Tag Archives: Speedo

Dear Speedo…

I posted this tweet as a little joke last night:

Screenshot 2016-08-23 09.34.24

Obviously it was intended as a dig at Ryan Lochte and his ‘antics’ in Rio and the aftermath for him with regards to sponsors backing away from him. A couple of my friends (Rach & Hazel) saw it and we swapped a few tweets about how nice it would be, then I posted this one:

Screenshot 2016-08-23 09.34.41

But then I got to thinking about it more seriously…

I’ve read recent reports that Speedo was due to pay Lochte $50,000 which it is now donating to charity. I’m not sure if that all of the annual fee he receives, or just the Olympics related portion of it, but just think what some non-Olympic athletes could do with that sort of money – and actually how it could change the profile of a sponsor to get involved at that level.

I can’t speak for everyone, but I LOVED watching the Olympics, but I can’t say I was particularly inspired.

I’m sporty. Apart from the horse stuff and the wrestling I’ve probably had a go, in one form or another, at nearly every Olympic sport. But to watch it on TV, well they might as well have been completely different sports. I will never ever swim as quickly as Phelps (or Lochte) or run as fast as Mo. Even watching the badminton made it look like a completely different sport to the one I’ve played a few times. For that reason, those people are not my sporting inspirations.

I’m a fat, middle aged, single parent who also tries to stay fit and swim a bit. The people that inspire me, the people that I really want to be like are the slightly less fat people that finish the swims 10 or 15 minutes ahead of me (even those that finish 2 hours ahead of me are already considered to be on a different planet). Those are the people I look up to, the people who’s kit I surreptitiously check out, or who’s training programmes I try and copy. So why aren’t they sponsored?

Dear Speedo, please sponsor some more ‘normal’ athletes.

This also links to the reports about the cost of the GB team’s medals – apparently it is just £1.09 per British person per Olympic medal won in Rio. Don’t get me wrong I’m happy to pay for that success and well done to all the medalists. But maybe, just maybe, we could just pay 99p each to all the athletes on the medal track and 10p towards greater participation in sport – in building basketball courts in inner cities, in increasing disability access to sport, in hiring more school sports teachers, in preserving playing fields and football pitches etc etc.

The medal success is great and I loved watching the golds, silvers and bronzes rack up over the last couple of weeks, but I’ll have forgotten much of it within 10-15 years (if not sooner). Yet as a nation think how much better off we would be in 10-15 years time if more people were more active. If you believe that sport is a good thing in itself, then surely we want as many people as possible to have the chance to take part, but aside from that – we would increase the pool of potential Olympians if more kids were active and massively reduce the burden on the NHS if people generally led a more active life.

As a major player in one of the major Olympic sports Speedo, you could do something about that right now.

Don’t find another Lochte, instead 5 or 10 ambassadors for your sport and your company and sponsor them.

And if you’re looking for suitable people and want a fat, middle-aged bloke, then yes I am available. But also look at Rach and Hazel too please – completed Ironman event, channel swims between them, they are the real inspiration for everyday folk.


Filed under Swimming, Thoughts

I touched France and came right back

Over the last few weeks I’ve been using the Speedo app to record my swim distances. One of the nice touches on it is that you can set yourself a challenge and then count up the laps on the way to achieving that. As I’m doing a Channel relay in the summer, I set myself the English Channel challenge and have duly swam up and down in my local pool imagining that I am in the pristine waters of the world’s busiest shipping lane.

This morning I tweeted:

“555m to go to complete my @SpeedoUK app challenge to swim the English Channel. Will knock that off (and more) this morning.”

And I did. I actually did 2,200m. So I got to the French coast and just turned round and set off again!

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Filed under Motivation, Swimming

I’m Three-Quarters Across the Channel

Don’t worry, you’ve not missed my channel relay swim – not even I’m stupid enough to do it in this temperature – that’s in July. Instead I’m talking about the new Speedo app that helps you to track your swimming and lets you set challenges to complete. The current challenge I’m working on is to swim the channel – and as you can guess by the title of this post I’ve only got a quarter to go (or 10,355m).

2013-12-11 08.53.38I only downloaded the app fairly recently – in fact I’ve only recorded 13 swims using it so far – but from what I’ve seen I really like it. The visuals are clean and crisp and you can really see how you’re getting on, especially compared to your recent activity as it shows you the last five weeks in a nice graphic.

