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Finding Freestyle Advanced Block 4 - Speed, Timing & Rhythm Play (Unsupported)


David Luscan

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4 Weeks

Plan Specs

triathlon ironman beginner intermediate advanced masters

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Plan Description

This is the unsupported version of the 5th 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
4:58 hrs 1:45 hrs
Workouts Per Week Weekly Average Longest Workout
4:58 hrs 1:45 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 4 Week 1 - Drill Progression

No overview attachment, but this block focuses on continuing to develop your ability to perform with speed, endurance and control in the open water. The total volume of the workouts is increased, as are some of the demands of the workouts themselves. In general, speed-play, timing-play, and rhythm-play are the bread and butter of an open water swimmers diet, and so you will see plenty of these opportunities during this block of training.

We will start prepping you for execution of the HU2B by focusing on Pulling and Swimming w/ 2-Beat with sighting breaths (SB). Integrating the sighting breath into swims with a 2-beat will provide a nice challenge to your timing and body awareness. Focus on finding the best place for YOU to place the head lift within the cycle, and with respect to the kick. Pulling with sighting breaths will show you just how well you can balance your body in the water, and/or how much your feet do for you in terms of supporting the head during the sighting breath.

1 X 300/600 ALT 50 SWIM / 25 HL PULL
REST :30
6 X 75 on :10 REST
done as: 25 3 BT KICK w/BOARD / 25 SoL / 25 F&P

TECH REVIEW AND CONDITIONING SET (options give 1,500-2,400)
2/4 X 100 SWIM w/2 BT on :10 REST
(EVEN 25s W/2 SB)

4 X 50 on :10 REST
ALT 25 FSBA / 25 SWIM w/1 BT

2/4 X 125 on :15 REST
ODD 25s SWIM w/2 BT
EVEN 25s PULL w/2 SB

4 X 50 SWIM on :10 REST
ALT 25 EASY w/6 BT / 25 SWIM w/1 BT

2/4 X 125 w/2 SB ON EVERY 25, on :15 REST
ODD 25s 2 BT / EVEN 25s PULL

4 X 50 on :10 REST
ALT 25 FSBA / 25 SWIM w/1 BT

2/4 X 100 SWIM (any kick rhythm) on :10 REST
w/2 SB each 25

*4-8 x 100 PULL w/choice of toys on :15 rest

Total: 2,450-4,450

Sample Day 3

Block 4 Week 1 - High Density

We love 75s in general. For the HD workouts they seem to be just right, making them a bit of a staple. This set of descending 75s and fast 75s will give you a great opportunity to go fast during this block that is dominated by longer distances. Use it to keep your natural speed fresh!

1 X 400 CHOICE REST :45
4 X 75 PULL, DES 1-4 on :10 REST
4 X 75 SWIM FAST on :10 REST
4 X 75 SWIM w/1 BT on :10 REST
4 X 75 SWIM FAST on :10 REST
1 X 100 EASY 3-6 SoL

Total: 1,700

Sample Day 4

Block 4 Week 1 - Technical Fitness

The technical fitness workout of this week begins with a little set of 25s swim w/1-beat kick, asking you to give more time to your "bad" side (if one side is less proficient than the other). As you advance, it is easy to focus on what we are good at, and avoid what we are bad at. While that is a natural way to go, our approach centers on the concept that what you are good at provides the foundation for developing what you are bad at. Try to understand what makes the good side good, then attempt to mimic that on your less proficient side.

After the warm-up, we begin to introduce some of the more advanced speed-play concepts in this block with a 400 build-up, and then 2 negative split swims where the second swim is faster than the first. Building a 300/400 is no easy feat, requiring a finer level of control than simply negative splitting. Taken literally, we can conceptualize this as a string of stroke cycles that is 300/400 yards/meters long, with each successive stroke cycle faster than the previous one. Of course this is a bit impractical, and maybe having each successive 100 yard or 50 yard chunk faster than the previous is more realistic.

When we get to the pair of swim that are negative split AND descend, we see this as another twist on the same concept. Pace and effort awareness are key here. Take what you learned in the 400 build and try to apply it here.

