Tri Swim Coach

Saturday Swim Session: Another Ledecky Threshold Set

Katie Ledecky dominated female distance swimming setting the World Record in the 400m, 800m, and 1,500m Freestyle, and won five Olympic Gold Medals and 15 World Championships, more than any other female swimmer. This session was a staple leading into major championship events and will benefit any triathlete or open water swimmer.

Each Saturday I will post a Swim Session, most weeks 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 an article on Your Swim Log by Olivier Poirier-Leroy. Click here to view the original article.

Option A

  • 400m WU;
  • 4x 50m Drill/Swim;
  • 200m 20sec RI;
  • 2x 150m 20sec RI;
  • 2x 100m 20sec RI;
  • 4x 25m 20sec RI;
  • 200m CD (1,800m)

Option B

  • 600m WU;
  • 8x 50m Drill/Swim;
  • 300m 20sec RI;
  • 3x 150m 20sec RI;
  • 3x 100m 20sec RI;
  • 6x 25m 20sec RI;
  • 200m CD (2,400m)

Option C

  • 800m WU;
  • 8x 50m Drill/Swim;
  • 2x
    • 300m 20sec RI;
    • 3x 150m 20sec RI;
    • 3x 100m 20sec RI;
    • 6x 25m 20sec RI;
  • 200m CD (3,800m)

Start the workout with a Warm Up (WU) covering 200m (Option A), 400m (Option B), or 800m (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 drill/swim set. There are four (Option A) or eight (Options B & C) 50m repetitions made up of 25m Drill, then straight into 25m normal swimming. Feel free to use fins whilst doing this set.  Do the drills below once (Option A) or twice (Options A & B) through:

  1. Kick On Side (KOS) left side 
  2. Kick On Side (KOS) right side 
  3. 6/1/6 
  4. 6/3/6

I wrote an article about swimming drills previously. Click here to read and watch it.

The main set starts with a 200m (Option A) or 300m (Options B & C) rep. Once you’ve completed that take a 20-second Rest Interval (RI) and then straight into the next set.

Next up is a set of two (Option A) or three (Options B & C) reps of 150m. Take a 20-second Rest Interval (RI) after each rep.

The third set is made up of two (Option A) or three (Options B & C) 100m reps. Take a 20-second Rest Interval (RI) after each rep.

Options A & B will finish with a set of four (Option A) or six (Option B) 25m reps also with 20 seconds Rest Interval (RI). Option C also does the same set as Option B.

Option C completes a second round of the main set, repeating the 300m, then the set of three 150s, the set of three 100’s and the six 25s.

For the Cool Down (CD) swim 200m. Unlike the previous sets which have to be freestyle, the cooldown (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.

Katie Ledecky would complete the 150’s in 1:27 and the 100’s in 56 seconds!!!

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 recently launched a new swim training plan that will improve your swimming. If your New Year’s resolution involves swimming faster with limited time to train. Complete the form below and get more information about this great plan.

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