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December 7, 2016

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Have you ever wondered what it is that separates you from really good swimmers? One thing is flexibility. See above, boofhead good swimmer rounding last booee at North Curl Curl, over-rotated and bending to get around the booee without losing speed. Try that, and it may help. Then again, give us a call for advice on a good physio afterwards.

Swims this weekend...

To eat or not to eat

Fat is just part of the question

This advice was written by sports dietician Chloe Mcleod with runners in mind, but we figure there's much in this for all of us mugs, too. The story is taken from the newsletter of Balmain Sports Medicine

Your alarm is set, you've laid out your clothes ready for the morning. You are looking forward to the fresh crisp air and getting your morning run in. What a great way to start the day! But do you need to fuel up beforehand? And if so, what should you have?

When not to eat

If you are planning a swift, 3-5km run first thing in the morning, there is probably no need to eat anything beforehand. Your body is likely to have plenty of stored energy (from the night before) to use and it's also a way to encourage fat burn, so you aren't burning what you've just had for breakfast!

There is more research showing benefits of training in a fasted state. The mantra goes "train low, compete high". This means including some fasted sessions, so if you are training for a longer event, your body can use fat as a fuel source more effectively.

However, some sessions do need to be done "fed", as avoiding a meal beforehand can actually blunt the body's ability to use carbohydrate as a fuel source. Some athletes specifically include fasted sessions and fed sessions into their training regime to maximise these results.

bondi bronte 161204 600 01
Well may he cackle, this exuberant, sunburnt ranga, and his cobbers behind, evidently enjoying the start at Bondi on Sundee, unaware of what lay ahead. According to one of their mothers, who spoke to us on Twitter, they weren't so jolly a little later after being stung by blueys en route to Bronte. Can't have been too bad, however. "He played ultimate frisbee for two hours last night so reckon he's recovered just fine," said Blue Mountains mum Vivienne Cichero. So, listen up all you mugs: the therapy for blueys is "ultimate frisbee", whatever that is.

When to eat

There are a few times it is recommended to eat something prior to your morning run.

The most obvious one is if you are heading out for the long haul. What is "long", you might ask? Research shows that for exercise lasting less than 60-90 minutes (depending on how well trained you are!), participating in a fasted state is ok. However, for a longer jaunt, fuelling up before hand is a great plan. If you are new to running, having something small before a shorter run may help as well.

smoothie bananas The quantity of food you require will also differ depending on how long it is before you plan on starting your morning jog, and how far you plan on running. If you are wanting to leave in the next 30 minutes or less, something rich in carbohydrates that will digest quite quickly is recommended, whereas if you have longer, something that will fill you up, that is not too high in fat or fibre and is rich in carbohydrate is suggested.

My top pre-run breakfast options would have to be -

  • Banana
  • Honey toast
  • Weet Bix and milk
  • Fruit and yoghurt
  • Smoothie (check out my banana and peanut butter smoothie recipe below!)
  • Coffee (short black with one of the above options, or a milky one)

If you are training for a race, I'd recommend that you do some practice runs with what you plan on having for breakfast beforehand. Trying something new on race day is a recipe for disaster!

When it comes to eating or not eating before your run, it depends on how much time you have, how long you plan on going for and what you hope to get out of the session. Take home? Including a mix of both fasted and fed training will allow you to get the most out of your morning run!

Banana and Peanut Butter Smoothie

5 minutes preparation time


  • 1 banana, sliced
  • 1 cup milk
  • 1 tbsp natural peanut butter
  • 1 tsp maple syrup
  • 1 tbsp LSA


  1. Place all ingredients in blender and pulse on high until well combined and smooth.
  2. Serve in a tall glass and enjoy.

Serves 1

Note: Use a frozen banana if desired to make the smoothie extra thick. 

Chloe Mcleod
From the newsletter of Balmain Sports Medicine

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The moment of impact: rounding the booee at North Curl Curl, the leading swimmer kicks the following swimmer in the head. Doubtless unintentional, both were twisting to get around in a mini-melee of their own contriving.

Swims this weekend...

Pre-Xmas glut in some parts

A glut of swims around the NSW metropolitan area this weekend, but not much in most other places. As always, check the weather and surf conditions prior to making your decision whether to enter.

See the dotpoints above for all swims we have in our calendar, but we're taking entries for...


nobbys pashaDo you remember Bruce? S/he was a noah, a man-in-a-grey-suit, a shark that was terrorising the punters of Newcastle a couple of years back. Spotted here, spotted there... all along the Novacastellian coast, Bruce forced many out of the water, and the cancellation of both this swim and the Newcastle Harbour Swim Classic two years back. At the same time, Bruce had a colleague, a "great white" that somehow became "trapped" in Lake Macquarie, by both the narrow lake's entrance through Swansea Channel and by fish nets reportedly caught around its girth. Bruce's cobber in turn led to the cancellation of one of the longest running swims in Strãa, Across Lake Macquarie from Coal Point to Belmont.

