Saturday Swim Session: 800m TT

Conducting Time Trials regularly in your training can enhance your threshold pace. This session is perfect for Ironman and Olympic distance triathletes or people doing longer Ocean Swims.

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 WU;
  • 4x 50m (25m Drill/25m Swim);
  • 8x 25m Pick Ups 10sec RI;
  • 800m TT;
  • 200m CD (1,600m)

Option B

  • 800m WU;
  • 8x 50m (25m Drill/25m Swim);
  • 8x 25m Pick Ups 10sec RI;
  • 800m TT;
  • 200m CD (2,400m)

Option C

  • 1,000m WU;
  • 12x 50m (25m Drill/25m Swim);
  • 8x 25m Pick Ups 10sec RI;
  • 800m TT;
  • 200m CD (2,800m)

Start the workout with a Warm Up (WU) covering 200m (Option A) or 800m (Option B) or 1,000m (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 four (Option A) or eight (Option B) or twelve (Option C) 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, once through for Option A and two times through for Options B and C:

  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 a few weeks ago. Click here to read and watch it.

Take your fins off for the next sets.

Prior to the Time Trial that you will do today, you will do a set of Pick Ups to elevate the Heart Rate and prepare the body for the Time Trial. For each rep, you pick up the pace as you swim it. Start off slow and build your pace after a few strokes to a moderate pace.  Then increase the pace a few strokes later, getting faster and faster, finishing with a sprint for the last few strokes to finish off the rep. Complete eight reps of 25m with a ten-second Rest Interval prior to the Time Trial.

Regardless of which option you choose, complete an 800m Time Trial. Swim it as fast as possible and also as consistently as possible.

After the time trial, 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 coachray@coachray.nz and 021 348 729.

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

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