Tri Swim Coach

Saturday Swim Session: Quality Time

Introducing some quality efforts within your workout will give your fitness a boost. Within this session you’ll find a range of intensities and due to the amount of time spent swimming there is also a good amount of volume. This session is great for triathlete and open water swimmers.

Normally 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. This weeks sessions are a little longer than normal.

The inspiration for today’s workout comes from an article by Clay Evans and Bonnie Adair in an old edition of Fitness Swimmer Magazine.

Option A

  • 200m WU 30RI;
  • 150m Easy 20RI;
  • 100m Easy 10RI;
  • 50m Moderate 30RI;
  • 200m Moderate 30RI;
  • 150m Moderate 20RI;
  • 100m HARD 10RI;
  • 50m Easy 30RI;
  • 200m HARD 30RI;
  • 150m Easy 20RI;
  • 100m Easy 10RI;
  • 50m Easy 30RI;
  • 6x 25m (Alt Easy/Hard) 10RI
  • 100m CD (1,750m)

Option B

  • 200m WU 30RI;
  • 150m Easy 20RI;
  • 100m Easy 10RI;
  • 50m Moderate 30RI;
  • 200m Moderate 30RI;
  • 150m Moderate 20RI;
  • 100m HARD 10RI;
  • 50m Easy 30RI;
  • 200m Moderate 30RI;
  • 150m HARD 20RI;
  • 100m Easy 10RI;
  • 50m Easy 30RI;
  • 200m HARD 30RI;
  • 150m Easy 20RI;
  • 100m Easy 10RI;
  • 50m Easy 30RI;
  • 10x 25m (Alt Easy/Hard) 10RI
  • 100m CD (2,350m)

Option C

  • 200m WU 30RI;
  • 150m Easy 20RI;
  • 100m Easy 10RI;
  • 50m Moderate 30RI;
  • 200m Easy 30RI;
  • 150m Easy 20RI;
  • 100m Easy 10RI;
  • 50m Moderate 30RI;
  • 200m Moderate 30RI;
  • 150m Moderate 20RI;
  • 100m HARD 10RI;
  • 50m Easy 30RI;
  • 200m Moderate 30RI;
  • 150m HARD 20RI;
  • 100m Easy 10RI;
  • 50m Easy 30RI;
  • 200m HARD 30RI;
  • 150m Easy 20RI;
  • 100m Easy 10RI;
  • 50m Easy 30RI;
  • 200m Easy 30RI;
  • 150m Easy 20RI;
  • 100m Easy 10RI;
  • 50m Easy 30RI;
  • 16x 25m (Alt Easy/Hard) 10RI
  • 100m CD (3,500m)

This workout is based around three (Option A), four (Option B), or six (Option C) sets of four reps (200m, 150m, 100m, 50m respectively) then repeated, with the focus on different intensities on key reps each set. Each 200m rep is followed by a 30 second Rest Interval (RI), each 150m rep is followed by a 20 second Rest Interval (RI), each 100m rep is followed by a ten second Rest Interval (RI), and each 50m rep is followed by a 30 second Rest Interval (RI).

Regardless of which option you are doing the first set starts off with a 200m Warm Up. Take your 30 second Rest Interval (RI) and then swim an easy 150m (with a 20 second Rest Interval (RI)), easy 100m (with a ten second Rest Interval (RI)) and a moderate paced 50m (with a 30 second Rest Interval (RI)).

Option C has an extra set at this point where the 200m, 150m, 100m and 50m reps (with their respective Rest Interval (RI)) are swum the same as the warm up – easy effort for the 200, 150 and 100, with a moderate effort for the 50.

The second set for Options A & B, and the third set for Option C are swum with a moderate effort for the 200m and 150m reps, with a hard effort for the 100m and an easy effort for the 50m rep. The Rest Interval (RI) between reps doesn’t change.

The next set is swum only by Options B & C (Option A skips straight to the next set), with a moderate effort for the 200m, hard effort for the 150m and easy effort for the 100m and 50m reps. The Rest Interval (RI) between reps doesn’t change.

The next set is swum with a hard 200m rep, and the remaining reps swum at an easy pace. All with the normal Rest Interval (RI) after each rep.

Option C has an extra set inserted here and all reps are swum at an easy effort with the normal Rest Interval (RI) between reps.

The final set is made up of six, ten or sixteen reps of 25 metres. Alternate between easy reps and hard reps. Take a ten second Rest Interval (RI) between reps.

For the Cool Down (CD) swim 100m. 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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