Weekly Loads Distribution 

(“Load Density Planner”)

Load Density planner purpose

The ability to plan training loads on a weekly and daily basis is among the most profound daily tasks of the coaching profession.  Ironically, this is also the most misunderstood and misrepresented activity.  The Week Load planner therefore has the utmost importance for every coach and, according to our studies, the most sought out feature.      

Criteria for Definition of training loads

3S system uses Ergometric Criteria (based on “sustained power on time of effort” curve”) for definition of Energy Zones and efforts (training sets).  For planning purposes, we use loads (“volumes”) in training zones in specific proportions to each other (“Partial Loads”).   This approach allows us to keep consistency and interconnection of training  elements throughout all parts of our platform.  The Energy Zones we use are well established and clearly defined. You can read more about 3S Energy Zones in 3S Resources and in 3S University Certification course. 3S Weekly Loads Distribution tool is the world’s most comprehensive interactive Load Manager tool. 

Comparative Table of Energy Zones:

You can read more about Energy Zones Comparison in our article

While the Loads Distribution functionality is extremely complex in the background (to load this page we need to initiate and process over one hundred processes and connect thousands of variables), the actual use of this function is straight forward and relatively easy.  From a professional point of view, this function can be viewed as a weekly and daily “scorecard” of any coach work. 

This may require some change in the way coaches think about daily workouts: instead of thinking about each workout in terms of sets or combination of training exercises, one should consider the daily structure from training load point of view first (by relative intensity or Zone). 

Clearly, finding a proper training set in the required zone is important.  However, this consideration is secondary since each set can answer a question of “HOW to achieve optimum training effect in defined Zone”, while load distribution answers another question “WHAT do I need to execute in order to support long-term progress (or, in physiological terms – adaptation).  

Rules and Hints (How to use Load Manager) (1)

The Weekly Load Distribution manager is one of the most important tools on the 3S platform and the most feature rich.

The top table depicts distributed Partial Volumes for selected week:

The top row of values shows the “Optimum” loads distribution for the current week in accordance with Season Strategy.

The bottom row (second row) shows suggested distribution based on sessions’ time limits established on Week Training Schedule page.

When the difference between these two values reaches 10%, the user receives the message with a suggestion to adjust Week Schedule (by number of sessions and/or sessions duration).

Once the user adjusts any zone volume in any day, the third row will appear under “Custom” label, indicating that the loads have changed by the user.

Selecting Pre-set Load Distribution Patterns

The selected volume (the “3S Optimum”, “Adjusted” or “Custom”) distributed over the week automatically.  The distribution pattern depends on a specific week in season and inclusion of loads in zones that week.

The weeks are divided by phase, where each phase is offered a specific and most effective (from 3S perspective) pattern of loads distribution

load distibution Rules and Hints (2)

  1. Kick volumes in Zones Ib (Aerobic Reserve) and Ia (Aerobic Capacity) should be viewed as a part of total volumes in these Zones.
  2. Some discrepancy between Optimum and Adjusted volumes is inevitable due to a difference in methods of calculations applied in each case: The “Optimum” volume is coming as a percentage from total volume for the current week.  The “Adjusted Volume” – is volume recalculated based on optimum set distances in each zone in relation to “swim time” allocated for this session in Week Schedule.

Recommended effective distances and modalities per Zone  (3S “rules” regulating the allowed distances per Zone/Day/Set)

Zone Ib and Iacontinuous or “slow interval” execution effort.  The maximum one-time effort in Zone Ia is around 30-35 minutes.

Zone Ib in many cases is used for recovery purposes.  The intensity in Zone Ib allows swimmers to swim continuously for an hour or more.

Zone Ia:  the most effective duration of set at sustained speed  (calculated for current week) – > 30 minutes.

Zone II – effective set distance is between 1600 and 2200 yards/meters.

Zone III – effective set distance is between 400 and 1200 yards/meters

Zone IV – effective set distance is between 100 and 400 yards/meters

Zone V – effective set distance is between 50 and 200 yards/meters

Considering these suggestions, it is easy to convert the suggested daily volumes into several effective sets you need to execute to fulfill daily load.

These considerations also influence the adjusted weekly volume since sets longer or shorter than optimum is not effective.  We established allowed distance limits for each zone in daily loads selector.

Daily Loads Customization

Any changes introduced on the Weekly Loads Planner will affect daily loads and, accordingly, sessions’ duration. 

While all fields are open for adjustments, it is important to watch for balance, both from Zones inclusion on a weekly basis point of view, and from a daily volume balance.

Once the changes are made and saved, the new daily parameters (by included zones) will be processed and appear in the form of optimum training sets in Workouts.  The sets in Workouts can be also adjusted using “Expert Mode” on Workouts page.