Top Tips,  Training Sessions

Tune-up time – session 3

Get back to the pool for a refresh, reset and tune-up.

Warm up

100m FS, 100m KICK on front sculling arms, 100m FS, 100m PULL. Take 10 sec after each 100m.

Contrast the efficiency of using legs for propulsion in your FS. Elite swimmers could expect up to 15% propulsion in their FS, so it is likely to be more like 10% for an amateur swimmer (maximum!). Identify a leg kick rhythm that complements your current stroke rate.

Main set

200m FS with paddles and fins +30s rest
Work on pressing water behind on catch and pull phases, through to thighs. Optimal kick with straight legs.

2x25m FS sprints with 30s rest after each.
200m FS with fins + 30s rest. Vary breathing pattern each length through every 5 strokes, 4, 3 and 2. Minimise head turning when breathing in. Focus on exhaling consistently without breath holding.
2x50m FS sprints with 60s after each.

200m FS with paddles +30s rest.
Focus on a precise hand entry in front of shoulders, fingertips first. Correct any feeling that the elbow or forearm is dropping into the water first by relaxing your arm recovery and rotating your long body axis.

2x25m FS sprints efforts +30s after each.
Repeat this set, to consolidate propulsion, breathing, rotation, alignment, hand entry and stroke rate.

Cool down

200m PULL, 200m FS easy effort



For further details on this training set, please see our November 2017 issue.


FS = Freestyle   
PULL = Hold a pull buoy (a type of float) between your legs and just use your arms   
Catch = The moment at the front of the stroke when your hand and forearm “catch” the water before pressing back   
CSS = Critical Swim Speed or threshold pace (roughly the pace you can sustain for 1500m)

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.

Find out more:

Stay up to date with The Dip, our free weekly outdoor swimming newsletter.

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.