Tri Training NZ

Saturday Swim Session: Threshold 200’s

This session will develop your swimming speed and stamina, using a threshold set of 200m reps.

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

  • 400m Warm Up;
  • 6x 50m Drill/Swim;
  • 5x 200m on 2T+30sec; 
  • 200m Cool Down (1,900m)

Option B

  • 600m Warm Up;
  • 12x 50m Drill/Swim;
  • 6x 200m on 2T+30sec; 
  • 200m Cool Down (2,600m)

Option C

  • 1,000m Warm Up;
  • 12x 50m Drill/Swim;
  • 8x 200m on 2T+30sec; 
  • 200m Cool Down (3,400m)

To do this session correctly you need to know your T-time by doing this workout here. For more detail on T-Times click here.

Start the workout with a Warm Up covering 200m (Option A) or 600m (Option B) or 800m (Option C). During the warm-up feel free to stop and stretch as needed.  It does not need to be a continuous swim.

Swim 25m doing an appropriate drill prior to continuing on with regular or normal swimming to complete 50m continuously. Pause prior to conducting the next repetition for a total of six reps (Option A) or twelve reps (Option B and C). The pause referred to above is a stop of about 10 seconds. It is a chance to grab a drink, review the programme and think about the next drill you will do. If you need 15-20 seconds or longer you are welcome to take it because the rest duration is not physiologically critical to the aim of this set. Having a quick break is neurologically critical though, so make sure you do not just roll straight from one rep to the next.

A YouTube video of the drill can be found by clicking on the drill listed below, complete these drills once through for a total of six reps (Options A) or twice through for options B & C:

  1. Kick On Side (KOS) left side
  2. Kick On Side (KOS) right side
  3. 6/1/6
  4. 6/3/6
  5. Broken Arrow
  6. Popov

Feel free to use some fins for this drill set, but do not forget to take them off at the end of it.

The main set involves swimming five (Option A), six (Option B), or eight (Option C) reps of 200m swum on a  go time of twice your T-Time plus 30 seconds. For example, if your T-Time was 1:55 doubling that will give you 3:50 then adding 30 seconds would be 4:20. This means every 4:20 you commence repetition. Swim every 200m as fast as you can as the sooner you finish the more rest you get prior to the next rep.

Then it is time for a 200m Cool Down (CD). Unlike the previous sets which have to be freestyle, the cooldown (like the warm-up) can be any stroke you wish to swim.  You can also stop and rest after any length.  I encourage you to stop and stretch during the cool-down.

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 for his monthly informative newsletter.

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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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