Tri Swim Coach

Saturday Swim Session: Cameron McEvoy – The Hardest Sets Ever #4 For Mortals

Com Games Gold medalist & Olympic Bronze medalist, Cameron McEvoy has swum some tough sets during his career, over the next few weeks I’m going expose you to a number of his toughest training sets (and variations for mere mortals).

Rather than the normal structure I publish each Saturday being a three different workout options. 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 an article by Olivier Poirier-Leroy at, you can read the full article here.

Option A

  • 200m WU;
  • 8x 25m Drill;
  • 6x 50m (Max – dive start) on 2:00;
  • 3x 100m 30sec RI;
  • 3x 100m 25sec RI;
  • 3x 100m 20sec RI;
  • 200m CD (1,800m)

Option B

  • 400m WU;
  • 8x 25m Drill;
  • 8x 50m (Max – dive start) on 2:00;
  • 4x 100m 30sec RI;
  • 4x 100m 25sec RI;
  • 4x 100m 20sec RI;
  • 200m CD (2,400m)

Option C

  • 400m WU;
  • 8x 25m Drill;
  • 8x 50m (Max – dive start) on 2:00;
  • 6x 100m 30sec RI;
  • 6x 100m 25sec RI;
  • 6x 100m 20sec RI;
  • 200m CD (3,000m)

Start the workout with a Warm Up (WU) covering 200m (Option A) or 400m (Options B & 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. There are eight 25m repetitions. Feel free to use fins whilst doing this set.  Do the drills below twice through:

  1. Kick On Side (KOS) left side 
  2. Kick On Side (KOS) right side 
  3. 6/1/6 
  4. 6/3/6

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

The Main Set starts with a set of six (Option A) or eight (Options B and C) 50m reps. These are done at absolute max intensity, starting every two minutes. The idea is to build up your lactic acid, forcing your body to attempt to clear it whilst continuing to swim through the next set.

The next set is in fact one big set made up of nine (Option A), twelve (Option B) or eighteen (Option C) reps of 100m. For the first three (Option A), four (Option B) or six (Option C) reps take a 30 second Rest Interval (RI). For the next three (Option A), four (Option B) or six (Option C) reps take a 25 second Rest Interval (RI). And for the final three (Option A), four (Option B) or six (Option C) reps take a 30 second Rest Interval (RI). For the next three (Option A), four (Option B) or six (Option C) reps take a 20 second Rest Interval (RI).

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 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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