Saturday Swim Session: OU's Mid-Summer Distance Set - Coach Ray

Coach Ray

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Saturday Swim Session: OU’s Mid-Summer Distance Set

This is a big, solid session with reps of 150m to build your endurance. This session is great for swimmers and triathletes preparing for longer, open water swims.

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 came from Oakland University’s Shawn Kornoelje in an article by Olivier Poirier-Leroy read it here. The full session is over 7,500yds long, so these are modified versions.

Option A

  • 200m WU;
  • 4x 50m Drill/Swim;
  • 2×150m 30sec RI;
  • 2min RI;
  • 4×150m 60sec RI;
  • 200m CD (1,500m)

Option B

  • 400m WU;
  • 8x 50m Drill/Swim;
  • 2×150m 30sec RI;
  • 2min RI;
  • 4×150m 60sec RI;
  • 2min RI;
  • 6× 150m 1:30min RI
  • 200m CD (2,800m)

Option C

  • 400m WU;
  • 8x 50m Drill/Swim;
  • 6x 150m Pull 15sec RI;
  • 2×150m 30sec RI;
  • 2min RI;
  • 4×150m 60sec RI;
  • 2min RI;
  • 6× 150m 1:30min RI
  • 200m CD (3,700m)

Start the workout with a Warm Up (WU) by swimming 200m (Option A) or 400m (Options B & 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 to enhance your technique. it is made up of four (Option A) or eight (Option B & C) reps of 50m. Swim 25m doing an appropriate drill prior to continuing on with regular or normal swimming to complete 50m continuously. Pause prior to conducting the next repetition for a total of eight repetitions. Use fins for this set. Work through the below drills three times through.

The pause referred to above is a stop of about 10 seconds. It’s a chance to grab a drink, review the programme and think about the next drill you will do. If you need 15-20 seconds or longer, you are welcome to take it because the rest duration isn’t physiologically critical to the aim of this set. Having a quick break is neurologically critical though, so make sure you don’t just roll straight from one rep to the next.

Some examples of drills can be found by clicking on the name below:

After the drill set, take your fins off.

If you are doing Option C you have a Pull set that the shorter workouts don’t have. Complete a set of six reps of 150m swimming using a Pull Buoy. Take a 15 second Rest Interval (RI) between reps.

The main sets are all based around swimming sets of 150m with progressively more more rest and more reps as you work through the sets. Option A will only do the first two sets, whereas Options B & C will do three sets. There will be a two minute Rest Interval (RI) between each set. Swim each set at a pace you can sustain with the amount of rest you have.

The first set is two reps of 150m swum with a 30 second Rest Interval (RI).

Take a two minute Rest Interval (RI) prior to the next set.

The second main set is made up of four reps of 150m swum with a 60 second Rest Interval (RI). Option A moves to the Cool Down (CD) at this point.

For Options B & C complete a final set of six, 150m reps, this time with a 90 second Rest Interval (RI) between.

For the Cool Down (CD) swim 200m. 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.

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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