Saturday Swim Session: 200’s Bring Out Your Threshold & Your Stamina
200’s are a great distance to swim in training as they develop both your stamina and threshold swimming pace. This workout 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.
- 200m WU;
- 4x 67m (33m Drill/33m Swim);
- 5x 200m on 2T+20sec;
- 3x 67m 5sec RI;
- 200m CD (1,867m)
- 400m WU;
- 6x 67m (33m Drill/33m Swim);
- 8x 200m on 2T+20sec;
- 4x 67m 5sec RI;
- 200m CD (2,867m)
- 600m WU;
- 8x 67m (33m Drill/33m Swim);
- 10x 200m on 2T+20sec;
- 6x 67m 5sec RI;
- 200m CD (3,733m)
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 set of four (Option A), six (Option B) or eight (Option C) 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 these drills once through for Option A, for Option B go completely through the drills and then repeat Kick On Side and for Option C do them all twice through:
I wrote an article about Swimming Drills previously. Click here to read it and watch the videos of how to do the respective drills.
Take your fins off for the next set.
The main set is made up of five (Option A), eight (Option B) or ten (Option C) reps of 200m. These are done at a pace you can maintain throughout, but keep that pace as high as possible. Each rep is done on your two times your T-Time plus 20 seconds.
How much rest you get is determined by how qwikly you swim each rep and what your capability is. Use the T-Time that you have determined previously (follow the link here to find out more). This is how frequently you do each rep. If your T-Time is 2:05, you will start each rep every 4:30 ((2 x 2:05) + 0:20). If you manage to swim your 200m in 4:00 you will get 30 seconds rest, and if you swim it in 4:20 you will only get 10 seconds rest. This keeps the pressure on and you working hard to maintain your efforts.
Prior to your cool down (CD) complete a set of three (Option A), four (Option B) or six (Option C) repetitions of 67m, with only five seconds Rest Interval (RI). This is a tough set (especially after the set of 200’s) but you’ll reap the benefits of it. Don’t be tempted to add extra rest in. And yes, your 67m times will slow drastically throughout the set.
Then it is time for 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 firstname.lastname@example.org and 021 348 729.
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If you enjoyed this workout, here is a similar session I published 12 months ago.
I’ve taken my most popular training plan and given it a make over for 2020. I’ve taken the 12 Weeks to an Ironman Swim PB – Swim Faster with Smarter Training and I’ve modified to to expand the programme from 12 weeks and include an option for more than 3 swims per week.
Now the programme has created some great times for athletes competing at Ironman events around the world, but it was overly set in stone. Now if you have got between 8 & 24 weeks to an Ironman and are consistently swimming 3x, 4x or 5x per week, I’ve created an option for you. This is regardless of the length of pool 25m, 33⅓yd or 50m pool.
This programme is peroidised and builds throughout as you get closer to your Ironman. It works through four key phases:
- Foundation & Injury Prevention Phase (building your base fitness and developing technique)
- Early Quality Phase (develop strength and continue developing technique)
- Transition Quality Phase (focus on threshold pace and maintain technique)
- Final Quality Phase (further develop your speed and maintain technique and taper off for the event)
Although the original 12 week programme is proven and gets RESULTS. This modified version is unproven. I know it will get the results, but I need the proof. I need a dozen people to complete the programme, so I can measure how much improvement the programme actually delivers.
If you are entered in an Ironman, Iron-distance event or an Ocean Swim/Open Water event and have between 8 and 24 weeks to train for it, you might be a good fit to try this training plan out. Not everyone will be a good fit for this programme.
This training plan is for people that are keen to swim faster in their Ironman (or other event). You need to be committed to complete a minimum of three swim workouts every week. You need to be meticulous with tracking your training.