Swim for a Mile
News and Articles
We now have our full list of Swim For a Mile (SFAM) 2018 events! Make sure you claim your space sooner rather than later! You can do this by logging into your dashboard, picking your training programme (800m or 1600m), picking your event pool and filling in your details, pools are filling up fast, so claim your space today!
Most of you are at the half way point of the SFAM training! Hopefully you are now feeling a little more confident in the water! We know, in the beginning it can be hard to get further than just dipping your toe in! However, after our first round of technique clinics back in January, we are extremely impressed with how quickly our SFAM’ers have improved! Even within the individual clinics, we saw a huge difference between the first length and the last! We also know that anyone who attended those clinics, probably arrived home in information overload! So here are our top tips based off our observations during the SFAM Technique Road Show!Body position tips:
- Any elevation of the upper body, causes your lower body to sink.
- The aim is to keep as flat on the water surface as possible. To do this, apply constant pressure with your chest (not head!) into the water, pushing towards the floor – imagine you are trying to swim downhill!
- Keep head movements to a minimum when you breathe, so that your are rotating your head to the side rather than lifting it up – one goggle rule!
- You never stop kicking when swimming, even when swimming slow!
- Focus on keeping knees and ankles close together, kicking from your hips and bum rather than your knees.
- Kicks should be small and rapid, check out our kick demo for a better idea!
- Palms should face the water (not be inverted or everted), with fingers-tips pointing down, as a result of the high elbow during the recovery phase.
- Elbows stay high during the recovery phase of the stroke to prepare for the catch, you need a high elbow during the catch in order to grip the water effectively. Finger trail / tickles drill is good for reinforcing high elbows!
- To keep a high elbow during the catch, imagine your elbows are pinned to the water surface!
- As you begin the underwater pull phase, imagine your forearm as the paddle, a higher elbow exposes more of your forearm, which increases the surface area of your paddle, helping you push against the water to go forward!
- Sculling replicates the catch motion.
- Your hands guide the movement, finger-tips point down to move forward and up to move backwards.
- You must keep your wrists stiff while sculling, to point your finger-tips down, raise your elbows (pin them to the water surface!)
- Your forearms do most of the work; palms should alternate from facing in and out, wrists stay stiff and the forearms grip the water when sculling in and out. Check out our sculling demo!
2018 SFAM Event Schedule Complete!
We now have our full list of Swim For a Mile (SFAM) 2018 events! Make sure you claim your space sooner rather than later! You can do this by logging into your ...
You are no doubt starting to feel a few aches and pains from the lengths you have been swimming during our Swim for a Mile (SFAM) training! However, you have to admit that those pains are actually starting to grow on you! Feeling your muscles tighten up, having no issues falling asleep and actually starting to feel a bit stronger in the water!
As you take on more meters over the next few weeks, make sure you are taking the right recovery steps to ensure you don’t get that dreaded cold or flu going around and are able to complete your next SFAM session to the best of you ability! To do this, make sure you are fueling properly, this involves staying hydrating before, during and after each swim, eating the right foods before and after and getting the sleep you need to function!
You can improve your daily hydration by introducing some electrolytes into your workout drink e.g. slices of lemon/ lime, a drop of cordial or a diluted energy drink, this will also help stave off those pesky cramps! If you are swimming early in morning, make sure you have something small to eat before diving in! We know it can be difficult to eat early in the morning, but even the smallest snack could help top up your energy and immune system! Try having a small glass of milk and a banana or even a handful of nuts!
Most importantly make sure you eat something within 30 minutes after your training. As these weeks progress you will need an increased intake of protein, eating a small amount of carbohydrate with protein after your session, will help absorb the amino acids, aiding in building and repairing your muscles. The general rule of thumb for daily protein consumption is anywhere from 0.8-1.2g of protein per kg of body weight, per day (depending on your exercise routine). Updated research leans towards the upper end, especially if you are aged over 55. For example an elite athlete or someone over 50yrs old, participating in a training programme, who weighs 80kg, should be eating around 96g of protein per day (a chicken breast is around 25g of protein!) to ensure they are providing their body with the right nutrients for growth and development!
