Saturday Swim Session: Broken 800’s

Longer reps such as this workout of Broken 800’s are a great way to develop stamina and enhance your efficiency. This session is perfect for Ironman and Olympic distance triathletes or people doing longer Ocean Swims.

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;
  • 800m, 60sec RI; 4x 200m 20sec RI;
  • 200m CD (2,000m)

Option B

  • 400m WU;
  • 8x 50m (25m Drill/25m Swim);
  • 800m, 60sec RI; 4x 200m 20sec RI;
  • 200m CD (2,600m)

Option C

  • 400m WU;
  • 8x 50m (25m Drill/25m Swim);
  • 2x 800m, 60sec RI; 4x 200m 20sec RI;
  • 200m CD (4,200m)

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 for Options B and C (Option A skips this and goes straight to the Main Set) is a drill set of eight 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, twice 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 previously. Click here to read and watch it.

The Main Set is a made up of one (Options A and B) or two (Option C) reps of a Broken 800. A Broken 800 is made up of two parts: the first part involves swimming 800m continuously; the second half involves swimming another 800m broken up as four reps of 200m. Take a 60sec Rest Interval (RI) after the 800m continuous swim and a 20 second Rest Interval (RI) between the 200m swims.

For the Cool Down (CD) swim 200m. 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: Individual Medley Set to Improve Your Triathlon

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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