Tri Swim Coach

Saturday Swim Session: Yuri Suguiyama’s Killer 1100’s

Katie Ledecky dominated female distance swimming setting the World Record in the 400m, 800m, and 1,500m Freestyle, and won five Olympic Gold Medals and 15 World Championships, more than any other female swimmer. This session was a staple leading into major championship events and will benefit any triathlete or open water swimmer.

This week I’ll take you through what Ledecky did, next week I’ve modified the workout for us mere mortals to be able to complete with the normal three options I publish.

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 from Swimming World Magazine about the workouts Katie Ledecky’s coach Yuri Suguiyama set for her, you can read the article here.

  • 400m WU on 6min;
  • 20x 50m (10x F/S on :45, 10x choice drill/swim on 50sec);
  • 500m Kick on 10min;
  • 5x 100m Pull Build 1-3 hold 4&5 on 1:20;
  • 3x
    • 4x 50m (2x Bk, 1x F/S Mod, 1x F/S FAST) on 50sec,
    • 1,100m FAST Neg Split Build 1-3 on 13min,
  • 200m Back
  • 6x
    • 50m F/S on 1:30,
    • 100m F/S FAST on 1:30,
  • 16x 25m Fly w/ Fins (Odds: underwater kick, evens: Fast)
  • 300m Alt 25m Dbl Arm bk /25m F/S

Total: 8,100m (although Katie typically did this set in yards)

For the Warm Up (WU) start with a 400m swim. Ledecky did this and rested until the six-minute mark.

The second set is twenty reps of 50m. The first ten are Freestyle done on 45 seconds. If Katie swam it for 30 seconds she got a 15-second Rest Interval (RI), if she took 40 seconds she only got five seconds Rest Interval (RI). The next ten are her choice alternating between drills and swimming, these are done on 50 seconds.

The next set is 500m kicking, done in ten minutes.

The following set is five 100m reps of pull building pace for the first three reps (the pace for the first rep is fast, then a faster pace for the second, and then the fastest pace for the final rep) and then maintaining that fastest pace for the next two reps. The turnaround for these reps is all on 1:20min.

Next up are three sets. The set is broken into two sub-sets. The first one is four reps of 50m. The first two are done backstroke. The last two are freestyle with the first freestyle rep at a moderate pace and the last one at a fast pace. These are all done in 50 seconds. The second sub-set is one rep of 1,100m FAST, aiming to negatively split the rep building the pace over the three reps. Done in thirteen minutes. Katie did these at 11:22, 11:08, and 10:40.

Next up is a 200m backstroke.

The following set is made up of six reps. Each rep is a total of 150m all freestyle. Start with 50m done on 1:30min, then next up is 100m swum fast also on 1:30. The qwiker you swim these sub-reps the more rest you get and the more effort you can put in for the following reps.

The second to last set is made of 16 reps of 25m Butterfly (with fins). Odd numbered reps were underwater fly kicks and even numbers reps are done fast.

The last rep although not called a Cool Down (CD) functions as one. Swim 300m alternating every 25m through Double Arm Backstroke and Freestyle.

Keep an eye out for next week’s article that will cover a modified version of this workout for the majority of us.

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.

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