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Episode 5 – Effortless Swimming with Brenton Ford

Episode highlights

01:06 – Brenton Ford’s backstory

03:37 – Swimming is more than just training harder

06:03 – It can be quite daunting for a number of reasons

09:04 – Tips for adults who have been a long time away from the pool

13:53 – It’s okay to suck at it the first time, or the second, but you will get better

16:28 – Whoever is having the most fun, wins

20:10 – The best motivation is an event, a goal, a deadline

25:47 – Key actions to help you start or improve your swimming

29:32 – Connecting your catch and your kick

33:32 – It helps to be honest about what motivates you

35:02 – It’s never too late to start or get better

 

Welcome to the Fitter Healthier Dad podcast where you can learn how to improve your diet, lose fat, and get fitter in a sustainable and fun way without spending hours in the gym. Here is your host, Darren Kirby.

Darren: It is Episode five of the Fitter Healthier Dad podcast. Today, we’re going to be talking about swimming and how swimming is a great sport to help you with your all-around health and fitness. Joining me on the podcast today is Brenton Ford from Effortless Swimming. Brenton has been swimming for around 24 years and coaching for 12, so he’s perfectly placed to give us all the help and advice we need to incorporate swimming into our health and fitness. Hey, Brenton. Thanks for coming onto the show today. How are you?

Brenton: Hey, Darren. Good, thank you. Thanks for having me.

Darren: Thanks for agreeing to come on. I’m aware it’s a little bit late there in Australia, so let’s, crack on. For people that haven’t come across you before, can you give us a bit of background and an introduction to yourself?

Brenton: My background is I started swimming when I was very young and made a number of national age group finals as a youngster and then when I turned 19, I started coaching. I started coaching a university team here in Melbourne and then I took on a Masters swimming club, started coaching them, won a number of national titles with those guys and then I just sort of started Effortless Swimming in the process there.

Now we have about 1500 people who do clinics each year with myself and a couple of other coaches that we have on board. We run a number of camps around the world and have worked with several thousand different people over the last couple of years. My focus and kind of the thing that I’ve enjoyed the most is working with adults who might have a little bit of experience in swimming, but they know they can get faster. I really enjoy trying to simplify swimming because when I was young, I knew I could get fast by training harder and that’s certainly an aspect of improving, but the technical side of things can be quite confusing. There’s so much stuff you can think about and I’ve found the best way to teach people is just to try and simplify it, not use too many technical terms and that’s been my mission over the last couple of years.

I feel like I’ve still got a lot to learn there but I feel like the process that we go through now and what we teach is almost as simple as we can get it. That’s kind of been what the focus has been for the last couple of years.

Darren: Yeah, I think that’s a great way.  We were talking slightly before we recorded of how technical swimming can be and I kind of draw parallels between that and golf, not that I’ve ever played golf at any great level. There’s so many little things that you can do and change, particularly around front crawl–that’s mainly the strategy that I use–to kind of just improve. When you are at a lower level as I was a little while ago, like you said, you kind of want to just train more. Because you think if you train more and you move your arms around faster, then you’re going to get faster, but actually, it’s not like that, is it? It’s about dialling it back a bit and just focusing a little bit on some of the techniques and you can actually get faster by swimming not as hard.

Brenton: Yeah, completely. I have a lot of triathletes come along to the clinics that we run and to camps and one of the things I hear all the time is that they train harder in their running, they train harder on the bike, and the results will often come. Then they do the same thing in swimming but they hit this plateau and their times just stagnate and that’s primarily because of the technical aspect and the technical side of things.

A big part of that is the beliefs you have around what gets you faster. Like you said, if you try and spin the arms faster, if you try and pull harder, the thought is that, yeah, that’s going to make me faster. But in swimming, there’s a lot of dichotomies and one of those is: to go to go faster, you’ve actually got to stay relaxed as you do it. You can’t tense up and really sort of fight it. So swimming is a frustrating sport if you don’t know what the right things are to focus on but that’s been part of the mission. It’s to let people know what those things are that can help them in their swimming. A lot of those are just what they believe about what will make them faster.

