Hell*|MERGE1|* and welcome to the April edition of 'In the Flow', the newsletter for Total Immersion swimmers in Australia and New Zealand.

Its another packed edition! If you are busy now why not save this email or print a copy and schedule 15 minutes so you can read at your leisure? If you are in a rush and want to get straight to the course dates you can scroll down to the bottom.

Last Thursday was Earth Day. Its a celebration of the amazing planet that we live on and also a call for awareness and change. As planetary inhabitants we need to learn how to live sustainably to ensure our survival. I haven't met anyone recently who would disagree... but what does that mean and how to we put it into action?

The word 'sustainable' breaks down into 'sustain' and 'able' - so its the ability to keep on doing what we are doing.

Consuming the Earth's resources faster than they are replaced is unsustainable. So are buying on credit, excessive commuting, working 80h per week and addictive eating! In the broader context sustainability all of these things point us in the same direction where we do our best to live healthy, balanced lives. Easier said than done and for me it is certainly 'work in progress'.

Material resources are finite and can run out. Human Potential might not be. How much of yours have you lived? Did you heard the story of the ordinary person who in a sudden moment finds the strength to lift a car with a child trapped underneath it? Human Growth Coaching Services is the umbrella company for TI in Australia and is all about helping people the skills to access some of their unused potential. As a company director I'm responsible for running a sustainable business and as Chief Coach of TI it is my job to help people to swim more sustainably. The articles in this newsletter are dedicated to those themes.

Some of the feedback from the last newsletter was a request for more personal stories so I have written some articles for our blog featuring TI swimmers at both Ironman New Zealand and Ironman Australia.

Our blog is at and you can also read Sydney coach Sarah Anne's article about falling in love with ocean swimming here.

TI is for all swimmers who want to develop their swimming skills and swim with confidence, grace and ease.

1. What is 'Sustainable Swimming' and how do you do it?

Getting to the end of the pool breathless and exhausted is not sustainable. You can't keep on going that way and if you want to continue you will need to rest first. The 'rest and re-compose' strategy is a great option if you have no better choice but better still, improve your swimming ability! Have you ever seen someone swimming who looked like they could keep going all day? When I ask people what makes great swimming they say things like:

~ effortless gliding ~ powerful ~ smooth ~ flowing rhythm ~ relaxed ~ harmony with the water ~

If you want to swim like that you can achieve it. The key is sustainability. Getting fitter and stronger will mean you can push your limit out to several lengths or even perhaps several kilometers but you will always have a limit. I'd like you to feel like you can swim forever! The truth is that you are wasting a chunk of you effort without even knowing it! Human beings are unconsciously programmed for survival in order to keep us safe.

Fear of drowning!
Fear of sinking!
Fear of not being able to breathe!
Fear of 'things' in the ocean!
Fear of 'looking stupid'!
Fear of being left behind!

If you are unable to identify any of those in your stroke then congratulations on being an enlightened swimmer.

OK 'fear' is a strong word. I'm not saying that you are 'afraid' in the 'ooh, I'm shaking at the knees...' kind of way (its ok if you are) but if you have read this far I'll bet you can identify one or more of these issues in your stroke. You are a human same as the rest of us and whether you are aware of your fears or not, chances are they create stress or tension in your body which reduces your efficiency. Perhaps your first length is 99% sustainable... the next one is 97% ... then 94% ... 85% ... 70% ... 46% and soon you can't go on.

As you start to struggle for breath your body's unconscious safety mechanisms take over to 'keep you alive'. You stroke more urgently, lift your head up out of the water and kick faster. This is called 'survival swimming'.

It looks urgent - lots of white water, bubbles and splashing.
It sounds urgent.
It feels urgent

So how about a solution? What can you do to get past your fears and swim indefinitely?

The good news is that becoming aware of the situation is actually the first step towards the solution! Don't try to change anything at first, just notice what is happening in your body. Can you feel tension? ... discomfort? ... urgency? ... anxiety? Are you breathing easily? Can you hear slapping and splashing? Are you making the water froth and bubble? Do the swimmers in the next lane seem nervous when you swim past them? Once you have some awareness in your stroke you can start to address the issues.

The second step is to slow down. I don't mean you have to move through the water slower (although that is fine) but I do mean really slow your movements. Give yourself time to glide and to feel even more in the water. Ask a friend to film you and see if you can identify the urgency in your stroke. Where are you holding tension? Where are you rushing? Move even slower than you think. If you are not feeling a little bit foolish at this stage then you need to slow down even more. Please note: I am not suggesting you have to swim slowly the whole time! We are talking about an learning how to swim sustainably and once you have learnt how to do it you can swim as fast as you like. If you watch the 100m on TV bear in mind the primary aim is to go under 46 seconds, not to be 'efficient'!

Good! Now that you started to let go of all that wasted energy you can start to focus on the effort that actually moves you forward through the water! Visualise a straight line from your toes up to your crown and as you roll from your hips visualise that you are 'sending your energy forward' in straight lines. Allow time to glide but no so much that you stop and keep your recovery arm flowing smoothly. Fit in a relaxed breath every 3 stokes and there you have it - a stroke that will last all day!

Simple? Yes!

Easy? No!

Insight can be instant and powerful. Habits change over time. With regular practise you can imprint the basics in a month and 80% in a year. It takes a lifetime to perfect and be warned - once you realise how much more improving there is to do you just might become addicted! Sustainably so, of course - some addictions are healthier than others!!!

The triathlon and ocean swimming seasons are now over and the temperature of the ocean is dropping rapidly so there really is no better time to give your stroke the attention it needs. If you want to jump into the next season and swim like a fish while your buddies are struggling to fit into their togs then why don't you commit to upskilling your stroke during the off season?

