Coach Ray

Training for Excellence, with Excellent Training

Tri Swim Coach
Swim Sessions Triathlon Training

Saturday Swim Session: Swim Golf to Improve Your Efficiency

If you can improve your efficiency you will swim faster and longer more easily.  This session utilises Swim Golf to improve your efficiency and is perfect for Ironman and Olympic distance triathletes or people doing longer Ocean Swims.

This is continuing the series of Saturday Swim Sessions that you can do to enhance your swimming using a 33⅓ yard or metre pool. 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.

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 33m Drill;
  • 6x 67m (33m Drill/33m Swim);
  • 8x 67m Swim Golf 10sec RI;
  • 6x 33m Drill;
  • 200m Cool Down (1,733m)

Option B

  • 400m Warm Up;
  • 6x 33m Drill;
  • 6x 67m (33m Drill/33m Swim);
  • 8x 67m Swim Golf 10sec RI;
  • 6x 33m Drill;
  • 6x 67m (33m Drill/33m Swim);
  • 200m Cool Down (2,333m)

Option C

  • 800m WU;
  • 12x 33m Drill;
  • 12x 67m (33m Drill/33m Swim);
  • 12x 67m Swim Golf 10sec RI;
  • 12x 33m Drill;
  • 12x 67m (33m Drill/33m Swim);
  • 200m CD (3,467m)

Start the workout with a Warm Up covering 200m, 400m or 800m (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 (Options A and B) or twelve repetitions (Option C) of 33m Drill. Feel free to use fins whilst doing the drill set. Do the drills below once through for Options A and B and twice through for Option 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.

Next up is a drill set of six repetitions (Options A and B) or twelve repetitions (Option 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. Keep using your fins whilst doing the drill/swim set. Do the drills above once through for Options A and B and twice through for Option C:

After the set of  drills take the fins off.

The next set is the Golf set. It involves eight (Options A and B) or twelve (Option C) reps of 67m Swim Golf. During this set you will need to count your strokes for each 67m rep. Time each rep and add the time (in seconds) to the number of strokes taken to complete to get a Golf Score.   i.e. if it takes you 50 seconds and you take 50 strokes your Golf Score will be 100 (50 + 50).  With each rep try and get a better Golf Score than the previous rep by either swimming more efficiently (without a drop in speed) or by swimming faster (and maintaining your efficiency). After each rep take a ten second Rest Interval (RI).

Next up you will repeat the first drill set of either six (Options A and B) or twelve (Option C) reps. Then for Options B and C follow this up by repeating the Drill/Swim set of six (Option B) or twelve (Option C) reps.

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 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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