Swimming with Duncan Goodhew

Duncan Goodhew

As part of being involved with the Swimathon BlogSquad, I had the amazing opportunity to take part in a training session with Olympic gold medalist Duncan Goodhew. I met with Adele, Emma and Victoria at Cally Pool last December to pick up some tips as we train towards our swimming challenges.

We began with a few warm-up lengths, then stopped to get some feedback on our technique. Duncan complimented me on my stroke, saying that I swim beautifully and he is jealous of how much flexibility I have through my shoulders. It was a huge confidence boost to have great feedback from a swimming legend like Duncan! 

Duncan Goodhew

We moved on to drills with the aim of getting more upper-body rotation and therefore becoming more streamlined in the water. I realised that I never finish my stroke fully, so Duncan’s tip of ‘flicking’ my fingers away by my thigh really helped to lengthen my stroke. 

We also worked on our catch, leading with the elbow with the lower arm relaxed and dangling. I tend to tense my forearm and overthink how I am placing my hand into the water, so this gave me something to work on in my training sessions. 
Duncan Goodhew

Duncan then demonstrated his winning breaststroke technique, which was actually awe-inspiring to watch! He seemed to cover half the length of the pool in just one stroke! I think I will stick to front-crawl as my breast-stroke leaves a lot to be desired! 

Duncan’s passion for swimming really shone through during our session. I asked him if he still swims regularly and he told me he still gets to the pool twice a day where possible. I wondered if the children training in the lanes beside us realised they were in the presence of an Olympic great. It wasn’t quite their usual Monday night training session! 

It was great to see how everyone’s confidence improved over the course of the session- Emma, Adele and Victoria’s strokes improved noticeably. The hour absolutely flew by, we all left feeling inspired by Duncan and excited for the Swimathon challenge. 

After our session we filmed a short video talking about our inspiration, motivation and proudest swimming moment. I guess I have to do tumble-turns now that I’ve committed to it on film!

There is now just under three weeks until Swimathon kicks off. I’ll be completing my 2.5km challenge at the flagship venue- the Aquatics Centre in the Olympic Park on Sunday 20th March. I’ll be aiming to improve on my time from last year- 57:08.

Have you met any Olympic athletes? Are you taking part in Swimathon this year?

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