Hi Fiona, I met you in April for a 1:1 session in Twickenham and thought I should report back! I did my first half IM distance on Saturday (Cleveland Steelman, 2km/92km/21km). I was aiming for anything sub 6:30 (as no idea how to pace it) and did 6:02, so was pretty chuffed.Andrew (August 2018)
The swimming! When I met you I was stuck at 2-26/100m doing 1500m swims in the pool. You measured my stroke rate and in pool training, I got the stroke rate up to 68 over 2000m and times down to 2-13/100. Faster for sets. In the last few OW sessions in a wetsuit, I was nearer 2-00/100m.
The swim in the Tri felt great, even in a bit of a pack. I did 42mins, not quite sure of exact distance as my Garmin didn’t clock it. I hoped for close to 40 mins so this was perfectly respectable in the field for what was my weakest leg and way better than I was expecting in April!
So thank you. The stroke timer was ace, loved it. Don’t like swimming without it. Also, the visualisation aspects you showed me helped a lot. The drills, of course, I didn’t do enough of – but did get in the habit of doing 100m and 200m sets.
I will visit again sometime for the next set of improvements but need another goal. That will not be a full IM, too late for that and no real desire. But I’ll do another half. Best wishes
Hi Fiona, Many thanks for the session this morning. It was fantastic. Good to hear some of the things I do well so I can stop worrying about them and can really focus on what I need to improve. I’ve already told a few people about you so you may get more business from my network!Yann (October 2017)
I read your article on Kona, a 1:00 swim and 3:38 marathon, how on earth did you do this?! I was planning to do Maastricht this year but then I got convinced to do Wales instead. How is Maastricht, is it worth doing? Anyway, I’m sure I will see you soon and thank you again.
Hi Fiona. Thanks for the great video analysis and correction session. I did the ramp test today. It really is amazingN (May 2017)
isn’t it.There is a clear spot where the stroke rate and time plateau. It’s amazing. What’s also amazing is that I now feel the stroke rate feels ridiculously slow at 45spm! I had to do this myself using a watch so it’s not as accurate as I’d like but the trend is clear. Thanks for all your help.
Dear Fiona, thanks for the summary, and for today. Really did find it useful, and feeling much more confident I can swim a bit quicker – once I work on it. Will definitely see you one evening soon at a training session. Thanks again. (23rd Feb)Andrew (Feb 2017)
Well I was doing consistent 2 minutes on the button 100m’s this morning without absolutely killing myself so definitely helped! See you soon at squad training. (24th Feb)
Thanks very much for the 1-2-1 swim analysis session on Tuesday. I found it extremely useful along with all this content you have emailed through. I can’t wait to start putting it all into action!Matt (Feb 2017)
Fiona. Thank you SO much for your help yesterday. It was a really great session for me. I’d been to a few other places for help and never got further than loads of kicking drills. Your session identified distinct areas that will clearly make a difference. Everything you said made sense and seemed entirely logical to me (important for the over-analytical scientist that I am!). You have re-found my swimming ‘mojo’ and I shall be heading to the pool with a renewed enthusiasm. I will definitely keep you posted on progress. Thanks again!Clive (January 2017)
Dear Fiona, I just wanted to let you know that James had his first timed swim today since your 1-2-1 session with him in July. He swam 50m in 37:15 in a National Biathlon qualifier, significantly improving from 40:51 at his last event in March. I thought that was a really good improvement and a lot of it was down to the recommendations that you gave, and he’s been practising.Sue (Oct 2016)
Hi Fiona. Thanks for this email and for Thursday’s session. Lots of useful stuff and I am buoyed by the confidence that getting my 100m pace down to 1m15s should be possible over the next year or two on a regime of about three and a half sessions a week. My plan is to:
Work on correcting the stroke deficiencies observed in the session using the drills you advised
Follow a progressive training programme which fits my goals and training regime
I will come back to you if I can’t find a training programme that suits but will give the SwimSmooth Guru a try first. Best wishes and see you again before too long. Jim (Sept 2016)
Quick PS: the Dock2Dock 10k went really well today. I came in 14th in 2h37m – your tips about catching properly with the left hand and using the lats instead of my shoulders made a BIG difference, so thanks very much for that.Jim (Sept 2016)
Thanks for yet another really useful stroke correction session. Once again, an incredibly insightful, tangible analysis of where I’m at, and what I need to do next to improve. It was encouraging to see close-up those areas where I’ve made some progress since last time, as well as being able to zero in on the things I need to focus on to make my stroke more efficient.Martin (Sept 2016)
The video analysis session was again most helpful in pinpointing specific drills that will help me work on my own personal stroke weaknesses. Some of them (like 6/1/6) I’ve done loads of times before, but thinking about my video, where my hand and arm end up, etc is already starting to make my off-season swim sessions more purposeful.
Best of luck over in Kona. I’m looking forward to a strong IMUK swim next Summer!
