Active Blu - Open Water Venue.

Active Blu - Open Water Venue.

Saturday, 9 November 2013

Keeping it simple.

Swim Smooth Squad - Perth  

Today on Poolside - CSS Set - Week 9 of 10.

Returning onto pool deck in Perth, after 6 months back in the UK was a fantastic opportunity to see just how much the swimmers had improved over their winter period. It was insightful and also encouraging to see just how many of the squad had developed.

Many of the swimmers had not only improved their technique and swim times, they also had increased their confidence whilst in the open water.

So the question is; How did they do this and how can we achieve those results?

Firstly, it is good to know these people are normal, they have families, hold down jobs and have every day commitments.

Squad Session - Perth.

The key: Is KEEP IT SIMPLE - get your training right and being consistent with it.

If we look at the Perth Squads, we can identify how their training week works and make sure that you too are ready for next years Open Water and Triathlon season.

Answer These Questions: 

1 - Work out your CSS -
2 - Work out the realistic and achievable time you can commit to your swim training.
3 - Keep to the plan and keep consistent.

Based on training 3 times a week - Your ideal training week will consist of: 

1 x Endurance Based Session.
1 x Threshold / CSS session.
1 x Technique Session.

Within these 3 sessions each will contain some aspects of the following, dependant on the theme of the training session: Open water, fitness and technique. 

Technique Session focusing on Alignment and Stroke Rate.
Keep it Simple.

Endurance - This could mean a long open water swim a week, or a longer pool swim.

CSS Set - Using your CSS - Check these sessions out.

Technique - Identify the drills that will help support your swimming, remember the drills you find hardest are usually the ones you need to work on the most to improve your stroke.

The distance of the sets will depend on what you are training for, but ideally around 2.5km - 5km.

By following these 3 sessions will help you monitor and see the progression in the water - Remember to still make this progressive by increasing the distance over time on your long swim and decreasing the time when doing your CSS sessions.

Check this out for further reading:

Enjoy your Swimming.

Friday, 1 November 2013

Anxiety on the start line

Open Water Swim Series WA.

Cottesloe Beach

It is the morning of my first ocean swim since arriving in Perth. I have not slept in 4 days through jet lag and although I am feeling bit tired, I am very calm about the 2.5km swim ahead of me. The last time I left this beach was when I was setting off to swim the 20km to Rottnest Island. 

My only concern with racing in the Ocean in WA are the stingers, however I had been informed that it was too cold for them and no one had been stung this season. This reassured me as last year I found myself in hospital after having an allergic reaction.

Once registered, I met with some friends as we started to notice people rushing out the water crying in pain...The stingers were back. 

This left me with an interesting dilemma, I suddenly went from a very calm state, to considering whether to drop out of the ocean swim altogether. It was not because of the pain the stingers cause, it was more the responsibility I felt to everyone else and an overwhelming desire not to get sick again.

I decided to to apply the wool fat, which basically means cover every part of my body in fat, so that you have a protective barrier from you and the stingers. I hoped this would be the answer and made the decision to continue. Remembering - Just stick to the plan.

Megan helping with the wool fat.

We all entered the water for the deep water start, conditions were perfect, warm water, with a slight swell. I had forgotten how competitive these races can be, as the race started there were lots of pulling, pushing and people getting swam over on the start line. 

 I soon found some feet and hoped to settle into a pace, but this did not happen, at the buoys stray kicks were being felt among the swimmers, the lead pack had broken away and myself and 4 others were leading the second group, I remember smiling to myself as we all were swimming so close together but syncing nicely not to have too many clashes. However I did end up with my goggles full of water, from a cracking right hander.

I was aware of the stings I was getting, I kept in mind the importance of positive thinking and relaxed breathing. I found myself just focusing on the internal aspects of the swim I could control, such as sighting, drafting, pacing and breathing patterns. 

The race eventually came down to a 100m sprint to the shore where we surfed the wave in and ran the 20m to the finish line. It was fun, exciting and I am glad I decided to take my own advice and enjoy the swim by focusing on the aspects I could control.

