SET YOUR SWIM TRAINING BENCHMARK
It’s time to measure progress and set goals
The best way to begin your off-season swim training is by identifying the areas you need to improve. Performance-improvement goals for swimmers typically break down into three areas: increasing fitness; reducing drag (through better body positioning); and improving propulsion (by increasing stroke efficiency). This critical swim speed (CSS) session will test your current performance, so you can set pacing targets for your training and monitor your progress.
CSS sessions should be racespecific, so if you’re working up to a sprint tri (750m swim), your pace should be CSS minus 2-4secs per 100m; for an Olympic/middledistance tri (1.5km/1.9km swim) aim for your CSS pace; and for a long-distance tri (3.8km swim) aim for CSS + 2-4secs per 100m.
Structure your training so you have a weekly CSS-pace session of 10-20 x 100m on 20secs rest. Drop the rest interval to 15secs after a couple of weeks, then drop it to 10secs a few weeks after that before testing your CSS pace again.