Key Swims

I recently spoke with Bevan and John at IMTalk about my thoughts on swimming, my experience and my personal position on swimming. You can listen to that pod cast at

Here are the three key swims I think you need per week as we head into the race season.

Long Aerobic Strength

Count your stroke count and time your distance and effort. Do the same stroke count and time for each.

Choose any one of the following sessions. Always include a warm up and cool down.

  • 10x 400 swim on 10 seconds rest.
  • 6x 800 pull with band and buoy.
  • 3-4x 1000 pull with small paddles.
  • 3x 1500m.
  • 1 hour continuous swim open water in wet suit with paddles.

Race Test Set

  • 30x 100 on 40 seconds rest. Best possible time for all. Stroke rate and pace at or slightly above race intensity.
  • 12 x 200m at race pace on 15 seconds rest. Maintain same time for all.

Speed Set

  • Warm up well with 1000-1500 of mixed swimming.
  • 20x 25m max effort on equal or greater rest.
  • 5x 100 on race pace on 5 seconds rest
  • Repeat both steps 1-4 times through.
  • 25s can be max swim or max turn over band only swimming.
  • Warm up well with 1000-1500 of mixed swimming.
  • 4-6x 50m max effort on 20-40 seconds rest.
  • 8x 100 on race pace with 10 seconds rest.
  • Repeat 2-4 times through.

If you have more than three days of sessions in your weeks program and you have more time to swim I recommended one easy technique focused session and on 3-4k session where you do a 2k main set of steady swimming on short rest.

Be fit on the swim — it effects your entire day! What you do in the water directly impacts your bike and impacts your run. Triathlon is a start line and a finish line. It pays to be ready in the water!



SwimMarilyn Chychota