Getting fitter and faster in the pool

There’s not much that will get me up early on a weekend morning. So I was slightly shocked when I voluntarily rolled myself out of bed on Saturday before 7am. 30 minutes later, I was at the swimming pool.

We were swimming laps at the VIP Club in Phnom Penh, Cambodia.

I had signed up for a month’s worth of swimming lessons, courtesy of No Shortcuts Training. Run by Berry Schipper, he provides an hour’s worth of practical and remarkably effective swimming lessons to cut the drag and increase the glide.

I’d already attended a one hour weekday course, and was amazed by the results. No more bashing around in the water, swinging the arms, and bullying the shoulders. I left the pool stretching out, twisting my torso, cupping my hand, and kicking at just the right time.

What Berry failed to tell me before I turned up on Saturday morning was the intensity of the session. No one should be made to kick their way to other end of the swimming pool taking only 2 breaths… and definitely not before midday. Increasing our lung capacity, was his excuse, though it seemed it was for more sadistic reasons.

And then there were the sprints. Fast as you can. But keep your technique. And that’s when my flaws were found. Arms slightly off centre coupled with desperate gasps between strokes.

But it can be fixed, according to Berry. And that’s what going to make me to turn up for the rest of the classes.

Berry Schipper from No Shortcuts Training - Swimming Coach extraordinaire.

Another reason I’m going to keep going… after spending loads years in Cambodia, Berry is now off to go live in China in the summer. And though he’ll be handing over the coaching to an equally qualified professional, I thought I might as well rack Berry’s brains whilst he’s still around. And if you’re in Cambodia and need to learn to swim or improve your technique, contact him fast before he swims or flies away.

3 thoughts on “Getting fitter and faster in the pool

  1. Does Barry have any female coaches? I want to learn how to swim but would be more comfortable with a woman teaching me. Thanks

  2. I took a swimming course last year for a month. Taking it made me feel much more comfortable in the water.I’m currently training for a 5K in July and want to swim/hike on rest days. Swimming is something I want to get into for sure. It’s so cool you joined a swimming class! Good luck!

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