Tag Archives: drills

Don’t swim slow drills in the fast lane

It seems obvious to me, but if the lanes are assigned according to swimming speed that means it is based on the speed you are swimming *this* length. It’s not about how fast you normally swim; it’s not about how fast you swum earlier today; it’s not about how fast you can swim. It’s about how fast you are swimming right now. Therefore if you have some slow drills to do at the end of a sprint session, you might need to move lanes.

Don’t get me wrong, some people are fortunate enough to be able to do kick sets as quickly as many people can swim. I’m not saying that all drills have to be in the slow lane, nor am I saying that you can’t do any drills in the fast lane.

What I am saying is that the lane you are in should be based on your speed relative to the rest of the pool at any given time. It doesn’t matter what stroke you’re doing, or whether you’re doing drills. You should be in the appropriate lane.


I tried to have a ‘discussion’ about this with someone in the pool as we were swimming this lunchtime.

She was a good swimmer and probably the fastest in the lane while she was actually swimming. But after her set she finished with some very slow drills, which were taking her at least a minute to swim 25m. She did it while I was swimming with her a couple of weeks ago, but at that time the rest of the lane was empty, so it wasn’t too much of an issue. However, today the lane was still busy and so by being so slow in the lane she was disrupting everyone else.

I suggested she move lane, she didn’t seem to like the suggestion and continued with the drills. Grrr.

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As an aside, it’s funny how many people seem to define rude as just saying something they disagree with.

As I said, I mentioned that she should move lane – she didn’t like it and carried on. A little bit later she got out. When I saw her as I got out I went to speak to her to say that I didn’t mean to upset her. At which point she talked over me, told me other people were swimming slowly and called me rude.

Anyway, moving on.


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Hell Yeah

I want to high five everyone right now.

I’ve just had another session with Ray and even I can see the massive improvements in my stroke over the last few weeks. Don’t get me wrong there is still a LONG way to go, a lot of drills to do, a lot of new muscle memory to build. But despite all that I’m a MUCH better swimmer now and I’m on the right track (lane).

I’m feeling very happy with it all right now 🙂

Happy Friday!

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Bilateral Breathing

When I first got back into swimming in 2012 my plan was always to train myself up to be able to breathe bilaterally. I always considered that to be part of what constitutes a ‘proper’ swimmer.

So I’d try – and I would really try – but I just couldn’t master it.

It wasn’t so much the breathing part – I could always technically breathe to both sides, it’s just that when I breathed to the right I couldn’t seem to swim at the same time. I seemed to lose all momentum and power and as much as I worked on it I just wasn’t getting any better. So after a couple of weeks of diligently working on it I’d give up again.

Then when I did the Channel Relay I noticed that all the swimmers in my team only breathed to one side during that swim (even Mike Read, the king of the Channel). My attitude then was ‘bugger bilateral’.

Until now that is.

Unfortunately during the first technique session with Ray from SwimCanaryWharf there was a misunderstanding and I thought that he had said that bilateral wasn’t important. However, during the second session he was disappointed that I wasn’t breathing bilaterally during normal swims (ie when not working on the specific drills). So this morning (the first chance I’ve had to swim since I saw him last week) I committed to breathing bilaterally.

And I can do it!!

With just two coaching sessions (and me working on some drills myself) I can do it. It was clearly all to do with the way I would ‘lean’ on my right arm as I was swimming and now that this is better (but by no means perfect yet) it has freed me up to be able to breathe bilaterally.

Not only that, but this morning’s swim felt wonderful and relaxed and I swam with a sense of perpetual motion and not a ‘limpy’ hard working stroke.

I’m feeling really confident about the changes this will make to my swimming overall.

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I’m writing a book – Open For Business: business advice from a fresh [water] perspective.

Please check out my crowdfunding site to pre-order a copy – https://www.sponsume.com/project/open-business

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