Saturday Swim Session: Using KPS and Sprints to Lift Your Swim Fitness

This workout builds your fitness by using KPS and some sprints. 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;
  • 4x 50m (25m Drill/25m Swim);
  • 3x 150m KPS 20sec RI;
  • 4x 50m on ½T+10sec;
  • 3x 150m KPS 20sec RI;
  • 4x 50m on ½T+10sec;
  • 200m CD (1,900m);

Option B

  • 400m WU;
  • 4x 50m (25m Drill/25m Swim);
  • 4x 150m KPS 20sec RI;
  • 8x 50m on ½T+10sec;
  • 4x 150m KPS 20sec RI;
  • 8x 50m on ½T+10sec;
  • 200m CD (2,800m);

Option C

  • 600m WU;
  • 4x 50m (25m Drill/25m Swim);
  • 6x 150m KPS 20sec RI;
  • 8x 50m on ½T+10sec;
  • 6x 150m KPS 20sec RI;
  • 8x 50m on ½T+10sec;
  • 200m CD (3,600m);

Start the workout with a Warm Up (WU) covering 200m (Option A), 400m (Options 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 four 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 once through:

  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.

Coach Ray’s Top 3 Swimming Drills to Get You Swimming Smooth

After the drills take the fins off. The next series of sets involves swimming a set of KPS (or Kick, Pull, Swim). In this set you swim the distance of 150m without stopping, with the first third (50m) simply kicking (click here for a video on how to do a kick drill without a board).  For the next third (50m) quickly grab a pull buoy and swim with arms only and then for the final third (50m) swim normally. After each 150m effort take a 20 second Rest Interval (RI) before completing the next rep. For Options A completes three reps, Option B completes four reps and complete six reps for Option C.

Following the set of KPS complete a set of four (Option A) or eight (Options B and C) 50m reps using half your T-Time plus 10 seconds.

Have a read of this article here to learn how to apply the T-Time concept to your swimming.

T-Times for Swimming

After these last two sets of KPS and the 50’s, you repeat both sets again before the Cool Down (CD).

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 – 200/150/100

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