Darren: Absolutely. When I’m talking to our community and I’m talking about swimming, obviously, loads of people are aware of swimming and majority of people in the community have got their children doing swimming, so they see them then doing swimming. But not many adults, I find, after they become adults, actually use swimming as a form of general exercise. You tend to have this massive gap between when you do it as a kid and then you tend to see people who are a lot later in their life, in their 60s and 70s they start taking up swimming. There seems to be this big gap, unless you’re doing triathlon, where people actually use swimming as kind of a fitness kind of regime, if you like.

When we’re thinking about that, I generally believe that swimming is a great way and very low impact. A great way of getting fitter. If we look at the basic fundamentals, Brenton, of swimming in relation to overall health and fitness, what’s your view on that? And what would be your approach for the guys that are listening that perhaps haven’t swum since they were kids?

Brenton: One of the reasons I think a lot of adults haven’t swum for a long time is there can be a lot of fear around that and if you haven’t been in the pool for, say, 15, 20 years since you were in high school, it takes a lot of guts to build up that courage, get a pair of–do you call them bathers over there?–swimmers and some goggles and go to the pool. It’s quite daunting for a number of reasons. I find that a lot of times, someone might have a friend who’s sort of encouraged them to come along or they’ve started doing triathlons, or they’ve been told by their doctor that you can’t run or you can’t ride anymore, so you’ve got to take up swimming, and they’re usually some of the catalysts to get them back in the pool.

From my perspective, I’m a little bit biased, but I think swimming is one of those things that is such a good thing to be able to do, not only for health and fitness, but from a confidence perspective. Going to any body of water, whether it’s the ocean, going to a lake, and just knowing that you’re going to be safe there–you can have fun, you can enjoy yourself–I think from a confidence perspective, that’s a big one.

But in terms of health and fitness, cardiovascular, it’s probably one of the best things that you can do. Mobility, using your entire body. And fitness-wise, you don’t get much better of a workout than swimming. I think it is something that everyone should be able to do but I totally understand the hesitation to get into it if you haven’t been for a very long time.

Darren: It’s interesting, actually, you mentioned about the fear side of it. That’s something that I hadn’t realised before you mentioned it, but I come across a lot of parents who have maybe had an incident when they were younger, which means it keeps them out of the water, or they are just generally nervous about being in the water. They’re not confident in the water, they’re very hesitant, they’re not able to maybe even tread water or their whole fear of drowning is a big thing. I know when I started to do swimming a lot more seriously, one of the biggest challenges I had was actually breathing. You tend to put your head in the water, you go down, you try and swim from one end to the other, and for whatever reason, you kind of either hold your breath or you’re not breathing out. I think the fear factor is a big thing.

Self-confidence as well of getting your swimmers on and going in the pool. If you’re not maybe a really confident swimmer as well, you may not necessarily know which stroke to do, you’re maybe not competent in that stroke. If people are listening, they are in that situation, what would you say are the best ways that you would recommend to kind of get started?

Brenton: I took up mountain biking about four months ago. I’ve ridden a road bike before, I’ve ridden mountain bikes when I was a kid. There are some good tracks around where I live, so I bought a crappy mountain bike and I just wore normal clothes that I had, normal helmet, I had none of the other gear, but I just went out and had a bashing. Even then, I was a bit self-conscious about seeing anyone else out on the tracks and what are they going to think of me and my bike? That’s with mountain biking and it’s like no one really cares too much what… There’s a lot less anxiety around that compared to swimming, so I totally get it.

With swimming, I think if you don’t know how to swim, a good way can be adult ‘Learn to Swim’ classes. That’s probably, you want that face to face teaching. I think it is a lot harder to learn through videos and YouTube. It can certainly be done but I think that face to face coaching is important.

