5k Open Water Swim - 12 Week Training Plan

Average Weekly Training Hours 04:38
Training Load By Week
Average Weekly Training Hours 04:38
Training Load By Week

This 5k Open Water training plan assumes the athlete has already been swimming consistently (generally 3-4 times per week, for approximately 1800-2500m per session). The athlete will go through two periodized builds, with rest weeks and a “practice” race. This plan takes into account that the athlete might be using this 5k race as preparation for a triathlon or other long-distance endurance event, and it can be modified to suit the athlete’s over-riding annual training plan by ensuring the key breakthrough workouts are accomplished each week. The athlete should perform a Lactate Threshold (or Critical Swim Speed) test in Week 1 and in Week 9 as training paces will be based on this. You can perform this test on your own or have a friend or coach do the timing and recording. MAIN AREAS OF DEVELOPMENT The following are the eight areas of development over the course of course of the program: 1) Establish Consistency 2) Recovery 3) Stroke Economy 4) Threshold Development 5) Sustained Endurance 6) Fine Tuning 7) Taper RECOMMENDED TRAINING TOOLS & EQUIPMENT Finis Tempo Trainer Pro* Finis Freestyler Paddles* Finis Agility Paddles* Training Fins Wetsuit Good Goggles for Pool and OW Training *Optional, but a wise investment DESCRIPTION OF WEEKLY SESSIONS Session 1: Monday or Tuesday workout – Threshold Development Session 2: Wednesday or mid-week workout. This is virtually non-negotiable and is the weekly workout that will be the key to your success in your first 5k. This session is where you’ll develop stamina and mental toughness and really get to know your endurance pace. Session 3: Thursday or Friday workout: Technique, Drills and Open Water Skills Session 4: Weekend workout: Long Aerobic Intervals (i.e. 4 x 800 and the like) or Long Open Water Swim

Sample Day 1
1:00:00
1737m
Threshold Pace Swim Test - 400/200

WARM UP
200 Easy, mix of strokes
100 FINS (50 Archer / 50 Swim)
100 PULL with buoy (and paddles) Breathe 3/5/7/3 by 25
100 PULL WITH buoy, done as: 2 x (25 scull or Human / 25 freestyle)

2 x 50 (25 FAST / 25 EZ) R: 15-20

2 x 100 at your "predicted" T-pace R: 30

MAIN SET
1 X 400 at your best effort!

Take a good 5-8 minutes rest with some light swimming and stretching

1 x 200 at your best effort!

OPTIONAL:
2 X 100 at your new T-Pace to see what that pace feels like, take 20sec rest between them

COOL DOWN
100

TEST INSTRUCTIONS:
The test involves two time-trials: a 400m and a 200m (or 400 and 200 yards in a yard pool):

Before attempting these swims perform a thorough warm-up and a small build set to get you used to swimming fast.

Perform the 400 time-trial first, it's less likely to effect the 200 than the other way around.
Swim both time-trial from a push off from the wall, not a dive.

Recover completely between the time-trials with some very easy swimming for around 5-10 minutes.

Remember these are time-trials so you must swim them as fast as possible but also try and pace them out well, don't start too fast and blow up.

If you can, get a friend or coach to record your splits and total time. Also ask them to count your strokes per minute in the 3rd 100m of the 400m to use as your stroke rate base rate. The easiest way of doing this is to count how many strokes (Left = 1, Right = 2, Left = 3 etc) you take in 15 seconds and multiply by 4.

Repeat the test every 4-6 weeks to track your progress and adjust your target swimming paces.

If you're good at maths and want to know the CSS calculation, it is:

CSS (m/sec) = (400 - 200) / (T400 - T200)

Where T400 and T200 are your 400 and 200m times in seconds.

We then convert your speed from m/sec into time per 100m.

Sample Day 3
1:00:00
1829m
10 X 200 - Specific Endurance

WARM UP
On-deck dynamic warm up 10-15mins
Optional in-water warm up: 100-200 easy swim of your choice

Generally, there is no set warm-up today, get started immediately with the main set and build into it, much like you’d have to do in a race!

MAIN SET - 10 X 200

4 x 200 @ (T-Pace/CSS) +6sec
3 x 200 @ (T-Pace/CSS) +5sec
2 x 200 @ (T-Pace/CSS) +4sec
1 x 200 @ (T-Pace/CSS) +3sec

Your rest interval is either :20-30 sec only, or see below on how to use the Tempo Trainer Pro for pacing and rest intervals:

COOL DOWN
100-200 Easy


INSTRUCTIONS FOR USING THE TEMPO TRAINER:
Set the beeper to CSS +6s/100 in Mode 1 (set to beep every 25) and commence the first interval. It’s very easy (especially without a true warm-up) to get ahead of the beeper on this first interval, but be careful as you will really pay for that error in pace judgment later on. Finish the interval on the beep, wait for 1 whole beep cycle and then go again. Do four intervals at this level before quickly reducing the pace time by 0.25s and performing the next 3 intervals. Given that you’ll be well warmed-up by now this block should feel good. Reduce by 0.25s per 25 for the next block of two intervals and then finally by 0.25s for the last interval. Despite even the last interval being +3s/100 slower than threshold, given the length of the entire session and the brevity of the rest periods, the last interval should feel quite challenging.

