Tri Coaching NZ

T-Times for Swimming

T-Time for Swimming

Your T-Time is a method for determining how much rest you get for a repetition of swimming. It is based on your general fitness and ability to swim a repeated 100m effort. It is not based on your maximum swimming pace or fastest swim speed.

It is easiest to explain T-Time by giving an example e.g. your coach advises you that your T-Time is two minutes flat (2:00) and your set involves swimming 15x 100m on T+15sec. Your T-Time is 2:00 plus the 15 seconds equals 2:15 and that is how often you start each repetition. If you finish your first rep in 1:55 that leaves 20 seconds rest as you wait for the clock to get back around to the 2:15.  Your next rep might be 2:00 which means you now only have 15 seconds rest and so on.

Rep Number Start Time Time to swim 100m Rest prior to starting next rep Start Time for next rep
1 0:00 1:55 0:20 2:15
2 2:15 2:00 0:15 4:30
3 4:30 2:02 0:13 6:45
4 6:45 1:59 0:16 9:00
5 9:00 2:03 0:12 11:15
6 11:15 2:02 0:13 13:30
7 13:30 2:05 0:10 15:45
8 15:45 2:04 0:11 18:00
9 18:00 2:06 0:09 20:15
10 20:15 2:08 0:07 22:30
11 22:30 2:10 0:05 24:45
12 24:45 2:09 0:06 27:00
13 27:00 2:08 0:07 29:15
14 29:15 2:11 0:04 31:30
15 31:30 2:07 N/A N/A

Figure: Hypothetical Example of a Swimmer with a T-Time of 2:00 conducting a session of 15x 100m on T+15

If the distance of the repetitions was based on 50m reps the time used might be ½T+10. For this swimmer half T is half of 2:00 equals 1:00 plus the 10sec equals 1:10. There fore they start each rep every 70 seconds.

If the distance of the rep was say 200m a session might be something like 8x 200m on 2T+20sec. In this case double the T-Time and add 20sec, therefore 4:20.

If you don’t know your T-Time, use this workout to determine it:

Saturday Swim Session: T-Times

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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