I see so many swimmers wiping the inside and it literally kills the life span of your googles but it also comes down to maintenance, can you be bothered to do the right thing by your goggles?
I have always struggled to find a good pair of goggles that last the distance and when you are in and out of the water multiple times a day you want a pair to rely on. There is nothing worse then heading out on a swim and you have to keep stopping to flush your foggy goggles. But I have to admit I do not look after mine very well. I am super careful when they are new and after the first outing I rinse them, put them back in there case like a good swimmer. Then I get a little blasé with them and I end up throwing them in my swim bag or wrapping them inside my swim cap without drying them and wonder why they go foggy so quickly.
GOGGLE CARE 101
There is an antifog coating on your goggles which you basically wipe away every time you touch the inside lense. This is a very thin and delicate layer and how long it lasts depends on how you treat and look after your goggles. Therefore, it is very important that you DO NOT TOUCH THE INSIDE OF YOUR GOGGLES with anything, so no fingers, towels, etc.
If not rinsed after use then chlorine and salt will build up on the surface of the lens and over time this will leave a film that will affect the anti-fog coating. As part of your maintenance always rinse your goggles with fresh water when you get out. Store your goggles away in the case to prevent scratching them and where possible allow them to air dry fully.
DO NOT RUB THEM DRY WITH YOUR TOWEL!
Please note: Even when impeccably used, maintained and stored swimming goggles wear out and lose their effectiveness over time and so replacing them is inevitable. Goggles can have a short lifespan when used regularly but good maintenance can slightly increase their longevity.
If you find just breathing is holding your swimming back... check out this step-by-step guide that shows you the technique you need to allow you to breathe efficiently.
Here's my top 10 tips...
1. Make sure to rotate your body side to side when swimming freestyle, this makes it easy to get your face out for a breath.
2. Be relaxed in the water, being tense uses a lot of energy and and limits your flow.
3. Always exhale underwater and inhale over the water.
4. Do not lift your head up for a breath, instead just roll your face out of the water to the side.
5. Do not hold your breath for too long, breathe every 3 or 2 strokes. You should be breathing all the time, not waiting until you need a breath.
6. Try to keep one ear in the water when breathing, this will make sure you remain streamline and do not lift your head.
7. Make sure to leave your arm out in front gliding forward while breathing, this will help forward movement and prevent sinking.
8. If you only breathe on one side, practice breathing on both sides every now and again to help balance the body.
9. Before you get in the pool, take some large breaths in and out to stretch out your lungs, this will make it feel easier to breathe when you are swimming.
10. If you are struggling contact me and I can work with you.
Learning how to breathe is the basic fundamental of swimming.
When swimmers come for stroke correction the first thing they say is I am too slow, I want to swim faster.
Firstly, my swimmers have to swim a lap without any instruction so I can see where their technique is at, my first comment will most likely be… OK now swim back 50% the speed you just swam.
When I tell people to swim slow, they will slow down, almost pause over the water but they often still rush their arm through the underwater phrase, especially on their breathing arm. This is usually due to the lack of momentum keeping their bodies afloat and this can then often lead to a 'timing limp' in their stroke.
The best way to improve your technique is to slow down and be more aware of the small changes. If you rush through movements chances are you are not feeling the water and using it to your advantage. You have to learn to swim slow and find your stability and balance through your core to feel what makes you a strong swimmer.
My swimmers have to swim a couple of laps with a swim float / pull buoy between their knees because a lot of swimmers use their legs as stabilisers.
The purpose of swim float / pull buoys is to create extra buoyancy for your hips and to bring your body position in line so you are more streamlined. This can help you to focus on the rest of your stroke, build core strength, slow down your stroke – and a whole host of other useful things to improve your overall swimming.
Once your legs are together you become streamlined but then you become unstable so most swimmers struggle with other aspects of their swim stroke… rotation, stroke timing, arm alignment, breathing and co-ordination.
If you slow down your stroke to practise breathing elements or arm entry timing, especially as a beginner, your hips and legs can begin to drop through the lack of momentum. This will render the drill useless and encourage bad positioning.
This is going to help you develop a better feel for the water, which will make it so much easier to develop a more effective and balanced freestyle. Freestyle technique video.
Find your balance, stability and strength slowly = stronger and faster through every stroke.
REMEMBER - You have to slow down before you speed up!
If you are looking to achieve a goal in your swimming get in touch and lets Get Swimming - email@example.com
Learning how to relax in the water and relax when swimming is a vital component of learning how to swim. If you are one of those people that find aspects of learning how to swim like floating and breathing quite stressful, then here is some advice.
Which one are you?
The first rule of relaxing when we swim is to move slowly. Most will think… 'but if I move slowly I will sink'..? That is partly true but if you move slowly you get a feel for the water and then begin to relax when moving. Learning to 'feel' your way through the water and not 'fight' your way through it is important with ocean swimming in particular.
