Swim Workout

Saturday Swim Session: The Swim Academy Session #5

Mixed sets with a variety of speeds will allow you to develop your top-end speed, as well as your threshold speed. This is a great session for open-water swimmers and triathletes who compete over longer distances.

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. Today’s session is a little longer.

The inspiration for today’s workout comes from a session from The Swim Academy in Queensland, Australia. It has been modified from what they published here.

Option A

  • 200m WU;
  • 2x 50m K (Pick Up);
  • 4x 25m (Build 1-4);
  • 100m (100m Pick up);
  • 4x 50m (odds Pick Up, evens Fast – 1 rep each stroke);
  • 100m (100m Pick up);
  • 4x 50m
    • Bf Pick Up;
    • Bk -ve split;
    • Br -ve split;
    • FS Fast;
  • 100m Easy choice;
  • 200m (50m DPS, 50m Drill);
  • 4x 25m Fins (Build 1-4);
  • 100m CD (2,000m)

Option B

  • 200m WU;
  • 4x 50m K (Pick Up);
  • 8x 25m (1-4 Fist Drill, 5-8 Build 1-4);
  • 200m (100m Pick up / 100m IM);
  • 8x 50m (odds Pick Up, evens Fast – 2 reps each stroke);
  • 200m (100m Pick up / 100m IM);
  • 6x 50m
    • 1x Bf Pick Up;
    • 2x Bk -ve split;
    • 2x Br -ve split;
    • 1x FS Fast;
  • 100m Easy choice;
  • 300m (50m DPS, 50m Drill);
  • 8x 25m Fins (Build 1-8);
  • 100m CD (2,900m)

Option C

  • 400m WU;
  • 4x 50m K (Pick Up);
  • 16x 25m (1-4 Fist Drill, 5-8 Build 1-4);
  • 200m (100m Pick up / 100m IM);
  • 12x 50m (odds Pick Up, evens Fast – 3 reps each stroke);
  • 200m (100m Pick up / 100m IM);
  • 6x 50m
    • 1x Bf Pick Up;
    • 2x Bk -ve split;
    • 2x Br -ve split;
    • 1x FS Fast;
  • 200m Easy choice;
  • 400m (50m DPS, 50m Drill);
  • 16x 25m Fins (Build 1-8);
  • 100m CD (3,900m)

Start the workout with a Warm Up (WU) swimming 200m (Options A & B) or 400m (Option 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.

Next up is a Kick set where you complete two (Option A) or four (Option B) repetitions of 50m. These reps are Pick Ups, where you pick up the pace and effort as you get closer to the end of each rep. Start off at an easy pace and finish the rep sprinting. Do these with fins and no kick board as demonstrated in the video below.

Next is a set of four (Option A), eight (Option B), or sixteen (Option C) reps of 25m. Option A simply builds your pace over the four reps. Start off at a moderate pace for the first rep, a fast pace for the second rep, a faster pace for the third rep and the final rep is your fastest pace. Option B starts off with the first four reps done as Fist Drill, simply swim with a clenched fist, and focus on catching the water with the surface area of your forearm. For the last four reps build your pace from the fifth rep to the eighth rep as Option A did. Option C repeated what Option B did twice through.

The next set is a single rep of 100m (Option A) or 200m (Options B & C). For Option A, be swum as a Pick-Up, where you start at a slow pace and build it throughout the rep to finish sprinting. For Options B & C, the first 100m is a Pick Up as per Option A, but they both continue into a Fast 100m Individual Medley (IM) rep. If you are not confident or competent at swimming butterfly or one of the other strokes, start the length of swimming that stroke for as far as you can achieve before reverting to freestyle.

The next set is four (Option A), eight (Option B), or twelve (Option C), 50m repetitions. Option A swims one rep each stroke, Option B swims two reps each stroke and Option C swims three reps each stroke. Alternate between odd-numbered reps swimming as a Picking Up and even reps as Fast. As with the previous set if you are not confident or competent with a stroke attempt it before reverting to freestyle.

The next set is a single rep of 100m (Option A) or 200m (Options B & C). For Option A, be swum as a Pick-Up, where you start at a slow pace and build it throughout the rep to finish sprinting. For Options B & C, the first 100m is a Pick Up as per Option A, but they both continue into a Fast 100m Individual Medley (IM) rep. If you are not confident or competent at swimming butterfly or one of the other strokes, start the length of swimming that stroke for as far as you can achieve before reverting to freestyle.

The following set involves four (Option A) or six (Options B & C) reps of 50m. The first rep is butterfly Pick Up, where you pick up your pace as you swim the rep, starting at a moderate pace and then accelerating through the rep to finish sprinting. Next up is a single (Option A) or double (Options B & C) reps of backstroke where you swim a negative split (the second half faster than the first half). Follow this with a single (Option A) or double (Options B & C) reps of breaststroke where you also swim a negative split. The final rep is one FAST freestyle rep.

Next up is a single 100m (Options A & B) or a 200m (Option C) rep, done nice and easy and a stroke of your choice.

The following set is 200m (Option A), 300m (Option B), or 400m (Option C) alternating between 50m of Distance Per Stroke (DPS) where you try and maximise the distance of each and every stroke (count how many strokes it takes per length and tries and improve it); and 50m of drill work (choose a drill of your choice).

The final set is made up of four (Option A), eight (Option B), or sixteen (Option C) reps of 25m. Build your pace from rep to rep over the first four (Option A), first eight (option B), first eight, and then repeated for the second eight (Option C).

For the Cool Down (CD) swim 100m. 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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