Beat Your Fear Of Open Water Swimming

The Open Water season is almost on us and with most would-be triathletes put off by the swim, and for many, this will mark the start of a new challenge, whether that be going longer for an Ironman or simply setting out to conquer a first triathlon.

However, If you’re thinking of trying open water swimming this coming year, here’s how to calm those nerves.

1) Consider location

As you start your open water training, your time in the water will probably be under 30 minutes, which means the last thing you want is an hour commute to a suitable lake.

Choose somewhere nearby that also has changing and shower facilities as well as a safety infrastructure, such as spotters, swim course monitors and even kayak or stand-up paddle board supervision.

2) Get your own wetsuit

It’s tempting to save money and hire a wetsuit, but having your own really makes a difference. For about £100 you can pick up some really great entry-level suits.Pay attention to the sizing charts and make sure it’s a swimming triathlon suit. There is not enough neoprene in a boarding or surf suit so it won’t offer the flexibility you need for an efficient stroke. Hercules can help with this, just give them a call.

3) Practise sighting

There are no lane ropes, lines or walls to help keep you on the right course, therefore you’ll need to pop your head up every now and then to “sight” where you’re heading.You can practise this in the pool before getting in the lake by lifting your head forward every few breaths.

This will strengthen your neck muscles and help you integrate it into your breathing pattern.Spend a few pounds on an anti fog spray for your goggles. Just make sure you wash them in clean water after applying, otherwise the chemical can burn your eyes!

4) Phone a friend

Swimming can be a lonely activity. Some people do it because they like the thinking time and the isolation, but for others being part of a group of like-minded people is motivating. Swimming with a friend or two also improves safety.Usually, there isn’t a shortage of triathletes wanting to swim open water at your local club so join up and team up!

Workout Wednesday – Push Your Engine Then Recover

 January 31, 2018

Running requires enough time to be durable and to have the engine to support your goals, and rewards economical and efficient movements that require coordinated muscular activations but it also punishes you if you overdo any of the work.

This session is designed as one that lets you push your engine, but also includes enough recovery to be able to keep pushing that engine appropriately during other parts of the week.

15 min warm up, focus on cadence first

Main Set

3 x 30 sec stride, 90 sec easy (strides are an acceleration from your steady pace to a fast, smooth effort)
10 min build over the first 5 min to tempo/10k effort, hold for 5 min at 10k effort, then right into
3 x (30 sec FAST, 30 sec easy or walk)
5 min easy effort
10 min all 10 min tempo/10k effort, again, right into
3 x (:30 FAST, :30 easy or walk)

Cool down
Easy effort to round out the hour, re-focusing on cadence and adding attention to posture.

We offer either one to one or group coaching throughout the season at our Northwood venue. Please contact us at for availability and bookings.

Coach Grainge of SSIU Racing


Getting to know your bike: Name that part!

cycle tech


Over the next few weeks we will take you through the importance of getting to know your bike, how it works and finding out all the technical and non-technical names of parts of your bike – some you may have never even known about!

Getting to know your bike and its parts will enable you to discuss any problems with your bike Technician or bike shop with a greater understanding on what work may need doing to bring your bike up to tip top condition!

Name that Part!

Typical Road Bike:



Typical Mountain Bike:


For further advice on ‘getting to know your bike’ why don’t you give our partners at Cycle Tech Hertfordshire a call on 07767 305064.

Hercules & the Cycle Tech Hertfordshire Team

Specialists in Mobile Bicycle Servicing & Repairs

Open water swim sessions – great success

Saturday marked the last day of the season for open water swimming at Stanborough Lake. Hundreds of people had participated and made the sessions a huge success. We were delighted to be able to offer people the chance to swim in open water in a safe and friendly environment.

Open Water Swim Sessions old


Open Water Swim Sessions

All 2014 events are now closed but please check back soon to hear the latest news regarding the 2015 season.

Venue – Stanborough Park, Welwyn Garden City

Dates – Saturday, 19 April 2014 – Saturday, 13 September 2014

Current Lake Temperature – 17.7 degrees (5th September 2014)

We are delighted to announce the launch of our open water swim sessions at Stanborough Park starting on the Saturday 19th April 2014. At this fantastic new venue, swimmers will have the benefit of:

-Convenient location (Junction 4, A1)
-Beautiful fresh water lake (meets EU bathing water standards)
-Full water safety (Boat and qualified personnel)
-Swim coaching
-Large male and female changing rooms
-Hot showers
-Free parking *
-Free access to beautiful grass running tracks

Session days and times Saturday 6.30am – 8.30 am

**Sessions are subject to the water temperature being a minimum of 11 degrees Celsius.



All 2014 events are now closed but please check back soon to hear the latest news regarding the 2015 season.

Registration powered by RegOnline


Adult Single – £5.00 per session
Carnet (10 Session) – £40.00 (20% off)
Season ticket (20 Sessions)- 75.00 (25% off) (19th April to 13 September 2014)
One to One Coaching – £50.00
Group Coaching 1:3 – £35:00
You can also pay as you go at the lake.**

Pre-paid tickets can be used for any session during the season and is not tied to any particular dates.

**Pay as you go tickets are subject to queues and availability at the lake as pre-paid tickets take precedence.

* Free parking before 9am


Stanborough Activity Centre South Side – Stanborough Park
Stanborough Road
Welwyn Garden City

How to find us:

  • By Car: Leave the A1(M) at junction 4 and follow the signs to Stanborough Park. The Activity Centre offices are located on the South Side.
  • By Train: 1 mile from Welwyn Garden City Rail Station.
  • By Bus: There is a bus stop on Stanborough Road, Sovereign Central Line 300 and several restricted routes stop outside the park. 340, 365, 366 &695.
  • Telephone Herts Traveline on 0871 200 22 33 for details – webpage: