Tri Swim Coach

Saturday Swim Session: Mixing In Other Strokes

Incorporating a range of strokes into your swimming will help you develop a feel for the water, making you more effective with your freestyle. 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.

I’ve written these sessions for a 33⅓ metre pool, but a lot of the older style pools are 33⅓ yards long (100 feet), simply interchange the metres for yards and do the session.

Option A

  • 200m Warm Up;
  • 6x 67m (33m Drill/33m Swim);
  • 4x 33m IM 20sec RI;
  • 8x 33m F/S on 10sec RI;
  • 4x 33m IM 20sec RI;
  • 200m Cool Down (1,733m)

Option B

  • 400m Warm Up;
  • 12x 67m (33m Drill/33m Swim);
  • 8x 33m IM 20sec RI;
  • 14x 33m F/S on 10sec RI;
  • 8x 33m IM 20sec RI;
  • 200m Cool Down (2,400m)

Option C

  • 1,000m WU;
  • 12x 67m (33m Drill/33m Swim);
  • 12x 33m IM 20sec RI;
  • 16x 33m F/S on 10sec RI;
  • 12x 33m IM 20sec RI;
  • 400m CD (3,333m)

Start the workout with a Warm Up covering of 200m, 400m, 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.

Next up is a drill set of six repetitions (Option A) or twelve repetitions (Options B and C) of 67m Drill/Swim, where you do a drill for the first 33m of the repetition and then normal swimming for the next 33m 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.

After the set of drills takes the fins off.

Next up is a set of four (Option A), eight (Option B), or twelve (Option C) 33⅓ metre reps. Alternate through the Individual Medley (IM) strokes as you work through the reps. First up (and fifth, and ninth) is Butterfly. Don’t worry if you can’t do a full-length Butterfly. Start off and do it as far as you can before reverting to Freestyle. Always attempt the Butterfly and you will get better eventually completing a full length. Second (and sixth, and tenth) is Backstroke, then Breaststroke. With Freestyle being the fourth, (eighth and twelfth) rep. Take a 20-second Rest Interval (RI) after each rep.

The next set is made up of eight (Option A), fourteen (Option B), or sixteen (Option C) 33⅓ metre reps swum to a pace you can maintain for all the reps. Take a ten-second Rest Interval (RI) after each rep.

The final set prior to the cooldown is a set of four (Option A), eight (Option B), or twelve (Option C) 33⅓ metre reps. Alternate through the Individual Medley (IM) strokes as you work through the reps. First up (and fifth, and ninth) is Butterfly. Don’t worry if you can’t do a full-length Butterfly, start off and do it as far as you can before reverting to Freestyle. Always attempt the Butterfly and you will get better eventually completing a full length. Second (and sixth, and tenth) is Backstroke, then Breaststroke. With Freestyle being the fourth, (eighth and twelfth) rep. Take a 20-second Rest Interval (RI) after each rep.

Complete the workout with a 200m Cool Down. 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, I published a similar session previously.

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