Don’t get stale

26th March 2020

In the current challenging situation with everyone rushing out to buy the latest bit of fitness kit and suddenly being on a course in crash training – it is important to remember that this is a marathon and not a sprint, there will be moments when you wonder why you bother and what the point is but with a little bit of imagination those moments will soon be a thing of the past…

Fun semi-intervals

Instead of thinking that all your sessions have to be flat out because they are on the turbo at the moment, back off slightly, feel the cruising speed and reduce the impact on your muscles. These sessions keep you above your endurance zone but they’re not flat-out.


This isn’t cross-fit competing. Go and do a different sport for a change, but leave most of your competitive juices behind. Get out the bat and ball that you got at the beach, or the football that’s at the bottom of the cupboard or maybe even a skipping rope to challenge yourself… Basically anything that looks fun.

New routes

Grab a map or open up Strava and plot some new routes so that when it is time to go back outside again you can head off to explore new routes. Time flies on new rides.

Biking adventures

For those of you on Zwift hook up with your mates, create a meet up and try the following challenge. Riding a two-up or team(four man) time trial takes some practice, but it can make riding more fun as you try to work on your pace-line co-ordination. Even with varied levels of ability, you can get a good workout.


Keep mixing it up and keep it enjoyable!

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Four common front crawl mistakes and how to improve them

March 17, 2020

Level 2 Swimming Coach Lucy Lloyd-RoachLevel 2 Swimming Coach Lucy Lloyd-Roach Swim England qualified coach Lucy Lloyd-Roach explains the four common front crawl mistakes and gives you tips to correct them.

As always, we recognise that there are a wide range of swimmers who read this blog.

This post covers some do’s and don’ts when swimming front crawl and provides tips on how to improve.

Body position – poor posture whilst swimming

Good vs bad posture when swimming front crawl
Good vs bad posture when swimming front crawl
Many of us could have better posture in everyday life (myself included). This may take different forms e.g. being slightly round-shouldered or tight through the hips.

If we swim with our body in this position, it will be lower in the water, creating more drag and therefore slowing us down.

When we swim, we want to have good posture, so thinking tall, shoulders down and back, and your core lightly engaged like you’re wearing a belt that’s slightly too tight.

What we’re aiming for – Front crawl body position

In the good posture photo (top) we can see the swimmer stretched from feet to head. In the bottom picture, his feet aren’t pointed, his body is relaxed and you can see he’s less streamlined (even the photo takes up more space).

How to correct it: Experiment with how your body position feels when you push off the wall and hold your glide when you don’t think about your posture versus how it feels when you think ‘good posture’.

Do you go further? Do you feel higher in the water? Faster? Lighter? Then take this good posture into your full stroke, and see how it feels.

Arms – over reaching

Over reaching in front crawl
Over reaching in front crawl
Your second of our four common front crawl mistakes is over reaching with your arms. It’s almost natural to try and stretch forwards as much as possible in order to lengthen the stroke.

However, this leads to sending the water initially the wrong way (down or forwards) rather than behind you. This is an ineffective way to set up your stroke and slows you down.

What we’re aiming for – Front crawl arm technique

In the top photo here we can see the swimmer overreaching and sending the water forwards. In the second photo we can see the swimmer having speared in to 20-30cm ready to send the water behind them.

How to correct it: The depth that we’re spearing into is one of the few areas whilst swimming that we can give ourselves visual feedback.

To do this, keep the water on the crown of your head, keep your head and spine in a neutral position but move your eyes to look forwards. In this position, you’ll be able to see a couple of metres in front and how your hands are entering the water.

We’re aiming to ‘spear in’ with your fingertips to a depth of 20-30cm. Your arm will be extended with your elbow higher than your wrist, your wrist higher than your fingertips.

Kicking – kicking from the knee

Kicking from the knee is another of our common front crawl mistakes as it causes a deep knee bend, which creates more resistance than kicking from the hip.

Swimmers who kick from the knee frequently report feeling like they’re working harder than expected and feel breathless.

What we’re aiming for – Front crawl kicking

How to correct it: You can think about this during the full stroke, or you can isolate it and do legs only.

If you’re doing legs only, try this without a kickboard as the additional buoyancy from the kickboard alters your body position and we want to feel how tuning-up your kick helps to improve this. You may do this with or without fins.

Think about kicking from your hips, keeping your knees relaxed and your feet pointed and slightly in-toeing.

Breathing – lifting the head to breathe

Good posture vs bad posture in front crawl
Good posture vs bad posture in front crawl
And finally, lifting your head to breathe rounds off our four common front crawl mistakes.