We had our first round of technique clinics take place over the weekend in Galway, Limerick, Cork and Dublin and we have to say that the swimmers were looking very good in the water! We found that swimmers were amazed at how minor changes to the stroke, can produce massive improvements! In particular small changes to hand entry on Freestyle, enabled swimmers to move more efficiently through the water, allowing them to swim for longer with less effort! Look out for Niamh and Bethany’s top tips in next week’s newsletter!
This week we will be working on Freestyle high elbow recovery and body rotation. Don’t forget to check out our demo videos , if you aren’t sure how the drill should be performed! Click through to your SFAM Dashboard, to download week four’s training sessions. If you haven’t already registered your event venue, head over to your dashboard and pick your pool to claim your space, as pools are filling up! For more information on registration watch check out our guide!
Don’t forget that you can also raise money for the Special Olympics, on an individual basis, or with a team of SFAM’ers via the Special Olympics every day hero page!
We hope you enjoy this week of training, happy Swimming!
Fueling for Week Four!
You are no doubt starting to feel a few aches and pains from the lengths you have been swimming during our Swim for a Mile (SFAM) training! However, you have ...
We have our first round of technique clinics occurring this weekend in Galway, Limerick, Cork and Dublin. These clinics are led by former International Swimmers: Niamh OSullivan and Bethany Carson, the girls represented Ireland for many years, racing at European Championships, World Cups, World University Games and World Championships. They are also experienced coaches, who are looking forward to putting our lucky SFAM’ers through their paces in these technical sessions on Friday, Saturday & Sunday! Watch out for next weeks Newsletter, with top tips from Niamh and Bethany!
This week in your training, we are working on body position, a common problem area for people trying to progress their swimming. As we have mentioned over the last two weeks, body position is key, as it affects your whole stroke! There are many ways in which you can test your body position, to see if you are floating or sinking! This can be done through simple float drills such as starfish, mushroom and pencil float, take a look at our floating demonstrations here! You will notice that any elevation of your upper body, will automatically cause your lower body to sink in the water. Play around with these drills at the start of your sessions this week, getting into the habit of holding the correct body position, before heading into full swim!
TOP TIP: To Obtain the Correct Body Position:
– Keep your head and neck in a neutral position, so that your face is pointing towards the bottom of the pool – not looking forwards or tucking your chin into your chest, but rather in a middle, neutral position.
– Keep a straight line down the back of your body, that runs from your head, right to your ankles. Remember to squeeze your stomach, bottom and legs! This will ensure that you keep on top of the water surface instead of sinking!
– Apply light but constant pressure with your chest into the water, to keep your hips high in the water.
If you missed this first round of clinics, look out for our February round, these will be open for booking on February 16th at 7am, but be quick as they fill up fast! Clinics are free, but only open to those fully registered, you can complete registration via your dashboard by selecting your event pool and filling in your details. For more information, check out our signup and registration guide and short demo video!
If you have been experiencing difficulties with sign up/login/training programmes please try our trouble shooting steps under our guide linked above!
Don’t forget to send us a picture with #SFAMSelfie on Twitter this week for a chance to win a sparkly new pair of goggles for the big day!
Body Position, Breathing and Backstroke!
We have our first round of technique clinics occurring this weekend in Galway, Limerick, Cork and Dublin. These clinics are led by former Internati ...
The first two weeks of training should help you understand some of the basic swimming concepts and become more familiar with the ever-growing swimming terminology! For instance, this week we are working on the “grip and feel of the water”, now we must admit, this sounds like some sort of water-whisperer type nonsense! However, it’s exactly what we mean! There are certain points in the stroke, that we want to use the resistance of the water to push us forward, we do this by literallygrabbing the water and pushing our bodies past this grab point!
