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Finding Freestyle Advanced Block 2 - The Training Rainbow (Unsupported)


David Luscan

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4 Weeks

Plan Specs

triathlon ironman beginner intermediate advanced

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Plan Description

This is the unsupported version of the 3rd 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.


Average Weekly Breakdown

Workouts Weekly Average Longest Workout
4:57 hrs 1:50 hrs
Workouts Per Week Weekly Average Longest Workout
4:57 hrs 1:50 hrs

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 2 Week 1 - Drill Progression

Please download and read the "Block 2 Overview" located above.

This block focuses on descending SoL sets, and a review (and perhaps refinement) of the F&P. When reviewing the F&P, this is a great time to really think about exaggerating the locked shoulder aspect, and REALLY trying to engage the trunk - not a bad time to shoot a little video and let us take a look at it. By adding a 1-beat kick into our F&P (on the even 50s of your first main set 400) you will be even more challenged, since the kick will tempt the arms to resume business as usual -- your job is to NOT let that happen. What you MAY find, is that the extra little "boost" given by the foot may make it EASIER to maintain the rigid shoulder.

The SoL will be using the wondrous stimulus of speed-play. In other words, we will spend a good deal of time doing SoL by starting slowly, and increasing the speed. Speed-play with drills is an advanced skill, your objective is to begin slowly and achieve near-perfect execution on the drill, then to gradually increase speed and MAINTAIN your drilling excellence. As in high-speed pulling, we want to attempt to go right to the edge of where the speed causes our execution to falter.

Float and Paddle Deconstructed Video:

F&P w/1 Beat Kick Video:

1 X 300/500 ALT 50 PULL / 50 3-6 SoL
REST :30
2/4 X 150 as: 50 F&P / 50 HL SWIM / 50 SWIM, BUILD on :20 REST
1 X 200/400 SWIM ALT 25 w/1 BT / 25 BUILD
REST :30

1 X 400/600 ALT 50 F&P / 50 F&P w/1 BT
REST :20
1 X 400/600 ALT 50 PULL / 50 6-6 PULSE ( 2 BT / CHOICE) REST :20

4X through
3 X 25 1-6 SoL, DES 1-3 on :10 REST
1 X 50 SWIM, BR EV 7 STROKES on :10 REST
1 X 25 EASY REST :10

3 X 50 SPRINT SWIM on 2:00 REST
1 X 300/600 EASY CHOICE

Total: 2,600 - 4,000

Sample Day 3

Block 2 Week 1 - High Density

This workout is a little different from many of the HD workouts in that there is a substantial technical component. We briefly touch on the concepts of stroke-rate and stroke-length with 3 x 50 where we descend the # of strokes we take per 50, then later a 3 x 50 where we descend times (feel free to count your strokes here, see what happens). Descending is done swim by swim, so we count our strokes on the first 50 and then try to take less strokes on the second 50, and then less still on the third 50.

The last set of 100's could be a bit of a challenge, as we ask you to take the average pace from last weeks 800 and hold :04 seconds faster for 3 x 100 with only :10 rest between. Take care to not over-shoot the first 100, and try to make each of these 100's uniform.

1 X 200 ALT 50 CHOICE / 50 6-6 PULSE (1-BT/SWIM) REST :20
3 X 100 on :15 REST done as:
25 SWIM w/SB EVERY 5th
25 SWIM w/2 BT
25 SoL 3-6 BUILD
25 F&P BR EV 3

3 X 100 SWIM w/3 SB's on EVEN 25s
on :15 REST
3 X 50 SWIM, DES SPEED 1-3 on :15 REST
3 X 100 @800 TT PACE MINUS :05 PER 100


Total: 1,800

Sample Day 4

Block 2 Week 1 - Technical Fitness

This set is one that I have used for a number of years, that I call "Intro to Distance Freestyle", because I think that it highlights some of the real fundamental skills that a distance swimmer needs to possess. In short, 1) great ability to mix-up the kick style, 2) great ability to hold consistent paces, and 3) the ability to keep notching that pace up as the race progresses, "building into it" as they say.

Use that first 600 of rhythm play to find your groove, than start out very moderately in the early paces of that set, since you will have to find two levels of "faster" later on in the set. As you get to the last 6 x 100, "Break on Through to the Other Side" (my old swim coaching friend and mentor Dan Haines's vote for the quintessential distance swimming song - if only if were 2 hours long!).

