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Training session June 2019

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In August 2019, I'm aiming to swim 21km (plus potentially a little more) at Vidöstern Simmet, which is billed as Sweden's toughest open water race. At Outdoor Swimmer we frequently get asked for ideas for training sessions, so I started sharing the training sessions I'm doing for that on Twitter @SimonDGriffiths for anyone else that wants to try them. I've now decided to move them here as I kept running out of characters on Twitter. These are mostly sessions I've done with Teddington Masters Swimming Club and created by the club coaches (thank you Ian, Lorraine and Veronica). Others I do with friends (AKA "The 400 Club"). Tuesday morning sessions are often adapted from sets originally created by Fiona Ford from Triathlon Europe, who is a Swim Smooth coach and contributor to Outdoor Swimmer.

Training sessions often appear to be written in code so please ask via Twitter if anything is not clear. Abbreviations I use include:

FC = Front crawl, BA = Backstroke, BS = Breaststroke, Fly = Butterfly, IM = Individual Medley, +10s = take about 10 seconds rest before starting the next swim.

The main pools I use are Hampton Pool (36m long), Richmond Pools on the Park (33.3m long), Teddington Pool (25m) and Hanworth Pool (25m)

Adapt the distances for the length of pool you're training in and adjust the times to suit your own swimming speed. Let me know via Twitter how you get on.


Previous Training Sessions


Training sessions June 2019


Saturday morning 29 July 2019 – Hampton Pool (36m)

Teddington Masters session at Hampton

Warm up

24 lengths as 1 length FC, 1 length medley order drill

Main set

3 x 8 lengths as 1 length medley order, 1 length FC – 30s rest after each

12 lengths FC + 1 minute rest

2 x 6 lengths FC + 30s rest

4 x 3 lengths FC + 15s rest

12 x 1 length FC + 10s rest

12 lengths drills/easy FC plus paddles & fins optional

12 lengths FC

Cool down

6 lengths alt FC/BA

Total distance: 4536m


Wednesday 26 June 2019 – Richmond Pools on the Park (33.3m)

Sprints + open water race pace

Warm up

400m FC + BA every 4th length

3 x 33.3m build FL, BA, BS + 20s rest

3 x 33.3m build FC + 20s rest

Main set

3 rounds of:

  • 4 x 100mm FC off 1:30 at 3km race pace
  • 1 minute rest
  • 66.7m FC max effort off 2:00
  • 2 x 33.3m FC sprint off 1:00
  • 66.7m easy

3 x 66.7m FC max effort off 2:00

66.7m easy

4 x 33.3m FC or FL sprint off 1:00

Cool down

200m easy

Total distance: 3000m


Tuesday morning 25 June 19 – Richmond Pools on the Park (33.3m)

First swim back after Waveney 11.5k so eased back on pace.

Warm up

133m FC, 33m FC kick, 133m BA, 33m FC kick, 67m FC, 33m FC kick

3 x 100m FC descending off 2:00

Main set

(Swum at CSS pace + ~5s per 100m rather than the usual CSS pace)

4 x 200m FC off 3:10 (~15s rest after each)

4 x 100m FC off 1:35 (~7s rest)

2 x 200m FC off 3:10

2 x 100m FC off 1:35

1 x 200m FC

Swim down

200m easy


Thursday evening 20 June 2019 – Hanworth Pool (25m)

Regular Teddington Masters swim session

Warm up

400m FC / 300m BA / 200m FC / 100m BA

Set 1

4 x 50m FC off 45s / 4 x 25m FL sprints (off last swimmer)

3 x 50m FC off 40s / 4 x 25m BA sprints (off last swimmer)

2 x 50m FC off 35s / 4 x 25m BS sprints (off last swimmer) / 50m easy

50m FC sprint / 50m easy

400m FC steady, sprint every 4th length

Set 2

4 x 100m FC off 1:30 / 2 x 25m FC kick / 50m easy

3 x 100m FC off 1:25 / 2 x 25m FC kick / 50m easy

2 x 100m FC off 1:20 / 2 x 25m FC kick / 50m easy

100m FC max effort

Cool down

4 x 100m alt FC / BA

50m FC minimum strokes

Total distance: 3750m


Wednesday 19 June 2019 – Richmond Pools on the Park (33.3m)

