Saturday Swim Session: Paddles for Strength

This session will develop your swimming strength by using hand paddles.

Tri Training NZEach week I will load three options up for you to do. Option A is for swimmers who are after a workout less than 2,000 metres. Option B is for swimmers who are after a workout between 2,000 and 3,000m and Option C will be greater than 3,000m.

Option A

  • 300m Warm Up;
  • 8x 50m Drill/Swim;
  • 2x 50m Paddles 20sec RI;
  • 2x 50m Swim 20sec RI;
  • 2x 100m Paddles 20sec RI;
  • 2x 100m Swim 20sec RI;
  • 200m Paddles;
  • 200m Cool Down (1,700m)

Option B

  • 400m Warm Up;
  • 8x 50m Drill/Swim;
  • 4x 50m Paddles 20sec RI;
  • 4x 50m Swim 20sec RI;
  • 2x 100m Paddles 20sec RI;
  • 2x 100m Swim 20sec RI;
  • 200m Paddles;
  • 200m Swim;
  • 200m Cool Down (2,200m)

Option C

  • 1,000m Warm Up;
  • 12x 50m Drill/Swim;
  • 4x 50m Paddles 20sec RI;
  • 4x 50m Swim 20sec RI;
  • 2x 100m Paddles 20sec RI;
  • 2x 100m Swim 20sec RI;
  • 200m Paddles;
  • 200m Swim;
  • 200m Cool Down (3,000m)

Start the workout with a Warm Up covering 300m (Option A) or 400m (Option B) or 1,000m (Option C). During the warm up feel free to stop and stretch as needed.  It does not need to be a continuous swim.

Swim 25m doing an appropriate drill prior to continuing on with regular or normal swimming to complete 50m continuously. Pause prior to conducting the next repetition for a total of eight reps (Options A and B) or twelve reps (Option C). The pause referred to above is a stop of about 10 seconds. It is a chance to grab a drink, review the programme and think about the next drill you will do. If you need 15-20 second or longer you are welcome to take it because the rest duration is not physiologically critical to the aim of this set. Having a quick break is neurologically critical though, so make sure you do not just roll straight from one rep to the next.

A YouTube video of the drill can be found by clicking on the drill listed below, complete these drills twice through for a total of eight reps (Options A & B) or three times through for Option C:

  1. Kick On Side (KOS) left side
  2. Kick On Side (KOS) right side
  3. 6/1/6
  4. 6/3/6

Feel free to use some fins for this drill set, but do not forget to take them off at the end of it.

Next up is a set of two (Option A) or four (Options B & C) reps of 50m wearing hand paddles with a 20 second Rest Interval (RI). Follow that up with another set of two (Option A) or four (Options B & C) 50m reps (this time without the hand paddles) also with a 20 second Rest Interval (RI) between the reps.

You then do a set of two 100m reps wearing hand paddles and a 20 second Rest Interval (RI) between reps, then two 100m reps (without hand paddles) also with a 20 second Rest Interval (RI).

Next up is a 200m rep swim wearing hand paddles. If you are doing Option A at this point you move onto the Cool Down (CD). If you are doing Option B or C, next you have 200m swim without hand paddles.

Then it is time for a 200m Cool Down (CD). Unlike the previous sets which have to be freestyle, the cool down (like the warm up) can be any stroke you wish to swim.  You can also stop and rest after any length.  I encourage you to stop and stretch during the cool down.

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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If you enjoyed this workout, here is a similar session I published 12 months ago.

Saturday Swim Session: 100’s & 50’s

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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