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Transform into a Speedy Swimmer in 12 weeks - level 1 400m time trial in 8-12 mins


Nick de Meyer BTF level 3 Coach, TRX Instructor

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12 Weeks

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Plan Description

Level 1 swimmers will be currently swimming 400 metres in more than 8 minutes - you will start with 4 sessions a week of between 1200-1600 metres per session.

Add more speed, power and stamina to your front crawl! Improve your technique, Pacing, reduce your stroke count by up to 10%, and your stroke efficiency (SWOLF score)

Learn how to control your pacing, reduce drag, become more streamlined, build your fitness, and become a Speedier Swimmer!

Weekly swim sessions include:

2 sessions focussing on drills and technique, 2 on fitness and 2 on swim specific core strength.

Each one of these is progressive so that you improve in both technique, fitness and core strength over the 12 weeks.

This swim plan focuses on the catch and balance aspects of the front crawl stroke for the first 4 weeks. It then progresses into pacing awareness and pace control, whilst maintaining good technique and stroke mechanics. The last 4 weeks move into an anaerobic fitness component, helping you to sustain and hold higher levels of pace and heart rate. This will enable you to work harder and sustain pace above your race effort, whilst increasing your vo2 max and lactate threshold heart rate.

Every 4 weeks there is a 400 metre fitness test coupled with Swim Golf and SWOLF testing sessions. The strength workouts progress from stability to strength to power. This will be using your own bodyweight to start with, then moving into kettlebells and muscular strength to finish.

This 12 week swim training plan is designed to transform your front crawl swimming with 2 sessions a week of core strength, progressing into upper body and arms and core strength over the course of the plan

You will work through each phase of front crawl, including catch, pull, recovery, streamlining, and have test sessions every 6 weeks, including at the start to bench mark your fitness. The test sessions will be short to measure changes in fitness and will look at stroke efficiency too.

There are 2 drills and technique swim sessions per week, 2 core strength and 2 swim fitness sessions, each of which are progressive each week, so that you improve in both technique and fitness over the 12 weeks.

You'll have your own training peaks account for the duration which you can then downgrade to a basic account after the plan has ended. You can upload data from a garmin 910xt or similar to track your swim metrics on Training Peaks

This swim plan is designed by Nick de Meyer, Head coach for Speedy Swimming, (BTF level 3, STA level 2 swim teacher, Master endurance coach Training Bible UK) who specialise in teaching triathletes and swimmers. This plan encapsulates all of Nicks training, racing and coaching experience of many open water triathlons, long triathlon events, his swim skills and drills teaching methods and from completing the Dart 10km Swim in Devon.

Purchase of this plan includes our comprehensive Swim Training Guide, which explains how to use your training plan, including swim drills and open water articles, plus email access to Nick at any time for questions that you may have about this plan.

Once you have signed up we will email you the Description Document.

Questions? Please visit us on the web at or email Nick directly at:


Average Weekly Breakdown

Workouts Weekly Average Longest Workout
3:47 hrs 1:00 hrs
1:17 hrs 0:50 hrs
—— ——
Workouts Per Week Weekly Average Longest Workout
3:47 hrs 1:00 hrs
1:17 hrs 0:50 hrs
—— ——

Training Load By Week

This plan works best with the following fitness devices:

  • GPS

All supported devices

Nick de Meyer

Speedy Swimming

Nick has been a Level 3 British Triathlon Coach for 14 years, and has been a master endurance coach with Training Bible Coaching UK in that time. He is also a Training Peaks Level 2 Accredited Coach, and has worked as a Regional Development Coach for the South East region for British Triathlon.

Alongside his online coaching business, Nick also runs Speedy Swimming which specialise in 1-2-1 front crawl technique lessons, endless pool swim video analysis, swim clinics and group swim sessions

Sample Day 1

Stroke rate stroke count Swim Golf

Session aim: stroke count and rate and swolf (swim golf)

Warm up
200 FC
100 FC 3/4 catch up
100 FC Single arm
50 BC
Main Set
100 FC counting strokes
100 FC stroke count minus 1
100 FC stroke count -2
100 Stroke count -2 but faster
100 BC
200 FC Bilateral every 3 40 rest
Swim golf
10x 50m FC 20 rest
count your strokes and time the 50m. Add the 2 together. Try and hold the cumulative number of strokes and time over the course of the 10x50m FC
add in stroke rate ramptest here if you can have a tempo trainer
50m kick on front 10 rest (on all kick)
50m side kick L
50m side kick R
50m kick on back
Cool down
200m mix of BR BC Fc and kick

Sample Day 2


HIIT is high intensity interval training which is really good at burning fat and boosting your metabolism whilst building functional strength do 2x 4 mins as 45 secs on 15 off with each set of 4 exercises. then repeat

Sample Day 3

4x300 catch drills with sculling

Warm up:
200 FC
200 Pull Bilteral
Main Content:
4x50m sculling 30 rest with fins / pull buoy
1st 25m scull, 2nd 25m FC bilat 3 smiley face
1 & 2 entry / catch phase
3 & 4 pull phase
100 FC Paddles – Fingers in only – 30 rest
4x 300m FC – 20 recovery
• 1st and 3rd continuous swim, emphasizing long stroke Fists
• 2nd and 4th split as 10 secs rest between 100’s as:
1. 100 Fists
2. 100 O –Ring
3. 100 single arm fists + pull
4. 100 FC alternate fists, ie left for 25m, right for 25m, other hand normal
2x 50m 1st 25m head up, 2nd 25m FC 20 rest
Coaching Points (CP’s):
• Paddles usage: fingers in only, wrists not attached
• If paddles flip out off hands then swimmers are missing the push phase of stroke, so push back towards thigh
• Long stroke is extending once your hand has entered and pushing back towards your thigh to get maximum Distance per stroke
• Sculling – core and glutes engaged, head above water:
• Fig 8 inside sh on catch scull
• Sweeps in and out,
• smiley face pointing back on fc
Safety Considerations (during the session):
Maintain a straight line when doing single arm fists, to avoid hitting other swimmers coming back in opposite direction
Cool Down:
100 BC full stretch
100 FC easy
Summary of session/feedback to triathletes:

Sample Day 4

Core Stability Pilates

planks to failure once good form goes
2x20 otherwise

Sample Day 6

400m TT

300 fc w up
4x 50m power push 20 rest
4x 50m drag fingers and zips 20 rest
50 bc 20 rest
400m TT @ 85-90%
60 rest
200m TT @ 90% 60 rest
4x 50m glide and touch thigh 20 rest
cool down
200 mixed strokes

Sample Day 7

Balance + tech

Warm up:
300 free, 100 back, 50 breast 50 back,
Focus on technique
Main Content:
4x 100m bilat FC Perfect form - 30 rest
(15s Rest at 50 and 30s Rest at 100)
4x50 alt side kick (25 each side) / free
100 BC – Push hips up
4x50 alt extension kick x 4 / O Ring
100 BC – legs straight kicking
4x50 alt catch up pull / free
100 BC – long stroke
4x50 alt (normal) Fists / free
Sculling 8x 25m 15 rest (fins optional)
2@ entry, 2@ pull, 2@ push, 2@ exit
Cool Down:
200m easy FC / BC

Sample Day 8

Core Strength BW

planks to failure once good form goes
2x20 otherwise

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