Finding Freestyle Advanced Block 0 - The Big Ease In (Unsupported)

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Finding Freestyle Advanced Block 0 - The Big Ease In (Unsupported)


David Luscan

All plans by this Coach


4 Weeks

Typical Week

4 Swim

Longest Workout

2:00 hrs swim

Plan Specs

triathlon ironman beginner intermediate advanced masters

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This is the unsupported version of the 1st block of the 58 week Finding Freestyle Advanced Program.

Purchasers should have completed the 12 week Basic Course and all preceding Advanced Blocks, and have a thorough understanding of the drills, activities and nomenclature presented thus far.

This Block (and the entire Advanced Course) consists of 4 weekly workouts. This complete program will lead the athlete through one year of workouts, starting with the winter time swim focus, and progressing through the spring training and summer/fall competition phase, with special modules for final race preparation, and for focusing on specific technical objectives, such as the "kick forming" cycle, and the "distance per stroke/stroke rate balance" cycle.

This program acts as a stand-alone web-based service for remotely located athletes, as well as a companion program to the live Advanced Training Group that meets once per week with Finding Freestyle coaches. In addition to the workouts, we will also be developing content to teach triathletes what they need to optimize their swimming performance, harmonize their swim training within the multisport context, and ultimately be able to direct their own program.


Training Load By Week
Training Load By Week
Average Weekly Training Hours: 05:05

David Luscan

Finding Freestyle Multi-sport Coaching

Finding Freestyle offers full service multi and single sport coaching, fully custom & off the shelf plans, online bike fitting, and the only web based, process driven, learn to swim faster program for triathletes and competitive pool and open water swimmers. The Finding Freestyle Basic and Advanced courses can stand alone or be easily integrated into any stand alone or custom training plan.

Sample Day 1

Block 0 Week 1 - Drill Progression

Before beginning, please read the Advanced Program and Block 0 overviews, located above. Workout abbreviations are attached as well.

Emphasis on the combination of SoL & 1-arm swimming in a "pulsing framework" will allow us to build a little bit of endurance and also ingrain some good motor skills. So many athletes struggle with the 1-arm drill, almost invariably because of their inability to "lead with the head" consistently. While leading with the head comes much easier to athletes in the SoL series, the lack of stability that you find in the 1-arm tends to make a person want to rush through the drill.

Note that when doing this in the pulse-kicking form, we do it 8-8 instead of our normal 6-6, which means 8 strokes of 1-arm, then 8 strokes of either pull or swim (depending on the set).

Early in the workout we prepare you for the 1-arm by giving you some "restricted breathing" 25s, where you breathe every 5 to 7 strokes. This shows you just how powerful you can be without the confounding influence of the breathe, in effect insuring a "leading head" on nearly every stroke. We also include this in the warm down so that you can finish with your best form.

Another challenge to the 1-arm drill is found by folks who are trying to engage Early Vertical Forearm, but failing to do so in a manner that is appropriate to their body (flexibility, kick frequency, other). The interesting thing here is that EVF is VIRTUALLY IMPOSSIBLE to achieve without a "head-lead". Beyond that, EVF is an effect, rather than a cause. The most important thing in the catch is to get your hand pointed DOWN, and underneath of your body so that you can apply pressure. Close your eyes and try to do 1-arm free, forget about what is happening in the catch, and just focus on applying pressure when your hand is underneath of yourself. If you lead with your head, and let your hand go deep, your body will achieve EVF if it is capable of it, but do not worry, if you do these things, it will achieve EEVF (Early ENOUGH Vertical Forearm).

Four Stage Breathe Away Video:

1 X 500 done as 50 SWIM / 25 F&P / 25 SWIM w/ 1 BT REST :30
10 X 25 PULL, BR EV 7 on :10 REST
1 X 250 PULL, N/S REST :20
10 X 25 SWIM - BR EV 5 on :10 REST
1 X 250 SWIM, N/S REST :20

1 X 400 SWIM, ALT 50 SLOW / 50 FAST
REST :30
1 X 200 8-8 PULSE (1-6 SoL / PULL)
REST :20
1 X 400 SWIM, ALT 25 w/1`BT KICK / 75 SWIM
REST :30
1 X 200 8-8 PULSE (FSBA / SWIM)
REST :20
1`X 400 PULL, ALT 50 SLOW / 50 FAST
REST :30
1 X 200 SWIM, ALT 25 FSBA / 25 FAST
REST :20

1 x 300 SWIM w/ FINS & 2 BT KICK
REST :20

Total: 3,850

Sample Day 3

Block 0 Week 1 - High Density

You only have a bit of time, so give yourself a moment of great speed, and great execution. 10 x 100 holding as fast as you can, and as fast as you can needs to be as technically sound as you are capable of. Focus on excellent kick timing, and getting full breaths, the speed will follow.

