Coach Ray

Training for Excellence, with Excellent Training

Swim Sessions
Swim Sessions Triathlon Training

Saturday Swim Session: Threshold & Sprints

Holding pace for a large number of reps, is always challenging and this session challenges you by throwing a series of sprints in the middle of things. You will reap the benefits of improved swimming threshold though, so the effort will be worth it. 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.

Option A

  • 200m WU;
  • 4x 50m Drill/Swim;
  • 6x 100m 20sec RI;
  • 6x 25m 30sec RI;
  • 4x 100m 20sec RI;
  • 4x 25m 30sec RI;
  • 200m CD (1,750m)

Option B

  • 400m WU;
  • 8x 50m Drill/Swim;
  • 8x 100m 20sec RI;
  • 8x 25m 30sec RI;
  • 6x 100m 20sec RI;
  • 6x 25m 30sec RI;
  • 200m CD (2,750m)

Option C

  • 600m WU;
  • 12x 50m Drill/Swim;
  • 8x 100m 20sec RI;
  • 8x 25m 30sec RI;
  • 6x 100m 20sec RI;
  • 6x 25m 30sec RI;
  • 4x 100m 20sec RI;
  • 4x 25m 30sec RI;
  • 200m CD (3,650m)

Start the workout with a Warm Up (WU) covering 200m (Option A), 400m (Option 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/swim set. There are four (Option A), six (Option B) or twelve (Option C) repetitions of 25m Drill, then straight into 25m normal swimming. Feel free to use fins whilst doing this set.  Do the drills below once (Option A), twice (Option B) or three (Option C) times through:

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

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

The first set is made up of six (Option A) or eight (Options B and C) reps of 100m, with a 20 second Rest Interval (RI) between reps. Then move onto a set of six (Option A) or eight (Options B and C) sprints over 25m. Take a full 30 second Rest Interval (RI) between reps, so ensure you can do these sprints at MAX speed.

The third set is made up of four (Option A) or six (Options B and C) reps of 100m, with a 20 second Rest Interval (RI) between reps. Then move onto a set of four (Option A) or six (Options B and C) sprints over 25m. Take a full 30 second Rest Interval (RI) between reps, so ensure you can do these sprints at MAX speed.

Options A and B move to the Cool Down at this point, where as Option C has two more sets to complete. For Option C the next set is four reps of 100m, with a 20 second Rest Interval (RI) between reps. Then move onto a set of four sprints over 25m. Take a full 30 second Rest Interval (RI) between reps, so ensure you can do these sprints at MAX speed.

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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