Debb Howcroft

I hope you'll all forgive me a bit of shameless self promotion here, but I am really proud of Debb, so I am going to shout about it! We've been working with Debb for the last few months, and - thanks to her hard work and application - her front crawl has improved beyond recognition. I asked her to write something for the blog to describe her progress. Her reply was incredibly rewarding: 

"Around 14 months ago, I didn't like putting my face in the water, or going in the deep end never mind a length of front crawl. I joined the group coaching sessions which helped me overcome my fears and I started to learn how to front crawl, but I didn't enjoy swimming, because I felt I couldn't do it and felt frustrated with my own lack of progress so I'd avoid going and skip sessions.

I managed to get through my first triathlon season, doing a variety of pool, open water, and even a sea swim race, but my finish time was always hampered by a poor start with the swim. 

I knew if I was to improve next year, and complete my first half outlaw distance in a respectable time I would need to do something about it and approached Gareth.

We talked through my goals and discussed what was needed (the technique being the main focus) and agreed an initial twelve week plan.

I've got to admit at week 3 I was thinking it was pointless and I was wasting Gareth's time – I was certainly still not 'enjoying' swimming, but we kept going and with the three personalised swim plans a week and regular catch ups, and motivational chats and texts in between, I changed my training week around to accommodate and 'made' myself go swimming regularly and I started to realise it didn't feel so bad, in fact I think I was starting to enjoy it and I didn't need to 'make' myself swim, which is a major improvement itself!

With the regular technique based drills and review sessions with Gareth, I've learned to recognise when my stroke is not right or slipping back in to old habits and can now self correct. 

A long way to go, but have come such a long way already, and I'm confident in the knowledge, with Gareth's coaching and support I am going to have a great Half Outlaw race and some brilliant PBs for my 2017 season."