Saturday Swim Session: Sets of 300

Using a unique swimming distance like 300m is a great way to develop endurance but also combine aspects of speed that aren’t usually trained when doing longer sets of 400m and further.

Each 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

  • 200m WU
  • 8x 25m Drill;
  • 4x 300m Build 1-4, 30sec RI;
  • 200m CD (1,800m)

Option B 

  • 600m WU;
  • 8x 25m Drill;
  • 6x 300m Build 1-3, 30sec RI;
  • 200m CD (2,800m)

Option C

  • 1,000m WU
  • 12x 25m Drill;
  • 6x 300m Build 1-3, 30sec RI;
  • 200m CD (3,300m)

Start the workout with a Warm Up covering 200m (Option A), 600m (Option B) or 1,000m (Option C). During the warm up feel free to stop and stretch as needed.  It doesn’t need to be a continuous swim.

Next up are eight (Options A and B) or twelve (Option C) repetitions of 25m Drill. Feel free to use fins whilst doing the drill/swim set. Do the drills below twice (Options A and B) or three times (Option C) through:

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

I wrote an article about Swimming Drills a few weeks ago. Click here to read and watch it.

The next set involves four (Option A) or six (Options B and C) reps of 300m swum either as Build 1-4 (Option A) or Build 1-3 (Options B and C). What a build set means is that you build your pace from one rep to the next getting quicker with each repetition up until you have done either the four reps (Option A) or the three reps (Options B and C). If you have more reps to do like in Options B and C then you build your pace across the next three reps (fourth through to sixth). In Option A: build from a steady pace for the first rep, fast pace for the second rep, faster pace for the third rep and then the fastest pace for the fourth rep. In Option B and C: Build from a fast pace for the first rep, faster pace for the second rep, fastest pace for the third rep and then start again with the fourth rep. See the example below. After each 300m rep you get a 30 second Rest Interval (RI).

Rep Time Build 1-3
1st 6:02 Fast
2nd 5:56 Faster
3rd 5:47 Fastest
4th 6:04 Fast
5th 5:59 Faster
6th 5:45 Fastest

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 Coaching.

I specialise in assisting first timers and recreational athletes to achieve their sporting goals. I can be contacted at and 021 348 729.

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

12 Weeks to an Iron-Distance Swim PB: Week 7

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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