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A 12 - 24 week TOTAL BEGINNER SWIM plan designed for someone brand new to front crawl and swimming

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A 12 - 24 week TOTAL BEGINNER SWIM plan designed for someone brand new to front crawl and swimming


Peter Wilby

All plans by this Coach


12 Weeks

Plan Description

We would love to hear about your dreams, your progress and your highs and lows with this plan. Don't be a stranger. By completing this you should be confident to train.

The purpose of this plan is to close the gap between near-non-swimmers and athletes who want to follow a plan but can't complete the swim portion yet. Many athletes competing in triathlon have this problem where they can complete advanced cycling and running plans but can not do front crawl. The aim of this plan is to be a precursor to any other novice triathlon or open water swim training plan.

This plan is 12 weeks long and is designed for someone who has a dream of completing a triathlon or open water swim but currently does not have the swim skills to do it. This plan is designed as a precursor to any other beginner/novice plan, starting off with little or no front crawl technique and finishing with a CSS test and some 2km swims.

Although this plan is 12 weeks long it can be adapted to suit you. I recommend doing each of the 25 sessions included twice, one after another, to embed the skills you have learned and practised. The plan is set out with four swims per week, consisting of two repeated sessions each week. However, you could repeat one session four times each week to increase this to a 24 week plan. I recommend you dedicate four swims per week which ever way you decide to complete the plan. Consistency in the sessions is key to your success.

By completing this plan you should then gain the ability to start the next triathlon or long distance open water swim plan straight away. Before you start this plan you need to be able to swim eight lengths (200m) of a swimming pool. The stroke you choose does not matter. The plan facilitates you in learning front crawl and gradually increases in distance each week, but at first 200m is the most that is required in one go.

Before you embark on this plan you should write down your DREAM outcome, be-it a long distance triathlon, a marathon swim, or simply to compete in a swim event. The end goal of this 12 week plan is to equip you with enough knowledge and skill to start thinking seriously about training for your dream outcome.

This plan requires commitment, constancy in training four times per week or more, patience and time to read the session and supporting information before going to the pool.

You certainly need some kit for this plan. It is also important to check with your pool that you are allowed to use it before you embark on this training plan. You need:
- swim fins (I recommend floating fins, long),
- a kick board or float
- a pull buoy

How it Works

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Training Plan Sample Week


Average Weekly Breakdown

Workouts Weekly Average Longest Workout
Swim x4
4,558m 2,000m
Workouts Per Week Weekly Average Longest Workout
4,558m 2,000m

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.

  • This plan includes a Free Basic TrainingPeaks Account.
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  • Track your weight, sleep, hours, fatigue and stress while you train.
  • Syncs daily with other popular apps like Garmin and MyFitnessPal.

Refund Policy

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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