Smooth Strokes Blog

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Total Immersion technique and mindful training advice

Train To Extend Your Energy

  If you are aspiring to swim longer distance - whatever is 'long' to you - I want to recommend to you a different way to view what you need to focus on in your precious training time.  In the first half of practice, when energy is abundant and you feel strong and...

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Flow Requires Full Attention

This continues from Part 4 of our discussion of Mihaly Csikszentmihalyi's eight "characteristic dimensions of the flow experience" outlined in his book The Evolving Self. The first two features of flow had more to do with planning what your training will focus upon...

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Your Swimming Brain

What draws you to the practice of Total Immersion? Is it smooth swimming? Is it for health and fitness? A lifelong goal? What about as a method to train and sharpen your brain? Does it meet all those aims? The brain physically and cognitively is absolutely...

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How To Solve Any Swimming Problem

What's the biggest obstacle standing in the way of your reaching your swimming goal? Would you like me to tell you how to solve that problem? Well, I can't address every individual problem there is, but I can point out the different categories you can search through...

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Flow Requires Clear Goals

Continued from Part 1... In his book The Evolving Self, Mihaly Csikszentmihalyi is connecting the research findings he presented in his original book Flow to how these can be applied to improve one's quality of experience of life and to make a more powerful, positive...

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Flow Requires Preparation

Continued from Part 1 - Finding Flow In Swimming... We talk about this a lot. But, what is Flow?  First of all, you may read about Flow and Mihaly Csikszentmihalyi, the leading expert on the topic. Flow is that experience when deeply engaged in an activity where you...

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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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