Rapid cycle testing: create learning opportunities every time you swim, in a series of short steps


Yesterday I spent 20 minutes working with Graham on breathing.  It turned out to be a great example of accelerating your learning by using rapid cycle testing.   This follows the same steps as in our free template, many times in a single session.

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Effortless Endurance Total Immersion Workshop 14th May 2017


Human swimmers waste most of their energy: a typical swimmer converts only 3{f09be4e68a790078494bad402d1ee2d268ae90cb41c80aba0f70f560181e9b3f} of their energy into forward motion. For an elite swimmer like Michael Phelps it’s only 9{f09be4e68a790078494bad402d1ee2d268ae90cb41c80aba0f70f560181e9b3f}. For dolphins it’s 80{f09be4e68a790078494bad402d1ee2d268ae90cb41c80aba0f70f560181e9b3f}. Dolphins move through water; humans generally move water around. The smartest way to increase your endurance or speed is to reduce energy waste.

Would you like to swim a mile or more and feel energised, not exhausted, when you finish?
Would you like to swim more confidently in open water?
Would you like to make swimming the best part of your triathlon?

Our Effortless Endurance workshop will help you to achieve your goals.

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The two kinds of variation every swimmer should know about


‘When you have two data points, it is very likely that one will be different from the other.’

W Edwards Deming

Random variation affects everyone in everything we do.  Take two work days, and the length of our commute will vary by a few minutes.  Count calories, and it’s highly unlikely that we’ll consume exactly the same number on two different days.  Swim 1500m at two triathlons, and your time will not be the same.

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5 Steps to a New Year’s resolution that sticks


How long did you stick with your New Year’s resolution in 2015?  And in 2014?  Polls indicate that if you only made it to the end of January you were in good company.  Almost 80{f09be4e68a790078494bad402d1ee2d268ae90cb41c80aba0f70f560181e9b3f} of people who make a New Year’s resolution fail to achieve it.

According to Kegan and Lahey, the main reason so many of us fail is because we focus on changing behaviour, when we should work on changing our mindset.  I like their analogy of wanting IT to do something different: sometimes we can make that happen by adding on new hardware or downloading an app; other times we won’t be able to use the new hardware or app unless we get a whole new operating system.

The following steps to achieve lasting change are based on Kegan and Lahey’s Immunity to Change framework.

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The key to lasting improvement: Profound Knowledge

Profound Knowledge

To make real, lasting improvements in anything we do, it’s not enough to be an expert in our field of activity, we also need to understand and apply the System of Profound Knowledge.  W Edwards Deming initially developed this framework in relation to management of organisations, whether they deliver products or services, in private, public or third sector.

As an Improvement Advisor, I learn every day of the impact that an understanding of Profound Knowledge can have on improving health and social care, and other public services.

So why talk about it here?  It can be applied to any area of our lives. To the daily school run; to losing weight and maintaining weightloss; to managing the household budget; to the kids’ bedtime; and yes, to swimming.

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Who inspires you?

Jane Asher Photograph

Our chief want is someone who will inspire us to be what we know we could be.

Ralph Waldo Emerson

As a teenager in the 1970s I swam for Norwich Penguins and Norfolk in freestyle and butterfly events.  I wasn’t a natural swimmer, or ever one of the best, but I was fortunate to have as one of my coaches Jane Asher, in the years before she became a Masters sensation.  Her approach was different from the other coaches: she communicated her passion for swimming and wanted us to share her sense of joy and wellbeing in the water.

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