Celebrating our Swimmers: Claire Humphreys
EOI – More Masterclasses?
ANZAC Day Swim
Swim of the Week: South Maroubra Clearwater Classic
Notes from the Coach
Swimming post-COVID


Hi Everyone,

A huge congratulations to Claire Humphreys on her success at the GWM Ironman 70.3, in Melbourne. Claire trained very hard for this event, keeping her focus on it  even when it was postponed, due to COVID in 2021. I watched her progress her swim training in and out of lockdown. She was incredibly dedicated. Do take a look at her insightful interview with Ellie Kallmier, our Social Media and Marketing Manager, in this newsletter. 

It’s been great to see so many of our swimmers make an effort, even in the wet, to keep their training up. Having said this, we have been impacted, not so much by the wet weather, but rather by the public and school holidays, as well as the increased numbers of people contracting COVID. This has meant attendance at squad training has been slightly down the past few weeks. If you have been sick with COVID, please take a look at the article further down in the newsletter on how to manage your return to training.

The prolonged wet weather has not only caused enormous damage across the state and dampened people’s spirits, it’s all resulted in the cancellation of many ocean swimming events. I don’t recall a period this long of unsafe swimming conditions, due to poor water quality. Apparently only one of the eighteen events scheduled has actually run. Fingers crossed the upcoming ocean swim at South Maroubra this Sunday will be on. Also, running this long weekend is an open water swim by 4SEASons Swim. Check out the details in the newsletter.

We’re calling for Expressions of Interest for an Autumn/Winter Masterclass series. If you/re keen to nail your Butterfly, Breaststroke, Backstroke, or work on your Freestyle, let us know via the mechanism in the newsletter. 

Finally, there have been some glorious sunrises recently in amongst the rain. I find it really makes it worthwhile getting up early and heading to the pool. It’s one of life’s little joys; a little magic so early in the day. 

I look forward to seeing you at the pool. 

As always yours in swimming,

Kari Baynes 

Photo: Victoria Park Pool – Squad Training post Easter. PC: Kari Baynes.

Celebrating our Swimmers:
Claire Humphreys

Let’s take a minute to celebrate a great success story this month. 

Claire Humphreys, one of our squad swimmers, completed the recent GWM Ironman 70.3, Melbourne, on March 20th. For those who may not be familiar with the half-Ironman, this event is 70.3 miles in total and breaks down into a 1.9km swim, a 90km bike and a 21.1km run leg. 

Claire’s final time was 6hrs 46mins and 23 seconds, completing the race in well under her goal of 7 hours! She finished the swim leg in 40min 29sec, adding “I was pretty much bang on target with the swim – I was expecting to take 40-45 mins to complete the 1.9km so I was really happy.”

We asked Claire a few questions about her experiences and thoughts from before and after the event to give us a picture of just how much went into achieving this goal.

Q: How much training went into this event for you? 
A: “I did a lot of training, especially since the event was originally due to take place in November 2021 and my training (especially swimming) was heavily disrupted by lockdowns and the pool closures. I signed up for the event at the end of 2020 so I had over a year to train. I’ve been doing sprint distance [triathlons] for about 6 years and had always said I wanted to do a half iron before I turned 40. I stepped up to Olympic distance at the start of 2021 but couldn’t get many in because they kept getting cancelled… My training schedule was pretty much 6 days a week – mixing up distance, intervals and bike to run brick sessions with strength training and swimming.”

“Swimming was the biggest journey for me though – first of all I took stroke correction lessons and then I did SwimFit in between lockdowns. I also took an ocean swim course to help me be more confident with that side of things. I was lucky enough to have Brighton-Le-Sands just within my 5km limit in lockdown so I did some swimming there in the most recent lockdown. And I finally bit the bullet and started doing the 6am squad in about September of last year which really helped me to just learn to go the distance. I used to dread the swim leg of triathlons but I could definitely feel the difference all the training and work had made – I felt really comfortable in the water. I also worked with a nutritionist and I know that fuelling made a huge difference to me.”

Q: Are there any big takeaways from doing this event that you’d like to share? 
A: “Correct fuelling and hydration makes so much difference! That’s my main takeaway I think… alongside the fact that putting the work in with the swimming especially changed it from my weaker leg into probably my favourite. And also that endurance events are addictive. I thought I would just do it once to tick it off the list but I had a weirdly good time doing it and I’m already thinking about signing up for another 70.3… “

— — — — — — — — — — — — — — — — — — — — — — — 
What an incredible achievement! We want to say a huge congratulations to Claire, all of your instructors and coaches at Different Strokes couldn’t be more proud of you and all the hard work you put in to this event.We love hearing all of your success stories, no matter how big or small they might be! If you’ve got a story to tell, get in touch so that we can celebrate with you and shine a spotlight on your achievements too.

