Active Blu - Open Water Venue.

Active Blu - Open Water Venue.

Monday, 6 June 2016

Top tips for the weekend - 10,000 swimmers, one stunning venue - People doing amazing things.

Top tips for the weekend - 10,000 swimmers, one stunning venue - People doing amazing things. 

Great North Swim Start. 

This weekend sees the return of The Great North Swim, where over 10,000 swimmers take to Windermere over distances of half mile, 1 mile, 2 miles, 5km and 10km. 

For everyone taking part in the weekend, there are generally a lot of nerves, excitement, fun and laughter involved. Some are taking to the water for the first time, others are raising money for charity, whilst a few are looking for a personal best time within the event. 

Great North Swim Training Day 2016

What ever event you are swimming and for whatever reason the key objective here is for you to enjoy your experience. The event has an amazing atmosphere, with so much going on both in and out the water. 

However with less then a week to go, for those that are feeling a bit nervous - I wanted to give you all some last min advice before your big day. 

Great North Swim Training Day. 

Top Tips for the day: 

1 - Plan and prepare - Eliminate any unnecessary stress.
Plan and prepare the things within your control. Make sure your journey is planned and you arrive in plenty of time, the Great Swim will have sent you out details of the day - So take a read through this as everything you need to know is in there. Make sure your wetsuit, googles, suncream, medication, food and drink are all packed and ready. Basically get all your kit together a few days before - so there is no last minute rush. 

2 - Control the controllable.
Often people will spend a lot of time worrying about the weather and water conditions as well as the other people participating in the event. As you have no control on any of these factors, a top tip is to focus on yourself. Make sure you have eaten normally, drunk enough, your wetsuit is on properly and you have your googles, hat and timing chip. Then focus on the positives: the training you have done, the great experiences you have had so far and how amazing it will be whilst swimming. 

3 - Postive mindset. 
It is very easy to start doubting yourself on the day or a few days out from an event. Obviously nerves are normal but if we can think positively it will help keep you relaxed and will often lead to a better performance. Keep things in perspective, chunk things down. So if you are swimming a mile and it feels too much, think about swimming to the first marker buoy, then the next kayaker, then the next etc and before you know it you will have swam the course. Also focus on the little things, such as why you are doing the event, look at the stunning mountains and picture yourself at the end and how proud you will be. Find a happy place, so if you start doubting yourself, go back there and remember why you are doing the swim in the first place.  Enjoy :)

4 - Anxiety and Breathing. 
Most of us have experienced nerves, excitement and anxiety at some point in life. Whether we are seasoned athletes or new to the open water, the excitement and challenge of the distance ahead of you can create all sorts of feelings. The best thing to help control these are to focus on your breathing, you want to remain calm and take nice easy breathes in and out - Try to breathe as normally as you can, imagining you are relaxed, happy and calm. This also applies when swimming, blowing easy bubbles into the water as you exhale and then when you come to take a breathe in you can will automatically take an easy breath in without gasping. Think cause and effect. Easy in, easy out = relaxed successful swimming. Keep it simple. 

5 - Pacing. 
The importance of pacing...this is vital no matter who you are, or what distance you are swimming. Normally at the start of an event we all are full of energy and adrenaline, often what this means, is at the start we all head out into the open water at super speed. Then half way round we start feeling the effects of starting off too quick. A quick tip for you all is to think negative split the distance - This basically means you try and swim the first half of the distance slower  then the second. If you do this you can then pick up the pace and give it your all, but you will finish strong and feel much better. 

6 - Swim your own swim. Keep to the plan. 
With over 10,000 people taking part in the GNS it would be easy to start thinking about the other people participating, what they are doing, their prep, what they are eating etc, how fast they may be. The important thing to remember here is - Keep to the plan, be confident in what you have chosen to eat and drink pre event, keep focused on your plan with entering the water and the speed you want to swim, basically ignore what others are doing around you. The key here is to think of all the points above: positive thinking, breathing, pacing and most importantly remembering why you are doing this. Keep to the plan. 

7 - Celebrate well. 
The most important thing is to celebrate your success after your event, tell people about your achievements, you will not only get the support you deserve but also may motivate others along the way: Check out the Ripple effect. 

GNS - Finish line celebrations.

Remember to smile your way around the course, it is an amazing venue, with a fantastic supportive team and no matter what... YOU are doing an wonderful thing. 

Feel the fear and do it anyway, this is your day!!

Enjoy and I will see you on the finish line. 