Emma at the end of the race.

I am writing this as I learnt a lot from this experience, it highlighted the importance of the right advice and training, whilst having the confidence and knowledge that you have made the right decisions within the race.

On reflection, the key points I learnt from this experience were: 

  • Stick to the plan.
  • Do not worry about the things you can not control. (weather, swell, other competitors)
  • Be a selfish swimmer - Meaning focus on yourself. (breathing, sighting, pacing)
  • Listen to your instincts.
  • Have confidence you have done everything you can to prepare for the event.
  • Enjoy what you do, most of us are doing this for fun.
  • Learn from past experiences. Apply an action plan..what if...
  • Lastly....practice these skills in training, get your coach to do OW sessions in the pool, practice drafting, mass starts,sighting, turning, swimming without your goggles. This will all help when it comes to next season and allow you to deal with the unexpected.

Most importantly make sure you do NOT miss any parts of your body when applying the wool fat. OUCH  :)

Friday, 25 October 2013

Well done and Thank you from all the Active Blu Team.

Well what a summer we have had in the UK, the weather has been amazing, the events have been really well organised and the achievements and results people have accomplished were fantastic.

Emma and Pip preparing for their race.
In May 2013 the water temp reached 11 degrees. The brave swimmers started to venture into the open water for their first swims of the year, all training or preparing for their season of races, events, challenges and goals.

The Active Blu venue has Britain's most breath taking views to swim from, in the heart of the Lake District we are lucky to have the stunning scenery as our back drop and our permanent training venue. 
Active Blu Venue
Active Blu saw record numbers join us for the Thursday Night Training Sessions on Windermere. The 21 sessions attracted people of all abilities and from across the country and the world. 

Thursday Night Sessions.

The OW courses and clinics also attracted vast numbers of Swimmers and Triathletes, the mix of theory and practical components offered the swimmers greater understanding of the sport and led to a marked improvement, these were not just shown by their times in the water but also their confidence.

Active Blu also saw successful results within the pool squad, with every member of the team reducing their swim times from anywhere between 5 - 7 seconds per 100m over a 10 week period. To get involved in the 2014 squad, check out:

Video Analysis.

As winter draws near, it is a great time to hop into the pool and work on some of the issues you may feel hold you back in the water. If you need a little help - book in with me for a video analysis session and I will help you on your way. To book a session for 2014 email me at

I really just wanted to say a massive well done to everyone this season, we saw many of our seasoned athletes achieving great personal bests and others meeting their goals and personal challenges. I also wanted to thank our safety team, which are now the most highly qualified and experienced in the UK, as they has all now passed their BCU Lifeguards SESA award. So you are in good hands.
John and Frances - Safety Crew.
One last thing - Many of you know I am out in Perth helping with Coach Education, squad training and video analysis. I will run a weekly blog - with all the secrets from down under. Sign up for the latest Training tips, programmes and ideas at

Wednesday, 31 July 2013

What a Difference a Month Makes.

I wanted to congratulate the Open Water and Squad swimmers this month.
Training In Lanzarote July 2013 
The New Swim Squad has now been running for 7 weeks at the Lancaster 315 Pool.

On week 1 we tested the squads Critical Swim Speed. (CSS). Check out what this means at: This basically gives you an indication of the pace you can sustain every 100m for your 1500m swim. It is also useful to help monitor progress and reduction in swim times.

An example: If your CSS is 1 min 30 secs per 100m, this will give you a time of 22 mins and 50 secs for your 1500m swim.

Identifying What hold you back in the water. 

We retested 2 weeks ago and all the squad members had reduced their CSS time. Some reducing it as much as 7 minutes, with most members seeing a 2 to 5 minute improvement for their CSS. This is above average and a remarkable achievement. Most of the squad have just started training regularly and using a structured programme. - Highlighting the importance of consistency and focus within your training.

 So how did they do this you may ask! Well in the squad we work on 3 main areas within the training week. Focusing on a CSS Set, a Technique Session and an Open Water Skills Session. The squad trains 3 times a week with one session lead by Active Blu and the other two they train independently.