For a while I used to track my activities using Fitocracy, which gives you points for different completed workouts and then enters you into different leagues. The problems I had with that (and the reason I left and ultimately deleted the app) were:

— It didn’t learn, it was easy for me to get lots of points for swimming, but I’d get very few for running. Yet as a swimmer my running workout may well have been harder for me. It should have added an algorithm to allow it to learn.
— I found the people I was in the league with (and to be fair to the app, I had chosen them), were either non-stop athletes and so always way ahead of me, or were lapsed trainers and so usually a long way behind me.
— If not careful I would do workouts to gain points and not because it was part of my training routine. I’ve been on a purge and removed any apps that found me “playing the game” for its own sake – which is why I’m no longer on Foursquare either.

So, does the Speedo app solve these issues?

Well, it is much more of a personal tracking tool, rather than a gamified app – which I much prefer. Ultimately my workouts are personal to me. I have my own goals and I don’t need to win points to feel good about achieving them or not. However, there are still a few tweaks that I would like to suggest:

— As well as the big challenges (eg swimming the channel) allow me to set my own workout goals – for example I want to swim at least 5km per week, let me track that and challenge myself on that.
— Make it easier to “meet” people. I don’t want to be pitted against them, but the Fitocracy community did introduce me to a few people that I now follow and chat to on Twitter. This one may just be a critical mass issue for now, but some form of “chat” should be added to the app I think.
— Finally, and most importantly, within the challenges there should be a Windermere swim. It’s England’s longest lake, let people challenge themselves to swim it!

– – –

I’ve done some reviews of Speed kit (here and here), but this is not related to them. This app is free to download on the iPhone (and possibly other devices too).


Filed under Swimming

Review: Speedo towel

Another piece of kit included in the package that Speedo sent me is a towel.

Technically, it is a microfibre towel and Speedo describes it as “soft, super-absorbent and quick drying… lightweight, compact and easy to pack into small spaces.”

What can I say? Well… this towel is a bit weird.

You know the tiny towels that you see Tom Daley use when you watch the diving at the Olympics – the little one no bigger than a flannel – well it’s the same material as that (I’m assuming, I’ve never actually shared Tom Daley’s towel).

It’s a bit strange to use, you can’t rub yourself dry so much as wait for the towel to absorb the water and then move on – it works well and it works quickly, but you almost need to dry yourself in a different way. You have to adopt much more of a “patting dry” rather than “rubbing dry” approach. I have to admit that it has taken me some time to get used to it, and even now I’m not sure it is.

The biggest negative for me (and without getting into too much detail) is that I find it hard to dry in all the nooks and crannies. Let’s leave that there shall we?

However, it does have a lot of positives.

The microfibre towel compared to a normal one.

The microfibre towel compared to a normal one.

The size of it is definitely one. It’s a full size bath towel, but folds up to be tiny. You don’t realise how much of a difference that can make to your swimming bag until you try it. I’m not sure that the photo does it justice, but it feels less than half the size.

Another huge positive is the absorbancy of it. Use it, give it a minute  and then go back to the towel – you can’t actually see where you’ve used it – there are no obvious damp areas on the towel and it looks like it hasn’t been used at all. Although it is wet to the touch, it’s not damp and it could almost certainly dry you all over again. Not only that, but it dries very quickly too.

Having said all that, it won’t become my main towel – I struggled to find the best way to use it properly and in the end I decided I just preferred a vigorous rub down with a traditional towel. That said, if I do enter the 2swim4life event, then this towel will be perfect; or if I find I really need to save some space. Other than that though I’ll keep to the “traditional” towels for now.

You can buy the microfibre towel from Speedo here – it costs £18.

– – –

Speedo sent me the kit for free, but did not pay me for this review. This is my honest opinion after trying the kit out.

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Review: Speedo shorts

A few weeks ago I was lucky enough to be sent some kit by Speedo. They wanted me to use it and then write good things about it here*. I promised to do the former, but wasn’t going to promise the latter, let’s see.

*Obviously there was no coercion or expectation involved from Speedo.

The first things I used were the shorts. When I say shorts, they are the trunk/shorts hybrid that many people wear nowadays. Speedo actually calls them aquashorts.



