Tri Swim Coach

Saturday Swim Session: 220’s Pull and Paddle Set

Both Pull Buoy and Paddles are great tools to develop swim-specific strength. They are both used within this session to ensure you get the most out of it. 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 old article that I ripped out of an old 220 Magazine circa 1997-2002ish.

Option A

  • WU
    • 200m 20RI;
    • 2x 100m Pull 20RI;
    • 4x 50m drill 20RI;
  • 4x 50m (25m Drill/25m Swim) 15RI;
  • 4x 50m Build 1-4 15RI;
  • 300m PP 30RI;
  • 2x 150m Pull 30RI;
  • 3x 100m Build 1-3 30RI;
  • 100m CD (2,000m)

Option B

  • WU
    • 300m 20RI;
    • 200m Pull 20RI;
    • 100m drill 20RI;
  • 4x 50m Drill 15RI;
  • 4x 50m (25m Drill/25m Swim) 15RI;
  • 4x 50m Build 1-4 15RI;
  • 400m PP 30RI;
  • 2x 200m Pull (1st steady, 2nd 100m Easy/100m Hard) 30RI;
  • 400m swim 30RI;
  • 4x 100m Build 1-4 30RI;
  • 200m CD (3,000m)

Option C

  • WU
    • 400m 20RI;
    • 300m Pull 20RI;
    • 200m drill 20RI;
    • 100m Swim 20RI
  • 4x 100m 20RI;
    • 1x 100m Drill,
    • 1x 75m Drill/25m swim,
    • 1x 50m Drill/50m swim,
    • 1x 25m Drill/75m swim,
  • 4x 100m swim Build 1-4, 20RI
  • 5x 400m 30RI;
    • 1x 400m PP,
    • 1x Pull 200m easy/200m Hard,
    • 1x Paddles 200m easy/200m Hard,
    • 1x swim steady,
    • 1x swim Descending
  • 200m CD (4,000m)

For the Warm Up (WU) start with a 200m (Option A), 300m (Option B), or 400m (Option C) swim. Take a 20-second Rest Interval (RI) before swimming two, 100m reps (Option A), 200m (Option B), or 300m (Option C) using a Pull Buoy between your legs. Take a 20-second Rest Interval (RI) between reps and then complete either four, 50m drill reps (Option A), 100 metres of the drill (Option B), or 200 metres of the drill (Option C). Use a pair of fins for the drills. Here are four drills to work on, work through each for 25m (Option B) or 50m (Options A & C) each:

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

Option C has another 100m swim to round out the Warm Up (WU).

Next up is a set of Drill, keep your fins on for these. Option A involves four reps of 50m which is made up of 25m drill and 25m swimming. Repeat the four drills above with a 15-second Rest Interval (RI) between. Option B has four 50m reps, drilling the full distance and also taking a 15-second Rest Interval (RI). Option C has got a set of four, 100m reps starting with 100m drills (alternate length with each side of Kick On Side. The second 100m rep is made up of 75m drill and 25m swimming, do the 6/1/6 drill for this rep. Next up is a 50m drill and 50m swimming, revert back to the Kick On Side for this drill and alternate sides completing the first 50m prior to completing the rep with freestyle swimming. The fourth rep starts with 25 metres of the drill, does 6/3/6, and then finishes off the 100m with the remaining 75m of freestyle swimming.

Option B has an extra set at this point made up of four reps of 50m which is made up of 25m drill and 25m swimming. Repeat the four drills above with a 15-second Rest Interval (RI) between.

Complete the set of four reps of 50m (Options A & B) or 100m (Option C) reps swimming freestyle. Build your pace with each rep, aiming to swim each rep faster by starting at a moderate pace for the first of these reps (a fifth of the set), then a fast pace for the next, and a faster pace for the second to last, and your fastest pace for the last rep. Options A & B take a 15-second Rest Interval (RI) and Option C has a 20-second Rest Interval (RI).

At this point, the three Options do similar but significantly different sets.

Option A has a 300m swim with a pull buoy and paddles, takes a 30-second Rest Interval (RI), and then swims a set of two 150m reps with a pull buoy, also with a 30-second Rest Interval (RI). Finish this set by swimming three, 100m reps building the pace with each rep by starting off with a fast pace for the first rep, a faster pace for the second rep, and your fastest pace for the final rep. All with a 30-second Rest Interval (RI).

Option B has a 400m swim with a pull buoy and paddles, takes a 30-second Rest Interval (RI), and then swim a set of two 200m reps with a pull buoy, also with a 30-second Rest Interval (RI). Finish this set by swimming four, 100m reps building the pace with each rep by starting off with a moderate pace for the first rep, a fast pace for the second rep, a faster pace for the third rep, and your fastest pace for the final rep. All with a 30-second Rest Interval (RI).

Option C has five, 400m reps all with a 30-second Rest Interval (RI). The first rep is with a pull buoy and paddles. The second rep is with a pull buoy and the first 200m easy, second half swam hard (still with the pull buoy). The third rep swims will paddles, the first half easy and the last 200m hard (still with the paddles). The fourth rep is freestyle swim steady. The final rep is done with descending pace, getting faster as you work your way through the rep.

For the Cool Down (CD) swim 100m (Option A) or 200m (Options B & C). 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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