Cycle 2 is here!! This is THE cycle that will help you become a faster, more efficient swimmer! All the details are below! Let’s get things cracking! 

Cycle Focus: 

Cycle 2 is all about building efficiency. We built a foundation in Cycle 1 – we focused on minimizing resistance and built up our volume over the last 12 weeks, now it’s time to capitalize on that foundation!

If you are consistent through Cycle 2 you can expect to get faster at a much easier level of intensity – which is exactly what you are aiming to do in the swim leg of a triathlon! Get through it fast while minimizing the energy cost!

Swim Technique Focus:

Now that we have gotten a good handle on your body position in the water through Cycle 1’s drills we can start to build some propulsion into the stroke. In Cycle 2 you’re going to see drills focused on developing the feel, connection, and effectiveness of your pull path. The primary goal here is:

  • Drive water backwards to help you move forward
  • Use your hand, wrist and forearm as a one unit to drive the water backwards

Drive water backwards to help you move forwardUse your hand, wrist and forearm as a one unit to drive the water backwards

We will continue to work on minimizing resistance through the water in Cycle 2 too. This is the foundation to fast swimming and it can ALWAYS be better than it currently is! Heres’s a reminder of what minimized resistance looks like:

  • Swim with great posture
  • Cut a narrow path through the water as you swim
  • Get your head, hips and heels in a straight line
  • Force your core to provide the balance so that your arms can help you move forward

Swim Fitness Focus:

  • Build efficiency through targeted pace training
  • Maintain technique under fatigue
  • Gain a deep understanding of pacing

CSS Pace Work 

A majority of your main sets in Cycle 2 are based off of your own personal goal time. To figure out this goal time we will do a CSS test in Week 1 of the Cycle. You will take the results of this test and plug them into this calculator which will give you your very own training pace. Whenever you see “@ CSS Pace” written in a workout, you will use this pace as your goal time!

Before you start a workout out, there may a little bit of math involved in calculating your goal times for the workout. I will try to get a simple calculator built to help you with these calculations, but until then you will need to do a short calculation to work out your goal times.

For example, let’s pretend you do your CSS test in week 1. You enter your times into the CSS Pace Calculator and your your CSS pace comes out to 2.00/100m.

In the next workout you see the following written in the Main Set:

5 x 200 @ CSS Pace

You will need to calculate your goal time for the 200. In this case it would be 2.00/100m x 2 = 4.00 minutes. So your goal time for each 200 will be 4.00minutes exactly.

Make sense?

All the main sets that have goal times are straight forward, so the math should be fairly simple to do!

Click here for a reminder of what CSS Pace is and why we use it. 

Click here for the CSS Pace Calculator. 

Tri Race Specific Work:

You will start to see a little bit of Tri specific work in Cycle 2. We get introduced to some sighting work to help you start mastering the critical skill of seeing where you are going in the open water. You will also see some sets that will begin to get you used to the horrible feeling of exiting the water and running up to T1 while trying not to let your heart rate go through the roof.

Things To Focus On:

  • Consistency - The more sessions you complete in this Cycle the better you will swim. Simple.
  • Pacing - Once you have your goal times you need to work on sticking to them. These are based off your performance and are specific to you. If you train at this specific pace you will get faster
  • Technique - Fight to maintain your technique for as much of the main sets as possible. Be focused on holding a good line and developing great habits!

Other Notes:

I will asterisk* one workout each week. This workout is the key workout for the week. If life gets in the way or for whatever reason you can only swim once that week (SHOCK HORROR OH NO!!) then the asterisk’d workout is the one you need to do.

Share Your Times & Feedback:

This isn’t mandatory, but I would greatly appreciate it…

When you complete a workout, post your times and feedback on what you felt/experienced/noticed in the session in the comments section of the workout I’ll use the data you post to help me create an even better program – so you’ll ultimately be winning by sharing your experiences!

There will be guys and girls that post up impressive times and there will be newbies who just scrape by, I’d like to hear from all of you.

The comments section will be a no judgment zone (I will make sure of this! Trolls be warned!!). Come as you are, post what you do and let’s support each other as we work towards the goal of becoming better is all about the fundamentals of minimizing resistance and moving through the water with less effort. 

Get Featured:

This program is all about you.

I’m building a community of triathletes that are learning to suck less, get better at swimming, life and triathlon. If you snap a picture or a video of yourself completing one of the workouts, #hashtag it with #TeamSwimFast and I’ll post it up on the blog and give you a shoutout for being awesome! 

Get Started:

The SwimFaster program is a free online comprehensive swim program for triathletes that runs year round from November – October. Swim faster, gain confidence and join the community. Click below to get started today!