Saturday Swim Session: GTN’s Sub-Hour Ironman Swim Progression Set - Coach Ray

Coach Ray

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Swim Sessions Triathlon Training

Saturday Swim Session: GTN’s Sub-Hour Ironman Swim Progression Set

Completing the Ironman Swim in under 60 minutes is a significant achievement. Consistent pacing and sustained effort is the key to achieving this goal. This session tests your capability to maintain the pace and is a breakdown of a longer set. 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.

The inspiration for this session comes from the Global Triathlon Network (GTN) check out their video here:

Option A

  • 400m WU;
  • 100m on 2:00;
  • 200m on 4:00;
  • 300m on 6:00;
  • 400m on 8:00;
  • 100m Easy;
  • 200m CD (1,700m)

Option B

  • 400m WU;
  • 2 Sets:
    • 100m on 2:00;
    • 200m on 4:00;
    • 300m on 6:00;
    • 400m on 8:00;
    • 100m Easy;
  • 200m CD (2,800m)

Option C

  • 400m WU;
  • 3 Sets:
    • 100m on 2:00;
    • 200m on 4:00;
    • 300m on 6:00;
    • 400m on 8:00;
    • 100m Easy;
  • 200m CD (3,900m)

Start the workout with a Warm Up (WU) covering 400m. During the warm up feel free to stop and stretch as needed.  It doesn’t need to be a continuous swim.

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 session is based on doing one (Option A), two (Option B) or three (Option C) sets through the progression set.

This set starts with 100m swum on a time of two minutes, the next rep is 200m swum on four minutes, then 300m swum on six minutes and then 400m swum on eight minutes. Finish by swimming 100m nice and easy. Then repeat if doing Options B or C for a total of two or three times respectively.

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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