Tri Swim Coach

Saturday Swim Session: Pyramid Session for Speed

By combining sets of sprints of varying distances with minimal rest you can develop your swimming efficiency and also your top-end swim speed. This session is perfect for Ironman and Olympic distance 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.

Option A

  • 400m WU;
  • 8x 50m Drill/Swim;
  • 3x (25m, 50m, 75m, 75m, 50m, 25m) 15sec RI between reps;
  • 200m CD (1,900m)

Option B

  • 400m WU;
  • 12x 50m Drill/Swim;
  • 3x (25m, 50m, 75m, 100m, 100m, 75m, 50m, 25m) 15sec RI between reps;
  • 200m CD (2,700m)

Option C

  • 600m WU;
  • 12x 50m Drill/Swim;
  • 4x (25m, 50m, 75m, 100m, 100m, 75m, 50m, 25m) 15sec RI between reps;
  • 200m CD (3,400m)

Start the workout with a Warm Up (WU) covering 400m (Options A and B) or 600m (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 (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 twice through for Option A and three times 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.

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

After the set of drills takes the fins off.

The next set is a pyramid set for Options B and C building from 25m, then 50m, 75m, and up to 100m, before repeating 100m and decreasing each rep 75m, 50m back to 25m. For Option A, miss out on the 100m reps just building from 25m to 75m, repeating 75m, and then decreasing back to 25m. Take a 15-sec Rest Interval (RI) between each rep. Options A and B do three reps completely of each of their respective pyramids. Option C has four reps to complete.

For the Cool Down (CD) swim 200m. 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 coachray@coachray.nz and 021 348 729.

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

Saturday Swim Session: Long Reps Will Develop Your Endurance & Stamina

Get my 4 Weeks to a Faster 1500m With Only Two 2km Sessions per Week through Training Peaks. Results Guaranteed. Purchase here. Use discount code CR25 to get a 25% discount. Saturday Swim Session:

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