After a year of fear around the Hunter, the organiser of Nobbys-Newcastle, Lee Howes, a gifted glass artist, bunged her swim on again in the face of considerable local opposition, and guess what happened? Nothing. Apart from the swim running well. It is one of the prettiest swims you will do along the coast: from Nobbys Beach beneath the lighthouse, around the rock shelf, past Cowrie Hole and the Newcastle Ocean Baths, the historic scent of its pluto pups dripping in tomato sauce wafting spectrally over the waves crashing onto the rocks, and on into Newcastle Beach. It really is a lovely swim. And it's on this Sat'dee

Online entries close 3pm Friday, December 9... Click here

5 Beaches - Coogee-Bondi

When the Coogee-Bondi swim last ran a few years back, it had been one of the fastest growing events on the calendar, heralding a push that's gathered momentum over the intervening period towards middle distance events and beyond. While still small in terms of numbers, compared with icon events such as The Big Swim, the Cole, Bondi-Bronte, North Bondi and Coogee in Sydney, the swimmers increasingly are seeking out longer distances. Next weekend, the Vladswim at Balmoral runs again with distances up to 10km, and a few weeks back, we had record numbers on Mana Island in Fiji for their 10km event. At the same time, the English Channel has become the new black. So punters should welcome the rssurection this Sat'dee of Coogee-Bondi in the guise of the 5 Beaches Swim, by Eastern Suburbs coach and Olympian, Neil Rogers.

Named 5 Beaches because it spans five beaches -- we shouldn't have had to tell you that -- it holds the potential to become one of the biggest events on the Sydney calendar. Why? Becasue of it's classical course along some of the nation's most spectacular urban coastline, and because, at 4.5km, it is "doable" for regular Sundee swimmers used to 2km, and a stepping stone to longer distances, such as Mana and the South Head Roughwater in May.

Online entries close 3pm Friday, December 9... Click here

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Billie on the Northern Beaches

Then we come to Sunday, and one of our longtime fave swims on the Northern Beaches at Bilgola. We have a soft spot for Billie, regarding ourselves as complicit in saving it from extinction a few years back.

Bilgola is one of the prettiest of beaches along one of the prettiest coastlines, particularly urban coastlines in the world. This is not hyperbole. Two distances on offer: 800m and 1.5km. Do both and get 2.3km all up on the Sundee. You'll need that leading into Xmas.

Online entries close 3pm Saturday, December 10... Click here

recap 161207ReCap at Billie

ReCap will be at Bilgola to collect your unwanted and/or used swim caps. Look for the sign near the finishing area and near the tent on the beach.

ReCap announced this week it had secured, through Inner West Council in Sydney, another beneficiary of the caps, a school in WA for disadvantaged pupils. 

Of the caps shown at right, ReCap says, "They don't look many when stacked in this nice ordered fashion, but that's 540 caps - 60 brought in from home and an astounding 480 caps from the Coogee Island Challenge... It's a 50%+ return rate. That's the most collected from a single swim so far this summer, meaning we've collected over 1000 caps at 3 swims".

ReCap is oorganised by rank-and-file ocean swimmer and mathematician, Marc West. You can chat with Marc about his cause on Sundee at Billie.

Find out more: visit ReCap's Facebook page... Click here

Controversy Corner...

But what do you reckon? Send us your thoughts and we'll publish them...Click here

Or, see the comment box at the bottom of this page.

Glistening Dave's ocean swims calendar 2017

Order now for Xmas

calendar dhd 17 banner 250Glistening Dave's ocean swims calendar 2017 is with the printers, expected back by the weekend for delivery of initial orders next week. If you haven't already ordered yours, do so now so that you will be amongst the first batch sent out in plenty of time for Xmas.

The calendar includes every swim date we can find in Strãa, along with many in New Zealand and the Pacific, and a few more besides that we deem worthwhile. Pin it on your notice board at work, behind the door in the loo, on the wall in the kitchen, in your home office, your men's shed out the back, your sewing and knitting room, the wall in your hallway, so that you can check swim dates each time you leave home or return. Stick it on your garage door to remind you where you're going when you get in the car. Or get multiples and mount one in each of those places, so that you're constantly surrounded by images of ocean swimming. Or Dave's perceptions of them, anyway.

Your friends would like them for Xmas, too. They would love you even more if you gave them an ocean swims calendar from Glistening Dave.

Order yours now for Xmas (delivery in December)... Click here

Our Xmas special

Selenes so sick, they're almost gone

view selene mirror 05We've said it before and we'll warn you again: we've had an enormous response to our Xmas Special featuring the new mirrored Selene goggles bundled with the Selene non-mirrored. There've been so many orders that two colours of the mirrored Selenes are sold out, and the third colour won't be far behind. Now, of the mirrored Selenes, there is only the Lavender/Pink (LVP) model still available. We've asked View for more, but we don't expect them until well into the New Year.