The squad is showing such good results due to a number of reasons:

Consistent Weekly Training.
Using their CSS for their Endurance session.
Working on the 3 focused sessions: Endurance, technique and Open Water Skills.
Combining technique and Fitness.
Creating Motivation from being part of a group.

So well done to all the members, your hard work and training is paying off.
To get involved Check out:

Happy Swimming.


Wednesday, 3 July 2013

Introducing Active Blu 2013 - 1 Mile Timed Swims.

It has been amazing to see the amount of motivated and enthusiastic swimmers taking to the open water this year. As a coach I hear all sorts of inspiring stories and tales about the next big challenge individuals and groups are training for.

On the Thursday Night Open Water Training session, the group consists a full range of abilities, from freestyle swimmers looking to improve their times, to breastroke swimmers coming for a social. What ever your goal or reason for coming, it has been truly inspiring to hear you stories and help support your goals.

The Active Blu 1 Mile Series proved to be such a success last year that we start again on the 11th July 2013. This will run along side the normal training group and is open to anyone interested in monitoring their progress over the rest of the session.

The first Evening is the 11th July. Please register at 6pm for a 6.30pm start.
Cost: £5.
Venue: Brockhole
Level of Swimmer: Everyone that is confident in the open water is welcome.

More Importantly after each of these events we have a social. It is an opportunity to bring your own food, ask any questions you may have, plan your next big challenge and generally just enjoy the beautiful views.

For more information, please feel free to email me:

I look forward to seeing you soon.

Tuesday, 25 June 2013

Swim Smooth / Tri England Open Water Day.

On Saturday the 22nd June, the Blue Lagoon hosted the Swim Smooth / Tri England Open Water Day. 

Photos by Jason Newsome
As the Swim Smooth coach leading the day, I had a fantastic opportunity to support and work with 9 Volunteer British Triathlon Coaches, Venue staff, Safety Team and additional Tri England employees. 

Identifying important drills.

The day ran very smoothly, with the morning starting with 30 novice Open Water swimmers. The Coaching Team were able to support these athletes, giving them confidence in taking those first steps into the open water and encouraging them to practice their newly learnt skills.

The afternoon consisted of an advanced group of 30 open water swimmers. After some theory in the class room, the coaches soon put them through their paces with some sighting, drafting and turning practice, before finishing off with a mass start and mini race.

I would like to thank everyone involved in the day and the great venue staff at the Blue Lagoon.

If you are interested in getting involved in an open water day near you, either as a coach or athlete, check this out:

Monday, 17 June 2013

A weekend of achievements - The Great North Swim - Not just a swim event.

The Great North Swim - Not just a Swim Event.

Blue Wave Warming Up.
  WOW, what a weekend....

With nearly 10,000 swimmers participating in either the 5km, 2 mile, 1 mile or 500m swims,  It was certainly a weekend to remember. 

As a coach, friend and supporter, it was fantastic to see all the swimmers dedication, training and dreams come true. The weekend was not just a swim event, but also an example of peoples desires to achieve personal goals, support charity's of their choices and step out of their comfort zones to really challenge themselves. 

The event was a great success, full of smiles, laughter and achievements. As a coach, I am delighted and proud of everyone who Swam, supported or attempted the distances. 
Tom and Lisa - Take on the mile

The conditions as always in Windermere are changeable, with this weekend being no exception. On Friday and Saturday swimmers experienced really choppy waters, putting all their training to the test from the very start, with Sunday proving to be a calmer day with stiller waters.
Tim and Coach Emma

So to everyone involved this weekend, Well done and congratulations on your swims. 
Truly something to be proud of. Active Blu Swimmers really had a great turn out at the event and their passion for open water swimming really shone through.

Tuesday, 11 June 2013

Great North Swim - A Weekend Of Swimming.

Active Blu Sessions Go wild

Well it has been a great start to the open water season and even through the water took a bit of time to warm up, it has now reached a reasonable temperature.

I would like to say both thank you and well done to everyone that has already been taking part in the sessions at Active Blu`s venue on Lake Windermere.

