Tri Swim Coach

Saturday Swim Session: Climb This!

Individual Medley (IM) workouts are ALWAYS tough. This workout builds up the distance of the Individual Medley (IM) reps to constantly challenge you before descending down the other side of the pyramid. This session is will challenge triathletes and open water swimmers and generate improvement.

Each Saturday I will post a Swim Session, most weeks 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 an article by Clay Evans and Bonnie Adair in an old edition of Fitness Swimmer Magazine.

Option A

  • WU
    • 25m Free 5RI;
    • 50m (25m Br, 25m F/S) 10RI;
    • 75m (25m Bk, 25m Br, 25m F/S) 15RI;
  • 100m IM 20RI;
  • 200m IM 30RI;
  • 300m IM 40RI;
  • 200m IM 60RI;
  • 100m IM 60RI;
  • 75m (25m Fly, 25m Bk, 25m Br) 60RI;
  • 50m (25m Fly, 25m Bk) 60RI;
  • 25m Fly;
  • 6x 50m Kick 10RI;
  • 100m CD (1,600m)

Option B

  • WU
    • 25m Free 5RI;
    • 50m (25m Br, 25m F/S) 10RI;
    • 75m (25m Bk, 25m Br, 25m F/S) 15RI;
  • 100m IM 20RI;
  • 200m IM 30RI;
  • 300m IM 40RI;
  • 400m IM 50RI;
  • 400m IM 60RI;
  • 300m IM 60RI;
  • 200m IM 60RI;
  • 100m IM 60RI;
  • 75m (25m Fly, 25m Bk, 25m Br) 60RI;
  • 50m (25m Fly, 25m Bk) 60RI;
  • 25m Fly;
  • 6x 50m Kick 10RI;
  • 100m CD (2,700m)

Option C

  • WU
    • 25m Free 5RI;
    • 50m (25m Br, 25m F/S) 10RI;
    • 75m (25m Bk, 25m Br, 25m F/S) 15RI;
  • 100m IM 20RI;
  • 200m IM 30RI;
  • 300m IM 40RI;
  • 400m IM 50RI;
  • 500m IM 60RI;
  • 600m IM 60RI;
  • 500m IM 60RI;
  • 400m IM 60RI;
  • 300m IM 60RI;
  • 200m IM 60RI;
  • 100m IM 60RI;
  • 75m (25m Fly, 25m Bk, 25m Br) 60RI;
  • 50m (25m Fly, 25m Bk) 60RI;
  • 25m Fly;
  • 6x 50m Kick 10RI;
  • 100m CD (4,300m)

For the Warm Up (WU) start with 25m freestyle before taking a five-second Rest Interval (RI). Follow this with a 50m rep made up of 25m breaststroke and 25m freestyle with a ten-second Rest Interval (RI). The last rep of the Warm Up (WU) is 75m in distance, this rep is made up of 25m backstrokes, 25m breaststroke, and 25m freestyle. Take a fifteen-second Rest Interval (RI) before getting into the main body.

The first rep of the main body of the workout is a 100m Individual Medley (IM). As with any Individual Medley (IM), it is made up of four parts, all of the equal distance starting with butterfly, then backstroke, breaststroke, and finishing with freestyle. For the 100m Individual Medley (IM) it is 25m of each portion. At the end of it at taking a 20-second Rest Interval (RI).

The second rep is a 200m Individual Medley (IM), followed by a 30-second Rest Interval (RI). 50m of each stroke.

The third rep is a 300m Individual Medley (IM), followed by a 40-second Rest Interval (RI). 75m of each stroke. If you are doing Option C at this point you will continue with the 200m further down, whilst both Options B & C continue.

Next up is a 400m Individual Medley (IM), followed by a 50-second Rest Interval (RI). 100m of each stroke. If you are doing Option B at this point you will continue with the 200m further down, whilst both Option C continues.

Next up is a 500m Individual Medley (IM), followed by a 60-second Rest Interval (RI). 125m of each stroke.

The peak for Option C is the 600m Individual Medley (IM), followed by a 60-second Rest Interval (RI). 150m of each stroke.

As you work down the other side of the pyramid, see your second 500m Individual Medley (IM), followed by a 60-second Rest Interval (RI). 125m of each stroke.

Option B rejoins the pyramid with a 400m Individual Medley (IM), followed by a 60-second Rest Interval (RI). 100m of each stroke.

Next see a 300m Individual Medley (IM), followed by a 60-second Rest Interval (RI). 75m of each stroke.

Option A rejoins the pyramid at this point with a 200m Individual Medley (IM), followed by a 60-second Rest Interval (RI). 50m of each stroke.

Next up is a 100m Individual Medley (IM), followed by a 60-second Rest Interval (RI). 25m of each stroke.

The next rep is 75m and is made up of 25m butterfly, 25m backstrokes, and 25m breaststroke. Take a 60sec Rest Interval (RI).

The second to last rep of the pyramid is 50m and is made up of 25m butterfly and 25m backstroke. Take a 60sec Rest Interval (RI).

The pyramid concludes with a 25m butterfly.

The last set to complete this workout is made up of six, 50m reps made up of kicking drills.

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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