Active Blu - Open Water Venue.

Active Blu - Open Water Venue.

Tuesday, 25 February 2014

Improving your Swimming - 4 easy steps.

A few easy steps to improve your swimming!

If you have hit a plateau, just looking to improve your swimming, or you are a Tri Coach looking to develop your skills, here is a brief and simple guide to get that motivation and passion back into your sport.

Active Blu - Open Water Squad Training.
1 - Swim Fitness - Try something new - If you train by yourself or in fact do the same sessions every time you hit the pool, maybe you are lacking motivation or need to get creative.

Try joining a squad near you, the motivation a squad can give you is fantastic, your coach will come up with the sessions to develop your Swim fitness, technique, endurance and OW skills. If you can not get to a squad, remember to try and have a different focus for each of your sessions.

Check out this blog for a few ideas: Keep It Simple.
Squad Night - Post Session.
If you live in the North West and want to join a developing squad - I run sessions on Thursday Mornings and Sunday Evenings. Open to adults that can swim 200m or more. Squads.

Post Squad - Technique Session.

2 - Technique - Make sure your technique is not holding you back. A Video Analysis session will show you what may be slowing you down in the water or reasons for feeling inefficient . Your coach can then offer you the drills that will help correct these areas, whilst highlighting the types of training sessions that will support your swimming. Ask your coach for a 121 session to really help tune up your stroke and give you some top tips for progression. Video Analysis.
Identifying what is holding you back in the water.
3 - Train as you Race - Always practice what you may experience whilst racing, in the open water it is so important to get in and practise the skills in the environment you will be swimming in. Whether you are new to the open water or a seasoned athlete you can always improve some thing. It may be acclimatisation, mass starts or pacing - but the more opportunities you get before your event, the more confident you will be in the water. Remember you can always practise Open Water skills and drills in the pool if you have limited access to OW sessions.

4 - Coach - Find a coach you like, have confidence with and will support your needs. For all those Coaches out there, if you are looking to develop your skills and knowledge check out this link, this will help with your personal development and athlete relationships. Coach Development.

Swimmer and Coach Development.

So what ever you need, keep it simple, ask the right people and enjoy what you do.

Dream Big - Dig Deep - Have Fun.

Happy Swimming.


Thursday, 20 February 2014

Aquatic Functional Strength Training

Aquatic Functional Strength Training 

About a month ago I started on a functional Strength Training Programme at 315 Health Club - Lancaster. The sessions are run by Glen Robinson a Great Britain Water Polo player, who represented   GB at London 2012 Olympics. As well as being a full time athlete, Glen also works at 315 and has designed strength training for those wanting to develop their aquatic ability.

There are many reasons for people to embark on such a programme, anything from weight loss, strength, endurance to performance. The sessions comprise of pool based swims and strengthening work, utilising your own body weight.

 I decided to give the programme a go, as a way of re-hab. I approched Glen with "I may be a little Broken" he was very professional in his approach and although limited to what I am able to do, has designed a programme that suits me, which is both progressive and achieveable.

A difference a few weeks makes!!! After a small amount of frequent repetitive exercises, what has been really noticeable is my awareness of my smaller muscles groups. I can already feel the difference when exercising and in general day to day activities. Having started to develop key areas, my injuries are much less painful.

In the pool, I am now really aware of the engagement of my core during my swim sets, this has allowed my swim times to drop and I generally feel a lot stronger in the water.

I still have over half way to go with the programme and already I perform the exercises more confidently, stronger and have more bodily awareness.

If you are interested in the above programme or wish to discuss your needs with Glen, contact him at 315 Health Club on: 015242 37315, alternatively email:

Tuesday, 4 February 2014

Dream Big - A Year of Achievements - 12 Months of Success.

Dream Big.

Well it has been a while now since arriving back in the UK after my second visit to Perth, working with the coaches and squads, in Sunny Australia. 

I had a fantastic welcome home, not only from friends and family, but also squad members and swimmers excited to tell me about their next challenge.

As I plan the year ahead, I can not help but look back over the last 12 months and celebrate what I have witnessed from the people around me. I am definitely humbled most days by the stories and achievements people have accomplished, and delighted to be part of their journey.

I am lucky enough to work on a day to day basis with Swimmers and Coaches alike. So I get to see their progression, development and passion they have for the sport we are involved in.