Thursday Nights have seen record numbers turning up to get a coached session or just practice their open water skills. With the skills and Introduction to open water courses being packed with passionate, enthusiastic people wanting to improve their performance or just give it ago.

This weekend is the Great North Swim where Lake Windermere will see over 10,000 people take part in the event and swim its waters.

If you are after any last min advice, support, tips or just a friendly face, myself and a colleague will be at the Lake District National Park stand to offer any last minute help, alternatively come see us post event to let us know how you got on.

My advice for your event would be to:
1 - Stick to your event plan. Do not change your plans last minute.
2 - Know you have done everything you can in training, now its time to put it into practice.
3 - Keep calm and concentrate on your own personal goals and needs pre and during the event.
4 - Breathing correctly is the key to success, relaxed exhalation.
5 - Enjoy the event and smile lots.

Call me on: 07769150154 if you are having trouble finding me.

Thursday Night Training is on as usual - Feel free to turn up early and ask any burning questions you may have regarding the event.   


Monday, 29 April 2013

Thursday Nights Open Water Training - A date for your diary.....

16th May 2013 - Thursday Night Open Water Training Starts.

With the success of last years Thursday Nights Open Water Training, we are expecting more people taking to the water over the course of this season. 

 The Active Blu Team endeavour to make this years session is even more accessible and useful for everyone coming to train with us.

Fresh Back from the Summer and Race season in Perth, Australia, Newly certified Swim Smooth Coach, Emma will be leading the session with top tips on open water drills, Skills and coaching.

This session is open to everyone that is confident in the open water - Whether you are a seasoned Open Water Swimmer or Triathlete wanting a hard training session, or you just want a social experience in a safe open water environment this session will be ideal for you. 

The training will Take place from the Jetty at Brockhole -  The Lake District National Park Visitor Centre:

What you need and what to expect:  
  • You need to join Active Blu - This £5 admin fee is so that we have all your personal details, you then receive a ID card as part of the Thursday Night Sign in Safety System. Please bring a photo.
  • All forms will be available from Active Blu Swim Base, located at the Jetty.
  • The training night is a Pay as you Go system, you do not need to book in. Just Turn up!!
  • You will pay £5 per session and you will receive: 
 - Coaching Tips and helpful Hints.
 - Full Safety Cover with 6 - 8 Kayakers, Safety Boat, Shore Base Support and Coaches.  
 - Marked and measured buoyed course.
 - Safe sign in and out system.
 - 1 hour of training in a safe and friendly environment.
 - Full access to showers
 - New this year - Cafe will be open late, to warm up after our training session.


6.10pm - 6.20pm:  Coaching Tips and Questions. (Optional)
6.25pm - 6.30pm:  Safety Briefing - (Essential.)
6.30pm - 7.30pm - Open Water Training Session.

If you have last years ID card, Please bring this with you.
Also if you are unsure whether you should be attending, please feel free to email:

I look forward to seeing you very soon.

Best Wishes


Monday, 22 April 2013

Spring has Sprung.....

Even though Open Water temperatures are still un-seasonably low for this time of year, it looks like spring is on its way. With 100s of Active Blu and Swim Smooth coaching courses planned for the summer season it is time to start preparing for this years events.
Check them out HERE.
1:2:1 Coaching Perth.

Training correctly and effectively can really help not only with your performance, but also your confidence leading up to and during your events. Knowing you have done everything you can, really helps combat those race day nerves and therefore reduces the anxiety that can arise when confronted with personal challenges.

Lake Windermere - Training Venue
Remember consistency is the key, get training regularly and usefully.

Here are a few courses to help you prepare for your Open Water Swimming and Triathlon season.

Active Blu and Swim Smooth Courses 2013

Introduction to Open Water Swimming - 17th May and 31st May 2013 - 1 Hour 30 Mins.

Open Water Skills Courses - 24th May and 7th June 2013 - 2 hours 30 mins

Thursday Night Open Water Training Nights - Every Thursday starting 16th May - 1 hour.

Squads - Weekly - Limited spaces - Email - to express your interest.

