Half-Price Dart 10K Entry + Your Swim Training Shouldn't Vary Too Much Year Round

Swim Smooth has teamed up with our favourite charity Level Water to offer you Half-Price Dart 10K tickets! It's a 10km downstream swim in the River Dart, one of the most beautiful stretches of river in the UK.  This is more of an experience than a race, and finishes with a festival on Dittisham Green.

Tickets go on sale to the public for £98 very soon, they usually sell out in minutes.  However, this year Level Water are the charity partner for the event.  They have tickets for half price (£49), so you can secure your place right now!

Swim the Dart 10k on Saturday 15th September 2018 with Level Water. Click here to find out more and secure your place now!

If you would prefer  to swim on Sunday 16th September, please click here to register.

Clinics, Camps and 1to1s:

North America

Connecticut 1 day Swim Clinic Jan. 12

South Carolina Video Analysis

Calgary Squads

Calgary Video Analysis

San Diego Camp Feb 24-25

New Oceanside CA Squad starting July 26th

Solana Beach / Oceanside / Carlsbad Video Analysis

Chicago Video Analysis

Chicago Squads

Montreal Squads

Montreal Video Analysis

The Woodlands TX, Swim Squad

SS Clinics Chicago

Providence / Boston Video Analysis

Asia / Middle East / Australia / Africa

Hong Kong Squads & Video Analysis

Perth Squads

Perth Video Analysis

Kuala Lumpur Swim Squad

NEW Johannesburg Video Analysis

NEW Johannesburg Squads

Kuala Lumpur Video Analysis


Nijmegen Squads

Prague Junior Swim Club

Prague Junior Swim Club

Prague Video Analysis

Nijmegen Video Analysis.  & Stroke Correction

City Of Elche Video Analysis / Squads

SS Camp Lanzarote Mar/Apr 2018 (English - Dutch)

Wachtebeke Clinc Dec 2017

United Kingdom

Luton SS Squad Wed/Sat

St Albans SS Squad Saturdays
Breathing Masterclass, Abingdon Dec 6/13/20

Reading Video Analysis Clinic Dec 17
Only 2 Places Left

West Lothian Video Analysis

Richmond London SS Squad

SW London Swim Workshops

Salisbury 1to1 Analysis

Twickenham Video Analysis

Lancaster SS Squad

Swindon/Cotswolds Video Analysis

Lancaster Video Analysis

Northampton Swim Squad

Millfield Stroke Correction Clinic

Swindon SS Squad (joining offers!)

Felixstowe Video Analysis

Stratford upon Avon & Birmingham/Coventry Squads

Felixstowe Squads

Heston West London Video Analysis

Cardiff Video Analysis Clinic

Northampton Video Analysis Clinic

Guernsey SS Squads

Guernsey Video Analysis

Yorkshire Squads (Pool & OW)

Yorkshire Video Analysis

Swim Smooth Kent Squad

Swim Smooth Kent Video analysis

Your Swim Training Shouldn't Vary Too Much Year Round

If you live in the northern hemisphere you'll be very aware that the days are getting ever shorter and the temperatures are dropping ever lower. Christmas is on the horizon and you might have starting thinking about next year and planning out your season - what events to do and how to structure your training over the winter.

If you are a distance swimmer or triathlete (i.e. your events are 30 minutes and longer) and you are swimming 1 to 4 times per week then don't make the mistake of over-periodising your training between now and race day. For instance:

- You might decide to just work on your technique over the winter and neglect any fitness training from your swimming.

- You might plan to just swim long and slow over the winter ("base training") before doing shorter and harder intervals in the spring into summer.

- You might not even bother swimming at all over the winter and think you'll get back into it at easter!

- Forget open water swimming - it's way too cold!

Each of these approaches is flawed and will leave you a long way short of your potential next year. Here's why:

- You need to be swimming regularly to maintain your range of motion and feel for the water.

- You need to be performing key fitness training sessions to develop your swim fitness (more on this below). Not swimming these sets means your aerobic fitness will go backwards and will take a long time to re-develop in the spring when you could be using this time to be moving ever further ahead.

- You need to develop a stroke technique that you can consistently perform over longer distances swimming at a fast pace. Swimming short technique swims can easily take your stroke down a complete cul-de-sac (particularly if you focus too much on overly lengthening your stroke) that you cannot sustain over longer distances.

- You can easily work on your open water skills in the pool with friends over the winter. These skills are so vital they're arguably worth just as much time to your performance as your stroke technique and your fitness.

A Far Better Approach

The truth is that unless you are swimming 25km a week or more, or you are a pool based sprinter, then the sort of training you need to be doing doesn't need to vary that much whatever the time of year. You can alter your focus slightly but you fundamentally want to keep the same routine rolling along week-in week-out.

