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Open water

Swim Equipment Tips

Having the right equipment when swimming open water is so important; I am regularly giving tips to swimmers on what gear they should be using. At the end of the day it’s all about comfort and personal choice. If you are racing don’t save any new bit of kit for race day, test it in training first. If you are a recreational swimmer having good equipment can still make the difference between a good swim experience and a great one. No you don’t need to spend a fortune on gear. Here are my top tips: Seeing where you’re going is so important. All goggles have anti...

Swimming Faster

Before I delve into the heart of this story I feel it is important to give you some context. I am not an elite level athlete; in fact I left full time training behind in 2000 after a decade of early starts and ten swim sessions a week. These days I am a full time swim coach, a coach who swims for health, recreation, social, fun and the odd competition. One of my foundations of coaching principles is practicing what I preach. I know my training principles, the equipment I use and the techniques I employ all work because I practice and use them myself. My...

Open Water Swimming: The Basics

I have been back in New Zealand for three weeks now and have been busy with the start of the Open Water Fitness and Technique series at the amazing Pegasus Lake North Canterbury, 1 2 1 open water swim sessions, providing swim support at local triathlon events, planning coaching clinics and also maintaining my own open water swimming training with a little bit of competing thrown in for good measure. I have had plenty of opportunity to talk to swimmers from a wide level of experience and background and have been finding a common theme amongst those who are preparing for their first open water swim. These areas...

Cold Water Adaption

Years ago as a youngster I was a member of an outdoor swimming club, I still have not so pleasant memories of the early spring and the autumn; turning blue as I attempted my laps in the not so warm water. These memories put me off cold water swimming for many years. It was my interest in surfing that got me back into cold water and then an English Channel swim relay that finally brought me back to face those bad memories of childhood. Sure I am heavier now than I was as a youngster. Extra insulation certainly helps in the cold water. But I also...

Calling All Swimmers

On 16 June I wrote about a journey back to New Zealand to support my dad who was diagnosed with prostate cancer. The brilliant news is following surgery he has been given the all clear. Only yesterday on the front page of the Daily Telegraph I noted an article on the dramatic increase of reported cancer in the UK. Part of this is actually good news as a proportion of the increase is attributed to better screening and earlier detection, unfortunately that does not account for all of the increase in cancer rates. Exercise and healthy living have always been and will continue to be one of our...

Fit&Abel heads to the Greek Islands!

I am very excited to be teaming up with SwimTrek www.SwimTrek.com for the month of July, I will be guiding their Greek Cyclades tour over the next four weeks. For those who have been following my FitandAbel.com blogs you will have seen my passion for swimming runs deep. My swimming background was primarily pool based for many years. I still love the challenge and the speed of pool based competitions however, that black line on the bottom of the pool can get pretty tedious after 20, 40, 80, 120 laps and it is always great to swim in different locations, away from the line on the...