Saturday Swim Session – How to Use Broken 200s to Make You Faster

Broken 200s are a great way to incorporate speed and stamina within the same session. 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;
  • 4x 50m (25m Drill/25m Swim);
  • 3x (200m, 30sec RI; 4x 50m 10sec RI)
  • 200m CD (1,800m)

Option B 

  • 400m WU;
  • 8x 50m (25m Drill/25m Swim);
  • 4x (200m, 30sec RI; 4x 50m 10sec RI)
  • 200m CD (2,600m)

Option C

  • 600m WU;
  • 8x 50m (25m Drill/25m Swim);
  • 6x (200m, 30sec RI; 4x 50m 10sec RI)
  • 200m CD (3,600m)

Start the workout with a Warm Up (WU) covering 200m (Option A), 400m (Option B) or 600m (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 set of 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, twice through if doing Option B or 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 previous. Click here to read it and watch the video’s of how to do the respective drills.

Take your fins off for the next sets.

The next set is made up of three (Option A), four (Option B) or six (Option C) Broken 200s. A Broken 200 consists of swimming 200m continuously and then swimming another 200m made up of four 50m reps. So all up a Broken 200 is actually 400m long!! Take a 30 second Rest Interval (RI) after the continuous 200m and then take 10 seconds Rest Interval (RI) after each 50m rep.

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.

Saturday Swim Session: Paddles and Pull Buoy

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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