Float and Paddle w/ 1 Beat Kick Video:

Float and Paddle w/ 2 Beat Kick Video:

1 X 400 done as: 50 CHOICE / 25 FSBA / 25 KICK REST :30
4 x 25 F&P, Perfect Opposition, on :10 REST
2 x 25 SWIM w/1 BT Good foot on :10 REST
4 x 25 SWIM w/1 BT Bad foot on :10 REST
8 X 50 SWIM on :15 REST
EVEN – 2nd 25 w/2 LESS STROKES THAN 1st 25

MAIN SET (options give 2,400 – 3,200)
3 x 150/200 SWIM, DES 1-3 on :20 REST
4 x 25 F&P on :10 REST

2 x 200/300 PULL, N/S on :20 REST
4 x 25 F&P w/1 BT on :10 REST

1 x 300/400 SWIM, BUILD w/1 SB per 25
REST :30
4 x 25 F&P w/2 BT on :10 REST

2 x 200/300 SWIM, N/S on :30 REST
ALSO DES 1-2, (2nd faster than first)
4 x 25 F&P on :10 REST

3 x 150/200 PULL DES 1-3 on :20 REST

4 X 100 w/FINS on :15 REST
EVEN – 1-6 SoL

Total: 3,950-4,750

Sample Day 6

Block 4 Week 1 - Performance Fitness

This workout features a large batch of 100s, shifting between a level of effort of zone 2/3 and zone 5.

Select an interval that gives you no less than :10 rest and no more than :15 on your zone 2/3 100s, and keep the same interval for your zone 5 100s - given that the time in zone 5 is short, this becomes more of a technical challenge than a physiological one, so try to explore how economy of motion can lead to speed, don't worry about how HARD the zone 5 swims are, just make them fast.

1 X 800 ALT 50 SWIM / 50 PULL BR EV 3
REST :45
6 X 25 on :10 REST
12 X 50 on :15 REST
ODD - SWIM w/ 1 BT, 25R / 25L
EVEN - FSBA, 25R / 25L

MAIN SET - ALL SWIM on :10 REST or Fixed Interval described above.
(options give 1,300, *2,300 OR **3,500)
5 X 100** ZONE 2/3 on :10 REST
1 X 100** ZONE 5 on :20 REST
4 X 100* ZONE 2/3 on :10 REST
1 X 100* ZONE 5 on :20 REST
3 X 100 ZONE 2/3 on :10 REST
1 X 100 ZONE 5 on :20 REST
2 X 100 ZONE 2/3 on :10 REST
1 X 100 ZONE 5 on :20 REST
2 X 100 ZONE 2/3 on :10 REST
1 X 100 ZONE 5 on :20 REST
3 X 100 ZONE 2/3 on :10 REST
1 X 100* ZONE 5 on :20 REST
4 X 100* ZONE 2/3 on :10 REST
1 X 100** ZONE 5 on :20 REST
5 X 100** ZONE 2/3 on :10 REST

1 X 400 EASY

Total: 3,250-5,450

Sample Day 8

Block 4 Week 2 - Drill Progression

We start out with a warm-up containing some beat kicking (3-beat, that is with a board if you can use them), where we are challenging ourselves to perform some of the beat kicking at a relatively high speed. Now, as you know, this particular kicking drill is slow by nature, but by increasing the rate at which you move your feet when doing the burst of 3 kicks, and by decreasing (but not eliminating) the pause in between bursts, you can achieve higher speeds.

Once we have tuned up your sense of rhythm, we move on to our head-up progression. We're taking it slow here ... just introducing some sighting breaths into the swim with a 1-beat kick. Only doing 2 sighting breaths per length will leave you plenty of time to get ready for the next one, so that you can make any adjustments to your timing that are needed.

As we did last week when doing the pull with sighting breaths, we will see how the things you do with your head can push your body down in the water, and also we can see what our body can do to minimize that effect. With the addition of a 1-beat kick, we can also see how the legs can be useful in making the sighting breath effortless and fluid.

