Saturday Swim Session: Grant Hackett's Mid-Season Workout - Coach Ray

Coach Ray

Training for Excellence, with Excellent Training

Tri Swim Coach
Swim Sessions Triathlon Training

Saturday Swim Session: Grant Hackett’s Mid-Season Workout

This is based off a session put together by Grant Hackett’s coach as part of his mid-season build up. 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. This weeks sessions are a little longer than normal.

The inspiration for these sessions came from Grant Hackett’s (former world 1,500m freestyle world record holder) coach Denis Cotterell from an article by Olivier Poirier-Leroy read it here. The session has been adapted to fit the purpose of these articles, as it is 7,400yds total.

Option A

  • 200m (150m F/S, 50m Stroke) WU;
  • 150m (Freestyle/Back/Freestyle) 45sec RI;
  • 3x 50m (Stroke count, Drill, Build to FAST);
  • 10x 100m 40sec RI;
  • 100m Kick/scull/drill/swim;
  • 2x 50m (25m HARD/25m easy) 40sec RI;
  • 200m CD (1,900m)

Option B

  • 400m (150m F/S, 50m Stroke) WU;
  • 2x 150m (Freestyle/Fly/Freestyle, Freestyle/Back/Freestyle) 45sec RI;
  • 4x 50m (Drill, Stroke count, Drill, Build to FAST);
  • 15x 100m 40sec RI;
  • 100m Kick/scull/drill/swim;
  • 4x 50m (25m HARD/25m easy) 40sec RI;
  • 200m CD (2,900m)

Option C

  • 400m (150m F/S, 50m Stroke) WU;
  • 2x 150m (Freestyle/Fly/Freestyle, Freestyle/Back/Freestyle) 45sec RI;
  • 8x 50m (2x Drill, 2x Stroke count, 2x Drill, 2x Build to FAST);
  • 20x 100m 40sec RI;
  • 200m Kick/scull/drill/swim;
  • 4x 50m (25m HARD/25m easy) 40sec RI;
  • 200m CD (3,700m)

Start the workout with a Warm Up (WU) by swimming 200m (Options A & B), or 400m (Option C). During the warm up feel free to stop and stretch as needed.  It doesn’t need to be a continuous swim. Do each 200m as freestyle for the first 150m, then change to another stroke for the next 50m. If you are doing Option B or C complete that 200m cycle of Freestyle and the other stroke.

The next set is made up of a single 150m rep for Option A or two 150m reps for Option B. Break each 150m into 50m sub-reps with no rest between but 45 seconds between each 150m rep. For Option A break this up with 50m each of freestyle, backstoke and then then freestyle again. For Option B & C do the same as Option A for the second rep. For the first rep break it up as 50m each of freestyle, butterfly and freestyle. Take a 45 second Rest Interval (RI) between these reps.

The next set is made up of a number of 50m reps. Option A has three reps: the first rep count your strokes for the 50m; the second rep conduct a drill of your choice; the third rep build your speed throughout the rep to be sprinting at the end of it. Option B starts with a drill and then the three reps that Option A does for the remaining three reps. Option C does all four reps, twice through.

The main set is made up of ten, fifteen or twenty 100m reps for Options A, B and C respectively. Take a 40 second Rest Interval (RI) between reps.

Next set for Option A & B swim 100m continuously, 25m each of kick, sculling, drill and then freestyle. For Option C swim 200m continuously, 50m each of kick, sculling, drill and then freestyle.

For the final set complete two (Option A) or four (Options B & C) reps of 50m. Swim these by swimming the first 25m very HARD, then straight into an easy 25m. Have a 40 second Rest Interval (RI) between reps.

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 and 021 348 729.

Join over 2,800 people who have already signed up to be kept up to date with great workouts and training information in my informative newsletter.

Share this post so your friends can benefit as well.

If you enjoyed this workout, here is a similar session I published 12 months ago.

Get my great e-Book that is packed full of my most popular 20 swim sessions for only $7 (save $20), normally this is $27.

This eBook is a veritable gold mine of workouts that you can include in your training.

At the special price of only $7 you will save yourself $20.


Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.

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.
%d bloggers like this: