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Swim - 8 week off-season swim block for long course triathletes - Intermediate


Maria Simone, No Limits Endurance Coaching

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8 Weeks

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Plan Description

Creator: Maria Simone, No Limits Endurance Coaching

Length: 8 weeks

Weekly Volume: Starts at 8700 yards and builds to 13000 yards

Ability level: Intermediate to advanced, long course triathletes

This is an off-season swim block program, that features 3-5 swims per week. It is designed for triathletes who are able to swim at least 2500 yards, and who are planning on a half or full distance race in the coming season. Workouts focus on skills, speed, endurance and strength.

Note: this plan features swims only. But, can be combined with maintenance level bikes and runs.

You will need the following equipment: 1) Pull buoy, 2) Kick Board, 3) Paddles

This plan does not come with regular coach correspondence. However, anyone who purchases the plan may have a one-time email consult - I recommend you take the time to review the entire plan and take note of any questions you have. Then, email them to maximize this correspondence. If you'd like a phone or video consult, you get 20% off the current rate.

Athletes who purchase this plan receive a 10% discount to join our #NLECrew, the team for endurance athletes with no limits! Visit #NLECrew for details or to sign up.

Upon purchase of the plan, you can email Maria for the code to get your club discount.

For more information about No Limits Endurance Coaching, please visit our website at

Join us on Facebook and let us know how the training goes and how the race goes!


Average Weekly Breakdown

Workouts Weekly Average Longest Workout
0:27 hrs 0:55 hrs
Workouts Per Week Weekly Average Longest Workout
0:27 hrs 0:55 hrs

Training Load By Week

This plan works best with the following fitness devices:

  • GPS

All supported devices

Maria Simone

No Limits Endurance Coaching

What's your big dream - you know the one that makes you feel scared AND excited? Yup, that one. Whether your dream is about a first time or a fast time, I can help! I have 10 years of experience helping athletes make their dreams a reality.

No Limits offers a strong community, focusing on the training needs of busy age-group endurance athletes of all levels. We offer remote one-to-one coaching, local one-to-one coaching, training plans, group training, training camps, & video analysis.

Sample Day 1

Swim assessment - 3 x 300

200 easy, 10s rest
2 x 150 done as: 50 swim, 50 kick, 50 swim, 10s rest
2 x 150 done as: 50 easy, 50 steady, 50 mod-hard, 15s rest
3 x 300 time trial, 30s rest
- hit lap button for each set so we can get the split time for each 300.
- Figure out the average 100 split pace for each set. this is your new t-pace.
Go as fast as you can, swimming at an even intensity throughout. Try not to start off too hard and fade. Stay consistent. Stay strong!
200 easy. You can alternate free/back by 50 if you like.

Sample Day 3

Body Position 2

300 easy done as: 50 swim, 50 kickboard, 50 swim, 50 kickboard
- Front balance: 4 x 25, 15 seconds rest between each set
- 100 free (focusing on proper body alignment), 10s rest
- Side balance: 4 x 25, alternating right and left, 10 seconds rest
- 100 free (focusing on engaged core to support the rotation)
- Front balance: 2 x 50, 15 seconds rest
- 100 free, 10s rest
- Side balance: 4 x 25, alternating right and left, 5 seconds rest
- 100 free, 10s rest
2 x 400, steady, with 15 sec rest
DRILL DESCRIPTIONS--------------->



Sample Day 5

(2150) VO2 intervals

VO2 intervals are high intensity intervals that will work your anaerobic system. In other words, you will be working at or near maximal effort for each of the interval sessions. These are designed primarily to increase speed at all effort levels. Warm up: 200 easy on 10 sec rest 2 x 100 (50 catch up drill, 50 fist drill) on 15 sec rest 2 x 100 (25 easy, 50 steady, 25 hard, 25 easy) with 15 sec rest 200 easy on 15 sec rest Main set 5 x 100 max effort, with 2:00 rest 5 x 50 max effort with 1:30 rest 4 x 100 kick, descend each to max effort in final 25 m, 15 sec rest Cool down: 200 easy

