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Digital Subscriptions > Outdoor Swimmer > April 19 > TRAINING

TRAINING

Face your first open water mile with confidence with coach Dan Bullock

Following a structured and progressive training plan that incorporates fitness and technique work is the best way to improve your event-day performance. As a prerequisite, I would suggest you can swim front crawl for at least 10 minutes continuously. A training section is usually split into the following parts:

WARM UP – the ‘warm up’ literally helps warm up the body and mind for the hard work to come. Start slowly and focus on good technique.

SUBSET – this might consist of ‘drills’ (swimming exercises that help you improve your technique), some work on strokes other than front crawl to add variety to your training or exercises to increase your heart rate prior to the main set. Make this optional if you ind the full set too hard initially.

MAINSET – this is where the main fitness work is done and is the core part of this programme.

COOL DOWN OR SWIM DOWN – after all the hard work this is your chance to relax, swim slowly and let your heart rate return to more normal levels.

WEEK 1

Session 1

TIME TRIAL + STEADY ENDURANCE

100m FC with 15s rest 200m FC with 25s rest 300m FC with 35s rest 10-minute time trial

Swim with a steady and sustainable efort except for the time trial. Keep a record of how far you swim in the time trial.

Session 2

BUILD SPEED WITH TECHNIQUE

4x100m FC with 10s ater each. 4x100m FC with 15s ater each. 4x100m FC with 20s ater each.

Aim to maintain a strong but sustainable efort throughout. The extra rest is to ofset the fatigue building through the set.

Session 3

STEADY ENDURANCE

100m FC with 15s rest 200m FC pull with 25s rest 300m FC with 35s rest 400m FC pull with 45s rest 300m FC with 35s rest 200m FC pull with 25s res 100m FC

WEEK 2

Session 1

PRACTISE DIFFERENT BREATHING PATTERNS

500m FC, breathe every 5th stroke. 400m FC pull, breathe every 4th stroke. Switch sides each length. 300m FC, breathe every 3rd stroke. 200m FC with as few breaths as you can.

Rest 20s ater each* 100m FC & a fraction faster breathing every 3rd then 2nd stroke (i.e. 3-2-3-2 etc).

Session 2

RACE PACE PRACTICE

3 x 500m FC swum as: 50m at target race pace, rest 10s 100m at target race pace, rest 20s 150m at target race pace, rest 30s 200m at target race pace Rest 45s between each 500m.

Don’t start too fast. Aim to keep your pace even throughout.

Session 3

PACING AND BREATH CONTROL

10 x 100m FC with 30s rest ater each 100m. Aim to only allow 4 or 5 breaths on last 25m of each 100m. This helps break autopilot and lower drag, and hence improve technique when it’s usually at its worst.

*Intermediate swimmers start with the 500m swim, beginners start with the 400m swim. It’s OK to stop for a breather at the end of the length if necessary.

WEEK 3

Session 1

TECHNIQUE FOCUS. TRY TO MAINTAIN STROKE COUNT AS PACE INCREASES.

4 x 300m FC with 45s rest ater each swum as: 1 & 3: Alternate 50m full stroke, 50m pull. 2 & 4: Increase efort in blocks of 100m.

Session 2

PSYCHOLOGICAL AND PHYSICAL CHALLENGE

Swim as many sets of 150m + 30s rest ater each as you can in 24m.* Swim as many sets of 75m + 15s rest ater each as you can in 12m. Swim as many sets of 50m + 10s rest ater each as you can in 8m. Swim as many sets of 25m + 5s rest ater each as you can in 4m. Aim to achieve the same number of repeats in each block.

Session 3

STEADY ENDURANCE & PACE CONTROL

4 x 300m FC with 45s rest ater each swum as: 6x50m FC with 10s rest 3x100m FC with 20s rest 6x50m FC with 10s rest 3x100m FC with 20s rest

Don’t start too fast. Aim to keep your pace even throughout.

*Intermediate swimmers can start with the 24-minute swim, beginners can skip this and start with 12 minutes.

WEEK 4

Session 1

FITNESS BOOST

12 to 18 x 100m FC with 15s rest ater each 100m.

Aim to swim each 100m in exactly the same time. Your irst 100m should feel easy. The last few will be challenging. If you start slowing down at the end it means you started too fast.

Session 2

TIMED SWIM/ MENTAL PREPARATION

Swim as far as you can in 30* minutes. Aim to match three times the distance you swam in 10 minutes in week 1.

Session 3

IMPROVE LEG KICK

500m FC, steady pace. Kick every 5th length (kick board optional). 400m FC, steady pace. Kick every 4th length (no kick board) 300m FC, steady pace. Kick every 3rd length. 200m FC, steady pace. Kick every 2nd length (no kick board) 100m FC hard kick (board optional)

*Beginners can do 20 minutes.

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About Outdoor Swimmer

Mermaids! Romance! Time travel! Tescos! The April issue of Outdoor Swimmer has it all. We chat with our new guest coach and cover star Olympian Keri-anne Payne about her coaching philosophy, contributing editor Ella Foote meets some swimmers in a supermarket car park, Elaine Howley tells the story of small and repulsive mermaids and Mike Morris slips through time to meet a Victorian swimming champion. And we have two new regular features starting this issue: Eco Heroes, in which we celebrate people and companies striving to save the planet; and Wild About You, where we play matchmaker for solo swimmers looking for love. Plus Plus, how to train for your first open water mile as well as more long distance challenges, training day menus, swimming with cerebral palsy, a dream swim trip in the Maldives and comprehensive UK and international event listings to help you plan your summer swims.