Training Plans Swimming and Running

So I have tried setting up a couple of Multisport training plans in the calendar. It works ok for using a cycling video as all the data shows up if you use the app and ride indoors to a video.

However I find the calendar and the training plans to be pretty cumbersome. Swimming is a real problem. While I appreciate that the swim training in the various plans is geared to setting up people with progressive training time, distances and intensities it doesn’t really work if you swim train with a club. As an example. We train in a 25 m pool twice a week for 90 minutes. The duration of the workouts is governed by the pool rental time, not what phase of training we are in.

The days are set, we can’t say it would work better for the training schedule to move the Tuesday night workout to a Monday morning. Its not when we rent the pool time. So basically the bike and run training needs to be flexible to work with the swimming schedule.

As we can’t change duration or days the workouts are adjusted based on intensity and the addition of drills. Its recognized that early in the season we need to build and the 90 minute workout is tailored to provide more easy paced swimming and more focus on drill work. As the season progresses we start to focus on endurance, then power, then speed work. So the distance will increase during the endurance phase, and during the power and speed workouts there is more emphasis on intensity and with increased rest for recovery between sets.

But the current training format does not accommodate this. First off it would be good to be able to set the days and duration for the workouts. In my case Tuesday and Friday nights for 90 minutes. I would like to be able to enter the actual workouts into the calendar and download workout metrics from my Garmin watch. Ideally I would like to be able to track 50 m pace, 100 m pace and 400 m pace to see improvement over a workout cycle.

I have similar, but slightly different issues for run training. Right now the calendar is lacking the flexibility to build the workouts around what I plan to do for running and track my running metrics.

I am currently using Strava as my go to app for tracking the workouts. But planning seems to be a real challenge, regardless of the app.

Are there any suggestions out there in the collective hive mind?

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From my own experience, if you are already swimming training, you’ll be getting the training stimulus you need. I’d ignore the swimming from the plan (just tick it off as done if you need green boxes in your calendar) and just train with your group as normal.

The plans aren’t gospel and it’s completely OK to adjust them to meet your own needs and life.

Edit: I replied before your full text had loaded. I don’t use the SYSTM calendar to track anything. It just suggests what cycling workouts I should do. All my workouts get loaded into TrainingPeaks.

Thanks for the reply. I agree, I have always adjusted the plans to fit my training requirements and will continue to do so. I have trained 90 minute swim sessions for over 7 years now so its unlikely that part of the training is going to change to match the plan.

Can you add your own workouts to training peaks? Is it flexible enough that I could add my workouts for swimming, running and biking and then upload the data from the actual workout?

Yes absolutely. Even the free version.

We are aware and understand that multisport plans are cumbersome and far from ideal. We are working on the ability up load swim and run workouts to your watch (which in your case, really is only useful for running since you swim with a group), but once that happens, that will make swim and run sessions easier because you don’t have to memorize or write the workout down. It will also mean that you can upload your data to the SYSTM calendar in order to track all of your training in one place, as well as TrainingPeaks, which you can currently do.
For now, I recommend ignoring the swim training on the multiport plans since you have a group workout. The plans were written with bike and run sessions on the same day with swimming in between to basically hit your legs hard on the hard days, and then the swim day acts as a lighter day since it’s primarily an upper body focused activity. As a triathlete myself, I know that swim sessions are demanding on the entire body and I’m not trying to say that swim days are rest days, but it’s the best way in my mind to create a tri program where your legs get just a bit of relief in between hard bike and run workouts. If I don’t know if that helps you at all in terms of how to arrange your bike and run sessions to, but thought it might be good for you to know. If you would like more personalized recommendations, you can always purchase a “chat with a coach” call.

Best of luck!

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Thanks I will have to check that out

Hi Coach Suzie

Thanks for your response. Right now I am looking for a one stop place to store the workouts and the data. Ideally so that I can track metrics and pull the analysis out of the data. I find that I end up tracking the indoor cycling in Wahoo System (formerly Sufferfest), runs, swims and outdoor cycling gets tracked using Garmin devices and it all gets downloaded to Strava. It sort of tracks the data. But what I am really looking for is something like the metrics that are generated in FF every time I do the test and then using that data to adjust my workouts. The metrics I use for swimming are 100 m, 400 m and 1500 m times, although I usually adjust them to 100 m pace equivalents. I set the workouts for the swim club so I do schedule regular fitness tests although I haven’t done the 1500 m swim test yet. Same thing for running 400 m, 5 km and 10 km times and then adjust them for 1 km pace times. Right now I have to sort through all the data and put it into a spread sheet and then apply them to the workouts and adjust the workouts and print out the workouts for each day and then make notes on the workouts after the day.

The plus to it all is that I am in control of my data and my workout intensities. It just seems like a lot of work when the data is already being downloaded via Garmin devices or the Wahoo app.

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I would definitely take a look at Training Peaks if you haven’t already. Strava is more like social media in comparison.

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Yes, I understand your frustration. We are working toward SYSTM being a one stop shop for all your workouts, we just need a little more time! As much as we hate to send users to another platform, for now, TrainingPeaks is probably the best alternative. You can upload your device files and do a lot of analysis there.

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