Saturday Swim Session – 400’s For Improved Stamina

400m reps are a great way to build and develop stamina. This workout 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 2,000m and 3,000m and Option C will be greater than 3,000m.

Option A

  • 200m WU;
  • 4x 50m Drill/Swim;
  • 3x 400m Build 1-3, 40sec RI;
  • 200m CD (1,800m)

Option B

  • 300m WU;
  • 12x 50m Drill/Swim;
  • 3x 400m Build 1-3, 40sec RI;
  • 200m CD (2,300m)

Option C

  • 1,000m WU;
  • 12x 50m Drill/Swim;
  • 4x 400m Build 1-4, 40sec RI;
  • 200m CD (3,400m)

Start the workout with a Warm Up (WU) covering 200m (Option A), 300m (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 is a drill set of four (Option A) or twelve repetitions (Options B and C) 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 (Option A) or three times through to make twelve reps (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 previously. Click here to read and watch it.

The main set of this workout involves swimming three (Options A and B) or four (Option C) reps, with a 40 second Rest Interval (RI) after each rep. Build your speed across all three or four reps, getting a bit faster with each rep so that your final rep is your fastest.

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: Paddles for Strength

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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