The Selene is Mrs Sparkle’s fave goggle, the most comfortable gog you will ever wear, and the best all-round gog we’ve ever come across (and we’ve worn a few gogs in our time): it’s made with a soft, wide, silicone seal that doesn’t leave rocky-raccoon marks around your eyes, and it offers a wide field of view and a low profile.

We’ve long loved the View Fully Sicks, which also offer a mirrored lens, and now the same look and glare protection is available in the Selenes.

They come in three colour combinations – Pearl Black/Blue, Aquamarine Ice Blue/Yellow (with a glitter frame), and Lavender/Pink. The Pearly Black/Blue and the Aquamarine Ice Blue/Yellow are almost sold out. So get in now!

This is our 2016 Xmas Special: order a pair of View Selene Mirrored gogs and get a pair of Selene non-mirrored gogs for $9 off: that’s almost 30 per cent off the non-mirrored pair. Total $63 + p/h.

Order yours now... Click here

Tasmanian ocean swims

The first round of the Tasmanian Ocean Swim Series ran last weekend. To see how it went, check the series on their Facebook page... Click here

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Tonga sells out, come with us to...

oceanswimsafaris 2017

After reporting on availability on our oceanswimsafaris to Tonga in July-August 2017, those spaces now have closed up. But you still can come with us to Vanuatu, Sulawesi, Spain, Fiji and Heron Island again next November.

We have package details for two of our oceanswimsafaris in 2017 on our sibling site, You can find details for both Sulawesi (June 11-19 - that's it, above) as well as Tonga. We have a few spots still available on our Sulawesi tour. We'll have package details up for Port Vila (Vanuatu), San Sebastián, Costa Brava (both Spain), Greece, Mana Fiji and the Yasawas Fiji up very soon. And keep your eye out for a new Yasawas Fiji oceanswimsafari which will offer you the chance to swim with Manta rays.

Dates of our oceanswimsafaris in 2017 –

  • Vanuatu - Port Vila (May 24-29)
  • Vanuatu - Santo (May 29-June 3 TBC)
  • Sulawesi (Indonesia, June 11-19) - 3 spots left
  • Yasawas Fiji - Swim with Manta rays (July 16-23 Dates TBC) (New oceanswimsafari!)
  • Tonga 1 - Swim with Whales 1 (July 25-Aug 2) - Sold out!
  • Tonga 2 - Swim with Whales 2 (Aug 1-9) - Sold out!
  • Tonga 3 - Swim with Whales 3 (Aug 8-16) - Sold out!
  • San Sebastián (Spain, Aug 23-29)
  • Costa Brava (Spain, Aug 31-Sep 8)
  • Greece's Northern Sporades (Sep 12-21 - Dates TBC)
  • Yasawas Fiji (Oct 16-23)
  • Mana Fiji (Oct 24-29)
  • Heron Island (Nov 4-8) 

I ocean swim, therefore...

bs cossies both bothWith the help of our cobbers from, we've released our very own oceanswims cossies. We haven't put commercial markers on them too heavily because we respect your right not to be a walking billboard. But observing punters will be in no doubt about whom you are: An Ocean Swimmer, ie "I ocean swim, therefore I am".

The Laydees model is designed with racing and swimming longer distances in mind. Mrs Sparkle loves this style, with its narrow straps that slide across the back to suit the way you swim. Very comfy, she says, and they keep her "in", whatever that means. They're chlorine-resistant, too, so you can wear them in the pool as well as the ocean.

The Gents model...? There's not much you can do with budgys for boofheads, of course, apart from make them look good, and chlorine-resistant, and the budgysmuggler people have done both of those things.

We love them. And you can buy them now... Click here

Tell us about your swim group

We've had a good many submissions from swim groups for listing on our new swim group guide. We'll be assembling the submissions in the next couple of weeks and launching the guide during December.

The vast bulk of ocean swimming takes place not in formal races on the weekend. It happens in the myriad informal swim groups that meet on beaches, at pools, in lakes, rivers, dams, ponds and billabongs all around Strãa, New Zealand and the South Pacific, every day. Locals know their groups, but what if you're travelling? You're in an unfamiliar place, you'd like a swim, but where? With whom? aims to offer the most comprehensive list of informal swim groups and locations in Australia, New Zealand and the South Pacific. Wherever you are, you should never be without a suggestion of where to swim and with whom. We've received already submissions from swim groups from as far afield as Scotland and Hong Kong. We expect to have the first online in the next week or so. lists swim groups free of charge. Just complete the short form we've posted on our website and click the Submit button. You'll get a copy of your info straightbackatcha, and we'll slot it into our listings. Look under Swims on, or... Click here

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It was a relatively calm day at Bondi-Bronte on Sundee, but even on a calm day, Bronte can be a trap. See here, the surging shore swell: just metres from "dry" sand, you have swells of a metre and more and water you can't stand up stably.

Swims open to online entry...

We have entries online open to a string of new season swims...

New entries here... Yamba (Jan 2), Bondi (Feb 26), Shellharbour (Apr 9)

Coming soon... Mollymook (Apr 8)


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