Saturday Swim Session: Swim Pyramid - Coach Ray

Coach Ray

Training for Excellence, with Excellent Training

Swim Session
Swim Sessions Triathlon Training

Saturday Swim Session: Swim Pyramid

The best part of this session is that it gets faster as you work your way through it. The end arrives very qwikly, as you work your way through the sets. This is a great session for triathletes and open water swimmers to do to build their sustained speed.

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.

Option A

  • 200m WU;
  • 8x 50m Drill/Swim;
  • 3x 100m 10sec RI;
  • 100m Easy;
  • 2x 100m 5sec RI;
  • 100m Easy;
  • 8x 50m (alt Easy/Hard) 10sec RI;
  • 200m CD (1,900m)

Option B

  • 400m WU;
  • 8x 50m Drill/Swim;
  • 4x 100m 15sec RI;
  • 100m Easy;
  • 3x 100m 10sec RI;
  • 100m Easy;
  • 2x 100m 5sec RI;
  • 100m Easy;
  • 8x 50m (alt Easy/Hard) 10sec RI;
  • 200m CD (2,600m)

Option C

  • 600m WU;
  • 12x 50m Drill/Swim;
  • 5x 100m 20sec RI;
  • 100m Easy
  • 4x 100m 15sec RI;
  • 100m Easy;
  • 3x 100m 10sec RI;
  • 100m Easy;
  • 2x 100m 5sec RI;
  • 100m Easy;
  • 8x 50m (alt Easy/Hard) 10sec RI;
  • 200m CD (3,600m)

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 eight (Options A & B) or twelve (Option 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 twice (Options A & B) or three (Option C) times 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.

If you are doing Option A or B, skip this set as it is only done by swimmers completing Option C. Start by swimming five, 100m reps with a twenty second Rest Interval (RI). At the end of the set, swim an easy 100m for recovery.

Both Options B & C complete this next set (but skipped again by swimmers doing Option A). Swim four, 100m reps with a fifteen second Rest Interval (RI). At the end of the set, swim an easy 100m for recovery.

All three options complete the rest of the workout. The next set is made up of three, 100m reps with a ten second Rest Interval (RI). At the end of the set, swim an easy 100m for recovery.

The final set of 100’s involves swimming two, 100m reps but with only a five second Rest Interval (RI). At the end of the set, swim an easy 100m for recovery.

The final set is made up of eight, 50m reps with a ten 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 tg 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 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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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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