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UNDERSTANDING YOUR
ENDURANCE LAB
SWIMING PLAN

Be sure to read Intensity Guidelines for Swimming and Understanding Your TrainingPeaks Structured Workout Plan after reading this article.

 

The Endurance Lab Swimming plans are designed to help swimmers swim stronger and longer by developing their efficiency, strength, and athleticism, and to expand their love and performance in both pool and open water swimming, triathlon, and general fitness and endurance.

 

Each plan features swim and dryland sessions structured to help you improve your swim stroke, mobility, strength, and power. The sessions all come with video links that will help you execute the drills and dryland movements effectively.

 

Each 16-week plan has four (4) phases:

Phase 1: 4 weeks: Balance and Buoyancy + Mobility

Phase 2: 4 weeks: Entry & Extension + Stability

Phase 3: 4 weeks: Catch & Pull + Strength

Phase 4: 4 weeks: Exit & Recovery + Power

 

Each phase has been structured to provide the appropriate amount of time to master the movements and skills that will be built upon in subsequent phases. Each phase also carefully deconstructs the different elements of the swim stroke and biomechanics required for efficient and powerful swimming.

 

Swim sessions focus on technique with a weekly increase in drill complexity and volume. The dryland phases progress in complexity, volume, load, and speed of movement. If you feel you have not mastered a particular skill or intensity, it is ok to stick with a previous week’s prescription before progressing. Each phase of the plan carefully deconstructs the different phases of the swim stroke and biomechanics required for efficient and powerful swimming.

EQUIPMENT REQUIRED

Swim Equipment:

 

The following swim equipment (sometimes called swim aids or swim toys) are suggested, for use throughout the plans to help with the proper execution of drills and for body awareness.

Swim equipment can help improve and refine key components of your swim technique, while also building a feel for body position and propulsion.

 

  • Front Mounted Swim Snorkel

  • Swim Fins

  • Swim Paddles

  • Pull Buoy

  • Kick Board

 

Dryland Equipment:

 

The following equipment is required for the Swim Dryland Sessions.

 

  • Foam Roller

  • Trigger Point ball(s)

  • Mat

  • Kettlebell(s) or Dumbbell(s)

  • Dryland Cord, Band, or Cables

  • Pull Up Bar

  • Slides or Towels

  • Medicine Ball or Sandbell

  • Weighted belt of Weight Vest

SWIM EQUIPMENT AND LOAD SELECTION

Swim sessions have a list of suggested equipment for each workout, along with specific equipment needed within the sessions. Swim equipment can serve both as an aid to a newer swimmer or a specific technique flaw or as a load, to reinforce technique or to develop strength and power. Use equipment as suggested and interchangeably to develop different feel, competency, and fitness through the various phases. In some key intervals, the swim equipment will be noted such as “BUOY” for any “pull” intervals.

 

For dryland exercises, a variety of equipment is listed that will help you execute the sessions. You will see options for certain pieces of equipment that are interchangeable such as “Kettlebell or Dumbbell”. Substitutions can be made easily with common equipment you may have at home or your local gym. Focus on the execution of the movement patterns and intensities with the comparable equipment available to you.

 

For exercises involving bands, choose a resistance level that you perceive as “moderate” for a given exercise. As you get stronger and accustomed to the load you can increase a band's resistance, to a degree, by the amount of stretch, or selecting a thicker band.

 

For exercises involving weights (kettlebells/dumbbells) select a load that you could lift within 2 reps of the prescription. If you can consistently perform 2 additional reps per set, increase the load and work back up. Generally, 1-4 fixed or adjustable weights, ranging from 25-40% of body weight, provide versatile resistances throughout the phases.

WORKOUT FORMAT

Each workout is structured in a way to allows you to get the most out of your swim and dryland sessions.

 

Swim Workouts:

 

Swim workouts will be formatted as:

FOCUS:            What area of the swim stroke is being developed

EQUIPMENT:   Equipment you will need in your swim bag to use during the session.

DISTANCE:       How far (this is in yards or meters)

WU:                 Warm up. Easing into the session

DRILLS:            Drills that you will be doing. Each is linked to a corresponding video in the pre-workout box below.

CD:                  Cool-down.  A chance to ease yourself out of the workout and finish feeling great.

 

After each swim interval, there will be time noted (e.g.:15, 1:00) which indicates your rest time between swim intervals.

DRYLAND WORKOUT

Your swim strength sessions will be formatted as:

 

A1 4x8

A2 5x5

A3 6x3e

1:00

 

Letters correspond to a group of exercises done as a superset back-to-back without rest in the sequentially numbered order. Volume prescriptions are noted as sets x reps (e.g.: 4x8, 4 sets of 8 reps) For single limb or single-sided exercises, the same number of reps should be completed on each leg, arm, or side, within each set. (e.g.: 6x3e, 6 sets of 3 each) When listed, time indicates rest time between sets. When available, more time between sets is always better, with an emphasis on technical proficiency and intensity (reps, load, or speed of movement) within each set.

 

Unless otherwise noted, more rest between sets and within workouts is better for these drills and exercises, to enhance skill acquisition and to maintain the prescribed intensity.

GLOSSARY OF KEY TERMS

EZ Free: Smooth, relaxed, flawless stroke

EZ Speed: Smooth, relaxed, fast stroke. Faster than EZ, but sustainable and flawless.

Fast Free: All-out efforts, emphasizing intensity and turnover.

  • For Running Plans
    Getting Started with Endurance Lab Training Understanding Your Endurance Lab Run Plan Understanding Your On-Pace Run Plan Intensity Guidelines for Running Understanding Your TrainingPeaks Structured Workout Plan
  • For Triathlon Plans
    Getting Started with Endurance Lab Training Understanding Your Endurance LabTriathlon Plan Intensity Guidelines for Triathlon Understanding Your TrainingPeaks Structured Workout Plan
  • For Cycling Plans
    Getting Started with Endurance Lab Training Understanding Your Endurance Lab Cycling Plan Intensity Guidelines for Cycling Understanding Your TrainingPeaks Structured Workout Plan
  • For Swimming Plans
    Getting Started with Endurance Lab Training Understanding Your Endurance Lab Swimming Plan Intensity Guidelines for Swimming Understanding Your TrainingPeaks Structured Workout Plan
  • For OCR Plans
    Getting Started with Endurance Lab Training Understanding Your Endurance Lab OCR Plan Strenght Workouts Intensity Guidelines for Running Understanding Your TrainingPeaks Structured Workout Plan
  • For Strength and Mobility Plans
    Understanding Your Endurance Lab Run Strength Plan Understanding Your Endurance Lab Endurance Cycling Strength Plan Understanding Your Premium Endurance Lab Strength Plan Understanding your Endurance Lab Mobility Plan Understanding Your Premium Endurance Lab Core Strength Plan Understanding Your Free Strength Training
  • For Racing Weight Plans
    Getting Started with Endurance Lab Training Understanding Your Endurance Lab Racing Weight Plan Dietary Guidelines for Racing Weight Plans Understanding Your TrainingPeaks Structured Workout Plan
  • For Mental Skills Plans
    Understanding Your Mental Skills Training Plan
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