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A 24 week, 10km, NOVICE SWIM training plan (for the swimmer slower than 02:00/100 CSS)

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A 24 week, 10km, NOVICE SWIM training plan (for the swimmer slower than 02:00/100 CSS)


Peter Wilby

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4.67 (3)


24 Weeks

Plan Description


This is a 24 week MARATHON SWIM training plan for somebody who currently swims at, or slower than 02:00/100m pace for a 1500m. A marathon swim is defined as any open water swim between 10km and 20km long (leaning towards 20km for the faster swimmers doing 02:00/100m and towards 10km for the slower swimmers doing towards 03:00/100m).

You could start this plan as early as February in England and as late as April. Due to the temperature of the sea it is worth considering the time your event falls and how early you can train. This plan would suit an event in England between July and October as this is the second half of summer.


This training plan would suit a sea swim or lake swim alike. The plan best suits someone who is relatively new to long distance swimming but some experience is recommended. Ideally you would have swam (using solely front crawl without stopping) a 5km open water event before starting this plan but it s not essential.


The training plan was originally created for swimming end to end of lake Windermere. Windermere is a 10.5 mile still water swim. The plan has been adapted and re-set out to cater for any open water marathon swim. The training in this plan is set using critical swim speed (CSS). This is shown as CSS/100m pace. For almost all the pool sessions you will need a tempo trainer to measure and maintain your training zone.


The plan starts with three swim sessions per week and one strength session - all strength training in this plan is body weight exercises, so no gym or weights needed. The longest session in the first week is around one hour or 2.2km.


The longest week consists of 10h 55min of swimming. The most swim sessions in a week is five. The longest distance swam (not including the event) is 6.75km and the longest time swimming (not including the event) is 3.5 hours. Every third week is slightly easier.


It is only safe to do long open water swims with supervision, make yourself visible with a bright swim hat and/or a tow buoy, if you have to be on your own, go to a lifeguarded area. In the final 6 weeks there are some 3hour open water swims which require nutrition practice. Plan ahead and try to find a qualified assistant to be by your side on a solid craft, this person can look after your feeds for you.

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Training Plan Sample Week


Average Weekly Breakdown

Workouts Weekly Average Longest Workout
Swim x4
05:55:00 03:25:00
Day Off x3
—— ——
Strength x1
00:42:00 00:55:00
Workouts Per Week Weekly Average Longest Workout
05:55:00 03:25:00
Day Off
—— ——
00:42:00 00:55:00

Training Load By Week

This plan works best with the following fitness devices:

Pete Wilby



My name is Pete Wilby. I am triathlon and open water swimming coach based by the sea in Teignmouth, Devon, UK. I coach triathletes and open water swimmers from beginner, right through to World Championship level.

My mission is to coach with a holistic perspective that helps people to excel. To summarise my philosophy, I have designed the LENS acronym (Life, Endurance training, Nutrition and Strength). This is how I - and I hope you will too - will view training and coaching.

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  • Plan for your event in the TrainingPeaks calendar.
  • Track your weight, sleep, hours, fatigue and stress while you train.
  • Syncs daily with other popular apps like Garmin and MyFitnessPal.

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This plan is protected by our Refund Policy and may, with the author's approval, be exchanged for a plan of equal value from the same author.

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