Sample Day 7

Fun with 500s (KC Special)

200 easy warm, 10s rest
4 x 50 kick descend, 15s rest
3 x broken 500 @t-pace, done as:
-2 x 100 rest :10
-3 x 50 rest :05
-2 x 75 rest :10
Rest 1:00 extra between 500 rounds
500 free mod-hard
Cool Down - 200

Sample Day 9

Alternate Drill/Free 100s

200 free, 15 sec rest
8 x 100, odds freestyle, evens drill, 15s rest (see pre-activity for drill options)
4 x 50 kickboard, 15 sec rest. Work on balance by holding the board out.
6 x 100, evens drill, odds free, 15s rest (see drill options)
200 easy, free

Notes: Side balance drills will teach efficient body rotation for the freestyle stroke. You should imagine that you are swimming like a knife cutting through the water.
For this drill you will kick while balancing on one side. The trick with this drill is to keep from rolling either on to your back, or your front.
Start by lying on your left side, with your left arm extended in front of you and your right arm laying at your side. Your right hand can rest on your hip/leg. Press your head toward your extended arm, and face upwards (allowing you to breath). Keep the left side of your chest pressing into the water, similar to the front balance drill. Start kicking. When you complete one length, switch to the right side of your body, and repeat. As with the front balance drill, you can use fins to help you learn the feel. However, do not become reliant on the fins.
Video demonstrating the drill: As you get better at this drill, you can do it with your face in the water. Like this: However, do not progress to this level until you feel comfortable with the face up version.

Notes: This drill helps us maximize the use of our forearms at the catch and throughout the stroke. You will swim as you normally would for the freestyle, with one exception: keep your hands clenched in fists.
Focus on keeping bent elbows, as if you are hugging a barrel under water.
Video demonstration:

Notes: This drill helps you focus on having a relaxed and efficient recovery portion to your stroke.
As your arm moves through the recovery portion of the stroke, you will keep your fingertips in contact with the water, dragging them along the surface. Your elbow should be pointed upwards, while your forearm and hand hang relaxed.
Video demonstration:

Notes: The catch up drill helps us take our body position and rotation one step further toward steady free style swimming. This drill helps you exaggerate the rotation and glide for each stroke to get a proper feel for the stroke as you move into steady swimming.
This drill is almost like regular free style swimming, however, when your hand enters the water at the catch, you will keep it there until your other hand completes the stroke and enters the water. So, if your left arm enters the water, keep it extended while your right arm finishes its stroke. As the right arm enters the water, the left arm begins its stroke, while the right arms stays extended.
Here's a video demonstrating the drill:
If you find this drill too challenging at first; try it with fins until you get the hang of it. However, as always, we don't recommend overuse of fins.

Notes: This drill encourages you to focus on body position, balance, and the stroke.
You will begin face down, with both of your arms extended. Take a full stroke with your left arm, while your right arm stays extended. Repeat for any where from 3 strokes to the length of the pool (depending on the workout), and then switch to your right arm. Take a full stroke with your right arm, while your left arm stays extended.
Video demonstration:

Notes: This drill is a progression from the side balance drill, and begins to mimic the rotation and stroke for freestyle swimming.
Begin as you do with the side balance drill. Kick 6 be

Sample Day 11

(2100) Pull, paddle 500

2 x 100 easy, 15s rest, warm up
4 x 50 paddles, steady, 10s rest
4 x 100 pull buoy, steady to mod-hard, 15s rest
500 build from steady to mod-hard, 60s rest
4 x 100 paddles, steady, 15s rest
4 x 50 pull buoy, steady, 10s rest
200 easy, cool

Sample Day 12

T-pace minus 3 sec pyramid

300 easy, 10s rest
4x50 catch up drill, 10s rest
4 x 50 build to hard, 15s rest
8 x 50, @ t-pace -3 seconds, 20s rest (so subtract 3 seconds from your t-pace)
4 x 100, @ t-pace -3 seconds, 20s rest
2 x 200, @ t-pace -3 seconds, 20s rest
4 x 100 kick, 15s rest
200 easy

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