If you do know some of the basics, then just start simple. A lot of people find that wearing a snorkel can be a really great way to overcome that fear of breathing because you don’t need to lift your head to breathe, you can just breathe with the snorkel on. Then the next thing is just to start small. I’m a big fan of developing good fundamentals and it doesn’t matter if you’re a beginner, if you’re late: you’ve got to have good fundamentals. Start small and build up from there because swimming, like any other skill, it’s developing the motor patterns to be able to swim fast.

What I normally recommend for a lot of people is if you are struggling with your breathing, then find an area that’s just deep enough to stand in the water and just practice your breathing. Like they do with the kids, just practice breathing out bubbles and then you can progress from there where you put your whole face in, then you can go from holding onto the wall, have your feet up and practice that breathing, and just go step by step. Keep it really simple. It doesn’t need to be a difficult thing if you do it that way. Because you’re much better doing that than jumping literally in the deep end and trying to get to the other end.

I’ve spoken to people who have come to clinics and they’ve said that the first time that they got back in the pool, they jumped in, swam to the other end–and this is a 50-metre pool that’s not deep enough to stand in–and they only just made it. They jumped out after that and then it took them another few weeks to get the courage back up to go again.

Don’t be afraid to even ask. Talk to the lifeguards, talk to other people there and ask: What lane should I go in, this is where I’m at? Because people are friendly, they’re willing to help and there’s no need to go it alone.

Darren: I agree with that. I think all too often as adults, we’re a little bit fearful of actually asking for help as well. We think maybe we’ve done it as a kid so we can just pick it back up again. And, like you say, particularly men; ego and all the rest of it kind of gets in the way. ‘I’m here, I’m just going to jump in, I’m going to do 10 lengths.’ That’s really hard, no matter what size pool you’re in, if you’ve not swam for a long time. Because for the reasons that we say–technique, and breathing, and things like that. Confidence.

Yeah, I think that’s a great point. If you are going to do it, find someone who can kind of guide you and help you. Don’t go when it’s a busy time as well. Maybe go when it’s a little bit quieter so you’ve got the lanes to yourself. Because that also can be a little bit of a daunting task as well, particularly… I go to a pool on a Saturday morning: it’s very busy. You could have 10 or 12 people in a lane if it’s a 50-metre pool and they’re coming around you, they’re overtaking you. You have this tendency, if there’s someone coming alongside you, to keep with their pace and things like that. There’s a big psychological element to it as well.

The other thing is consistency. I’ve been swimming now consistently for six to seven years and even now, there’s still things every time I get in the pool that I can improve upon. There’s still little tweaks and changes that I can make. But when I first started, I couldn’t swim; I could barely swim the length of a 20-metre pool before I had to try to stop and give myself a couple of minutes at the other end. The point I’m trying to make is that, just accept that it’s going to take you a bit of time before you can get to the point where you’re consistently swimming up and down

Brenton: Definitely. And it’s okay to suck at something. You’re going to suck at anything the first time, probably the second time, third and on from there, but you will get better at it. Probably one of the mistakes I made when I started coaching, I was working with reasonable swimmers but I thought that I would be able to basically change their stroke straightaway. It’s like, ‘All right, move it. Move your hand this way and straightaway you’ll be swimming faster.’ But that’s not how skill acquisition works. That’s not how…

There’s habits that are ingrained that are going to take you often eight to 10 weeks to be able to make automatic and to be able to change. Whilst you might be able to get it now once or twice here and there, it’s not going to happen overnight. The same thing goes if you’re starting from a more beginner level.

Having that long-term approach, knowing that it’s going to take several months and really several years to become pretty competent at it, but that’s all part of the journey. That’s part of the fun of it because if you look back from where you were six or seven years ago and actually reflect on it, you see that’s amazing to go from not being able to swim 20 metres to now where you’re doing several races a year and looking to qualify for Kona. That’s what’s possible with that long-term approach.

Darren: And that’s the whole approach around most things in life. But when we’re talking here about fitness and health, you’ve got to be in it for the long game, right? We all want this instant now results, we live in the Amazon world where we can click and it’ll be here in 24 hours. That’s not how it works with your health and your fitness. You have to accept and be happy to put the effort in and consistently, to get the results you want.

