Program Description

Swimming is an often overlooked part of triathlon.  While we may never change that, we want to offer a swim training program to help people with their swim training and effectively create a Virtual Training Group to offer support and encouragement along the way.  In short, we want to help you to swim effectively and enjoy the process.  Triathlon season isn’t that far away after all.



Swim training shares a lot of similarities with other aerobic sports.  It also has its distinguishing features, particularly in the high importance of technique.  Our swim training program is based upon a simple fact that is now clear from exercise physiology and practical coaching — the best measure of how fast you will race is how fast you swim at your aerobic threshold.  Raising your pace at aerobic threshold is therefore the core aim of this swim training program.  This does not mean all our swim sessions are hard or ignore technique.  Technique and stroke efficiency certainly are a part of our core goals but we are going to be targeting your ability to swim faster over triathlon type distances.


We created this swim training group as a way for triathletes anywhere to swim train like an elite triathlete while doing sessions that are appropriate for their current fitness.


Training Description

Each week we will provide 3 training sessions that are broken down into 3 different levels (Beginner, Intermediate, & Advanced) depending on your individual ability.  These will mirror or at least be directly comparable to what my swim sessions will be.  This training program is scheduled to run for 9 weeks, starting January 14 and wrap up in mid – March and we want to encourage you to join me in the workouts and share your experiences in the comments section during this time.  If you, however, are unable to join us you can always work through the program on your own schedule or at a later time.


Training phases within this program are laid out below.  Each week will include 3 training sessions based upon the overall goal of the week.  These training sessions will be available by clicking on the link to the individual workouts or by searching for them on the workout page.  The workouts are scheduled to be posted 36-48 hours before the training session itself so you’ll have plenty of time to review the details of each workout and ask any questions you might have.  As a general rule I will be completing these workouts on Monday, Wednesday, & Friday mornings at 5:00 am and you can expect to see my comments on that particular session posted later that morning.  I will also be making my Garmin 910xt file available for review afterwards on Garmin Connect.


In anticipation of general swim training questions you may have, we have prepared a FAQ & Glossary page.  It includes a number of common questions we get asked regarding swim training and also includes a glossary of abbreviations and workout terms you might see in the individual workouts.  While we tried to think of everything, it’s quite possible we did not.  If you’re not sure about something, ask, we view these documents as living things that we can and will improve.


Training Plan

January 14 (Week 1): Preparation

Prep 1, Prep 2, Prep 3

January 21 (Week 2): Preparation

Prep 4, Prep 5, Prep 6

January 28 (Week 3): Fitness Assessment (Testing Overview)

Short Test 1, Mixed 1, Long Test 1

February 4 (Week 4): Critical Pace/Threshold

Short 1, Long 1, Threshold 1

February 11 (Week 5): Critical Pace/Threshold

Threshold 2, Long 2, Short 2

February 18 (Week 6): Critical Pace/Threshold

Threshold 3, Long 3, Short 3

February 25 (Week 7): Critical Pace/Threshold

Threshold 4, Long 4, Short 4

March 4 (Week 8): Critical Pace/Threshold

Threshold 5, Long 5, Short 5

March 11 (Week 9): Fitness Assessment (see your improvement)

Short Test 2, Mixed 2, Long Test 2



This swim program is a collaboration between myself and my coach Jason Digman.  Jason is the Head Coach and Founder of Dig It Triathlon and Multisport.  He’s been a full-time professional triathlon coach since 2006 and coaches me along with athletes of all levels in Minnesota and throughout the US.  More information about Jason can be found on his website at  I have been a swimmer for practically my entire life, 30+ years, and was coached by my father through High School.  Starting in college I coached USA Swimming both for clubs and privately for 13 years and now I am an active USA Swimming Official with N2-Stroke & Turn and L2-Starter credentials.  You can visit the About Marcus page to learn more about my background and how I got involved in the sport of triathlon.