermere Length  - Swim 
John W - Coniston Length / 5km Windermere - Swim
Charlotte - 10km Swim
Nicky - Ironman 
Jane S - GBR Age Group - Tri
Patrick - GBR Age Group - Tri
Sue - Coniston Length - Swim
Kath - GBR Age Group - Tri
Kath - Coniston Length - Swim
Ian - First season of Tri
Andy - Pbs all season
Graeme - Pbs and triathlon season
Megan - Triathlon season

If you would like to be part of the squads or sign up for a session to help you or someone close to take a step towards their dream - sign up now: 

Squads - 10 weeks - 8th Jan - 12th March: SQUADS

 Well done to all the people and the many many more that have done so well this year. Its been great to be part of the journey and I look forward to hearing about whats next. Exciting times and make sure you celebrate well. 

See you all in the New Year. 
Best Wishes