swim TRAINING levels

Please find below the 8 Training Levels we use for categorising the intensity spectrum for swimming. You will find percentages of Threshold Pace (T30), Rate of Perceived Exertion (RPE), and a descriptive phrase of how each intensity should feel.

With the use of metronomes, and the introduction of goggles that display data in the lenses, it is now possible to accurately gauge pace real-time, in both the pool and open water. However, it is essential that you never blindly follow a pace prescription. For slower swimmers who suffer with sinking leg syndrome, it can be very difficult to swim at a true 'Easy' Level 2 effort. The relatively low velocity, will often exacerbate the poor body position, resulting significantly more power being required to overcome the increase in drag.  

In such instances, to ensure every endurance swim doesn't turn into a tempo effort, I will often recommend the use of additional buoyancy in the form of a pull-buoy. As the swimmers training paces were established without the benefit of a pull-buoy, the significant improvement this produces in body position, will almost always allow the slower swimmer to significantly exceed his prescribed Level 2 pace, whilst still remaining truly 'Easy'.  

 

This is a prime example of why pace should only be used as an approximate guide to inform your perceived exertion. How you are actually 'feeling' during any given workout, should always take precedence. It is perfectly acceptable to swim purely by 'feel', and check the pace of your previous interval by using the pace clock on the side of the pool. As an online coach, provided you are executing the session as intended, and are able to accurately relay your splits to me - you have my full blessing.

 

Please note, although the use of heart rate monitors whilst swimming is becoming more common (particularly amongst triathletes), I have not yet gained enough reliable data to be confident of correlating approximate heart rates to our Swim Training Levels. This will of course be implemented if I eventually deem heart rate to be a practical and reliable metric in the water.


 

LEVEL 1 - ACTIVE RECOVERY

T30: 80-90%

RPE: 2-3

'Very Easy'

*the pace associated with this intensity level will also apply to some swim drills, but the perceived effort may possibly be greater

LEVEL 2 - ENDURANCE

T30: 90-94%

RPE: 3-4 

'Easy'

LEVEL 2/3 - AEROBIC THRESHOLD

T30: 94-96%

RPE: 4-5 

'Easy to Moderate'

LEVEL 3 - TEMPO

T30: 96-98%

RPE: 5-6

'Moderate to Comfortably Hard'

LEVEL 4 - SUB-THRESHOLD

T30: 98-100%

RPE: 6-7

'Comfortably Hard'

LEVEL 4/5 - ANAEROBIC THRESHOLD

T30: 99-101%

RPE: 7-8

'Comfortably Hard to Hard'

LEVEL 5 - SUPER-THRESHOLD

T30: 102-107%

RPE: 8-9

'Hard to Very Hard'

LEVEL 6 - AEROBIC CAPACITY

T30: 107-115%

RPE: 9-10 

'Very Hard to Extremely Hard'

LEVEL 7 - ANAEROBIC CAPACITY

T30: 115-150%

RPE: 9.8-10 

'Near-Max Effort'

LEVEL 8 - NEUROMUSCULAR

T30: 150%-MAX

RPE: 10 

'Max Effort'

Contact

© 2018 trihighperformance.com

Pete Jeremiah

HEAD COACH

contact@trihighperformance.com