My wife initially made contact with Chris and Andy regarding swim coaching as she was referred to them by a mutual contact.
Being a keen runner and novice cyclist I wanted to enter into triathlon... but there was one small problem I couldn't swim. I mean I really couldn't swim 25 metres without coughing and spluttering and thrashing about, something had to be done.
I had an initial assessment with Chris which involved endeavouring to swim 50 metres whilst being filmed and the post assessment which was a case of "right john, we've got our work cut out here". I joined Chris and Andy and the rest of the squad for Sunday night sessions whilst having one to one sessions with Chris then re-joining the squad with the intention of learning technique and basically learning to swim. I was really nervous about joining the squad but I can honestly say I was encouraged and made to feel part of the squad from day 1, everyone was friendly and welcoming.
I learnt technique and took part in the drills and squad sessions whilst having dedicated tailored 1-2-1 sessions with the guys and guess what? I’m swimming!!! Don’t get me wrong I had to work at it and get in the pool in my own time but through the tutoring, 1-2-1 and encouragement I got from CA Swim Coaching I’m actually really enjoying it.
I completed in June this year my first Ironman 70.3 triathlon which involved a 1.2mile swim and it’s through the squad and 1-2-1 sessions with CA Swim Coaching that I was able to achieve this.
Whether it’s improving technique, endurance or competition training CA Swim coaching is the best place to start. I actually really look forward to Sunday evenings now.
Swimming for me had always been the unpleasant first stage of a triathlon in which I was terribly slow, unable to hold a freestyle stroke for more than 25m and generally lacked confidence
I had spent hours in the pool attempting to self-improve. I have been attending both private and squad sessions with Andy and Chris, two totally amazing, patient and skilled swim coaches, you need to be with me, it’s starting to click my stroke has improved dramatically by drill after drill after drill, and the way they broke down all elements of the stroke to show exactly where it was going wrong was fantastic the catch and pull phase are actually now feeling quite natural and now the focus is trying to sort out my total lack of kick and build my stamina, but I have every confidence that I will master FC as the improvements in the last 8 weeks vs. the last 6 months are huge and roll on Stafford 70.3 no more breaststroke ;0)
I started attending a coached swim session over 18 months ago in Lichfield to try to improve my swimming in preparation for Triathlons. After 6 months of attending the sessions I felt like I had reached my level as the coaching wasn't really improving swimming. I spent most of the summer swimming OW and any technique I had developed went straight out of the window. I took part in a sprint, Olympic and a 70.3 triathlon over the summer but never really felt comfortable with my swimming.
I started attending the coached swim sessions with Chris and Andy in November and straight away Chris picked up on my stroke and gave me excellent advise which I could understand. The sessions have excellent structure and purpose.
After only a short time I feel my stroke is a lot smoother, breathing more relaxed and I'm without doubt swimming faster. I thoroughly enjoy the squad sessions, and I'll be attending again in the new year.
Although I have been racing triathlons for over 20 years, having not learnt to swim until I was 27 the first discipline in a Tri has always been my weakest. Chris and Andy gave me direct and immediate feedback on my technique, tailored specific drills to improve it and after a couple of sessions I started to notice a real difference. If they can teach an old dog like me a few tricks then all level of experience or abilities will benefit from the CA SwimCoaching sessions.
I’m still relatively new to the sport of Triathlon and as most newbies will confess to, the swim is my weakest and least favoured discipline. I don’t have a lack of confidence in open water; I’m just not very efficient which equates to not very fast! Haven taken the whole of 2014 off competing and doing very little training due to a second child, I wanted to make marked improvements for 2015 particularly in my 1900m OW swim.
The coaching session with Chris and Andy established my CSS on week one as a baseline training speed, but it also acted as an indicator of my current swim ability. An 8 week training block leading into Christmas had a strong swim focus which was normally 3 swim sessions a week, 1 being the CA Swim Coaching session with the other 2 session working on the principles picked up from the coached session, lead to a decent gain in the 8 weeks.
My 400m time-trial swim had improved from 08:35 to 07:17 in 21 sessions, that’s 01:18 or a 15% improvement. At this rate of improvement I should be in the Olympic squad by 2016, or at least hopefully somewhere close to what I believe I can swim 1900m in OW by June.
The key to the success in the this 8 week block was down to two main elements, 1st was direct and immediate feedback from Chris and Andy at the poolside, so immediate in fact that I’d often be given direct instructions half way up the pool. 2nd was consistent focused training working on the key elements and feedback from the coached session?
If you want to make gains in your swim then CA Swim squad is a must.
When I started doing triathlon seven years ago, I could only really do a couple of lengths of front crawl at a time. With regular sessions at my triathlon club, I made rapid improvements and brought my 400m swim time down by several minutes. However, after an initial improvement over the first couple of years, I reached a plateau.
Attending the weekly squad sessions with Chris and Andy have made me feel that I am making real improvements again. The key why I think their sessions work is that they are consistent in their approach. Chris and Andy work very well together and although they have different experiences in coaching and teaching, their skills compliment each other. The squad sessions are smaller than other sessions that I have attended and this allows more time for each individual athlete. Most of the sessions have a focus on technique rather than thrashing up and down the pool as fast as possible. Andy and Chris are both quick to point out when I am not doing a drill properly and help me to correct it. I really appreciate now that there is no point doing a drill unless you are doing it properly, and I realise that as soon as the drill is over I shouldn’t just go back to swimming how I was previously – I should incorporate what I’ve been practicing from that drill in my normal swim stroke
Although we are swimming for nearly 90 minutes, I find that it is my head that hurts just as much (if not more) than my body. No more mindless swimming up and down – these sessions really help to make me think about what I’m doing. I’ve already started to get a little quicker again and I’m sure that will continue.