Swim Session

Saturday Swim Session: Gale Bernhardt’s Endurance 3 Workout

Endurance is a critical component of fitness for triathletes and long distance open water swimmers. This is a great session for triathletes and open water swimmers to do to build their top end 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 Swim Workouts for Triathletes written by Gale Bernhardt and Nick Hansen.

Option A

  • 300m WU;
  • 200m K;
  • 4x 150m (100m F/S, 50m K) 30sec RI;
  • 400m Pull 60sec RI;
  • 8x 25m (Desc 2-2-2-2) 15sec RI;
  • 200m CD (1,900m)

Option B

  • 300m WU;
  • 200m K;
  • 4x 200m (150m F/S, 50m K) 30sec RI;
  • 600m Pull 60sec RI;
  • 16x 25m (Desc 2-2-2-2) 15sec RI;
  • 200m CD (2,500m)

Option C

  • 300m WU;
  • 200m K;
  • 4x 300m (100m F/S, 100m K, 100m F/S) 30sec RI;
  • 600m Pull 60sec RI;
  • 16x 25m (Desc 2-2-2-2) 15sec RI;
  • 200m CD (2,900m)

Start the workout with a Warm Up (WU) swimming 300m. During the warm up feel free to stop and stretch as needed.  It doesn’t need to be a continuous swim.

The next set is kicking for 200m, use some fins but avoid using a kick board.

The next set is made up of four reps of 150m (Option A), 200m (Option B) or 300m (Option C). These reps get split into different sub-reps that include both freestyle swimming and kicking. For Option A swim 100m Freestyle then straight into the last 50m kicking (as above without fins). For Option B swim 150m freestyle and then straight into the last 50m kicking (as above without fins). For Option C swim 100m freestyle, then 100m kicking (as above without fins), then finish with 100m freestyle. After each rep take a 30 second Rest Interval (RI).

The next set is 400m (Option A) or 600m (Option B or C) swum with a pull buoy. Take a 60 second Rest Interval (RI) prior to the next set.

The final set is made of eight (Option A) or sixteen (Option B or C) reps of 25m. These reps are swum in a Descend 2-2-2-2 format. Swim two reps at a moderate pace, then two reps at a fast pace, then two reps at a faster pace and then finally two reps at your FASTEST pace. If doing Option B or C repeat this process. take a fifteen second Rest Interval (RI) between sets.

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.

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