Official Swimming thread

Without making me read the full thread to find the answer, are the swim workouts in the trainerroad tri plans any good or should I use them as a template to base my own workouts on?

The answer is probably a depends…

If you are a beginner swimmer probably not…
If you know how to swim well (like you freestroke well) and dont have any other way to get swimming workouts, I would say they are adequate and will work well
If you are a seasoned swimmer than can challenge a shark in a swimming contest, then no…they are not great…

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I am currently doing the Sprint LV plan, my background sport is swimming, but this time around i am following the swim plan for a couple of reasons, see how it plays out but more importantly I don’t have the time, energy to think through and create my swim training, and don’t want to spend money on another subscription. So far so good.


Yeah… They are not bad… But for a lot of season swimmers they might not be enough… I feel they are similar to running workout for people with running background

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I agree with that. The main thing Im finding is the mains sets at least for sprint LV, are small. But given im swimming in my backyard 10 m pool, it works trying to keep count of laps is a bit of a pain :slight_smile:


That was my concern. The swim workouts look ok to me but I’m a runner and the run workouts are very basic so I won’t be following them.
Thinking that the swim workouts are a good starting point at least to use as sine sort of template.

I’m not from a swimming background so it seems that as long as I’m consistently swimming as well as including plenty of drills and working on technique Im making some decent improvements. The given swim workouts will at least at as a template from which to structure workouts and could akways increase the amount of volume.

Lifelong swimmer here. Love your approach—good technique matters SO MUCH MORE than the structure of the workouts.


You have to be careful with your running tho. I did try to combine the cycling plan with a normal 5k plan… It was less than ideal… You may end up suffering more than necessary

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I started doing triathlons in the mid 80s. I was self taught, as there were no pools or swim teams where I grew up. I did ok, right at 1:00 for Ironman distance. Very little coaching through the years. But more recently, I bought Brent Hayden’s Swimming Secrets program, and FINALLY feel like I’m swimming correctly. It’s 7 or 8 modules of drills. I didn’t feel like the first ones were helping much, but at the end it fell into place. Even got a compliment from the Masters swim coach the other day. Membership gives you access to a private Facebook group. You can post videos of your stroke, and oftentimes Brent will critique for you. Money well spent. You can search his name on FB


What about if I don’t have Facebook?

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Thanks. I know I’ll never be a really fast swimmer and I accept that but the goal is to swim as efficiently as possible leaving more energy for the bike and run. This been said by been patient in the pool speed is naturally coming along. I also really enjoy swimming, it supplements the other training nicely and is something that I want to improve on just for the pure joy of it.

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Tried similar methods before. Think I was mid volume base and a running program alongside. Swim was as and when but couldn’t maintain intensity through both running and riding. Tried and failed, didn’t get faster/fitter, couldn’t recover and basically burnt out. My method is currently all intensity on the bike because that’s what I want to improve the most so most if not all runs ran at a more leisurely easy zone 2 pace with maybe the odd pickups or short hill sprints just to promote better form and leg turnover. Swims are mostly drill based empathising on the pull with the occasional longer continuous swim. I supplement swimming with my weekly strength training.
I’m improving on the bike and feeling better with the swims using this method. Running will have to see, I feel good but there’s only so fast you can get without specific training as you know.
Closer to my races I’ll adjust the intensity of the workouts to suit the race itself but was thinking about using the tri plans as the template to structure and periodise my weeks to save time more than anything.

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Just sharing

Had a local 70.3 today.

My swim shape is not something to be proud of but it is fair since I was able to do 1900m without cramping at 1:46/100m = 33:30 in 25m pool last Wednesday.

Something wild happened today. It was going to be a rolling start but they changed it to a mass start at the last moment.

I have done more than 30 triathlons in my life all with a mass start.

Today, for the first time, I had a panic attack while on the first buoy in the middle of the caos. It came from nowhere and I almost decided to quit.

It was something impactful and very hard to control. The body refuses to swim and enters in a sort of extreme survival mode.