1 X 500 done as 200 SWIM / 50 F&P / 200 PULL / 50 FSBA
REST 1:00
10 X 100 SWIM, AFAYCH on :10-:15 REST
1 X 200 ALT 25 KOB / 25 EASY SWIM

Total: 1,700

Sample Day 5

Block 0 Week 1 - Technical Fitness

This is a nice blend of conditioning work and rhythm/timing work. The use of the bi-lateral breathing mode (breathing every 3) in the 1st and 3rd parts of the set are an opportunity for you to become aware of what your body is doing in response to your turning your head to breathe.

Even elite swimmers suffer from some stroke degradation when breathing -- one key point to focus on here is the effect that using a "Head-Lead" (such as that done in SoL and 1-arm) can have on your opposite arm. On the 3rd set, you are asked to breathe every 3rd while descending, which will cause a bit of oxygen debt if you go at a high level. Try to make sure that you get full breaths at the very least, and take an extra 1:00 rest afterwards to recover and be ready to swim very fast on the last set of 100s.

Overall, this type of set can be really useful to your technical proficiency, as well as your ability to maintain form when tiring.

1 X 3/500 CHOICE SWIM REST :30
1 X 500 done as 25 FSBA-R / 25 FSBA-L / 25 PULL / 25 KICK / 25 SWIM
Repeat same pattern w/50s, then repeat again with 25s, to total 500
REST :60

MAIN SET (options give 2,000-3,600)
8/10/12 X 100 PULL, BR EV 3 on :15 REST
6/8/10 X 100 SWIM, w/1 BT, DES 1-4/3/5
on :15 REST
4/6/8 X 100 SWIM w/2 BT BR EV 3, DES 1-4/5/3 on :15 REST
2/4/6 X 100 SWIM, AFAYCH, on :10 REST

4 X 200 SWIM w/ FINS, :20 REST
ODD - 25 FSBA / 25 SWIM,
EVEN - 25 KOB / 25 3-6 SoL

Total: 3,800-5,400

Sample Day 7

Block 0 Week 1 - Performance Fitness

This workout is a nice opportunity to build volume in a context that encourages optimal form. The main set is a mixture of swimming, pulling and pulse-kicking, with several interludes of 25s that are aimed at giving you a technical reset in between longer more strenuous swims.

If you take the long option on these interludes, doing 50s instead of 25s, be very certain that you maintain your best execution during the second 25, as these are intended to help you develop the motor skills needed to maintain your
optimal form.

Pulse Kicking (1 BT left / 1 BT right) Video:

1 X 300 done as 50 CHOICE / 25 F&P
REST :20
9 X 50 on :10 REST
#1 – 25 1-6 SoL / 25 SWIM
#2 – 25 SWIM w/ 1 BT / 25 SWIM
#3 – 25 PULL / 25 SWIM

MAIN SET (options give 2,400-5,100)
3/5 X 150 ON :15 REST
#1- done as 50 6-6 PULSE (PULL/SWIM) / 50 FAST SWIM / 50 EASY SWIM
#2- 50 EASY SWIM / 50 6-6 PULSE
#3- 50 FAST SWIM / 50 EASY SWIM / 50 6-6 PULSE (PULL/SWIM)
*#4- 50 6-6 PULSE (PULL/SWIM) / 50 FAST SWIM / 50 EASY SWIM
*#5- 50 EASY SWIM / 50 6-6 PULSE (PULL/SWIM) / 50 FAST SWIM
REST :30-1:00

1 X 250/400/600 PULL, BR EV 3 on :30 REST
10/12 X 25/50 on :10 REST
ODD - SWIM, BR EV 4 or 5
REST :30-1:00

1 X 250/400/600 SWIM, N/S
REST :30 - :60
10/12 X 25/50 on :10 REST
ODD - SoL 3-6
REST :30-1:00

3/5 X 150 PULL, DES 1-3/5 on :15 REST
REST :30-1:00
*1 X 250/400/600 KICK w/FINS
REST :30
*10/12 X 25/50 on :10 REST
ODD - PULL, BR EV 5 or 7


* optional swims
Total: 3,300-6,000

Sample Day 8

Block 0 Week 2 - Drill Progression

This week is a big old block of Zen -- featuring repetition, focus, and opportunities to explore the relationship between yourself and your breathing.

1-arm swim with varying breathing patterns to become aware of the alignment of the head, but ALSO the rotation of the body, and how they both vary when breathing or not breathing.

Early in the warm-up we will do a series of SoL variations, 1-6, 3-10, and 5-12 (that's 5 strokes, then 12 kicks). When doing the 3 and 5 stroke variations, see if you can complete the strokes without breathing. The extra kicks (10 and then 12) are there to allow you to obtain several breaths before putting your face back in the water for successive non-breathing strokes.

1 X 400 done as: 50 SWIM / 25 F&P / 25 KOB
REST 1:00

4 X (3 x 25 SoL) on :10 REST
1 X 25 1-6 SoL
1 X 25 3-10 SoL
1 X 25 5-12 SoL

6 X 50 ALT 25 FSBA BR EV 2 / 25 PULL
on :15 REST

3 X 100 ALT 75 SWIM, BUILD / 25 SWIM w/1 BT on :15 REST
8 X 150 PULL, DES 1-4 on :15 REST
3 X 100 ALT 75 SWIM, BUILD / 25 HL PULL on :15 REST

6 X 100 KICK w/FINS, DES 1-3 on :15 REST

Total: 3,600

Sample Day 12

Block 0 Week 2 - Technical Fitness

We begin the workout with a bit of a leg focus, combining leg-intensive drills such as 1-arm and SoL with some beat-kicking and some speed kicking. This will give us a nice work on the legs before the main set which, while containing a large portion of pull, will essentially give us an opportunity to really challenge our bodies arm/leg/head synchronicity.

