How to build a good swimming training program for open water

How to build a good training program and reach your goals
in life and especially your goals in sports.


When I ask people what their goal is, 90% of them just don’t know or even worse, they think they know but they have too many goals at the same time, which could lead to injuries, as well as not to drain personal potential and most important it could cause disappointed in result every time, which will leads to people to feel bad about themselves.
Why fail in life when you can succeed?
Why suffer if you can enjoy the journey?
Why hurt and injure yourself if you can strengthen yourself more and more in each challenge?
In this Article you will learn the basics of the WEST Training theory, which means not only will you learn how build your own personal training program but also how to protect your body from getting injured during the process.

*WEST coaches help thousands of athletes every month to rehabilitate from knee injuries, lower back pain, neck pain, frozen shoulders and more….

Step 1 – What’s my goal or target?
* In all steps we are going to learn how to build the basic training schedule and take an example of a women who aims to do her first open water swim Marathon of 10 km in the sea. (This women trains twice a week for 45 min each time). The date is January 10th and the competition is on the 17th of August.
* It is important to know that this example will help you build your marathon run, your Ironman training, traithlon and more…..
Most people tell me “next week I’m running 10 km”, “I have a triathlon in 2 months” and so on, and when I ask them what their no 1 goal is, they don’t really know or worse, they already have another target one month after their main event. (They will succeed but they are likely to feel they failed).


After you know what your goal is or what you are aiming at, start building your 3 charts:
1. Annual turnover (year cycle)
2. Intermediate cycle
3. Minor cycle

table 1

In your chart you are going to fill in:
1. Months to the target.
2. Competitions on the way – write down the importance of each competition, ranking it from 1-10 while 10 is only your main target.
3. Longest swim in the pool (you should keep a record of the distance and time)
4. Longest swim in sea (you should keep a record of the distance and time)
5. Testing your progress – you will have 2-5 different tests (1km, 200-500 kicking, 1 hour swim ,2.5 km open water, 2.5 km pool)
6. Elements – swimming technique,stretching drills, speed, power, turns, food.
* When you take a test it is important to swim on the same day of the week, same time and same route as your trainings sessions.
* When doing a test in the sea, in open water swims try to swim one way 1.25k and the same way back because if you have currents you will know it on your watch.
* The most important tests will be in the pool because the conditions in the sea are very different from one to another.
If you fill the chart correctly 70% of the work is already done.

table 2

table 3

Tips to succeeding in life, in building an open water training workout, and succeeding in building a training program to run 10 km, complete an Ironman and more:
1. If you build the foundation of the program annual cycle, intermediate cycle and minor cycle there is a 95% chance you will succeed and it doesn’t matter what you write in it.
2. It is recommended to work on your swimming technique in the first 2-3 months, and the best of course is to do the WEST program which will help elongate your muscles, protect your lower back and will help the body be perfectly ready for the pressure of the program.(to get a 50% discount fill in this questionnaire ant write that you read this article)
3. I don’t believe in resting when it comes to “age grouper” master swimming or people above the age of 25 even after a competition, most injuries happen when resting.
4. If you feel pain in your ankle, neck, or shoulders, there are many ways to work on different muscles.
5. If you are very tired or sick it is O.K. to rest one day, stay in bed.
6. Less is more – in the beginning never train a lot, it is possible to do a running marathon as well as swimming with only 3 workouts a week.
7. Do as many competitions as you want to on the way, but think of them as training sessions and if you can do at least one of them without a watch, just feel.
8. If the competition is in Saturday don’t change Sundays workout to Monday, just do it easier
9. One month before your event will be the long distance train, only 3 weeks before start your tapper or even 2 weeks.
10. Enjoy the way, learn as much as you can about your body
11. Try to find a friend and train with.
12. Learn what you need to eat before, during and after (it is very different from one to another).
13. Smile smile and smile some more during – and most importantly at the end.

To read more about Ori Sela open water coach triathlon coach and founder of WEST swimming technique>>>

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