Breathing regularly when we swim helps to keep relaxed and calm. Keeping your face relaxed helps control the tension running through our bodies and constricting our breathing airways. It is very common to either hold your breath, scrunch your face tight or exhale fully in the water to the point of total deflation. The result being a frantic and panic stricken inhale of breath before submerging the face and repeating the pattern again…. tense, panic breathing.
So you need to relax your face, breath long before you are deflated. Don't wait for your breath to completely run out. Take a new breath at a point that is comfortable and easy to do, top up the exhale you just made. You wouldn't breathe out to the point of exhaustion when running or walking, so why do it when you swim?
I see many groups of fish of all kinds in Cabbage Tree Bay and wondered... what is the difference between a School or Shoal?
Groups of aquatic life get classified depending on whether they are a single type or mixture of species, or whether they are fish or mammals.
SHOAL - when fish, shrimp or other aquatic creatures swim together in a loose cluster, this is typically called a shoal . It can be a mix of different species.
SCHOOL - is a group of the same fish species swimming together in synchrony; turning, twisting and forming sweeping, glinting shapes in the water. Fish probably do this to confuse predators and to save energy (by using the ‘slipstreams’ of other fish).
How do schools of fish swim in perfect unison?
A fish decides where and how to move relative to its position in the school. If the fish behind gets too close (less than two body-lengths), then it speeds up; if the fish in front gets closer than that, then it slows down. Schooling fish watch one another and also feel the waves their neighbours make as they swim, with pressure-sensitive pores along their body called the lateral line. And each fish has its preferred spot in the school. Some are natural leaders and tend to hang at the front and guide the whole school, while others choose to follow.
What is a big school of fish called?
Many kinds of fish prefer to swim together in groups called shoals. Some shoals are the biggest gatherings of animals on the planet others may only contain a few individuals.
Do schools of fish have a leader?
And each fish has its preferred spot in the school. Some are natural leaders and tend to hang at the front and guide the whole school, while others choose to follow.
Surfing fitness and paddling are one and the same as being able to swim. The benefits of being able to swim, especially ocean swim are numerous.
Anyone who surfs knows that paddling endurance is essential, arm, shoulder, core and basic overall strength and flexibility. We spend more time paddling than we do actually surfing on a wave. Plus, all leashes can break at some point so being a strong swimmer is crucial, especially if you are heading out into bigger waves.
Swimming requires plenty of stamina but surfers require stamina plus short bursts of energy and strength for paddle power to get out the back and onto waves. Because of this, surfers need something different from just traditional swim training if you want to build up stamina to continue paddling for wave after wave. Ideal training for surfing is swimming laps in a pool but you need some variation with drills. The best surfers in the world are all excellent swimmers. Get some good goggles and hit the pool and imagine yourself at the backline on a big day without a board. Designing your swim programs to help your surfing makes it easier to get motivated to jump in the pool and train.
Due to the physical nature of surfing, pool training usually involves some kind of breath work to improve lung capacity, cardiovascular health, which also helps in keeping calm through wipeouts. Yoga training also helps the body make efficient use of oxygen, as well.
Swimmers and surfers use essentially the same muscles for propulsion but for different purposes and in slightly different ways. Freestyle swimming involves pulling the body through the water, keeping the body line long and straight while rotating the torso and kicking with the legs for more propulsion.
Paddling a surfboard is similar to freestyle swimming with regard to the 'pulling' part of the stroke. Like swimming, the powerful muscles of the lats, back, arms and core are constantly engaged to paddle while keeping the body on the board and the head up.
If you want an individual swim program to help improve and enhance your surfing fitness and breath control
contact me to discuss.
In Australia it’s beach season all year round, epic sunrises greet us in the morning, let's make the most of it. During winter it's too easy to stay home or just give 50% effort in the gym, instead of getting outside in the elements and moving. Sure, it’s not all that appealing to simply go out for a run on the cold sand in the morning or head to the beach for a surf when the waves aren’t all that friendly or immerse yourself in cold water for a swim workout but it's worth it for your physical and mental health.
'When the cold weather hits swimming is probably an activity that's far from your mind. But swimming is in fact one of the best activities everyone can undertake in winter! Swimming as regular exercise will strengthen the immune system - people who swim may be less likely to fall ill with the common colds and flus that go around in schools, universities and daycare centres over the colder months.' says Royal Life Saving WA
Why swim through winter?
Feeling a natural high, invigorated, alive are just a few descriptive words used. It is widely discussed and documented that cold water swimming has numerous benefits for us:
Boosts your immune system
Gives you a natural high
You can meet some new crazy like minded friends.
The same way many athletes use cold water therapy and ice baths as part of improving their performance and recovery, we can also use it to benefit both our physical and mental health. In Sydney the water only drops to an average balmy 17-18 degrees in winter, which although many would say that’s not ‘cold water’ swimming, hummm I disagree, its cold enough for me.
When I ask year round swimmers why they swim throughout the winter:
There are some basic safety you need to be aware of. First, never swim alone. Joining a group or continuing to swim into winter with your friends, is the best way to approach a winter season of swimming, as this will help you stay safe and motivated.
Secondly, be aware of your limits and ability in the ocean. Take advice from those who are more experienced than you.
