Saturday Swim Session: 25 & 50’s for Speed

This session is really good at developing your speed for shorter open water swims and Olympic and Sprint distance triathlons.

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;
  • 4x 50m Swim/Drill;
  • 6x 25m 15sec RI;
  • 6x 50m 15sec RI;
  • 4x 25m 10sec RI;
  • 4x 50m 10sec RI;
  • 200m CD (1,350m)

Option B 

  • 400m WU;
  • 8x 50m Swim/Drill;
  • 8x 25m 20sec RI;
  • 8x 50m 20sec RI;
  • 6x 25m 15sec RI;
  • 6x 50m 15sec RI;
  • 4x 25m 10sec RI;
  • 4x 50m 10sec RI;
  • 200m CD (2,350m)

Option C

  • 400m WU;
  • 8x 50m Swim/Drill;
  • 8x 25m 20sec RI;
  • 8x 50m 20sec RI;
  • 6x 25m 15sec RI;
  • 6x 50m 15sec RI;
  • 4x 25m 10sec RI;
  • 4x 50m 10sec RI;
  • 8x 25m 20sec RI;
  • 8x 50m 20sec RI;
  • 6x 25m 15sec RI;
  • 6x 50m 15sec RI;
  • 4x 25m 10sec RI;
  • 4x 50m 10sec RI;
  • 200m CD (3,700m)

Start the workout with a Warm Up (WU) covering 200m (Option A) or 400m (Options B and 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 four (Option A) or eight (Options B and C) repetitions of 50m Drill/Swim, where you do a drill for the first 25m of the repetition and then normal swimming for the next 25m swimming. Feel free to use fins whilst doing the drill/swim set. Do the drills below, once through for Option A and twice through for Options B and C:

  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.

Take your fins off for the next sets.

For Options B and C start with a set of eight reps of 25m as fast as you can do with 20 seconds Rest Interval (RI). Follow this set with a set of eight reps of 50m once again with 20 seconds Rest Intervals (RI).

The next set for Options B and C is also the first set for Option A, which is a set of six reps of 25m with 15 second Rest Interval (RI) between each rep. Follow this with a set of six reps of 50m again with a 15 second Rest Interval (RI).

The next set for all three options is four reps of 25m with a ten second Rest Interval (RI). Follow this with a set of four reps of 50m also with a ten second Rest Interval (RI). From here Options A and B move onto the Cool Down (CD).

Option C repeats all the sprint sets again, starting with the eight reps of 25m all the way through to the four reps of 50m for a second time.

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 coachray@coachray.nz 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 10

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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