SWIM HOBBS ISLAND 5-miler Training Plan

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SWIM HOBBS ISLAND 5-miler Training Plan


Ali Meeks

All plans by this Coach


14 Weeks

Typical Week

2 Other, 3 Custom, 2 Swim

Plan Specs

swimming beginner intermediate

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This training plan has been designed to help you prepare for a 5-mile open water swim at Swim Hobbs Island, a kayak-supported river swim in the Tennessee River.

This plan is intended to work forward from being an accomplished swimmer who has done several 1 and 2 mile open water swims who can swim 2100 yards continuously - to swimming 5.25 miles, which is around 9,200 yards. This is a 14 week plan, and we assume that you have been swimming two to three times per week leading up to this. The Swim Hobbs Island 5 miler is a little more than 5 miles (~5.25) in order to accommodate for a safer entry/exit point.

The Swim Hobbs Island 5 miler event and this training plan are NOT intended for beginning or intermediate swimmers, but rather for ADVANCED SWIMMERS who feel comfortable in deep water and have no fear there. For those who are learning to swim or have open water fear, please get in touch with coaches Ali Meeks www.readysetsweat.net or Lisi Bratcher https://www.facebook.com/triHSV-338308936262653/ for information on swim help in Huntsville, or from your local swim instructor.

Of course, you should consult your doctor beginning any exercise routine, and by purchasing this plan you assume all risk from training and racing.

In this plan, swims are described in yards, assuming a 25 yard pool, because almost all indoor pools in the US are 25 yards long. Example: Swim 100 means to swim 100 yards, or 4 lengths without stopping.

Suggested rest periods are given after each swim. Example: r: 10 means rest 10 seconds after each swim effort. If no rest period is given, rest as much as you want.

W/U means warmup easy swimming and C/D means cooldown easy swimming. Where drills are given, explanations follow in the "pre-activity comments" section of the workout.

Workout codes are sometimes at the front of each workout title; it's ok to ignore those, they are just for coach use in remembering which workouts have been assigned.

We recommend that you have a kickboard, pull buoy, and a pair of shorter fins for use during these swims, just to make life more fun. All of these can be found on www.swimoutlet.com

Never swim alone, indoors or out. Most certainly do not swim alone outdoors without a kayaker or a spotter onshore who is prepared to stay alert and call for help if needed.

There are suggested open water swims in this plan that can be done at various swim beaches near Huntsville (Wheeler Lake Campground in Decatur / Hillsboro www.wheelerlakecampground.com or Lake Guntersville Campground: http://www.alapark.com/lake-guntersville-state-park-campgroundgallery).

If open water swimming without a kayaker, you should stay in shallow water where you can touch bottom, and you should have an alert onshore spotter. If swimming in deep water, you should always be accompanied by a kayaker who is wearing a Coast Guard approved Personal Floatation Device (PFD) and also has along an extra Coast Guard approved throwable PFD in case you should need it. Be alert of boating traffic and weather.

A great inexpensive tool for having a float along with you during kayaker supported open water swimming is the New Wave Swim Buoy, $35 https://www.newwaveswimbuoy.com/

Water temperature on event day is expected to be between 77 and 83 degrees, which is very comfortable with or without a wetsuit. While we will have wetsuit categories for the event, we definitely do not recommend using a wetsuit for Swim Hobbs Island if you have not trained and raced in one before.

Enjoy your plan and see you at Swim Hobbs Island!


Training Load By Week
Training Load By Week
Average Weekly Training Hours: 00:00

Ali Meeks


Ali Meeks offers triathlon coaching and custom training plans developed with and for you in a comprehensive triathlon training approach for a goal race or whole season. She also provides in-person and online proven swim technique work to boost performance and ease in pool and/or open-water.

Sample Day 1

Swim EN-3-2000, 10x100s cruise/BA

The purpose of today's workout is to find and settle into a cruising endurance speed that is not too slow.

W/U: 200 swim, 200 kick, 200 pull w/ buoy

10 x 100, r: 30, find your easy cruising pace and try to hold the same finish time for each one (aka "best average").

6 x 50 kick with fins and kickboard, r: 20

C/D: 100 easy

Sample Day 3

Swim EN-18-2000, 3x400, long rest

Today's swim is about long endurance efforts adding up to almost an Olympic distance race, at a constant, steady effort, with good technique!

W/U: 200 swim, 100 catch-up drill, 100 kick w/ fins, 200 pull w/buoy, 100 swim

3 x 400 at 80% effort - best technique you can possibly manage at every moment!, r: 60

C/D: 100 easy

Sample Day 8

Swim AE-1-2000, 1500 straight swim

The purpose of this swim is to improve the ability to hold speed during a long endurance swim.

W/U: 100 swim, 100 kick, 100 fingertip drill

1500 straight, 75% effort, try to go faster on second half than first half.

4 x 25 swim, 90% effort, r: 45

C/D: 100 easy

Sample Day 10

Swim EN-27-2300, 700 NS, 100s DPS stroke count

The purpose of today's swim is to practice sighting while picking up speed over a long endurance swim. In addition, we practice lengthening the stroke to feel the efficiency contained in each stroke.

W/U: 100 easy, 150 kick w/ fins.

2 x 700 NS, sighting every 6.

5 x 100 DPS drill, r: 15, try to reduce # strokes by 1 every length in each 100.

C/D: 100 dbl-arm back or breaststroke, 50 free

Sample Day 15

Swim FR-18-2300, 200s pull/drill

The purpose of today's workout is to build upper body strength by doing lots and lots of pulling (1000 total yards), interspersed with easy recovery drills that challenge you to focus on technique when muscularly tired.

W/U: 200

4 x 50 swim w/ fins as: 25 right arm, 25 left arm, r: any

200 pull w/ buoy/paddles

4 x 50 scull, r: any

200 pull w/ buoy/paddles

4 x 50 fingertip drill, r: any

200 pull w/ buoy/paddles

4 x 50 swim with kick board between legs like shark fin (works core), r: any

200 pull w/ buoy/paddles

4 x 50 kick w/ fins, r: any

200 pull w/ buoy/paddles

100 ez

Sample Day 17

Swim EN-30-2300, kick/scull/pull repeats

The purpose of today's swim is to build strength with kicking, build feel for the water with the sculling drill, and then build strength by pulling, all to tire you out for some short fast speed builds at the end.

W/U: 200 swim easy, 100 kick with fins, 200 pull with buoy (no paddles)

3 times through the below:
4 x 50 kick w/ fins easy, r: 15
2 x 50 forward scull drill, r: 15
200 pull with buoy and paddles with last 50 double-arm backstroke or breaststroke

6 x 25 as: build from easy to ALL OUT for the last 5-10 yards, choose interval for r: 30.

C/D: 50 double-arm back or breast, 50 easy

Sample Day 22

Swim MU-4-1000, 500 pull

This workout is about picking up a little speed, then strengthening your upper body through long pulling, thereby building muscular endurance.

W/U: 50 easy, 50 double-arm back or breaststroke, 50 fist, 50 kick

10 x 25 alternating 1 build/1 easy, r: 15

500 pull with buoy (+paddles if you have them)

C/D: 50 easy

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