Developing Swimmers' 3 Session Per Week Plan

Average Weekly Training Hours 03:52
Training Load By Week
Average Weekly Training Hours 03:52
Training Load By Week

This training plan is for the swimmer or triathlete who can swim three times per week and considers themself to be a developing or novice swimmer.

The plan provides a balanced mix of technique, endurance, open water, threshold (CSS) and speed training. Depending on the time of year and your access to an open water swim training venue you can choose whether to do the endurance session or the open water session on alternate weeks.

Included as attachments to the workouts within the plan are descriptions of the swim drills or training methods and a Critical Swim Speed calculator.

To make the most of this plan you will need to purchase a waterproof metronome, such as the Finis Tempo Trainer Pro. Details of where to purchase are included in the plan.

Sample Day 2
1:00:00
2500m
TECH-1-DEV

This session is very much focused on helping you isolate and improve elements of your stroke technique, your emphasis should be on good form and concentration, rather than effort and trying to complete any section of the session as quickly as you can. If you do your drills poorly over and over again, that is the technique that will become ingrained! If you want some help from a coach to ensure you are performing your technique sessions correctly why not seek out a Swim Smooth accredited coach, or attend a Swim Smooth Training Camp or Clinic? http://swimsmooth.cassonz.com/wp/?page_id=1171

Sample Day 5
1:00:00
1700m
CSS Assessment - DEV

This session is designed to provide a warm up and a drill sequence to help you tune into your feel for the water in preparation for a Critical Swim Speed Assessment. When you have completed the CSS time trials and made a note of your times you can use the attached spreadsheet to calculate your CSS Pace or you can download and use the Swimulator+ iPhone/iPad application from iTunes https://itunes.apple.com/us/app/swimulator+/id527165536?ls=1&mt=8 to figure out what your CSS training pace is. Once you have done that go into your Training Peaks account settings, and create a set of swim speed/pace "zones" under the zones tab. Select the PZI (10) (Threshold Speed) method of calculation, then you need to put your CSS pace per 100m (expressed in seconds) as your threshold pace and then in the Zone 6: parameters, enter it the same in both parameters so that is a very precise CSS pace, and not a range. This will ensure that your CSS pace is calculated automatically for you for each of your CSS based training sessions in Training Peaks.

Sample Day 7
1:00:00
2550m
END-1-DEV

Warm up and use the build set to prepare you for the main endurance sets. With these endurance sessions the emphasis is on swimming at a steady endurance pace with great form - so use the technical sets in the warm up to help you find your feel for the water and raise your awareness of swimming with good technique. As you will be swimming at lower intensity, make sure you don't drift into overgliding, the stroke should still be a continuous rhythm just reduce the effort through each stroke a little.

Sample Day 7
0:30:00
Open Water - Familiarisation Swim

Swim laps of the lake, or swim back and forth parallel with the shore at sea. Before you start familiarise yourself with any landmarks that you can look out for as reference points when you are swimming. Practice removing your wetsuit as if it were a real transition when you finish the session. Tips: Before you climb out of the water, pull the front of the neck of the wetsuit to allow some water to flow down the inside (it will make removing the wetsuit easier). Remove your hat and goggles and hold them in one hand then as you pull that are out of its sleeve let go of the hat and goggles and they be held safely inside the sleeve (rather than get lost in the transition area). Rehearse the sequence you will use for finding your zip cord and undoing and removing your wetsuit and once you are happy with it - always use the same routine.

Sample Day 9
1:00:00
2400m
END-2-DEV

Warm up and use the build set to prepare you for the main endurance sets. With these endurance sessions the emphasis is on swimming at a steady endurance pace with great form - so use the technical sets in the warm up to help you find your feel for the water and raise your awareness of swimming with good technique. As you will be swimming at lower intensity, make sure you don't drift into overgliding, the stroke should still be a continuous rhythm just reduce the effort through each stroke a little.

Sample Day 12
1:00:00
2600m
CSS-1-DEV

Warm up and use the build set to prepare you for the main CSS sets. Ideally you should use a waterproof metronome such as the Finis Tempo Trainer Pro in Mode 1 to guide you in your pacing - http://swimsmooth.cassonz.com/wp/?page_id=1142 Remember when you are swimming the CSS sets, you will make best progress by sticking to the pace through out the sets, don't be tempted to go ahead of the pace in the early sets, because you might not be able to hold the pace later on, save that challenge until the end of the CSS set, and if you can beat the pace in the last few sets its time to re-test and set yourself a new CSS pace!

Sample Day 14
0:45:00
Open Water - Technique 0:45

Use this session to concentrate on your sighting technique. Once you are in the water try and identify some landmarks on the water's edge, or the horizon, or indeed marker buoys on the water's surface that you can use as your aiming points while you swim. As you get better at swimming straight and sighting well, you will be able to swim longer bounds between markers. You will need to develop your own preferred technique for sighting, but try starting with a pattern of sighting ahead of you every 6-8 strokes. Swim normally breathing to one side or bilaterally and on the 6th or 8th stroke, press down on your outstretched arm in front of you to help lift you torso in the water and lift your head to the front so that your goggles are above the surface. When you sight, try to lock onto the marker you are aiming for ahead of you, then either lower your face back into the water or turn to the side to breathe as a continuation of the stroke. Over time and with plenty of practice you will be able to sight regularly without disrupting your strokes or your rhythym. Every time you swim in open water treat the end of the session as though it were a real transition, its the only realistic opportunity you get to practice getting out of your wetsuit. Tips: Before you get up out of the water, pull the wetsuit neck open to let some water flush through, it will make the suit sldie off more easily. Take your hat and goggles off and hold them in one hand, then pull that arm out through its sleeve letting go of the hat and goggles inside - it will keep them safe and hopefully prevent them getting lost or left behind in transition. Mentally rehearse the sequence and always use the same sequence. You will need to figure out which hand you prefer to reach for the zipper cord, which hand to pull out first and how you are going to step out of the legs.