Video Analysis - Currently fully booked - New dates to announced soon.

Lake District National Park - Active Blu Open Water Venue

More Events and Courses Coming soon!!!

Monday, 8 April 2013

Reflections on  Rottnest 20km Channel Swim 2013.

Rotto Solo 2013
At the end of Feb 2013 myself and hundreds of competitors swam the 20km Rottnest Channel , in some of the most shark infested waters in the world. There were 200 other solo swimmers that completed the event that day as well as teams and duo swimmers. I have to firstly congratulate and thank all those who took part in the event as well as all the amazing support crews and organisers

I had been lucky enough to Coach the Swim Smooth Squads out in Perth and witness the courage, dedication and commitment it took to take part in such an event. People were swimming the event for many reasons and I felt privileged to be part of the team training them up for such a big challenge. 

As time drew near and all the training was finishing, we all hoped for good weather, this was the only element we could not plan for, so we prepared for the worst and crossed our fingers.
Rotto Event briefing
For months Perth had experienced a high weather pressure, some saying it had been the hottest summer on record, there were weeks on end were we experienced clear blue skies and extreme heat.

Come the week of the event however, the weather changed for the worsted, strong winds and storms hit the West Coast of Australia. Keeping swimmers and crews wondering if the event may be cancelled.

Start Line - Wave One
After so many months of training and racing preparing for this event everyone wanted the challenge to go ahead. With wild winds and seas the night before, we waited for the mornings conformation.

Event day: It was going to go ahead but the forecast was for big seas. 3 to 4.5 meter swells.

All the competitors stood on the start line in the dark, with only their thoughts and hopes to contemplate, the most prominent sound coming from the crashing waves in front of them. Out to sea all that could be seen where hundreds of lights, coming from the safety boats and crews waiting to guide us across the expanse of water.

As the event started the nerves settled and we all headed into the darkness, it was time to find our own pace and rhythm in the stormy seas. 10km passed fairly quickly for me, however sea sickness was preventing me eating or drinking much. I knew if I continued not to fuel well I would not make it to the end. My crew gave me a sickness tablet at 14km and things seemed to settle, this was around the same point my left shoulder started to seize up, with shooting pains down my left arm I wondered if I could continue.

I dug deep, as I knew one reason for my shoulder pain, as well as an old injury, was due to the weather conditions and large waves, only enabling me to breathe to my right side. After 14km of this I was in desperate need to breathe to my left side. I decided this was my only option if I wanted to complete the challenge, however this meant drinking many mouthfuls of sea water. Starting to use my left side to breathe meant the pain started to decrease and it was at this point I knew I would make it to the end.
14 km in and sea starts to calm.
The last 4 Km was fantastic, I had refueled well and started to really find my rhythm, although I was sore, the water calmed enough to pick up my pace, enjoy the ocean and the beautiful day it turned out to be.

As I entered the finishing 800m I felt strong and found myself wanting to continue swimming, rather than finish, but it had been an amazing event full of great learning and fun and I felt proud to be part of it. 

I crossed the line in 6 hours 21 mins - To the welcome of my support crew. I have to thank these guys and although the event was amazing, my fondest memories of the event was my Crew and just how supportive and motivating they were. Thank you all.

Challenge Complete! 
People have asked me since, what my biggest challenge was: I would have to say, that it would have to be training for the event - due to finding out I was highly allergic to jelly fish: having been hospitalised after racing in the ocean back in Oct 2012. This meant all my training had to be done in my stinger suit whilst carrying an epi pen with me at all times and finding alternative locations to train from, sometimes travelling for hours to find water with no Stingers. So thank you to all those people who endeavored to find new location for me to train from.

I know I created amusement for everyone else....I mean seriously I am wearing a big stocking!!

 Well done to all that took part and supported the event. It is a massive achievement and a lot of organising involved - I am may be back next year to race!

Monday, 25 February 2013

Meeting Sue

Sue Oldham – Getting better with age.

"My advice to other swimmers, or non swimmers, is don’t put off doing things, life goes by so quickly and one never knows what will be around the corner so make the most of this time, it can never be retrieved”.
(Sue, Oldham, 2013)

An inspiration to many wishing to challenge themselves this year.

