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Intermediate - 16 Week - Enduraprep Long Distance Swimming Plan (3-5KM Open Water / Triathlon)


Lawrence Cronk

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16 Weeks

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Plan Description

Welcome to the Enduraprep long distance swim plan.

This plan is based on three swims per week with a suggestion of a fourth swim after six weeks.

The plan starts with swims of 1800 metres. You will complete progress checks and each week perform one speed swim, one endurance swim and one strength swim. The speed swim focuses on building speed and efficiency through shorter intervals, the endurance swim builds stamina through longer steady intervals and the strength swim will do exactly that, build strength and power.

This plan is perfect for the intermediate to advanced long distance triathlete or for someone taking on an open water swim event.

We created these efficient 'bang for buck' sessions so that the competitive triathlete or open water swimmer can keep improving and work towards their goals.

The plan peaks with pool sessions of 4000 metres. If you event is longer, I wouldn't worry, this plan is certainly powerful enough to prepare you for a swim of 5, 6 or even 7 kilometres in open water. Plus some of the suggestions for open water swimming would allow you to swim further in open water sessions if you need to.

We'd love to hear how you get on with following this plan. Follow us on socials @enduraprep and be sure to tag us in your training snaps. We look forward to seeing you in action!


Average Weekly Breakdown

Workouts Weekly Average Longest Workout
0:08 hrs 1:00 hrs
Workouts Per Week Weekly Average Longest Workout
0:08 hrs 1:00 hrs

Training Load By Week

This plan works best with the following fitness devices:

  • GPS

All supported devices


Lawrence Cronk

Enduraprep Endurance Caching

We have supported individuals from first time racers to competitive age group athletes in events from 5KM runs to multi-day challenges and sub ten hour Iron distance triathlon finishes.

We provide remote coaching to athletes around the globe alongside health & performance testing (VO2 max and resting metabolic rate) from our HQ in Cardiff, South Wales, UK.

Sample Day 1

Speed Swim - 100's

Maintain a consistent strong effort for each of the intervals. RPE 8.

If using CSS then hit your CSS pace.

Sample Day 3

Strength - Swim/Pull/Swim

Sample Day 5

CSS Test

This is a test swim session to establish your Critical Swim Speed (CSS), your threshold pace in the water.

It is a simple session involving two time trial efforts: a 400M rep and a 200M rep. Other than these hard efforts your swimming should generally be easy and relaxed.

Allow a good period of rest between the test reps, at least 5 minutes. You may include a very easy and short amount of swimming (100M) during this recovery.

Record your 200M and 400M times and use the Critical Swim Speed Calculator link below to work out your CCS Pace (time / 100M).

You can update your CSS on Training Peaks by clicking your name (on the website calendar, not the app) then 'Zones' scroll down to 'Pace' add 'Swim' and update your swim 'Threshold Speed' as time / 100M.

Sample Day 8

Speed Swim - Broken 200's

Maintain a consistent strong effort throughout the main set.

If using CSS pacing then aim to hit your CSS.

Sample Day 10

Strength - Pull/Sprint

Sample Day 12

Endurance Pyramid

A simple pyramid aimed at building endurance. Aim for consistent pacing throughout.

CSS + 10" if you use CSS pacing.

Sample Day 15

Speed Swim - 200's

Maintain a consistent strong effort for each of the intervals.

If using CSS then hit your CSS pace.

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