Swim Session

Saturday Swim Session: Gale Bernhardt’s Endurance 13 Workout

Endurance is a critical component of fitness for triathletes and long distance open water swimmers. The reps within this session build your pace to develop the skill and mindset to finish an open water swim or swim leg of a triathlon fast. 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 Swim Workouts for Triathletes written by Gale Bernhardt and Nick Hansen.

Option A

  • 200m WU;
  • 2x 75m (25m K / 25m Dr / 25m Swim);
  • 200m -ve split;
  • 4x 100m on 2:30-3:00;
  • 400m 2min RI;
  • 4x 100 (desc 1-4) on 2:30-3:00;
  • 4x 50m CD F/S / Bk 20RI (1,950m)

Option B

  • 300m WU;
  • 4x 75m (25m K / 25m Dr / 25m Swim);
  • 300m -ve split by 100m;
  • 4x 100m on 2:00-2:30;
  • 800m 2min RI;
  • 6x 100 (desc 2-2-2) on 2:00-2:30;
  • 6x 50m CD F/S / Bk 20RI (3,000m)

Option C

  • 300m WU;
  • 4x 75m (25m K / 25m Dr / 25m Swim);
  • 300m -ve split by 100m;
  • 4x 100m on 1:45-2:00;
  • 800m 2min RI;
  • 8x 100 (desc 2-2-2-2) on 1:45-2:00;
  • 6x 50m CD F/S / Bk 20RI (3,200m)

Start the workout with a Warm Up (WU) swimming 200m (Option A) or 300m (Options B & C). During the warm up have a good stretch between reps and take as long as you need to get ready for the second rep.

The Warm Up (WU) continues with either two (Option A) or four (Options B & C) reps that are 75m in length and are made up of 25m Kicking, 25m of Drill work and then finishing with 25m of swimming. I recommend using your fins for this set. Conducting Kick On Front for the kicking, then alternate between 6/1/6 and 6/3/6 each rep for the drill before finishing with swimming.

Next up is either a 200m (Option A) or a 300m (Options B & C) swim that is swum as a negative split by each 100m. Start with the first 100m swum fast, then for the second 100m swim faster and if doing Option B or C swim the third 100m at your fastest pace, all swum continuously.

Next up is a set of four, 100m reps. Determine the interval you will ‘Go’ on prior to starting the session but recommended times are between the times listed below. This time includes both your swim and your rest period. So the faster you swim, the more time you’ll get to rest:

  • Option A – 2:30-3:00;
  • Option B – 2:00-2:30;
  • OPtion C – 1:45-2:00;

Next up is a longer rep of 400m (Option A) or 800m (Options B & C), take a two minute Rest Interval (RI) at the end of it.

The final set (prior to the Cool Down (CD)) is made up of four (Option A), six (Option B) or eight (Option C) reps of 100m swum using the same ‘Go’ time as the previous sets. Swim these as a descending set getting faster as you work your way through the set. For Option A, swim each rep qwiker than the previous one through the set. For Option B swim the first two reps fast, the third and fourth reps faster and the final two reps fastest. For Option C swim the first two reps at a moderate pace, the third and fourth reps fast, the fifth and sixth reps faster and the final two reps fastest.

For the Cool Down (CD) swim four (Option A) or six (Options B & C) 50m reps at a nice gentle pace, take a 20 second Rest Interval (RI) between reps.

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.

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 skill.

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.

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