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Top Tips,  Training Sessions

Take your training outside (part 2) – week 1

Build endurance and improve your open water skills with the first of four sessions from Fiona Ford


400m – 800m FC

Alternate FC and BS on final 400m


4 to 5 x 400m to 500m


1) Drafting on feet.

2) Drafting on hip.

3) and 4) Evenly paced

swim at threshold pace

(CSS). Lead to provide

drafting practice for

another swimmer

5) Switch lead and draft every 100 to 200m.

Overtake with a faster

effort then settle back

into endurance pace.


400m easy swim,

alternate between 6

strokes FC and 5 strokes

BS for the first and last



2400m – 3600m


FC = Front crawl

BS = Backstroke

Drafting on feet: Maintain a gap

of around 15cm to 30cm behind the

swimmer in front. Modify your catch

position around their feet and swim

at an easy effort level. You save

an estimated 20% effort through

effective drafting.

Drafting on hip: Aim to swim with

your shoulders level with the hips of

the swimmer you’re drafting. Modify

your arm recovery and stroke rate

around theirs. Breathe towards them

to monitor their direction and stroke

rate, and adjust yours to maintain

this more challenging drafting


Endurance pace is your threshold

pace or critical swim speed (CSS)

plus about 3 to 5 seconds per 100m.

So, if your CCS is 1:45 per 100m, your

endurance pace will be around 1:48

to 1:50. Aerobic endurance training

is a fully maintainable pace that

allows you to maintain excellent

technique and rhythm over longer

distances. Train in a wetsuit if you

will be racing in one. Remember

your CSS pace in a wetsuit in open

water will be different to your CSS

without a wetsuit from the pool.

Use your wetsuit assisted CSS

from timed swims as described in previous sessions. Endurance training is some

of the most important we can do

as distance freestyle swimmers

to maintain pace over time, by

developing the eficiency in the fat

utilisation energy system.

Swim Smooth Squad training and Video Analysis sessions

Triathlon Europe provides weekly Swim Smooth squad training in South West London. The squad enjoy training all year round in fabulous indoor and outdoor 33m pools. Fiona offers swim training plans, 1-2-1 video analysis sessions and stroke correction sessions on weekday mornings and weekend Swim Smooth workshops.

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