Tri Swim Coach 12-Week Ironman Distance Swim Training Plan

Training Load By Week
Training Load By Week

This is a 12-week swim training plan for an Ironman Distance triathlon from Tri Swim Coach. We start out technique-focus, then shift to endurance, base, speed, and finally taper. We keep hill repeats to a minimum. ;) A few words about the plan: Distances are listed in yards, but these workouts can be done in a 25 meter pool (or even a 50 meter pool). Keep in mind that 25 meters is equal to approximately 27 yards, so you will be doing a little extra if training 25 meters. The first workout assumes that you are already somewhat in shape with a formidable stroke. If you are still struggling with technique, you may want to take a few lessons before beginning the plan. On the stroke count drills, 1 stroke=1 arm stroke. So you would count the right arm as one, and the left arm as 2, etc. The training plan starts out with about half drills and half light interval training. As the weeks go by, it switches to more and heavier interval training, and less drills. But note that drills never disappear completely. My recommendation is adding in some open water swimming by the 3rd week. On the days where I have listed Olympic Distance 1500, for example, you can replace your pool swimming with an open water day. A word about cruise intervals (sometimes called “Base” intervals). I have listed the definition of a cruise interval as Cruise = an interval you can make 100’s free on comfortably with about 10-15 seconds rest. Example: 5x100’s on 1:45. So, if your cruise interval is 1:45 and you’re doing 200’s on cruise, you double your interval and go on 3:30. If you are doing 50’s, you cut the interval in half and can either go them on :50 or :55. Some of the workouts include strokes other than freestyle. It is important to cross-train in swimming, to avoid shoulder injuries, burnout, etc. However, if you don’t know butterfly and breaststroke, just substitute free and backstroke (learn backstroke if you haven’t already!) on these occasions. There are many abbreviations and unique terminology used in the workouts: @= on, i.e. 10x100’s @ 2:00 means 10 100’s on the 2:00 interval SC= Stroke Count spl = Strokes per length ST = Strokes DPS = Distance per Stroke, try to maximize K = Kick Build= build within the swim, i.e. 200 Free Build means start off easy, and get faster throughout the 200. Cruise = an interval you can make 100’s free on comfortably with about 10-15 seconds rest. Example: 5x100’s on 1:45. Descend = Get faster throughout the set. Example, 4x100 Descend 1-4. #1 would be relatively easy, #4 is HARD. Ascend = The opposite of Descend- ease up throughout the set. Free Golf = Count your strokes and check your time after each swim. Add the 2 numbers and that’s your golf score. Try to beat your score on each one by lowering that number. I.M. = Fly, Back, Breast, Free in that order. I.M. Switch = 50’s alternating Fly/Back, Back/Breast, Breast/Free, Free/Fly Max HR = Maximum Heart Rate. To determine your Max HR, take 180-your age+5. Taper = The period before your race where workouts ease up and you begin to rest for your event. Intensity and distance will both decrease, with longer swims added in. Drills: 3/4 Catchup - taking stokes about 3/4 of the way to touching your other hand before each recovery 6K/Stroke - For each stroke (one arm) take 6 kicks. This is reinforcing the rotation from side to side in freestyle. Fists - Swim freestyle with your hands in fists Finger Tip Drag – Drag your finger tips through the water on recovery. You will need a bent elbow to do this properly. Shark Fin - While kicking on your side, extend one arm. Slowly point elbow of trailing arm up towards sky, hand almost touching your side, making a “shark fin.” Slide hand back down, breathe, repeat. To access our Tri Swim Pro membership area, which includes more open water swim training, the ability to interact with the coaches and other triathletes, and drill videos and plans for each distance, check out http://triswimcoach.com.

Sample Day 1
1554m

WARM UP
300 Free


DRILL/MAIN
200 Free
1) Kick/Swim by 25’s. Swim with fists only.
25+50+75+100 Free
100+75+50+25 Free
Count strokes throughout. Just note stroke count and Find your strokes per length range.
Rest= 10-15 seconds between swims
12x50’s Free
#1) Count strokes
#2-12) Try to hit the # of strokes you got in #1 on each 50.
Rest: 10-15 seconds between 50’s


WARM DOWN
100 Back/Free by 25’s
For the free, breathe every 3 strokes

Sample Day 3
2286m

WARM UP
300 Free, breathe every 3 strokes


DRILL/MAIN
8x75’s Free
K/Finger Tip Drag/Distance Per Stroke
Rest :15 between 75’s
25+50+75+100
100+75+50+25
All Free

Count strokes, first 25 is benchmark. Remember that number and try to hit that number or lower on each length. Notice how changes to your stroke affects spl.

Rest :15 btw swims
8x75’s Free
#1) Count strokes
#2-8) Do not go over the # of strokes you got on #1
Rest 10-15 seconds between 75’s
5x100’s Free
#1,2 & 4,5) Cruise
#3) Count strokes. Try to keep your strokes per length in the lower range.


WARM DOWN
150 Free, breathe only on your weaker side on odd lengths

Sample Day 5
2492m

WARM UP
300 alternating Back/Free by 25’s


DRILL
8x100’s
Odds: 25 Fists Only/25 Free
Evens: 4 strokes Back/4 strokes Free by 25’s
Rest :15 between each 100


MAIN
2x(3x50’s + Kick 3x100’s Free/Back by 25+3x75 Free Count
strokes-1)


WARM DOWN
6x50’s Free Golf on 1:00-1:20 or Rest= :30

Sample Day 8
2606m

WARM UP
500 Free


DRILL
12x50’s Odds: Shark Fin Drill
Evens: Distance Per Stroke
Rest= :15
6x100’s Free
1) Count strokes
2-6) Keep stroke count the same or lower Rest= :20


MAIN
400+300+200+100 on Cruise interval count strokes on 300 and 200 and keep stroke count low


WARM DOWN
150 Breathe every 3 strokes

Sample Day 10
2835m

WARM UP
2x200’s
1) Free
2) Breast/Free by 25


DRILL
10x50’s 3/4 Catch up Drill
Rest= :15
4x200’s
1) Count strokes
2-4) Keep the same stroke count or lower. Count by 25’s and average OR count for the entire 200


MAIN
2x(4x100+4x50)
100’s: Cruise
50’s: Count strokes-1

WARM DOWN
200 Breathe every 3 strokes

Sample Day 12
2926m

WARM UP
8x75’s Odds: Breathe every 3-5-3 strokes by 25’s
Evens: Non-Free, your choice
Rest= :15


DRILL
8x50’s Non-free Rest= :15
800 Free count strokes on 1st 100, maintain stroke count throughout 800


MAIN
2x(300 Free + 3x100 I.M.)
300’s: Moderate +:15 100’s: Hard, on Cruise


WARM DOWN
200 Easy

Sample Day 15
3155m

WARM UP
500 Free, every 4th length Kick


DRILL
400 Free, alternate 25 Fist/25 Free Swim
4x50’s Free Golf @ 1:00-1:20 OR Rest= :30


MAIN: 3X(4X100)
Set #1) Descend 1-4 on Cruise + :10,
Set #2) Descend stroke count 1-4 on Rest= :30,
Set #3 Descend 1-4 @ Cruise - :05


BREATH CONTROL (Hypoxic Training)
400 Free breathe every 3-5-5-3 stroke by 100
5x50’s, limit # of breaths to 6, 5, 4, 3, 2 by 50


WARM DOWN
200 Easy, long strokes