For people that maybe don’t necessarily have a lot of time to spend an hour in the pool on the weekend or in the week and things like that, one of the things that I promote to our community is that even if you do 20 to 30 minutes, that’s more than enough if you’re doing it consistently. Maybe twice or three times a week. What would be your recommended programmes? Obviously–caveat–everybody’s different. But what would be your general approach to somebody who wants to get into swimming but doesn’t necessarily have the time to be able to do it?

Brenton: A friend of mine, Annie, she’s a coach. Her favourite phrase is, ‘Whoever’s having the most fun, wins.’ If you’re going to the pool and you’re just hating it every single time, I can guarantee in two months, three months’ time, you’re probably not going to be back at that pool very often. Especially if you’re doing triathlon and you might be starting out, it can be worthwhile just doing what you enjoy. It might be wearing fins to start with, just wearing some flippers and swim with those on. Eventually, you obviously want to get rid of them and progress to some sort of harder stuff after that. But if that’s what gets you to the pool, and that’s what you enjoy, then go with that.

The same goes for pool buoy and paddles, especially for triathletes. Like, right now, if you hate your swimming but you enjoy swimming with paddles and a pool buoy, use those because that’s better than not going to the pool. That’s what I usually recommend in terms of getting that consistency in, two or three times a week.

And then if you only have half an hour, I find just really simple sets and usually ascending sets, can be helpful. What that would mean is like, let’s say you’ve got 30 minutes. Might be five minutes of warm up, maybe a little bit more, depends on how much you need. Then if you have a set where you are doing some building work–so progressively, you might start slow, you’ll progressively get faster throughout the set. At the end of the set, if you’re doing your fastest effort towards the end of the set and your times are getting faster, and then you do your cool down after that, you’ll probably come away feeling pretty good about yourself.

It’s almost like this crescendo, where it might be like, let’s say it was six 200’s was your main set. You might do two medium, two a bit faster, and then number five might be like a sort of 85-90% effort, and the last one is the fastest one. Just some really simple stuff where you’re changing the speed around and you’re sort of feeling good about yourself at the end of the set. I find that helps a lot, just with the confidence and just with how you feel overall. It’s so much better doing that for most people than just doing 1000 metres straight swimming where it’s just like… There’s room for aerobic work, obviously, but if you’re looking for bang for buck, you’ve got to be changing your speed up within a set.

Darren: Because the other thing about doing distance, when you start to do endurance, you’ve really got to have a lot of focus, I think, because you can quite easily get your mind can wander and as a result, I’ve known this from experience, then your stroke starts to suffer, you start to get a little bit fatigued, and maybe your technique is not as great. So, I think those interval type sets are really valuable, where you’re maybe going a little bit higher than your constant swimming speed and you’re puffing a little bit when you stop, and then you have a little rest, and then you go again. Gives you time to kind of reset and you get your breath back and then go again. I think the interval sets are quite good.

If you’ve got some basic experience, you maybe swam once a week for a little while and you’re okay. You can do the sets that we’ve just talked about, what would you say is the next step to progress on from a beginner? Or maybe even to start thinking about doing some open water swimming as well if the guys listening are looking to do a triathlon.

Brenton: I find, to really motivate yourself to take that next step, and provided that’s something you obviously want to go for, an event–like a goal and a deadline–is one of the best things to do it.

We were talking earlier, I did a season of triathlon where I built up and did an Iron Man at the end of that as a bucket list thing. When I was training for that Iron Man, I was busy. I didn’t have kids at the time but I was pretty busy with coaching and running the business. I was still doing two, sometimes three training sessions a day. The reason I was doing that, getting up at 4:30 or four o’clock–4:30 in the morning, it’s freezing cold–getting on the bike and doing the training, it was because I set that goal and I had that deadline of that March date.

