My name is Maddy Palfrey and I was born and raised in Bronte, I still live in Bronte with some friends and hope that never changes. Love it.

I have a psychology degree and now manage a psychology practice in the Sydney CBD called Equilibrium Psychology, I really love psychology and how it can be used to help you live a happy life. I also love my sport, mainly swimming, so last year I started my own business called MadFit Bondi where I teach adults how to be better, more confident, and more efficient swimmers in the pool and ocean.

When did you get into swimming?

I have been a swimmer for as long as I can remember and my parents knew I was talented in the water so got me into swimming lessons as soon as they could. I started to become more competitive in my teens and started ocean swimming around the same time. I have always been a long-distance swimmer so the long open water swims became my forte.

Did you always have a love for the water? 

Yes! Always been a water baby.. love it!

What do you love most about the sport?

I love the feeling of being in the water and I love how I can do it so effortlessly. It just flows for me and I’m able to escape reality during a swim session and enjoy the feeling it gives me. I’m always on a high after I swim.  I also love the competing and winning so this is definitely one of the reason for why I love the sport too.. just a tad competitive :P

For those who are looking to do their first ocean swim, how do you recommend they start training?

If you don’t feel confident in the ocean, I would suggest just starting to get your swim fitness up in a pool to begin with. If you can swim in an ocean pool such as Bondi Icebergs (my fave) it would be better than an indoor heated pool because it’s closer to how swimming in the ocean will feel.

Once you increase your fitness, I would suggest starting to do some swimming in the ocean when it’s flat and calm. If you go in with a big swell, it may intimidate you and put you off doing it again. You need to ease into it slowly. I would also suggest joining a Rookies surf group so you can learn the skills of ocean swimming, such as how to get through the break efficiently and how to catch waves etc. I run surf groups on a Sat morning at NB during the warmer months so any Rookies (or advanced) people are welcome to get involved come September!

What other training do you do and how does that benefit your swim training and competing?

I like to run, mainly on the sand. It’s great for my fitness and I can still be by the water. I sometimes do circuit training at Lifecycle Fitness in Charring Cross. I also like to do pilates from time to time as it helps to strengthen my core which is so important for swimming and it’s not as intense on my joints.

What does a typical training session in the pool look like?

It really depends on what my coach feels like giving me that day! But generally it consists of a warm up of about 1-1.5km, main set which is usually around 2- 2.5kmkm and then a warm down. If it’s a distance set the main set might be something like 3 x 400m Freestyle, 3 x 200m Freestyle, 3 x 100m Fr then a time trial 200m Freestyle to finish. The times will vary throughout the session but they’re challenging. If it’s a sprint set, the distance will be less however the intensity will be higher than a distance set.

When you're not in the ocean, where can we find you?

With two jobs, you'll probably find me working most of the time! I have just started my Master's in Public Health as I love learning and growing, so I'm one very busy bee. When I'm relaxing, I generally spend most of my free time by the ocean, Summer and Winter. I love it and find it really calming. 

I also love trying new restaurants and bars with my girlfriends, life is all about balance so I make sure I have some fun when I can too!

How can people follow you and swim with you?

You can find me on Instagram - @madspalfrey or check out my website I run my groups in the ocean and at outdoor swimming pools so groups will start up again in September when the weather warms up!