Janet Evans

Saturday Swim Session: Janet Evans’ Step-Up Session

Swimming at an aerobic pace and then at a higher intensity train prepares the body to swim faster towards the end of a race. These sessions seek inspiration from a workout that was reportedly conducted by Janet Evans, who won multiple Olympic swimming medals. This is a great session for triathletes and open water swimmers to do to build their sustained 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 an article by Olivier Poirier-Leroy about a variation of the workout that Janet Evans used to conduct, by Dudley Duncan, head coach of Richmond, Virginia’s Quest Swimming. Janet Evans set world records for 400m, 800m, and 1,500m freestyle in 1987 and in 1988 won three Olympic Gold medals. She was known as Miss Perpetual Motion. Read the original article here.

Option A

  • 200m WU;
  • 1x
    • 150m on 2T+20,
    • 200m on 2T+20,
  • 2x
    • 75m on T+15,
    • 100m on T+15,
  • 1x
    • 75m on T+15,
    • 100m on T+15,
  • 3x
    • 50m on ½T+10,
    • 25m on T+10,
  • 2x
    • 50m on ½T+10,
    • 25m on T+10,
  • 1x
    • 50m on ½T+10,
    • 25m on T+10,
  • 200m CD (1,725m)

Option B

  • 200m WU;
  • 2x
    • 150m on 2T+20,
    • 200m on 2T+20,
  • 1x
    • 150m on 2T+20,
    • 200m on 2T+20,
  • 2x
    • 75m on T+15,
    • 100m on T+15,
  • 1x
    • 75m on T+15,
    • 100m on T+15,
  • 3x
    • 50m on ½T+10,
    • 25m on T+10,
  • 2x
    • 50m on ½T+10,
    • 25m on T+10,
  • 1x
    • 50m on ½T+10,
    • 25m on T+10,
  • 200m CD (2,425m)

Option C

  • 200m WU;
  • 3x
    • 150m on 2T+20,
    • 200m on 2T+20,
  • 2x
    • 150m on 2T+20,
    • 200m on 2T+20,
  • 1x
    • 150m on 2T+20,
    • 200m on 2T+20,
  • 3x
    • 75m on T+15,
    • 100m on T+15,
  • 2x
    • 75m on T+15,
    • 100m on T+15,
  • 1x
    • 75m on T+15,
    • 100m on T+15,
  • 3x
    • 50m on ½T+10,
    • 25m on T+10,
  • 2x
    • 50m on ½T+10,
    • 25m on T+10,
  • 1x
    • 50m on ½T+10,
    • 25m on T+10,
  • 200m CD (4,000m)

Start the workout with a Warm Up (WU) swimming 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.

Each rep within this workout is split into two portions. The first aerobic portion is where you have plenty of recovery time and there is no time pressure. And the second portion where there is pressure but you can get extra rest by swimming faster.

Each set within this workout is done based on a consistent start time. This is determined by your T-Time and will be consistent for the 150s/200s, 75s/100s, and the 25s/the 50s respectively. Read more about T-Times here:

For Option C the session starts with three reps of 150m/200m. These are done on 2T+20, which means twice your T-Time plus 20 seconds. So if your T-Time is 1:50, double that to get 3:40 and then add 20 seconds for a 4:00min go time. Your first set would start on 0:00 swimming 150m, then when the clock hits 4:00 start your 200m effort, then at 8:00min start your second 150m, and so on:

TimeRepetition
0:001st 150m
4:001st 200m
8:002nd 150m
12:002nd 200m
16:003rd 150m
20:003rd 200m

If we add in some hypothetical finish times we can look at how much rest you might get:

150m Start time150m Finish TimeRest200m Start Time200m Finish TimeRest
1st Rep0:003:001:004:007:350:25
2nd Rep8:006:551:0512:0015:440:16
3rd Rep16:0015:020:5820:0023:51

The next set for Option C and the first set for Option B is two reps of 150m/200m. These are done on 2T+20, which means twice your T-Time plus 20 seconds, same as above.

The third set for Option C and the second set for Option B and also the first set for Option A is a single rep of 150m/200m, which is also done on 2T+20.

The next set is only done by Option C and is made up of three reps of 75m/100m. These are done on T+15, which refers to your T-Time plus 15 seconds. So if your T-Time is 1:50, add 15 seconds for a 2:05min go time. Your first set would start on 0:00 swimming 75m, then when the clock hits 2:05 start your 100m effort, then at 4:10min start your second 75m, and so on:

TimeRepetition
0:001st 75m
2:051st 100m
4:102nd 75m
6:152nd 100m
8:203rd 75m
10:253rd 100m

If we add in some hypothetical finish times we can look at how much rest you might get:

75m Start time75m Finish TimeRest100m Start Time100m Finish TimeRest
1st Rep0:001:060:592:053:440:26
2nd Rep4:105:101:056:158:040:16
3rd Rep8:209:180:5210:2512:10

The next set is done by all Options and is made up of two reps of 75m/100m. These are done on T+15, which means your T-Time plus 15 seconds, same as above.

Next up is a set of a single rep of 75m/100m. These are done on T+15, which means your T-Time plus 15 seconds.

The next set is made up of three reps of 25m/50m. These are done on ½T+10, which refers to your T-Time plus ten seconds. So if your T-Time is 1:50, halve it to get 0:55 and then add ten seconds for a 1:05min go time. Your first set would start on 0:00 swimming 25m, then when the clock hits 1:05 start your 50m effort, then at 2:10min start your second 25m, and so on:

TimeRepetition
0:001st 25m
1:051st 50m
2:102nd 25m
3:152nd 50m
4:203rd 25m
5:253rd 50m

If we add in some hypothetical finish times we can look at how much rest you might get:

25m Start time25m Finish TimeRest50m Start Time50m Finish TimeRest
1st Rep0:000:260:391:051:550:15
2nd Rep2:102:370:383:154:020:18
3rd Rep4:204:590:265:256:10

The next set includes two reps of 25m/50m. These are done on ½T+10, which means your T-Time plus ten seconds, same as above.

The final set is made up of a single rep of 25m/50m done on ½T+10.

For the Cool Down (CD) swim 200m. Unlike the previous sets which have to be freestyle, the cooldown (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 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.

Swim Sessions

The 20 Most Popular Swim Sessions from www.CoachRay.nz

With over 200 articles covering swim workouts published when this ebook came out, I condensed it down to the Top 20 most popular swim workouts. As viewed by people like you, the readers of my website.

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