I sort of had to dig into ‘what’s my motivation here.’ For me, it was to get under a certain time because I wanted to prove that to my mates, basically. I also had a bit of ego involved in the swim time that I wanted to do at that race just because of my coaching experience and that kind of thing. I had to be honest with myself about it and know that there was ego involved with all of that but that was a real motivator for actually getting the training done.

If you’re looking to take that next step, if you find a swim or an event that excites you, it might be a little bit daunting as well, that’s probably going to be one of the best things to get you out the door and get you to the pool. If it’s a 500-metre swim that you know you can do easily, there’s nothing that excites you too much about it, there’s nothing that’s going to push you out the door when you could stay home and a night in seems easier. I find something that’s challenging, outside your comfort zone, that’s what’s probably going to do it.

Darren: I agree. I think I recorded a video late last year of me going out for a run in the winter at 6:30 on a Sunday morning. And sometimes when you mention to people, ‘you’ve got to have a why, your reason why,’ people think it’s a bit woo-woo, so I kind of like to dial it back a bit. But like you say, have a reason or an event that you’re working towards because when you want to step out the door on a cold winter’s morning and go into the pool, or you want to get into a cold lake, or you have to go out for a run because your training programme says you’ve got to do a run, and it’s raining outside, and it’s 6:30 in the morning–you could be in bed–it will be that reason that will push and spur you on.

And also, it will be the reason that keeps you consistent as well. When stuff gets tough for me training–I’ve been facing it recently during training because it really stepped up–I kind of have to visualise. Again, people might think this is a bit woo-woo but it’s kind of visualising, dreaming… Do I want to get to the end of my qualification race, cross that finish line, and realise I’ve not met the time that I need to do? And then be hugely disappointed? Or do I want to push through what I’m going through now and actually finish it, so I know that’s got me that little step further?

And people listening to this might not necessarily want to do the big events that you and I are talking about, but they might just want to do a park run, they might just want to be able to swim 500 metres for a charity race or something like that. It’s that all-important, that kind of end goal, that end game that if you got that fixed in your mind, will just help you push through the difficult times.

Brenton: Yeah, completely. Having that sort of accountability there, too. Like telling your friends, telling your family that you’ve booked it in. Because you’re going to want to sort of save face there and that’s what’s going to do it for you. Having some responsibility, some pressure there, is a good thing. I find like just generally, when I’ve got a challenging event that I’ve got booked in, I’m usually more productive and I’d say more efficient. I also procrastinate a lot less on the other things in life. You actually do… With that family time, you actually spend it a lot better. With work, I’ve got three hours because I’ve got to get out the door and go for this run, then you usually do it, whereas when I don’t have that event booked in, I procrastinate a lot more.

I think just generally, in terms of quality of life and that sort of thing, it’s good to have something big coming up most of the time. Those down times are definitely important but it’s good to have those times.

Darren:  That’s really clear what you said there. I notice that I do that. I notice when I’ve got a big training block coming up, that you’re a lot more mindful of the time that you’re going to spend with the family because you know that you’re going to be away sometimes. And maybe if you don’t have that booked in, you still have that time, obviously, with the family, but you’re maybe not as conscious about making sure that you maximise that time. So, yeah, I think that’s a great point.

In terms of actions that listeners can take away to either start swimming or improve in their swimming, what five key actions, Brenton, would you suggest or recommend that the listeners could take away?

Brenton: I think when it comes to improving your swimming in general, start with the fundamentals. Over the last couple of years, we’ve developed these five core principles that we use to teach and we use to analyse strokes. One of the things that we’re sort of best known for, at least in Australia and overseas a bit, is technique analysis. The way that we’ve analysed people’s stroke has been with these five core principles. We’ve just written them down and published them only a couple of weeks ago.

The first core principle is ‘breathe deep and relax.’ That’s basically learning to use your diaphragm to breathe and to be able to relax in the water, kind of like what we were talking about before, without panicking, and just learning to relax in the water.

