Training week - composition

andissandiss Senior Member
edited January 2016 in General Discussion
So I am just curious how ye guys build up you training week. i searched the forum and can find plenty of workouts or mileage per week and etc. For me it ideally looks like something like this - kind of reflects a tri background - I also mix in a bit of periodization

3 session week

1 Drills
2 Intervals
3 long swim

4 session week

1 Drills
2 Intervals
3 long swim
4. Junk miles or another Interval session like pyramids

5 session week

1 Drills
2 Intervals
3 long swim
4. Junk miles or another Interval session like pyramids
5. Junk miles, long swim or another Interval session like pyramids



  • SpacemanspiffSpacemanspiff Dallas, TexasSenior Member
    edited January 2015
    So I used to be a periodization nazi. I would spend hours and hours planning the season, the races, the periods, the weeks, the days, nutrition, weight goals, etc. Before I went to bed Sunday night, I'd have every detail of the following week ironed out. And then I would obsess about following every detail of The Plan. This caused me stress. Especially when things intruded on The Plan (like work, family, fun or sleep). Training became not about fun, health and fitness, but about The Plan. I struggled with burnout at least once a year back then, and stopped training altogether for long stretches several times (up to 2 years), where I'd do almost nothing.

    Now I just swim. Masters 6 days a week. The coach calls the set and I do it. I don't have to think at all. I just swim and tell jokes with my lane buddies.

    And I freaking love it. No stress. No burnout. No obsessing. Minimal intrusion into my work/family. A sustainable equilibrium.

    Periodization works great if you're wired for it. Unfortunately, I'm not. For me, the best plan is the plan that gets me in the pool, day after day, year after year. The only periodization I do is (1) increased weight training in Dec - Feb and (2) LSD emphasis in March - May (I'll substitute 2-3 workouts per week). I structure my uncoached sets based upon the nature of my next big swim. I'm a better swimmer now than I was in my peirodization days. Not because periodization doesn't work, but because I'm more happy and consistent when I don't have a plan.

    That said, @andiss if I only had 3 workouts a week, I'd do 90% or more aerobic LSD, incorporating drill sets every workout. And I have to take the underdog position on "junk" miles. Unless I'm having to sacrifice other priorities (work, family, etc), I think every mile is a good mile. I'm probably in the minority on this issue, like most issues...

    "Lights go out and I can't be saved
    Tides that I tried to swim against
    Have brought be down upon my knees
    Oh I beg, I beg and plead..."

  • I'm following this thread with a very keen interest. I have structured my training to mimic my (former) marathon training: twice monthly long swims of increasing distance, Threshold training, some speed and lots of form.

    What I'm most curious about is the LSD training. Right now I am doing 4 mile continuous swims twice a month and plan on upping that a mile each month until June. I just don't know if this is enough volume. Currently I'm at about 25k yards/week and will probably top out at 45k yards/week in July. Training for a ten miler in late July.

    I have read where people are doing the long swim each week and some even more frequently than that. Any thoughts are most welcome. Thanks!

    Excellence is born of preparation, dedication, focus and tenacity; compromise on any of these and you become average.

  • Kevin_in_MDKevin_in_MD Senior Member
    If you sit down to finish your bit on how to put together a microcycle I think you could help by referencing where your definition are coming from. You say Anaerobic (threshold) and VO2max are the same thing but then your workout description of 4,000 yards of threshold doesn't make sense i.e. if threshold work and VO2max work are the same thing as you say. 4,000 yards of VO2max work would be, well it would unusual to say the least.

    In USA Swimming definitions, Anaerobic Threshold or MLSS work would be what they call EN2. I think the australians call it A2, 4,000 yards of En2 wouldbe quite hard but doable.

    VO2 max work in the states would be EN3, I think in Australia it would be A3.

    For the sake of clarity, I think if you used the set types described previously, it would be helpful for us to follow. I know YOU know what you mean, but getting it across through the internet can be tricky.
    null wrote: »
    1. Aerobic aka recovery
    2. Anaerobic (threshold) aka VO2 Max
    3. Lactate or sprint aka
    4. Technique.
  • andissandiss Senior Member
    My idea with this thread is more to get an idea how people build their week and get a bit of inspiration. My general goal is really just to add a bit of form / speed and at the same time increase the distance - as i am training for a longish race in August

    Now - I swim in a 20m pool so any speed work over 100s becomes very painful. Well i'm getting very good at thumbleturns! ( I don't use pool watch or head phones)

    In regards to Anaerobic/Aerobic - i don't swim with a HR monitor - instead more perceived effort and I have a good idea on where i need to be i.e. how much I need to push myself.

    So back to a 3 day week pool sample

    Tuesday = 3km drills
    Thursday = 3km speedwork
    Sunday = 5km at comfortable speed.

    So above would be a 11km week which is my minimum - further distance are added either by either one to 2 more sessions per week or longer sessions. If im stuck I try to go in for a lunch swim and do a pyramid interval so I cover a km or so.

  • BrendanBrendan Portland, ORMember
    Monday-thursday I do a 6k. Ive got a handful of workout that i cycle through. I would like to say that some of the are speed/ drills/ power/ kicking workouts, but for they are pretty similar-- intervals of varying distances.

    On fridays(or saturdays depending on how life is going) ill try to do an 8-10k.

    Ill ramp up this general scheme as it gets closer to events that im training for. Admittedly i should be breaking my weeks down into a bit more specific and targeted work outs, but ive found that usually puts too much pressure on me. Frankly, some days i dont feel like doing speed work or whatever. Im more likely to make the cold walk from the locker room to the pool if i dont feel pressured by the work out. Im likely a worse swimmer for it.
  • jkormanikjkormanik Boise, IdahoMember
    I know there's a thread concerning whether membership in USMS is worth it for open water marathon swimmers. Honestly, the reason I belong to USMS is for just the reason this thread has been posted. One of the benefits of membership is access to weekly workouts. It takes much of the work out of figuring out how to "build your week." Just my opinion...
  • wendyv34wendyv34 Vashon, WASenior Member
    A decent week this time of year, when I have ~60-90 minutes to swim, might go like this:

    Tues. - ~2000 intervals (100s-300s) at a hard pace, (red face, snot coming out my nose) always with a buddy who is faster and pushes me, followed by a longer swim of 1000-1650. Total 3500-4500.
    Wed. - A distance (aerobic) set like 4x800, 3-4x1000 or 2-3x1500. Total 4-5000
    Thurs. - Another variation of Tuesday
    Fri. - A long set that focuses on getting faster at the end, like 1000, 800, 600, 400, 200 w/ez 50 back in between each or 1x500, 2x400, 3x300, 4x200, 5x100 @ base 1:30, usually 2500-3500 for the main set and 4-5000 total.
    Sat. - A long continuous swim (3-4000 or 2x2000) if I'm feeling good. If I'm tired, I do a "cop-out" set of 8-10x4-500s at a pace I can live with. Total of 3-5000.
    Sun. - Open water every couple of weeks, 2-3K, depending on weather, or some kind of cross training (weights, splitting/hauling wood, biking, etc.), or rest, if I'm really tired.
    Mon. - rest!

    Wed. & Fri. workouts are interchangeable, depending on how much hurt I put on myself Tues/Thurs. Every 2-3 weeks, I do a time trial, to see how I'm doing. Usually 1000-2000.

    As I get closer to summer, my long day (Fri or Sat) gets longer, 6000-8000 (up to 10K), at least a couple times a month. I focus more on my desired pace and swimming hard at the end of a workout.

    It's always a bad hair day when you work at a pool.

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