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Digital Subscriptions > Outdoor Swimmer > Dec2015/Jan 2016 > A SWIMMING FEAST


Fiona Ford has devised a couple of longer training sets for the festive season

These festive sessions are aimed at providing insight into a range of common technical elements that tend to require tuning up periodically, such as breathing technique, rotation and catch & pull mechanics along with ongoing development work year round on pacing and stroke rate rhythm.

It would be helpful if you have measured your base stroke rate before completing the sessions, to do the stroke rate contrast set. Either have a coach measure this for you as you swim at your CSS (Critical Swim Speed) or threshold pace over a 400m effort or have a friend or training buddy observe you and count your strokes (left and right arm cycles). This will provide you with a start point for understanding your basic stroke rhythm. As a guide, elite level open water swimmers and triathletes will be training and racing in the region of 70-95 strokes per minute (spm) over a 1500m, 3.8km or 10km swim event. The vast majority of amateur swimmers I see for video analysis and at my squad sessions swim in the region of 50-60spm.

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About Outdoor Swimmer

Welcome to the Christmas issue. This month we talk to English Channel record holder Becky Lewis about her seven crossings (and counting!) and to Beth French about her plan to complete the Oceans Seven in one year, despite suffering from ME. Have you ever wanted to swim an Ice Mile? We have expert advice on how to train safely for one of swimming's most extreme challenges. And if you like a bit of trail running with your outdoor swimming, we take an in-depth look at the endurance sport of swimrun. We have inspiring travel features on Italy, Scotland and the French Riviera. And as it's Christmas we have some delicious cake recipes to try! Plus all the usual training advice and sessions, news, interviews, inspirational stories and event listings for 2016.