Tired during swims in L0 70.3 Plan

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  • #16848

    Hey everyone,

    I’m getting towards the end of my L0 70.3 plan (about 5 weeks to go until race day), and last week, I noticed that my swims just felt a bit slow and labored, but I was able to stay within my zones. Yesterday, I had some longer blocks in Z3 scheduled (3×300 Z3) and my pace was way off, basically in Zone X. I just wasn’t feeling it so I finished the workout in Z2, basically as a foundation swim. Even then, I often struggled to stay in Z2 and dropped to Z1.

    To be fair, the last couple of weeks have been the most volume and the longest training sessions I’ve ever completed for running and cycling. It could just be fatigue but what’s interesting is that I’m still able to complete my runs, rides, and strength training as prescribed. I’m also consistently hitting new PRs for my cycling FTP and running paces. But my swim is struggling. Swimming is actually my strongest discipline too. Prior to just a few weeks ago, I was seeing good PRs but now I’m struggling, especially with long Z3 intervals.

    FYI, I have been taking 1 rest day per week. No extra activities or extra workouts beyond the program.

    If this keeps happening for swimming, should I just break up the longer Z3 intervals into shorter intervals (i.e. change 3×300 into 6×150 or into 9×100)? Or make it a foundation swim? Should I be alarmed if this keeps happening? Is it normal to be performing well in some of the disciplines and feeling like you’re struggling and fatigued in one (especially your strongest discipline)?


    Leyla Porteous

    Congrats on your great training so far! You are definitely going to start to see some fatigue creep coming into your training as the volume picks up in the race specific phase of training.

    It not uncommon to see a slow down in your swimming if you are losing some mobility (getting tight) from the increased biking and running. Be sure to include some mobility and warm up before your swims to allow for a good range of movement that could be impacting your swim pace. In addition to that ensure you are increasing your calorie and fluid intake to support your increasing training load. These can be 2 reasons you feel slow and sluggish in the pool as the training volume has increased.
    I recommend using feel (RPE) in your swimming until your taper and not changing the intervals but just pacing them by feel to not overdo things.



    Thanks for the advice! That’s good to know it’s not abnormal to experience, lol. Fluid intake (and electrolytes) could stand to be improved as well.

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