How to modify training plan w/ no swimming | 80/20 Endurance

How to modify training plan w/ no swimming

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    Hi, I live in an area under shelter-at-home for the next 3 weeks – all pools and local recreation lakes are closed so there is no where to swim. I see the Dry Land Swim Exercise (helpful, thanks!) but how should I work these into the triathlon training plan? Substitute for every swim on the plan? Should I add more bike/run to compensate? Anything else to not lose all swim fitness during the next three weeks? Any thoughts would be appreciated, thanks!

    David Warden

    AK, I just added this section to the dryland document yesterday to clarify this:

    “To replace the swim workouts in your 80/20 plan, consider performing this workout 4-6 times a week, which would supplement 40-180 minutes of swimming. For example, if your 80/20 plan called for a total of 2.5 hours of swimming in a given week, performing this workout for 30 minutes a day for 5 days would meet that requirement.”



    Hi David,

    Where can I get the dryland document you’re referencing?


    David Warden

    Oops, on our Resources page.

    And here is the direct link:


    I read your Dryland Swim Workout, which is great, but hours of prone and supine flutter kicks on my living room floor is going to drive me bonkers. How can we substitute additional running or cycling instead of swimming while local gyms/pools remain closed?


    David Warden


    Good call, and I’ll update the documentation on our Resources page, as we’ve received several of these inquires. I’m still playing with the %s, but I think my formal recommendation will be something like this:

    1. Replace approximately 50% of your swim volume with at-home strength and flexibility training. While there is very little evidence that strength training will help on the swim, it will help you on the bike and run. Flexibility, on the other hand, will directly improve swimming. I regret we don’t have a flexibility guide at this time.

    2. Replace approximately 30% of your swim with volume with cycling.

    3. Replace approximately 20% of your swim volume with running.

    For example, a week with 3 hours scheduled swim might look like this to replace those 2 of those 3 hours (the other hour still dedicated to dryland):

    – 2×30 minutes strength and flexibility
    – 35 minutes additional cycling (of which 7 minutes are at Zone 3 or higher)
    – 25 minutes additional running (of which 5 minutes are at Zone 3 or higher)



    The supine flutter kick instructions say to place arms extended overhead directly in line with your body and legs, the backs of your hands an inch or two above the floor. The picture shows hands at your side palms down by your hips. Which is correct or are both okay?
    Thank you

    David Warden

    George, thanks for pointing this out. Matt has fixed the document so that the picture and description are now consistent.


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