I am not one of the athletes that follows a training plan 100%. I have always developed and had a training plan written out at the beginning of the training cycle but I have always been ok if my life or my body caused me to deviate from it. Knowing that as I entered my triathlon training I told myself that I was going to stick to the planned workouts and let the training plan work as it should.
The hardest part of any plan in actually picking it out and although I was very familiar with running plans, and had read a lot about cycling plans for Triathlons I was clueless on how to judge a swimming plan for a race. Luckily I found one of the most useful training tools I have ever used. I found “Swim Workouts for Triathletes” by Velo Press. It is a book focused not just on swimming workouts, but those especially built for athletes that were moving strait to a bike and run afterwards. This book contains full plans for every triathlon distance from sprint all the way up to full Ironman. And just to make it that much easier on you, the book is waterproof and made so you can easily set it up right next to the pool as you are doing your laps.
I have followed the Half Ironman training plan perfectly in the 2.5 weeks since I started training and I can already see drastic improvements in my swimming. Also the book takes a lot of the thinking away from me during the laps allowing me to relax more and focus on my stroke and breathing. With the book right next to the pool I am able to quickly look at what the next exercise is, turn to clarify what any words or abbreviations mean (the include an extensive glossary) and start my next lap quickly and without getting out of the pool.
Any gear that makes the workouts seem easier while still putting in the same amount of effort is well worth any investment that you make. Anytime I can find a way to make a run seem shorter, or a ride seem easier through a drill or workout I will do it. This book allows my swims to seem easier, while still allowing me to improve. What more could you ask for in a training tool