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How to prevent becoming a one pace pony in the open water

With such great weather around or difficulty getting lane space in the pool you may be currently just swimming open water. It’s easy to just swim cruisy in the lake and forget about improving your technique and enhancing your aerobic capacity, resulting in becoming a one pace pony swimming long and slow. Try to mix up your training with this example technique and swim specific fitness sets at varying intensities…

Example catch tech set (use as a warm up before your main swim set, or repeat 3-5x to use as a main set)


5 x 100s (or you could set your tempo trainer to a 2 min beep interval, or guess!) as:

  • 10m catch scull 15m freestyle (ie repeat this 4 times to make up the 100m)

  • 10m high elbow scull 15m freestyle

  • 10m penguin paddle 15m freestyle

  • 10m scull combo 15m freestyle

  • 100 freestyle

These drills are usually all swum with a pull buoy in the pool, use one if you’re swimming skins in the open water but just do a very light flutter to keep your legs high in the water if you’re swimming with a wetsuit.

Watch our drill videos here.

Example fitness sets:

-Snack and drink as required

-Choose a loop roughly this distance and try and evenly pace each repetition, using lap mode on your fancy watch to keep track!

  • 3-5 x 400 as 100 easy 100 fast - really go for it on the fast swim + 1min rest between reps

  • 3-5 x 800 @70% effort (threshold pace) + 1 min between reps

  • 3-5 x 1000 @60% effort + 90s recovery between reps

Let us know how you get on!

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