Sprints + open water race pace

Warm up

400m alt FC/BA

6 x 33.3m build FL, BA, BS x 2

Main set

3 rounds of:

  • 3 x 133mm FC off 2:00 at 3km race pace
  • 1 minute rest and grumble
  • 4 x 33.3m FC off 1:00
  • 66.7m easy

2 x 100m FC max effort off 3:30

6 x 33.3m FL off 1:00

Cool down

200m easy

Total distance: 3000m


Tuesday morning 18 June 19 – Richmond Pools on the Park (33.3m)

CSS session based on next weekend’s race distances

Warm up

266.7m mixed strokes

3 x 66.7m FC as 33.3m easy, 33.3m sprint

Main set

4 x 200m FC off 3:10

33.3m easy

3 x 100m FC off 1:35

33.3m easy

3 x 100m FC off 1:35

33.3m easy

1 x 100m off 1:35, straight into 3 x 200m off 3:10 descending

Cool down

333.3m easy FC/BA stroke focus

Total distance: 3200m


Monday morning 17 June 19 – Richmond Pools on the Park (33.3m)

Half session only today

Warm up

200m FC, 66.7m BA

Main set

4 x 400m FC off 6:15 descending 5:35 to 5:20

Cool down

200m FC/BA easy

Total distance: 2066.7m


Saturday morning 15 June 2019 – Hampton Pool (36m)

Teddington masters club session

Warm up

24 lengths alternating 1 length FC, 1 length drill, medley order (864m)

Set 1

12 lengths FC off 7:00, 2 x 6 lengths FC off 3:30, 4 x 3 lengths FC off 1:45, 2 lengths easy (1368)

Set 2

12 x 2 lengths overlap IM (i.e. FL/BA, BA/BS, BS/FC, FC/FL) – go on last swimmer in lane (864m)

Set 3

12 x 1 length FC off 40s, 4 x 3 lengths FC off 1:45, 2 x 6 lengths off 3:30 (1296m)

6 lengths max effort (216m)

Cool down

4 lengths easy (144m)

Total distance: 4752m


Friday 14 June 2019 – Teddington Pool (25m)

Teddington Masters lunchtime medley session.

Warm up

300m as 75m FC, 25m BA x 3

100m IM kick

Main set

4 x 25m IM order (sprint FL and BS) plus 25s rest after each length

100m IM + 25s rest

4 x 50m IM order (sprint FL and BS and break at 25m for 25s) plus 25s rest after each 50m

100m IM + 25s rest

4 x 75m IM order (sprint FL and BS and break at each 25m for 25s) plus 25s after each 75m

100m IM +25s rest

4 x 100m IM order (sprint FL and BS and break at each 25m for 25s) plus 25s after each 100m

100m IM +25s rest

50m easy

100m IM max effort

Cool down

150m easy

Total distance: 2100m


Thursday 13 June 19 – Hanworth Pool (25m)

Teddington Masters club swim

Warm up

200m FC / 200m BA / 200m FC / 200m BA / 200m FC

Main set part 1

4 x 50m FC off 45s / 4 x 25m kick / 3 x 50m FC off 40s / 4 x 25m kick / 2 x 50m FC off 35s / 4 x 25m kick / 1 x 50m FC max effort / 4 x 25m FL / 100m easy

Main set part 2

4 x 100m FC off 1:25 / 4 x 25m BA sprint / 50m easy

3 x 100m FC off 1:20 / 4 x 25m BS sprint / 50m easy

2 x 100m FC off 1:15 / 50m easy

100m FC max effort

2 x 200m FC strong pace / stroke focus + 15s rest after each

4 x 25m FC breath holding

Cool down

150m easy

Total distance: 4000m


Wednesday 12 June 2019 – Richmond Pools on the Park (33.3m)

