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Top Tips,  Training Sessions

Take your training outside – week 1

Make the most of your outdoor swimming with the first of four sessions from Fiona Ford

400m – 800m FC
Alternate FC and BS on final 200m


4 x 400m to 500m as follows.

1) As fast as possible.

2) As positive split. Swim the first half as fast as you can. East off slightly for second half.

3) As negative split. Start strong but steady and swim the latter half as fast as possible.

4) As evenly paced swim at threshold pace. Draft a slightly faster swimmer if possible.

Compare times swum. Note which strategy (1 to 4) yields most effective swim pace and effort.


400m – 800m easy effort to stretch out, alternate FC and BS


2400m – 3600m


FC – Front crawl
BS – Back stroke

Week 2 sighting practice:
Practise integrating a quick look forwards immediately before turning to breathe in and also occasionally include 3 to 5 strokes of head-up swimming (with your neck and top of chest out of the water too if possible by using a strong leg kick. This is sometimes referred to as water-polo sighting technique).

Week 4 buoy turn practice:

  • Backstroke flip turn: with your leading arm closest to buoy, pivot onto back for one BS pull, then turn onto your front on next stroke to make 90 degree turn.
  • Single arm turn: with your leading arm closest to the buoy, do 2 to 3 single arm drill pulls with the outside arm to change direction with a quick sight forward to orientate.

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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Outdoor Swimmer is the magazine for outdoor swimmers by outdoor swimmers. We write about fabulous wild swimming locations, amazing swim challenges, swim training advice and swimming gear reviews.