Saturday Swim Session: Chris Sanson's Favourite Swim Workout - Coach Ray

Coach Ray

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Saturday Swim Session: Chris Sanson’s Favourite Swim Workout

This session is based on Chris Sanson’s favourite swim workout. Read more about how he does this session in this Qwik-View here.

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 which will be greater than 3,000m.

Option A

  • 200m Warm Up;
  • 8x 50m (25m Drill/25m Swim);
  • 300m on 3T + 20sec;
  • 3x 100m on T + 5sec;
  • 200m on 2T + 10sec;
  • 4x 50m on 1/2 T + 5sec;
  • 100m on T + 5sec;
  • 4x 25m on 1/2 T + 2.5sec;
  • 200m Cool Down (1,700m)

Option B

  • 600m Warm Up;
  • 8x 50m (25m Drill/25m Swim);
  • 400m on 4T + 20sec;
  • 4x 100m on T + 5sec;
  • 200m on 2T + 10sec;
  • 4x 50m on 1/2 T + 5sec;
  • 100m on T + 5sec;
  • 4x 25m on 1/2 T + 2.5sec;
  • 200m Cool Down (2,600m)

Option C

  • 1,000m Warm Up;
  • 12x 50m (25m Drill/25m Swim);
  • 400m on 4T + 20sec;
  • 4x 100m on T + 5sec;
  • 200m on 2T + 10sec;
  • 4x 50m on 1/2 T + 5sec;
  • 100m on T + 5sec;
  • 4x 25m on 1/2 T + 2.5sec;
  • 200m Cool Down (3,200m)

Start the workout with a Warm Up covering 200m (Option A), 600m (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.

The second set involves a set set of 50m Drill/Swim. Option A and B both involve eight reps and Option C involves twelve reps.  These are all done with roughly a ~10-15 second break in between. The 50m is done continuously with the first 25m done as a drill before going straight into the final 25m of regular swimming. Pause after each rep and have a short rest while you focus and mentally prepare for the next drill. Here are some drills that you can include in your programme (work through them all twice or three times depending on which Option you are doing):

  1. Kick On Side (KOS)
  2. Kick On Side (KOS)
  3. 6/1/6
  4. 6/3/6

For the drill set wear a pair of short fins. These will provide you with a small amount of momentum whilst you are focusing on what the upper body is doing.

Take your fins off prior to commencing the next set. This involves swimming either 300m on three times your T-Time plus 20 seconds (3T + 20sec) (Option A), or 400m on four times your T-Time plus 20 seconds (4T + 20sec) for Option B and C. Read more about T-Times and how to employ them here.

The next set involves swimming 200m on two times your T-Time plus ten seconds (2T + 10sec), then swimming four reps of 50m on half your T-Time plus five seconds (1/2 T + 5sec).

Next up involves a single rep of 100m on T + 5sec followed by four reps of 25m on 1/4 T-Time plus 2.5 seconds (1/4T + 2.5sec).

All three workouts have 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.

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 previously.

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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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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