Sub 1-hour session: swim intervals for beginners

Prepare to see significant performance gains with GB pro triathlete Dan Halksworth's 45min interval session


This session will fill you with confidence as the aim is to train faster than race pace. Equipment needed: swim trunks/swimsuit, swim cap, goggles



10mins as: 400m easy swim.

Main Session

25mins as: Using 100m pace from a 400m time-trial attempt, do 10 x 100m holding pace or slightly quicker with 10-15sec rest per interval. Increase session length as you progress.


10mins as: Your choice of stroke, but try including backstroke to get arms and chest working in counter direction.

Performance benefits

This session provides a vital understanding of race pace and how quickly you should set out on race day. If you’ve not swum intervals before, this session can also greatly improve performance in a short space of time.

Physiological benefits

Even a super-sprint triathlon is an aerobic discipline, and this will hone your endurance engine. Swimming is great for building endurance because it’s low impact compared to running. You can recover faster and go again.

Mental benefits

This is a great confidence booster ahead of embarking on your triathlon journey. You’ll prove you can more than cover the required race distance and because you’re training at faster than race pace, come the big day you will be
well within yourself when you start.

How to fit it in

It’s perfect to squeeze into any busy triathlete’s schedule. The session will be over in a trice and the largest time investment is likely to be travelling to and from the pool and changing, so make sure you have the transport logistics streamlined to avoid frustration.


Adapt for Ironman

If you’re making the leap up to bigger distances then estimate your 100m pace from a longer time trial of 2km minimum.