Top Tips,  Training Sessions

Take your training outside – week 2

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

1 to 2 x 400m FC
Work on sighting (see notes)


2 x 750 to 800m as:

  1. Race simulation. Swim the first 200m fast as possible, the middle 350 to 400m at threshold pace and the final 200m as fast as possible. Practise sighting every 6 to 12 strokes to ensure you swim accurately around the marked course.
  2. Alternating speeds between sprint and threshold pace at each turn buoy. Practise sighting less frequently. Note how much correction or direction off course you tend to swim.


200m to 400m easy swim. Include both sighting techniques.


2100m – 2800m


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.