Want to feel comfortable and confident with your ability and skills in the ocean.
Contact Linda for Learn to Swim, Introduction to Ocean Swimming, Ocean Swim Skills and Stroke Correction lessons.
Photos courtesy of www.maggielangtry.com.au
Are you looking to buy a wetsuit for open water/ocean swimming?
It’s Autumn, the sunrises are epic but it means the water will inevitably start to cool down soon.
As a swim coach I spend a lot of time in the water and my wetsuit is an important piece of kit.
I wear a wetsuit for many reasons but number one is warmth, your core temp can drop very quickly in cool water, especially if you’re teaching and not actually swimming. Another reason is comfort. A wetsuit can also improve and help your speed and confidence through buoyancy.
As a regular surfer and swimmer I’ve tried a few wetsuits over the years and they vary greatly.
For swimming (ocean pool or open water) I prefer to wear a 2XU brand wetsuit as I like the fit, material and comfort, there are of course many brands on the market for you to explore, I’m not endorsing any particular brand here, it comes down to what fits best and works for you (including price).
A wetsuit's primary purpose is to keep you warmer, which can help you stay comfortable in the water for longer and reduces your risk of hypothermia. A wetsuit can also provide the extra lift you need, which will make it easier for you to float as you calm down and focus on lowering your heart rate.
Remember, a wetsuit is not designed to keep you completely dry. They work by trapping a thin layer of water between your body and the wetsuit material, letting your body warm the water to a comfortable temperature. The thicker your wetsuit, the longer and warmer your body will remain in the water.
Flexibility, one of the most important features of a wetsuit that’ll help you move freely in the water. If you use a regular wetsuit for swimming, this added flexibility and the ability to move your arms and legs freely, will be restricted.
Swimming wetsuits are designed to be highly flexible in all the right places to ensure your swimming is effortless. Your wetsuit should fit comfortable against your skin, without restricting arm, leg or body movements but snug enough that water can't easily get in.
Wetsuit thickness is measured in millimetres, represented with two numbers separated by a slash. The first number represents the thickness of the neoprene in the torso area, the second number represents the thickness of the neoprene in the extremities.
Fit and comfort are the most important considerations when it comes to buying a wetsuit. You may have a $1,200 wetsuit but if it doesn't fit correctly then you won't comfortable, warm or efficient.
Swimming wetsuit should:
1. Have no excess material or extra folds.
2. Be comfortably snug but not too tight.
3. Provide a full range of motion in arms and shoulders.
4. Feel comfortable and not too tight around the neckline.
Unlike traditional surfing wetsuits, open water or swimming wetsuits are designed to allow for more flexibility and range of motion in the water. This helps you to swim without feeling restricted in any way possible.
A good wetsuit will play an important role in enabling you to swim through winter, if you dislike the cold like me. Whether you are swimming for recreation, training or racing, wetsuits provide you with additional features and benefits that will not only keep you warm but can help your swimming.
If you are looking for some advice and help with choosing a wetsuit - please shoot me an email
Drills isolate the problem, help correct the problem, help ingrain the correction.
Drills are a useful part of working on form and technique in your swim. By stepping away from just swimming up and down the pool, you can focus on elements of your stroke and add the correct movement and control. You then give your speed the chance to improve through making elements of your stroke stronger.
Many novice swimmers who are just starting to swim can only manage a few lengths without taking a break. To improve your swimming by just continuing to do 500 metre sets may get you faster over time but will always be limited by inefficient form, also ingraining bad habits which will prevent you from getting faster and more efficient.
BUT drills and swim aids are only a tool and should be used properly and specifically. They are not to be used over mindless laps, use them with purpose to improve form and help with speed and fitness. Make sure you know why you are doing that drill and what it is aiming to improve.
Drills build awareness of what your body is doing and how important different elements of your stroke affect your overall body alignment, strength and efficiency.
Below is an example of the Fingertip Drag drill / Zip drill – Swim normal Freestyle dragging fingertips along the surface of water on the recovery. Focus on a high elbow recovery, which ensures proper hand and elbow position at your hand entry. You should also check your body position during this drill, focusing on good side-to-side rotation.
If you are looking to learn to swim or improve your technique and efficiency get in contact.
Swimming is a full-body movement, and efficiency comes from developing coordination between your upper and lower body. The kick provides stability, improved body position and propulsion, all components necessary for a more efficient freestyle.
In the water, over distance it is our arms that generate most movement providing approximately 85% of forward drive and the legs merely serve to 'balance' our position, preventing the body from rotating to far around and stopping our legs from sinking heavily “behind” us.
Notice in the left hand images below how the legs are creating drag by being outside the streamlined profile of the body.
With stroke correction drills to work and isolate the legs we can correct this over time and create a more streamlined body position as in the right hand images.
Perfect your freestyle/front crawl kick and improve your streamlined position. The kick should be generated from your hips, with the power transferring from your hips, through your knee and flex your ankle as your foot flicks down.
Contact Linda at GoodSwim if you want to perfect your stroke and swim more efficiently and effectively.