TOP TIP: The slightest change of angle with your hand can completely change the direction in which you move, therefore you must focus on the catch position. To find the catch position, think of how your hands look when you scull, likewise to find the scull position, place your hands on your cheeks, you will notice that this forces a subtle cupped position – apply this with a stiff wrist and you have your catch position!
Introducing The Four Phases of a Single Freestyle Stroke:
- Hand Entry: Your hand should enter in line with your shoulder to prevent crossing over your centre line – this is an imaginary line down the middle of your body, which you should never cross! The reason we stay outside of this line, is to ensure that all your energy is going into moving forward. If you cross the centre line, you are applying force to the side, meaning the propulsion you receive will be to the opposite side, creating that well known snake motioned stroke. We want to push back to move forwards!
- The Catch: This occurs immediately after your hand enters the water. The catch is basically a small scull pushing down into the water, however it is called the catch, as you are literally trying to catch or grab the water, to use the resistance to push you forward during the underwater pull. This is one of the rare occasions where we want to have water resistance!
- Underwater Pull: This can be further broken down into the initial downward phase and the latter backwards phase. Initially you want to push your palm and forearm down into the water WHILE keeping your elbow at the surface, to create a greater surface area in which to grip the water. Once your hand passes the line of your chest, you begin to rotate your body in the direction of your stroke arm, keeping your hand close to your trunk, explosively push past your hip until your hand exists the water.
- The Recovery: The recovery, as suggested by its name is the relaxed part of the stroke! Its purpose is to get your hand from the exit position back to its entry position. Just remember to keep your elbow high in the air and pointing to the ceiling WHILE your hand stays directly below. This ensures that your hand is in the perfect position, ready for the catch!
Week two of your training programme is now available within your dashboard! Depending on individualSFAM event days, our associated pools are beginning their training at different times – so don’t panic if you haven’t started yet!
If you haven’t done so already login to your dashboardand register your place for a SFAM event day and gain access to our first round of technique clinics taking place at the end of this month!
Don’t forget to update us on your weekly progress using #SFAM
Good luck and enjoy!
Swim For a Mile Team
The Break Down of Freestyle!
The first two weeks of training should help you understand some of the basic swimming concepts and become more familiar with the ever-growing swimming terminol ...
It is time to start your Swim For a Mile (SFAM) training, week 1 now available! Click through to your SFAM Dashboard, to download your first week of training sessions.If you hope to attend our SFAM training, don’t forget to check when your local pool begins their coached sessions and if you need to book in advance.
This week, we are starting with the basics, looking at some of the fundamental swimming skills like sculling, kicking and breathing! Both 800m and 1600m programmes are the same this week as we all need to know these important swimming skills! Take your time through each drill and really focus on how your body interacts with the water as you swim, this week is all about feeling that water!
This starts your 10-week training programme, each week you will grow stronger and more confident and before you know it, you will be arriving at your event venue to swim the 800m or the mile in March or April!
If you haven’t already registered your event venue head over to your dashboard and pick your pool to avail of our early bird special, simply enter #EARLYBIRD for a €5 discount. Once you have fully registered you will gain access to the first round of SFAM Technique Clinics, taking place at the end of January, make sure to keep an eye out for our invitational email as clinic spaces fill up fast!
For more information on registration watch our informational video!
Let’s wash out the Christmas and New year festivities and make it a #FunFit2018 by taking the plunge into Swim For a Mile!
Enjoy your first week and let us know how you get on via Twitter and Facebook – Happy Swimming!
Swim For a Mile Team
Welcome to Week One!
It is time to start your Swim For a Mile (SFAM) training, week 1 now available! Click through to your SFAM Dashboard, to download your first week of training ses ...
Take the Swim for a Mile Challenge
Signup for your free training programme, get fit, gain confiden and Swim for a Mile