When your head is in the correct position, it creates a bow wave (like the wave we see on the front of a boat as it cuts through the water).

If you keep your head in the bow wave when you turn to breathe, it creates a pocket of air to breathe into. However, we see a lot of swimmers lifting their head to breathe, which breaks the bow wave, and this makes it harder to breathe and you’re more likely to take on water.

What we’re aiming for – Front crawl breathing

How to correct it: Learn to see or feel your bow wave.

Look for the water level as you turn to breathe, some people may see a distinct line of water, some might see light on top of the water and dark underneath, some may aim for one goggle in, one goggle out.

Some people find it easier to feel their bow wave. You might feel it on the crown of your head as you’re swimming.

Does that water pressure stay there when you turn to breathe? Can you feel the water level along the side of your face as you turn to inhale?

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Led by Bex Rimmington

British Cycling Level 3 Road & TT Coach

Friday 31st January – Sunday 2nd February, 2020

Are you a Female U16 & U14 Racing Cyclist?

“Do you dream of racing the Women’s Giro D’Italia? Belgian Classics?”

If the answer is YES then Bex’s “Race Training” is definitely for you.

What does the weekend involve?

The goal of the development camps is to encourage and support young female bicycle racers from around the country. We are committed to helping young riders develop the skills, strength, healthy habits and confidence to take part in a fantastic, lifelong sport.

An overview of the weekend consists of the following:

  • Workshop on Racing Tactics
  • Group Road Ride
  • Cycle Racing FUNdamentals
  • Skills and Techniques
  • Questions & Answer Sessions

The aim is to introduce the knowledge and understanding in a fun and relaxed environment which means stepping up to junior or senior level races in a few years time will not prove so daunting.


£100 per young racer

INCLUDES: Food, Accommodation and Expert Coaching

Each young racer needs:

  • Their own bike
  • Bike maintenance kit
  • Appropriate cycle clothing for all weather conditions to cover several rides
  • Clothing for a weekend away from home
  • Toiletries & a towel.


High Adventure Outdoor Education Centre
233 Keighley Road,
BD22 0AA

To Book

Email: [email protected]

  • Arrive from 6pm on Friday 31st January.
  • Pick your young racer up at 3pm Sunday 2nd February

Parents: Want to stay at the accommodation centre and do your own thing?  £50 per person

Girls Youth Cycling Race Training Development Weekend

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Why Ironwoman Bex Rimmington Believes You Should Be Training On The Treadmill This Autumn

Bex Rimmington is the product of Zwift’s amazing Zwift Academy global talent ID program which invites both females and male cyclists/triathletes to compete for a pro contract by riding Zwift. Participants follow a program designed by world-class coaches to help uncover hidden talent throughout the Zwift community.

She is currently training for the Ironman World Championships in Kona, having qualified by winning her age category at the UK Championships this summer.

5 reasons why you need to include Zwift and indoor running into your training regime this Autumn according to Bex Rimmington:

  1. With the nights drawing in and the weather conditions being slightly more unpredictable, Zwift is a great way to keep safe and continue your training routine – there is no need to worry about your lights having enough battery, heavy frosts and ice as winter closes in, you can continue to train for your goals in your own home.
  2. Zwift is a great way to get a quality workout in a short duration, having to combine working full time and training can often be a balancing act and so you can get a really good training stress score doing a high-intensity session similar to that of a long ride, so you don’t need to feel the pressure of trying to cram more into your daily lifestyle than what is really possible.
  3. It’s quick and easy to get ready for – as the seasons begin to change, you start to wear more layers – so you can be nice to your washing machine and electric bill by walking through the door, putting on your summer kit and jumping on the bike or treadmill which is already set up.
  4. Community – join in a group session so you never feel as though you’re on your own, training with others can provide great motivation and if you sign up to a workout then you can be sure that there are others enduring the pain with you.
  5. It’s fun – if you are new to running or a seasoned professional it is a great way to build up fitness, for the competitive Zwifters you can sign up to an event or race, or try and get a jersey for segments, or if you simply happy doing your own thing it is a great way to log your miles and fitness progress – once you sign up to Zwift you will soon see what I mean.…/ironwoman-bex-rimmington-zwift/

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The final episode from our time at team camp.

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Episode 4 – grab a brew and have a watchh

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Episode 3 of our time at camp is now live 

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Tune into Episode 2…

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Check out Episode 1 from our time at team camp in California.

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Tune into the first installment of life in the Zwift Triathlon Academy. Over the coming months we will be vlogging what we get up too and showing the highs and lows as each of us tries to qualify for Kona.

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