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Home / Training / Swim / Sub-1hr session: Pace time

Sub-1hr session: Pace time

Try this 60min aerobic set for beginners where the aim is to maintain a consistent pace

Sub-1hr session: Pace time

This swim session for beginners takes you through a 60min aerobic set where the aim is to maintain a consistent pace to build endurance.

If swimming is your weakness, make sure you’re as fresh as possible for this session. Try to make it your first session of the day as it will enable you to maintain better technique. Avoid any hard training or weightlifting prior to this session.

For this session you’ll need: swimwear, goggles, swim hat, pullbuoy (if a complete newbie try with swim fins first to build confidence and endurance).

Pace time


8 x 25m on 20sec rest/interval, easy aerobic swim (time each 25m, aim to swim at same pace, don’t go fast!).

Main session

6 x 50m on 30sec rest/interval, aerobic swim; 60-90sec rest, depending on fitness levels; 4 x 100m on 45sec rest; 60-90sec rest; 2 x 150m on 60sec rest; 60-90sec rest; 1 x 300m.


50m any stroke.

Main benefits

Performance benefits

This session teaches the importance of good, early pacing. If you hit the right tempo at the beginning you can maintain consistent pace as the set gets longer and harder. It also provides an idea of how fast you swim aerobically for certain distances.

Mental benefits

The ability to pace is one of the hardest physical and psychological skills that new triathletes need to learn. This will help teach the swimmer to hold back at the start of the race.

Physiological benefits

The key for the first session is to get through as best you can and then adapt from there, adding sets depending on ability.

When completed at the correct pace this session will help develop aerobic endurance, the ability to swim at a comfortable pace for an extended period of time, which is crucial for tri success. This will also teach the body to utilise body fat as an efficient fuel source.

Adapt for Ironman

Progressively increase the numbers of sets until they total 3.8km. Then, as you get fitter, reduce the rest interval by 5secs at a time.

(Images: Jonny Gawler)

For lots more swim sessions head to our Training section

Profile image of Jamie Beach Jamie Beach Former digital editor


Jamie was 220 Triathlon's digital editor between 2013 and 2015.