Coach Ray

Training for Excellence, with Excellent Training

Beginner Training Swim Sessions

200’s to Enhance Your Threshold Speed

This is the third session as we build your fitness to a new 1,500m PB. Start with the first session and then work through the next session after three to four days prior to doing this session, before continuing on with the session that will be sent through to you in a few days time.

This session will help you develop your threshold speed whilst swimming. Threshold speed is the speed you can maintain for a reasonable amount of time. We do that by working hard then having a shortish Rest Interval (RI) that allows some recovery, but not complete recovery from the effort.

Session Three: 200’s

  • 200m Warm Up;
  • 8x 200m Build 1-4, 30sec RI;
  • 200m Cool Down;

Start the workout with a Warm Up covering 200m. During the warm up feel free to stop and stretch as needed.  It doesn’t need to be a continuous swim.

The main set involves swimming eight reps of 200m. After each rep have a 30 second Rest Interval (RI). Either use your wrist watch or the BIG pace clock at the pool to keep this rest interval to 30 seconds precisely. If you rest too long, you won’t get the physiological benefit of this session. With each rep I want you to build your pace to get quicker over four repetitions. Then your fifth rep can be a little slower as you start to build your pace over the next four reps. You could say your first rep is steady, your second rep is fast, your third rep is faster and your fourth rep is fastest.  Then repeat it all for the fifth to eighth reps. Your times may look like this:

Rep Time
1st 4:12 Build 1-4 Steady
2nd 4:02 Fast
3rd 3:58 Faster
4th 3:55 Fastest
5th 4:15 Build the next 1-4 Steady
6th 4:03 Fast
7th 3:59 Faster
8th 3:56 Fastest

Complete your workout with a 200m Cool Down. Feel free to pause and stretch when needed and/or include stretching as part of each break until the distance is covered.

Record your times for each 200m rep and post your times below.

If you would like further advice feel free to contact Coach Ray.

Coach Ray is the Head Coach & Director of Qwik Kiwi – Endurance Sports Consultant.

Coach Ray specialises in assisting first timers and recreational athletes to achieve their sporting goals. He can be contacted at, and 021 348 729. Make sure you sign up to his monthly informative newsletter.



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Ray has competed in triathlons from sprint to ironman distance (both IM Taupo and Challenge Wanaka). Consequently he is aware of the importance of balancing training with lifestyle, thus complimenting other important aspects of an athlete’s life (family, work, study commitments etc…). • Entering your first triathlon? • Stepping up to a longer distance? • Looking to go faster? • Wanting to turn previous negatives into positives? Ray has coached athletes to achieve these and more. Training programmes are accessible online, so athletes can be located anywhere and still reap the benefits of Ray’s coaching. Contact him to discuss how he can assist you to achieve your goals.
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