Swim Sessions

Saturday Swim Session: Emma-Kate Lidbury’s Baseline Swim

This baseline session is a good solid session to develop more than just fitness. It is a good benchmark that can be repeated every four to six weeks to measure performance improvement. This is a great session for triathletes and open water swimmers to do to build their sustained 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 this session comes from a former pro-triathlete Emma-Kate Lidbury, who has six Ironman 70.3 titles and two top-10 world championship finishes. You can read her article from triathlete.com here.

Option A

  • 200m WU;
  • 400m Pull Mod;
  • 300m Swim Mod/Fast;
  • 200m Pull Mod/Fast;
  • 6x 100m 20sec RI;
  • 200m CD (1,900m)

Option B

  • 200m WU;
  • 500m Swim Easy/Mod;
  • 400m Pull Mod;
  • 300m Swim Mod/Fast;
  • 200m Pull Mod/Fast;
  • 100 Fast;
  • 10x 100m 20sec RI;
  • 200m CD (2,900m)

Option C

  • 800m WU;
  • 500m Swim Easy/Mod;
  • 400m Pull Mod;
  • 300m Swim Mod/Fast;
  • 200m Pull Mod/Fast;
  • 100 Fast;
  • 10x 100m 20sec RI;
  • 200m CD (3,500m)

Start the workout with a Warm Up (WU) covering 200m (Options A & 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 is a 500m rep for Options B & C only. Swim this at an easy to moderate intensity.

All three options swim the next sets (including Option A), which is a 400m rep with a pull buoy at a moderate intensity.

Next is a 300m swim at a moderate to fast intensity, then a 200m swim with a pull buoy at a moderate to fast intensity. Finish this set with 100M swum fast. Take a reasonable amount of rest between each of these reps prior to the baseline set.

For the baseline set, record all your times and then repeat this session in four to six weeks’ time to compare and contrast your improvement.

Swim a set of six (Option A) or ten (Options B & C) reps of 100m with a 20-second Rest Interval (RI).

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.

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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