Coach Ray

Training for Excellence, with Excellent Training

Tri Swim Coach
Swim Sessions Triathlon Training

Saturday Swim Session: Emma-Kate Lidbury’s Swim Pyramids

Within this workout you’ll find a range of distances to give your body a great training stimulus. I’ll warn you in advance this IS a tough session. This session is perfect for Ironman and Olympic distance triathletes or people doing longer Ocean Swims.

Each week I will load three options up for you to do. Option A is for swimmers who are after a workout less than 2,000 metres. Option B is for swimmers who are after a workout between 2,000 and 3,000m and Option C will be greater than 3,000m.

This weeks workouts are a little longer than normal but will help you to push your performance boundaries. Inspiration for this week’s session comes from Emma-Kate Lidbury’s article in 220 Magazine, you can read the article here.

Option A

  • 100m WU 15sec RI;
  • 2x 150m WU 15sec RI;
  • 2x 75m WU 15sec RI;
  • 3x 100m WU 15sec RI;
  • 4x 50m WU 15sec RI;
  • 8x 50m 15sec RI;
  • 50m Easy;
  • 4x 100m 20sec RI;
  • 50m Easy;
  • 2x 200m 30sec RI;
  • 200m CD (2,550m)

Option B

  • 200m WU 15sec RI;
  • 100m WU 15sec RI;
  • 2x 150m WU 15sec RI;
  • 2x 75m WU 15sec RI;
  • 3x 100m WU 15sec RI;
  • 3x 50m WU 15sec RI;
  • 4x 50m WU 15sec RI;
  • 4x 25m WU 15sec RI;
  • 8x 50m 15sec RI;
  • 50m Easy;
  • 4x 100m 20sec RI;
  • 50m Easy;
  • 2x 200m 30sec RI;
  • 50m Easy;
  • 400m;
  • 200m CD (3,450m)

Option C

  • 200m WU 15sec RI;
  • 100m WU 15sec RI;
  • 2x 150m WU 15sec RI;
  • 2x 75m WU 15sec RI;
  • 3x 100m WU 15sec RI;
  • 3x 50m WU 15sec RI;
  • 4x 50m WU 15sec RI;
  • 4x 25m WU 15sec RI;
  • 8x 50m 15sec RI;
  • 50m Easy;
  • 4x 100m 20sec RI;
  • 50m Easy;
  • 2x 200m 30sec RI;
  • 50m Easy;
  • 400m;
  • 50m Easy;
  • 2x 200m 30sec RI;
  • 50m Easy;
  • 4x 100m 20sec RI;
  • 50m Easy;
  • 8x 50m 15sec RI;
  • 200m CD (4,800m)

The Warm Up (WU) for today’s session is long and starts with a series of reps all with 15 seconds Rest Interval (RI) between them. Option B & C have the same Warm Up (WU) and Option A has a slightly shorter Warm Up (WU) by missing out the first 200m rep.

Start the Warm Up (WU) by swimming 200m (unless you are doing Option A in which case you will miss this rep). Take a 15 second Rest Interval (RI) and move onto the next set. Next up is 100m with a 15 second Rest interval (RI) prior to starting a set of two reps of 150m. As with ALL reps throughout the Warm Up (WU) there is a 15 second Rest Interval (RI) between reps. next up is a set of two, 75m reps with a 15 second Rest Interval (RI) between. Follow this with a set of three, 100m reps also with 15 second Rest Interval (RI). next up is a set of three, 50m reps (but only for Options B & C, Option A skips this set) with 15 seconds between reps for your Rest Interval (RI). Then everyone does a set of four, 50m reps with the 15 seconds Rest Interval (R). Almost there, finish the Warm Up (WU) with a set of four, 25m reps each with a 15 second Rest Interval (RI) between them.

The main set is a pyramid set. Between each set there is 50m of easy swimming and the sets are all based around a total distance of 400m.

The first set is a set of eight, 50m reps with 15 seconds Rest Interval (RI) between reps. After the set swim 50m nice and easy as further recovery.

The second set is of four, 100m reps with 20 seconds Rest Interval (RI) between reps. After the set swim 50m nice and easy as further recovery.

The third set is of two, 200m reps with 30 seconds Rest Interval (RI) between reps. After the set swim 50m nice and easy as further recovery. At this point Option A commences their Cool Down (CD), so if you are doing Option A skip to the Cool Down (CD) now. Options B & C swim 50m nice and easy as further recovery prior to the next set.

Options B & C continue on with a 400m set. After which Option B moves to the Cool Down (CD) and Option C swims 50m nice and easy as further recovery prior to the next set.

For Option C there are a few more sets and they are a repeat of the sets in reverse order, all with 50m of easy swimming between sets.

The fifth set for Option C is of two, 200m reps with 30 seconds Rest Interval (RI) between reps. After the set swim 50m nice and easy as further recovery. At this point Option A commences their Cool Down (CD), so if you are doing Option A skip to the Cool Down (CD) now. Options B & C swim 50m nice and easy as further recovery prior to the next set.

The sixth set for Option C is four, 100m reps with 20 seconds Rest Interval (RI) between reps. After the set swim 50m nice and easy as further recovery.

The seventh set is a set of eight, 50m reps with 15 seconds Rest Interval (RI) between reps.

To finish, complete the session with a 200m Cool Down (CD). Unlike the previous sets which have to be freestyle, the cool down (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, here is a similar session I published 12 months ago.

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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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