When I first met Mike, I couldn’t swim – well to be honest I could but having been born with Asthma I had never swum the front crawl in my life and was limited to the breast stroke whenever I was in the water, and then earlier this year as a keen runner I decided to train for a Triathlon.

I knew that if I was to do this I needed to learn to swim properly and having made contact with the Brighton Triathlon Club I was introduced to Mike and promptly booked my first lesson with him.

The first thing I said to Mike was that as far as technique was concerned I was a blank piece of paper so what he taught me was the way I would swim and still is to this day.

Mike’s easy laid back style took all of the pressure away, he spent time explaining about the way we swim and broke the whole swimming stroke down in to separate elements to learn and perfect before moving on to the next bit. 

Needless to say, getting my breathing right was my biggest concern but once Mike explained the idea of bi-lateral breathing I was ready to give it a go.

By the end of my first session with Mike I swam two lengths front crawl – I did need a rest between each one but the sense of achievement was amazing and I couldn’t stop smiling.

Over the coming weeks I swam at every opportunity, visiting my local pool almost every morning and gradually increased the distance that I was swimming and also the number of lengths between rests to get my breath back.

I’ve had a few “fine tuning” lessons with Mike since that first lesson and will continue to do so as my strength and ability improves but I now love swimming and no longer feel that my asthma is a bar to achieving my Triathlon goals. Indeed, I now find my breathing when running and cycling is also more relaxed and controlled with new personal bests happening all of the time.

I’ve also discovered that I enjoy open water swimming and having joined a couple of local clubs regularly swim distances of up to 2600m in lakes, reservoirs and the open sea without a rest, a feat unimaginable when I started. 

As far as Triathlons are concerned, when I first met Mike I asked when he thought I would be able to do one and he said in about 3 months’ time, I didn’t for one minute think that would be possible but amazingly enough, here we are 3 months down the line and I have just completed my second Triathlon in 2 weeks and I love it!!!

Thanks to Mike and his teaching I can now enjoy something that I always thought I would never be able to do and I can’t recommend Mike highly enough as a very motivational swimming coach and instructor.