Saturday Swim Session: IM Doesn’t Just Mean Ironman

Mixing in a range of strokes into your training you will develop your feel for the water. 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;
  • 6x 50m (25m Drill/25m Swim);
  • 4x 50m IM 20sec RI;
  • 8x 25m F/S on 10sec RI;
  • 8x 50m IM 20sec RI;
  • 8x 25m F/S on 10sec RI;
  • 200m CD (1,700m)

Option B

  • 400m WU;
  • 12x 50m (25m Drill/25m Swim);
  • 8x 50m IM 20sec RI;
  • 8x 25m F/S on 10sec RI;
  • 8x 50m IM 20sec RI;
  • 8x 25m F/S on 10sec RI;
  • 200m CD (2,400m)

Option C

  • 600m WU;
  • 12x 50m (25m Drill/25m Swim);
  • 12x 50m IM 20sec RI;
  • 12x 25m F/S on 10sec RI;
  • 12x 50m IM 20sec RI;
  • 12x 25m F/S on 10sec RI;
  • 200m CD (3,200m)

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 drill set of six repetitions (Option A) or twelve (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 for a total of six reps (Option A) or twice through for a total of 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
  5. Popov
  6. Broken Arrow

I wrote an article about swimming drills previously. Click here to read and watch it.

Following the set of drills take the fins off and complete a four (Option A), eight (Option B) or twelve (Option C) repetitions of 50m Individual Medley (IM) order with 20 seconds Rest Interval (RI). Complete each rep in the order of Individual Medley (IM) – Butterfly for the first (as well as fifth or ninth) rep, Backstroke for the second (sixth or tenth) rep, Breaststroke for the third (seventh or eleventh) and then Freestyle for the fourth (eighth or twelfth) rep. I realise that you might not be capable of swimming 50m of butterfly, or breast stroke or maybe even back stroke, but I want you to give it a go for as long as you can with each rep. It might be that you only last ten metres or maybe you only last seven metres before having to revert to Freestyle. But that is still further than you would have if you started the rep with Freestyle.

The next set is a made up of eight (Options A and B) or twelve (Option C) repetitions of 25m with only a ten second Rest Interval (RI) between reps.

The next set is either eight (Options A and B) or twelve (Option C) repetitions of 50m Individual Medley order reps with 20 second Rest Interval (RI). Same as the previous Individual Medley order set, do the reps for as long as you can. Note that Option A is now doing eight reps.

The last set prior to the Cool Down (CD) is a repeat of the eight (Options A and B) or twelve (Option C) 25m with a ten second Rest Interval (RI).

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 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: Broken 400’s

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