12 Weeks to an Iron-Distance Swim PB: Week 11

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

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.

Tri Training NZOver 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 16. For those of you doing Ironman NZ two weeks later, your sessions commenced the week of Monday 12th December.

This is the eleventh week. Other weeks can be found below:

Session One

Tri Coaching NZ

This session will keep you working hard both physically and mentally with a main set of twenty-four 100m reps to complete at the hardest pace you can maintain. This will develop your ability to sustain a hard pace for Ironman, when the time comes in just under two weeks.

  • 600m Warm Up;
  • 12x 50m (25m Drill/25m Swim);
  • 24x 100m on T+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.

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. The main set today is a set of 24 repetitions of 100m. Each rep starts on a ‘Go’ time that is based on your T-Time from last weeks test session, with an additional ten seconds added on. For example if your T-Time was 1:45 then we would take that 1:45 and ad 10 seconds to it making 1:55. Every 1:55 for 24 in a row you would commence swimming 100m. The incentive is that the faster you swim the more rest you get. If you come in at 1:35 you get 20 seconds rest, but if you come in at 1:50 you only get 5 seconds rest. So push the pace as much as you can with each and every rep (without fail).

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 also works on enhancing your sustained speed through the use of a threshold set of 100’s. This is very similar to last weeks session but with five seconds less rest.

  • 600m Warm Up;
  • 12x 50m (25m Drill/25m Swim);
  • 20x 100m Build 1-4, 15sec RI;
  • 12x 50m (25m Drill/25m Swim);
  • 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.

By now you should be well and truly familiar with the drill/swim sets which is the next set for this session. This particular set involves twelve 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 (work through them all 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 twenty repetitions of 100m with only 15 seconds Rest Interval (RI). Within this set build the pace every four repetitions. This means that each rep you get quicker up until the fourth rep, then for the fifth (or ninth, or thirteenth, or seventeenth) you drop the pace back again. Steady, Fast, Faster, Fastest.

The second to last set involves repeating the drill/swim set done earlier.

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 developing strength and power in your catch.

  • 800m Warm Up;
  • 12x 50m (25m Drill/25m Swim);
  • 10x 150m Paddles 20sec RI;
  • 8x 50m 1/2 T-Time +5sec RI;
  • 200m Cool Down;

Start by swimming 800m 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.

By now you should be well and truly familiar with the drill/swim sets which is the next set for this session. This particular set involves twelve 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 (work through them all 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. Here we are developing the strength and power of your catch with a set utilising hand paddles. The set involves swim ten reps of 150m utilising hand paddles. You get 20 seconds Rest Interval (RI) after each of the ten reps.

The next set is a set of eight 50m sprints utilising a ‘Go’ time that is 5 seconds longer than half your T-Time that you timed last week. If for example your T-Time is 1:45, half of that is 0:52.5 and adding 5 seconds to that makes 0:57.5. Round it up to the next 5 second mark to make it 1:00. You would start each rep 60 seconds after the previous rep started. Like the first session this week the incentive is for you to swim each rep as fast as you can and gain yourself more rest.

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 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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