Saturday Swim Session – 100’s and 50’s to Sustain Your Swimming pace

Utilising repeated 100’s and 50’s will develop your ability to sustain a higher pace of swimming. 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 2,000 and 3,000m and Option C will be greater than 3,000m.

Option A

  • 200m WU;
  • 8x 50m (25m Drill/25m Swim);
  • 6x 100m 20sec RI;
  • 6x 50m on 1/2 T-Time + 10sec;
  • 200m CD (1,700m)

Option B

  • 400m WU;
  • 8x 50m (25m Drill/25m Swim);
  • 8x 100m 20sec RI;
  • 8x 50m on 1/2 T-Time + 10sec;
  • 200m CD (2,200m)

Option C

  • 600m WU;
  • 12x 50m (25m Drill/25m Swim);
  • 12x 100m 20sec RI;
  • 12x 50m on 1/2 T-Time + 10sec;
  • 200m CD (3,200m)
  • Start by swimming 200m (Option A), 400m (Option B) or 600m (Option C) for a warm up. Keep a nice steady pace and feel free to pause occasionally to stretch or grab a quick drink. The idea of the warm up is to get the blood flowing and muscles loosened up before some of the more intense sets later in the workout.
  • The set after the warm up includes eight (Options A and B) or twelve (Option C) repetitions of 50m. This 50m is done continuously with the first 25m is done as a drill before going straight into the final 25m of regular swimming. Pause after each rep and have a short rest while you focus and mentally prepare for the next drill. Here are some drills that you can include in your programme.  Complete the first four drills below twice through for Options A and B, or all six drills twice each for Option C:
    1. Kick On Side (KOS)
    2. Kick On Side (KOS)
    3. 6/1/6
    4. 6/3/6
    5. Broken Arrow
    6. Popov

    For the drill set wear a pair of short fins. These will provide you with a small amount of momentum whilst you are focusing on what the upper body is doing.

    Take your fins off prior to commencing the next set, which is a set of six (Option A), eight (Option B) or twelve (Option C) repetitions of 100m.  Swim them all solidly and consistently. After each rep pause for 20 seconds.

    The next set is a set of six (Option A), eight (Option B) or twelve (Option C) repetitions of 50m. The amount of recovery you get with this set will vary depending on how fast you swim. To work out what your ‘Go’ time will be take half of your T-Time that you worked out by doing the T-Time test set previously and add 10 seconds to it and round up to the next 5 second mark. For example: if your T-Time was 1:45 then half of that is 0:52.5, adding 10 seconds makes 1:02.5 and rounding up to the next 5 second mark is 1:05.

    This means that each and every rep starts one minute and five seconds after the previous one. If you swim a rep in 50 seconds you get 15 seconds rest.  If you swim it in 60 seconds you only get 5 seconds rest. The easiest way to monitor these sets is with the pace clock on the wall. Start the first rep when the hand hits the 60 at the top.  If your T-Time gave you a ‘Go’ time of 1:05 then your next rep commences when the hand gets to the 5 second mark after you return from your 50m swim (1:05 after you started on the 60).  Your third rep will commence on the 10 second mark (1:05 after you started the second rep) and so on.

    If your T-Time gave you a 1:10 (or 70 second ‘Go’ time) then you would start on the 60, 10, 20 etc.  If your T-Time gave you a ‘Go’ time of 55 seconds then you start on the 60, then 55, 50, 45 etc. The easiest to follow is a ‘Go’ time of 60 seconds as you will always going on the 60 (or what ever time you start your first rep).

    The final set is a 200m Cool Down. As with the warm up feel free to pause and do some stretching and grab a drink. Also consider doing some other strokes as part of the cool down. Throw in some back stroke (Bk) or breast stroke (Br) to mix it up.

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. 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: Kick Pull Swim (KPS)

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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