Saturday Swim Session: Margaret Cyphers' Need For Speed - Coach Ray

Coach Ray

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Saturday Swim Session: Margaret Cyphers’ Need For Speed

Conducting reps with changes of pace and minimal rest between reps will help build your stamina. 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 a former college swimmer and high school assistant coach, Margaret Cyphers. Click here to view the original article.

Option A

  • 500m WU;
  • 4x 25m 10sec RI;
  • 50m FAST, 30sec RI;
  • 25m Easy, 30sec RI;
  • 25m FAST;
  • 3x 100m 15sec RI;
  • 3x 100m Negative Split 15sec RI;
  • 3x 100m Build 1-3, 15sec RI;
  • 150m CD (1,750m)

Option B

  • 600m WU;
  • 2x
    • 4x 25m 10sec RI;
    • 50m FAST, 30sec RI;
    • 25m Easy, 30sec RI;
    • 25m FAST;
  • 4x 100m 15sec RI;
  • 4x 100m Negative Split 15sec RI;
  • 4x 100m Build 1-4, 15sec RI;
  • 200m CD (2,400m)

Option C

  • 1,000m WU;
  • 3x
    • 4x 25m 10sec RI;
    • 50m FAST, 30sec RI;
    • 25m Easy, 30sec RI;
    • 25m FAST;
  • 2x
    • 3x 100m 15sec RI;
    • 3x 100m Negative Split 15sec RI;
    • 3x 100m Build 1-3, 15sec RI;
  • 200m CD (3,600m)

Start the workout with a Warm Up (WU) covering 500m (Option A), 600m (Option B), or 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 200m that is broken down in a set of four, 25m swims with a ten second Rest Interval (RI); 50m as FAST as you can swim followed by a 30 second Rest Interval (RI); an easy 25m also with a 30 second Rest Interval (RI) and then a FAST 25m to round out the 200m. Do this once through for Option A, twice through for Option B and three times through for Option C.

The next three sets (which are then repeated for a total of six sets if you are doing Option C) are made up of three (Options A or C) or four (Option B) reps of 100m. The first set (as well as the fourth if you are doing Option C) done with a 15 second Rest Interval (RI). The second set (as well as the fifth set for Option C) is done as a negative split, with a 15 second Rest Interval (RI). This means that the second half of each rep is done faster than the first half, for example if you typically swim 100m in 2:00 minutes, aim to swim the first 50m half in about 1:02 and the second half in about 0:58 seconds. The third set (as well as the sixth set for Option C) is done as Build 1-3 (for Options A & C) or Build 1-4 (Option B), also with a 15 second Rest Interval (RI). This means that as you complete each rep you swim it faster than the previous rep. Starting with a Moderately paced rep, then a Fast rep, then a Faster rep, and if doing Option B your fourth rep will be your Fastest.

For the Cool Down (CD) swim 150m (Option A) or 200m (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 coachray@coachray.nz and 021 348 729.

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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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