I'd love to hear how these ideas help your swimming so drop me a line via or 1800 007 505

If you don't need the help please pass this on to someone who does. Forward it on anyway if it feels right for you! 

2. Carbon Auditing TI Australia

Last week I met with Nadia Catchaturyan. She's an Ocean Swimmer and a Carbon Accounting Consultant. We are working together to get a clear picture of our current footprint and set priorities and targets moving forward. It is exciting to be an early adopter of a new aspect of business that will soon become common practice. It also seems like fortuitous timing to be meeting the day after Earth Day! Nadia has promised to write an article for the blog and we will share more as the process unfolds.

3. Richard Pain - Pacific Vortex Challenge 

Sometimes we need something big to wake us up. This week I spoke to Richard and he has taken on an epic challenge. He's a Bronte based ocean swimmer who is planning to swim 9000km from Japan to California in order to raise awareness of the Great Pacific Garbage Path, a massive zone of plastic debris floating around in the middle of the Pacific. My brain got stretched last year when I met 'Big River Man' Martin Strel and learned about his swim down the full length of the Amazon river. Richard Pain was also inspired by Martin and has taken things to a whole new level!

I'm delighted at the opportunity to meet someone with such a vast goal and looking forward to the Sydney Workshop on June 19th & 20th where Richard will join us. I you join us it will be a unique opportunity to meet someone who you may consider to be inspired, insane or both! Either way it is a great cause and you can read more about Richard's adventure at To give you some idea he is 18 months away from his start and swimming 6km per session 5 times weekly. TI is fully behind this project so you can expect to hear more about Richard in the future.

4. Melbourne - Coach Training, Great New Venue, New Course for Alumni and SPECIAL OFFER ON WORKSHOPS

Since the start of the year I have been making a monthly trip down to Melbourne to teach TI. I do like spending time in Melbourne but monthly travel just isn't a sustainable strategy. So I'm running a coach training course over the next 3 months to teach TI swimmers the skills they need to share their passion.

One of our first priorities in Melbourne is to help our workshop customers who would like to continue to swim TI and keep on developing their skills in a supportive environment. The first of our 10 Week Tune up Courses will start on the evening of Thursday 6th May with a free session on 29th April for anyone who would like to try it out. YES that IS tonight! Timing will be 6:30-8pm. Please try to arrive by 7pm at the laterst. The 10 week course will be online within the week with places limited to 8. Please email if you are interested.

In February we switched pools from Kensington to St Leonard's School in Brighton and have had overwhelmingly positive feedback on the change so we are planning to run all or our courses there for the foreseeable future. If you haven't yet tried it out you should certainly come and join us there for a swim. If you are new to TI then your best option would be to join us on a Friday evening for our Free Demo course.

Special Offer: We'd like to give all Melbourne swimmers a special incentive to come to one of workshops. We all know its easier to turn up at the pool when you have a training partner so how about bringing a friend to a workshop? Each person who books into a Melbourne workshop between now and the end of May can bring a friend for half price. So they will pay $275 instead of $550! How about that for making you popular with a mate? Or if you prefer you can split it half way and pay $413 each. Not bad for taking a month to set yourself up for the rest of your swimming life! Call Dunstan on 1800 007 505 to find out more.

5. Upcoming Courses

We would love to help you to swim more sustainably!

We run 2 hour Demo Course each month in Melbourne and Sydney where you you can find out what TI can do for your swimming. People experience real change at these courses and a taste of what is possible. The best part is that the course is totally free! Why don't you tell your friends about it? Dates are at 

Whether your goal is to swim all day, take minutes off your time or just to enjoy swimming check out to see what we have packed into the month long Fishlike Freestyle Package! If the workshop format doesn't work fit your needs we also have individual tuition available in Sydney and soon in Melbourne.

1800 007 505 is toll-free and I would love to talk with you about your swimming so drop me a line!

Here are our upcoming Fishlike Freestyle dates and availability:

1 May - 2 May 10
St Leonards College Pool, East Brighton
Dunstan, Pat & Peter
10am - 4pm on Sat & Sun.
15 May - 16 May 10
Monte Sant Angelo School, North Sydney
Dunstan & Claire
12:30 - 7pm on Sat & 11:30am - 6pm on Sun.
Brisbane, QLD
29 May - 30 May 10
QUT, Kelvin Grove
10:30 to 4:45 on Sat & Sun COURSE FULLY BOOKED - please contact us for reserve list
5 Jun - 6 Jun 10
St Leonards College Pool, East Brighton
Dunstan, Pat & Peter
10am - 4pm on Sat & Sun.
19 Jun - 20 Jun 10
Monte Sant Angelo School, North Sydney
12:30 - 7pm on Sat & 11:30am - 6pm on Sun
Brisbane, QLD
3 Jul - 4 Jul 10
QUT, Kelvin Grove
10:30 to 4:45 on Sat & Sun
3 Jul - 4 Jul 10
St Leonards College Pool, East Brighton
Dunstan, Pat & Peter
10am - 4pm on Sat & Sun
24 Jul - 25 Jul 10
Monte Sant Angelo School, North Sydney
12:30 - 7pm on Sat & 11:30am - 6pm on Sun

Click Here to Book Your Place

Did you enjoy this newsletter? Which bits did you like most? Is there something else you would like me to write about? Do you have a burning question? Either way I'd love to hear from you.

Warmest Regards,

Dunstan and the TI Team for Australia & New Zealand

How can you contact us?

Phone  1800 007 505

We help swimmers who want to stop struggling with their swimming and start swimming with ease and enjoyment in any stretch of water over any distance 

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