Performing a structured TP Swim Workout

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    I’ve just tried my first structured TP swim workout.

    Pool: 25m
    Device: Garmin Forerunner 945
    Workout: SSP7 ( )
    Useful links:

    The main advantage I found was the countdown timer after each 50m effort. I’m not very tidy on rest intervals and found this useful. The pool has a big wall clock timer that I usually use but it’s often not working. Also I find I can’t read session cards/Garmins very well without reading glasses (I’ve ordered some prescription goggles to try).

    My main areas of confusion at the moment are:
    1. Does the timer automatically roll forward after each segment? e.g. 250m Warm Up followed by 200m Active. I think I automatically pressed Lap at the end of the Warm.Up and I’m not sure if that advances to the next segment. (Again, I find it difficult reading my Garmin and rely a lot on BIG NUMBERS, whether the background has changed from White to Black, and the wrist vibrations).
    2. On the Repeats, I was fairly faithful to the 20 seconds rests but sometimes I couldn’t go when I wanted to due to congestion/busy lane. Does the timer restart automatically after 20s rest or does it (as I think it might) wait until I start moving? I’m aware of the ‘End step on Lap button’ option and think I may have to enable that for all Easy/Rest periods because the pool is often busy.
    3. The metric/yards distinction. Whenever I can I change the settings to m. It only seems to be possible to change whole Workout Details from yds to m in the Browser version of the app. It doesn’t show on IOS. And the setting doesn’t persist. Save & Close doesn’t remember the setting when the workout is viewed again later.

    Using the Workout Details Editor I can change all the individual segments to metric, but this of course makes a mess of the distances as they are faithfully recalculated. So I guess I could then change, e.g. 250yds to 250m while I’m there, but it doesn’t seem a great way to go.

    In summary, I’m finding having the workouts on the Forerunner quite interesting in a geeky kind of way but I may go back to the manual method (they’re not actually that difficult just to remember!) – also I quite like the method suggested in of having small laminates for the sessions – or quite big laminates in my case so I can print them out in large letters. As long as I remember to hit the lap button before efforts and rests I’m not sure having the structured workout on the watch is adding a lot of benefit for me. I may think differently when I get some goggles that allow me to read the display of course.



    Final reflection on this that may be useful for others in similar situation.

    Having played around with the workouts I think I’m just going to go back to remembering them (which isn’t so hard) and using manual LAP presses on the Garmin as appropriate.

    Reasons for this include:

    1. It’s easy to get out of synch. Once false/accidental Lap press in the workout and you’ve inadvertantly advanced to the next segment.
    2. Closely related – there’s no UNDO button. You’re kinda committed when the watch wants you to go. If you find yourself in the cooldown when you should be in an effort it all gets a little confusing.
    3. Hard to accomodate busy pools. The countdown timer is great in principle for drills that have fixed rests, but if someone has just set off in front of you in your lane then your rest might need extended to accomodate. Or more likely, you decide to shorten your rest for a particular effort to take advantage of a lull in the traffic.

    The main thing I was looking for out of having Workouts on the watch were:
    1. Not having to remember them. This isn’t the dealbreaker I thought it might be. Plus once the workout has started, there’s no high-level view or summary of what you’ve got to do. It’s best inside your head or on a laminate.
    2. Pacing. This is the only bit I thought might be useful, but I often lose count of distance anyway, and I can’t figure out what the buzzing means. I assumed it would be to check my pace, but now I think it may be telling me I’m coming to the end of a segment.

    I might revisit it in the future and it’s been an interesting diversion, but I think I’ll just remember them for the time being.

    Leyla Porteous

    Hi Dougie,
    Thanks for all the feedback on the new TrainingPeaks Structured Swim Sync process.
    I will be honest in the fact that we had no heads up from TrainingPeaks for this feature and so our structured swim workouts have some limitations which you have discovered.
    Mostly that we have some intervals that do not have a structured rest between them, particularly in the warm ups.
    The issue with yards to meters.

    We are working on this by updating our swim workouts with rest breaks defined between all intervals, and developing a metric based swim workout libary (we will actually be switching to metric for swim distance in our plans in 2023). For now I believe a way to get metric swims with rest breaks onto your Garmin would be to download our swim workouts from our library located here:

    80/20 Workout Library

    We are also working closely with Form Goggles to get our full workout library available there. I can say that the form goggles really fix all the issues you are experiencing and if you like having the data right there in your eye easy to see and follow then they are the best option.


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