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Take your training outside – week 4

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

1 to 2 x 400m FC
Practise turns around buoys using two strategies (see notes)


2 x 750 to 800m as:

  1. Increasing demand. Start slightly below threshold pace (tempo pace), increase to threshold after ~200m, increase to fast-as-possible in the final 100m. Sight and draft as opportunities present themselves if in a group scenario, or aim to overtake your swim partner in the final push to finish this lap.
  2. Threshold paced swim, incorporating a strong sprint of 20 strokes after each turn buoy. Practise your backstroke flip turns or single arm FC turns around each buoy.


200m to 400m easy swim. Include both turning 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.