Looking to build your swim speed and fitness? This lung-busting workout for advanced athletes promises to push you to your absolute limit.
For this session you’ll need a swimsuit or trunks, hat, goggles, water bottle, and a stopwatch or pace clock.
Try to avoid long or hard runs or rides the day before as this can often impact performance in the pool. Although it’s a high-intensity swim workout, you should be good to hit harder rides or runs the following day should you wish.
1 x 200m, 1 x 100m; 2 x 150m, 2 x 75m; 3 x 100m, 3 x 50m; 4 x 50m, 4 x 25m. Take 15secs rest interval (RI) between each. Progress effort to 85%.
8 x 50m, 15secs RI; 50m easy swim, 4 x 100m, 20secs RI, 50m easy swim; 2 x 200m, 30secs RI, 50m easy swim. 1 x 400m best effort. All at 90% – max effort.
200m easy swim.
This workout builds speed and fitness that’ll reward you richly on race day. The fast 50m and 100m intervals are great for practising the take-out speed that’s needed at the start of a race. Equally, being able to hold high effort for the 200m and 400m reps is highly valuable for your speed, fitness and confidence.
Come prepared with a positive mental attitude and some coping strategies in place for when the going gets tough.
This is a nasty session! You’ll be working at or near max intensity for the entire main set, but this is exactly the workout you need to boost top-end speed and anaerobic fitness. The fatigue will accumulate fast so you need to find a rhythm and hold it. Remember, record your times so that you can perform this set again and note improvements.
Adapt for Ironman
Go back down the pyramid – 2 x 200m, 4 x 100m, 8 x 50m, but be sure to rest and hang tough. Only do this if you’re well rested.
(Main image: Jonny Gawler)
For lots more swim sessions head to our Training section