In order to improve, a key thing is to get the balance right between fitness training, stroke technique work and open water skills. Over a 1500m swim each of these elements is worth at least several minutes to you and so if you've been focusing exclusively on one you are leaving large chunks of time on the table:

Swimming Performance = Technique + Fitness + Open Water Skills

So important are Technique, Fitness and Open Water Skills that we call them "The 3 Keys" to great swimming:

To maximise your performance you need to have all three elements in your training every week and the best way to achieve that is to devote a session to each. This is the weekly structure used by our squads in Perth and our Certified Coach's Squads around the world:

- 60 minute session with stroke technique and endurance economy focus
- 60 minute session with CSS training sets
- 60 minute open water skills session in the pool

SS Coach Julian Nagi's squad (Action, London) practising
their open water skills during the winter - loads of fun!

Back in 2002, and in an effort to show off his recent Sport and Exercise Science degree "skills", Swim Smooth Head Coach Paul Newsome built an extremely intricate periodised plan for his appointment with the Stadium Triathlon Club in Perth, Australia.

It looked good, seemed sound, but in reality was just too fragmented and ultimately failed to establish the consistency of routine that effective training is all about. Since that point Paul works to deliver the simple structure outlined above which is now used by all of our Certified Coaches.

It might seem simple but it has proven to be highly effective, repeatable and allows the squad triathletes to always know what to expect in order to manage their bike and run sessions around it.

If you would like to include a fourth or fifth session in to your routine, here's three possible options (in order of difficulty, easiest first):

- A steady paced continuous swim of around 30 minutes focusing on one key area of your stroke (for instance breathing, your kick technique or your stroke rhythm).
- An aerobic endurance session featuring long continuous swims.
- A tough Red Mist training session to really work your speed endurance.

Not Boring At All!

You might be thinking that keeping the same sessions rolling through is boring but far from it. Each week will contain a large variety of training stimuli to keep you focused and on your toes. Unless you start to over-train (see below) it's unlikely you will start to feel stale.

In terms of pushing you continuously forwards, although you're focusing on a specific element of your swimming in each session, they can be configured in lots of different ways and each set type progresses to a harder level as you become faster. Through our process of CSS testing and tweaking (see here) the paces get progressively faster too - perfectly matching your increasing speed:

Seeing the improvements you are making is hugely motivating and you simply won't want to change anything when you are in that "sweet spot" of preparation!

Actual Training Sessions

Of course the Swim Smooth Guru is packed with all these types of sessions to follow - and they're also collated into full training plans for any race distance. Here's some links (PRO subscription required):

The Guru is not just about developing your technique but fitness training and open water skills too.

"Consistency" Doesn't Sound Sexy But Is The Magic Ingredient

The key to improvement is to keep this regular routine rolling week-in, week-out and that means training slightly within yourself, giving yourself some capacity to cope with whatever life throws at you.

You want to push yourself at the right times (for instance during a key CSS set) but taking your training week as a whole you don't want to be living on the edge of fatigue and turning up to every session tired.

Over-training like this is a particular risk for triathletes who are managing their training across three sports. Try and balance out your training energy between each and make sure you are turning up for your key sessions feeling good and ready to go.

Train consistently week-in and week-out and the improvements will keep coming for a long long time. Go through a boom-and-bust cycle of over-training and enforced rest and you'll go nowhere or even regress.

Some recommended reading on over-training and consistency:

Swim Smooth!


NY said...

I'm pretty much on board with all of this. But what about if "you are swimming 25km a week or more"? I was planning on trying to hit that total pretty consistently but then maybe just reduce it a little every 4-6 weeks or so. Does that line suggest that there is something more definite to do about this? Thanks!

Anonymous said...

The above links all return a blank page for me.

XAND said...

Hello, does this mean I can use your 10week training plan and repeat it again and again forever?

Adam Young said...

Hi NY, what event(s) are you training for?

Anonymous, they seem to work for everyone else - can you try again?

XAND, yes you could (as long as you're not just doing CSS sessions but also technique / open-water skills in the week. However we'd probably mix some other CSS sessions in there as inevitably swimming the exact same sessions again and again is going to get boring!

XAND said...

That's awesome thanks Adam

NY said...

Thanks for getting back to me. I don't have any one big event that I am definitely going for but there are a couple of swims of 20-25k and I might target one of those. Generally, I enter races of anywhere between 3k and 10k. Thanks!

Subscribe to Feel For The Water
And receive the amazing Mr Smooth animation as your optional free gift.
Find out more: here

* required
I consent to receiving tips to improve my swimming and occasional information about our products and services from Swim Smooth. You can unsubscribe at any time. See our Privacy Policy
Powered by Blogger.


Blog Archive

Recent Posts