Open Water Swimming Coaching in Pembrokeshire, Wales

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By: Andrew Wallace | October 24, 2019

Reports of Infamous Portugese Man 'o War Spotted on Freshwater East (and other) beaches in Pembrokeshire...

Here's a bit of interesting info from Wikipedia!

"The Portugese Man 'o War is a marine hydrozoan of the family Physaliidae found in the Atlantic, Indian and Pacific Oceans. Despite its appearance, the Portuguese man o' war is not a true jellyfish but a siphonophore, which is not actually a single multicellular organism (true jellyfish are single organisms), but a colonial organism made up of many specialized animals of the same species, called zooids or polyps. These polyps are attached to one another and physiologically integrated, to the extent that they cannot survive independently, creating a symbiotic relationship, requiring...

Category: Wildlife 

Tags: Portugese Man o War 

By: Andrew Wallace | August 09, 2019

As soon as summer comes there are invariably tragic stories in the news of of people going missing or drownings in open water such as lakes, quarries or the ocean.

Whilst it is true that each type of open water does come with some inherent risks it is, in my opinion, better to educate rather than ban or scaremonger people on those risks and how to mitigate them.

The most obvious and visible risk when it comes to sea swimming, apart from the surface conditions, is the tide. Here in the UK will experience some of the the most dynamic tide patterns in the world where the sea level can easily rise and drop by 6 or 7 m on any given day. The result of this can be some very strong currents on inbound or outbound tides.

If you are are in the process o...

Category: Tips and Tricks 

Tags: tides 

By: Andrew Wallace | July 15, 2019

The pull 'catch phase' is very important in generating power and propulsion.

Many swimmers, especially if they are self taught, will adopt a pull that follows the classic S-shape pull where you pull outwards then in then under the body; or will pull with a straight arm which in fact pushes downwards rather than behind them.

These methods are inefficient as they push the water in the wrong direction, which results in immediate loss of power and potential forward propulsion.

Take a look at the video below:

Category: Stroke Technique 

Tags: catch, pull 

By: Andrew Wallace | June 23, 2019

The Tenfoot swimrun is in its inaugural year this year, 2019. Before the route details, check out the promo video below... if this doesn't make you want to have a go, nothing will!

By: Andrew Wallace | June 18, 2019

I didn't even know that Head - you know, the guys who make all the tennis gear - made wetsuits to until I started getting more and more interested in swimrunning and followed the European swimrunning groups - Head are prime sponsors in many of the events and make a range of swimrunning gear. I decided to invest in one last year, the Head Swimrun Rough Shorty.

Swimrunning wetsuit review
The Head Swimrun Shorty

By: Andrew Wallace | June 17, 2019

Quite a few people have been asking me recently about swimrun wetsuits and which one would be best.

Swim running is a new sport and the kit is evolving year-by-year but there are definitely some key differences between the standard triathlon wetsuit and a swimrun wetsuit, which are important considerations.


Most swimrun wetsuits are 'shorties'. As swim running is typically a spring summer autumn sport this is usually enough to keep you warm but if you do tend to feel the cold you may want to consider a model that has full length arms or one with detachable arms.

By: Andrew Wallace | June 12, 2019

We're always being asked how cold the sea is!  In truth you do get to assess it pretty accurately the more you go in the sea, but there are a number of ways you can get a n accurate reading:

1) Use a sports watch

The more expensive sports watches have thermometers built in, eg. the Garmin Fenix 5. These are pretty accurate but will also measure some ambient temperature to some degree.  And, unfortunately, in the case of this model we're finding the thermometer (which is linked to the altimeter and barometer functions) is rather sketchy and we have had to replace it twice! (But that's another story).

Measuring sea temperature when swimming
Sea temperature can give some interesting additional stats to your swim

Category: Kit Reviews 

Tags: thermometer 

By: Andrew Wallace | June 11, 2019

I get asked this a lot. There's no best answer, however a few tips and tricks might help you to make the best decision for your needs to help you start the amazing sport of swimrunning.

The review below is for three different types of shoe, having tried and tested all of them over the last couple of years.

Reviews are split the reviews into key areas and do not get sponsorship from any of the manufacturers!  All feedback is my own personal opinion.

Normal Running Shoes

If you want to try swimrunning but do not want to go and blow loads of money then you do not need to go out and buy specialist shoes. I started out using normal trail running shoes. In this case a pair of battered Salomon SpeedCross.

Category: Kit Reviews 

Tags: swimrunning kit 

By: Andrew Wallace | June 11, 2019

Unfortunately, this year I have seen more plastic rubbish on the beaches in South Pembrokeshire than in previous years.

Worse, I have seen a fair bit in the ocean when swimming, which is really sad as the seas here are normally very clean.

Cleaning plastic in the ocean
Sea swimmers against plastic

Category: Wildlife 

Tags: plastic 

By: Andrew Wallace | June 11, 2019

I'm a firm believer in the importance of 'conditioning' for any sort of endurance sport, which means conditioning the body and mind to be able to endure tough conditions for longer periods of time through extended exposure to stressful environmental conditions.

These conditions occur naturally and especially frequently here in the UK... You know... Howling wind, sheets of rain, cold, large waves, currents, froth, rips, sand blasting and so on. Even in the height of a British summer!

With regards to sea swimming, either for personal pleasure, or for events like IronMan triathlon, or endurance swimming, replicating these 'stressful conditions' would include:

  • Training in as wide a variety of weather and sea conditions as possible
  • Training on a yea...