Saturday Swim Session: Broken 400's - Coach Ray

Coach Ray

Training for Excellence, with Excellent Training

Tri Trianing NZ
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Saturday Swim Session: Broken 400’s

This swim session will develop your swimming stamina which is important for triathlons and open water swimming. Swim stamina is the ability to maintain your effort over a long duration of swimming, such as in a triathlon or open water swim race.

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 WU;
  • 2x (400m, 40sec RI; 4x 100m 15sec RI)
  • 200m CD (2,000m)

Option B

  • 400m WU;
  • 3x (400m, 40sec RI; 4x 100m 15sec RI)
  • 200m CD (3,000m)

Option C

  • 600m WU;
  • 4x (400m, 40sec RI; 4x 100m 15sec RI)
  • 200m CD (4,000m)

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 doesn’t need to be a continuous swim.

The main set involves swimming what is known as a Broken 400’s. This involves swimming 400m taking a short 40 second Rest Interval (RI) prior to swimming four reps of 100m with a 15 second Rest Interval (RI). That is one rep, and in this sessions you have two reps to complete if you are doing Option A, three reps for Option B and four reps for Option C.

Then it is time for a 200m Cool Down (CD). Unlike the previous sets which have to be freestyle, the cool down (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 me.

I am the Head Coach & Director of Qwik Kiwi – Endurance Sports Consultant.

I specialise in assisting first timers and recreational athletes to achieve their sporting goals. I can be contacted at and 021 348 729. Make sure you sign up to my informative newsletter.

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If you enjoyed this workout, here is a similar session I published 12 months ago.

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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