Hi Fiona, I wanted to thank you again for the 121 analysis and advice, and apologise for not having done so sooner. I followed your advice to the best of my ability, particularly around catch and rotation, and also followed the Guru 10k training programme after that. I used to have a lot of problems with right shoulder strain – this has (almost completely) gone now, which I put down to the improved wrist and elbow flexion in the catch. I think focussing on wrist flexion at the front actually led to a natural flexion at the elbow, and scull #2 has definitely helped me here too. I completed the Dart 10k last weekend in 2hr17m (!) and am really pleased to say that it all felt quite easy and relaxed. Thanks so much again for your help.Dan Sept 2016
Hi Fiona, I completed the Thorpe Park Sprint last week. Was out the water at 13:57 for 750m (a few of the more experienced athletes seemed to think it was longer so I will go with them!). I had got about 10 open water sessions in before that so felt really happy with my prep and think I was about 13th out the water. Although that meant I just got overtaken on the bike for the next 40 mins!!! I reached a ‘Eureka moment’ on recruiting my lats into the pull. Also – you were right about the wetsuit! Thank you.Peter, July 2016
Hi Fiona,Alan (June 2016)
Thanks for the session yesterday. It was very enjoyable and a really
useful insight into where I need to practice. I will be heading down
to the pool later to get started!
Hi Fiona,Rory (May 2016)
Thank you so much for the session yesterday. It was very enlightening. A special thank you for going into so much detail and all the extra time.
I look forward to working through those two packs and will hopefully be in touch in the future about working on a marathon plan.
Hi Fiona, just a quick note to say thanks for the session today. I found it incredibly helpful to have an expert opinion on my stroke and can’t believe I haven’t done it sooner. Hopefully, see you soon with a fresh dose of speed! Many thanks.Harry (May 2016)
Hi Fiona,Jim (May 2016)
Many thanks for the detailed information and the session, it was very useful. I will go through the top 3 and keep in touch. My confidence is buoyed… I may try and join a couple of your evening sessions at Richmond pools or at Heron Lake. Thanks again.
Hi Fiona, Thank you for the session yesterday. I really enjoyed it and can’t believe how much my stroke has improved in such a short space of time with your coaching! I’ve bought a Finis tempo trainer and I’m excited to start working to nail these improvements. Thanks for your email, it’s helpful to have the key points that we discussed emailed to me in summary as well as the DVD. I’ve got plenty to work on for the moment but I’m sure I’ll be back for more help in the future.Kirsty (April 2016)
I would definitely recommend you to anyone who swims. I feel like the improvements to my stroke will make swimming even more enjoyable than it is already, as well as making me faster (always a plus!). Thanks again. Many thanks
Hi Fiona, I just want to let you know that I will canonize you as Santa Fiona! On Monday I did a small training and some exercises like the 3 sculling drills, shoulder tap drill, kick on side drill and had in mind the three things you analysed that I could fix on my swimming. So when I finished that I did 6 x 200 with 20-sec recovery and from the 4th until the 6th series, I got better 14 sec in comparison to my previous swimming before I met you! I am not lying. It was a true fact.
I think that is absolutely amazing. I know I can get better as I was not really going very fast. I was just trying to make it right. I am really happy. I could notice I was not rotating that much as before, my kick was more smooth and bending the arm while doing the catch made a huge difference. Thank you very much for your comments and analysis. Today arrived my blue Alpha fins and the Tempo Trainer Pro. I will try in the pool today. Again, thank you very much and I am sure I will see you again!Sara (March 2016)
Fiona, I thought the session was brilliant. A bit of a shock to see how much work my swimming needs, but it’s just great to see clearly how I can improve.Barnaby (March 2016)
Hi Fiona, many thanks for the session on Tuesday. I really found your analysis and advice on how to correct some of the problems ingrained in my stroke really insightful and, importantly, very actionable. I’m now working through the App & DVD and feeling pretty optimistic about moving my swim forward ahead of next season. I’ll definitely be recommending you to other Tri friends. All the best.Martin (Sept 2015)
Cathy (July 2015)
Thank you so much for today’s session it was fantastic! Just to discover what I’m doing wrong and being shown how to correct it is wonderful and I’m really looking forward to working on it.
It was a really enjoyable way of doing it and we were both so impressed by the depth of your analysis, enthusiasm and how comprehensive the session was. You gave us both extra time too which we really appreciated.
Your email follow up is so informative and detailed, I can’t wait to get to the pool to hopefully finally glide rather than drag through it!
Huge thanks Fiona and it was great fun! x
Fiona is an excellent coach, highlighting areas that make a serious impact on my stroke without obsessing over redundant style based stroke correction (as other coaches can). I felt like the advice that I received was personalised and targeted, fitting in well with what I was trying to achieve and the type of swimming that I do (mostly open water). In the space of 5 minutes in an Endless Pool she had taken me from 1:45mins/100m to 1:30mins/100m. To put that in context, it had taken me 6 months of hard graft to get from 2:00mins/100m to 1:45. I now have to deal with an unexpected problem of having water gush over my face…something that Fiona told me “fast swimmers” has to deal with. Nice problem to have eh?!”Joe (June 2015)
Hi Fiona, I have done a 5K Eton Swim this weekend in 1:24:31. Woo-hoo. 😉Tom (May 2015)
Very happy with this as I was not in a top form after having a cold. The strategy was to hang on the feet of faster swimmers as much as possible, and then just sprinted the last 20min lap. 38th out of 256 and 4th in my age group. Have a great week.
Hi Fiona, I can’t thank you enough for yesterdays session, I really enjoyed it and found it so useful. I went to my swim training session last night and I could already feel the improvement, concentrating on the things we discussed and you outlined below. I feel completely re-motivated, and equipped with drills to move me on to the next stage. The new fins are on their way and I’ve found our local pool does a hire a lane scheme, so no excuses! It really was wonderful. Hopefully, I’ll be back as a different swimmer for a tune-up in the Winter.Steph (April, 2015)