12 Weeks to an Iron-Distance Swim PB: Week 9

Over the coming 12 weeks I will post a a series of workouts building your swim fitness as you prepare for either Challenge Wanaka (18 Feb) or Ironman NZ (04 Mar). I have been a professional triathlon coach since 2000 and 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 starts the week of Monday 28th November 2016. For those of you doing Ironman NZ two weeks later, your sessions commenced the week of Monday 12th December.

Tri Training NZThis is the ninth week. Other weeks can be found below:

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.

This weeks training continues to develop your base fitness with a strong focus on technique and endurance.

Session One

Tri Coaching NZ

This session develops both your threshold speed and your endurance, due to the short rest intervals.

  • 600m Warm Up;
  • 12x 50m (25m Drill/25m Swim);
  • 10x 200m on 2T+20sec;
  • 8x 50m 5sec RI;
  • 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.

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 set of ten reps of 200m utilising a ‘Go’ Time of 2T + 20sec. Take your T-Time, for example we will use the same T-Time that has been used in previous weeks of 1:45 and double it. In this case that is 3:30.  Then add 20 seconds to make 3:50. You will  start each rep 3:50 after you started the previous rep. If you start on the 60 using the pace clock at the pool, you will be going on 60, 50, 40, 30, 20, ……40, with the last rep leaving on the 30 the second time through to it for a total of ten reps. Make sure you swim each rep as hard as you can to maximise the amount of rest you get.

The last set prior to the cool down is very challenging as you are swimming eight reps of 50m with only 5 seconds Rest Interval (RI) between each rep. You will barely get a chance to think or do anything, other than, stop……pause……then go again. Be strict with your rest interval and look at the pace clock or your watch straight away so you know when you need to go again.

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 NZ

This session is very much designed around enhancing your endurance.

  • 1,000m Warm Up;
  • 8x 50m (25m Drill/25m Swim);
  • 2x 1000m 60sec RI;
  • 8x 50m 20sec RI;
  • 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 eight 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

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.

Remove your fins prior to commencing the next set. This set is made up of two reps of 1,000m with a 60 second Rest Interval (RI). Try and do the second rep a little faster than the first rep.

The next set is a short, sharp set of eight by 50m with 20 seconds Rest Interval (RI).

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 NZ

This session is all about increasing your speed and has some very long rests to ensure that you can max out your speed and effort.

  • 400m Warm Up;
  • 12x 50m (25m Drill/25m Swim);
  • 8x 50m Build 1-4, 15sec RI;
  • 12x 50m Full Sprint, 30sec RI;
  • 8x 50m IM Order, 15sec RI;
  • 12x 50m Full Sprint, 40sec RI;
  • 400m 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.

Take your fins off prior to commencing the next set, which is a set of eight repetitions of 50m with only 15 seconds Rest Interval. Within this set build the pace every four repetitions. This means that each rep you get quicker. Your 50’s might look something like this:

Rep Time
1st 0:58 Build 1-4 Steady
2nd 0:55 Fast
3rd 0:53 Faster
4th 0:51 Fastest
5th 0:57 Build 5-8 Steady
6th 0:55 Fast
7th 0:52 Faster
8th 0:49 Fastest

 

The following set is made up of twelve reps of 50m sprinting as fast as you can. After each rep take a full 30 second Rest Interval (RI).

The following set is eight repetitions of 50m following Individual Medley (IM) order: butterfly (B/F), back stroke (Bk), Breast stroke (Br) then Freestyle (F/S), twice through  i.e. your first rep is butterfly, your second is back stroke etc….. fifth rep is also fly with your sixth back, seventh, breast and the last is freestyle. After each rep have 15 seconds Rest Interval (RI). I realise that you may not be capable of swimming 50m of some of the strokes.  If that is the case I want you to still attempt each stroke. It might be that you only manage 10m of butterfly and then finish the rep off doing free style. If you are at least attempting it, you will be getting better at it.

The final set prior to the cool down is similar to our max sprint set above except this time you get longer rest. It is made up of twelve reps of 50m sprinting as fast as you can. After each rep take a full 40 seconds Rest Interval (RI).

The final set is a 400m 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 Coach Ray.

Coach Ray is the Head Coach & Director of Qwik Kiwi – Endurance Sports Consultant.

Coach Ray specialises in assisting first timers and recreational athletes to achieve their sporting goals. He can be contacted at www.qwik.kiwi, ray@qwikkiwi.com and 021 348 729. Make sure you sign up to his monthly 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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