Just keep swimming


Thursday, 26 May 2016

New flexibility for squads - Sign up now.

We have exciting news - Active Blu has gone online. 

We have gone online. Which basically means you can look at all appointments, squads and clinics and book the time and dates you want - SIMPLE.

What this means for the squads is: It is more flexible, you can choose how many weeks you want to sign up for, then with each bundle you have flexibility to take time off when you need. 

We start the squads using this system on the 5th June - So if you have ever wondered what it would be like to be coached and develop your swim times along with your technique. The squad are full of amazing people challenging themselves in different ways - Come join us - Check the Squad options out here.

The open water season is now well on its way and people are already seeing big improvements in their skills and fitness. 

To celebrate going online we are offering a discount to everyone if you book for a Video Analysis.

When prompted type in swimfaster into the promotion box to receive your discount. 

I would love to hear what challenges you have planned over the summer - If we can support you in any way please let us know and I look forward to seeing you soon. 

Just keep swimming. 

Monday, 18 April 2016

Its all about open water....

Its time....

Active Blu Venue
With less then a month until we start open water training in Windermere, there is no time to wait.
The season has already started for a few brave people entering events around the UK. 

Coaching from a paddle board. 

If you are keen to get expert coaching and top tips for the season ahead, sign up for our 5 weeks courses starting on the 12th May 2016. There are a few places left on both courses so get in touch now to secure your place: 

These courses are designed both for open water swimmers and triathletes and cater for all levels.

Beginners Open Water 5 week course -  5 weeks to confidence:

Learn to swim with confidence. 

Development Squad - For those more experienced athletes:

Development Squad. 
If you are interested and wish to get involved - The Active Blu team very much look forward to hearing from you.

Have a great season, be safe and have fun. 


Monday, 21 March 2016

Being the best you can be....Pushing outside the comfort zone.

Being the best you can be....Pushing outside the comfort zone. 

To push outside the comfort zone - Is just to go into places and do things that feel uncomfortable. For some people this feels ok and they seek this out, for others this can be very intimidating and many will shy away from it, longing for normality. 

Bloemfontein - South Africa last week.

However, how do you become the best you can if all you do is what you are used to. How do you consider challenges and changes in life if you do not flirt with the idea of pushing outside those boundaries and feeling uncomfortable once in a while. 

African Juniors  - Pre swim warm up. Dreaming big. 
In my job as a tutor and coach I am privileged to see people on a daily basis push themselves further then they have before. I am not talking physically as much as mentally and emotionally, although often all three go hand in hand.

Coaches - SA - Stroke development - 2016 

Some how people find the courage to take a step into somewhere new, say yes to things when they would have normally said no to and really face up to what they want in life. 

Para Athletes at Nation Champs - SA - 2016
Do not get me wrong - I truly believe that doing this is an extremely hard. Why? Well it leaves many of us feeling vulnerable, scared and uncertain about the outcome. So for so many people that is enough to stop them dreaming, stop them achieving what is possible and over time they lose that passion, drive and desire for the things that once motivated. 
Beginners open water session - Western Australia - 2016

Another way of thinking about it is 'what could be possible' Now this is even more scary, when you realise just how powerful you are, just how remarkable and influential you can be and in fact by taking one step forward you can change your life forever, thats when you realise it is worth the risk. 
10km Selection race - Sorrento - WA- 2016
There are consequences to these actions and along the way you may not make it as far as you wished, however I firmly believe it is worth trying. By taking that journey, there is no doubt that it will lead you somewhere beyond what you ever had thought possible. This will not only change your future, but could change the people around you too. Now you start to see just how positively powerful you can be. 
Chicago - Para Race - 2015
We all have dreams, I certainly believe it does not matter how old you are, or if you are held back physically or emotionally there are things you can do to get closer to what you want. Its powerful when you think the only thing potentially holding you back is what you tell yourself. 
Time to train - Perth 2016
So how would it be to change that, take that first step forward towards a new goal or dream. Show yourself what you are capable of and what is possible in life. 
Legend - Sue Oldham - Oldest women to swim the channel. 
Guaranteed you will end up achieving more then you realised and heading down a path you only once dreamt of. 
SA - Coaches from across Africa - Coach Ed
So I challenge you, think of all those things that scare you, those adventures and goals that give you butterflies and the ambitions you once wished for. 

Active Blu Venue - Windermere
Take on the challenge to change that, believe in yourself and what is possible and just enjoy the journey. I am sure it will take you places that will energise and light that fire within you once more. We all have it in us we just need to find it again. 