1 X 400 CHOICE, REST :30
4 X 25 ALT 12.5 FAST KICK / 12.5 EASY SWIM on :15 REST
4 X 25 ALT 12.5 FAST SWIM / 12.5 EASY KICK on :15 REST
4 X 50 SWIM w/4 SB's on :10 REST

MAIN SET (options give 2,400-3,600)
1 X 600/900 ALT 100 SWIM w/2 BT / 100 PULSE (CHOICE) / 100 SWIM
REST 1:00
6/9 X 100 on :10 REST
Rest 1:00

1 X 600/900 SWIM FASTER THAN 100s PACE REST 2:00
6/9 X 100 SWIM on :10 REST

TECHNIQUE-DOWN (options give 600 - 1200)
4-8X through
100 KICK w/FINS on :15 REST
50 SoL 3-6 BUILD w/FINS on :15 REST

1 X 100 EASY

Total: 3,900 to 5,700

Sample Day 6

Block 2 Week 1 - Performance Fitness

This workout has two main parts, first of which is a prep-set for you to play with in your quest to understand your bodies needs in warmup (which may in fact take place during your race!). This prep-set features longer chunks for you to play around with. After that we move into a very short distance (albeit on very short rest - 5 seconds) set with a focus on exploring and maintaining speed, with 3 different distinct levels of speed:

Speed 1 is relaxed and perfect, the goal being the easiest you can go while still having enough speed to make your stroke feel fluid and effective.

We call the 2nd of the 3 levels of speed "easy speed", which should be a coming together of your peak ability to have great rhythm, fluid motion, and peak timing - all combined with a moderately intense level of effort. This type of activity REALLY hones your ability to become a BETTER swimmer.

Level 3 speed should be as fast as you can SUSTAIN for 4 x 25, if there is a substantial decay in speed from #1 to #4, then you are going too hard.

Return to that speed 1 each time, using perfect execution, to re-center your stroke. Although there is no rest indicated between the 8 x 25 at speed 1 and the subsequent 4 x 25 at speed 2/3, you may take an extra 10-15 seconds to get your self ready to go faster. As for the tweener swims, remember that fast breakouts (the first few strokes off of the wall) are a great way to teach your body to MAINTAIN speed, which is pretty much the definition of efficiency. Enjoy!

1 X 150/300 ALT 50 CHOICE /25 F&P
on :15 REST
6 X 50 ALT 25 HL PULL / 25 1-6 SoL, BUILD
on :15 REST
1 X 400 ALT 50 PULL / 50 SWIM w/1 BT FAST REST :30

3 X 200 on :15 REST
#1 PULL, N/S
#2 6-6 PULSE (2 BT / 6 BT)
#3 SWIM, N/S, 2nd 100 IS FAST

MAIN SET (options give 1,600 to 2,800)
SB = Sighting Breath
8 x 25 SWIM SP 1 on :05 REST
4 x 25 SWIM SP 2 on :05 REST
1 x 100-400 PULL, BR EV 3
REST :20
8 x 25 SWIM SP 1 on :05 REST
4 x 25 SWIM SP 3 on :05 REST
1 x 100-400 ALT 50 5-6 SoL / 50 SWIM
REST :20
8 x 25 SWIM SP 1 on :05 REST
4 x 25 SWIM SP 2 on :05 REST
1 x 100-400 ALT 25 FSBA / 25 SWIM w/ 2 SB's
REST :20
8 x 25 SWIM SP 1 on :05 REST
4 x 25 SWIM SP 3 on :05 REST
on :15 REST

4-8 X 50 KICK WITH FINS on :15 REST

Total: 3,450-5,200

Sample Day 8

Block 2 Week 2 - Drill Progression

This week we double our fun by adding fins to our SoL speed-play, and continue on our review and expansion of the F&P drill. With the descending SoL and swim w/fins, enjoy the way that the fins allow you to achieve greater speeds with lower turnover rates than you would without them. This is an excellent way to teach your body to generate different forces on the water, and to eliminate drag by contouring your body to accommodate these greater speeds - it is kind of like "motor pacing" in the water.

The F&P portion adds some 1-beat and 2-beat kicking onto the standard F&P drill. As you go along, through your experience with the F&P drill, the tendency is to become a bit more sloppy as the months and years wear on, letting more and more shoulder articulation creep in, until it resembles just plain swimming. Work to overcome this tendency, constantly honing your awareness and control over your moving parts. When progressing from the F&P to F&P w/1-beat, and 2-beat - really focus on exaggerating the shoulder immobility and roll of the torso during the straight F&P and then observe how it morphs when you add in the feet for the 1-beat and 2-beat kick. It is OK to allow a little extra shoulder articulation when using the kicks, since you will just be responding naturally to the more complicated motion -- allow it, but also be AWARE of it, and observe how it affects the body and stroke.

Also, as much as you work on immobilizing the shoulder, work also to let the hands be free and relaxed, using this to teach yourself how to direct the hand entry with the body, not with some micromanagement from the forearm, hand and wrist. In this way, the hand placement will go where it naturally WISHES to be, as dictated by your rotation and flexibility, not where you think it SHOULD go - your body knows better!

