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Weekend Swim Workout: No Walls, No Lanes, No Rest

There are no walls in open water - so practice for race day with this no-pushoff prep set from coach Sara McLarty.

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When preparing for a triathlon with an open water swim, it’s always a good idea to try to mimic some open water conditions while training in the pool. The short rest and momentum that all swimmers receive when turning and pushing off each wall (even swimmers who flip turn) doesn’t occur every 25 yards in the open water race. Bring the open water to your next training session by trying this “no walls” workout in the pool.

If you’ve never turned around in your lane without using the wall, practice for a couple minutes before starting your workout. Your options for avoiding the walls include doing a sharp “buoy turn” or executing a flip turn an extra 5 feet from the wall. Once you’ve found a method that works for you, choose a workout below that fits your schedule and current fitness level, then dive in!

RELATED: Triathlete’s Guide To Going From Pool To Open Water

A:

Warm-up:

800 swim as 4 x 150 easy, 50 choice drill.

Main set:

4 x 200 pull w/:15 rest as descend time 1-4.
1 x 400 swim as No Walls (turn at the “T” before the wall and don’t push off).
3 x 200 w/:15 rest as 2 x 25 non-free/75 free
1 x 400 swim as No Walls.
2 x 200 pull w/:15 rest as 100 easy/100 fast.

Cooldown:

1 x 200 as 2 x 50 kick/50 swim.

*3600 total*

RELATED: Drafting Correctly Can Make a Big Difference in Your Swim

B:

Warm-up:

600 swim as 3 x 150 easy, 50 choice drill.

Main set:

3 x 200 pull w/:30 rest as descend time 1-3.
1 x 300 swim as No Walls (turn at the “T” before the wall and don’t push off).
2 x 200 w/:30 rest as 2 x 25 non-free/75 free
1 x 300 swim as No Walls.

Cooldown:

1 x 200 as 2 x 50 kick/50 swim.

*2400 total*

RELATED: A Complete Guide to Triathlon Swimming

C:

Warm-up:

400 swim as 2 x 150 easy, 50 choice drill.

Main set:

2 x 200 pull w/:30 rest as 100 easy/100 fast.
1 x 300 swim as No Walls (turn at the “T” before the wall and don’t push off).
2 x 200 w/:30 rest as 2 x 25 non-free/75 free

Cooldown:

1 x 100 as 50 kick/50 swim.

*1600 total*

Looking for more swim-spiration? Check out our complete archive of Weekend Swim Workouts from Coach Sara McLarty.