Saturday Swim Session: 150 Paddles

Utilising paddles are a great training tool that will help you develop swimming strength which will convert into speed. 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;
  • 4x 50m (25m Drill/25m Swim);
  • 6x 150m Paddles 20sec RI;
  • 200m CD (1,500m)

Option B

  • 400m WU;
  • 8x 50m (25m Drill/25m Swim);
  • 10x 150m Paddles 20sec RI;
  • 200m CD (2,500m)

Option C

  • 1,000m WU;
  • 8x 50m (25m Drill/25m Swim);
  • 10x 150m Paddles 20sec RI;
  • 8x 50m on ½T+10sec;
  • 200m CD (3,500m)

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 four reps (for Option A) or eight repetitions (for Options B and C) 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 for Option A, and twice 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 previously. Click here to read and watch it.

The next sets involves swimming a set of six (Option A) or ten (Options B and C) reps of 150m with paddles on your hands. You can read more about Hand Paddles in this article here. Take a 20 second Rest Interval (RI) between each rep.

The next set is for Option C only and involves a series of eight reps of 50m sprints. These are done on half your T-Time plus ten seconds (for example if your T-Time was 2:10, half of that is 1:05, then adding ten seconds means you start each rep on every 1:15). The faster you swim each rep, the more rest you get and the better you can go on the next rep.  So work really hard in these reps.  For more information on T-Times see this article here.

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.

Saturday Swim Session: Michael Phelps’ Favourite HARD Workout

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