Saturday Swim Session: Fast Freddie's Favourite - Coach Ray

Coach Ray

Training for Excellence, with Excellent Training

Tri Swim Coach
Swim Sessions Triathlon Training

Saturday Swim Session: Fast Freddie’s Favourite

Maintaining your Threshold speed is the key to swimming success in longer events of greater than 1,000m. This session works on further developing your threshold and your ability to maintain it. 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 today’s workout comes from The Essential Swimmer written by Steve Tarpinian (RIP).

Option A

  • 200m WU;
  • 4x 25m Drill;
  • 3x 500m (Build 1-3) 45sec RI;
  • 200m CD (2,000m)

Option B

  • 400m WU;
  • 8x 50m Drill Swim;
  • 3x 500m (Build 1-3) 40sec RI;
  • 200m CD (2,500m)

Option C

  • 1,000m WU;
  • 12x 50m Drill/Swim;
  • 3x 500m (Build 1-3) 30sec RI;
  • 200m CD (3,300m)

Start the workout with a Warm Up (WU) covering 200m (Option A), 400m (Option B) or 1,000m (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 for Options B & C. Option A does a set of drills only (more details on this below). 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 (Option 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

Option A completes a set of four 25m repetitions of drills, doing the above four drills. One per repetition. Feel free to use fins and stop and rest as long as is required between each rep.

I wrote an article about swimming drills previously. Click here to read and watch it.

The main set is made up of three, 500m repetitions. Swim these with a 45 second (Option A), 40 second (Option B) or 30 second (Option C) Rest Interval (RI). Across the whole set build your pace so that you swim your first rep Fast, second rep Faster and the final rep Fastest.

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 goal this year 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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