12 Weeks to an Iron-Distance Swim PB: Week 2

Over the coming 12 weeks I will post a series of workouts building your swim fitness as you prepare for either Challenge Wanaka (18 Feb) or Ironman NZ (04 Mar). I am a multiple Iron-distance finisher including doing both these events in 2011 (the year of the wind in Wanaka and the year of the rain in Taupo).

12 weeks out from Challenge Wanaka started the week of Monday 28th November. For those of you doing Ironman NZ two weeks later, your sessions will commence the week of Monday 12th December.

This is the second week, you can find the first weeks sessions here.

Each week will have three pool sessions for you to complete. I also encourage you to get in the open water once a fortnight to develop those skills sets. This can either be part of a triathlon or as a group open water swim. The pool based sessions work well when completed on Monday, Tuesday and Thursday or on Monday, Wednesday and Friday.

Session One

Tri Coaching NZThis session is also heavily focused on your technique and developing it, through the inclusion of drills.

  • 400m Warm Up;
  • 12x 50m (25m Drill/25m Swim);
  • 200m Easy swim focusing on Tech;
  • 12x 50m (25m Drill/25m Swim);
  • 200m Easy swim focusing on Tech;
  • 12x 50m (25m Drill/25m Swim);
  • 200m Easy swim focusing on Tech;
  • 200m Cool Down;

Start by swimming 400m for a warm up. Keep a nice steady pace and feel free to pause occasionally to stretch or grab a quick drink. The idea of the warm up is to get the blood flowing and muscles loosened up before some of the more intense sets later in the workout.

The set after the warm up includes 12 repetitions of 50m. This 50m is done continuously with the first 25m done as a drill before going straight into the final 25m of regular swimming. Pause after each rep and have a short rest while you focus and mentally prepare for the next drill. Here are some drills that you can include in your programme.  Complete each drill twice:

  1. Kick On Side (KOS)
  2. Kick On Side (KOS)
  3. 6/1/6
  4. 6/3/6
  5. Broken Arrow
  6. Popov

For the drill set wear a pair of short fins. These will provide you with a small amount of momentum whilst you are focusing on what the upper body is doing. I recommend Finis Zoomers.

Take your fins off prior to commencing the next set, which is a 200m continuous swim focusing on smooth, relaxed technique. Then the fins are back on to repeat the 12x 50m Drill/Swim set. Continue repeating until you have done both the drill set and the 200m technique, three times through.

The final set is a 200m Cool Down. As with the warm up, feel free to pause and do some stretching and grab a drink. Also consider doing some other strokes as part of the cool down. Throw in some back stroke (Bk) or breast stroke (Br) to mix it up.

 

Session Two

Tri Coaching NZThis session works on enhancing your threshold swimming with a set of 100’s and then a set of 50’s.

  • 600m Warm Up;
  • 12x 50m (25m Drill/25m Swim);
  • 12x 100m 20sec RI;
  • 12x 50m on 1/2 T-Time + 10sec;
  • 200m Cool Down;

Start by swimming 600m for a warm up. Keep a nice steady pace and feel free to pause occasionally to stretch or grab a quick drink. The idea of the warm up is to get the blood flowing and muscles loosened up before some of the more intense sets later in the workout.

As with session one, the set after the warm up includes 12 repetitions of 50m. This 50m is done continuously with the first 25m is done as a drill before going straight into the final 25m of regular swimming. Pause after each rep and have a short rest while you focus and mentally prepare for the next drill. Here are some drills that you can include in your programme.  Complete each drill twice:

  1. Kick On Side (KOS)
  2. Kick On Side (KOS)
  3. 6/1/6
  4. 6/3/6
  5. Broken Arrow
  6. Popov

For the drill set wear a pair of short fins. These will provide you with a small amount of momentum whilst you are focusing on what the upper body is doing.

Take your fins off prior to commencing the next set, which is a set of twelve repetitions of 100m.  Swim them all solidly and consistently. After each rep pause for 20 seconds.

The next set is a set of twelve reps of 50m. The amount of recovery you get with this set will vary depending on how fast you swim. To work out what your ‘Go’ time will be take half of your T-Time that you worked out in Session 1 last week and add 10 seconds to it and round up to the next 5 second mark. For example: if your T-Time was 1:45 then half of that is 0:52.5, adding 10 seconds makes 1:02.5 and rounding up to the next 5 second mark is 1:05.

This means that each and every rep starts one minute and five seconds after the previous one. If you swim a rep in 50 seconds you get 15 seconds rest, if you swim it in 60 seconds you only get 5 seconds rest. The easiest way to monitor these sets is with the pace clock on the wall. Start the first rep when the hand hits the 60 at the top.  If your T-Time gave you a ‘Go’ time of 1:05 then your next rep commences when the hand gets to the 5 second mark after you return from your 50m swim (1:05 after you started on the 60).  Your third rep will commence on the 10 second mark (1:05 after you started the second rep) and so on.

If your T-Time gave you a 1:10 (or 70 second ‘Go’ time) then you would start on the 60, 10, 20 etc…. If your T-Time gave you a ‘Go’ time of 55 seconds then you start on the 60, then 55, 50, 45 etc…. The easiest to follow is a ‘Go’ time of 60 seconds as you will always going on the 60 (or what ever time you start your first rep).

The final set is a 200m Cool Down. As with the warm up feel free to pause and do some stretching and grab a drink. Also consider doing some other strokes as part of the cool down. Throw in some back stroke (Bk) or breast stroke (Br) to mix it up.

Session Three

Tri Training NZThis session is also heavily focused on your technique and developing it through the inclusion of drills and also includes a strong aerobic endurance stimulus through the use of a long warm up.

  • 1,000m Warm Up;
  • 16x 50m Drill;
  • 200m Easy swim focusing on Tech;
  • 16x 50m Drill;
  • 200m Easy swim focusing on Tech;
  • 200m Cool Down;

Start by swimming 1,000m for a warm up. Keep a nice steady pace and feel free to pause occasionally to stretch or grab a quick drink. The idea of the warm up is to get the blood flowing and muscles loosened up before some of the more intense sets later in the workout.

The set after the warm up includes 16 repetitions of 50m conducting drills. Pause after each rep and have a short rest while you focus and mentally prepare for the next drill.   Work through the following sequence of drills twice to complete 16x 50m drills.

  1. Kick On Side (KOS)
  2. Kick On Side (KOS)
  3. Kick On Side (KOS)
  4. Kick On Side (KOS)
  5. 6/1/6
  6. 6/3/6
  7. Broken Arrow
  8. Popov

For the drill sets during this workout wear a pair of short fins. These will provide you with a small amount of momentum whilst you are focusing on what the upper body is doing.

Take your fins off prior to commencing the next set, which is a 200m continuous swim focusing on smooth, relaxed technique. Then the fins are back on to repeat the 16x 50m Drill set. Repeat both the drill and technique sets twice through.

 

 

The final set is a 200m Cool Down. As with the warm up feel free to pause and do some stretching and grab a drink. Also consider doing some other strokes as part of the cool down. Throw in some back stroke (Bk) or breast stroke (Br) to mix it up.

You can sign up to receive these sessions via email by clicking here.

If you would like further advice feel free to contact me.

I am the Head Coach & Director of Qwik Kiwi – Endurance Sports Consultant.

I specialise in assisting first timers and recreational athletes to achieve their sporting goals. I can be contacted at coachray@coachray.nz and 021 348 729. Make sure you sign up to my informative newsletter.

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Coach Ray is the author of the successful 12 Weeks to an Ironman Swim PB – Swim Faster with Smart Training eBook.


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