Saturday Swim Session: Build 200's to Develop Stamina - Coach Ray

Coach Ray

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Swim Sessions Triathlon Training

Saturday Swim Session: Build 200’s to Develop Stamina

200’s is a good distance to swim to build stamina, especially if the rest in between is limited.  This session 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), so simply interchange the metres for yards and do the session.

Option A

  • 200m Warm Up;
  • 6x 67m (33m Drill/33m Swim);
  • 4x 200m Build 1-4 30sec RI;
  • 133m Cool Down (1,733m)

Option B

  • 400m Warm Up;
  • 6x 67m (33m Drill/33m Swim);
  • 8x 200m Build 1-4 30sec RI;
  • 133m Cool Down (2,533m)

Option C

  • 800m WU;
  • 12x 67m (33m Drill/33m Swim);
  • 8x 200m Build 1-4 30sec RI;
  • 200m CD (3,400m)

Start the workout with a Warm Up covering 200m, 400m or 800m (Options A, B or C respectively). 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 (Options A and B) or twelve reps (Option C) of 67m. Feel free to use fins whilst doing the drill set.
Do the drills below once through for Options A and B an 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.


After the Drill/Swim set remove your fins and get ready for the set of 200’s.

The 200’s involve a set of either four (Option A) or eight (Options B or C). Build these reps every four reps. Start off with a moderate paced rep. For the second rep swim that fast, then for the third rep swim that faster, with the fourth rep swum fastest. If doing Options B or C, repeat this process of moderate, faster, faster & fastest reps as you move from the fifth to eighth rep. Take a 30 second Rest Interval (RI) between reps.

Complete the workout with a 133m (Options A and B) or 200m (Option C) 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, 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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