Enjoy the search. 


Saturday, 23 January 2016

Taking that leap

Certified Coaches Programme Perth 2016
The start of the year is a great way to get involved in new things - Think about what you would love to do or achieve in the coming year and then make it happen. I am lucky enough to be working out in Perth for 7 weeks working with the international coaches, training and mentoring them to become certified. 

These coaches have taken that leap and worked hard to be selected for the programme and now they are spending 2 weeks on pool deck, coaching in the OW and conducting video analysis before heading home to their home country to continue their training. 

They are all very inspiring, as they have had to take a leap of faith at some point and make changes in their life - To train and change their direction in life / job role. 

Open Water Coaching 2016 - Perth

This is not an easy programme and involves a lot of time and commitment - However this is a great example of what it takes to succeed in your goals and desires - Firstly you have to know what you want to achieve, then you have to put small steps in place that will support your journey and lead you to were you want to go.  I suggest you do not hesitate - Think about what you would like to do this year - put a plan together, tell the people who will support you and make it happen.
If you need any help along the way give the Active Blu team a shout. 
Developing communities and OW swimming. 
 Lets have an amazing 2016 and do things we have always wanted to - Achieve things you have always dreamed of and challenge yourself to things you have always wished. 
Amazing efforts from the squads and 315 to raise money for the people effected by the floods. 
 I wanted to also say a massive well done to all the Coaches, Staff and squad for the end of 2015 - The Active Blu Swim Squad and 315 health club members and staff got involved in a 12 hour swim to raise money for those effected by the floods. We have 4 teams swimming for 12 hours to see how far we could go. The results were amazing, but what stood out the most was how supportive and determined the swimmers were. 

This was a true example of challenging your self and pushing to do something that was slightly out peoples comfort zone. People certainly showed true grit....
Keswick 2015
I am delighted to say we raised a lot of money for the people effected by the floods and although it was a hard day at the office - It was nothing compared to what people are going through, trying to rebuild their homes and business. 

So well done to everyone involved and I am glad we were there to help the community, even if just in a small way.  
Active Blu - OW squad training
For everyone else that has a goal this year - Do not put it off any longer. Make plans, goals or set your challenge and ask the people you know who will be supportive and help you. Think one step at a time  and break it into small chunks. Enjoy the process and you will get their. 

Dream Big and Enjoy.

Happy swimming

Friday, 11 December 2015

12 hours in the water - Swimming up stream....

12 hours in the water - Swimming up stream....

What a team of swimmers have decided to do to support a community. 

Keswick 2015

As many of you know the North of the country has been badly effected by the floods. As Active Blu is based in Cumbria and Lancashire with many of the squads families, friends and businesses have been effected by the horrendous floods. 

The Coaches, Squad and 315 Health Club staff and members are joining together for a 12 hour swim at their venue in Lancaster. 

The plan to have 4 lanes and 4 groups swimming non stop for 12 hours......This is to raise funds to support those effected by the floods and bring people together to support the community. 

On 19th dec 2015 at 8am we start this challenge - We have 4 teams of people coming together and swimming for 12 hours. 

Lane 1 - Active Blu coaches - Emma, Tom and Paddy will take it in turns to swim from 8am - 8pm - Ouch. 

Lane 2 - The Active Blu Swim Squad have a team that will try and swim further then the coaches.

Lane 3 - 315 Health Club Staff - Ceri, KJ and Glen - Who have been badly effected my the floods will take it in turns to see how far they can swim over the 12 hours.

Lane 4 - 315 Health Club Members and Staff will get together to take on this challenge to try and beat the staff teams distance.

This is BOUND to get exciting....!!!

This will not be an easy day - However will support those that have been affected by the floods and will raise funds to help in a small way.

Please support us in any way and if you would like to join the Active Blu Swim Team for the 19th Dec at 8am - email me now -

Or if you fancy doing a similar event with you club I would love to hear about it. 

Keep Happy and Safe

Thank you for your support

Emma Brunning

Thursday, 3 December 2015

Lots of news....

Whats been happening!!

Time goes by so quickly.... its important we stop now and again to appreciate, celebrate just how much we have achieved this year, its also a good time to thank all those around us that have supported our challenges and aspirations.

