Saturday Swim Session: 50m IM - Coach Ray

Coach Ray

Training for Excellence, with Excellent Training

Tri Swim Coach
Swim Sessions Triathlon Training

Saturday Swim Session: 50m IM

Utilising the other strokes in your swimming sessions allows you to develop the feel for the water more effectively enhancing your freestyle swim technique as a result. This session is perfect for Ironman and Olympic distance triathletes or people doing longer Ocean Swims.

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;
  • 8x 50m (25m Drill/25m Swim);
  • 8x 50m IM 20sec RI;
  • 12x 25m F/S on 10sec RI;
  • 200m CD (1,500m)

Option B

  • 400m WU;
  • 8x 50m (25m Drill/25m Swim);
  • 8x 50m IM 20sec RI;
  • 12x 25m F/S on 10sec RI;
  • 8x 50m IM 20sec RI;
  • 12x 25m F/S on 10sec RI;
  • 200m CD (2,400m)

Option C

  • 1,000m WU;
  • 8x 50m (25m Drill/25m Swim);
  • 12x 50m IM 20sec RI;
  • 12x 25m F/S on 10sec RI;
  • 12x 50m IM 20sec RI;
  • 12x 25m F/S on 10sec RI;
  • 200m CD (3,400m)

Start the workout with a Warm Up (WU) covering 200m (Option A), 400m (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 is a drill set of 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 previously. Click here to read and watch it.

The next set involves swimming eight reps (Options A and B) and twelve reps (Option C) of 50m in the Individual Medley (IM) order. First rep is butterfly, then backstroke, then breaststroke and then freestyle. Complete all four strokes twice through (Options A and B) or three times through (Option C) with a 20 second Rest Interval (RI) to achieve the eight or twelve reps. If you struggle to complete 50m of butterfly (or one of the other strokes), start the butterfly rep (or which ever stroke you struggle with) and complete as much as you can swimming butterfly.  When you can’t swim any more then revert to freestyle to complete the rep.

Next up are twelve reps of a freestyle sprint over 25m with a ten second Rest Interval (RI).

At this point Option A moves to the Cool Down, whilst the other options repeat both the Individual medley (IM) set and the freestyle sprint set.

For the Cool Down (CD) swim 200m. 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 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, here is a similar session I published 12 months ago.

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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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