Sample Day 4
1:00:00
2103m
Drills, Feel of the Water & Drafting - 2100

3 x 200 fins R: 15
1. 25 Side Kick L + 25 freestyle breathe R
2. 25 Side Kick R + 25 freestyle breathe L
3. 25 "6/3/6 Backstroke"

4 x 100 pull buoy and optional paddles R: 15
1. Breathe every 3
2. Breathe every 4: ↑ L ↓ R
3. Breathe every 3
4. Breathe every 6: ↑ L ↓​ R

Repeat 3 Times:
4 x 50 R: 10
1st round.: Pull buoy as 25 Scull + 25 freestyle
2nd round: Pull buoy and paddles
3rd round: . Pull buoy (paddles optional) Breathe 3/5/7/9/3 by 50

3 x 200
1. relaxed freestyle
2. in line drafting (if you have a partner, if not @ 80% effort)
3. negative split, i.e. 2nd half faster than 1st

COOL DOWN
100

Sample Day 6
1:15:00
2286m
Long Aerobic Endurance Intervals

WARM UP
400 to loosen up, mix in some backstroke or other strokes.

200 Fins (50 "Broken Arrow" Drill or Choice Drill / 50 Easy Swim

4 x 50 (25 Scull or "Doggy Paddle" / 25 Smooth Swim) R: 15

MAIN SET
3 x 500 all at T-Pace +6s/100

Rest Interval can be either ~:30sec or 1 beep on the Tempo Trainer

COOL DOWN
100-200 mix in some backstroke, cool down any way you choose

Sample Day 8
1:00:00
2377m
Threshold Ramp Up - 2600

WARM UP
200 easy freestyle
200 fins ↑ 6/1/6, ↓ SWIM
200 pull buoy and optional paddles Breathe 5
200 fins ↑ Broken Arrow Drill ↓ freestyle

BUILD SET
- Do each set of 50's on an interval that give you approx :15 sec rest
- Take an extra :15 rest after the sprint before starting the next block of 50's

5x50 (sprinting last 50)
4x50 (sprinting last 50)
3x50 (sprinting last 50)
2x50 (sprinting last 50)
1x50 (sprinting the 50)
1 x 50 Easy

MAIN SET
-Each repeat is done AT your T-Pace

100 R: 20 or +1 beep recovery
200 R: 20 or +1 beep recovery
300 R: 20 or +1 beep recovery
400 R: 20 or +1 beep recovery

COOL DOWN
100 Easy

Sample Day 10
1:00:00
1829m
10 X 200 Specific Endurance

WARM UP
On-deck dynamic warm up 10-15mins
Optional in-water warm up: 100-200 easy swim of your choice

Generally, there is no set warm-up today, get started immediately with the main set and build into it, much like you’d have to do in a race!

MAIN SET - 10 X 200

4 x 200 @ (T-Pace/CSS) +6sec
3 x 200 @ (T-Pace/CSS) +5sec
2 x 200 @ (T-Pace/CSS) +4sec
1 x 200 @ (T-Pace/CSS) +3sec

Your rest interval is either :20-30 sec only, or see below on how to use the Tempo Trainer Pro for pacing and rest intervals:

COOL DOWN
100-200 Easy


INSTRUCTIONS FOR USING THE TEMPO TRAINER:
Set the beeper to CSS +6s/100 in Mode 1 (set to beep every 25) and commence the first interval. It’s very easy (especially without a true warm-up) to get ahead of the beeper on this first interval, but be careful as you will really pay for that error in pace judgment later on. Finish the interval on the beep, wait for 1 whole beep cycle and then go again. Do four intervals at this level before quickly reducing the pace time by 0.25s and performing the next 3 intervals. Given that you’ll be well warmed-up by now this block should feel good. Reduce by 0.25s per 25 for the next block of two intervals and then finally by 0.25s for the last interval. Despite even the last interval being +3s/100 slower than threshold, given the length of the entire session and the brevity of the rest periods, the last interval should feel quite challenging.

Sample Day 11
1:00:00
2103m
Direction, Eyes Closed & Speed -2300

WARM UP
300 SWIM
200 FINS - Kick (side, back, front, your choice)
8 x 25 ODDS: Human EVEN: Build on :45

TECHNIQUE SET (R: 15 between all 50's)

3 x 50 Eyes Closed for 5 strokes (do you drift?)
3 x 50 Position 11 “Almost” Catch Up
3 x 50 Eyes Closed for 6-8 strokes (do you drift?)
3 x 50 FAST (80%) Eyes Closed for 5 stokes

SPEED & FITNESS
1 X 300 STRONG R: 60
6 x 25 SPRINT on: 40 or :50
1 x 200 Strong R: 60
4 x 25 SPRINT on: 40 or :50
1 x 100 Strong R: 60
2 x 25 SPRINT on: 40 or :50

COOL DOWN
100

Mike Jotautas
|
TriMasters Swimming

Multisport/Triathlon Training Plans and Coaching. Specialty in Triathlon and Open Water Swimming. Advanced 1-2-1 Video Analysis. Group/Squad Training in Louisville, KY. More Information: www.trimastersswimming.com