Swim Session

Saturday Swim Session: Sara’s September Session

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 an article by Sara McLarty in the September 2015 issue of Triathlete Magazine.

Option A

  • 12x 50m WU (Build 1-4) 15RI;
  • 3x 200m 30RI;
  • 2x 200m Pull 30RI;
  • 200m Fast;
  • 8x 50m CD (alt non-F/S & F/S each 25m) 20RI (2,200m)

Option B

  • 12x 50m WU (Build 1-4) on 1:10;
  • 3x 200m on 4:00;
  • 6x 50m (kick/drill) on 1:30;
  • 2x 200m on 3:50;
  • 6x 50m Pull (breath every 5) on 60;
  • 200m Fast;
  • 12x 50m CD (alt non-F/S & F/S each 25m) on 1:10 (3,000m)

Option C

  • 12x 50m WU (Build 1-4) on 55;
  • 4x 200m on 3:00;
  • 6x 50m (kick/drill) on 1:30;
  • 3x 200m on 2:50;
  • 6x 50m Pull (breath every 5) on 50;
  • 2x 200m on 2:40;
  • 6x 50m (IM order) on 60;
  • 200m Fast;
  • 400m CD choice (3,900m)

Start the workout with twelve reps of 50m. Build your pace for each rep for four reps. Start off with a slow pace for the first rep, then a moderate effort for the second rep, a fast pace for the third rep, and a faster pace for the fourth rep. Repeat this cycle until all twelve reps have been completed. Take a fifteen-second Rest Interval (RI) for Option A, for Option B start each rep every 1:10 (if it takes you 50 seconds to complete the rep you will get 20 seconds of rest) and for Option C start each rep every 55 seconds (if it takes you 40 seconds to complete the rep you will get 15 seconds rest).

Next up is a set of three (Options A & B) or four (Option C) reps of 200m. Take a 30-second Rest Interval (RI) for Option A, for Option B start each rep every four minutes and for Option C start each rep every three minutes.

Option A misses the next set out whilst Options B & C complete a set of six, 50-metre reps conducting kicking for the first 25m and a drill for the last 25m each rep. Start each rep every minute and 30 seconds. Use your fins for this set and avoid using a kickboard as shown in the following video. Complete the drills in the order shown:

  1. Kick On Side (KOS) left side
  2. Kick On Side (KOS) right side  
  3. 6/1/6  
  4. 6/3/6
  5. Popov
  6. Broken Arrow

The next set is made up of two (Options A & B) or three (Option C) reps of 200m. For Option A, swim this set with a Pull Buoy and for Options B & C, swim this normally without a Pull Buoy. Option A has a 30-second Rest Interval (RI) after each rep. Option B starts each rep every 3:50 and Option C starts each rep every 2:50.

Option A misses the following set out whilst Options B & C complete a set of six, 50-metre reps with a Pull Buoy, breathing every five strokes. Option B starts each rep every 60 seconds and Option C starts each rep every 50 seconds.

Option C has a couple of extra sets that neither Option A nor B complete. The first of which is a set of two, 200-metre reps swum starting every 2:40.

The next set only for Option C is made up of six, 50-metre reps. They are done in Individual Medley order change stroke every 25m. So the first rep is Butterfly and Backstroke. The second rep is Breaststroke and Freestyle. The third rep is back to Butterfly and Backstroke. These are done by starting each rep every 60 seconds.

The next set for all options is a single rep of 200 metres swum as fast as you can.

The Cool Down (CD) consists of a set of eight (Option A) or twelve (Option B) 50 metre reps alternating between non-Freestyle and Freestyle every 25 metres. Option A takes a twenty-second Rest Interval (RI) between reps. Option B starts each rep every 1:10. Option C swims 400m using their choice of stroke.

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.

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Being 8 weeks in duration, this plan progresses you from being comfortable completing sessions between 600 & 800m in distance through to 1,600m in distance over the 8 weeks. This programme has 3 swim sessions and a flexibility session each week.

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Prior to using these plans, you should be able to complete swim sessions of 600m in distance.

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