Tri Swim Coach

Saturday Swim Session: Millions of Hundreds, Hundreds of Free

Spending a large amount of time swimming at or near your threshold pace and mixing in a bit of faster (or slower) swimming will develop not only your ability to sustain the pace, but also give your VO2 max a boost. This session is great for swimmers and triathletes preparing for longer, open water swims.

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 which was submitted by Andrew Tangle. Although designed for National level swimmers I will have modified versions of it next week for the rest of us. You can read the article here.

  • 400m WU on 8min;
  • 400m IM K, drill on 10min;
  • 2x 200m IM on 3min;
  • 2x 200m IM on 2:50;
  • 2x 200m IM on 2:45;
  • 2x 200m IM on 2:40;
  • 5x 100m F/S on 1:20;
  • 5x 100m SLOW on 2:00;
  • 5x 100m F/S 1:10;
  • 1x 100m Easy 2min;
  • 4x 100m Choice on 1:30;
  • 4x 100m Choice on 2:00;
  • 4x 100m Choice on 1:20;
  • 1x 100m Easy on 2min;
  • 3x 100m IM on 1:30;
  • 3x 100m IM on 2min;
  • 3x 100m IM on 1:20;
  • 1x 100m Easy on 2min;
  • 2x 100m F/S on 1:25;
  • 2x 100m FAST on 2min;
  • 2x 100m F/S on 1:15;
  • 1x 100m Easy on 2min;
  • 1x 100m Choice on 1:30;
  • 1x 100m Choice on 2min;
  • 1x 100m Choice on 1:20;
  • 1x 100m Easy on 2min;
  • 400m CD

Total: 6,800m

For the Warm Up (WU) start with a 400m swim. Break this swim up, loosen into it. Take some breaks and stretch. Once you’ve completed the 400m rest until the eight-minute mark.

Next up cover 400m focusing on Individual Medley kicks and drills. Spend the first 100m focusing on butterfly drills or kick, the second 100m backstroke drills or kick, the third 100m breaststroke drills or kick and finish with 100m of freestyle drills or kick.

The next set is deemed a Pre-Set and is made up of four separate sets. Each set involves swimming two reps of 200m Individual Medley (IM). Each rep starts with 50m of Butterfly, 50m of Backstroke, 50m of Breaststroke, and finishes with 50m of Freestyle. The first set of two reps is done in three minutes. This means if it takes you 2:20 to swim the 200m IM then you get 40 seconds of Rest Interval (RI), but if it takes you 2:30 you’ll only get 30 seconds of Rest Interval (RI). The onus is on you to swim fast and maximise the Rest Interval (RI).

The second set of two reps is done on 2:50. The third set is on 2:45 and the final set of two-200m Individual Medley (IM) reps is done on 2:40.

The Main Set is made up effectively of five sets, each set containing four sub-sets that are subtly different.

The first set is made up of three sub-sets of FIVE reps of 100m, then finishes with a single rep of 100m of easy swimming. These reps are all done as Freestyle (F/S) and the first sub-set of five-reps is done on 1:20. The second sub-set of five-reps is done as slowly as possible and is done in two minutes. The third sub-set of five-reps is done on 1:10. Finish with the 100m easy in two minutes.

The second set is made up of three sub-sets of FOUR reps of 100m, then finishes with a single rep of 100m of easy swimming. These reps are all done as whatever your specialist stroke is (yes, for triathletes that are freestyle) and the first sub-set of four reps is done on 1:30. The second sub-set of four reps is done as FAST as possible and is done In two minutes. The third sub-set of four-reps is done on 1:20. Finish with the 100m easy in two minutes.

The third set is made up of three sub-sets of THREE reps of 100m, then finishes with a single rep of 100m of easy swimming.

These reps are all done as Individual Medley (yes, for triathletes this will be good for your swimming) and the first sub-set of three-reps is done on 1:30. The second sub-set of three-reps is done as FAST as possible and is done on two minutes. The third sub-set of three-reps is done on 1:20. Finish with the 100m easy in two minutes (you can do this as Freestyle).

The fourth set is made up of three sub-sets of TWO reps of 100m, then finishes with a single rep of 100m of easy swimming. These reps are all done as Freestyle (F/S) and the first sub-set of two-reps is done on 1:25. The second sub-set of two-reps is done as fast as possible and is done in two minutes. The third sub-set of two-reps is done on 1:15. Finish with the 100m easy in two minutes.

The fifth set is made up of three sub-sets of a single 100m rep, then finishes with a single rep of 100m of easy swimming. These reps are all done as your choice of stroke. The first rep is done on 1:30, the second is done as fast as possible in two minutes and the last rep is done on 1:20, before finishing with an easy 100m

For the Cool Down (CD) swim 400m. 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.

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 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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