Often we over look our achievements, so I decided to reflect back on the year past and do it for you. 

12 Months of Mind Blowing Achievements.

January 2013.
I met Sue Oldham - She is the oldest women to swim the English Channel and a beautiful person. She is modest and what she has achieved in a short time of swimming should be an inspiration to all. I coached Sue whilst out in Perth and keep in touch as she has big plans this space.
Sue Oldham.
February 2013.
The Rottnest Channel Swim : An amazing achievement for so many of the squad members out in Perth. The the completion of the Rotto 20km channel Swim involves swimming from main land Perth out to an island 20km off shore, contending with an ocean of Sharks, jelly fish and any weather that may be thrown your way. This takes great dedication of at least 6 months of regular training. Well Done Team.

The start line before the 20km Ocean Swim.

March 2013.
This month is deicated to all the coaches that attending the Swim Smooth clinic in Ireland. These coaches showed amazing enthusiasuim to develop their personal swim coaching, as well as supporting the clubs and swimmers they work with.

Coaches in Ireland.
April 2013.
Video Analysis started back in the UK. As a coach, working with progression, this month was an outstanding. We all know how frustrating it as a swimmer or triathlete when we reach a plateau, or that we are not progressing. Helping swimmers see whats holding them back in the water, then giving them drills and training to progress, showed that the right changes = big improvements.

May 2013. 
This month goes to an amazing man called Tom, who in his 80s decided for charity to swim the 1 mile event at the Great North Swim. He came to Active Blu for an Open Water Training sessions and although at times we had our uncertainties, he trained and trained and achieved his goal. Best hug ever was on the finish line after his mile. Well Done Tom.

Tom and Lisa - Before his 1 Mile swim

June 2013.
This month goes to Paul Newsome for winning the Manhattan swim. The commitment and dedication it took to achieve this dream is absolutely amazing. Congratulations Paul.

Paul Celebrates his Win.
July 2013.
This month goes to an Active Blu swimmer Sue C, who continues to show dedication to every training session we do in Windermere. Then sneakily entering events and telling me "Emma I just got a personal best". The most modest lady ever. Well done Sue.

Active Blu - Training Nights - Well done Sue

August 2013.
Swim Smooth and Triathlon England celebrated the end of a successful first year, running Open water training days across the UK for Coaches and Swimmers of all abilities. I manage the Open water days from the Swim Smooth side and was delighted with how the days went and the progress the swimmers made.

Coaching some swimmers in Yorkshire.

September 2013.
 I was asked to do my British Triathlon Coaching Training to become a tutor for Triathlon England. During this process I met so many talented coaches, with such a wealth of experience and reasons for tutoring. It made me realise what great people we have coaching with in the sport. I am excited to share my knowledge.
Class room  - Pre session talk

October 2013.
 Headed back out to the Perth Squad to the overwhelming sense of just how much the swimmers in the squad had improved since last coaching there. It was remarkable to see the difference in peoples performance. Achieved by their constancy over the months. Mind blowing - Well done guys and keep going.
Perth Squads Progression was Amazing

November 2013.
The New Swim Smooth Coaches arrive in Perth, commiting to two weeks of long days and hard training on pool deck, followed by 6 or more months of coaching and collecting evidence of their work, before becoming certified. These coaches were inspirational, travelling from across the world to come and work and learn with the squads. I was supporting the coach education process and extremely lucky to have such an amazing job and meet such enthusiastic people.
Video Analysis Training

December 2013.
This is a personal and massive 'keep going' to 3 very special Ladies. 
Megan, Jane and Sally. All three of these girls decided to take on the 20km Rottnest Channel Swim. Now as you imagine they all have a bit of a story, as we all do. From not being able to swim too far a few years ago, to finding the cold too hard to manage. These ladies decided to take on the challenge and swim the event, which is held at the end of this month. I wish them all the best of luck. They have shown such dedication and commitment through out the many months leading up to the event. Wish I was going to be there to watch you cross the finish line.
Sally and Megan at the Jetty - 10km training swim.

I wanted to share some of the peoples achievements from last year, with so many inspirational stories and experiences it was hard to choose.  I would like to thank everyone that I have met along the way. I have learnt a lot and look forward to sharing this with you all soon.

So Think BIG.....go for your Dreams and Celebrate well after.

Happy Swimming