Smooth Strokes Blog

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Total Immersion technique and mindful training advice

Get New Insights From Old Information

When have you recently taken some time to look through your 'old' information on TI - that which you read months or years ago while studying the video, reading the book, or what you collected from your live training experience? Perhaps you scanned it once and thought...

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Breathing Solutions Outside The Pool

After a swimmer has invested the time to thoroughly work through fundamental swimming skills, often the swimmer encounters some obstacles to improvement that are better addressed by training he needs to do outside the pool. Some major areas for improvement that emerge...

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The Magic Wand

When they were younger, just starting to do bigger chores around the house, I used to tease my daughters that I was giving them a 'magic wand' that could make much of what they wished in life come true.  What is the magic wand? Hard work. Needless to say, at their...

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Going Harder And Going Smarter

I have a couple swimmers in one of our weekly practice groups who are members of a local masters swim group that meets on a two different evenings each week. They came to me some months ago because their coach is great at making them work hard, and work harder, in...

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Why Do Sprint Work?

A 46 year old swimmer from Azerbaijan has been working with me for some months through the Mediterra Swim Dojo, our online training site, to prepare for 10 km swimming this summer. Within the last year or so he's gone from essentially a non-swimmer to a confident and...

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Priorities For Your General Conditioning

Many swimmers wonder what kind of exercises they should do on dry-land that would help them with their swimming.  I wanted to share with you what I do, what I have been doing for years, to maintain my joints for regular and varied activities, not just for swimming. ...

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Get The Work Done Well

There is a difference between getting the work done, and getting the work done well. It's one thing to feel like you barely survived the 1500 meter swim. It's another thing to do it feeling strong enough at the end to continue with the rest of your triathlon. It's...

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Artificial Versus Real Hardship

Three Kinds Of Hardship Like you, I love to hear stories of those who have accomplished amazing things in the realm of sports and adventure. I recently listened to Rich Roll's interview with Kimberly Chambers, ultra-distance open water swimmer, who, in 2014, was the...

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Train Hard And Eat Junk

Did that title catch your attention? Do you think I would advocate for eating poor foods? No way. But others keep saying it is ok if you do it in moderation. Before it was replaced with a new ad, I wish I had taken a photo of this billboard for a fitness club in our...

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Get Curious About Your Fear

Coincidentally, just after I published the previous article Swimming Past Your Perceived Limits, I happen to listen to a particular podcast called Habits, Mindfulness, Addiction from Michael Gervais's Finding Mastery podcast series. On this episode page the guest is...

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Swimming Past Your Perceived Limits

I've had some version of this conversation with a few different swimmers recently and the scenario is something like this: a swimmer is wondering how to work through the strong discomfort she encounters when swimming up to a certain distance in set - say about 100...

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Questioning Advice

Recently a swimmer in our Dojo wrote about encountering his former swim coach at the pool. She happened to observe his latest stroke, admired a few points and then began to give him some advice, urging him to change certain things. Upon reflection this advice caused...

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How To Build Your Own Practice Plan

This blog has been going for over 7 years, and has gathered over 450 posts on mindful swimming and related topics. From time to time I've been asked when I will compose a book out of some of it. Blogs tend to keep attention on the latest post while good stuff gets...

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The Sweet Spot Of Exercise

I was listening to this inspiring Rich Roll podcast interview with David Goggins. It was 1 hr 45 minutes of mind-blowing stories of what this guy has accomplished in his military career and in ultra-distance events, in light of  the history he had to work from. All...

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Breathing Breakthrough

On the Mediterra Swim Dojo, we have a few swimmers currently following the Master Class Breathing course. Among those in the course and some who have taken it previously, we have had some discussions about what creates breathing stress and what are the solutions...

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Love Your Weakest Member

In the last post I shared some transcribed parts of Rich Roll's podcast that covered one coach's way of establishing healthy and injury-free athletes. There was one point in that discussion that may have drifted by too fast - it is so subtle but so profound that I...

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