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A 16 week, 10km, EXPERIENCED SWIMMER training plan (for swimmers with CSS 01:50 or faster)


Peter Wilby

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4.33 (3)


16 Weeks

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Plan Description


This is a 16 week, 10km SWIM training plan for somebody who currently swims at around 01:35/100m pace for a 1500m. If you swim between 01:15/100m pace to 01:50/100m pace, this plan will work for you.

The plan is designed for an early summer 10km open water (OW) swim in the UK. Therefore the OW swimming begins latter and doesn't consist of much time swimming. The majority of training is pool base.

All training requires a metronome to a set beep. For this I recommend the Finis Tempo Trainer. Along side swim training is a basic, core, strength, and circuits cycle to complement the physiological adaptations.


This training plan would suit a sea swim or lake swim alike. The plan best suits someone who is relatively experienced in swimming and would like a training plan to complement and motivate for the task in hand.


The training plan was originally created for a seasoned 10km swimmer competing in the Great Swims, UK. The plan has been adapted and re-set out to cater for any open water 10km swimmer although experience and technique is a must to begin this plan.

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. Some strength sessins require basic weights. The longest session in the first week is around one hour 15 minutes and 3.3km.


The longest week consists of four swimming sessions and two strength. The most swim sessions in a week is five. The longest distance swam (not including the event) is 6.1km and the longest week is 7.5 hours. Every so often, it is intended you go slightly easier for a week.


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 life-guarded area. In the final 6 weeks there are some longer 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.

Training Plan Sample Week


Average Weekly Breakdown

Workouts Weekly Average Longest Workout
Swim x4
5:02 hrs 2:45 hrs
Strength x1
0:55 hrs 1:00 hrs
Workouts Per Week Weekly Average Longest Workout
5:02 hrs 2:45 hrs
0:55 hrs 1:00 hrs

Training Load By Week

This plan works best with the following fitness devices:

  • GPS

All supported 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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