Saturday Swim Session: Ferris' Folly - Coach Ray

Coach Ray

Training for Excellence, with Excellent Training

Tri Swim Coach
Swim Sessions Triathlon Training

Saturday Swim Session: Ferris’ Folly

This session is also known as Up Down Ladder by 100. It is great for developing and improving your ability to pace your longer swims, as well as negative split 1,500s and longer. 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;
  • 100m 15sec RI;
  • 200m 20sec RI;
  • 300m 25sec RI;
  • 400m (-ve split) 30sec RI;
  • 300m (faster) 25sec RI;
  • 200m (faster) 20sec RI;
  • 100m (faster);
  • 200m CD (2,000m)

Option B

  • 600m WU;
  • 100m 15sec RI;
  • 200m 20sec RI;
  • 300m 25sec RI;
  • 400m (-ve split) 30sec RI;
  • 300m (faster) 25sec RI;
  • 200m (faster) 20sec RI;
  • 100m (faster);
  • 200m CD (2,400m)

Option C

  • 600m WU;
  • 2x
    • 100m 15sec RI;
    • 200m 20sec RI;
    • 300m 25sec RI;
    • 400m (-ve split) 30sec RI;
    • 300m (faster) 25sec RI;
    • 200m (faster) 20sec RI;
    • 100m (faster) 15sec RI;
  • 200m CD (3,800m)

Start the workout with a Warm Up (WU) covering 200m (Option A) or 600m (Options B & C). During the warm up feel free to stop and stretch as needed.  It doesn’t need to be a continuous swim.

The main set is a pyramid or ladder where each step or rep increases then decreases by 100m. For Option C do the set twice through.

Start by swimming 100m and taking a 15 second Rest Interval (RI). Next up is 200m with a 20 second Rest Interval (RI). Follow this with a 300m swim with a 25 second Rest Interval (RI). Before descending swim 400m followed by a 30 second Rest Interval (RI), swim this rep as a negative split. I.E. the second half is faster than the first half. If you swim you 400m in 7:00, aim to swim the first half in about 3:32 and the second half in 3:28. It’s then back to the 300m, this time swimming it faster than your opening 300m. Follow it with a 25 second Rest Interval (RI). The second to last rep is a 200m also swum faster than your opening 200m. Take a 20 second Rest Interval (RI). The final rep within the set is a 100m rep, swim faster than your opening 100!!! If you are doing Option C take a 15 second Rest Interval (RI), then start your second set from the top again.

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 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 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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