Coach Ray

Training for Excellence, with Excellent Training

Tri Swim Coach
Swim Sessions Triathlon Training

Saturday Swim Session: How Fast Can You Swim 100m?

This session is a great way to build and prepare to swim your fastest 100m and see what you are capable of.

This is the first of a number of Saturday Swim Sessions that you can do to enhance your swimming. Each week 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.

These sessions will determine a T-Time (Target-Time) that you can then utilise in future training sessions to manage intensity.

Option A

  • 400m Warm Up;
  • 8x 25m Drill;
  • 8x 25m Pick Up, 10sec RI;
  • 2x 50m 45sec RI;
  • 4x 100m (85%, 90%, 95%, 100%) 60sec RI;
  • 200m CD (1,500m)

Option B

  • 600m Warm Up;
  • 8x 50m Drill/Swim;
  • 8x 25m Pick Up, 10sec RI;
  • 4x 50m 45sec RI;
  • 5x 100m (85%, 90%, 95%, 100%, 100%) 60sec RI;
  • 200m CD (2,100m)

Option C

  • 1,000m Warm Up;;
  • 12x 50m (25m Drill/25m Swim);
  • 8x 25m Pick Up 10sec RI;
  • 4x 50m 45sec RI;
  • 6x 100m (80%, 85%, 90%, 95%, 100%, 100%) 60sec RI;
  • 400m CD (3,000m)

Start the workout with a Warm Up covering 400m, 600m or 1,000m (A, B or C). During the warm up feel free to stop and stretch as needed.  It doesn’t need to be a continuous swim and you can incorporate other strokes .

Drill Set

  • Option A – conduct an appropriate drill for 25m prior to stopping and pausing. Repeat a total of eight times.
  • Options B and C – swim 25m doing an appropriate drill prior to continuing on with regular or normal swimming to complete 50m continuously. Pause prior to conducting the next repetition for a total of eight or twelve reps respectively for Options B or C.

The pause referred to above is a stop of about 10 seconds. It’s a chance to grab a drink, review the programme and think about the next drill you will do. If you need 15-20 second or longer you are welcome to take it because the rest duration isn’t physiologically critical to the aim of this set. Having a wee break is neurologically critical though, so make sure you don’t just roll straight from one rep to the next.

Some examples of drills can be found by clicking on the name below:

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

After the set of  drills take the fins off.

Next up is a Pick Up set. This set simply means that you pick up the pace as you swim through each repetition. Start each rep nice and slow for a few strokes, then swim a few strokes at a moderate pace, then a  few at a fast pace, a few more faster, then getting faster still, finishing the rep at maximum sprint as you lunge for the wall. Complete eight repetitions of 25m. After each repetition have a Rest Interval (RI) of 10 seconds.

The following set is made up of two (Option A) or four reps (Options B  and C) of 50m. Swim these sub maximally (85-90%). This will prime your body to swim fast in the following set. Take a 45 second Rest Interval (RI) after each rep. If you wish, use a dive start for these reps.

The final set of the workout is where you test your swimming speed and see what you are capable of. As you work through the set you increase your intensity to build towards swimming your fastest rep at the end of the set. There will be four (Option A), five (Option B) or six (Option C) reps of 100m with a full minute Rest Interval (RI) after each rep. For Option A start off at 85% for the first rep, then 90% for the second rep, 95% for the third and then 100% effort for the final rep. For Option B also start at 85%, building to 90% for the second rep, 95% for the third and then 100% for the last two reps. If you are doing Option C, start at 80% for the first rep, 85% for the second rep, then 90% and 95% for the third and fourth reps respectively before finishing with 100% for the last two reps. If you wish, use a dive start for these reps.  Regardless of whether you do a dive start make sure you time these reps to get a reliable time to compare with in the future.

Complete the workout with a 200m Cool Down for Options A and B and 400m for Option C. Feel free to pause and stretch when needed and/or include stretching as part of each break until the distance is covered.

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 previously.

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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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