I’m normally a board shorts kinda guy (apart from when I’m open water swimming and abiding by the BLDSA rules). But in the pool I previously wore long shorts. There were two main reasons for this: 1) I felt that the extra drag would be extra training and once I took the long, baggy shorts off I’d save maybe 1 second per 100m, which doesn’t sound like much, but can add up over 10 miles; 2) the second reason is that I didn’t think anyone should have to look at me in tight shorts if they didn’t have to!

The first time I put the aquashorts on they felt a little bit tight and I felt quite self conscious getting into the pool with something a little skimpier on.

Out of the water that feeling remained, however once I got them wet and started to swim properly they felt really good. While I’m swimming they don’t feel too tight at all, but nor do they feel too skimpy. I don’t know if they’re making any real difference to my performance, but they make me feel like a proper swimmer – even if I still don’t believe the rest of my physique can pull the look off.

Even after the first swim I was hooked. I won’t now be going back to the long shorts and will be using the aquashorts all the time now.

You can buy them from Speedo online here and they cost £21.

– – –

Speedo sent me the kit for free, but did not pay me for this review. This is my honest opinion after trying the kit out.

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Filed under Kit

Some of the firsts

I said that on Saturday that as the pool was closed I wasn’t able to try our some of new Speedo goodies. But the pool wasn’t closed yesterday, so as well as doing my monster training swim I was also able to try out some of the new kit.

I’ll write a review about each of them in due course (when I’ve had more time to use them), but my first impressions:

– Shorts – felt a bit tight when I first put them on, but seemed fine once I got into the water.
– Towel – strange to use, not like a “normal” towel, but it worked really well.
– Goggles – loved them!

– – –

Disclaimer: I’m not being paid by Speedo for this post, but I did receive the review items for free.

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Filed under Swimming

Not all the firsts

The plan today was to go to do my first gym and swim session of the new training plan. I was also planning to test out the new SIS orange supplement as well as some of my new Speedo kit (towel, shorts and goggles) for the first time.

SIS and Speedo

SIS and Speedo

However, my plan was slightly ruined by the fact that the pool was shut today!

So it was just the gym instead. I had a good session, although I didn’t enjoy the orange flavoured drink. I’m not sure whether it was the drink itself or just me this morning, but I couldn’t drink too much of it. I initially bought two orange and two blackcurrant, so I’ll give it another go, but at the moment the blackcurrant is the winner.

As for all the Speedo stuff, well that’ll have to wait until next time.

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Filed under Cycling, Running, Swimming

Speedo Goodies

A few weeks ago I cheekily asked Speedo if I could have some kit to review. Well, being the super amazing brand that it is the social media / blogger engagement / throwing old stuff away from the warehouse team (whichever one it was) actually listened and sent me over some stuff the other day. It arrived over the weekend and I have only had time to open up the package, but this is what I found.

Speedo Goodies

Speedo Goodies

In the collection there is a towel (obviously not just an ordinary towel, a special one of some sort), a pair of trunks, a pair of shorts, a swim hat and a pair of goggles (and again, I’m sure they’re super special).

Over the next few days / weeks I’ll give each one of them a thorough going over and will do a review of them here – I might even be able to explain why the towel and goggles are so super special!

– – –

Disclaimer: I’m not being paid by Speedo for this post, but I did receive the review items for free.


Filed under Swimming

Get Speedo Fit Swim Kit

I saw this review for the Get Speedo Fit Swim Kit on Julia’s Fitness Blog and this is my attempt at a not very subtle hint to the Speedo social media team to let them know that I too would love to review a Get Speedo Fit Swim Kit.

I do lots of swimming, I write a blog – I’m perfect for them!

If you agree, please tweet for me: “Dear @SpeedoUK, I’d love to read a review of your Get Speedo Fit Swim Kit by @PatrickJPR on his amazing blog 1000kmstoWindermere.”

Let’s see what happens…

Although if the team from Speedo does read this, please note I’m male, so I just need the trunks and not the Crystalflow tankini that Julia is modelling on her post. Thanks.


Filed under Swimming

Underwater MP3 Player ..

I was excited when it arrived and I played around with it last night and uploaded some music onto it (very simple actually, just dragged some iTunes files across into the right folder). So I was looking forward to testing it out in the pool this morning.

I started the music, put the headphones into my ears, pushed off from the side and … nothing. It had fallen off my shorts and out of my ears and was at the bottom of the pool.

A bit less exciting.

So, I’ll play around with it a bit further and hopefully have a full review to post soon.



Filed under Kit, Swimming