The second one is finding your balance and part of that is posture. Posture is hugely important in swimming. The way I normally teach it is you want to think of being tall. Think of really lengthening, elongating your spine, and having your chest out a bit, so really in this sort of tall and proud posture. And with that in place, and if you’re breathing using your diaphragm, that gives you this really nice strong, taut body position in core and midsection to then sort of work from.

Working your way up through these core principles is kind of an easy framework or roadmap to follow. If you’re looking to improve your stroke, we’ve got them published on the website, and we can put that in the show notes. But that’s what I’d recommend if you’re looking to improve your stroke.

And also, just keep it simple. One, maybe two things at a time, practice it for at least five to six weeks, work on those one or two things, and then move on from there. One of the things I’m probably guilty of, and we publish a lot of videos, a lot of content and lots of different advice… If you’re jumping from each bit of advice every single week, you’re probably not going to nail each of those things or lock them in as a habit. So maybe get some coaching, get some advice, or just figure out what it is that you need to work on and laser in on that, make those changes, and then progress from there. Just keep it as simple as possible.

I find with so much information out there, it’s easy to jump from one thing to the other without really learning and developing it. Just, I think, keep it really simple with swimming. As you know, especially as guys, we can rarely focus on more than one thing at a time, especially when we’re swimming and when we’re under pressure, so don’t try and do anything more than one or two.

Darren: And I think as guys as well–and I know I do this–you kind of overcomplicate things. When things are perhaps not going the way that you want them to do, you kind of try to overanalyse it. ‘It must be this kind of magic pill that’s going to fix that thing or the one thing that I’m missing.’ Actually, what I’ve learnt over the years is nine times out 10, it’s just keeping it simple, but keeping it consistent as well. Don’t expect to go to the pool and work on a particular area of your stroke or your rotation or something like that, and you nail it in that one session. That’s just not going to happen. Just be prepared to kind of, as we keep saying, just keep it consistent and persistent as well.

Brenton: One thing I’ll just add to that, just to jump in. If you have been swimming for a little while, one thing that’s probably helped a lot of people that I’ve found recently–and I did a video on it and I got a lot of feedback on it, so that’s why I want to mention it–is connecting your catch and your kick. The catch is basically when one arm is out in front, when you’re at full extension out in front, the catch is from there to when the fingers sort of point down to the bottom of the pool. It’s like the tipping down of hand, that’s the catch.

If you can connect that up with your downwards kick on that same side–your right arm catch and your right leg kick–that is kind of the timing that you want to help give you something to anchor against when you’re pulling and to help with the rotation of your body. That’s basically the timing that you want. You want to connect the catch and the kick together. If you want one really simple thing to focus on, I found for a lot of people that can be something to make it all sort of come together. In terms of one piece of simple advice people can follow.

Darren: That’s a great one. I’ve not heard of that one before. You’re saying if you’re catching with your left, you’re matching that with a kick on your right, or is it on the same side?

Brenton: On the same side so that the catch and the downwards kick on that same side is what you want to connect because that downwards kick is going to start rotating your hip to the other direction and it’s going to give you something to almost sort of pull against to anchor against with that arm and that’s the timing you’ll see when you slow down footage of all the top swimmers, especially the distance swimmers. That’s what they’re doing.

We do a lot of filming with people every year and you can tell when you see someone at the pool, when they look like they’re not really travelling that well through the water, like they’re a low distance per stroke, then usually that’s one of the things that will contribute to it. Their timing’s slightly out. So usually what’s happening is like they’ll go through the catch and they haven’t even started that downwards kick yet. I was doing the analysis for one of our members two days ago and that was the case. The one thing I gave this swimmer was working on connecting that up. So, yeah, next time you go to the pool, it’s a good one to see if you can match that if you’re not already.

Darren: Yeah, I’ll definitely pay attention to that. And I think the other point you’re saying is when you see people swimming, to avoid the cliché of ‘effortless swimming,’ it does look like that. When you see somebody who has got their technique down and they’re fast, it’s quite an amazing thing because they look so effortless, they’re almost like gliding through the water and they’re not splashing around. Their arms are into the water perfectly with minimal splash, they’re doing kind of small little kicks at the back, but they’re absolutely flying along. For me, you know that someone’s nailing their swimming when it kind of looks like that.

