Tri Coaching NZ

Saturday Swim Session: Time Trials

Time Trials are a great tool to measure your performance and then compare it to your previous (or future) performances. But the biggest benefit comes from the training stimulus your body receives as a result of doing them.

Each Saturday I will post a Swim Session, most weeks I will load three options up for you to do. Option A is for swimmers who are after a workout between 1,000 & 2,000 metres. Option B is for swimmers who are after a workout between 2,000 & 3,000m and Option C will be greater than 3,000m.

Option A

  • 200m Warm Up;
  • 6x 50m Drill/Swim;
  • 1,000m Time Trial;
  • 200m Cool Down (1,700m)

Option B

  • 300m Warm Up;
  • 8x 50m Drill/Swim;
  • 1500m Time Trial;
  • 200m Cool Down (2,400m)

Option C

  • 800m Warm Up;
  • 8x 50m Drill/Swim;
  • 8x 25m Pick Ups, 10sec RI;
  • 1500m Time Trial;
  • 200m Cool Down (3,100m)

Start the workout with a Warm Up covering 200m (Option A) or 300m (Option B) or 800m (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 do a set of six (Option A) or eight (Option B & C) 50m Drill/Swim, where you do a drill for the first 25m of the repetition and then normal swimming for the next 25m swimming. Take a short pause between each repetition of no more than 10-15 seconds. Feel free to use fins whilst doing the drill/swim set. Here are the drills to do:

For Option A, do them all then do an extra rep of both the Kick On Side (KOS) drills on each side to make the six reps. For Option, B & C do the four drills twice through. Take the fins off once you’ve done all the reps.

For Option A or B skip this next set and move straight to the Time Trial (TT). For Option C complete a set of eight reps of 25m Pick Ups with a ten-second Rest Interval (RI). A Pick up is where you pick up the pace over the length. Start slow and build to a moderate pace after a few strokes, then move to a fast pace, faster pace, fastest pace, and then finish with a max sprint for the last few strokes. Take a ten-second Rest Interval before starting the next rep at a slow pace again and pick up the pace as you complete the length.

All options have a Time Trial (TT). Option A is over 1,000m and Option B or C is over 1,500m. Swim these as fast as you can aiming to get your best possible time for the Time Trial. Record this time and then complete this session again in four to six weeks’ time and compare your improvement.

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, I published a similar session 6 months ago.

Saturday Swim Sessions – 4 Weeks to a Faster 1,500m with only 4km per Week: Week 1

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