Photos: A few shots of Claire at the GWM Ironman 70.3 event, getting excited for the swim leg! Bottom: Coach Jelena and Claire catching up after the event.

Autumn/Winter Masterclass Series 

We’re working on an Autumn/ Winter Masterclass Series and we’re keen to know if you’re interested.

We are considering both Friday mornings at Victoria Park Pool, and/or Sundays at Prince Alfred Park Pool. The Friday sessions would run 6.00am – 7.30am. The Sunday times are yet to be determined.

There would be a separate masterclass for each stroke – Butterfly, Backstroke, Breaststroke, Freestyle and as well as one on Starts and Turns. Each Masterclass will last 1.5 hours, to ensure you get the maximum benefit and start to integrate the new techniques into your muscle memory. 

Location: TBA
Fees: 1 x Masterclass = $45
4 x Masterclasses = $160 

Prerequisite: You must be able to comfortably swim 50-100m FS and tread water for 3 min. 

Keen for us to put this series together? Just hit the button below to send us an email.

I’m Keen!

ANZAC Day Swim

Looking for a great reason to get out into the ocean next Monday? We’ve found it! Our open water partner, 4SEAsons Swim, is running an ANZAC Day swim!

Here are the details;

Date: ANZAC Day, Monday 25 April 2022

Time: 8.00am

Location: Bondi Beach

Swimmers will meet in front of the Bondi Surf Club at least 10 minutes before the swim start.

The swim will be 1.5km – 2.5km, depending on the ocean and weather conditions on the day, and there will be an in-water coach for the duration of the swim.

If you’re keen to join in for this event, you can book via 4SEAsons Swim’s MindBody profile.

PC: Zoe Little, 4SEASons Swim

4SEASons Swim – Book Now

Swim of the Week:
South Maroubra Clearwater Classic

Looking for an upcoming ocean swim to join or cheer on? Check out the South Maroubra Clearwater Classic, coming up this Sunday April 24th.

This swim offers three distances you can sign up for: 500m, 1km or 2.5km, all in around the buoys courses. It’s suited for all ages and abilities, and after the swims have finished up there’ll be some live entertainment alongside end of season celebrations for you to enjoy.

For more details, check out the official event website here.

Since the beginning of March this year, nearly all of the 18 planned ocean swim events had to be cancelled due to the weather conditions, which has been a blow for so many swimmers and organisers. So let’s support our local events by swimming when we can and showing up to cheer from the sidelines when we can’t!

Notes from the Coach

For the past few weeks our squad sessions have been working on their stroke forms under the guidance of Coach Jelena, in particular focusing on butterfly. Butterfly is a great stroke for getting a solid full body workout, engaging your core and upper body at the same time. It’s also been said to improve general flexibility, as you work your arm’s range of motion with each stroke. That said, it’s many swimmers’ least favourite stroke because of the amount of work you have to put in! We’re hoping that with enough practice, it’ll become a fast favourite.

Here are a few key things that Jelena wants you to be thinking about next time you jump into a butterfly set:

  • Engaging your core for each kick.
  • Rhythm: one arm for every two kicks.
  • Push out the back of your stroke every time.

If you’re struggling to stay on top of all the technical stuff or just want some specific feedback on your strokes, why not sign up for a Masterclass or book in for a one-on-one session with one of our coaches. They’ll be able to help spot anything that’s holding you back and give you tailored advice for drills and workouts to improve your swimming!

Book a Private Session

Swimming post-COVID?

With the rise of COVID-19 cases over the past few months it’s become almost unavoidable for most of us. We first of all want to express our appreciation for all the understanding that you’ve shown us through this time of last-minute coach changes, private lesson rescheduling and session shuffling.

If you have recently had or recovered from COVID-19, swimming is an excellent way to regain some fitness and provide gentle, low-impact exercise. However, jumping right back into squad sessions and training might be too much to start off with, and that’s totally fine.

Being aware of your limitations, setting realistic goals, taking breaks as needed and not pushing too hard will help you regain your swimming fitness sustainably. It’s also important to consult your GP if you have any concerns with returning exercise before you get started, and keep checking in as needed.

Check out this great article from Royal Life Saving Australia for some more information and tips on returning to swimming post-COVID. 

Vaccination Policy & COVID Safety

As per our updated COVID-19 Safety Plan (which can be found on our website here), you will be required to send your current vaccination certificate for us to verify before your first class.  You may do so by forwarding it to us, or sending us a screenshot via SMS. Your certificate will not be stored by us once it has been verified. We have a fully vaccinated team and do require you to be fully vaccinated before joining any of our classes, for the health and safety of our staff and other swimmers. 

Are you after a Bespoke, Tailored Program? 

We’re really enjoying our NEW bespoke offering.

Do you have a particular event you are training for and think you could benefit from a custom built training program?

Get in touch for more information!

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