Saturday Swim Session: Swim 75's - Coach Ray

Coach Ray

Training for Excellence, with Excellent Training

Tri Swim Coach
Swim Sessions Triathlon Training

Saturday Swim Session: Swim 75’s

This is a great session to build your fitness back up now that pools are starting to open up again around the world. This is a great session for all triathletes and open water swimmers.

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.

The inspiration for these sessions are based on a session from Emma Kate Lidbury published here.

Option A

  • 200m WU;
  • 8x 25m (alt 5 strokes hard/5 strokes easy; fist swimming);
  • 4x 75m 10sec RI;
  • 4x 75m 15sec RI;
  • 4x 75m 20sec RI;
  • 4x 75m 25sec RI;
  • 200m CD (1,800m)

Option B

  • 400m WU;
  • 8x 25m (alt 5 strokes hard/5 strokes easy; fist swimming);
  • 4x 75m 10sec RI;
  • 4x 75m 15sec RI;
  • 4x 75m 20sec RI;
  • 4x 75m 25sec RI;
  • 4x 75m 30sec RI;
  • 4x 75m 15sec RI;
  • 200m CD (2,600m)

Option C

  • 1,000m WU;
  • 12x 25m (alt 5 strokes hard/5 strokes easy; fist swimming);
  • 4x 75m 10sec RI;
  • 4x 75m 15sec RI;
  • 4x 75m 20sec RI;
  • 4x 75m 25sec RI;
  • 4x 75m 30sec RI;
  • 4x 75m 25sec RI;
  • 4x 75m 20sec RI;
  • 4x 75m 15sec RI;
  • 200m CD (3,900m)

Start the workout with a Warm Up (WU) covering 200m (Option A), 400m (Option B) or time 1,000m (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 prep set that includes eight (Option A or B) or twelve (Option C) 25 metre reps. For the odd number reps swim five strokes hard and then five strokes easy. For the even number reps, swim with your fists closed. This will challenge you as there is less surface area to catch the water, so when you have your hands open you’ll notice a difference with your ability to feel the water. Take a short rest period before moving into the next rep.

The first main set involves a number of sets of four, 75m reps. Slightly longer than swimming a 50m rep and slightly shorter than a 100m rep, these efforts will challenge you differently.

For the first set only take a ten second Rest Interval (RI) between reps (including the fourth rep leading into the next set). This leads into the second set where you get 15 seconds Rest Interval (RI). Then for the third set you get 20 seconds Rest Interval (RI). The fourth set has a 25 second Rest Interval (RI).

At this point if you are doing Option A, move to the Cool Down (CD). For Options B and C your next set has a 30 second Rest Interval (RI).

For Option B your next set only has a 15 second Rest Interval (RI), Option C has a 25 second Rest Interval (RI). This is the final set if you are doing Option B, move to the Cool Down (CD).

Option C has two more sets to go. The first of these two, has a 20 second Rest Interval (RI) and the final set has a 15 second Rest Interval (RI).

For the Cool Down (CD) swim 200m (Option A) or 300m (Options B & C). 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 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.


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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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