Coach Ray

Training for Excellence, with Excellent Training

Tri Training NZ
Beginner Training Swim Sessions Triathlon Training

Saturday Swim Session: 50’s and more 50’s

These sessions will develop your aerobic swimming endurance by completing a large number of short reps with minimal rest. This will assist with building a base that will make you fitter and more efficient.

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 Warm Up;
  • 8x 50m (25m Drill/25m Swim);
  • 8x 50m Build 1-4, 15sec RI;
  • 8x 50m Build 1-4, 1/2T Time + 10sec;
  • 200m Cool Down (1,600m)

Option B

  • 400m Warm Up;
  • 8x 50m (25m Drill/25m Swim);
  • 8x 50m Build 1-4, 15sec RI;
  • 8x 50m Build 1-4, 1/2T Time + 10sec;
  • 8x 50m Alt Fast & Easy, 10sec RI;
  • 8x 50m Build 1-4, 1/2T Time + 5sec;
  • 200m Cool Down (2,600m)

Option C

  • 600m Warm Up;
  • 12x 50m (25m Drill/25m Swim);
  • 8x 50m Build 1-4, 15sec RI;
  • 12x 50m Build 1-4, 1/2T Time + 10sec;
  • 8x 50m Alt Fast & Easy, 10sec RI;
  • 12x 50m Build 1-4, 1/2T Time + 5sec;
  • 400m Cool Down; (3,600m)

Start the workout with a Warm Up covering 200m (Option A), 400m (Option B) or 600m (Option C). During the warm up feel free to stop and stretch as needed. It does not need to be a continuous swim.

Next up is a set of eight (Option A or B) or twelve (Option C) reps 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 twice through for Option A and B; and for Option C do them three times through:

  1. Kick On Side (left side)
  2. Kick On Side (right side)
  3. 6/1/6
  4. 6/3/6

Take your fins off for the next set.

The main sets are all based around doing a number of 50m repetitions. All up (including the drill/swim reps) Option A completes 24 reps, Option B completes 40 reps and Option C completes 52 reps.

The first set is eight reps of 50m Building your pace from the first through to fourth reps, then again from the fifth through to the eighth. After each rep take 15 seconds Rest Intervals (RI).

The second set is eight reps (Options A and B) or twelve reps (Option C) of 50m , starting each rep on a ‘Go’ time that is equal to half your T-Time plus ten seconds. If you are unfamiliar with the concept of T-Times have a read of this article here. The faster you swim, the more rest you get.

At this point Option A is finished with the main sets and moves to the Cool Down. Option B and C continue with another set of eight 50’s. Alternate swimming a rep as fast as possible and then a nice easy rep as recovery. Only take 10 seconds Rest Interval (RI) between each rep.

Next up is a set of either eight (Option B) or twelve (Option C) reps of 50m. These reps all start on a ‘Go’ time that is equal to half your T-Time plus five seconds. The faster you swim, the more rest you get.

Options A and B both have a 200m Cool Down and Option C has a 400m 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 12 months ago.

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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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