Month: November 2015


Port Nelson Sea Swims, Race #4, November 26


The most challenging swim yet, with distances up and the tide vs wind combo making for some interesting sections on both short and long course.

It didn’t make any difference at the front of the field, with Thomas Heaton and Hayden Squance repeating their one-two at the head of the long course for the fourth time and Finella Gibbs-Beal reasserting herself at the head of the short course.

Featured photo: Thomas Heaton makes it four from four with a win by ten seconds from Hayden Squance. Photo: Emily Trengrove

Results – click here

More photos by Emily Trengrove, click here

Time to think some more about Samoa. Start planning now for August next year. Details, Samoa Sea A4 flyer16

Swim tips from Lionel Padial #1

Pace your Sea swims

Getting your pace right in a sea swim is crucial to achieving the outcome you want, and can prove very difficult for relatively inexperienced and experienced swimmers alike. Good swimming coaches spend a fair chunk of training time encouraging their swimmers to develop a feel for their most effective swim pace so that it is second nature come competition time.

Here are a few ideas to help you get the most from your swims:

1) Practise – swim and time yourself for each of four reps of – 50 metres for beginners / 200 for intermediates – and give yourself a 15 second rest in between each rep. Aim for a repeatable and sustainable pace, a pace at which you feel in control of your stroke, and your breathing. Sighting every 6-12 strokes will make this experiment more accurate. Adjust your pace up or down till you find that zone where it feels strong yet controlled. Once you have a time for your reps try and swim those times repeatedly taking note of how it feels. The more you practise this pace the more you will be able to find it in your races.

2) Warm up – A five-minute swim will get your aerobic system up and running so that you can start faster in the race and reduce the chances of you feeling wrecked at the first marker. It will also help you find your stroke, rhythm and pace. Doing a shortened rep or two of your race pace swims after five or so minutes of warming up will make it easier for you to latch straight into that pace both mentally and physically once the race starts.

3) Start slower – With all the race-start adrenalin the first one hundred metres or so can feel easy but if you do not hold back you will be hit by a wave of oxygen debt and find yourself either having to slow right down to get it back together or thrashing your way round swimming in-effectively.

Aim for a starting pace that feels steady if not “easy”, definitely not fast – this is only for experienced sea swimmers who are fit enough to recover whilst maintaining form and pace.

4) Finish stronger – Gradually ramp up your pace as you approach approx. 150 metres from the finish or alternatively (depending on what suits your physical make-up best?) aim to swim at a faster steady pace throughout aiming to run out of steam at the finish line.

5) Evaluate your race – When you get home think back over how you paced your race and decide how you might improve it next time then plan how you might achieve it next time.

Remember – Swimming faster is less about maximum effort and more about focus / concentration / discipline and stroke precision. Yes you do need to work hard but just like anything in life there is a point of breakdown. In water we often don’t notice the breakdown as they are subtle and we cannot see them. We have to feel the extra leaning on the arms or long stalls in the stroke when we breathe for too long or notice our hips, legs and feet dragging behinds us (yes, even in a wetsuit) when we lift our heads too high out of the water.

Generally speaking a strong yet controlled stroke is close to your most effective stroke. Once it feels ragged – IT IS – at that point regardless of how much you are thrashing yourself you will more than likely be going slower and worse still re-patterning your stroke to be more in-effective. Even worse again it is rarely enjoyable!

Swim well, have fun!


PS – If you enjoyed this article and would like to watch swim video clips or read more about swimming please go to the “Oneflow coaching” facebook page or website –

Port Nelson Sea Swims, Race three, November 19

For the third consecutive week it was a one-two for Thomas Heaton and Hayden Squance , with Xavier Anderson and Luke Kelly close behind.

Talya Harwood and Bailee Spriggs were not far from the front leading the women’s field

Brendon Hughes burgled the short swim from Finella Gibbs-Beal.

Featured photo: Medical official Carolyn Bennison and shore supervisor Paul Peacock ensure things go well in Thursday’s swim.

Here’s the results, click here

Photos by Emily Trengrove – click here

Nelson Mail story – also on Stuff, click here

Swim camp with Adam Walker

My name is Adam Walker I am the first British person to swim the 7 toughest ocean swims in the world and one of 6 to complete it and last year was nominated for World Open Water Swimmer of the year.
Here are my websites: and
I swam the Cook Strait April 2014, where dolphins accompanied for 1 hour 30 mins when there was a shark underneath me. The video went viral see link: (5 million hits on you tube)
This is my 3rd time of visiting Auckland to run a one off 2 day swim camp for swimmers and triathletes. So you know I have created a swim stroke called ‘The Ocean Walker technique’ which takes pressure off the shoulders and generates power from the core. I created it when I had 2 shoulder operations and advised by the surgeon not to swim again and it got me across 6 more channels after English Channel.
See article I did for 220 tri magazine:
Here is a link to one of my stroke videos:
I carryout swim camps worldwide where I coach my unique 5 stages to my stroke. The course is in-depth with detailed video analysis and teaches the way to power the stroke without using the chest. The stroke increases speed and efficiency with less effort.
I have attached the link for Auckland if you wouldn’t mind sharing it with your members I would appreciate it. They may also may find my other blogs useful feel free to share.
See link:
See link for details on the camp:
Apologies for all the links 🙂

Port Nelson Sea Swims, Race Two, November 12, 2015


The scenario was similar to last week’s, atrocious weather in the leadup (a couple of episodes of hail and cold wind as late as 5pm), but then perfect conditions for the swim.

Even the water temperature wasn’t bad at 19 degrees and 144 swimmers took part.

The featured photo, taken by Alice Trengrove, is of Finella Gibbs-Beal, winner of the short swim. The leading male in the short swim was Josh Sheridan, while Thomas Heaton and Talya Harwood (who took it by a second from Caitlin Delany) were the best swimmers in the long course.

Here’s the results, click here

Photos by Alice Trengrove, click here.

The story from the Nelson Mail, click here

Port Nelson Sea Swims, Race One, November 5, 2015

After an unpromising start to the week, the sun shone brightly, the water warmed up to just over 18 degrees and 162 faced the starter’s hooter.

Results, click here

Photos by Emily Trengrove, click here

Preview story, click here

Race report, click here

The seal of approval, click here

Swim in Samoa

Treat yourself next winter. Join other swimmers in a trip to Samoa for the three-race Samoa Sea Swims in August 2016.

Start planning now. Preliminary details below

Samoa Sea A4 flyer16

Opening night, November 5, 2015

The day has dawned with fresh snow on the hills and a hint of frost. Hardly encouraging.

On the positive side, it looks like a clear, sunny day. By the beginning of the day there were 188 people signed up, so it looks like a big opening night.

A swim of about 800m is planned for the the long event, 300m for the short event.