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Training sessions 1 to 14 February 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 Master 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 from 1 to 14 February 2019


Thursday night 14 February – Hanworth Pool (25m)

Valentines night club session with Teddington Masters for lovers of front crawl and fly

Warm up

200m FC, 200m BA, 200m FC, 200m BA, 200m FC

Build set

4 x 50m FC off 45s (approx. 7s rest after each)

50m easy

4 x 50m FC off 45s

4 x 25m FL sprint + ~30s rest after each

100m easy

4 x 50m FC off 45s

50m easy

4 x 50m FC off 45s

50m easy

Main set

4 x 100m FC off 1:25 (approx. 7s rest)

100m easy

200m FC maximum effort

50m easy

4 x 25m FL sprints

3 x 100m FC off 1:25 (approx. 7s rest)

100m easy

200m FC maximum effort

100m easy

4 x 25m FL sprints

Cool down

200m easy

Total distance: 4000m

Wednesday 13 Feb 2019 – Richmond Pools on the Park (33.3m)

Speed/sprint set, trying to hit race pace over short distances on all strokes

Warm up

400m as 3L FC, 2L BA, 1L BS x 2

3 x 66.7m FC build + 10s

Main set

4 x 100m FC sprint (aim for 400m pace) off 2:00

1 length easy

3 x 33.3m FL sprints (aim for 100m race pace) off 50s

1 length easy

3 x 33.3m BA sprints (aim for 100m race pace) off 50s

1 length easy

3 x 33.3m BS sprints (aim for 100m race pace) off 50s

1 length easy

3 x 66.7m FC sprints (aim for 200m race pace) off 1:20s

2 lengths easy

Repeat from top

Cool down

4 x 33.3m FC steady, stroke focus and bilateral breathing

2 x 33.m BA

Total distance: 3000m

Tuesday morning 12 February 2019 – Richmond Pools on the Park

Critical Swim Speed (CSS) or threshold set adapted by Chris Freeman from an original by Fiona Ford

Warm-up

100m FC, 100m BA, 100m kick – repeat (total 600m)

Build-set

4 x 67m FC or choice as:

2 lengths fast

0.5 lengths easy, 1.5 lengths fast

1 length easy, 1 length fast

1.5 lengths easy, 0.5 lengths fast

Repeat for a total of 533 m

Main set at CSS or threshold

6 x 67m FC off 1:00 (approx. 7s rest)

3 x 200m FC (1 off 3:00, 2 off 02:55)

67m easy BA

6 x 67m FC off 1:00 (approx. 7s rest)

6 x 100m FC (1 to 3 off 1:35, 4 to 6 off 1:30)

200m FC

Cool down

200m easy FC and BA

Total distance: 3600m

Monday morning 11 February 2019 – Richmond Pools on the Park (33.3m)

Regular 400 Club plus a mile – feeling strong after resting yesterday

Warm up

200m FC, 100m BA, 200m FC, 100m BA

Main set

8 x 400m off 6:15 descending (5:45, 5:43, 5:41, 5:38, 5:37, 5:35, 5:30, 5:28)

200m BA easy

Second set

10 x 100m FC off 1:45 easy pace, bilateral breathing, focus on good technique when tired (10 to 15s rest after each)

6 x 33m FC strong pace, hold technique. 15s rest after each

200m FC strong / controlled pace

Cool down

200m mixed strokes easy.

Total distance 5600m

Saturday morning 9 Feb 2019 – Hampton Pool (36m)

Club session with Teddington Masters – cool and windy, with a beautiful sunrise.

Warm up

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

Main set

2 x 12 lengths (432m) FC off 7:00 (approx. 1 minute rest)

4 x 6 lengths (216m) FC off 3:30 (approx. 30s rest)

8 x 3 lengths (108m) FC off 1:45 (approx. 20s rest)

2 lengths easy

12 x 2 lengths as 1 length medley order, 1 length FC (15s rest after each)

3 x 1 length FC sprints (30s rest after each)

Cool down

11 lengths easy mix FC/BA

Friday lunchtime 8 February – Teddington Pool (25m)

Relaxed lunchtime session with Teddington Masters.

Warm up

4 x (100m FC + 50m BA)

Main set

4 x 150m FC as:

  • No. 1 – 50m kick, 50m drill, 50m swim
  • No. 2 – Focus on swim efficiency and distance per stroke
  • No. 3 – Pull
  • No. 4 – Build

6 x 100m FC as:

  • No. 1 – sprint lengths 1 and 3
  • No. 2 – sprint lengths 2 and 4
  • No. 3 – steady
  • No. 4 – fast
  • No. 5 – steady
  • No. 6 – fast (beat time from No. 4)

100m IM drill (easy pace)

16 x 25m as 1 length medley order sprint, 1 length easy

2 x 25m underwater

Cool down

100m easy FC/BA

Total distance: 2450m

Thursday evening 7 February – Hanworth (25m pool)

Club session with Teddington Masters and coach Lorraine: “I was going to give you a hard session but I had to tone it down because you were all complaining about the water temperature (29.7 degrees).”