It is a killer spiral. The breath fails and there is this urge to escape from that environment (which we just cannot do) and then one feels totally desperate and incapacitated.

I now understand why there is a history of unexplained deaths in the swim legs.

I will try to consult with a sport psychologist this week to explore the issue trying to prevent it to happen again.

Somehow I manage to do 5 minutes of semi-breaststroke (head above the water) and got back to free style, finished normally and almost effortlessly with a 37 minutes partial.

Bike and run went OK and in the end I beat my 70.3 PR (4:45) and won the AG.

That is one of the beauties of this sport: no matter how bad things look, there is always a chance of turning them around.


This is me most of the swims…

Glad you had an excellent race even tho you had a panic attack.

On my second or third tri, i panicked when someone swam over me (dunking me in the process). I was not thinking straight so i ended up swimming to a shore that was farther than the finish… it was embarrassing and also tiring…

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I need help to learn where I am right now when it come to swimming…

I restarted swimming about 8 week ago… I did a few weeks of tr swim plan, but then i switch to focus on technique and relearn my swim. I am now learning how to breath both sides…

Anyway, most of the time I’ve been doing sets of 50s with/without buoy and changing the side I’m breathing. Most of the times I end with about 15 reps most of the time i do the reps on 90s repeats sometimes I do 80 depending on how i feel that day…

Some days i add a few harder 50s or 25s by nothing major.

Today i did a css test

200 in 4.12
400 in 8.50

They felt hard all out efforts…

I am concerned about having to swim almost a mile in October…


I think that your CSS data with the pace of the 200 so close to 400 is pointing to a sort of mono speed in you longish efforts.

The purpose of the CSS test is to use the pace decay between the two distance to estimate what would you produce in a long swim between 750 an 1900m.

So having almost a flat line between 200 and 400 will result in a CSS very close to your 400m pace (I did not run the calculator and do not need to do it to get to this conclusion).

However, if you finished your 400m short of air and with a feeling of eminent drowning, slowing the pace by 2 or 3 seconds per 100m will not make you survive for let’s say even 750m or so.

Therefore I would say that you need to evolve in your swimming a bit more before starting to rely on CSS as a tool.

If I were coaching you, I would keep the focus on short intervals to help in creating body tension while swimming and self awareness about body placement and its relationship with speed.

At the same time I would prescribe a weekly session with long intervals (300 to 500m) in which you could use a gadget of you choice to make it easier and boost your confidence (like fins or pull buoy).

You would not be allowed to time these intervals. Your would be invited to leave your swim watch at home! It is just feeling the movement without any care in the world.

With time, this session would evolve to something like 3x500 - #1 with fins, #2 without gadgets, #3 with buoy
#2 would be the acid test about emotional comfort with extended distances.


8 weeks is not long, you need to just keep plugging away and listen to your coach. It will come in time.

Lionel Sanders’ swim coach has a nice video up today - feel for the water.

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This has always been a problem… but it more evident now…

FWIW, during most sessions, the 50s feel easy and I take more time to rest than needed.
Even when not using the buoy, I do 50s in a minute or less, not feeling breathless or anything. It doesnt feel like and easy steoll but is not all outs. Ive done 20 reps like this in 80s intervals…
Then when I try to go “fast” I end with 55s or so… but effort wise, they feel all out efforts. So i think my form decays when trying to go fast. Even just doing 25 reps I can only get them down to a slow 25s…
I feel smooth in the water, but i cant speed more.

In order to feel “easy” i would have had to do closer to 2:30s

Thanks for the suggestions!
Should I also add some speed to my routine?
Like 1 day of focus on form (basically what Ive been doing), 1 day of some form of speed (replace the 50s easy reps, with more run of the mill fast 25s, 50s and 100s)… and then 1 day of longer as you suggest?

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TR is my coach!


Funny. How a person who can swim 1.11/100M consider himself a bad swimmer…
but they are a different level