In this post, Ambassador Keith O’Sullivan (@keithos) from Hampshire, United Kingdom shares how the MySwimPro app is helping him train for his next big open water race.
Hi there, my name is Keith and I currently reside in Hampshire, England with my wife and 3 children. I have worked in the tech industry for many years now and run a small consultancy working with startups and also a few larger organizations.
I have been swimming from a very young age, as my parents always believed that swimming is an extremely valuable skill to have. After sailing through all my basic lessons, I joined a local club where training got a bit more serious and I started to swim competitively and train up to 5 days a week. I stopped swimming competitively in my teens and then used swimming more as a means to keep fit.
It wasn’t until I hit my 30’s that I really re-kindled my love for swimming. This was mainly driven through open water swimming and a focus on the longer distances, which is my main focus now. I am now utterly obsessed with swimming and no matter how beat up I get in my training sessions, I can’t wait to get back in the pool/lake again!
MY SWIMMING GOALS:
Before discovering the MySwimPro app, I only really focussed on overall time in the pool with no real structure to my swims. I would jump in, swim for an hour then get out. That’s a wrap, workout done!
Now, I am setting bigger and better goals all the time. This year, I am going to swim the Windermere One Way swim. It’s an 11 mile swim in the beautiful Lake District here in the UK. The event itself isn’t until September so I have a number of 10k swim events lined up as a warm up. After the Windermere swim, I plan on some longer distance swims, as well as focussing on Masters Swimming. Maybe next year I will swim the English Channel! Follow my blog on Medium to keep up with my progress!
“Swimming is a life changing sport and can have really positive impact on you and your wellbeing. Get going!”
HOW I TRAIN:
My training has changed a lot, from only wanting to focus on long swims to realizing that pushing yourself really hard on shorter training sessions really helps with everything. So I try and break my training up at the moment and focus on both long and short distance sessions. This helps me focus on my overall technique, increase my work capacity and ultimately help me swim faster for longer in the bigger sessions.
I use the MySwimPro app in a number of ways. For tracking and training I use the app on my iPhone paired with my Apple Watch. I use the training plans for pool swims and then use the app to track my open water swims as well. Along with this, there’s also a TON of useful training videos and tips on the site to really help you improve.
“By far, MySwimPro is the most accurate, detail-rich swim tracker I’ve found to date. The detail is gives has really helped shape and guide my training to focus on stroke efficiency. Being a long distance swimmer this is absolutely critical for me.”
I personally love the Whiteboard Wednesday sessions as they go a bit deeper into the detail. There’s also the amazing community that surround the app. Everyone supports each-other and helps out whenever advice / tips / hints are requested.
“MySwimPro has really made me focus on my shorter training sessions and add a lot of structure to them. Before, my swims would be about time and that was it. MySwimPro has given me the structure to really see some improvements in overall health and fitness plus I have watched my average pace continuously drop as I follow the training plans.”
MY ADVICE FOR NEW SWIMMERS:
1. Just get in the pool and get going. Don’t overthink it, don’t worry about the kit you have or anything else just get in the pool and do a few lengths.
2. Not everything is a race, unless you’re racing 🙂 When you’re in the pool only think about you and the plan you have chosen for that particular swim. Don’t worry about the faster person in the next lane next to you or the person tapping your toes. Just focus on you.
3. Technique is key. I’ve had to go back to square one with my technique and learn it all over again to get rid of some bad habits. Watch the tutorials online and keep repeating the changes until they become your normal stroke. It will feel foreign at first but stick with it.
4. Embrace the 5th stoke. I’ve managed to shave seconds off my times by focussing on the dolphin kick at entry and on every turn. It really does help. It does take some time to get used to but once you get you can make some real difference.
5. Just have fun. Show up to the pool/practice, swim hard swim fast but do it all with a smile on your face. Have a laugh and make new friends.
ANY FAVORITE MEMORIES YOU’D LIKE TO SHARE?
Oh and I think i’m the originator of the double trunk trend. Many years ago in a competition, as I kicked off the board, the elastic on my trunks broke causing them to slide down below my bum, much to my horror. I continued to swim with 1 arm whilst my other was holding on to my trunks for dear life.
Unsurprisingly I didn’t get a podium finish or a PB on that race. My dad raced over at the end with a safety pin and we managed to stop them from falling down again. I finished the event and my dad still loves to tell the story of seeing my little white bum bobbing along whilst I clawed away with 1 arm. EVERY event after that, I always wore 2 pairs of trunks…. just in case.
Thank you so much for sharing your story, Keith! We’re so excited to have you on board as an ambassador, and can’t wait to see you crush your goals this year!
Ready to start your personal training plan? Download the MySwimPro app and start a free trial of ELITE COACH! Use code KEITH20 for 20% off.