Tri Swim Coach

Saturday Swim Session: 100’s Free and 100’s Pull

Using 100s is a great way of developing your threshold pace and including work with the pull, buoy develops upper body strength.

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 WU;
  • 8x 50m (25m Drill/25m Swim);
  • 4x 100m on T+20sec;
  • 4x 100m Pull Buoy 20sec RI;
  • 200m CD (1,800m)

Option B 

  • 600m WU;
  • 8x 50m (25m Drill/25m Swim);
  • 8x 100m on T+20sec;
  • 8x 100m Pull Buoy 20sec RI;
  • 200m CD (2,800m)

Option C

  • 800m WU;
  • 8x 50m (25m Drill/25m Swim);
  • 12x 100m on T+20sec;
  • 12x 100m Pull Buoy 20sec RI;
  • 200m CD (3,800m)

Start the workout with a Warm Up (WU) covering 400m (Option A), 600m (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 are eight repetitions of 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:

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

I wrote an article about Swimming Drills earlier in the week. Click here to read and watch it.

The next set involves four (option A), eight (option B), or twelve (option C) reps of 100m, swim these sets on a set interval that is worked out based on your T-Time plus 20 seconds. For example, if your T-Time was 1:55 (as per the example I used last week) you would be starting each rep on 2:15. The faster you swim each rep the more rest you get. Check out this article for more info on T-Times:

Here is an example of the times a client of mine did when doing this session using a T-Time of 1:55 for four reps. You can see that as she worked through the set she swam slightly slower but still got a good amount of rest each time and started consistently on the 2:15 (T-Time plus 20 seconds).

Start TimeSwim (Finish) TimeRep TimeRest

Next up is a set of four (option A), eight (option B), or twelve (option C) reps of 100m reps swum using a pull buoy and taking a 20-second Rest Interval (RI) after each 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 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. Make sure you sign up for my informative newsletter.

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

12 Weeks to an Iron-Distance Swim PB: Week 4

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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