Nearly There

After writing this I realize some of it is a bit grim, but I'm going to go with it anyway as it captures the grind that goes with training for a big competition. My last hard week of training is now done and it certainly was the toughest. Over the last two months there were... Continue Reading →

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Basic Anaerobic Threshold Set

This is my go-to Anaerobic Threshold set. For anybody unfamiliar with this term: Anaerobic Threshold isn't actually using the anaerobic energy system, it's aerobic but just under where lactate is produced. So typically 85% effort and above, but under 90% effort. This kind of session will help increase your aerobic training speed and should help... Continue Reading →

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The Slog to Slovenia

The counter in the sidebar of this website shows how many days to go until the European Masters in Slovenia. While I am a little bit behind where I would like to be, I am still on track and I have started to increase my number of training sessions per week. This post will give... Continue Reading →

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Relays are Awesome

Swimming is an individual sport, you might train and travel with others in your club, but when it comes to competing you are all on your own. In your own lane with your own black line down the middle of it, unless of course you are in an open water race, in which case you... Continue Reading →

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Second Gala – The Rome Challenge

Jia’s second competition was supposed to be the Irish Masters gala in Limerick, but a freak cold weather front caused days of snow and the gala ended up being cancelled. This meant that our home gala was her second competition, and what a competition it was. Tralee Gala Now that Jia has actual entry times... Continue Reading →

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Break Out or Break Apart

So hopefully you have read my articles on starts, turns and streamlining, and you’re working on improving yours. If you’ve done things right, you will be moving faster streamlining from the wall or the blocks than at any other time of your race. Unfortunately, physics means that you will start to slow down unless you... Continue Reading →

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February Update – The Rome Challenge

A lot has happened since our last update where we covered Jia’s first ever competition. We are now entering month number 6 of the challenge and I’m not the only person that can see the big changes. Staff members and fellow swimmers have all commented on the difference between September and now. It’s amazing what... Continue Reading →

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How do I get Faster? part 2

How do I go faster? This is a question that I see posted online, and that I get asked by people in the local pool. The answer is “its complicated”. This is the second of two articles on what you can do and what you should consider if you want to swim faster. As with... Continue Reading →

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How do I get faster? part 1

How do I go faster? This is a question that I see posted regularly online, and that I get asked by people almost every week in the local pool. The answer is “its complicated”. The Rome Challenge on this website is an example of what it takes for the casual swimmer to improve their speed,... Continue Reading →

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Start Right

There is no disputing that the start is an important part of a race, of course it’s importance and effect on the race is directly proportional to the distance being raced. Your start in a 50m event will have a far greater impact on your race than your start for a 400m event. If you... Continue Reading →

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Streamline: Why it’s important

The ability to streamline is incredibly important, but while swimming and coaching I’ve often seen it over looked or ignored by swimmers. I’ve even been guilty of it myself, so in this article I’ll try to explain why its important and why people tend to forget or ignore it. First, the obvious, a good streamline... Continue Reading →

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First Steps – The Rome Challenge

Things are moving ahead with our Rome Challenge. Jia is now registered with Kingdom Masters and her entry for her first competition, the Mallow Masters, is about to go in. The first two months (we had started before the first article went up), have been all about creating a solid base. Before we started Jia... Continue Reading →

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Me, my tech suit, and I

My junior club swimming was all done in the 90s, and in Ireland back in those days it was hard to come by decent swimwear (and forget about apparel from the top brands). Most swim hats were latex and the fanciest swim suits were lycra. This typically meant you would have your “good” suit for... Continue Reading →

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Tough to get going

There are a few times throughout a season when training can get tough for a swimmer. I don’t mean physically tough, training is generally tough if you are doing it right. I’m talking about those times when you get that “wonderful” combination of training being physically and mentally tough. These times are usually, in my... Continue Reading →

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Taper Time

It’s less than a week to my first race in Budapest. I had planned on only doing two weeks taper, but our masters coach, who is also the head coach of our junior club, advised me to start the taper slightly earlier as I’m in my mid-30s. It’s great to have such a resource I... Continue Reading →

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Wall of water

Tuesday marked four weeks to my first swim in Budapest and last week I started to really step up the training. Last week included another 7 pool sessions, with one gym session for strength and conditioning and one circuits class that my wife convinced me would be a good idea. I managed to fit in... Continue Reading →

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Work those walls

Walls, walls, walls. Most of us are guilty for not putting enough into our turns. I’ve known masters swimmers who didn’t view their turns as important, admittedly I’ve been one of these people. It’s also an issue with Junior swimmers and while I try to instil good habits and awareness into the swimmers I coach,... Continue Reading →

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Keep swimming up that hill

It’s been a good week training wise for me, 7 pool sessions and one gym session. Also this week, for the first time in my many years of swimming I ended up vomiting after a session, my first anaerobic session of the week. While I made the bathroom for it, I was a bit shaken... Continue Reading →

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To be a Masters Swimmer

It’s hard being a masters athlete when you’ve been an athlete most of your life, especially if you’re a masters athlete in the same sport. Every year you become more and more aware that you are fighting the inevitable. Getting those PBs become harder, you begin to simply aim for old times or look for... Continue Reading →

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Back-end IM

I'm doing a lot of anaerobic work at the moment, this session is something I've been toying with for a while. I did a test run with my sister Claire on it last week and plan to give it another shot this week or next. The idea behind this session is to prepare myself for... Continue Reading →

50s Can Be Tough Too

There is sometimes a perception that a training session has to consist of sets of 100s of meters, I’m guilty of it myself sometimes. This session is all based around short distances, its goals are to help with pace, speed and should give a good overall workout. It also is one I use for days... Continue Reading →

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