Tri Swim Training

Saturday Swim Session: Ironman Swim Test Set

Swimming this test set and comparing your times from amongst the various sets will give you an idea of how your fitness is developing if done every 4 to 6 weeks. This session is perfect for Ironman 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. But this week is an Ironman-specific swim set that is inspired after listening to the Kona Edge podcast interview with Richard Thompson in an episode titled: Dip under an hour: How to swim a sub 60-minute Ironman swim.

  • 800m WU;
  • 2x 400m, 40sec RI;
  • 4x 200m, 20sec RI;
  • 8x 100m, 10sec RI;
  • 16x 50m, 5sec RI;
  • 200m CD (4,200m)

Start the workout with a Warm Up (WU) covering 800m. During the warm-up feel free to stop and stretch as needed.  It doesn’t need to be a continuous swim.

The first set is two reps of 400m swim with a 40-second Rest Interval (RI) between them. Like the Warm Up this totals 800m as well.

The second set is four reps of 200m with a 20-second Rest Interval (RI) between. Once again a total of 800m.

The third set is eight reps of 100m with a ten-second Rest Interval (RI) between. Once again a total of 800m.

Finally (prior to the Cool Down), is a set of 16, 50m reps each with only a five-second Rest Interval.

Complete the workout with 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.

Join over 1,973 people who have already signed up to be kept up to date with great workouts and training information in my informative newsletter.

Share this post so your friends can benefit as well.

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

Getting started with Swimming: Week 6

Get my 12 Weeks To An Ironman Swim PB Training Plan – Swim Faster with Smart Training through Training Peaks. Results Guaranteed. Purchase here. Use discount code CR30 to get a 30% discount.

One Reply to “Saturday Swim Session: Ironman Swim Test Set”

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.