Here’s a sample open water swim training set with a bit of technique and bit of work. We did a 60min session about 2600 but the set can be adjusted by making your laps as long or as short as you like. This session is based on a lap approximately 400m long.

Warm Up

Lap 1: Just swim! Slow, relaxed and get used to the wetsuit.

Lap 2: Split the Lake into 4 sections and Tune Up the basics!

  1. Head relaxed and neutral
  2. Hips controlled rotation
  3. Arms on tracks
  4. Legs long

Lap 3: Choose 4 Focal points for your personal stroke development and do one for each section of your lap

Penny’s focal points for two beat kick:

  • a) lift up with glutes
  • b) feel pressure on tops of feet
  • c) opposite leg and arm connection
  • d) left leg focus

Main Set:

Fartlek: Using your 4 sections swim work/recover/work/recover. Try and keep your focal points

Lap 4: Swim 1 section moderate, 1 section ez, 1 section moderate, 1 section ez

Lap 5: As above Hard/super easy x 2

Lap 6: All out/super easy x 2

Cool down

Half a lap easy!


  • What went well?
  • What did you learn?
  • Any opportunities for your next swim.
What I learned

1. Initially with a wetsuit on the water feels colder! Because my body is warmer!

2. It took at least 1 lap to get used to swimming again. My arms were tight and tired and my inner chimp had a tantrum and I almost got out. But it’s good to notice the thoughts and plus it always take me 10-15 minutes to warm up even in a swimming pool.

3. As well as splitting the lake into sections I counted in 20 stroke blocks to help keep my focus

4. I still have some weird things going on with my hand entry and my recovery to tune up which are opportunities to keep getting faster and more efficient.

5. I can feel the pressure on the top of my left foot as it presses down and back so it’s definitely very lazy.

6. If I think about my left glute squeezing and lifting the left leg up this gives great rotation which helps to control my right quad and knee kick!

7. My right leg thinks it needs to do a lot of work and a big kick!! When I switch this urge off it stays long and gives me some good length in my stroke.

8. My tempo is a lot faster with a wetsuit on than in the pool. I used a tempo trainer on 1.05, 1.0 and 0.95

9. I still have a slight tendency to drift to the right especially when working harder.

10. Hard work is fun! And it feels fantastic to get a decent swim set done!

To hear us talk about it click here