Sue is an inspirational, modest Character, having only started swimming in her 40`s, She is best known as the oldest women to swim across the English Channel. At the age of 65 Sue entered the record books finishing her swim in 17 hours 11 mins. However the list of records, stories and amazing accomplishments is endless.
Based in Perth Australia, I had a rare opportunity to catch up with Sue and ask her a few questions regarding her swimming back ground, who inspired her and her greatest Challenges to date.

Emma:  “Please tell me about how and when you got into swimming”?

Sue: “About 20 years ago a friend suggested I join a Masters Swimming Club as I was looking for some sporting activity but one that would fit in with a job that, for several months of the year, took me interstate every couple of weeks”.

“I had never had a swimming lesson in my life and to be truthful not swum in a pool either.  I remember my first training session where I would manage to swim 25 meters and then have to get my breath back before I could swim back to the blocks!!  But I persevered and eventually became an adequate swimmer.  Through that club I meet my friend Les Stewart who had swum in the 1956 Rottnest Channel swim as a 20 year old, without a cap, goggles and a support boat with a dodgy engine, with the crew eventually resorting to oars.  Les suggested I join him, his son and another friend in a four man relay swim to Rottnest and so that was the beginning of my ocean water swimming passion”.

Emma: What or who inspired you to take up Marathon swimming, why the English Channel?

Sue: “Once I had done a couple of Rotto team swims and then two duo swims with Les I thought I would have a go at a solo crossing.  I didn’t know much about training sessions in those days and although I swam in the ocean every day it was only for about 2kms at a time.  But I had some very good and experienced friends with great advice.

Emma and Sue - Jan 2013
After a couple of solo crossings I knew I needed to do more training and eventually in 2003 found coach Pauline Pratt.  Pauline had coached the first WA man Mark Crowther to swim the English Channel and in 2005 she took her first junior six man relay team across.  

She encouraged a few masters swimmers to consider a relay crossing for 2006 and I was one of the lucky ones.  During the year my friend Selwyn Jellie asked me to join him in the extra sessions as he thought he would tackle a solo crossing.  I readily agreed and after a couple of weeks asked Pauline if she thought I would be good enough to do a solo crossing myself.  She told me to be at the training session that night, so I took that as a 'yes'”!

Emma: “When swimming the English Channel can you describe what your most prominent thoughts, Highs and Lows of the swim”?

Sue “I feel I was very fortunate as on my first solo crossing in 2006 we had swum a six man relay crossing a month before and not only had the encouragement and support of my team mates but of Pauline and our skipper Eddie Spelling. 

Team mate Tony Parbery was also training for a solo crossing but unfortunately didn’t get the opportunity that year but was successful in 2008.  Selwyn insisted he would be a part of my support despite having only completed his crossing two days earlier.  He also interrupted his holiday in 2010 to be on the boat and plans to come again for my 2014 crossing.

Like I said I am lucky with good friends.  During the swim I followed Pauline's instructions, think about family, friends and all the Barracuda swimmers who have encouraged me and swum with me during training sessions.  

Training for a solo crossing is an 12 - 18 month plan and all extra activities go on hold, such as a social life, because the demands are to be as fit and focused as possible.  So during the swim I would consciously think of all these special people and I enjoy long distance swimming, the further I swim the better I got.

In 2010 for the first six hours all I could think of is that I am totally mad, what on earth made me think I wanted to go through all this again but once I settled down and found my rhythm it became better.

I guess like most swimmers towards the end I would think I saw those rocks and headland: why is this taking me so long but eventually I made it and when I walked up to the beach it was the most unbelievable feeling and it still makes me emotional when I think about it.

It was the same feeling when I first swam the Rottnest Channel crossing.  I am blessed that l have the ability to dig in and never give up (bloody minded one could say), at the time of a swim, I am strong, fit and well prepared & don’t feel the cold”.

Emma:  “Since being involved within the sport, what are your proudest moments and why”?

