Saturday Swim Session: Long Reps Will Develop Your Endurance & Stamina

Few swimmers swim reps as long as 1,000m, but this session will develop your endurance both physical and mental 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 2,000 and 3,000m and Option C will be greater than 3,000m.

Option A

  • 200m WU;
  • 4x 50m (25m Drill/25m Swim);
  • 2x 500m 60sec RI;
  • 8x 50m 20sec RI;
  • 200m CD; (2,000m)

Option B 

  • 400m WU;
  • 8x 50m (25m Drill/25m Swim);
  • 2x 750m 60sec RI;
  • 8x 50m 20sec RI;
  • 200m CD; (2,900m)

Option C

  • 1,000m WU;
  • 8x 50m (25m Drill/25m Swim);
  • 2x 1,000m 60sec RI;
  • 8x 50m 20sec RI;
  • 200m CD; (4,000m)

Start the workout with a Warm Up (WU) covering 200m (Option A), 400m (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 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 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 previously. Click here to read it and watch the videos of how to do the respective drills.

Take your fins off for the next set.

The main set is made up of two reps of 500m (Option A), 750m (Option B) or 1,000m (Option C). Take a short 60 second Rest Interval (RI) between the two reps.

Next up is a set of eight 50m reps. Sprint these as hard and as fast as possible taking only a 20 second Rest Interval (RI) between them.

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 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: Long Reps

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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