Auburn Sprint Set

Saturday Swim Session: Auburn Sprint Set

A session packed full of sprints can really build your VO2 max and tolerance of lactic acid later in the session. This session has been designed for swimmers and triathletes returning to the pool who are wanting to further develop their speed.

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 by Olivier Poirier-Leroy read it here. The full session is over 6,000m long so settle in for a big one. Last year I wrote some modified versions of this session for mere mortals (like me):

  • 400m WU;
  • 3x 50m 15sec RI;
  • 2x 75m Kick/Swim/Kick 15sec RI;
  • 100m build each 25;
  • 10x 25m on :60sec;
  • 50m Easy;
  • 10x 25m on :60sec;
  • 100m Easy;
  • 10x 25m on :55sec;
  • 150m Easy;
  • 10x 25m on :50sec;
  • 200m Easy;
  • 10x 25m on :45sec;
  • 250m Easy;
  • 10x 25m on :40sec;
  • 300m Easy;
  • 10x 25m on :35sec;
  • 350m Easy;
  • 10x 25m on :30sec;
  • 400m Easy;
  • 10x 25m on :25sec;
  • 450m Easy;
  • 10x 25m on :20sec;
  • 500m Easy;
  • 300m CD (6,050m)

Start the workout with a Warm Up (WU) by swimming 200m (Option A), 300m (Option 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.

Next up complete three 50m reps, swimming a solid pace taking 15 seconds Rest Interval (RI) after each rep. Then swim a set of two 75m reps. Split these reps into three parts, the first length as kick without a kick board, swim the second length and then finish with another length of kicking. Take a 15 second Rest Interval (RI) between reps.

Before hitting the main sets swim 100m building your pace every 25m, start off at a moderate pace, then increase to a fast pace, then faster pace and then for the final length your faster pace.

The main set is ten sets of ten, 25m reps, swum at your 100m pace, aiming to maintain that throughout ALL 100 reps!!!!

The first two sets are done on 60 seconds. This means that you start each rep 60 second after the previous rep started. If it takes you 25 seconds to swim the 25m that leaves you 35 seconds to rest before you start the next rep. Swim as fast as you can and maximise the rest you get.

Each set after that the on time decreases by five seconds.

  1. on 60sec
  2. on 60sec
  3. on 55sec
  4. on 50sec
  5. on 45sec
  6. on 40sec
  7. on 35sec
  8. on 30sec
  9. on 25sec
  10. on 20sec

If like me you currently can’t swim 25m under 20 seconds, swim as many sets as you can until you get to the point where you are getting about five seconds rest and then revert back to the on time from the previous set and aim to maintain that for the remaining sets.

Between each set is an easy swim for your recovery. This starts off as 50m after the first set and increases 50m after each set, to reach 500m after the tenth set.

For the Cool Down (CD) swim 300m. 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.

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

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