Saturday Swim Session: 12 Days of Christmas 🎄 🎅

This is a fun wee session based on everyone’s favourite (or maybe least favourite) Christmas Carol. With a focus on short reps and inclusion of plenty of drills. 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.

Option A

  • 1x 200m WU;
  • 2x 25m 10sec RI;
  • 3x 25m Drills;
  • 4x 25m 10sec RI;
  • 5x 25m Drills;
  • 6x 25m 15sec RI;
  • 7x 25m Drills;
  • 8x 25m 15sec RI;
  • 9x 25m Drills;
  • 10x 25m 20sec RI;
  • 11x 25m Drills;
  • 12x 25m 20sec RI;
  • 200m CD (2,325m)

Option B

  • 1x 400m WU;
  • 2x 50m 20sec RI;
  • 3x 25m Drills;
  • 4x 50m 20sec RI;
  • 5x 25m Drills;
  • 6x 50m 20sec RI;
  • 7x 25m Drills;
  • 8x 50m 15sec RI;
  • 9x 25m Drills;
  • 10x 50m 15sec RI;
  • 11x 25m Drills;
  • 12x 25m 20sec RI;
  • 200m CD (3,275m)

Option C

  • 1x 800m WU;
  • 2x 100m 20sec RI;
  • 3x 25m Drills;
  • 4x 100m 20sec RI;
  • 5x 25m Drills;
  • 6x 100m 20sec RI;
  • 7x 25m Drills;
  • 8x 50m 15sec RI;
  • 9x 25m Drills;
  • 10x 50m 15sec RI;
  • 11x 25m Drills;
  • 12x 50m 20sec RI;
  • 200m CD (4,450m)

For the Warm Up (WU) start with a 200m (Option A), 400m (Option B) or 800m (Option C) swim. During the warm-up feel free to stop and stretch as needed.  It doesn’t need to be a continuous swim.

The remaining sets increase in the number of reps through to twelve reps in the last set before the Cool Down (CD).

Start with two reps of: 25m with a ten second Rest Interval (RI) for Option A; 50m with a 20 second Rest Interval (RI) for Option B; and 100m reps with a 20 second Rest Interval (RI) for Option C.

The next set is three, 25m reps of drills. I recommend using fins and completing KOS (one rep on each side) and then 6/1/6.

I wrote an article about drills here:

After you’ve removed your fins the next set is made up of four reps: 25m with a ten second Rest Interval (RI) for Option A; 50m with a 20 second Rest Interval (RI) for Option B; and 100m with a 20 second Rest Interval (RI) for Option C.

Time to put the fins back on again for a set of five 25m reps of drills. I recommend completing four reps of KOS (two reps on each side) and then a rep of 6/1/6.

Remove the fins for the next set of six reps of 25m with a 15-second Rest Interval (RI) for Option A; 50m with a 20-second Rest Interval (RI) for Option B; and 100m with a 20-second Rest Interval (RI) for Option C.

Time to put the fins back on again for a set of seven 25m reps of drills. I recommend completing four reps of KOS (two reps on each side) and then two reps of 6/1/6, then a single 6/3/6 rep.

Once you’ve taken your fins off complete a set of eight reps of: 25m with a 15 second Rest Interval (RI) for Option A; 50m with a 15 second Rest Interval (RI) for Options B & C.

The next drill set is made up of nine 25m reps of drills. I recommend completing four reps of KOS (two reps on each side) and then two reps of 6/1/6, two reps of 6/3/6 and then a single rep of Popov. Use your fins for this set.

Next up is a set of ten reps of: 25m with a 20 second Rest Interval (RI) for Option A; 50m with a 15 second Rest Interval (RI) for Options B & C.

The final drill set is made up of eleven, 25m reps. I recommend completing four reps of KOS (two reps on each side) and then two reps of 6/1/6, two reps of 6/3/6, two reps of Popov and a single rep of Broken Arrow. Use your fins for this set.

The final set is made up of twelve reps of: 25m with a 20 second Rest Interval (RI) for Options A & B; and a set of 50m with a 20 second Rest Interval (RI) for Option C.

For the Cool Down (CD) swim 200m. 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.

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