Tri Swim Coach

Saturday Swim Session: 400’s To Develop Stamina

Using short rest intervals and longer reps forces the body’s aerobic energy system to be utilised for this session and as a result, is enhanced. 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), so simply interchange the metres for yards and do the session.

Option A

  • 400m WU;
  • 6x 67m (33m Drill/33m Swim);
  • 2x 400m FS 20sec RI;
  • 200m CD (1,800m)

Option B

  • 400m WU;
  • 6x 67m (33m Drill/33m Swim);
  • 4x 400m FS 20sec RI;
  • 200m CD (2,600m)

Option C

  • 600m WU;
  • 6x 67m (33m Drill/33m Swim);
  • 6x 400m FS 20sec RI;
  • 200m CD (3,600m)

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. There are six repetitions 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:

  1. Kick On Side (KOS) left side 
  2. Kick On Side (KOS) right side 
  3. 6/1/6 
  4. 6/3/6
  5. Broken Arrow
  6. Popov

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

Take the fins off prior to the next set.

The main set is made up of two (Option A), four (Option B), or six (Option C) reps of 400m with a short 20-second Rest Interval (RI)

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.

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