During the winter phase of training, we tend to focus more on indoor activity such as lifting, non-impact cardio machines, indoor swimming, and shorter but faster runs and rucks.
Here is a workout that is a big challenge –we call it the Spec Ops Tri (swimming edition). It requires so much swimming that I recommend building up to this level of distance for a few months with progressions as mentioned in this workout (Swim intervals challenge). But you can get creative and have some fun on the pool deck as well – see popular swim PT workouts.
However, this Special ops Triathlon is a triple 5km event. You have to do a 5km swim, 5km run, and a 5km ruck.
Rule on the swim: Done in 1:30 intervals. If you do 75 sets of 1:30 intervals this will get you 5625m of swimming so you can do 20 of those sets in 50m intervals if you prefer to get an even 5000m. You can wear fins if you prefer. This is an 1:52 long swim if you do all 75 intervals. See Swimming Intervals article for more details on the program. During this event, you should be hydrating during your rest periods as often as possible as cramping will occur in the run / ruck if you are not fully hydrated / electrolytes as you will sweat in this pool workout.
For the run or ruck: It is just 3.1 miles running and 3.1 miles rucking. The ruck we typically use 40 lbs either as a weight vest or a back pack. It is your choice to how you want to ruck. Some have carried a sandbag over their shoulders if they did not have a back pack or vest. If you do this with a group you can have half the group run and half the group ruck and make gear changes after each group is done with each event.
*NOTE: If you are a great swimmer, you can build up extra distance and take it off one of the run / ruck events. So, if you swim 6000m, you can take off 1000m off the ruck if you prefer. The goal of this is 15km but the standard is you have to swim at least 5km.
The Special Ops Triathlon is an event, we do locally as a fundraiser for local community centers who let us use their pool. Most of the participants are candidates seeking military and police special ops program where running, rucking, and swimming are all part of the curriculum and training cycles.