The Float & Paddle "@QUICK PACE" in the warm-up is just as it sounds, Float & Paddle executed at a pace that is not quite a sprint, but which really encourages us to shake it loose a bit, and explore the bounds of control on this drill which is, by its nature, quite restrictive. We want to experience how we can perform the F&P by just "shaking" the body to spin the arms around it, developing a sense of how we can encourage two body groups (the arms and torso) to be in perfect synchronization by doing less, rather than more.

This workouts main set contains an intense focus on bi-lateral breathing, mixed in with some speed play. To simply breathe bilateraly, however, is no magic pathway to better swimming. Bilateral breathing simply presents an opportunity to gain awareness, and then leverage that awareness using your understanding of how your body works in the water, and the keys that you have gained over time.

Primary among those gains is your understanding of the role of the head, particularly the "leading head" in enabling your arm to get into position and propel effectively. When you breathe every 3rd stroke, you not only get to alter the arm that breathes, but you also have 1/3 less breathing strokes, which means that you get to do more strokes without the interruptive influence of breathing. Patterns such as 2-3 (alternating 2 strokes and a breath, then 3 strokes and a breath) allow you to experience this effect also, but with considerably more oxygen, which will allow you to go at a higher intensity.

1 X 300 CHOICE
REST :30
6 X 50 ALT 25 FSBA EASY / 25 F&P @QUICK PACE on :15 REST
6 X 100 done as 25 3-BEAT KICK w/BOARD / 25 KICK FAST / 50 1-6 SoL on :15 REST

MAIN SET (options give 2,400-4,000)
1 X 3/4/500 PULL, BR 2-3
REST :45
3/4/5 X 100 SWIM, BR EV 2 on RIGHT, DES 1-3/5 on :15 REST
1 X 3/4/500 PULL, BR 2-4
REST :45
3/4/5 X 100 SWIM, BR EV 2 on LEFT, DES 1-3/5 on :15 REST
1 X 3/4/500 PULL, BR 2-3
REST :45
3/4/5 X 100 SWIM, BR EV 3, DES 1-3/5 on :15 REST
1 X 3/4/500 SWIM, BR 2-5
REST :45
3/4/5 X 100 SWIM, CHOICE OF BP, DES 1-3/5 on :15 REST

8 X 75 w/FINS, ALT 25 FSBA/ 50 SWIM w/6 BT on :10 REST

Total: 4,400-6,000

Sample Day 14

Block 0 Week 2 - Performance Fitness

This workout turns you loose after a whole-body drill warm up, and sends you on a journey within the Mind Grinder. You have 3 options with this Mind Grinder, depending on how much you are in for. The shortest version is the "Mini Mind grinder", which is essentially 7x500 for 3,500 yards. The 2nd option is based on 7x600, which is so-named "Iron Mind Grinder" because it is the approximate distance of an Ironman swim leg (4,200 yards). The final option is for those who really want to explore the outer limits of their body and mind, the original set, the "Mind Grinder", which is based on 7x1000.

Of course, using this pattern of varying breaks we can construct a set of virtually any distance, and you encouraged to find the set of components that fits your schedule and current level of ability. This set, while on its face my strike a fear of boredom into your heart, is, to me, an incredibly stimulating journey. Sometimes you will in fact want to scream "let me out!", but realizing that it is only you who keeps you in the pool will set you free. You choose to be there, and the payoff? Harmonizing with your own internal rhythm. It happens as long as you keep breathing, pulling, kicking, and doing so in a rhythmic fashion.

1 X 500 done as FSBA-R / FSBA-L / PULL / KICK/ SWIM Repeat t his pattern with 25's, then 50's, and again with 25's, to total 500.

Your Choice of Mind Grinder, All swim

Mini (3500)
10 x 50 on :10 REST
5 X 100 ON :10 REST
2 X 250 ON :10 REST
1 X 500 ON :30 REST
2 X 250 ON :10 REST
5 X 100 ON :10 REST
10 X 50 ON :10 REST

Iron (4200)
12 X 50 ON :10 REST
6 X 100 ON :10 REST
2 X 300 ON :10 REST
1 X 600 ON :30 REST
2 X 300 ON :10 REST
6 X 100 ON :10 REST
12 X 50 ON :10 REST

Mega (7000)
20 X 50 ON :10 REST
10 X 100 ON :10 REST
4 X 250 ON :10 REST
1 X 1000 ON :10 REST
4 X 250 ON :10 REST
10 X 100 ON :10 REST
20 X 50 ON :10 REST


Total: 4,300/5,000/7,800

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