1 X 300 ALT 50 SWIM / 25 PULL w/2 SB
REST :30
6 X 25 3 BEAT KICK W/BOARD on :10 REST

6 X 25 SWIM w/1 BT
6 X 25 SWIM w/2 BT
6 X 25 SWIM w/1 BT AND 2 SB
6 X 25 SWIM w/2 BT

1 X 300 ALT 50 SWIM / 25 6-6 PULSE (choice)
REST :20
1 X 300 ALT 25 FSBA / 50 SWIM w/2 BT BUILD
REST :20
1 X 300 ALT 25 SoL / 25 SWIM FAST
REST :20
12 X 50 SWIM w/3 SB /2 5, DES 1-3 on :10 REST

1 x 100 F&P, AMRAN
1 x 100 EASY
* optional

Total: 2,750/3,200

Sample Day 10

Block 4 Week 2 - High Density

This workout has a little set of 50s that harken back to last blocks work on exploring distance per stroke effects, descending the number of strokes that you need to complete 50 yards.
Then we follow with 4x75 fast swim with :10 rest. Let it rip a little on the fast swims, so take it easy on the set of pull 50s before hand. Then a little swim with a 1-beat kick doing the "breathe-away", followed by some fast 25s.

This is a real "tune-up" type of workout, and is the kind that you might think of doing a couple days out from a "B" race if you need a little something to jog your physical memory.

1 X 500 ALT 75 SWIM / 50 5-6 SoL
REST :30
8 X 50 PULL, DES STROKES 1-4 on :10 REST
4 X 75 SWIM FAST on :10 REST
1 X 200 ALT 25 F&P / 25 SWIM w 1 BT BREATHE AWAY from KICK LEG REST :15
4 X 25 SWIM FAST on :10 REST
1 X 100 EASY, ALT 25 KOB / 25 SWIM

Total: 1,600

Sample Day 11

Block 4 Week 2 - Technical Fitness

This workout features some "easy to achieve" swims in that the complexity of the speed shifts is fairly minimal (straight, negative split swims and a descending ladder at the end). However, these are a bit deceptive, for starters, negative splitting longer chunks like 800 and 600 requires appropriate pacing from the outset - if you start out too swiftly you will find it difficult to negative split. Also, as you gain more pacing awareness, the goal of negative splitting should evolve to having a greater level of finesse in your negative split.

When we first learn negative splitting it is very common to try to go slow when starting and then full-tilt on the second half in order to achieve the goal. As we improve, our goal should be to shift from a zone 2 to a zone 3, making our back half faster than our front half, but in such a way as to allow us to operate at maximum stroke efficiency, with little to no degradation in technique on the back half of the swim. As we progress through this set the n/s swims become shorter, but you will likely be fatiguing, so the margin for error in pacing becomes less.

The final part of the set is a downhill ladder, 200 to 50, increasing speed as we go down. This too is deceptive, as it is trivial to descend a ladder like this because our speed naturally decays during a swim if our pacing is not superb. The challenge here is to make your pacing impeccable, try to make the last 50 of each of these swims the same speed as the first 50. You may use whatever "toys" you like, pull buoy, paddles, fins even.

Negative Split Video:

1 X 400/800 ALT 50 PULL / 50 8-8 PULSE (choice) REST :30
12 X 50 on :10 REST
ODD - SWIM w/1 BT 25R / 25L
EVEN - FSBA, 25R / 25L

MAIN SET (options give 2,600-3,300)
1 x 600/800 SWIM, N/S REST :30
8 x 25 ALT 25 3-6 SoL/ 25 FSBA on :10 REST

1 X 400/600 SWIM, N/S REST :20
8 X 25 on :10 REST

1 x 200/400 SWIM, N/S REST :20
8 X 25 SWIM W/1-BT (alt legs) on :10 REST

1 X 100/200 SWIM, N/S REST :20
8 X 25 SWIM w/2 BT & 3 SB on :10 REST
REST 1:00

1 X 200 SWIM SLOW REST :10


Total: 3,800-4,900

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