Tri Swim Coach

Saturday Swim Session: Gale Bernhardt’s Endurance 5 Workout

Endurance is a critical component of fitness for triathletes and long-distance open water swimmers. This is a great session for triathletes and open water swimmers to do to build their top-end speed.

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 Swim Workouts for Triathletes written by Gale Bernhardt and Nick Hansen.

Option A

  • 2x 200m WU;
  • 4x 25m DPS 15RI;
  • 2x 200m 15RI;
  • 4x 50m Drill/Swim;
  • 2x 150m 15RI;
  • 200m K;
  • 200m CD (1,800m)

Option B

  • 2x 200m WU;
  • 4x 25m DPS 15RI;
  • 2x 250m 15RI;
  • 4x 50m Drill/Swim;
  • 2x 200m 15RI;
  • 4x 50m Drill/Swim;
  • 2x 150m 15RI;
  • 200m K;
  • 200m CD (2,500m)

Option C

  • 2x 200m WU;
  • 4x 25m DPS 15RI;
  • 2x 300m 15RI;
  • 4x 50m Drill/Swim;
  • 2x 250m 15RI;
  • 4x 50m Drill/Swim;
  • 2x 200m 15RI;
  • 4x 50m Drill/Swim;
  • 2x 150m 15RI;
  • 200m K;
  • 200m CD (3,300m)

Start the workout with a Warm Up (WU) swimming two reps of 200m. During the warm-up have a good stretch between reps and take as long as you need to get ready for the second rep.

Next up is a set of four, 25-metre reps of Distance Per Stroke (DPS), here you are trying to maximise the distance you propel your body through the water with each stroke. Keep the stroke smooth and don’t over-glide. Count the number of strokes for each length and try and decrease the number of strokes for each length.

The first of the main sets is made up of two: 200m (Option A), 250m (Option B), or 300m (Option C) repetitions. Take a 15 second Rest Interval (RI) between reps.

The next set is a set of four reps of 50m Drill/Swim where you do a drill for the first 25m of the repetition and then normal swimming for the next 25m swimming. Feel free to use fins whilst doing the drill/swim set.  Do the drills below twice through:

  1. Kick On Side (KOS) left side 
  2. Kick On Side (KOS) right side 

The following set is made up of two: 150m (Option A), 200m (Option B), or 250m (Option C) repetitions. Take a 15-second Rest Interval (RI) between reps.

This is the last set until the kick set for Option A, the other two Options continue with another set of four reps of 50m Drill/Swim. This time does the below drills twice through:

  1. 6/1/6 
  2. 6/3/6

The next set is made up of two: 150m (Option B), or 200m (Option C) repetitions. Take a 15 second Rest Interval (RI) between reps.

This is the last set until the kick set for Option B, Option C continues with another set of four reps of 50m Drill/Swim. This time does the below drills twice through:

  1. Popov
  2. Broken Arrow

Next up for Option C is a set of two, 150m reps with a 15 second Rest Interval (RI).

All options complete a set of 200m kicking. Feel free to use fins and avoid using a kick board.

For the Cool Down (CD) swim 200m. 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.

Share this post so your friends can benefit as well.

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.

It’s no secret: most triathletes are weak swimmers. Improving your swim will make you a faster, more confident triathlete, and you’ll enjoy your time in the water.

Swim Workouts for Triathletes, 2nd Ed. will help you develop real swimming speed. This waterproof book of 75 swim workouts provides the structure, variety, and drills triathletes need to become more efficient and faster swimmers. Each workout is designed around a specific goal–endurance, speed, form, muscular endurance, or anaerobic endurance–making it easy to prepare for events of different distances and improve all-around swimming skills.

Supplement your current training plan with these workouts or use one of the book’s four swim training plans to prepare for triathlon’s most popular swim distances. You’ll improve your efficiency and feel for the water with illustrated technique drills. New 30-minute workouts help slower swimmers or those with limited pool time get up to speed.

Swim Workouts for Triathletes means no more swimming in circles. Take this waterproof book to the pool with you, and you’ll be swimming real workouts that will make you a faster swimmer and a better triathlete.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.