Sue: “Proudest moments: I am so pleased with being successful & not letting anyone down.  Although I haven’t had any sponsors, I have had the support of family and friends, my coach Pauline has spent hours making sure I am ready and I have a great skipper in Eddie Spelling.”  

Also I just remembered I have world records”:

·         A member of the oldest 6 man relay team in the world to swim the channel in 2006.
·         Oldest woman to swim solo in 2006, regained that title in 2010.      
·         Member of the oldest 4 man relay team in 2012 - swimming with the oldest person, Roger Allsopp which was a lot of fun and a great privilege.

Emma: “What would your advice be to anyone thinking about taking up marathon swimming”?

Sue: “My suggestions are join a club, it is very difficult to maintain the discipline necessary to maintain the training. Also get an experienced coach who understands marathon swimming.  Be prepared to put your whole focus into the training, your life depends upon it”.

Emma:  What next. Do you have any other aspirations”?

Sue: “What next: well keep healthy and fit and maybe do another English channel swim in 2016.  Everything depends upon health and finances.  But I can dream and wish I had started when I was younger but I guess I haven’t done too badly considering I didn’t start swimming until in my mid 40's”. 

Emma: “Anything else you would like to talk about to inspire, educate or advice our readers”?

Sue: “My advice to other swimmers, or non swimmers, is don’t put off doing things, life goes by so quickly and one never knows what will be around the corner so make the most of this time, it can never be retrieved”.

Thank you Sue your words have been truly inspiring. 

Wednesday, 6 February 2013

Keeping your cool on event day…

Perth is hosting the Worlds Largest Open Water Swimming Event on 23rd Feb 2013.

Rottnest Safety Briefing - 2013

Thousands of swimmers from across the world are participating in the 20km event, so as you can imagine this is going to be one wild day!

With so much commitment and dedication shown from the swimmers, skippers, kayakers and support crews over the last 6 months, the question is:

How do you keep your cool on event day?

Event Day

The actual day is a huge occasion with thousands of participants, big crowds and boats, let alone the challenge of swimming 20km. It is all ahead of you and it is vital that we take it all in, celebrate how far we have come, take a deep breath and just do your thing. No matter what your challenge, keeping your cool and enjoying the experience is the most important thing at this point. 

Remember your training is done, you know how to swim and everything you have learnt and gone through in preparing for the event will help you achieve your goal. The hours training in the pool and open water, the pacing sets we have practiced, remembering your motives for entering the event as well as all your nutrition practice, will help you to complete the swim.

Open Water Squad Session - Perth

Below are a few very simple tips to help you:

1 – Remember you have done all the training, it is just another day, you know how to swim and pace yourself. So try not to think too much about the bigger picture, break the challenge down into small sections.

2 – Make sure you are well prepared. Your nutrition is ready, your safety team is briefed and you give yourself plenty of time to get to the beach. Try to eliminate any un necessary stress.

3  – keep focused on your needs. Get the right people around you to support you and that have your interest at heart. Do not underestimate the power of supporting friends.

4  -  When on the start line, take time to check your event goals, keep focused on swimming your own event and most importantly – Relax.

5 – Once you have started, try not to worry about other swimmers. They have no impact on your race. Keep your focus on your race / pace / split time / nutrition whatever helps you keep swimming. Try not to change your event plan last minute.

6 – Know that at some point you will get tired and may even want to give up. If you can try and focus on the real / simple things around you, this will help distract those unwanted thoughts. We all go through it and also come out the other side -  Maybe focus on your breathing and think how calm it feels, or how clear and clean the ocean looks. Try to think positively, this will keep you swimming.

Super Series 10km qualifier
7 – Keep the focus on what it will mean to finish the event. The satisfaction you will get on completing your goal,  or the feelings you will experience from such an achievement. Imagine swimming down the final 100m onto the beach and smiling having completed your dream, goal or challenge.

8  - Finally, enjoy, have fun and if all else fails – smile to yourself. It really does help.

I wish everyone good luck and I look forward to sharing your success and a drink with you on the beach at the other end. Happy Swimming  :0)