Brenton: It’s a beautiful thing to see, isn’t it? I certainly appreciate it as a coach and as a swimmer. It’s just lovely to watch. At one of our pools in Melbourne, we had Mack Horton who was the 400-metre Olympic champion, Olympic gold medallist from Rio, and Gregorio Paltrinieri from Italy, he was the 1500-metre gold medallist from Rio. They were training together for a number of months there and so you’ve basically got the two fastest distance swimmers in the world training together. It was a sight to see. Those guys were just levitating on the water. They just looked so good swimming and that was really as good as it gets when it comes to watching somebody swim.

Darren: Absolutely, it’s fantastic. Before we wrap up, then, Brenton, what didn’t I ask you that you felt that I maybe should have asked you that would benefit the listeners?

Brenton: We kind of went into it. I think figuring out what your reason why is, and what actually is motivating you and being honest about it. And sometimes those honest answers they’re–not embarrassing–but they’re like… For me, it was the ego of wanting to do really well in that Iron Man swim and just prove to my mates that I could get this certain time. And there’s nothing wrong with that. If that’s what is legitimately motivating you, then be honest with it. I think really digging into that is what can sort of help you along in your journey. And then just booking that event that challenges you and scares you, I think that’s what it’s all about.

For me, a year and a half ago, I did a 20K swim across to right next to the island which is over in Western Australia. I did reasonably well at it and it scared me at the time training up for it. But there’s still some things I want to change, so I think I’ll probably do that event again and change some things there. So even if you train for something, you don’t do as well as you want, you learn some things. Those sorts of losses, they’re good in the long run because that’s what’s going to make you change, it’s what’s going to make you get better. It’s a long journey and most of us are probably going to last to 80, 90, 100. And even if you’re 70 or 80 years old, like some of my swimmers are, they’re still looking to get faster at 70 or 80 and they’re still making improvements, so it’s still early: it’s not too late to get better.

Darren: I agree. It’s never too late and I think that one of the key elements you just mentioned there is just be okay with it not being okay. Another cliché, but ‘every master was once a disaster.’ No one’s ever perfect; there’s always little areas that you can improve upon. But you should use that as fuel to push yourself forward if there’s areas that you can work on to get better. And I think as guys as well, there’s been some recent studies done that, particularly when you get into your 40s and things like that, you get kind of drawn into the science of fitness and nutrition and the stuff that you’re doing. It kind of ends up becoming a bit of a game where you can just tweak and change little things to get those small little improvements, but over time they become big improvements. I think that’s a great point.

How can people connect with you, Brenton? Obviously, you’ve got the Effortless Swim podcast which is how you and I connected, which is a great podcast, and I recommend the listeners to go over and listen to it. Obviously, after they’ve listened to this one! But how else can the guys connect with you?

Brenton: Our website, EffortlessSwimming.com. That’s got a whole bunch of videos and a bit more about the things that we offer there. But most people watch us on either YouTube, Facebook or Instagram. We put out a lot of videos every week and they’re sort of shared across the platforms there. Whatever your favourite social media platform is, we’re on just as Effortless Swimming, so you’ll find us there. If you want to hit me up if you’ve got any questions, then there’s a contact form on our website or just send me a DM on Instagram or any of the other places. That’s where I’m at. It’s been great chatting. Thanks very much for having me on.

Darren: Thanks for coming on and taking time out of your evening in Australia to come and talk to us. I really appreciate your time and your comments, Brenton, and I look forward to catching up with you again soon. Take care.

Brenton: Thanks, Darren.

Darren: Thanks for listening to the Fitter Healthier Dad podcast. If you enjoyed today’s episode, please hit subscribe and I would really appreciate it if you could leave a review on iTunes. All the links mentioned in the episode will be in the show notes and a full transcription is over at FitterHealthierDad.com.

 

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