Sprints + open water race pace

Warm up

400m alt FC/BA

6 x 33.3m build FL, BA, BS x 2

Main set

3 x 200m FC off 3:00 at 3km race pace

2 minutes rest

12 x 33.3m FC alt sprint/easy off 45s

2 x 100m FC off 1:30 at 3km race pace

60s rest

6 x 66.7m FC alt 66.7m sprint/ 66.7m easy off 1:15 and 1:45

3 x 200m FC off 3:00 at 3km race pace

2 minutes rest

2 x 100m FC max effort off 4:00

Cool down

200m easy

Total distance: 3200m


Tuesday 11 June 2019 – Richmond Pools in the Park

Dialled back the effort on this one as still recovering from weekend

Warm up

400m FC easy, focus on bilateral breathing

100m BA

3 x 66.7m FC descending off 1:30

Main set

15 x 100m FC off 1:35

100m FC easy

4 x 100m FC off 1:35

100m easy

100m FC off 1:35

Cool down

2 x 100m FC steady

Total distance: 3100m


Wednesday morning 5 June 2019 – Richmond Pools on the Park (33.3m)

Similar to last week. More focus on open water race pace, plus some sprints.

Warm up

400m alt FC/BA

6 x 33.3m build FL, BA, BS x 2

6 x 33m FC as ½ length sprint, ½ length easy + 10s rest

Main set

4 x 100m FC off 1:30 at 3km race pace

60s rest

6 x 33.3m FC sprint off 1:00

200m easy

4 x 100m FC off 1:30 at 3km race pace

60s rest

3 x 66.7m FC sprint off 2:00

200m easy

4 x 100m FC off 1:30 at 3km race pace

60s rest

2 x 100m FC max effort off 4:00

Cool down

200m easy

Total distance: 3200m

Bonus – wetsuit testing at Brockwell lido – 700m.


Tuesday morning 4 June 2019 – Richmond Pools on the Park (33.3m)

Threshold training set with additional rest in advance of Saturday’s Great North Swimrun

Warm up

267m alternating 66m FC, 66m BA x 2

4 x 100m FC off 2:00 increase speed from 1 to 4

4 x 33m FC off 45s increase speed from 1 to 4

Main set

11 x 100m FC off 1:35 (~15s rest) – threshold pace

100m easy

2 x 200m FC off 3:100 (~30s rest) – threshold pace

100m easy

5 x 100m FC off 1:35 (~15s rest) – threshold pace

Cool down

200m easy

Total distance: 3200m


Monday morning 3 June 2019 – Richmond Pools on the Park (33.3m)

Starting the week with an uncomplicated set of 400s

Warm up

600m mix FC/BA

Main set

8 x 400m FC off 6:15 – focus on holding pace at between 5:25 and 5:35 per 400.

Cool down

200m easy mix FC/BA

Total distance: 4000m


Saturday morning 1 June 2019 – Hampton Pool (36m)

Club session with Teddington Masters

Warm up

12 lengths FC, 8 lengths BA, 4 lengths BS (864m)

Main set

4 x 1 length kick, IM order (144m)

3 rounds of 4 lengths FC followed by 4 x 1 length FC kick (864m)

4 x 0.5 length IM, 1 length FL kick

4 x 1 length IM, 1 length BA kick

4 x 1.5 length IM, 1 length BS kick

4 x 2 lengths IM, 1 length FC kick (864m)

4 lengths easy (144m)

10 x 2 lengths off 90s as 1 length choice sprint, 1 length FC easy (720m)

Cool down

6 lengths easy (216m)

Total distance: 3816m

Cover September19

Issue 30 September 2019

  • Go Wild! Plan your perfect swimming adventure
  • The Pull of the Sea - understanding tides
  • Find Your Power! How to pace for your best race
  • Edge of the World - exploring the Hebrides
  • The Joy of Snacks! Fuel your swim adventures
  • Adventure Swimming - Gear special

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