F&P with 2 Beat Kick Video:

1 X 300/600 ALT 50 CHOICE / 25 F&P
REST :30
6 X 75 on :15 REST
ODD – 6-6 PULSE (1 BT/2 BT)
EVEN – 25 PULL / 50 SWIM w/4 SB's / 25
1 X 100/200 HL SWIM REST :15
1 X 200/400 PULL, N/S REST :30

1-3 X 100 F&P w/1 BT KICK on :10 REST
4/6 X 25 1-6 SoL DES 1-4 on :10 REST
4/6 X 25 3-6 SoL, BUILD on :10 REST
1 X 100/200 ALT 25 HL SWIM / 25 FSBA
on :10 REST
3 X 50 HL SWIM, BUILD on :10 REST
3 X 50 3-6 SoL DES 1-3 on :10 REST
1 X 100/200 KOB REST :15
4/6 X 75 on :10 REST
4/6 X 75 SWIM, DES 1-3/4 on :10 REST
1 X 100/200 KOB REST :20
3/4 X 100 F&P w/2 BT KICK, DES 1-3/4
on :10 REST
*3/4 X 100 SWIM, DES 1-3/4 on :15 REST

1 X 100/200 ALT 25 F&P / 25 EASY SWIM

Total: 2,700-5,050

Sample Day 10

Block 2 Week 2 - High Density

This weeks high density workout is really all about speed. So much so, this might be the hardest workout you do all week. We have 3 sets of 100s, 4x100, 3x100, 2x100 and 1x100 separated by some easy drilling in between. For each of these sets of 100s, you are to complete them at the highest sustainable speed that you can hold for that number of 100s. Since the number of 100s that you have to do in a row decreases from set to set, we are expecting that your speed will INCREASE. Obviously, there is a bit of guesswork involved in choosing your pace on the first 4x100, however, this first set will then provide context for the next 3 sets, as you should have a better and better idea of what pace you can hold.

You may start a little conservatively on the 4x100, even so that you are getting slightly faster from #1 to #4. Your pace may stay nearly the same during the 3x100, but you should make them more consistent based on what you learned in the 4x100. Then try to really dial in and challenge yourself on the set of 2, and of course, on the last 100 which is simply an all out effort. If you are pressed for time, eliminate the 3x100 from this set. Challenge yourself and enjoy!

1 X 300 as PKS 1.2.1
REST :30
6 x 50 on :10 REST

4 X 100 SWIM, AFAYCH on :10 REST
1 X 100 SoL (choice) on :10 REST
3 X 100 SWIM, AFAYCH on :10 REST
1 X 100 EASY KOB on :10 REST
2 X 100 SWIM, AFAYCH on :10 REST
1 X 100 F&P on :10 REST

Total: 2,100

Sample Day 11

Block 2 Week 2 - Technical Fitness

Today's main set is based on some work that Keiren Perkins is said to have done in the early 90s, honing the ability to put a strong burst of speed on, then returning to an easier sustainable pace. Just for context, Perkin's coaches wanted him to have the ability, during a 1500m race, to cruise along at a pace of 1:00 per 100m, then to at any moment, be able to crank it up a notch and go :55 for a 100m, then return to the smooth 1:00 per 100 pace that he was previously holding. Now clearly, this type of ability would be useful when racing head to head in a pool swim, but it ALSO can be very useful during an open water swim, when you have to be able to match the bursts of speed that the pack you are swimming in throws at you, and also be able to meet any adverse conditions such as chop or swells that the open water throws at you. When you do this, the name of the game is speed-awareness and speed-control. Thus, try to keep the sp2 and sp1 consistent throughout, in other words, if sp2 = 1:35/100 on the first, it continues to = 1:35/100 as you move through out the set, and especially when you do the 300s that contain 2x100 at speed 2.

More importantly, always let speed 1 be the same, especially as you do the 300s that go sp1/sp2/sp1 you want to have the control to make the last 100 the same time as the first 100.

Now, all that said, you will have to give yourself a little leeway. First, speed 2 should be about 6-8 seconds per 100 faster than speed 1. Then, you can allow yourself 2-3 seconds for margin of error on each of your speeds. So, if speed 2 is SUPPOSED to be 1:35, a range of 1:33-1:37 is acceptable. The final portion of the main set is THIS WEEKS KICK SET, with long and short options, should really be done on the long option if at all possible. Even (especially) if you are a really limited kicker, so much so that you need fins to propel yourself, these types of sets will help to make you a more efficient kicker. Kicking is a great way to get better at kicking. Go figure.

1 X 300/600 ALT 50 SWIM, 50 HL PULL
REST :30
8 X 75 on :10 REST
ODD - SWIM, ALT 25 w/1 BT / 25 EZ / 25 BUILD
EVEN – 25 SWIM FAST / 25 SoL 1-6 / 25 F&P

MAIN SET/TECHNICAL WORK (options give 1,800 to 3,400)
1 or 2x through with speed changes each 100 and :20 REST after each 300
1 X 300 as SP1/SP2/ SP1
1 X 300 as SP1/SP2/SP1
1 X 300 as SP2/SP1/SP2
1 X 300 as SP2/SP1/SP2
1 X 300 as SP2/SP1/SP2

6-10 X 100 KICK, DES 1-3/4/5 on :15 REST

1 X 100 EASY SWIM, REST :20
1 X 200 ALT 25 SoL 3-6 / 25 EASY SWIM w/ FAST BREAKOUTS REST :20
1 X 100 ALT 25 KOB / 25 EASY CHOICE

Total: 3,100 to 5,000

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