Abingdon - 3 day course 2015

I realised that looking back, the last time I posted was in May. Well it has been a busy 7 months, however I think as someone that likes to support and educate people I will write and share much more - at least on a monthly basis. For now lets have a quick catch up as some exciting things have been happening.
Active Blu Venue 2015

Open Water Stuff....
The 2015 Open water swimming season was a great success - Not only seeing record numbers take to the water in Active Blu sessions on Windermere, but the Great North Swim saw over 10,000 swimmers take the plunge into the Lake and events all across country saw a massive increase in popularity. A massive thank you as always to the Active Blu safety team - They are legends, supporting the swimmers so much in the water. A team that gives more then they need. Thank you.

Exciting news for coaches - British Triathlon and Swim Smooth designed the New Open Water CPD  which we are just finishing in the next few months - This will support newly qualified and existing level 2 and 3 coaches to gain valuable experience and answer any questions you may have about coaching in the OW. This will go live in summer 2016.  Watch this space.

Chicago Worlds - 2015

USA Trip....
Chicago - I was lucky enough to head out to Chicago in Sept for a month to spent time at the ITU worlds supporting the USA para dare 2 tri team. It was an amazing trip and I was inspired daily by the individuals that competed. Some using a race chair for the first time to those that have qualified for Rio and are training hard to see what can happen in 7 months time. I got to work with some amazing athletes and they certainly taught me many things about my coaching and the power of a supportive team, they are a great charity / organisation - Worth having a look at what they do. I am still wondering how I use what I have learnt back here in the UK, but I am certain I would like to do more in this area.
Para - Elite race on its way

This is a must - Take 5 mins to watch who I was working with. - Dare 2 Tri. 

Lizzie and Joe ready for swim. 

Level 3....
Exciting personal news - I started my level 3 in January 2015 and last week I heard I had finished all my work and passed it - So I am delighted to announce I am now a level 3 British Triathlon coach. I would like to thank all the tutors and specialists that made the course so worth while.
Coach Ed days - Lancaster

Active Blu....
The coaching team at Active Blu just keeps getting bigger. We Now have Paddy and Sarah that do an amazing job of coaching the squads when I am away from base. We have Tom that also helps with the squads but has started doing Video Analysis too - If interested to book in with Tom check this  out. Toms Video Analysis  I must thank these 3 amazing coaches as with out them I would be able to keep developing and learning and leaving the squads in such great hands - Thank you.

Coaching in Lancaster

Swim Smooth Coach Education Manager. I have had this position now for just under a year and this allows me to train, support and mentor coaches across the world as they train to be certified coaches. I have meet some world class coaches in Perth this year - who are soon to be announced as new Swim Smooth coaches and I fly back out to Perth in Jan to run the certification programme for 12 more international coaches.

Swim Smooth Coaches. 

The first ever Swim Smooth CPD - In Nov all the certified coaches across Europe came together in London for a day to develop and share practise. It was a great day not only to meet everyone again, but as Paul had come over from Aus and Adam was also there we looked at new methods of coaching, business development and shared lots of stories and findings from the pool deck and open water. Thanks to all the coaches for attending.
Abingdon Coaches - 3 day course

2 x 3 Day Swim Smooth Coach Education Courses. This year we ran 2 coach ed courses one in Oxford at Abingdon and the other in the North at 315 Health Club, Lancaster. They both saw 100s of coaches apply and 20 coaches selected for each of the courses. They were both very successful and the caliber of coaching was a pleasure to see. It certainly was a fun few weeks.
Lancaster Coaches - 3 day course

Active Blu Squads - Well what can I say and I may be biased - But they are amazing, not just because they continue to make improvements with their swim times and efficiency, but because of how supportive they are to one another. It is truly an wonderful group of people, I feel so privileged to be part of it.  Geeky CSS facts - We have seem some of the biggest losers dropping 17 sec per 100m for 1500m over a 10 week period... WOW !! But then having done this over the following 10 weeks they dropped a further 12 sec per 100m ....what a year and thats just one example - Well done team and I look forward to celebrating your success at xmas. :) Remember to book your place fro 2016 squads - New swimmers / Triathletes welcome.
Showing the squad - What their pacing is like - Whats holding them back. 

Going forward...Come get involved or if you are stuck for a pressies for a loved one this are a few ideas:

In the new year we have NEW Squads, Clinics and Video Analysis Date LIVE NOW:
2016 Swim Day clinics
Thursday 6.15am
Sunday 5.15pm
Sunday 6.30pm
Video Analysis with Emma
Video Analysis with Tom

What ever you have been up to this year - Make sure you celebrate your achievements and if you have dreams and goals for next year make sure you make them happen. I would love to hear what you have planned. Exciting times.

For now take good care and Just keep Swimming

Best Wishes