Tri Swim Coach

Saturday Swim Session: GTN’s Sub-Hour Ironman Swim Session #3

Completing the Ironman Swim in under 60 minutes is a significant achievement. Consistent pacing and sustained effort are the keys to achieving this goal. 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 the Global Triathlon Network (GTN) check out their video here:

Option A

  • 200m WU;
  • 4x 25m alt Hard/Easy;
  • 3 Sets (1st Swim/2nd Pull/3rd Pull & Paddles):
    • 150m on 3:00;
    • 3x 100m on 2:00;
    • 2x 50m on 1:00;
    • 50m Easy;
  • 200m CD (2,000m)

Option B

  • 200m WU;
  • 4x 25m alt Hard/Easy;
  • 3 Sets (1st Swim/2nd Pull/3rd Pull & Paddles):
    • 200m on 4:00;
    • 4x 100m on 2:00;
    • 4x 50m on 1:00;
    • 100m Easy;
  • 200m CD (2,900m)

Option C

  • 300m WU;
  • 4x 25m alt Hard/Easy;
  • 3 Sets (1st Swim/2nd Pull/3rd Pull & Paddles):
    • 200m on 4:00;
    • 6x 100m on 2:00;
    • 4x 50m on 1:00;
    • 100m Easy;
  • 200m CD (3,600m)

Start the workout with a Warm Up (WU) covering 200m (Options A & B) or 300m (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 for all Options is a set of four, 25m reps alternating between a Hard fast effort and an easy rep. Take a short but sufficient Rest Interval (RI) between reps.

This session is all about maintaining a pace of 1:34 per 100m or 1:26 per 100 yards within the session. This equates to 0:23 per 25m or 0:47 per 50m.

The main set is made up of four sub-sets. There are three sets to complete, the first one is done just swimming; the second is done with a pull buoy, and the third is done with paddles and a pull buoy.

The first sub-set is a single 150m (Option A) or 200m (Options B & C) rep, swum starting the next sub-set on three minutes and four minutes respectively.

The second sub-set is made up of three (Option A), four (Option B), or six (Option C), 100m repetitions. These are all swum starting the next rep two minutes after the previous.

The third sub-set has two (Option A) or four (Options B & C) 50m reps. These are all swum starting the following rep one minute after the previous rep started.

Finally before moving to the next set is an easy rep of 50m (Option A) or 100m (Options B & C).

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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