Back-end Breaststroke

There are two goals for this session: to get some aerobic backstroke work done, and to simulate the breaststroke leg of a 200m IM. Breaststroke is my weakest stroke and on a 200m IM (or worse a 400m IM) when the lactate is starting to pump, it’s very tempting to ease off for that part... Continue Reading →

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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The Classic

The main set of this session was a favourite of my coach back in the day, usually if we were doing anaerobic work we were given this set or the nausiator set with a dive. I’ve added a warm up and cool down. Ideally you want to do 800m or more for a warm up,... Continue Reading →

Mad Wave Pro Finger Paddles – Review

These are the first finger paddles I’ve ever used, and when I was putting them on I realised they are the first paddles with straps that I’ve used in over 19 years. Which meant I had to do a double take putting them on because I had forgotten how tight I like them and how... Continue Reading →

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Mikes February Update

It’s been a while since I gave an update on my own personal training and swimming. I’m so busy between coaching, training, writing about other topics, and life in general, that it’s hard to get time to write about myself. This is a big year for me in terms of swimming, because of a goal... Continue Reading →

Beginners Anaerobic

The main set for this session was given to my sister one day from our masters coach. At the time in her season she hadn't any anaerobic work done and she didn't fancy doing the nausiator, so he gave her this. I liked it and continue to use it with a slight tweak because it... Continue Reading →

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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Rome Challenge Sessions – Round 3

These are the next 7 sessions that Jia completed for the Rome Challenge. All of these sessions are from December. This round saw an increase in the distance per session and with that an increase in her aerobic training. This month was particularly busy with work and family so there are less sessions than in... Continue Reading →

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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Changing Gears

As a 200m swimmer I like this session, it has a nice mix of speed, aerobic work, and the switching keeps it from getting boring. The sprints have 30 seconds rest so they should be pure speed with no lactate production. The 100s should be hitting A2 (or 80% effort). The switching between the two... Continue Reading →

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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Rome Challenge Sessions – Round 2

These are the next 9 sessions that Jia completed for the Rome Challenge. All of these sessions are from November. As you will see there is still a heavy focus on the basics, but the distance per session is increasing. This month also saw Jia start to swim full stroke butterfly with fins. Towards the... Continue Reading →

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