Warm up

400m alternating 100m FC, 100m BA

4 x 100m FC off 2:00, increase speed on each.

4 x 50m FC off 1:00, increase speed on each

50m easy

Build set

4 x 50m FC off 45s (approx. 7s rest after each)

4 x 25m IM order sprints

4 x 25m IM order kick

4 x 50m FC off 45s (approx. 7s rest after each)

Main set

2 x 200m FC off 3:00 (approx. 20s rest after each)

2 x 100m FC off 1:30 (approx. 10s rest after each)

2 x 200m FC off 3:00 (approx. 20s rest after each)

100m easy

400m FC – steady pace, stroke focus

4 x 25m FL sprints

4 x 50m FC off 40s (approx. 3s rest after each)

100m easy

400m FC at threshold pace

Cool down

150m easy mix FC and BA

Total distance: 4300m

Wednesday 6 Feb 2019 – Richmond Pools on the Park (33.3m)

Speed/sprint set, trying to hit race pace over short distances.

Warm up

400m as 2L FC, 1L BA x 4

3 x 66.7m FC build + 10s

6 x 33.3m FC as half length easy, half length sprint + 10s

Main set

2 x 200m FC fast (aim for 800m race pace) off 4:00

1 length easy after each

4 x 100m FC sprint (aim for 400m pace) off 2:15

1 length easy after each

2 rounds of:

  • 3 x 66.7m FC sprints (aim for 200m race pace) off 1:20s
  • 1 length easy

3 rounds of:

  • 3 x 33.3m FC sprint (aim for 100m race pace) off 40s
  • 1 length easy

Cool down

4 x 67m FC steady, stroke focus and bilateral breathing, off 1:15 (approx. 10s rest after each)

67m BA easy

Total distance: 3000m

Tuesday morning 5 February – Richmond Pools on the Park (33.3m)

Threshold pace set based on an original by Fiona Ford. Struggled to hit target times today – tired from yesterday.

Warm-up

2 rounds of 100m FC, 100m BA, 100m kick

Build

5 x 67m as 1 length easy, 1 length drill on FL, BA, BS, FC and FL

Main set

Part 1 – at threshold pace

4 x 100m FC off 1:35 (approx. 15s rest after each)

1 x 200m FC off 3:10 (approx. 30s rest)

6 x 67m FC off 1:00 (approx. 7s rest)

1 x 200m FC

1 x 200m BA – recovery pace

Part 2 – at threshold pace

10 x 67m FC off 1:00 (approx. 7s rest)

4 x 100m FC off 1:35 (approx. 15s rest)

Cool down

100m easy FC – breathe to least comfortable side

100m easy BA

Total distance: 3,600m

Monday morning 4 February 2019 – Richmond Pools on the Park (33.3m pool)

Good session with the 400 Club plus a little extra at the end to build the distance.

Warm up

600m easy as 200m FC, 100m BA x 2

Main set

8 x 400m FC off 6:15 (approx. 40 to 50s rest after each), increasing speed throughout.

200m BA

Second set

10 x 100m FC off 1:45 (approx. 10 to 15s rest after each). Relaxed pace, bilateral breathing, focus on best possible technique.

200m BA

Cool down

9 x 33.3m easy FC technique focus (5s rest after each)

33.3m BA

Total distance: 5533.3m

Sunday morning 3 February 2019 – Xcel Leisure Centre (Walton)

1-hour club session with Teddington Masters

Warm up

4 x 50m easy FC + 5s rest after each

200m easy BA

Main set

4 x 200m FC off 3:00 (approx. 20s rest after each)

4 x 25m FC sprints off 45s

8 x 50m FC off 45s (approx. 5s rest after each)

50m easy

6 x 50m as 50m each of FL, BA, BS x 2 off 1:00

50m easy

2 x 200m FC off 3:00

1 x 100m FC sprint

Cool down

200m easy mix FC and BA

Total distance: 2,800m

Saturday morning 2 February 2019 – Hampton Pool (36m)

90-minute TSCM club session. Air temperature 0.5 degrees. Water, about 27 degrees.

Warm up

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

Main set

4 x 8 lengths as 1 length medley order, 1 length FC off 4:45 (approx. 15s rest)

2 lengths easy

12 x 1 length FC off 35s (approx. 5s rest)

6 x 2 lengths FC off 1:10 (approx. 10s rest)

4 x 3 lengths FC off 1:40 (approx. 10s rest)

2 x 6 lengths FC off 3:20 (approx. 20s rest)

1 x 12 lengths FC

2 lengths easy

4 x 3 lengths as 1 length kick, 1 length drill, 1 length swim on medley order

Cool down

4 lengths easy FC

Total: 4,896m

Cover April19

Issue 25 April 2019

  • Take the plunge! Your first outdoor mile
  • Training sessions for all abilities
  • The Siren's Call - Not all mermaids are damp Disney prinesses
  • How to cope with a mass open water start
  • Wild About You - find love with the swimmer of your dreams

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