Saturday Swim Session: Build 400’s to Develop Stamina

Building your speed from one rep to the next is a great way to develop your speed throughout a workout. 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

  • 300m WU;
  • 6x 50m Drill/Swim;
  • 3x 400m Build 1-3, 40sec RI;
  • 200m CD (2,000m);

Option B

  • 400m WU;
  • 12x 50m Drill/Swim;
  • 4x 400m Build 1-4, 40sec RI;
  • 200m CD (2,800m);

Option C

  • 1,000m WU;
  • 12x 50m Drill/Swim;
  • 5x 400m Build 1-5, 40sec RI;
  • 200m CD (3,800m);

Start the workout with a Warm Up (WU) covering 300m (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 six repetitions (Option A) or twelve repetitions (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 once through 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
  5. Popov
  6. Broken Arrow

I wrote an article about swimming drills previously. Click here to read and watch it.

Coach Ray’s Top 3 Swimming Drills to Get You Swimming Smooth

After the set of  drills take the fins off.

The Main Set, for this workout is made up of three (Option A), four (Option B) or five (Option C) reps of 400m. Each rep needs to be swum faster than the previous rep as you build your speed from one rep to the next. Take a 40 second Rest Interval (RI) after each rep.

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.

You can repeat this session in a few weeks time and track your progress by measuring how much faster you are now swimming the distance.

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 – Incorporate Drills To Enhance Your Swimming

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