Tune-up time – session 1

Training Straight Leg Kick

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

Warm up

4x100m with fins alternating kick on side drill and FS. Take 10 sec in between each 100m. Maintain full rotation on the drill and use this to calibrate your rotation in FS. Aim for half the range of rotation in FS, whether taking in a breath or exhaling as you swim.

Main set

4x50m FS strong effort and sprint final 25m, increase stroke rate. 10s rest after each.

4x60 seconds vertical kicking at deep end of pool followed by 2 lengths FS swim recovery, maintaining legs straight and kicking from hips. Observe legs in vertical kick and avoid bending knees. Torso upright, no leaning forward or back. Note how this technique feels to activate deep core muscles and hip flexors/ glutes. Apply kick technique into FS.

4x200m with paddles, working on alignment of hand entry in front of shoulders and activating the catch with flexion of wrist. 30s after each.

4x100m @ CSS/ threshold pace or optimal stroke rate. 15s rest after each

200m FS with fins, 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: triathloneurope.com

Cover Web Image

Issue 42 October 2020

  • Q&A with Jaimie Monahan - marathon swimmer and Queen of the Ice
  • Autumn swim adventures around the UK
  • The science behind cold water acclimatisation
  • Reviewed: The Best Open Water Goggles
  • The often deadly history of unsupported marathon swims

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