Saturday Swim Session: Margaret Cyphers’ Break It Up Workout - Coach Ray

Coach Ray

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Tri Swim Coach
Swim Sessions Triathlon Training

Saturday Swim Session: Margaret Cyphers’ Break It Up Workout

Conducting reps with changes of pace will help build your pace control. 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

  • 2x 200m WU (50m Drill/100m Swim/50m Drill);
  • 2x 400m 60sec RI;
    • 1st 100m Pick Up, 200m Fast, 100m medium,
    • 2nd 100 slow, 50 fast, 50 slow, 50 fast, 100 slow,
  • 2x 200m (Pull, Kick) 60sec RI;
  • 200m CD (1,800m)

Option B

  • 5x 200m WU (50m Drill/100m Swim/50m Drill);
  • 3x 400m 60sec RI;
    • 1st 100m Pick Up, 200m Fast, 100m medium,
    • 2nd 100 slow, 50 fast, 50 slow, 50 fast, 100 slow,
    • 3rd 200 Pick Up, 100 fast, 100 slow,
  • 2x 200m (Pull, Kick) 60sec RI;
  • 200m CD (2,800m)

Option C

  • 5x 200m WU (50m Drill/100m Swim/50m Drill);
  • 4x 400m 60sec RI;
    • 1st 100m Pick Up, 200m Fast, 100m medium,
    • 2nd 100 slow, 50 fast, 50 slow, 50 fast, 100 slow,
    • 3rd 200 Pick Up, 100 fast, 100 slow,
    • 4th 50m slow, 100m fast, 50m slow, 100m fast, 50m slow, 50m fast
  • 4x 200m (Pull, Kick) 60sec RI;
  • 200m CD (3,600m)

Start the workout with a Warm Up (WU) involving two (Option A) or five (Options B & C) reps of 200m. These 200m reps are made up of 50m Drill, straight into 100m freestyle swimming, and then finish with 50m Drill.

You chose the drills you would like to do, here are some suggestions:

4x 400m 60sec RI;

  • 1st 100m Pick Up, 200m Fast, 100m medium,
  • 2nd 100 slow, 50 fast, 50 slow, 50 fast, 100 slow,
  • 3rd 200 Pick Up, 100 fast, 100 slow,
  • 4th 50m slow, 100m fast, 50m slow, 100m fast, 50m slow, 50m fast

The main set is made up of two (Option A), three (Option B) or four (Option C) reps of 400m. These reps are made up of a number of different combinations of pace. Start the first rep with 100m Pick Up, start off slow and progressively build your pace up over the 100m to sprint in to the end, swim the next 200m fast and then ease off for the last 100m to a medium pace. For the second rep start off with 100m slow, then 50m at a fast pace, followed by 50m at a slow pace, 50m fast pace and then 100m slow to finish. For Options B & C, the third rep is made up of 200m Pick Up start off slow and progressively build your pace up over the 200m to sprint in to the end, hold a fast pace for the next 100m and finish the rep with 100m slow. For Option C start off with 50m at a slow pace, then 100m fast pace, 50m slow, 100m fast, 50m slow and then finish with 50m fast. Take a 60 second Rest Interval (RI) between each 400m rep.

The next set is made up of two (Options A & B) or four (Option C) 200m reps. Alternate between using a pull buoy or kicking for the entire rep. Take a 60 second Rest Interval (RI) between each rep.

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.

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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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