Swim, Training Centre

Set to race: Swim Sessions

Clock Posted Jan 25, 2019

By Dan Atkins 

It’s getting close to race week, you’re in mini-taper mode but don’t want to switch off altogether. A quality swim set is perfect as it’s going to get the heart rate cracking, the race skills up to scratch but no impact means you can stay on track for a great race. Here’s what Dan Atkins, Head Coach at Triathlon Australia’s National Performance Centre on the Gold Coast, would put you through:

Session 1-Sprint distance 750-20-5km

Total distance can be between 3-4.5km (dependant on swim ability)

Purpose of the session is to test your fitness as a key session in your lead up, to be done 10-7days out from the event, shifting between the 100’s and 50m efforts for pace changes needed when starting and going around turning cans come race day.

Warm Up (900m in total):

4 x 200m

  1. Swim easy
  2. 50m kick build to T4 pace 50m (pull with kick board) x 2
  3. Pull band build each 100m with focus on stroke rate change as you build
  4. Paddles band (can add pull buoy) 4 x 50m build 1-4, 30 rest between each

100m backstroke

Primer (600-900m): (aim is to get Heart rate up to prepare for the main)

500-800m Pull Paddles:

75m build (build to a pace that feels like 400m race pace) then finish to the wall with 25m scull(for activation of triceps and lats). Repeat 5-8 times.

100m easy swim

Main set (1000m x 1-2): (session is to prepare to race at your best!!!)

3 x 100m on short rest (10secs only, so set time base based on your threshold pace)

1 x 100m on long rest (approx. 30-45 secs enough time to get HR down and set for the hard 50m)

50m pushed hard!  (have 60-80 sec rest)easy 50m recovery

2min static rest then

50m dived or pushed at breakout speed (swimming term for off the block place, hard) should be aiming at around 1sec faster than the last 50m effort on 30 secs rest

4 x 100m descend pace on 40 secs rest between each (focus for these 100’s is by the 3rdone you should be able to hold the pace you averaged above for first set of 100’s, then the 4thfaster than your average holding pace)

50m easy = 1000m

If possible and fit enough, do set x 2

Warm down (300-800m):As needed but make sure if 10 days out you aim to flush the lactate best you can and get through another 300-800m!!!!

Legend: insert ‘Training box’ here

Session 2- Standard distance 1500/40/10

Purpose of this session is to test your 1500m fitness in lead up approximately 7-14 days out from event. Total distance dependant on ability can be between 3-4.5km in total.

Warm up (900m):

300m easy swim

8 x 50m (drills swim for activation) all with 20-30 secs rest

  1. 1 arm freestyle (25m switch arms)
  2. 25m scull 25m T3 swim (scull will activate arms and lats, follow this with swim and you should feel more length per stroke)
  3. Straight arm recovery swim (aim is to “over reach” to give more length per stroke)
  4. Swim 50m at a 400m race pace

X 2

200m kick – 50m T4 (race pace legs, to prepare for main)150m easy

Primer (400-600m): (aim is to get HR up to prepare for the main set)

2 x 50m – 25-30 secs rest between

  1. 25m T4 (slightly faster than your 400m speed)25m easy
  2. 50m build (build to a faster then 400m speed)

100m T3(around your 1000m pace) 60secs rest

Repeat 2-3 times (dependant on ability)

100m easy

Main (2200m): 1500m prep

2 x 100m T4 on 10-15 sec rest (really focussed on that initial off the start pace, even could start the 1stwith a dive!!!)

4 x 200m T3 (just slower than your 1000m pace)on 20-30 sec rest

100 easy – 1100m

Repeat complete set for second time.

Warm down:As needed. If you’re a strong swimmer put on some paddles for some strength under fatigue focussed on long stroke development pace.

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